ARCHIVED -  Transcript - Toronto, ON - 2000/02/08

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Triumph Howard Johnson Triumph Howard Johnson

Plaza-Hotel Plaza-Hotel

MacDonald-Cartier Salle de bal

Ballroom MacDonald-Cartier

2737 Keele Street 2737, rue Keele

Toronto, Ontario Toronto (Ontario)

February 8, 2000 le 8 février 2000





Volume 7






In order to meet the requirements of the Official Languages

Act, transcripts of proceedings before the Commission will be

bilingual as to their covers, the listing of the CRTC members

and staff attending the public hearings, and the Table of


However, the aforementioned publication is the recorded

verbatim transcript and, as such, is taped and transcribed in

either of the official languages, depending on the language

spoken by the participant at the public hearing.





Afin de rencontrer les exigences de la Loi sur les langues

officielles, les procès-verbaux pour le Conseil seront

bilingues en ce qui a trait à la page couverture, la liste des

membres et du personnel du CRTC participant à l'audience

publique ainsi que la table des matières.

Toutefois, la publication susmentionnée est un compte rendu

textuel des délibérations et, en tant que tel, est enregistrée

et transcrite dans l'une ou l'autre des deux langues

officielles, compte tenu de la langue utilisée par le

participant à l'audience publique.

Canadian Radio-television and

Telecommunications Commission

Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des

télécommunications canadiennes

Transcript / Transcription

Public Hearing / Audience publique

Broadcasting Applications and Licences/

Demandes et licences en radiodiffusion





A. Wylie Chairperson/Présidente

M. Wilson Commissioner/Conseillère

J. Pennefather Commissioner/Conseillère

A. Cardozo Commissioner/Conseiller

R. Williams Commissioner/Conseiller

C. Grauer Commissioner/Conseillère

A. Noël Commissioner/Conseillère




P. Cussons Hearing Manager and Secretary / Gérant de l'audience et Secrétaire

D. Rhéaume Legal Counsel /

Conseiller juridique





Triumph Howard Johnson Triumph Howard Johnson

Plaza-Hotel Plaza-Hotel

MacDonald-Cartier Salle de bal

Ballroom MacDonald-Cartier

2737 Keele Street 2737, rue Keele

Toronto, Ontario Toronto (Ontario)


February 8, 2000 le 8 février 2000


Volume 7




Aboriginal Peoples Television Network 1307

Native Communications Inc. 1312

Barrie-Orillia Broadcasting Limited 1321

Pedahbun Lodge Inc. 1330

Mr. Paul Thompson 1335

Mr. Elijah Harper 1342

Mnjikaning First Nation 1350

National Indian Brotherhood 1359

Curve Lake First Nation 1366

First Nations and Aboriginal Student Association 1376

Ms Liss Jeffrey 1386

Frontiers Foundation Inc. 1398

Human Sexuality Program of Toronto District School Board 1406

Mr. Alan Fraser 1411

EGALE, Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere 1422

Mr. George Smithermann 1427

Alliance des Radios communautaires du Canada (ARC) 1435

Christian Marketing Canada and GMA Canada 1447

Reverend Bud Williams 1457

Ms Damalei Beckford 1462

Toronto, Ontario / Toronto (Ontario)

--- Upon resuming on Tuesday, February 8, 2000

at 0900 / l'audience reprend le mardi

8 février 2000 à 0900

6280 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.

6281 I will repeat comments that I made earlier in the week because not everyone was here.

6282 We are now in the phase of hearing intervenors in support of the applications filed and we will be hearing several of these supporting interventions during the week.

6283 We may not have any questions for intervenors as we want to hear as many intervenors as possible in the time we have available. We do not want you to take that as a lack of interest in your intervention. Moreover, we want you to understand that each intervention will be transcribed and will be added to the record and will form part of it in addition to your written interventions.

6284 Having said that, I will ask Mr. Secretary to go over the procedure to be followed.

6285 May we remind you again that cell phones should be turned off. They are very distracting for people who are appearing before us.

6286 Thank you.

6287 Mr. Secretary.

6288 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you, Madam Chairperson.

6289 We are continuing this morning to hear a number of interventions in support of various competing radio applications for Toronto. We are going to start today with a number in support of the application by Mr. Gary Farmer.

6290 I would like to remind intervenors again that we allow a maximum of ten minutes for your presentation and we appreciate your co-operation in that respect.

6291 Without further ado, I would like to introduce our first intervenor of the day, the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, please.

6292 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, Mr. Tagalik. It is nice to see you.

6293 MR. TAGALIK: Good morning. Nice to see you. Nice to be here.


6294 MR. TAGALIK: (Native language spoken / language autochtone). I'm an Inuk. I'm Abraham Tagalik. I'm the Chief Operating Officer of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. It certainly is a pleasure to appear in front of you this morning.

6295 I want to explain a bit about why we support Gary Farmer's application for the first Canadian urban aboriginal radio service.

6296 I think, looking at all the applicants that have come before you, it is sort of a pity that in this day and age of digital communications we can't put everyone on that spectrum, and I think the future is coming when that will be possible, but it is a shame today that, you know, we have to fight for the small space that is available out there. It sort of amazed me that in this day and age it is so tight in terms of giving people the access they need to tell the stories and to really reflect to their own community what that means to them.

6297 APTN supports this application because we know first hand the importance of building a broad talent base throughout this country. As we mentioned in our written intervention, Canada's aboriginal people are only now putting together the infrastructure to support future generations of native artists, musicians, journalists and storytellers. We need a base in southern Ontario to complement other Aboriginal radio services in north and western Canada.

6298 Aboriginal broadcasters work together and support each other. This is part of our tradition. Just this morning we went through a prayer ceremony and a celebration of life to prepare for this. We share ideas and expertise. We need to expand our base and grow our numbers for the same reasons as the commercial broadcasters do. Our long-term survival depends on commercial success in the marketplace. Governments can no longer be counted on as a funding source.

6299 We know that the Toronto FM licensing history has some controversy. We haven't followed that situation all that closely, and aren't aware of all the details, but we urge the Commission to arrive at a decision that truly expands the diversity of voices in this market.

6300 To paraphrase section 3(d)(iii) of the Broadcasting Act, the Canadian broadcasting system should reflect the multicultural, multiracial nature of Canadian society, and also the special place of aboriginal peoples within that society. We believe that Gary Farmer has put forth a proposal that captures the spirit and intent of the Broadcasting Act, and that it will also be a commercial success.

6301 Aboriginal Voices Radio will be unique. It will make an important contribution to the quality of life of a lot of people in southern Ontario. As a hunter and gatherer, I know the importance of inheriting and passing on traditional knowledge to the next and future generations, and as a former radio announcer I know first hand the impact that radio can provide as a storyteller's medium.

6302 As a hunter builds an igloo, he needs a good foundation of solid snow and for the building blocks to support each other. The ground work that the Aboriginal Voices Radio is planting is that very solid base in which we as aboriginal people need to build to support and connect with the next generation of Canadians.

6303 Aboriginal Voices Radio will support aboriginal talent by showcasing our recording artists, giving voices to native journalists. Aboriginal Voices Radio will provide an aboriginal perspective in all of its programming. It will provide important role models for our youth and will provide a bridge of understanding between aboriginal and non-aboriginal audiences.

6304 As the Commission is aware, aboriginal audiences in the northern parts of this country are better served than those in the south, and yet it is the urban native whom needs communications services because in many ways urban aboriginals are less connected to their roots and traditions than their northern cousins.

6305 On behalf of the Board and staff of APTN, as well as all the independent producers who supply our programming, I urge the Commission to grant a licence to Aboriginal Voices Radio.

6306 (Native language spoken / language autochtone). Thank you.

6307 THE CHAIRPERSON: (Native language spoken / language autochtone ), Mr. Tagalik.

6308 MR. TAGALIK: Good morning.

6309 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your presentation.

6310 MR. TAGALIK: Thank you.

6311 THE CHAIRPERSON: It is always nice to see you before us. I'm sure we will again.

6312 MR. TAGALIK: Thank you.

6313 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.

6314 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you, Madam Chairperson.

6315 I would now like to invite Native Communications Inc. to come forward please.

6316 MR. McLEOD: (Native language spoken / language autochtone). Bonjour. I bring greetings from the west. It is a pleasure to be here with you.

6317 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning.


6318 MR. McLEOD: Abe started out giving a little bit of background.

6319 I have been involved with native communications myself for over ten years now. I grew up in northern Manitoba and I have spent a lot of time in communities, so I understand the value of radio, especially aboriginal radio from a grassroots point of view, from how necessary it is. I have spent my career working in native communications, so when Gary got in touch with us and we found out about this project we were very excited, especially for a city like Toronto.

6320 Anyways, Native Communications Inc., or NCI, we currently operate the largest aboriginal radio network in Canada. Provincially, we reach a total of 55 communities from Winnipeg to Churchill, and we also have plans to expand into the southwestern region of Manitoba in the near future. NCI-FM broadcasts 24-hours a day, seven days a week, with station offices in both Winnipeg and Thompson.

6321 We began as a grassroots effort back in 1971 with a group of people who believed that native radio could succeed in meeting the needs of our people. At the heart of their success remains our success.

6322 Aboriginal people possess an oral tradition. That tradition works hand in hand in the medium of radio broadcasting.

6323 Radio -- as I put it when I go and see classrooms and speak with some youth -- radio, in a sense, is the fire, so to speak, the meeting place where we gather to share our stories, our experiences, our achievements and even our hardships.

6324 Historically, mass media was guilty in threatening the very survival of many of our traditional languages, culture and self image. Aboriginal television and radio is doing away with that because in the inception of television and radio there were stereotypes, wild Indians riding horses to the warpath. We are all aware of that. But, fortunately, there has been an evolution taking place for indigenous people in mass communications in this country where radio and television can now be perhaps our greatest tool.

6325 The application we are here to review today, I would like to also mention, has proven itself in several aspects.

6326 Firstly, the magazine, Aboriginal Voices, had roots in being a reference for many radio stations in Canada. It provides radio chart information on what is happening with native artists. It also provides artist profiles, book, television and film reviews. Also, it has articles worthy of national attention. Now, the work done with Aboriginal Voices Magazine can easily be translated into a radio form.

6327 Also, last June I had the pleasure of working with Aboriginal Voices JUMP-FM during its live radio broadcast in the Harbourfront during the Aboriginal Voices Festival. At that time, there was quality programming being produced with little monies and little staff. The broadcast included interviews, live concerts, talk shows. It also linked up with the United States with the AROS(ph) network using internet services. This also brought the voices from south of the border with our voices up here. This obviously shows a great dedication on their part and also a commitment. I think there was some experimentation done at that time too, which is the first time I have seen that done using radio with aboriginal guests and causes.

6328 Yesterday, I also visited the offices of Aboriginal Voices and I was impressed to see they had a full radio studio set up raring to go -- this again showing the commitment. Also, they have a line up of people willing to volunteer and wanting an opportunity to go on a radio station like JUMP-FM.

6329 The spoken word aspect of the magazine has also gained the attention from artists in Manitoba. This was a footnote that I came up with yesterday because there is an Aboriginal Writers Collective in Winnipeg that has already recorded dozens of poems and prose in anticipation of spoken-word programming. Marvin Francis, he is a local poet/painter from Alberta living in Winnipeg, approached the group with the idea to record, and that has happened.

6330 So those kinds of steps are already taking place again to foster a sharing and partnerships with Aboriginal Voices Radio. We have had discussions as well as to the future relationship we can have as a radio network in Manitoba working with JUMP-FM.

6331 In terms of business, there is no two success stories the same. We run fundraising, a very successful bingo operation in Manitoba, where we had a payout that reached a record one million and a quarter dollars. Profits like that go back into our programming. We are also gaining great momentum in our advertising sales. I think that what will happen with Aboriginal Voices Radio is much like us.

6332 We started out in Winnipeg just a year and a half ago and we have gained a lot of attention in the city, particularly with some of our talk shows, bringing up aboriginal issues which when we bring up an issue it is much different than a commercial station because the voices of the people on the radio are the people who are involved with this issue. It is not talking about a people and about an issue. It is talking to people from that community in the communities. So it has been a great experience in the talk show formats.

6333 I know a lot of Aboriginal Voices Radio is concentrated on talk, and I think that is key to what I have seen in their application.

6334 I would also like to take a moment to also mention the music that Aboriginal Voices Radio is proposing in their application. It is quite diverse, including 25 per cent aboriginal content and 40 per cent world music. We at NCI Manitoba have a strong country music influence. Right now we play three aboriginal artists an hour and this summer we are working towards playing four aboriginal artists an hour.

6335 So in terms of music, I think the cross-section of music, world music with the aboriginal music, is actually going to gain a larger audience, especially in a centre like Toronto. I think it is a really exciting idea and I'm looking forward to hearing that on the air.

6336 Thankfully, the Commission has begun to open its doors for aboriginal broadcasters. This supports the survival of the first culture of these lands.

6337 In my time as Program Director at NCI I have learned several important lessons, the first being that broadcasting aboriginal languages in itself is one of the greatest contributions that radio can make. It has been said that as language dies so does a big part of a culture. It is a simple fact that in order for a cultural base language to flourish it must be used and practised. It is also through language that many traditional songs, stories and legends can be shared and also be documented. That is an important point as well. In our experience, other priorities include the talk show formats, as I have mentioned.

6338 The proposed programming by Aboriginal Voices is diverse and exciting. The application holds a vision that I believe will catch the attention of not only aboriginal people but all Canadians living in Toronto. We have proven in our region that aboriginal radio can definitely succeed, and that is success through what I have seen in the application, meeting with people, and seeing JUMP-FM in action. I think it definitely would succeed.

6339 I would also like to mention that a place on the radio dial is not simply a frequency, as I'm sure many of you know, it is also about a role it can play in a listener's life. Toronto has a very high aboriginal population that is growing and these listeners are all interested in receiving a station like this. Abe touched on it at the beginning, but there are a lot of people that are moving from the communities into the cities, like in Winnipeg. We have an estimated population of between sixty to 70,000 aboriginal people. That is happening here in Toronto.

6340 When you listen to an aboriginal radio station, wherever I have gone, if it has been in the States or in different parts of Canada, there is always a sense of home when you listen to an aboriginal station because you know where the people are coming from. We all have similar experiences, similar families, similar backgrounds. So there is a real connection with all aboriginal people.

6341 Louis Riel is quoted as saying:

"My people will sleep for one hundred years and when they awake it will be the artists who give them back their spirit."

6342 I'm sure those sentiments are echoed in the application and the voices that are waiting to be involved with a station like Aboriginal Voices.

6343 Members of the Commission, we at Native Communications Inc., the NCI Board of Directors, Chairman and CEO, Ron Nadeau, look forward to working with our colleagues Aboriginal Voices Radio/JUMP-FM in the near future.

6344 Again, thank you for the opportunity to speak here.

6345 All my relations. Meegwetch.

6346 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

6347 Just a moment. Thank you for your presentation.

6348 Commissioner Grauer has a question for you.

6349 MR. McLEOD: Sure.

6350 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you, Madam Chair.

6351 I think you answered it in your presentation. It was really to just determine whether or not you envisioned an active working partnership and perhaps -- I know you have talked a bit about a network that extends beyond Manitoba -- whether you saw this as being an integral piece of that.

6352 MR. McLEOD: Definitely. I think what -- like, my experience being here in June really opened my eyes up that we can share information, especially interviews. Now, a lot of issues that are affecting First Nations affect them at a national level, so issues here are very alike what is happening in Manitoba, or how maybe a community deals with an issue will help solve problems in our region or vice-versa. So I think those kinds of links would be really impressive. I mean, to share a talk show, to have listeners at some point listening in this area and also in Winnipeg and, you know, the rest of Manitoba, it is without question that would be a great program.

6353 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you. Thank you, Madam Chair.

6354 THE CHAIRPERSON: Meegwetch.

6355 Mr. Secretary.

6356 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you, Madam Chairperson.

6357 We will now hear the intervention by Barrie-Orillia Broadcasting Limited. Mr. Bingley.

6358 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, Mr. Bingley.

6359 MR. BINGLEY: Good morning.

6360 Since we are all practising our Ojibway this morning, perhaps I should say (native language spoken / language autochtone).

6361 THE CHAIRPERSON: What do you mean practising? I think I did that very well.

--- Laughter / Rires

6362 MR. BINGLEY: I noticed total fluency, Commissioner.

--- Laughter / Rires

6363 THE CHAIRPERSON: (Off microphone / sans microphone)


6364 MR. BINGLEY: My name is Doug Bingley and I own a radio station in Barrie, Ontario. For the last 11 years I have been associated with native broadcasting. In fact, on today's agenda there is a non-appearing item, a licence application for the Beausoleil First Nation. That is a group I have worked with for a number of years.

6365 I'm often asked why am I involved in native radio. What is my motivation? Well, I will tell you what it is not.

6366 There are some people who say that society has to provide certain things for native people because of some terrible events that happened in the past, as non-natives perhaps we should feel some form of collective guilt.

6367 But I have to tell you that my motivation has nothing to do with any sense of guilt for something that occurred 150 years ago. You see I wasn't here and I'm not responsible for that, and indeed nor are any of us. What happened back then is merely history.

6368 But for just a moment let's review that history, because I think it is important that we are reminded of it from time to time.

6369 The fact is that the early settlers of this country and the Canadian government participated in what today would be called ethnic cleansing. Now, that is a very strong word and strong language, but the fact is that in order to make room for European settlers native people were forced off their land into small refugee camps that were later referred to as Indian reserves. Governors, known as Indian agents, were appointed to rule those reserves. The Canadian government decided that native culture was inferior and had to be eradicated. Native people were shipped off to residential schools where they were punished if they spoke their own language. And I have met people today that are living with the results of that, that they were actually punished or their parents were punished, they couldn't speak their language.

6370 Until 1961, native Canadians did not have the vote. Now, think about that one for a moment. While Martin Luther King was leading marches in the American south, in this country the original native people of Canada were denied the vote. Until 1955, if they walked into a liquor store or a beverage room they were denied service because Indians weren't allowed the possession of alcohol. All of that really wasn't that long ago.

6371 Most of us, as Canadian citizens, don't like to think about this. We are quick to recognize the evils of apartheid, the disgraceful racial record of the American south. But as Canadians we know we are good people. We are tolerant and we find it almost unbelievable that this occurred within our society. But the fact is, it did occur here in Canada and it is a part of our history.

6372 Now, as I mentioned, it's a tragedy that this occurred but, Members of the Panel, we are not responsible for that. It didn't happen in our time. And I don't bring this up to raise the spectre of racial intolerance. I'm bringing it forward because history has a habit of resonating in our time. What occurred yesterday has a direct effect upon what is happening today.

6373 Past events have set in place a condition where a large number of Canadian citizens of one ethnic group are locked into a cycle of poverty. They have set in place a situation where native people have the highest rate of suicide in this country, the highest levels of infant mortality, the lowest life expectancy and the lowest standard of living.

6374 So while I have no sense of guilt about what happened 100 years ago, I certainly feel a sense of responsibility when these issues are occurring in our time, in our society.

6375 Now, all of that sounds rather dismal, but I'm not here to talk about the evils of the past or simply to give you a history lesson. I'm here to talk about solutions and hope, and I want to share with you a personal observation.

6376 My grandfather built a cottage beside the Beausoleil First Nation Indian Reserve in 1938. I spent virtually every summer of my life there. In fact, I have a cottage of my own now. It is on land that I lease from the Beausoleil First Nation, and I live there all summer long, and here is something that I have personally observed.

6377 Over the last 20 years native people have been working very hard to regain their culture and their traditions. This has produced an incredibly positive effect. As native people have reclaimed their culture, they have also reclaimed their pride and their dignity. This incredibly positive situation has, in turn, enhanced their standard of living.

6378 I honestly believe that none of the negative social issues that affect native people can be resolved until they truly and fully reclaim their culture.

6379 This isn't some abstract theory I'm talking to you about. It is something I have seen, it is a fact, and it works. There is no amount of money, no government program that can give to native people something that they can only give themselves, and that is to reclaim their heritage. In today's modern society, one of the most effective ways of doing that is through the use of radio and television.

6380 That is something else I have seen -- it is the power of radio.

6381 My radio station helped Beausoleil First Nation set up a small community station. That station is operated by volunteers, in particular, young people.

6382 I know in theory that native radio is good, we all talk in theory, in the abstract, but for once I actually got to see how it affects people. The band put together a feast in honour of our radio station for helping them out. At that feast, the emcee invited young people and all the people in the room to get up and talk about how that station had affected them. I saw person after person, kid after kid, get up and talk about how important it was to them to be on the air, to hear their friends hear themselves, and to actually be involved in this. Then an elder got up and said that he had turned on his radio and for the first time in 75 years he had heard a native radio station and he had heard someone actually talking on the radio in Ojibway, and he thought that time would never come.

6383 I have to tell you, as a commercial broadcaster, you sometimes get a little bit jaded with this industry, you get too wrapped up in the business side of it, but there was some real magic in the air there and you could really see how one little radio station could touch so many people.

6384 Now, what I'm talking about is a 100 milliwatt transmitter. You can hear that station for one-quarter of a mile. If one-tenth of a watt can produce that kind of results, I simply can't imagine what a 50,000 watt clear channel signal can do for the native community.

6385 Now, that is a great success story, but unfortunately the fact is, when it comes to broadcasting, native Canadians are the most under-represented group in radio. In Toronto, Canada's largest city, there is not a single native radio station. In fact, as Mr. Farmer pointed out, there are only five hours of native programming available each week.

6386 If you go home tonight and you turn on your television to the news, to either the public or the private networks, chances are you won't see a single native commentator, reporter or news anchor. You will see representatives of nations from around the world, but you won't see a single native Canadian.

6387 Members of the Panel, there is clearly a problem here, and I know that you are concerned and, moreover, you are doing something about it. The recent changes to the native broadcasting policy have made it easier for natives to obtain stations in the north, and recently you licensed the APTN, and I know some Members of this Panel were at that hearing. So I know your hearts are in the right place. But I also know that today you have a problem, and the problem is there are some very, very powerful reasons for licensing some other groups and the number of frequencies is limited.

6388 So I know that you face a very difficult decision, and hopefully I can bring you some help there by putting this issue into context with history.

6389 I think one of the biggest disservices to native people is what I would call the "tomorrow syndrome". This began 150 to 200 years ago. "If you surrender this land today, we will treat you fairly tomorrow." When tomorrow comes, "Well, sorry, we will get around to it later." Years pass, then, "I'm sorry, the government has budgetary problems right now." And, finally, after generations have past, "I'm sorry, those promises were made 150 years ago. The fish are gone, the trees are gone. Surely, you don't expect us to live up to something that was committed to so long ago."

6390 Commissioners, I'm sure when you think of your decision in the context of history, you will see that the decision is quite easy. Compared to native Canadians, no individual nor any group that is here today can claim priority for these frequencies for indeed no group has had to wait so long. Native people have been incredibly patient, and surely their time has come.

6391 Thank you for your attention.

6392 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Bingley. We always enjoy seeing you.

6393 MR. BINGLEY: Thank you.

6394 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.

6395 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you, Madam Chairperson.

6396 I will now come upon Pedahbun Lodge Inc.

--- Pause / Pause

6397 MR. CUSSONS: It sounds as if I may have mispronounced the name. I apologize if I did.

6398 MS CHASKE: It's called Pedahbun Lodge, but that may not be correct either because I'm not Ojibway and it is an Ojibway word.

6399 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning.

6400 MS CHASKE: Good morning.

6401 THE CHAIRPERSON: You are Ms Chaske?

6402 MS CHASKE: That's right.



6404 MS CHASKE: My name is Ivy Chaske. I'm the Executive Director of Pedahbun Lodge, which is one of the longest running residential treatment facilities in this country.

6405 But it is not in that capacity that I sit here. I sit here in the capacity of one of the leaders of my community, not just from a sense of somebody else's definition of what leadership is but from the definition of my own people.

6406 I come from a traditional hereditary leadership family where the responsibilities for our people are handed down from generation to generation. Last year, that responsibility was handed to me to speak for the women of my nation.

6407 Now, I don't know if I'm allowed to ask you any questions. I have never appeared before you. I'm sure that some of you don't know who Dakota people are. I don't know how many of you have heard of Dakota people. I'm sure you have heard of Sioux people. I don't know how many of you have heard of Wounded Knee. I don't know how many of you have heard of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. I'm sure you have heard of Custer, but I'm sure all of you have heard of Dances with Wolves.

6408 And you ask what is the connection between all of these things and why am I talking about these things? Well, the connection with all of these things is this is about my life. And when I sit here and speak to you, I speak from the perspective of the people of my nation at a community level. I sit here and I speak about what something like this means to our people.

6409 I have had my own radio show, an award-winning radio show in Winnipeg. I have developed an aboriginal and journalism program when I worked in Manitoba. I have done radio programming here and there, different spots on different shows.

6410 But the most important thing and the most important reason why I sit here is to speak for not just me but to speak for the responsibility that I carry to ensure that the voices of our people are heard because I don't know all of the technicalities, I don't know all of the applications that you are considering.

6411 I listen to the other speakers. As I listen to that I feel like I have been around for 200 years. It is in my lifetime our people didn't have the vote. I have been to residential school. As a matter of fact, Elijah Harper and I went to the same residential school.

6412 All those things that were spoken about today have been a part of my life. I grew up in a tent on the banks of the Assiniboine River in southern Manitoba. I walked past restaurants that said "No dogs or Indians allowed." That is my history.

6413 Residential school does a terrible thing to you. It teaches you to hate those people who oppress you. I remember when my daughter was five years old and I was going on about these horrible things that were happening to our people and those damn white people did this and that, my daughter, at five years old, grabbed my skirt and said, "Mommy, my friend Mika is not like that. My friend Mika is white and she is a good person." And I realized that those things that I spoke out against, the disrespect, the racism, I was teaching them to my child by my behaviour.

6414 I vowed at that point to take on the responsibility to change that, to be a part of educating, because whatever it is that we learn we are taught by those people who have come before us, by our family members, by our relations, and that I was doing exactly the same thing that I was blaming other people for and that in order to restore that balance -- because with my people, when you make a mistake, you have created an imbalance, and that is what I did.

6415 So it is my responsibility to restore that balance, and to do that I took on the responsibility of being part of an education process to educate non-native people and to be a bridge between my people and the rest of the people that live on this land, because I also came to the realization that nobody is going home. They are here to stay. I don't know what I was thinking that I thought that people were just here visiting.

6416 If we are going to live together, then we all have a responsibility to connect with each other, to communicate with each other, to have an understanding of each other. That is what this radio station will do. It will give a voice to my people that is heard beyond just in a room like this, beyond just those people who are interested in what we are hearing, but it will give a voice to all of our people from all of the different nations in this country.

6417 I want to thank you for taking the time to listen to me, to hear what we have to say, to hear what the people have to say, and to hear what I say on behalf of the women of my nation, because it is in that capacity that I sit with you.

6418 I also want to thank you for taking the time, because one of the things that I was taught growing up in a hereditary leadership family is to always remember that as you sit here and listen to me, whether it is five minutes or ten minutes, whether it is an hour, it is five minutes or ten minutes or an hour out of your life, and that is a sacred thing that you do, that you have given me, some time out of your life to listen to me. It is time that your family didn't have. It is time that people close to you don't have. That is a sacredness with which we are to view life, and that is what I see when I see you sitting there listening to me. I recognize that this is a sacred thing that we do, that you would give your life, your time, your gifts of hearing and seeing, to listen to me and what I have to say.

6419 I'm not Ojibway, but I will also say meegwetch because I think most of the people here are Ojibway. Meegwetch.

6420 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Ms Cheske.

6421 Mr. Secretary, please.

6422 MR. CUSSONS: Our next intervention will be presented by the National Indian Brotherhood. Mr. Switzer, please.

--- Pause / Pause

6423 MR. CUSSONS: Okay. I will call him again. In the meantime, perhaps I will call upon Mr. Paul Thompson to come forward.

6424 Mr. Thompson.

6425 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, Mr. Thompson.

6426 MR. THOMPSON: Good morning.

6427 Je voudrais vous remercier de m'avoir invité à parler avec vous aujourd'hui et de pouvoir parler un petit peu en français.


6428 MR. THOMPSON: I guess the best way to describe who I am is -- and I don't know how I would say this in French -- an elder, un ancien.

6429 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Un ancêtre.

6430 MR. THOMPSON: But I'm, I suppose, a theatre elder in that I have just spent the last 35 years of my life working on national theatre in this country and helping evolve and develop and be part of a movement that has an amazing reach and success story.

6431 I have created plays. I have had the opportunity of creating plays in seven of the ten provinces and have had a great opportunity of working with the native community in initial circumstances, where we develop material today, and in other circumstances where, through the theatre I was running, we created circumstances for them to develop their own plays. Because this has happened in different parts of the country, and when you are doing original work you get a great opportunity of connecting with that sense of the various parts of the country.

6432 Actually, my first connection with the native theatre movement, that was in Saskatoon in 1975. Over the years, the growth and evolvement of the native aspect of that theatre movement has been spectacular.

6433 Initially, when we were doing plays in the early seventies, it was almost impossible to find a professionally trained native performer for the parts. With the growth of their own material, the native material, this has evolved to such a point that, from a grassroots perspective to a popular perspective, we have seen shows go into the Royal Alexander Theatre, the National Arts Centre, and various places across the country.

6434 In fact, very recently I had a very unusual experience of being invited to the University of Venice in Italy to direct a native play that was developed in Saskatoon with Maria Campbell called Jessica. It played in the classically-focused Goldoni Theatre in Venice. I will tell you that it was an amazing experience to deal with Indian ceremonies, the whole native cultural aspect and the contemporary relationships that the themes in Jessica touch on.

6435 All of this is just to give you, I think, a little bit of perspective having to do with where I see grassroots and culture connecting with the application that is in front of you here today.

6436 In most of the circumstances I'm talking about, if not all of them, what was an essential part of the development of the material and of the power of the performers was a sense of home, a sense of place. In a certain way we were lucky in Saskatoon at the beginning of that because the geographical sense of the native community in Saskatoon is very clear. In a place like Toronto, that is a much harder and more complicated phenomenon to connect with.

6437 What I would like to focus on in terms of this application is that sense of home.

6438 The experiences that I have had across the country have allowed me to see in places like Wikwemikong Reserve, up on Baffin Island, a way in which the material, the broadcasting material, is used to connect in with the community, and to, I suppose, find another means, even their own, if you will -- excuse me for a minute.

--- Pause / Pause

6439 MR. THOMPSON: -- their own sense of the forum.

6440 I remember once being on Baffin Island and in Iqaluit. People had their radio on when you were going around visiting. In a certain day I think I probably visited about three or four people, and during that period of time the radio was on and there was an elder talking about his life story as part of a land claims but, in a sense, it felt almost like an epic poem and it had, for me, a very profound effect, because it was a bit like his version of the Iliad. There was something about a trap line. He remembered where this was. There was a very interesting sense of time that was connected in with that.

6441 People sort of absorb that as part of their -- a natural part of their lives as opposed to something being special. I guess my experience in the arts and with the theatre community is that the more it is absorbed into the everyday nature of your life the richer it becomes and the more you can extend out from that.

6442 Now, in my letter of support I pointed out a couple of perspectives that I thought were important for the Toronto application. One of them had to do with this sense of home, but the second of them had to do with this manner in which the forum can get used.

6443 I think what is happening in radio right now is that when I listen to it my ear always picks up to the -- you know, something that is different from what was going on before. I think radio has a great opportunity of sort of leading us towards breaking away from our expectations. And I think that the experience up on Baffin Island and actually the way that the media got used on the Wikwemikong Reserve, where I helped create several plays, has a way of absorbing it so totally into the community that people have a strong sense of themselves as sort of stars.

6444 When we were doing the plays on Manitoulin Island, the publicity -- I actually have created plays in large professional places as well as in very community-oriented places, if you like, and the TV ads that we had for the show on Manitoulin Island were exceptional. They would stand beside a Mirvish ad that, in the Toronto circumstances, would be beyond any theatre, apart from these highly-powered commercial ones to youths, so that the vocabulary between the audience and the performers, the creators, was an immediate one, and sort of got out of the road of economics. I think that in a certain way we can do the same thing here, getting out of the road of the economics and being able to connect up with the native community.

6445 The native community here has a problem in Toronto. You have already heard that a little bit. There is no geographic base, whereas almost in every other city that I can think of you have that geographic base. The radio circumstances will allow the communication of the information and the connection with that support.

6446 In the final phase of this, I think that what comes to mind for me is a way of connecting with other communities. What comes to mind for me is the Anishnabe Health Street Patrols. In Toronto, I'm not sure if all of you will be familiar with this, but they have a terrific reputation amongst all of the communities out there as somebody who has a direct connection with the people on the street. They have an element of trust in that and they have an expertise and an understanding that have to do with the spiritual qualities that we have seen mentioned before today and I guess a savvy that has to do with the survival that has happened up to now.

6447 So I would say that from that point of view, it is in the interest of all of the communities out there to allow the native community to come to the fore and to be present and active in the multiple voices of the city. Not only will it be enriching and strengthening the native community, but it will also be widening the sense of communities that is, in my opinion, at the base of the richness of the City of Toronto.

6448 Thank you for listening to me.

6449 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.

6450 Commissioner Noël has supplied the proper translation for elders, which would be "les aînés".

6451 MR. THOMPSON: Les aînés. Ah, c'est bien ça.

6452 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Merci, Monsieur Thompson.

6453 MR. THOMPSON: Thank you.

6454 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.

6455 MR. CUSSONS: I would now like to invite Elijah Harper to come forward and present his intervention, please.

6456 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning.

6457 MR. HARPER: Good morning.

6458 I don't hear a response. I'm not sure whether I'm appearing before a Commission.

6459 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, Mr. Harper.

6460 MR. HARPER: Good morning. Thank you.

--- Laughter / Rires


6461 MR. HARPER: Anyway, I'm honoured to be here.

6462 I would like to thank the Commission for giving me the opportunity to be here. I know the kind of work that is being done by the Commission and also the time and effort given by the individuals. I know it sometimes seems a tedious task, but it is certainly a job that, I guess, needs to be done. I thank you for that.

6463 I would also like to thank the Aboriginal Voices Radio, the organization and the volunteers for this effort.

6464 I would like to speak on my personal experience as a First Nations person, as a First Nations leader, also speak as a person that has been involved in the general public and politics and the field of, I guess, media, which I have been exposed to.

6465 Media can be a very vast and important influence. I know from experience that, with all the print and television images and radio that collectively focus on a single subject, that can present a powerful message and image. I have had that experience. It can be like a sword. It can slice in both ways, either negatively or positively.

6466 I think media has an important role to play in the lives of everyone concerned. That is why it is so important that as First Nations people or as aboriginal people we need to have access to the media. In this case, I'm appearing before the Commission to support the application licence for Aboriginal Voices Radio.

6467 It is not only crucial but it is a must because aboriginal people have a tremendous contribution to make in this country, to make a contribution to all the people that have come to live in this country we call Canada. How many of you, or how many people in the radio world or in this country know what "Canada" means? How many of you know it is an aboriginal word? Where I come from, Manitoba, how many of you know what "Manitoba" means? It is an aboriginal word. Even "Winnipeg" is an aboriginal word. What does it mean? Does anyone here before the Commission know any of those words, what they mean, places that are identified as using aboriginal terms?

6468 So it is important to understand what these words mean and what they reflect.

6469 As aboriginal people, we talk about our relationship with Canada and the people. Often times in the media we see confrontations, we see violence. Those things seem to be the only ones that the media seems to pick up, the negative aspects of the native world or a confrontation between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people. There hasn't been anything positive said about aboriginal people.

6470 From time to time I see a positive story printed in the media or seen in a documentary or hear of it in the news and on the radio. So we need to put forward our views of the world, of what we can offer to the rest of the society. I have seen, as I have said, the impacts that it has had on our people, the stereotype images of aboriginal people, not just only film and video but what is said and what is written about aboriginal people.

6471 I don't want to make you feel like some -- as someone said, make you feel guilty, but rather that this is important and essential in the preservation of our language, our culture, our traditions and our values.

6472 Often times people, when put in a position of making decisions, often times don't make the right decision or the correct decision. I think in this case the application for aboriginal people and their quest for a radio licence in Toronto is essential.

6473 You know, I have heard many comments from many people as I travel across the country. I have appeared previously before CRTC hearings. I have spoken at practically every university across Canada. I have spoken to many professionals, teachers, lawyers, doctors at many conferences, not just only aboriginal conferences, and the general public at large about aboriginal people and our issues. There is this uninformed, I guess, opinion of people sometimes, this ignorance of aboriginal issues, of what we talk about doesn't seem to be understood by ordinary Canadians. I see that. I hear that.

6474 When we talk about treaties, not many people know that treaties exist between First Nations people and the or in this case it would be the treaty relationship by the people of Canada through their government. So, as a general public, you do have treaty rights with the First Nations people, but people don't see it in that context. So when we see uprisings or newscasts about a treaty that was made in 1752 with the M'kmaq people about lobster fishing rights, people wonder what this is all about.

6475 We have to take responsibility. Often times I hear people say, "It's not my responsibility. It wasn't during my time. That happened a long time ago." I have heard that so many times, not just only from individuals but people in the position of power. People in the position to make a difference make those comments. Because what we are addressing here are events that happened a long time ago, treaties that happened a long time ago, but they are still as valid today as they were signed 100 years ago, because treaties are about relationships and from time to time we need to look at that.

6476 So it is important to address those things and not just to write it off as a piece of history and say it happened a long time ago, because in that sense, from our perspective, it is like a curse, a generational curse. We say in the Ojibway language "onjenay", which is like a curse. It is a continuing thing that affects our people from one generation to another generation of people.

6477 People totally absolve themselves from making any decision. They hide behind laws, they hide behind regulations, they hide behind institutions and say they don't fit into those institutions or laws. They conveniently hide behind those from making any decision to correct a wrong or to make things right. So often times I see that.

6478 For instance, an example I can give you is immigrants that come here to this country. The most recent immigrants that have arrived, let's say, from the Pacific Rim, from India, when they come to this country and become citizens of this country they also inherit the legacy of the broken promises and treaties that were made with the First Nations people even though it is not of their doing. It is not of their doing, but they take on that responsibility.

6479 These immigrants are good people to come and live here, and they want to be part of the society that may want to correct some of these mistakes or want to contribute in making things correct. So, in that sense, we need to provide the information, need to communicate to the general public and to educate and make them aware of these issues so that they can collectively understand what this is all about.

6480 I know, from experience, even ordinary Canadians today don't understand many of the issues that I talk about, many of the issues when we raise treaty issues. For instance, I'm also on a commission, I belong to a commission. I belong to the Indian Claims Commission. We deal with specific claims made by First Nations. We go into the history of our people, deal with the circumstances. So I deal with those constantly, not just as a commissioner but also as an aboriginal, a First Nations member.

6481 I don't practice Ojibway; I live Ojibway. I am Ojibway. I am who I am. I cannot change who I am. This is the way that I was created. And I speak with my own language as well fluently, a language that many of us speak at home. If we lose that, we don't have no place to go back to, to somewhere in the world, to a mother country where we can retrieve our language. We don't have that. We have been here and will be here forever.

6482 As part of that, as First Nations people, as I said earlier, we have a tremendous contribution to make, and I don't have time to go into some of those aspects in terms of our values and our traditions. I think we have very rich traditions, rich values that incorporate humanity in terms of the sharing, the caring and respect of other people, of other nations. If those treaties were ever understood, they would reflect those decisions, that the relationship that we have is forever. As a matter of fact, the treaties say "As long as the sun shines, the river flows and the grass grows." That is our relationship. We are here to live together and the treaties reflect that.

6483 So we want to be able to inform the general public of those values, of how rich and a caring society we are as First Nations people.

6484 I could go on, but I think I have said my part, and I hope I have made an impact at least. The message that I am trying to make here is that it is important and essential to have a voice in the community, a voice that cares for everyone.

6485 So with that I thank you and I will say meegwetch. This is an Ojibway traditional territory. Meegwetch and may God bless. Thank you.

6486 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your participation, Mr. Harper.

6487 Mr. Secretary, please.

6488 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you, Madam Chairperson.

6489 We will now hear from Mnjikaning First Nation, please.

6490 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning. Mr. Martel?

6491 MR. MARTEL: Yes.


6492 MR. MARTEL: How do you do?

6493 Thank you very much for inviting me today. I almost didn't make it. We have just finished a very hectic 15-day negotiation session with the Province of Ontario and I am tired and I had to get out of the hotel and get up here as soon as I could.

6494 Anyway, thank you very much for inviting me and allowing me to say a few words here.

6495 My name is Dennis Martel and I currently work as a Communications Director for the Mnjikaning First Nation near Orillia. You will know it as Rama. Many of you may know it as Casino Rama, but that is only one part of our economic development program right now.

6496 I'm here at the request of our chief, Chief Lorraine McRae, and our council, to provide support for Mr. Gary Farmer and his application for the Aboriginal Voices Radio.

6497 Since 1972, I have worked with First Nations people. I gave up a career as a tenured professor at university to work freelance with First Nations because I thought it would be an exciting career. Little did I know just what it would do to me. But it has been exceptionally exciting.

6498 I have worked with First Nations, the Union of Ontario Indians and the Assembly of First Nations back in the days when it was known as the National Indian Brotherhood. I have worked with the Chiefs of Ontario, United Chiefs and Councils of Manitoulin Island, Southern First Nations Secretariat, and now with Mnjikaning.

6499 I have always worked in the capacity of a communications person. Sometimes it meant writing speeches, doing position papers on certain issues that were of importance to them, but primarily it meant training young people to take my job.

6500 I remember when I first starting doing this, I was questioned by some people, "You are actually working yourself out of a job. Isn't that kind of silly?" Well, here I am. It is the year 2000, it has been over 25 years, and I have worked myself out of a lot of jobs, but there is still lots to be done and lots in front of me.

6501 I also worked for a short period of time when I realized, after the patriation of the Canadian Constitution issue, after certain events that took place at Restigouche where I was involved, that there was a need for a larger First Nations presence, a larger First Nations voice in mainstream media.

6502 At that point, I talked to my chief at that time, Chief Pat Medabi, at the Union of Ontario Indians and asked if it would be okay if I went to the University of Western Ontario to help out there. They had a program in journalism for native people that was running into some roadblocks. So I received permission from the chiefs and the elders to go to Western and I worked there with Peter Devereaux and the Graduate School of Journalism to maintain a program for native people in the area of journalism.

6503 It was a very successful program, and some of our graduates have gone on to some very important and very good jobs. One in particular, Mr. Dan David, is now with the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network.

6504 When I left Western I did so because I wanted to go back in and work with the communities at the community level. Since then I have worked in the Orillia-Barrie area through the First Nations at Mnjikaning and the other First Nations at Christian Island, Georgina Island, Moose Deer Point, and Wahta, where I have worked on a project with Mr. Doug Bingley from Rock 95 in Barrie. We are trying up there to establish a series of small radio stations for the First Nations in that area to provide jobs and training and to gain that voice.

6505 So what I am trying to create here is this kind of picture that goes back a long way, working to establish a First Nations voice within both mainstream and aboriginal media. And it has touched lots of little bases. It has touched First Nations organizations, it has touched the community, it has touched academics, and it has touched those people like Mr. Bingley who actually work in the area and have proven to be very, very successful in it.

6506 Now, since 1978, I have worked off and on very closely with Mr. Farmer. In fact, Gary and I worked together at Ontario Indian Magazine, in 1978, at the Union of Ontario Indians. It was an exciting time. At that point, I recognized the passion and the love and the deep commitment that Mr. Farmer had for providing a First Nations voice. Sometimes we crossed swords, we didn't always agree with each other, but I always, always appreciated and respected his point of view, and in the long run he turned out to be more correct than I in certain areas.

6507 He has moved on to develop his own magazine and he has spent many, many years, lots of time, lots of effort, lots of hard work, lots of heart and soul and tears and money to provide this voice. I think that the project that he is presenting here is a good project and is put together by good people, and it will have good results if it is given an opportunity to do so.

6508 First Nations people need access to the media, they need to have their voices heard, their songs, their stories, their culture, but even more important, their unique perspective on this world.

6509 While I have worked with First Nations throughout the last 27 years in communications, that is the one point I missed. I can bring so much else to the table and to the work, but I can't bring that unique First Nations perspective, which Elijah Harper so eloquently covered a moment ago. But the First Nations have a voice, and it has been silenced.

6510 As Mr. Harper talked about a moment ago, so many of us don't know the meaning of the words of the capital of our country, the name of our country, so many of the streets, the cities, the towns. That is the native voice, but it has been silenced and perhaps it is time it was given an opportunity to speak out.

6511 It is, to use a very old metaphor, part of that mosaic that makes up this place called Canada. If Mr. Farmer is successful in his application, I believe it will be not just the culmination of about 28 years work, or maybe a lifetime of work for Mr. Farmer, but it will provide a link that will bring together all those many aboriginal communications societies that exist or have existed across Canada. It will link it to the efforts of many of the First Nations organizations.

6512 We have, for example, in Ottawa right now, at the Assembly of First Nations, a fellow named Maurice Switzer. I believe he is here today. He is doing tremendous things at that national level to link the First Nations communities together.

6513 So what's happening? I see this as a very ripe time. We have, for the first time, this coming together of people who have been working in the area for many years at the political level, Assembly of First Nations, at the Union of Ontario Indians level, across Canada we have the aboriginal societies. We have First Nations professionals that are out there that are ready to go and ready to work. What they need is a little bit of a push. In our area, if we are successful in our application for the radio stations, this will be a natural link in with Mr. Farmer.

6514 We at Mnjikaning, and I cannot speak for the Chief in Council, but we are deeply, deeply committed to encouraging the culture of First Nations people and to provide jobs and training and community develop, and we have set aside a significant portion of the revenues that we will be receiving from Casino Rama for those purposes. Now, that is not to say that immediately a cheque will be sent off to Mr. Farmer. That won't happen. But there will be talks taking place regarding the use of these revenues for cultural and community endeavours, and a radio station figures very prominently in our plans.

6515 So it is a natural link for us. Like I say, it is a good proposal but it is also a natural proposal.

6516 I have heard -- and I will stop after saying this -- you know, I have heard some people say that perhaps we shouldn't provide a voice for a specific group of people, that there is something wrong with that. I would say that Canada has a long history of doing that.

6517 I think the CBC was initially established to give Canadian people a voice against this barrage of signals that were coming across the border from the United States. As somebody who grew up in an isolated mining camp in northern Ontario, the CBC was often the only voice I heard. It is what gave me my unique identity and my unique perspective on this world, my unique Canadian perspective.

6518 I can remember also about 25 or 30 years ago certain percentages being set to establish a Canadian presence on Canadian radios telling people you have to air some Canadian music once in a while. For a long time all we heard was Gordon Lightfoot and Anne Murray, but look at where we are now. Look at the voice that Canadian entertainers have across Canada, the United States and around the world. We have set the world on its ear with the magnificence of our talent and our creativity.

6519 I think that the same thing can happen if we provide the First Nations with this voice. The talent is there. It is tremendous and it is growing. From our own community, the Ronnie Douglas Blues Band. Nobody has ever heard of them, but they just came to Toronto and blew the doors off everybody down here in a blues festival, and they were selected the best blues band in Ontario. I hear there are a couple out in some other communities, and Gary Farmer has a few down where he comes from.

6520 All I'm saying is that those voices are there and right now they are silenced, and right now they need -- they are trying for an opportunity to speak out. I think that this project will give them that opportunity.

6521 Thank you very much.

6522 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your participation, Mr. Martel.

6523 We will now take a 15-minute break and return at ten to 11:00.

6524 Nous reprendrons à onze heures moins dix.

--- Recess at 1035 / Suspension à 1035

--- Upon resuming at 1050 / Reprise à 1050

6525 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.

6526 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you, Madam Chairperson.

6527 I would now like to call upon the National Indian Brotherhood to present its intervention please.

6528 Mr. Switzer.

6529 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning and welcome. Go ahead when you are ready.


6530 MR. SWITZER: Bonjour (foreign languages spoken / langues étrangère).

6531 I'm pleased to represent the National Chief, Phil Fontaine, this morning. He unfortunately can't be here, but he specifically wanted me to say with how much fervour the Assembly of First Nations supports the application by Aboriginal Voices Radio and wishes them godspeed in the process.

6532 My name is Maurice Switzer. I'm the Director of Communications.

6533 Like, I think, Dennis Martel mentioned, he was a bit weary this morning, I actually appreciate people shuffling the order for me because I slept in because I was out last night with the Native Men's Residence Street Patrol here in Toronto. For those of you who don't know, they are at 14 Vaughan, and they have a 38-bed facility to take people off the streets when it is 19 below zero, or whatever it was last night, and colder. They service people on the streets not just who are aboriginal but anybody who needs their help.

6534 You won't see stories about their work very often in the mainstream media or hear it on the mainstream radio stations. I believe actually there was a ten or 15-second clip on Citytv last night, but they must have had a gap between Tina Turner's visit and something else.

6535 Those are the kind of stories that only vehicles like Aboriginal Voices Radio and Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, and The Messenger, which is the national newspaper that the Assembly of First Nations has launched, and many other regional publications and broadcast initiatives -- you are only going to hear those stories if aboriginal and First Nations people tell them, unfortunately. I believe that will change but unfortunately now that is the case.

6536 I come from -- my grandfather's community is on the shores of Rice Lake near Cobourg. It is a community called Alderville. I was reading in our newsletter the other day that they are actually talking about starting their own little radio station. Some of the Commissioners might be surprised to know that there are, across this country called Canada, about 170 such little radio stations that are a very important means of communication for First Nations and aboriginal people.

6537 They are very entertaining. They are not so -- they are very laid back. I can remember driving through a reservation in North Dakota and the on-air announcer said, "Excuse me for a minute", and he came back in five or ten seconds and he said, "I was just taking a bite out of my apple." Very laid back, very comfortable listening. Not the hype that you hear on so much commercial radio. But those stations are a critical network to get information out for aboriginal people.

6538 There are two real reasons for the need for these kind of initiatives.

6539 To me, the obvious need is to help public education. When one of the Commissioners asked me if the APTN intervention by the assembly -- how I would justify the inevitable criticism about forcing people to pay 15 cents a month to watch or to have on their band an aboriginal-specific television station, I said it is public education. We pay for education if it is important education that isn't being provided by other means.

6540 The schools are very slow in getting to this, the aboriginal file. Mainstream media are pretty slow in dealing with our issues, particularly the stories such as the one I mentioned, the Native Men's Residence story, those which we call positive stories -- as a journalist, I don't like to talk about positive or negative, but those kind of stories. So if there aren't vehicles like Aboriginal Voices Radio or APTN, The Messenger or Wind Speaker, you know, all of these, these little scattered communication vehicles, important stories aren't going to be told. And not just to mainstream Canadians or wider Canada, who really have just woeful ignorance about aboriginal people, it is just -- a day does not go by in which I'm not amazed at the lack of knowledge about some pretty basic aboriginal cultural or traditional or historic information that is exhibited in the mainstream media. It is very important that aboriginal native people talk amongst ourselves about what is going on and hear our own voices.

6541 There are all sorts of things that that can do, but one of the things it can do is it can impart hope. If you know that some people are accomplishing things -- if you grew up in an environment that is maybe not the most positive environment because of all sorts of social issues and poverty issues, to know that people are succeeding is extremely important, and aboriginal media is very important to carry those messages, those messages of hope. They are education messages.

6542 The language issue is extremely important. There is a great fight on for the preservation of aboriginal languages, and Aboriginal Voices Radio has made a commitment to that, as well as to the preservation or to the broadcast of French. Many of us tend to forget that for about 15,000 First Nations people in Quebec, for example, their working day-to-day language is French. So Aboriginal Voices Radio will be important for that aspect.

6543 I just read in my community a newsletter, as I said, that there is talk about a little radio station. I think one of the most important aspects of what I know about this application is the training aspect. There is a desperate need to develop communications capacity in aboriginal and First Nation communities.

6544 There is only one aboriginal-specific diploma journalism program in this country, which I had the privilege of being involved in helping establish. It is extremely important that those sorts of initiatives be allowed to be nurtured and be allowed to grow because First Nations aboriginal people are developing all sorts of skill sets. They are learning how to be accountants, they are learning how to be lawyers, they are learning how to be teachers. But without that communication skill in our communities, sometimes it is as if those successes never happened.

6545 We have to have -- it is almost a cliché, but that voice to tell people what we are capable of doing, what we have done, what we plan on doing. So that training aspect is just critical. I was very pleased to see that there was a training component in this application.

6546 The Royal Commission on Aboriginal People made some very good recommendations, and many of them dealt with media and communication issues, most of which have been ignored or have gathered dust -- not gathered strength, they have gathered dust.

6547 People who remember those days in the summer of 1990, you remember the role that the distorted media images played in what could have been a very dangerous situation at Kanasatake. The distortion of what Indian people are and are represented to look like -- made to look on your evening news like nothing but a bunch of thugs when, in reality, they were people who drew the line at having people play golf on top of their ancestors. It wasn't an overnight quarrel. That is a debate that had been going on for 270 years. The media just noticed it, but that was a 270-year land rights issue.

6548 So it is those sort of things that aboriginal communications vehicles will help inform wider Canada about, but I think almost as importantly, or more importantly, they will provide an opportunity for young people, elders, to speak their language, play different kinds of music.

6549 I know when I was working in Tyendenaga that the radio station would play Britney Spears or whoever the equivalent was in those days -- programming that was designed by First Nations and aboriginal people for their own interests in their own community. Whether it is cultural programming, whatever it is, it is important that the design of that programming is by and for aboriginal and First Nations people.

6550 So that is the message that the Assembly of First Nations, formerly the National Indian Brotherhood, has asked me to bring to the Commissioners. And we are very much in support of Aboriginal Voices Radio and what it stands for and what other initiatives like that can mean for our people.

6551 So, meegwetch (native language spoken / language autochtone). Thank you.

6552 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Switzer. I hope that you bring our best wishes to Mr. Fontaine.

6553 MR. SWITZER: Meegwetch.

6554 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.

6555 MR. CUSSONS: Madam Chairperson, we will now hear the intervention from Curve Lake First Nation.


6556 MR. WILLIAMS: (Off microphone / sans microphone).

6557 I would like to thank you for taking the time to hear me out today, and to thank the organizers and the people, the volunteers, connected with the Aboriginal Peoples Voices Radio.

6558 I have a couple of stories to tell before I start, just to give an idea of who I am and what I have been doing.

6559 A few years ago I was elected as Chief of my First Nation and I was at the conferences that we went to and there was a lady there who was very heavy into keeping our language alive. She asked me did I get elected on what I know or just popularity. I had no political experience or very little cultural awareness at that time, so I responded popularity. Over the time, though, I have taken the role very seriously as elected chief, and I think sometimes that can be misconstrued with the roles of the traditional chiefs and the way that we did business. But, unfortunately, I feel inferior to those traditional chiefs because the election process is something that is imposed on us through a piece of legislation.

6560 However, I am known as Gary Williams, as you see in the information that I have handed to you. I'm from Curve Lake. I am a singer/songwriter. I am known by a lot of people in Ottawa as 1610056901, and I'm from Band No. 35.

--- Laughter / Rires

6561 MR. WILLIAMS: As chief of one of the Mississauga First Nations in this area, we have a lot of pre-Confederation treaties, and the Williams Treaty that we are currently dealing with, where Curve Lake is involved with a group called the UAC who is an organization of eight First Nations who are negotiating self-government, there are seven First Nations that are involved in treaty negotiations.

6562 I guess, going back four years when I was elected, I should clearly state that I didn't know a lot about my history. I was just starting to learn about my culture. It seems funny now, and I don't know what this is, but people used to say, "You are young for a chief." That was only three-and-a-half years ago. People don't say that any more, so I don't know what the connection is there.

6563 But as chief, I have had the opportunity to learn a lot and read a lot of documents that confirm that we have occupied this area since time immemorial. Through these treaty research documents, I have also learned of the valuable contributions we have made to this country. Our warriors protected this area with the British Crown in a time when this country was very, very vulnerable, and the treaties were made at a time when we were considered formidable allies. The fur trade tied into a means of transportation, a system of transportation, an economic system that was already in place -- things that seem forgotten or very forgotten, even by our people.

6564 I will not go into the details of a lot of these documents. However, I will say it is a shame that I was not aware of these things while I was growing up on the reserve, or even more important when I was living off the reserve in the Toronto area.

6565 Some of the things when we talk about our history -- and one of the ladies who so eloquently said this morning about her history and what she saw -- on Curve Lake we are only two hours northeast of here. We are in the Peterborough area. It is well within the 740 AM frequency that the group is trying to get. I can remember having to go to -- having an outhouse. I can remember bathing in a little aluminum galvanized tub, you know, that is maybe this wide by that wide, and I can remember getting whooped for painting a little bull's eye in it and throwing a stick with a nail through it, because that was all we had for a bathtub. I can remember the first telephone, the first TV, and our first car.

6566 So, when you look at the experiences that I have had or that First Nations people have had and have had to progress at such a rapid pace, I think, you know, it shows our flexibility and our resourcefulness.

6567 When we are talking about treaties, I do feel that there is one treaty that may be particularly relevant in this case, and that is the Gunshot Treaty. I don't know if anybody of the Commission is familiar with it, but the Gunshot Treaty was basically, on a quiet day, if you could hear a gunshot from the Toronto area where the gun was fired, where you could hear it, the exterior boundary where you could hear it, that was the land that was to be surrendered. You know, it seems funny, that is probably right where the FM range is that we are talking about.

--- Laughter / Rires

6568 MR. WILLIAMS: So, like I said earlier, I did not know such treaties existed prior to being elected, and I'm sure many aboriginal and non-aboriginal people do not know of these treaties. My point here is that as we enter the new millennium it is important that aboriginal people have the opportunity to voice their concerns and issues unfiltered in a way that respects their basic beliefs.

6569 Also, the point I'm stressing is that we are now just starting to have the opportunities to have our histories told as it was in days gone by. We are an oral culture, we are an oral people. We have always passed our stories of history, culture and spirituality down through the spoken word. Talking, showing, but more importantly listening was the way we learned. We have always been a people willing to share, for this is what we were told by our elders, through those oral teachings. Now more than ever there is a need for aboriginal and non-aboriginal people to understand exactly who are the first people of this country and what are we really about.

6570 This concept of sharing is very evident in the way the traditional songs were arranged for our social gatherings. Many of these songs contained vocables, and this morning, in the ceremony that was conducted by the elder, there was a song. So the vocables were used to accommodate for the many different dialects and languages of the people that came to our socials. So we have always welcomed different people to our ceremonies and to our socials. These vocables were simply so that people could sing along without knowing the words. Now, there may be, you know, some other spiritual connections that flow from them, but I have been told that that is one of the reasons for them.

6571 There are many other examples of this gift of sharing that we have been given, too many to mention at this time.

6572 Another gift is patience. I have learned that we are probably the most patient people in the world, sometimes to our detriment it seems. We have had our land and resources taken. In the past, our children were taken away from us and put into residential schools. Our language is almost gone, and yet we remain calm on the fact that some day justice and truth will prevail.

6573 Two weeks ago I was at a burial ceremony of one of my elders and predecessors, Chief Aubrey Coppaway. Many years ago when I was living in the city, word got back to me that he had been quoted on TV as saying the following, and I quote:

"Any ducks flying over Curve Lake airspace will be shot."

6574 He was of course speaking of hunting and fishing rights, but now it is my understanding that he believed we are so connected to the environment that our rights are all-encompassing. We must be responsible keepers of these rights and the lands and share all things. This includes not only what you see, but also what you don't see.

6575 It seems ironic that when you look at things that are identified, such as land and resources, that because our beliefs are so encompassing that we are having to ask again for a space of something that is -- as for our basic beliefs -- something that is ours as well to share.

6576 I understand that there are not many frequencies left and that if the Aboriginal Voices Radio is not granted a licence this may be one of the last opportunities to get one. With this in mind, I am asking you to grant to Aboriginal Voices Radio a licence. The market is there. The need has always been there. Now we have the people committed to deliver the entertainment, the information and the goods. It is time for the spirit of sharing to be reciprocated.

6577 Today's technologies have created many opportunities to allow for good communication. However, I believe radio remains one of the best ways of exchanging and expressing human thoughts. It is thought by some that this era will be a time where people of all colours, male, female, young and old, will be yearning for a better awareness and understanding of their existence, and I feel our culture has a lot to offer these people.

6578 You may see, when you walk down the streets of Toronto -- some people have talked previously about the homelessness situation, and this is evidence of culture shock -- young aboriginal people who have left their reserves in search of something better. They may be homeless, alone, homesick, trying to dull these feelings with alcohol or drugs. This radio station could be that voice in the night that maybe, just maybe, will give that person the hope, the security not to go down that road of destruction, or maybe the voice to help a person out of that situation.

6579 I will speak briefly about how this situation could bridge the gap between on and off reserve First Nations people.

6580 First Nations people who move off reserves are sometimes considered to be traitors, to some extent. What is not understood by the people on reserves is that many times the off reserve people are dealing with more extreme issues, issues such as racism, addiction to hard drugs, homelessness, AIDS. That is not to say that these issues are not issues on First Nations reserves, but they may, in some cases, not be as extreme. What could happen is that the people who deal with these issues in the city could share their experiences in overcoming these issues through radio. This could also work in the opposite direction.

6581 People in the north have, in most cases, held on or are relearning their traditions, cultures and languages at a faster pace than those living off reserves, so if a First Nation did have a low-frequency FM radio signal, there could be in the future an opportunity for an exchange of that type of information.

6582 As I told you earlier, I am from Curve Lake, which probably would be in the 740 AM band range, and in the future I'm certain that some young person would be interested in setting up a low-frequency radio station. This will be possible because training could be easier for that person because the program would already be there and the technology to support it would be there.

6583 This FM station could also be very beneficial in case of emergencies or just general local news and stories.

6584 As a singer/songwriter myself, Aboriginal Voices Radio would provide a place where my music could be heard. It seems very synchronistic that after I leave here today I am going to pick up my independent CD that I have been working on for about eight years. However, I realize that there is no major way to have it distributed, no major radio station to give it air play. However, I feel I have a story to tell, a song to sing, and a gift to share. Even if people wanted to hear it, they have no place to go to hear it, no place to go to even listen for it. This radio station could be that place. It is a shame that there have been so many other artists before who have gone unheard, so many stories left untold.

6585 In closing, I once again ask you to issue this licence to the Aboriginal Voices Radio. Let this station be the gunshot that will bring positive attention to our people, their issues and concerns. Aboriginal Voices Radio will be for the benefit of all people, for this is our way.

6586 I thank you again for the opportunity to speak to you and for your attention.

6587 Gchi meegwetch.

6588 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your participation, Mr. Williams.

6589 Mr. Secretary, please.

6590 MR. CUSSONS: We will now hear the intervention by First Nations and Aboriginal Student Association.

6591 Mme DAHNIJINIGE: Bonjour.

6592 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning. Bonjour.


6593 MS DAHNIJINIGE: Teyjah Dahnijinige (native language spoken / language autochtone).

6594 My name is Teyjah Dahnijinige. I'm from the Lynx clan and Nipissing is where I am descendent from, from the Commanda people there. I'm very proud to be part of the Commanda family. If it weren't for them, I wouldn't be here today. I'm very honoured to be here to support Aboriginal Voices and in turn, for them to support us as well.

6595 As a student and member of the First Nations Association at York University, we are in dire need of some assistance.

6596 I became president just this year. I have been at York for three years now. I became president in an unconventional way as well in terms of leadership as what I have heard today. You know, I wasn't like, you know, "Vote me for president." It wasn't that at all. It was more to do with what people saw me doing. I was doing things at the university that I felt needed to be done in order to have my own needs supported there.

6597 At this present time, York has a lot of potential for growth and Aboriginal Voices Radio, I see, can really help us to do that. Right now we have CHRY that gives us an hour on the radio once a week, and it is not enough at all. I just found out that Mr. Abe Tagalik was doing a speaking engagement at York University and I didn't know about it. I didn't know about it, and I'm sure there are many other members that didn't know about it in our community at York.

6598 I don't really know the vast numbers there are, that I imagine there are, because we are not able to identify them in many cases. As you can see, I'm not easily identifiable as an aboriginal person, as a First Nations member of Nipissing. So there are many of them, many people like us.

6599 Then there are others, you know, that are identifiable and they are, you know, visible minorities. We have the visible minorities and we have the invisible minorities. So we have this internal thing happening there, and the radio would definitely help us to bridge those gaps.

6600 I came here in 1991 to go to school -- not at York. York was a -- you know, three years ago, as I had already mentioned, I started at York, but when I came here in 1991 I came to study massage therapy and then I was going to go back up to Timmins where I grew up.

6601 I grew up in the city to go to school and on the earth with my grandparents, you know, hunting and trapping and fishing and living off the land. So I had, you know, those two worlds to live in. When I came to Toronto I didn't have that. I didn't have that any more. I didn't know anybody. I didn't know a soul in Toronto. I used to tell people up in Timmins, I used to say, "If I ever move to anywhere it's not going to be to Toronto." Well, here I am, almost ten years later.

6602 Going back there didn't work out. It didn't work out. As a result I went into a lot of isolation and shock because I didn't bother to find out, you know, what the supports were, and there wasn't really a lot that I could get involved with because I was in school. It was very intense. That massage therapy program is very intense. If I had had the radio program to listen to I think that would have helped a lot, you know, just to be in touch with that and to find out what is going on, because I couldn't always go out. When I did go out I ended up getting sick a number of times, you know, running here and there and just not being used to the city. I biked around a lot and I absolutely hate biking now. I will not bike in the city any more.

6603 So that experience, when I first came to Toronto -- you know, I knew I was going back, at that time I knew I was going back, so I didn't bother to do much in getting support systems. So when I did end up staying in Toronto, like I said, you know, I went through a lot of culture shock and isolation and also ended up being physically and emotionally and mentally paralysed where I couldn't get out of bed. I had to have help to carry me to the bathroom or, you know -- just thinking about it, I'm so glad I'm not there any more.

6604 And it has been through the help of different supports in our community that has helped me to be able to go on and get over that paralysation to some degree that the culture shock and the isolation had caused me. This was happening while I was in school, but I had shut it off. I had shut it off so that I could finish school and then it all avalanched on me when I finished.

6605 Yeah, those were some of the most difficult times in my life. I can't imagine what it would be like coming just straight from the reserve and not knowing anybody and not having, you know, supports, or not being able to get out, especially if people have disabilities. I mean, that is another question as well.

6606 So I'm really excited about this opportunity for Aboriginal Voices to have a radio program and to be able to assist and prevent these kind of things from happening, because I have seen similar things happening with some members of the youth, of our young people, every since I started -- you know, ever since I came into the city.

6607 York University is very isolated compared to other universities and colleges in this city. At the same time, I do see there is a lot of potential there. I'm actually in the dance program along side the psychology program, so I'm looking at doing a double major in both, and continuing on to get the masters -- I'm not sure which yet. I'm interested in dance, therapy. I'm interested in education and psychology, scientific as well as clinical. I'm interested in environmental studies.

6608 Right now York has just started, just this last year they have been -- there is a group that has been meeting to form a program for people to get a bachelor in education and environmental studies with an aboriginal focus, and it has been moving along tremendously fast. It's amazing. They already have a package together to present and it might even start in September or maybe in January or next year. It is going to start very soon.

6609 You know, there is so much potential for growth and I see that Aboriginal Voices Radio can have an amazing impact on the education system itself, not just at York but also at other institutions. We are reaching out as much as we can to the other student bodies as well all across Canada. There is a lot of work to be done and Aboriginal Voices is very much needed.

6610 The paper is not enough for us to communicate, internet is not enough for us to communicate, especially to those that aren't -- that we don't even know, we can't identify, or who don't know about us, you know. It is this constant frustration. Everybody would like to see us grow and, you know, "How come the First Nations Association is not doing this", and "How come that", and "How come this?"

6611 Well, we are a student club and we are in the midst of changing into a student organization, like a service organization for providing services to the students like the First Nations House. Are any of you familiar with the First Nations House of U of T or programs that are set up specifically for aboriginal people within educational institutions?

6612 Well, our institution doesn't have that yet, and Aboriginal Voices Radio would be able to help us to get something like that happening. We have attempted in the past, and because we are students and we have, you know, a heavy load as students to begin with, and not only that, a high rate of movement within the student body, you know, people are there two, three, four years and then they are gone, and then we have to start from the ground up again. So this is what has been happening for six years now. I'm really hoping that Aboriginal Voices can help us to continue on and get it moving and established in a foundational way.

6613 I'm really concerned about the way aboriginal students are marked and given grades on papers because a lot of the faculty aren't even aware of where we are coming from and what are our experiences. So with something like Aboriginal Voices Radio, that can help faculty and all people on campus to find out a little bit more of who we are and what our values and beliefs are and how that reflects in our papers, and how that reflects in our -- I'm getting really excited here -- how that reflects in our contribution back to our community, back into our purpose for uniting together and working towards the future, hopefully in peace, hopefully towards peace and reducing the misunderstandings.

6614 We get regular vandalism at our office and it is really scary, you know. I mean, there has been a few times where I have been there very late and really didn't want to walk home or take the bus home. I live downtown, so, you know, I travel three hours a day to get to and from York, so I stay there sometimes, and I don't feel safe. I really don't feel safe because there has been vandalism there. I don't sleep very well when I'm there, but, you know, what is it? You know, I go out on the street late at night and face, you know, whatever there is there, or I stay and I face, you know, fear there too.

6615 MR. CUSSONS: Excuse me. I apologize for interrupting, but we had asked intervenors if they could keep their presentations to ten minutes approximately.


6617 MR. CUSSONS: If you could perhaps summarize your thoughts, we would appreciate it.


6619 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you.

6620 MS DAHNIJINIGE: I'm almost done. Thanks.

6621 So, yes, I see that Aboriginal Voices will help us to make it an easier place for youth to live in the city.

6622 I also see that Aboriginal Voices, you know, will be able to provide role models and decrease the ignorance with information and education, be able to reduce the divisions that are within and outside our community, and increase self-esteem and understanding as well as healing -- yes, healing -- through the spoken word. That has been something that has really helped me a lot. I have actually published some pieces and done readings as well, and I know that it has helped, you know, those who have heard.

6623 I also wanted to mention that the opportunity for Aboriginal Voices for employment is also important to us; and the fact that they are interested in solar power, that coincides right along with our bachelor of environmental studies and education program. And we have members that are qualified, highly qualified.

6624 We have one particular member who has a Ph.D. She is working towards a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology and has extensive experience in radio programming and is quite willing to come on board with Aboriginal Voices and York University. We have other members that work with CHRY who are, you know, also there in support. I'm sure that the more members we find out about, they will also be in support too.

6625 Meegwetch.

6626 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. I will not attempt to say your name because I am sure I will not say it properly, but we thank you for your presentation and thank you for your participation.

6627 Mr. Secretary, please.

6628 MR. CUSSONS: Madam Chairperson, we will now hear an intervention by Liss Jeffrey.


6629 MS JEFFREY: Hello. I know some of you. Hello. Hello.

6630 I'm very honoured to be here to speak in support of the Aboriginal Voices Radio application and our colleagues Gary Farmer and others on his team.

6631 Allow me first to introduce myself for those of you who do not know who I am, and then I would like to make a case that basically amplifies the points that you already have in my brief, No. 218.

6632 I have a Ph.D. from McGill University in communications. My specialties are media policy, Marshall McLuhan, our own Canadian communications guru, and communications history.

6633 I teach graduate courses at the University of Toronto, at the McLuhan program, and I have a lengthy background in all of Canada's cultural industries, including a seven year stint at Citytv in its earlier days. So I'm quite familiar with the start on a shoestring and eventually make yourself into something.

6634 More recently, my work has been in the new media area. I run an innovations lab known as the E-lab by Design, and in that capacity we were most pleased to work with the Commission on its own Citizens Consultation Forum concerning the new media policy. We have also, in this regard, worked with Aboriginal Voices.

6635 Gary Farmer has been a guest and noted speaker in my visionary speaker series which ran at the University of Toronto. He and his group have also worked with us in new media projects, and we are continuing to work on the area of how to take old media, traditional media, including radio, and combine it with webcasting and the internet in order to come up with some innovations that we think are going to stand Canada in good stead throughout this new century.

6636 I'm here in fact to present a case to you based on my role as a creator and my role as an expert in the new media and policy side. In other words, I don't really want to talk as much about history today -- I am what I am, I'm a proud Canadian -- I want to have the choice of listening to Aboriginal Voices Radio and I would like the opportunity as a creator to work with the community that is represented by Aboriginal Voices in moving into new media.

6637 So I want to say a few things that amplify on my comments that you already have before you.

6638 Before I proceed with my point-by-point argument, allow me to please make an amendment to what I gave you, and in fact a small confession. When I prepared this I was thinking with that Toronto-centric mind that of course so annoys the rest of this country. What I mean by that is I made an error in here saying that there were no aboriginal radio stations in Canada. Of course, this is grossly incorrect. There are 170 and counting. Some of them have been represented here today. They are very important in our overall fabric of broadcasting.

6639 What I really meant to say was, there is no aboriginal radio station in Toronto, our largest city, home of our most culturally diverse population and, furthermore, that there is no aboriginal radio network in this country.

6640 If I may please ask your forbearance in that I made this error. Mea culpa. We are not always right.

6641 THE CHAIRPERSON: Ms Jeffrey, we plan to frame it.

--- Laughter / Rires

6642 MS JEFFREY: Touché. We will get back to that.

6643 But, anyway, you win on this one -- no question.

6644 I would like to, in fact, elaborate on my specific points as to why I believe the Commission should give priority to this application.

6645 Please, I understand you face difficult decisions. There are many groups appearing before you. They want their voice as part of the diverse Toronto make-up. We are a rich city in more ways than just the financial ways, but I want to make clear why I think this application deserves priority.

6646 First, as the application notes on page 2, there is ground in our own Broadcasting Act for giving priority to the special place of aboriginal people. I think that the special place of Aboriginal people in an urban setting deserves this consideration as a foremost policy step.

6647 I think that there is also ground, in fact, in Canada's multicultural policy and in the fact that we, in trying to forge a place for Canada in a global context within this century, need to distinguish ourselves from what other countries are doing, and we have an excellent record when it comes to cultural diversity. I believe that licensing the Aboriginal Voices Radio station represents a profoundly important step, materially and symbolically in this direction.

6648 I may simply add that I serve on Canada's behalf on the Council of Europe's Committee on Cultural Policies for the Next Millennium, the discussion of Canada's cultural diversity policies. What we are doing with media in the cultural diversity area is looked at it internationally and I think that this would be a very important step.

6649 So my first point is I think we have grounds, I think we have reason, and I think this will be a farsighted move on the part of the Commission.

6650 Secondly, Gary Farmer is well known to me as an individual, as a leader, as a speaker, as a member of his own community. I believe that he has earned a chance to reflect the contributions of the aboriginal community. I believe that this is not only an excellent way to counteract the stereotypes that we all know exist about native people. In fact, I think this represents a way to make an affirmative contribution, that is, to represent the artistic and creative side that indisputably exists within the Aboriginal community.

6651 Thirdly, again on this issue of creativity, I have made the case in my publications and elsewhere that Canada's chief response to some of the difficulties it faces in the global arena has to be to create or perish. It seems to me that with the aboriginal community and the artistic contributions that they are making we are not just looking at retransmitting, we are not just looking at rebroadcasting or taking what is going on in another country, I think we are looking at the original side of the aboriginal contribution.

6652 We have playwrights, we have other musicians, we have those who are actors in films, including Gary Farmer himself. I believe that this artistic contribution needs a medium. It needs a channel and it needs, most importantly, a foothold in Canada's largest city in order to build that kind of network that I think we have heard reference to and that I would like to see in terms of a radio network that parallels the APTN television network that you have already licensed.

6653 When I speak of this artistic side, we have had the privilege of working with some of Gary Farmer's colleagues. We have worked with them in webcasting. We assisted on the Aboriginal Voices Festival last summer. We believe that there is a substantial core of young talent working in digital media who can make positive and substantial contributions to the overall media mix that I think we all want to see to advance the Canadian radio spectrum on the cultural side. It seems to me that this is indeed a very compelling argument.

6654 Fourth, there are undoubtedly concerns about this application. It is a community radio application. This is an application that is coming out of a not-for-profit group. I have looked at some of the debates over cash and funding and the economic side, knowing something of the not-for-profit side. I believe that the arguments that have been made to the Commission, and certainly what I am familiar with as an associate of Aboriginal Voices, I believe that they can make good on their promises to sustain their radio station and to do so with the good will and the contributions of the community, the business community, the media community, and their own artistic network.

6655 It seems to me that it would be inappropriate to judge this application solely on a simple same kind of playing field basis as some of those that have come before you. The reason is simple, it is different from those other applications, and I think it is only fair, in fact, to judge it on its merits and to award it a licence based on those merits and not in fact to rule it out because it does not have some of the economic engine and strictly commercial application that some of the other potential licensees do.

6656 I also think, by the way, that there is a possibility for corporate underwriting of such a venture once they get up and running. We are ourselves involved in similar things in the new media world and it is simply to me apparent that there is funding out there for a worthy and promising cause such as this one.

6657 Number five, it seems to me, in terms of programming, that what has been put forward in this application as far as world indigenous music is indeed a very important aspect that I hope the Commission will not overlook. In fact, Canada's role as head of the Summit of the Americas has brought us further and further into contact with our Spanish-speaking partners in South America. We have been doing work with those partners in our E-lab through our Pan-Am by Design and other kinds of initiatives, a new world cultural diversity site that we are involved in. I think this is a farsighted aspect of this application.

6658 And, furthermore, it seems to me that this is a very popular and growing side of the musical spectrum and the programming spectrum and one that I know I as a listener would certainly appreciate -- and I know there are many others out there.

6659 Finally, it seems to me there is an important sign in this application making arrangements with SHARE. It seems to me that we are looking at the prospect of a bridging application here, that is, to add to the sharing of information and the sharing of programming and artistic talent in Toronto among different communities who have not been fully represented with their voices in the spectrum of expression and, in fact, the technical spectrum on the radio dial.

6660 I believe that Aboriginal Voices, certainly in my contact with them, will make an important contribution to this bridging function. I know you have heard a great deal here about communication directly with the Aboriginal audiences, and I think that is extremely important and welcome. But I also think there is something to be said for the bridging function, that is, providing information to other Canadians and citizens of Toronto. And, also, I know, as someone who is frequently called upon to comment as an expert on one thing or another, I know that the Aboriginal Voices focal point will provide a source for other media, will provide a source, and a source of support for those in the aboriginal community or those who seek information about the aboriginal community.

6661 Again, it seems to me there are some very powerful merits in this application if viewed from that larger kind of perspective.

6662 So, in some of these arguments, my case to you would be that I believe that this Aboriginal Voices Radio application deserves priority consideration by the Commission because it has policy merit under the Broadcasting Act, because it represents a positive contribution to cultural diversity and the recognition of the special place of aboriginal peoples, particularly in an urban setting, because it acknowledges the creative strength -- and that original creative strength, not just a rebroadcaster -- of the aboriginal talent themselves, because it speaks from a commitment from the aboriginal community and their partners to in fact do this on the kind of shoestring that is legendary in that community, because in fact it comes out of a context where globally we are looking at the need for Canada to differentiate itself and start developing some unique models of programming, and I think this one adds to what we can contribute as a country, and, finally, in summing up the arguments in my brief to you and elaborating on them, because I believe this application represents co-operation. It represents the possibility of some bridges.

6663 There has to be a way to reach to the aboriginal community instead of having to go around to a number of different areas. I believe that this Aboriginal Voices Radio station, their office downtown, which you can go and see, provides that kind of focal point.

6664 I think, in my conclusion, that what is most significant here is that Gary Farmer and his team have managed to move from a position of old media attitudes, that is, the media is a threat, it is a threat to communities, it is the invasion of the community snatchers, a threat into a tool, a tool, an instrument for doing something new, for creating a node within a much wider network. It seems to me that that is very significant and that in fact is something that I do hope the Commission will take into account.

6665 My final point is simply that as a creator I would like to have the opportunity to work further in partnership with the Aboriginal Voices Radio team as we move into webcasting and other kinds of uses of the radio and the voice medium, and I would also like an opportunity as a long-time citizen of Toronto to have the choice to listen to Aboriginal Voices Radio.

6666 Thank you.

6667 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Ms Jeffrey, for your participation and for your correction.

6668 Mr. Secretary, please.

6669 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you, Madam Chairperson.

6670 We have one more appearing intervention in support of Mr. Farmer's proposals from Frontiers Foundation Inc.

6671 MR. McPHAIL: Greetings.

6672 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning.

6673 MR. McPHAIL: Actually, I also bring greetings from our founding director, Reverend Charles Catto, and the other members of the staff and the volunteers that regularly give of their time and energy in the construction projects that Frontiers Foundation regularly and, actually, for 35 years has taken part in.

6674 Hopefully, I have -- yes -- our recent little program. Actually, in the centre, on the right page, near the top, there is a before and after picture of a project that I took part in this past year and make reference to in my little comments here.


6675 MR. McPHAIL: Members of the Commission, and fellow supporters of the Aboriginal Voices Radio application, and other applicants and their supporters. Frontiers Foundation Inc. -- here I am repeating myself -- for those who don't know, was established 35 years ago to help aboriginal peoples build better homes for themselves.

6676 Only rarely has Frontiers received any government assistance. Rev. Charles Catto, the founding director of Frontiers Foundation, unfortunately, is not able to be here today. He is meeting with government civil servants to discuss a change in that policy.

6677 My name is Steve McPhail and I am a project co-ordinator at Frontiers Foundation.

6678 Frontiers Foundation wholeheartedly supports the Aboriginal Voices Radio application. We have selfish as well as altruistic reasons for this support. We are Canada's largest and most active aboriginal volunteer service and community advancement organization. Our story needs to be told. Canada's future depends on the quality of her role models, past and present. The Canadian aboriginal community has hundreds.

6679 An aboriginal radio station would give a vibrant voice to a full range of existing native music, comedy, talent, aboriginal news, sports and cultural events presently denied us.

6680 Last summer I had the honour of working as a volunteer technician on the week-long run of Aboriginal Voices FM Radio at the Aboriginal Voices Festival at Harbourfront here in Toronto. After the set-up, I had the opportunity to listen to the professionally produced CDs of literally hundreds of talented aboriginal musicians, as well as interviews with countless native artists and elders. I was impressed at the quantity of quality Canadian native artists.

6681 After that experience at Harbourfront, I went to work on a Frontiers Foundation project in northern Ontario. This was in a small community called Upsala, a hundred miles northwest of Thunder Bay on the TransCanada Highway. I spent four months working with a family of Findians, part Finn and part Ojibwa, ripping down their old, rotten and unliveable cabin and building a new solid and well-insulated house.

6682 The much loved father of the family had died horribly from cancer two years previously. The three sons and one daughter, all twenty-something, had become seriously depressed. Whatever money they earned from poorly-paid bush work was rarely spent on good food and mostly spent on beer, pot and painkillers. The mother, aware of other Frontiers Foundation projects, had applied for the grant.

6683 The family was grateful for only the $15,000 material budget but the important push to improve their depressing circumstances. But the cycle of poverty that they were locked into was not about to be changed just by improving the physical structure of their home. I realized that they needed to dream a self-reliant dream with the confidence that there was some hope that it could be realized. I began to try to encourage them to think entrepreneurial and to think about what skills and resources they might need.

6684 On my return to Toronto, and with the support of Frontiers Foundation, I have been developing a rural business proposal in the hopes of creating jobs for this extended family of Métis peoples. I have discovered various interested funding agencies that are concerned with the issues of developing aboriginal companies and programs for the teaching of skills to aboriginal people.

6685 For many, this hearing is about which applicant is going to receive a lucrative opportunity for a commercial venture. In other words, it is a question of money. But for the aboriginal community, the stakes are much higher. The importance of having a media profile in this country is essential for the self-esteem of the aboriginal peoples. Entertainment is a small part of the story. The historical basis for the theft of their land, their language, their values, their role models and their story has been conveniently forgotten.

6686 Unfortunately, many historically challenged individuals are unaware of the horrific efforts of the American colonists to rid the land of the aboriginal peoples. The official policy was one of if not outright genocide then at least assimilation.

6687 An Iroquois chief, better known as Joseph Brant, realized that the British were a lesser evil than the Americans and talked a number of other Iroquois chiefs into supporting the United Empire Loyalists and what British troops could be spared from the war with France in Europe. The French colonists who had been conquered by the British refused to do much to help fight the Americans.

6688 The sad irony is that though France had no interest in these French peoples, the British agreed to allow them to retain their language, their religion, their Napoleonic Code of Law and their homes. But, in the course of time, as immigrants to Canada have been influenced by the American relationship to their aboriginals, all these rights have been denied to our aboriginal peoples. It was actually defined in a bill in the U.S. Congress that the American native peoples are "aliens and dependents". There is much resentment today of aboriginal peoples in Canada demanding any rights, as it is largely assumed that they are old news and without a place in the work-in-progress of modern civilization.

6689 As the Canadian government began to imitate its southern neighbours, native peoples were hustled onto reserves. Whenever the government could make a buck on their land it was leased to logging, mining or power companies, and natives on their reserves only found this out when the heavy equipment showed up. Is it not the mandate of the CRTC to support and defend our Canadian culture? This must include the aboriginal cultures which embody a reverence for the spirit of our land and a consensus form of government concerned with the welfare of the tribe.

6690 The contemporary corporate obsession with profits and the bottom line has justified the destruction of our environment and the dismantling of our social system that once took responsibility for employment, education, health care and the construction of homes for our people. Our modern city dwellers have not only forgotten their history but have also forgotten that the Great Spirit is not found in books but on the land itself.

6691 It is the marginalized people of the land, those of the First Nations, Inuit or off-reserve Métis, still trying to eke out a living as hunters, fishermen, trappers, farmers or bush workers who can remind us who we are and where we come from.

6692 At present, other imported ethnicities have overwhelmed our media at the expense of the public's awareness of the accomplishments in all fields of our native sons and daughters. There seems to be greater government support for defending old country culture than for the aboriginal silent partners in Confederation. A vote in favour of allowing the aboriginal voices to be heard is a vote for an aboriginal future with hope.

6693 As it is written on the wall at Frontiers Foundation's Toronto office:

"Where there's hope, there's life!"

6694 Thank you very much.

6695 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. McPhail, for your presentation.

6696 This would seem like a good time to break for lunch since we have finished the group of intervenors in the Gary Farmer application.

6697 We thank you all for your input.

6698 In case you weren't here this morning, I will remind everyone that our lack of questioning is not a lack of interest, but it is in the interest of time and of hearing as many supporting intervenors as possible. Be assured that your interventions are transcribed and added to the written interventions that you have filed already and, therefore, is part of the record, as well as the written interventions.

6699 Again, thank you for participating. We greatly appreciate your input.

6700 We will resume at 1:30. Nous reprendrons à une heure et demie.

--- Recess at 1215 / Suspension à 1215

--- Upon resuming at 1330 / Reprise à 1330

6701 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order please.

6702 Welcome to the hearing. We will proceed with the hearing of supporting interventions.

6703 For the benefit of those who may not have been here when we said so before, I remind people that the fact that Commissioners are not asking questions of supporting intervenors does not indicate a lack of interest. Your oral interventions will be transcribed and will be added to the transcript of the hearing in addition to your written interventions.

6704 What we are trying to do is hear as many supporting intervenors in the time that we have at our disposal. So that is the reason for our interest but without questioning.

6705 Mr. Secretary, please.

6706 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you, Madam Chairperson.

6707 Just to extend that thought, in terms of giving as many people an opportunity as possible, I would like to reiterate, as I have done several times throughout this hearing, that we are asking people to restrict their presentations to ten minutes at the maximum. We would really appreciate your co-operation in that regard.

6708 We are now going to hear several appearing intervenors supporting the application by CKMW Radio, also known as Rainbow Radio.

6709 Just before I introduce the first intervenor, I would like to note that one of the intervenors who had hoped to be with us today, Michael Batista, is unfortunately unable to join us, but he has submitted his written intervention which I will make sure is distributed to the Members and to everyone on the staff team. So certainly Mr. Batista's views will be taken into account, and we thank him for his submission.

6710 It is now my pleasure to introduce our first intervenor, the Human Sexuality Program of the Toronto District School Board.

6711 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon, Mr. Solomon.


6712 MR. SOLOMON: Madam Chair, Commissioners of the CRTC. My name is Steven Solomon and I am a school social worker with the Human Sexuality Program of the Toronto District School Board.

6713 Let me begin by thanking you for the opportunity to speak today here in support of CKMW's application to the CRTC for Rainbow Radio.

6714 For well over a decade now, the Human Sexuality Program has been providing individual, family and group support to lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender students, teachers, parents and their families. This involves often conversations with students who are beginning their coming-out process to themselves, to their friends, to their parents, and, more recently as parents making the decision to come out to their kids.

6715 As well, in classrooms across our district, at both the elementary and secondary level, the program undertakes anti-homophobia workshops in an effort to foster safe, welcoming and inclusive environments for all our students. Opportunities to reach these populations and populations which cut across a variety of lines -- from ethno-racial differences, religious differences, ability in class -- opportunities to reach these populations are critical to the work and I would like to speak here today to highlight why the presence of Rainbow Radio would enhance and further such outreach.

6716 I would like to ask you today to try and frame or understand or approximate some of my remarks from the perspective of youth who are not heterosexual, who have been kept silent and isolated by homophobia and, unfortunately, with increasing frequency, outright hatred.

6717 We do our best in our school programs, but the accessibility of radio to reach these diverse students cannot be overstated. While other forms of electronic media are touted for their advantages, their accessibility remains painfully limited to these youth who must exercise the utmost caution and care when trying to obtain valuable information, community resources and support.

6718 I foresee an important role for Rainbow Radio in providing positive images for those who must constantly battle negative images, damning stereotypes and hatred in their own struggle to find an identity that makes sense to them. This struggle is often borne by the individual alone without the support of friends, family or community. These youth often find themselves in high-risk categories, be it suicide or suicide ideation, substance use, dropping out of school, violence within the home and violence in the community.

6719 I feel this would be accomplished through a variety of means including but not limited to open-line programming that would make available information about community, support groups, or even just the chance to hear others speak of their own experiences which can then validate a positive self-worth for these youth.

6720 What power does radio possess to achieve this?

6721 The proliferation of portable audio has made radio one of the most important and inexpensive medias which students can access with relative privacy. With their headphones securely attached, these youth can listen to Rainbow Radio programming and no one is the wiser.

6722 I know of many terrified youth who when they seek information and support want to do so with relative confidentiality. I also know how important it is that when they do reach out that they get accurate, appropriate information, information that can help them counteract the negative images and stereotypes that other corners of society barrage them with, but, most importantly, how wonderful it would be for them to be able to reach them in their periods of confusion and isolation. Rainbow Radio can do that.

6723 Furthermore, the chance to hear programming that is inclusive and that will offer perspectives to them is important. Opportunities to exchange views and talk about common experiences without fear of being identified or judged are very far and few between for these youth. Worst of all, many lesbian, gay and bisexual youth lack positive role models. There are many professional, athletic, intellectual and musical role models for our young people but they have no access to them right now.

6724 I would like to also speak of how the issue of such programming would also cast a very wide net beyond those communities already mentioned. While there is research that addresses what percentage of the population is not heterosexual, it should be recognized that a far greater percentage of families have members who are lesbian and gay. That being said, Rainbow Radio programming plays an important role in the wider community by supporting many, many people who seek to be allies of the community -- mothers, fathers, friends, co-workers, the list goes on.

6725 While we all recognize that visibility is important to diversity, the whole notion of coming out and being visible, audibility too has a place, and I believe strongly that Rainbow Radio would be uniquely positioned to undertake this role and responsibility.

6726 Thank you.

6727 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Solomon.

6728 Mr. Secretary, please.

6729 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you, Madam Chairperson.

6730 We will now hear an intervention by Alan Fraser.

6731 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon, Mr. Fraser.

6732 MR. FRASER: Good afternoon.

6733 Even though I was once a co-host of a radio program, I'm still a little nervous about being in front of the microphone.


6734 MR. FRASER: Thank you very much for your address, Madam Chair, and honoured guests here today, and Members of the CRTC Selection Committee.

6735 My name is Alan Fraser and up until recently I was the producer and hope to be again of a radio program called OUT & ABOUT -- Queer Radio.

6736 I'm here today to speak on behalf and in support of Rainbow Radio and their application for the broadcast licence being considered for the Toronto area.

6737 Although I have worked in the broadcast industry since 1987 -- at the tender age of 18, I joined the television ranks of the local CTV affiliate -- this is the first time I have ever really had any direct contact with the CRTC. I never imagined, in my position behind the scenes, that I would ever have been intervening on behalf of a licence application, but I was prompted to get involved in this selection process because I feel very strongly that the time has come for a gay and lesbian radio station to be launched in Canada.

6738 I have many personal and professional arguments in support of Rainbow Radio. I feel it is imperative that they are granted the opportunity to provide broadcast programming for the underserviced and unique market sector of Toronto's gay and lesbian community.

6739 As I have mentioned, I have been a member of the broadcast industry for over 12 years at CKCO television, the CTV affiliate in Kitchener. In my capacity as a technical operator, director and producer, I have seen some very major shifts in broadcasting trends during that time. But it is as a producer and co-host of a weekly talk radio program for the gay and lesbian community that I have witnessed some of the most relevant changes in the nation's broadcast needs.

6740 I have experienced firsthand the overwhelming need and support by listeners of gay and lesbian-oriented programming. I feel that approving a licence for Rainbow Radio would be a great way to further the CRTC's ongoing efforts to provide diverse, balanced and responsibly relevant programming for all Canadians. It would be a much needed, long overdue decision that would create a more equitable broadcast environment for everyone living in and around the Toronto market.

6741 In light of recent decisions to relax the intent of some community broadcast licences by the CRTC, a number of niche market programmers and indeed those niche markets themselves have suffered. As a programmer for and as a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community, I recognize the need for balance, reflective and diversified programming to that community.

6742 In the Waterloo region alone we have seen the rapid commercialization of our existing community station there. This has left a considerable void in the services provided for and by the many special interest groups in that region.

6743 Until recently I was the producer of a weekly news-magazine talk-radio program for the gay community. After seven years on one of Canada's oldest community radio stations, we were more or less forced off the air because we no longer fit into the new agenda of a commercial program that they had adopted. Paid programming and a new direction of easy listening music for a senior demographic, although well needed and deserved in the community, all but squeezed us out of the program schedule.

6744 Like many other community licence holders, I'm sure that they are still adhering to their CRTC guidelines, however, they were no longer truly a community station. Their programming had become extremely marginalized.

6745 I have come to learn that this trend is not necessarily an isolated case. As more and more stations are allowed to adapt to the changing economic conditions, they have proceeded to marketcast solutions in an effort to target and attract larger more lucrative audiences. In the process, they have abandoned many of their traditional community broadcast roots. They have become target-market programmers. Following the principles of their mainstream cousins, they have marginalized many programs and market sectors which relied on their distribution of specialty programming.

6746 Like traditional mainstream broadcasters, they now only take a cursory look at gay and lesbian issues, so seldom do they ever provide the scope of balanced coverage required to adequately reflect this unique subcultural group. And I truly believe that this is a subcultural group. It may be invisible to most people but we are there. We are more than just Pride Day parades with extreme images, drag queens and radical feminist lesbians. The gay and lesbian community is a varied collection of individuals with active lives that rotate through a daily schedule 365 days of the year. We are homosexual, but we are not homogenous.

6747 Within the vast communities of our urban and rural neighbourhoods are a diverse group of people with unique informational and cultural needs. There are perhaps a thousand stories in the queer community, but within mainstream broadcasts we seldom hear of anything but, say, the most sensational ten or so.

6748 Existing licence holders neither have the time or the inclination to reflect the many untold day-to-day struggles and triumphs that queer Canadians routinely endure.

6749 A personal reflection. Even with an hour a week, eight regular contributing co-hosts and two or three additional interview guests, our show, even in its ongoing efforts, was unable to comprehensively reflect all the complex and varied interests of our eclectic listenership. I think a dedicated station with the expressed directive of fulfilling those needs would dramatically increase the scope of coverage and offer the many voices of the gay community a public forum of expression.

6750 Unlike many other minorities, gays and lesbians are not adequately provided for within the realm of mainstream radio. Many existing stations already target identifiable minority groups with specific programming. The proliferation of programs for women, seniors, native peoples and specific age group clusters from six to 60 provide those market segments with news, information and music. The same kind of pandering does not generally occur to the gay and lesbian community. There is a great deal of queer subculture that is never addressed by traditional programmers.

6751 Perhaps it is the fear that including gay and lesbian interests will alienate their traditional audiences, but for whatever the reason there is a reluctance to gamble on the inclusion of same-sex issues as routinely as they would other minority-specific topics. This is rather ironic, I find, at a time when so much is happening with regards to gays and lesbians in Canada.

6752 We have less and less access to our own stories and fewer reflections of the issues affecting our daily lives. This is all happening during a pivotal point in our national development. Our social, political and cultural landscape is changing and an evolution of sorts I think is under way with regards to queer issues.

6753 Approving a licence for Rainbow Radio I think would be one step that would substantially correct this erosion and provide a broader voice to the considerable community of the greater Toronto area. A gay and lesbian radio station in Toronto is even more appropriate I think when one considers the disproportionately high concentration of gays and lesbians that emigrate or visit the city's large urban environment. It attracts people and it attracts a lot of gays and lesbians.

6754 Rainbow Radio would reflect the hidden diversity of all Canadian's within and outside of the Toronto barrier. Both a direct broadcast here in the Toronto region and a market webcast across Canada and indeed across the world, would open up the airwaves and develop a forum where people could fully express their viewpoints across Canada, in Toronto, and nationwide.

6755 Rarely are queer issues covered by the mainstream media with the scope or frequency needed to completely reflect Canada's diverse homosexual community. Rainbow Radio, I think, would be the first step in providing Canada's largest community of gays and lesbians, with a positive realistic voice that could truly reflect its vibrant and culturally unique perspectives.

6756 Of course as a programmer, I can rely on the fact that there is a kaleidoscope of programming that can be adapted to or is already gay or lesbian oriented. It may come as a shock to some, it did the board of directors at the station I was at, that less than 5 per cent of our programming actually reflected direct sexual issues, something of concern for most people. The majority of our program focused on a myriad of other cultural concerns and interests. Music, the arts, politics, medicine, entertainment, gay and lesbian sports, commentaries, interviews and news were all presented and can be presented with a queer angle. With a little research, we found that we could provide a complete spectrum of topics and music formats from a queer perspective, and there is certainly no shortage of music or foreground information that can't be reoriented. The combinations for commercial programming success are therefore unlimited, limited perhaps only by our creativity and imagination.

6757 And, of course, the gay demographic is an important commercial market niche, and it is increasingly being sought out and being sought after by advertisers. A commercial gay and lesbian licence could be a vital broadcast voice for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community, as well as a fiscally responsible business. New York based Mulryan Nash and other international demographic marketing firms have recognized the importance of the gay and lesbian profile and the important role that it plays in product sales and product placement. We are a market that advertisers want to reach.

6758 Increasingly, many businesses and corporations are courting this blossoming market because of its lucrative, brand loyal, trend-ready spending habits and because of its above average disposable income.

6759 A gay and lesbian radio station would be preferred to and preferred by many advertisers. Not only does it tap into the gay and lesbian market but it upsells a progressive and rather avantgarde image to all of its consumers, both straight and gay, because of course gay and lesbian programming is not only of interest to gay and lesbian community members but it finds substantial attention and listenership from all facets of the community at large.

6760 If statistics are accurate, and we have bantered about this a number of times on the show that I produced, approximately 6 to 12 per cent of the population is gay or lesbian or not identifiably straight. The other 88 to 94 per cent are our parents, siblings, relatives, friends and coworkers, and increasingly they find themselves paying attention to same sex stories and program content that will affect their extended gay families.

6761 On our regional broadcast, we were also very surprised to learn that often we had straight listeners responding to our programming with their comments and viewpoints, testament to the fact that we were indeed broadcasting to a wider audience than we may have originally intended. In fact, one-quarter of the support and turnout at any of our promotional events came from the straight community. We had a substantial following well beyond what we considered to be the gay and lesbian faction, proving that you never know who is listening or who wants to listen if given the opportunity.

6762 Rainbow Radio would provide an outlet for queer programmers, it's true. It would also raise the visibility of the gay and lesbian community. It would provide an excellent forum for social integration and facilitate the diverse opinions and the many voices of the gay community by providing access to the ever-diminishing airwaves. It would be a vital and viable commercial extension of our culture and our diversity.

6763 It is time for a change in the Canadian radio landscape, and it is time to let the many proud voices of Canada's gay and lesbian community speak for themselves.

6764 I think it is time to colour the airwaves with the rainbow hues of Canada's first gay and lesbian radio station.

6765 Thanks for your consideration of Rainbow Radio and for hearing my arguments today.

6766 Thanks.

6767 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your participation, Mr. Fraser. We appreciate your input.

6768 Mr. Secretary, please.

6769 MR. CUSSONS: Madam Chairperson, we will now hear the intervention by EGALE, which stands for Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere.


6770 MS LeFEBOUR: Good afternoon, Madam President, Members of the Panel. My name is Patricia LeFebour.

6771 THE CHAIRPERSON: Not Mr. Fisher.

6772 MS LeFEBOUR: No. I'm not John Fisher.

6773 My name is Patricia LeFebour --

6774 THE CHAIRPERSON: Pleasure.

6775 MS LeFEBOUR: -- and I today appear for EGALE, Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere.

6776 EGALE appears today in support of the application by CKMW Radio Limited for the use of the 93.5 FM frequency.

6777 EGALE thanks the Commission for this opportunity to make this presentation in support of the application.

6778 EGALE is a national organization which was founded in 1986 to advance equality for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people in Canada. To this end, EGALE has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada in every major equality rights case involving equality issues for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered.

6779 For example, EGALE appeared as an intervener in the Vriend case involving human rights protection in Alberta. EGALE also appeared as an intervenor in the M v. H case involving spousal support.

6780 EGALE has also appeared before this Commission in support of diversity initiatives in Canada's broadcast policy through the accurate representation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered communities.

6781 It is EGALE's submission that the application by CKMW, if granted, would promote community development within the lesbian and gay communities in Toronto and between the lesbian and gay communities in Toronto and the community at large.

6782 At present, there is no one radio station dedicated to addressing the concerns of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered populations in Toronto. By granting this application, the Commission would be ensuring that many members of these communities have a source of information, support, entertainment and community outreach.

6783 EGALE has been involved in public education since its inception. This has comprised education efforts directed at the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered communities themselves, and at the community at large. These educational efforts have taken the form of presentations and workshops to various community groups, unions, the judiciary, among others, in Canada and internationally.

6784 Public education is an effective mechanism by which EGALE can reach members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered communities, as well as the public at large. Its success however is dependant on willing participants. In the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered communities, many people are not open about their sexuality. As a result, they are limited in the amount of information they receive about community events, general news and current information. They are also limited in the amount of support they can access to deal with any issues they may be facing in their lives. This is especially true of the youth who are dealing with their sexuality and may find themselves confused and alone.

6785 As opposed to public forums which require attendance in person, radio is an extremely effective and efficient medium for reaching large numbers of people in the privacy of their own homes. If the application by Rainbow Radio is granted by this Commission, it will, in EGALE's submission, be able to provide a great public service to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered communities. By having the capability to reach a great number of people in a large metropolitan area such as Toronto, Rainbow Radio will be able to provide the community access and support which is lacking in many people's lives. A person who is not open about his or her sexual orientation need not risk his or her privacy in order to receive community information news. Moreover, a youth who is unsure about his or her sexual orientation may be able to obtain some guidance or reassurance through various radio information shows.

6786 EGALE submits that the approval of Rainbow Radio's application will be of use to the community at large. It has been EGALE's experience that the education of the general community on equality issues for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people serves to foster an understanding and acceptance of people of different sexual orientations.

6787 For example, parents whose children are lesbian, gay or bisexual or transgendered may be able to receive information on dealing with their child's sexual orientation. Institutions, such as schools, hospitals and the courts may also gain some insights through the programming of a radio station such as Rainbow Radio.

6788 The specific communities served by the applicant are as diverse as the general population. In EGALE's experience, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered communities comprise people from various cultural and ethnic backgrounds, various income classes and levels of physical ability. EGALE submits that the application by Rainbow Radio will reach all the diverse members of these communities and will also reach the general community.

6789 EGALE has always supported greater visibility being given to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered communities by the increased public representation of these groups in broadcasting. In EGALE's submissions before this Commission on changes to the Broadcasting Act, EGALE expressed its support for increasing diversity in public representations of these communities. In granting this application, EGALE submits that the goals of increasing diversity in broadcasting will have been met.

6790 Thank you. Those are my submissions.

6791 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your participation.

6792 Mr. Secretary, please.

6793 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you, Madam Chairperson.

6794 I would just like to advise everyone that Father Carparelli of the Caritas Project Community Against Drugs, unfortunately, is unable to be with us today, but we do have his intervention and it will be taken into account.

6795 Having said that, it is my pleasure to introduce our next intervenor, Mr. George Smithermann, MPP.

6796 MR. SMITHERMANN: Good afternoon.

6797 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon, Mr. Smithermann.


6798 MR. SMITHERMANN: Members of the Panel, before I begin, allow me to thank you for hearing my submission today.

6799 You have an important public duty entrusted to you and, as a public servant, I appreciate your hearing my input.

6800 As you know, radio has played a tremendous role throughout this century in Canada. It has helped to build and strengthen communities across the country. Most importantly, it has provided the means for different communities to talk to each other. It has allowed us to open lines of communication, and a healthy line of communication, as we all know, leads to understanding.

6801 This is an especially important point in this case. Few communities have been misunderstood to the same degree as has the gay and lesbian community. I do not want to dwell on past injustices. I want to help move a community forward.

6802 Indeed, we have made tremendous strides forward in the past 20 years. Sexual orientation is now prohibited as grounds for discrimination in the Human Rights Code, both in Ontario and federally, and other jurisdictions as well. At Queen's Park this fall we passed legislation that provides gay and lesbian couples the same rights and, importantly, the same responsibilities accorded to common-law couples. If the Toronto Star is right, today we may see the same sort of legislation introduced in the House of Commons.

6803 Awarding the licence for 93.5 to Rainbow Radio would give the gay and lesbian community another rung on the ladder toward full enfranchisement. This licence is a licence to communicate. It is a licence for an estimated 365,000 people to communicate within a larger community of four million. But just as important, it is a licence for 365,000 people to communicate amongst ourselves.

6804 Some would say that the Rainbow Radio application is a narrow application focused on a single community. I don't believe that. I believe it to be a broad application given the confines of the signal's strength. I know that from the experience of having knocked on thousands of doors in a constituency that is in itself a microcosm of Canada's diversity.

6805 Imagine for a minute a riding that includes a seat of government like Parliament Hill, an affluent community like Westmount, an historic community like Vancouver's Gastown, and the heart of the country's financial industry. Meanwhile, in the centre of my riding lie Regent Park and St. James Town, two communities that face economic challenges as severe as any other communities in this country.

6806 All of this is by way of saying that Rainbow Radio's listening audience will be anything but uniform.

6807 This spectacular range of cultures is reflected in the gay community. Indeed, in each of these communities I knocked on doors that opened to reveal gays and lesbians of every conceivable culture, race, class, size and shape.

6808 Like Toronto and like Canada itself, my community is breathtakingly diverse. It is African-Canadian, Asian-Canadian and Anglo-Saxon. It is rich, middle class and poor. It is elderly, middle aged and, increasingly, it is young.

6809 While we have made many advances as a community, too many individuals have been left behind.

6810 I own a small business in the heart of the gay community, and each day I am astounded by the number of homeless youth I see. Countless other young people make their way to the symbolic capital of our community after school and on weekends. These are young people who may not receive the understanding that I was fortunate to receive at home. As a consequence, young gays and lesbians are often left without a support network. They don't know where to turn when they need information on health issues, legal issues or social issues like housing.

6811 Let me give you two concrete examples of how Rainbow Radio can be effective in helping the youth in our community.

6812 Much has been made of the recent, significant scientific breakthroughs in the fight against AIDS. I have personally celebrated new life with friends that had been, at one time, at death's door. However, it has also been suggested that the hype surrounding the effectiveness of new treatments has given young people the impression that they need not be as vigilant in protecting themselves from the spread of the AIDS virus. They believe a cure has been found.

6813 Rainbow Radio can act as a source for reliable public health information. It can educate young people regarding the continued danger of unsafe sex and direct young people with HIV and AIDS toward treatment.

6814 Secondly, gay circuit parties bear a strong resemblance to the so-called rave parties that have been so often in the news of late. The culture of drugs and dance is a significant issue in our community. Young people also need to know the dangers involved in the social choices they make. Rainbow Radio would be a reliable, invaluable source for this information.

6815 In short, Rainbow Radio will help to build connections within our community. It will raise awareness among its listeners. It will inform them of the progress we have made and of the steps we still need to take.

6816 I believe that our community is in transition. Activists who once cut their teeth on the essential battle for equality rights have largely been successful. The lawyers are sorting out the details as we speak. Now we must redirect that energy and expertise towards the health of our community.

6817 As is the case in society at large, the elders of my community too often share with the young the distinction of being vulnerable. These people are the pioneers of our community, the people who had the courage and stamina to stand up for our community when it was much more difficult to do so. We owe them an immeasurable gratitude, but, more important, we owe them our attention.

6818 Toronto, as we all know, is facing a severe shortage of affordable housing. The elder members of my community are feeling the pressure created by this situation. In a post-equality rights environment, my community needs to fight for its most vulnerable members. Housing for the elderly, mentoring and peer support for the young, these are two of the most important issues we need to undertake.

6819 Rainbow Radio will help in these efforts. It will be a unifying voice in our diverse community.

6820 Thank you.

6821 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Smithermann.

6822 I believe Commissioner Grauer has a question or two for you.

6823 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Good afternoon, Mr. Smithermann. Welcome.

6824 MR. SMITHERMANN: Thank you.

6825 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I don't know if you are aware that we look at a number of criteria when weighing and considering the various applications that are in front of us. While format is an important element, in particular, when we look at the business plan, it is -- we maintain an interest in format and in the diversity of a market. We don't require adherence to a format as a condition of licence. I don't know if you were aware of that aspect.

6826 MR. SMITHERMANN: Vaguely.

6827 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Vaguely. Okay. I really just wanted to make sure that you did understand that, because we have had format switches and --

6828 MR. SMITHERMANN: Yes. One of the things that I think has been related to this application has been -- and it is something reasonably novel, in my view -- the creation of an advisory council that I have been asked to join.

6829 THE CHAIRPERSON: Not novel.

6830 MR. SMITHERMANN: Not novel?


6832 MR. SMITHERMANN: New to me. And I think that that provides a very exciting opportunity for the community to try and ensure that the format reflects the needs and aspirations of the community as well.

6833 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Okay. Thanks very much. Nice to see you here.

6834 MR. SMITHERMANN: Thank you.

6835 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Smithermann, for your participation.

6836 Mr. Secretary, please.

6837 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you, Madam Chairperson.

6838 I would now invite Michelle Douglas to present her intervention please.

--- Pause / Pause

6839 MR. CUSSONS: I gather Ms Douglas is not with us yet. I understand there is still a chance that she might be here, so perhaps I could call her a little later.

6840 Maintenant l'intervention de l'Alliance des Radios communautaires du Canada, M. Robert Boulay.


6841 M. BOULAY: Bonjour Madame, bonjour Madame la Présidente de l'assemblée, bonjour Mesdames les Commissaires, Messieurs les Commissaires, bonjour.

6842 Je vous remercie énormément de me donner quelques minutes de votre temps pour exprimer mon appui pour le projet présenté par la Coopérative radiophonique de Toronto.

6843 L'implantation et la consolidation de radios communautaires dans les milieux francophones minoritaires est coordonnée au niveau national par l'Alliance des radios communautaires du Canada, ARC du Canada.

6844 L'ARC du Canada a été fondée lors de la rencontre nationale des radios communautaires francophones et acadiennes de mars 1991. L'ARC du Canada compte présentement 28 membres actifs dont 18 radios en ondes reliées entre elles par un réseau satellite, RFA, le Réseau francophones d'Amérique.

6845 L'ARC du Canada vise à contribuer à l'épanouissement des Canadiens et Canadiennes d'expression française par la création, le maintien et le développement d'un ensemble de radios communautaires de qualité.

6846 Présentement au Canada plus de 250 stations de radio communautaires diffusent dans une trentaine de langues différentes mais moins de 20 pour cent de ces stations offrent une programmation de langue française. La demande de licence de radiodiffusion soumise par la Coopérative radiophonique de Toronto contribuerait grandement à améliorer cette situation, tant au niveau quantitatif que qualitatif.

6847 Nous nous réjouissons du fait que le CRCT, dans sa nouvelle politique relative à la radio communautaire rendue publique le 28 janvier dernier, réitère clairement et concrètement les objectifs établis pour la radio communautaire, et je cite:

"Le Conseil a pour principal objectif que la radio communautaire offre un service de programmation local dont le style et la substance la distinguent de celui des stations commerciales et de la SRC. La programmation devrait intéresser les collectivités desservies, y compris..."

Et j'aimerais accentuer ce passage.

6848 "... celles de la minorité officielle".

6849 La demande qui vous a été soumise par la Coopérative radiophonique de Toronto répond en tous points à vos attentes à ce niveau et à celles que vous énoncez par la suite dans cette même politique soit:

"Ces stations se trouvent en mesure de contribuer grandement à l'expression de la diversité culturelle du Canada, notamment en présentant et en mettant en valeur les artistes des groupes culturels minoritaires".

6850 Mise à part la Société Radio-Canada, quel autre diffuseur torontois peut et, par surcroît, désire contribuer à la reconnaissance et à la découverte des artistes franco-ontariens, acadiens, québécois et autres artistes issus de milieux francophones minoritaires?

6851 Il ne fait nul doute dans notre esprit que la grande majorité des 200 000 et plus francophones et francophiles de Toronto désire accueillir dans leurs foyers la Coopérative radiophonique de Toronto en tant que radiodiffuseur communautaire d'émissions locales dont la teneur sera éducative, culturelle et divertissante.

6852 De plus, le jeune public francophone nouvellement desservi dans sa propre langue pourra donc se familiariser avec la culture franco-ontarienne et s'ouvrir à ce riche univers culturel qui autrement aurait pu lui échapper.

6853 La programmation proposée par la Coopérative radiophonique de Toronto mettra en valeur la francophonie canadienne et mondiale grâce à une diversité et à un alliage uniques en leur genre. Celle-ci créera ses propres succès et engendrera ses propres découvertes par le biais d'une interaction constante avec le milieu culturel et artistique de la francophonie mondiale.

6854 Or, il est clair que l'assimilation a fait de sérieux ravages dans cette communauté et qu'il est grand temps que la communauté francophone puisse obtenir certains outils tels une radio communautaire pour contrer ce fléau.

6855 Seule une radio communautaire francophone peut espérer freiner le raz-de-marée de l'assimilation dans une ville comme Toronto car elle seule répondrait à un tel défi quotidiennement et concrètement par la présence de sa programmation d'intérêt local et communautaire.

6856 La Loi sur la radiodiffusion ne fait-elle pas référence au fait que le système canadien devrait:

"... servir à sauvegarder, enrichir et renforcer la structure culturelle, politique, sociale et économique du Canada?".

6857 Cette même loi préconise également que l'on:

"... favorise l'épanouissement et l'expression canadienne en proposant une très large programmation ... et qu'une gamme de services de radiodiffusion en français et en anglais doit être progressivement offerte à tous les Canadiens, au fur et à mesure de la disponibilité des moyens".

6858 Ces moyens s'offrent enfin à la minorité de langue officielle de la région de Toronto et ils seront finalement disponibles grâce à la Coopérative radiophonique de Toronto.

6859 Dans son propre document intitulé De la vision à l'action, publié en mai 1998, le CRTC parle de "la présence d'une programmation qui reflète la société canadienne" et aussi "de façonner l'identité canadienne". Ne serait-il pas opportun pour le CRTC de profiter d'une occasion idéale comme celle qui s'offre à lui présentement et de passer "de la vision à l'action" dans ce dossier d'importance capitale pour la francophonie canadienne?

6860 Par l'article 41 de la Loi sur les langues officielles, le gouvernement fédéral s'est engagé à favoriser l'épanouissement des minorités francophones et anglophones du Canada et à appuyer leur développement. L'épanouissement de la communauté franco-torontoise et l'appui à son développement passent par la disponibilité d'outils adéquats de communication dont la radio communautaire proposée par la requérante.

6861 Dans un jugement publié dans le recueil de jurisprudence (1999) 1 R.C.S, no. 768 -- excusez la précision -- le plus haut tribunal du pays abonde dans le même sens en exprimant que:

"Les droits linguistiques... ne peuvent être exercés que si les moyens en sont fournis. Cela concorde avec l'idée préconisée en droit international que la liberté de choisir est dénuée de sens en l'absence d'un devoir de l'État de prendre des mesures positives pour mettre en application des garanties linguistiques".

6862 En cette Année de la francophonie canadienne, le CRTC ne pourrait offrir un témoignage plus concret et plus éloquent de son engagement vis-à-vis des minorités francophones du pays en donnant suite à la requête de la Coopérative radiophonique de Toronto.

6863 En effet, si vous lui donniez accès au marché radiophonique torontois -- le plus important marché radiophonique au pays -- cela lui permettrait d'offrir une visibilité accrue de la communauté franco-ontarienne et de démontrer la richesse de sa culture et la vitalité de ses créateurs.

6864 RFA, le Réseau francophone d'Amérique, jouera un rôle clé à ce niveau puisqu'il contribuera au façonnement de la programmation de la Coopérative en lui donnant accès à des émissions en provenance des 18 autres stations membres de l'ARC du Canada et de ses propres studios de production. Cette synergie contribuera grandement à la vitalité et à la diversité de la programmation de cette nouvelle radio et offrira aux auditeurs torontois un contenu pancanadien francophone de très haute qualité.

6865 Or, dans la foulée de la victoire historique des défenseurs du centre hospitalier Montfort à Ottawa, il n'en revient qu'au CRTC d'écrire sa propre page d'histoire en accordant un droit de parole à la communauté francophone de Toronto.

6866 La Coopérative radiophonique de Toronto est, à notre humble avis, la seule requérante qui se propose d'offrir une programmation distincte de celles qui vous sont soumises dans le cadre de ces audiences et par surcroît différente de celles qui sont déjà diffusées par les radiodiffuseurs existants.

6867 L'univers de la radiodiffusion de grands centres urbains tels Toronto n'offre pas beaucoup de surprises à l'auditeur-type. En effet, celui-ci se voit offrir une programmation "Adult Contemporary" ou "Contemporary Hit", ou encore "New Rock", "Album-Oriented Rock" et "Alternative" en passant par "Oldies", sans oublier les types de programmation tels "News Talk", "All Talk", "Sports", et cetera.

6868 Ces stations mettent-elles en valeur des artistes canadiens nouveaux ou méconnus ou se contentent-elles de diffuser généralement les mêmes artistes et les mêmes succès? Celle-ci sont-elles préoccupées par l'émergence de nouveaux talents et de nouveaux styles musicaux si ceux-ci ne cadrent pas parfaitement avec leur "son" et avec les attentes de leurs commanditaires?

6869 Nous estimons que la programmation proposée par la Coopérative radiophonique de Toronto est de loin la seule qui apportera un contenu musical et vocal nouveaux ainsi que totalement innovateurs aux auditeurs et auditrices de cette métropole torontoise.

6870 En conclusion, depuis 1988 la communauté francophone de Toronto démontre un appui inconditionnel et un dynamisme constant face au projet de radio communautaire qui vous est soumis aujourd'hui. Les leaders et les nombreux bénévoles de la radio communautaire sont convaincus de sa viabilité à court terme et de sa nécessité à long terme.

6871 Pour toutes les raisons susmentionnées, mais principalement au nom de la survie de la communauté francophone de Toronto, l'Alliance des radios communautaires du Canada recommande au CRTC d'accorder le permis de radiodiffusion à la Coopérative radiophonique de Toronto.

6872 La fréquence convoitée par elle et par les autres requérantes est la seule de disponible et elle représente sa dernière chance pour contrer l'assimilation.

6873 Dans l'anticipation de votre accueil favorable à cette demande, nous vous remercions au nom de la francophonie canadienne de donner enfin une voix à une minorité qui risque de devenir de plus en plus silencieuse et de moins en moins visible.

6874 Merci beaucoup.

6875 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Monsieur Boulay, faisant absence abstention de discuter des valeurs de chaque demande, je suis un peu surprise de votre commentaire selon lequel la demande de la Coopérative serait la seule qui offrirait à Toronto un contenu musical et vocal nouveau.

6876 Etes-vous familier avec les --maintenant nous en avions 15, nous en avons maintenant 13 -- les 12 autres demandes qui sont devant nous?

6877 M. BOULAY: J'avoue qu'il y en a peut-être quelques-unes qui, oui, offriraient un contenu musical nouveau.

6878 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Mais vous parlez de vocal aussi.

6879 M. BOULAY: Pour moi si je restais à Toronto, je n'aurais jamais eu jusqu'à maintenant, ou très peu à part par le SRC, ce que la Coopérative radiophonique de Toronto offre et je reviens en arrière là-dessus.

6880 Dans les programmations qui vous sont présentées dans le cadre des autres interventions, c'est de la musique à laquelle on peut toujours avoir accès. Exemple: Si je vais dans un disquaire "X" à Toronto, je suis pas mal certain que je vais trouver tout ce qu'il propose de diffuser, alors que les francophones eux vont se faire dire, "Bien la demande n'est pas là. Nous n'avons pas Catherine Lara, nous n'avons pas telle personne". C'est un peu dans ce sens-là. Vous avez raison que personne ne réinvente rien, que tout est déjà là, qu'il s'agit juste d'aller le chercher et de le mettre en ondes.

6881 Mais je crois qu'à ce niveau-là je suis peut-être allé un petit loin pour prêcher pour ma paroisse, mais ce que je voulais dire c'est que l'emballage, le contenu, le contenant présenté par la Coopérative radiophonique de Toronto va faire en sorte que ça va être nouveau et, bien sûr, on ne sera pas les seuls peut-être à amener quelque chose de nouveau, mais au niveau de la francophonie, au niveau d'une vision canadienne, à mon humble avis, je dirais que c'est nouveau.

6882 Mais vous avez raison que quand même il y a certaines autres personnes qui vont présenter des choses qui sont peut-être pas encore tout à fait là en ce moment. C'est à ce niveau-là que je m'expliquais ainsi.

6883 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Merci.

6884 M. BOULAY: Merci à vous, Madame.

6885 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Nous allons maintenant prendre une pose de 15 minutes.

6886 We will now take a break of 15 minutes before going on to the next interventions.

--- Recess at 1430 / Suspension à 1430

--- Upon resuming at 1445 / Reprise à 1445

6887 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will now proceed with the interventions in the McNabb application.

6888 Have we ascertained whether Ms Douglas is here or not?

6889 MR. CUSSONS: I don't believe she is, Madam Chairperson, but I will ask once more if Ms Michelle Douglas is in the room.

--- Pause / Pause

6890 MR. CUSSONS: I guess not, Madam Chairperson.

6891 So that being the case, I will now introduce, one at a time, three intervenors who want to come forward today and express their support for the applications by Mr. Andy McNabb.

6892 Our first intervenor is Michelle Sim.


6893 MS SIM: Good afternoon, everyone.

6894 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon.

6895 MS SIM: My name is Michelle Sim and I'm sitting here on behalf of Steve Nicolle who is unfortunately ill today. Steve is president of Christian Marketing Canada. He is also president of GMA Canada, which I will expound upon a little bit.

6896 I just want to give you my background so you will know my area of interest.

6897 I am Founder and Administrator of Northern Praise Ministries, and that is a non-profit charitable organization that supports Canadian artists, primarily in the field of music, by means of education, encouragement and facilitating opportunities for artistic performance and development. Support has been given to anyone, Christian or not Christian, who is in need, and the help that I provide is both practical and spiritual in nature.

6898 I am also Secretary of the Board of Directors for GMA, Canada. GMA, Canada is the first international branch of GMA, which is Gospel Music Association from Nashville Tennessee. GMA, Nashville is very convinced that Canadian gospel artists are professionally ready for the mass media and have taken huge steps of faith, and financially and physically have supported this new chapter that is in the Toronto area. I have been elected by my peers in the fall of 1998 to a three-year term to this position.

6899 I also am and have been a producer, promoter, artist, management and I have been involved in special events co-ordinating in the areas of the Oakville Waterfront Festival, and also Special Olympics of which my son is a special olympian. We did the special events co-ordinating for opening and closing ceremonies in 1998 in Oakville and I am presently on a denominational board in Oakville for something called Jesus Jubilee 2000, which is going to be a huge event taking place in Oakville this summer.

6900 I have also been and continue to be a TV and radio host in many different areas. One is a call-in show that is aired on CTS out of Burlington, Ontario. I know you folks are familiar with that.

6901 And I have produced my own CD. I have co-produced many other CDs.

6902 I'm also Chairperson for the Screening Committee for the gospel category for the Junos. We are going into the fourth year of our own category. We were, at one time, linked with gospel and blues, which is sort of an oxymoron. Anyway, we have had three runnings for that. We are coming into the fourth here now, and nominees were just announced for that the other day.

6903 Also, I am an ordained minister with a mainline denomination in Canada.

6904 Toronto is Canada's strongest Christian music market, yet we do not have a Christian radio station. What we are receiving right now is basically from WDCX out of Buffalo. Unfortunately, what happens there, they have no interest at all in Canadian talent and that of course is where my heart lies, in the aiding and assisting of causing our Canadian artists to develop and grow and to be heard and have their talents used.

6905 I just want to read an excerpt from Steve's letter, because he is the business guy here. He says in his letter that:

"Toronto has a history of having a strong presence in Gospel/Christian music. According to [their] sales history, the GTA accounts for 19% of sales of Gospel and Christian music in Canada. What this shows, is that without a 7 day-a-week, 24 hour-a-day presence for Christian music in Toronto, that the market has a positive sales index relative to its population.

By adding a 7 day-a-week presence for Christian music, we estimate that Christian music would grow by a further 20-25% margin within the GTA region. There would also be a significant opportunity for local Canadian Christian artists..."

6906 And that is where my interest lies:

" have an avenue to promote their music and aid in launching them to an international platform.

Since the Christian stations went on the air in Calgary ... and Edmonton [in 1997] we..."

6907 Meaning Christian Marketing:

"...we experienced a considerable increase in sales well above that of the other Canadian markets."

6908 He also goes on to say that:

"...present sales levels indicate that there exists a stronger market for Christian music on Toronto radio than any place in Canada - demonstrated by this index, the sheer size of the city, and the fact that it has the largest unserved radio audience for Christian music in Canada.

Of paramount importance is the fact that a Christian station in Toronto will be instrumental in developing the largest untapped talent pool in all of Canada. With 20,000 churches in all of Canada, over 4,500 churches are within a 50 mile radius of Toronto. This gives unprecedented exposure for Canadian lyric and music writers, producers, and artists, leading to more engagements, production[s], music sales and an avenue for the industry to grow and develop, adding much greater diversity to existing offerings of the Canadian music industry."

6909 Just an excerpt from my letter, and my point, I guess, here is that my greatest observation over the last ten years -- I pastored up until 1990, and was just simply called into what I'm doing today, and that is to support artists. I very much am involved with the music industry in Toronto at large as well where I offer just prayer or whatever people may need, because people are really hungry for spiritual help. My greatest observation over the past ten years is the maturation of the professional quality of Canadian gospel artists.

6910 When I started doing this ten years ago, it was pretty pathetic. There were a few people that were doing a good job, but a lot of the rationale was, "Well, we are just doing it in Church. It's okay." I have seen incredible growth, even that we can get the attention of those out of Nashville, where these people have just developed against all odds because there has been nowhere to play it, nowhere to hear it, nowhere to see it, and they have just abounded in their progression of their craft.

6911 U.S. artists, as you know, have massive exposure. It is a huge industry in the U.S., Christian music, and enormous amounts of money are poured into their careers by record labels and/or other investors in their own country. As you are all well aware, exposure creates demand, creating work, creating finances that can go back into careers that can be developed even more.

6912 Both proposed radio stations will go a great distance to promote Christian talent by way of free announcements, an update, and of course just by continuous exposure of these Canadian artists that can't happen anywhere other than radio. It can't happen on TV -- we wouldn't put up with it.

6913 One of the other things, too, is sitting on the board at CARAS I have noticed -- I was co-chair for two years, and then this last year and a half I have been the chairperson -- there is really a marked interest in what is going on in gospel music from all the other leaders in the music industry in Toronto. So I have been very interested to see that.

6914 One young man called Steve Bell, I don't know if any of you know who he is, is an incredible singer/songwriter out of Winnipeg. He released a single called "Hear By the Water" and it immediately jumped up to the top ten in the inspirational charts in the U.S. Both Steve Bell and Sharon Riley and Faith Chorale were the first and second recipients of the Juno for the gospel category and both of them have gotten U.S. record deals and hardly anybody in Canada knows who they are. How can they if they can't be heard?

6915 What I did want to talk about specifically is Mr. McNabb's offer to pledge considerable funds towards Canadian Christian artists. GMA, Canada is primarily an educational tool. They have yearly academies all over the U.S. and they are having one in Toronto, that is their Canadian -- they were going to do it in Thunder Bay until I mentioned to them that very few people lived up there, so they moved it to Toronto. They just picked the centre part in Canada.

6916 What the GMA does is once a year it has what is called an academy -- some people are brought in from Nashville and some people are used out of Canada -- where it really is to enhance the skill level, bring up to standard the skill level of the Christian artist.

6917 We also have quarterly meetings called The Gathering, and these two are fellowship times for areas of encouragement, education, but also bringing to the forefront Canadian artists. And we would like to be able to properly remunerate them, bring them in. We would love to bring in Steve Bell, but don't have the money to do that.

6918 So Mr. McNabb's offer is very generous and wonderful.

6919 Also, GMA has started up something called GMA On Campus, and they are using a Canadian college to do it first in North America. They are using a college out west called Briarcrest, and there is actually going to be an accredited course taking place, and it is going to be the gospel music industry taught in our Christian colleges. So that is exciting.

6920 Just a couple of success stories. One Cross is a family from Mississauga who one a huge competition in the U.S., a very coveted price, and we don't know who they are. Deborah Klassen is up for a Juno. We don't know who Deborah is. Sharon Riley, Faith Chorale, Steve Bell, we don't know who these people are because they have no exposure.

6921 So, just in summary: Why do I think we need a Christian radio station here in Toronto?

6922 The GTA public, which is 74 per cent identified believing in the Christian faith, can tune into hopeful and helpful music and information.

6923 Number two, 4,500 GTA churches representing some of that 74 per cent will be served.

6924 And, in my heart, number three is that the Canadian, and particularly GTA Christian artists, can be promotionally and financially assisted toward further development and production in other areas and that they would have exposure to the public.

6925 Thank you very much.

6926 THE CHAIRPERSON: We thank you for your participation.

6927 Mr. Secretary, please.

6928 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you, Madam Chairperson.

6929 I would now like to invite Reverend Bud Williams to present his intervention, please.

6930 REV. WILLIAMS: Good afternoon.

6931 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon.


6932 REV. WILLIAMS: I want to thank you for the opportunity of appearing here.

6933 I am a pastor, so I don't have a written script. Would somebody just ring the bell when I am to stop or make a motion please.

6934 As I submitted in my letter, I am the pastor of Evangel Temple. That is located at 401 and Yonge Street here in the centre of Toronto. We have approximately 2,000 members. They are made up of 84 different nationalities, and we would just like the opportunity of being able to express what God has done in our church in bringing together 84 different nations, and our singing, our preaching. The different presentations that we offer present a great variety of peoples from all over the world, and we believe that Christian radio, as well as Christian television, could help us to better express what we are all about.

6935 I have had the opportunity -- or presently do, of being on three television stations here in Canada broadcasting from coast to coast, and also three different stations in the Caribbean. We would like to also have the opportunity of having a Christian radio station where we can have a voice as far as Christian radio is concerned.

6936 I have been involved in Christian television and radio for about 35 years and I have found it a great medium of promoting understanding between different religious people, different nationalities, and in helping to bring our community together in different projects that we support to help the poor, the less fortunate, and so on. I understand that Christian radio will give us this opportunity of advertising what we are about, what we are doing. And, one of the best things about it, according to Andy, is a lot of these ads are going to be free.

6937 We are now presently advertising on Christian radio in Buffalo, New York, WDCX, and I know that it is a very effective way of advertising different Christian events.

6938 Recently, we had a large crusade in Toronto. We advertised in our newspapers and we advertised on secular radio. But when we took a consensus of where the people came from and by what means they heard the advertising, WDCX in Buffalo came out far on top, making us know that Christians listen to Christian radio here in Toronto.

6939 Another reason that we would like to see Christian radio is that I believe that we have a lot of Canadian content that needs to be heard in our Toronto area. We are thankful for those who come in from the U.S. and other parts of the world, but I believe that Canadians have something to offer their own nation.

6940 I believe we are known throughout the world as peacemakers. I believe we are peacemakers at home as well as abroad.

6941 One of the things that really startles me from our many telephone calls and many letters that we receive is how people can see by Christian television, when the cameras scan our audience on Sunday morning, that nobody is in the majority as far as a race is concerned. We are 84 nationalities. We are all worshipping together, we are working together, and this is a great voice to our nation that we can have people come here from all over the world and we can work together.

6942 And, another thing that I would like to see happen on Christian radio, is that Christian radio become a voice, a stronger voice for patriotism in our country.

6943 When I go across the border, as I often do, and preach in cities in the United States and listen to their television stations, listen to their radio stations, one thing comes through loud and clear, that they are patriotic people. I believe that it is our God-given call in this nation to bring people together under our flag and to pray for our leaders to work together for a greater patriotic spirit.

6944 In our gym we have 84 different flags of nations where people come from, but we have a large Canadian flag and we tell our people they have adopted Canada. "Now, let's be good citizens. Let's be people of integrity. Let's pay our taxes. Let's pray for our government, not bash our government, and let us work together to build this great country of Canada."

6945 So if I sound like somebody that is real patriotic this afternoon, I am. I was born here. I love this country. I believe that Christianity has attributed a lot to our nation and I believe we deserve to be heard, what we have to offer for the people of this country.

6946 So I trust that, as you listened this afternoon to the different presentations, we shall all realize that we feel a bit gipped in that we have not had Christian radio in this country.

6947 I know the history a little bit and there were problems back many years ago with Christian radio. But we are living in a new day and Christians are encouraged now not to bash one another or bash our government but to work together in unity for the great purpose of our nation. So I'm a firm believer that it will be financially supported. We are on the air on three television stations. We are not having any problem as far as our finances are concerned, and I believe that Christian radio will bring in Christian advertising, and also it will be supported by the freewill gifts of people.

6948 So I want to thank you today. I don't know how far we are in our ten minutes, but I want to thank you today for hearing us. I hope that we can go back to our 84 different nationalities at Evangel Temple with a positive report in the near future that we are going to have a voice in the Toronto area, that is, the Christian community will have a voice through radio in the Toronto area.

6949 Thank you very much.

6950 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Reverend. You see, no bell has rung, so you did very well.

--- Laughter / Rires

6951 REV. WILLIAMS: Thank you.

6952 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you for your participation.

6953 Mr. Secretary, please.

6954 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you, Madam Chairperson.

6955 We will now hear the intervention by Damalei Beckford.


6956 MS BECKFORD: Good afternoon. I'm a little younger, so I don't have as much experience, but I think it is such a great opportunity to be able to come before you and to discuss this issue.

6957 As a Torontonian I came here -- actually, I came here from Jamaica when I was eight, you know, and it's the typical story, and grew up in Toronto. I grew up mainly in the Keel and Old Weston Road area. And I love the city. This has been, you know -- this is the home town. I just wanted to share just a little bit of my own history. And I am just representing just a listener, as a prospective listener, you know, as a Christian and as a young person.

6958 As I was saying, I grew up in downtown Toronto, the west end, and I became a Christian at 14 years old. The reason that I want to give this is that, as a young person, I was used to tuning into different channels to hear whatever I wanted to hear. Before I became a Christian, let's say I wanted to hear a hip-hop or R&B, I would tune into WBLK and 680 before it turned a new station. I don't know why they did that. So I was already used to being able to get whatever I needed on the radio.

6959 So when I became a Christian I just automatically assumed that, you know, there was a Christian station. So I would try to look for that. I was looking for a station, and there wasn't anything at the time. Now I found out that there wasn't any at all. At that time, I just thought that I just couldn't find any thing. I quickly came to realize that Christians, the way that they spread news -- "news" meaning like concerts, speakers, preachers -- was mainly through word of mouth and through magazines, like, if you read it in a Christian magazine or a Christian newspaper. But really there was no -- like, there was nothing on the radio. There was nothing you could get information like that on.

6960 Because I come from the downtown area, WDCX doesn't operate in that area, you know, and so you just absolutely have nothing, except WBLK just on the weekends has like a two-hour program, you know, if you can get it, if you can get that range at the time.

6961 So, anyways -- and I am just going on here -- I also learned that in order to get Christian music I had to actually buy the CDs myself, you know, and play it at my own needing, but there was no venue to really be able to -- the difference is that with, as the lady before was talking about, exposure -- you see, the reason why we go out, especially as a young person, you go out and you buy a CD because you have heard it. You have heard them on the radio or you have seen them on TV or something, but most of the time we have heard them on the radio. So it would be like, "Oh, did you hear that latest song? Let's go out and..." you know, and so we would go out and buy that.

6962 But now, as a believer, to go out and buy Christian music, well it is difficult because I have never heard them, you know, so I don't know what they sound like. You had to really go around -- it was just through friendships, you know, through others who bought, you would listen and decide what you liked. There is just absolutely no venue for any information, for just learning, you know, as far as that is concerned.

6963 Anyways, though I did resign looking for a Christian station, I never really believed, I must say in my heart, that there was no such thing for Toronto. The reason why I say that is because, you know, I was a lover of this city and Toronto to me is growing up, and even now is a ground-breaking city. It is a city that has everything. This is what I grew up with, you know, because of the multiculturalness of the city, it is just open to having everything. So I just never really believed that we didn't have a station.

6964 Not only that, the churches that I -- Toronto has some of the largest churches in our country. You know, like, Evangel Temple being one of the largest, as well as Revival Time with the young people. I have gone to different concerts. For example, there was a group called Delirious and they had a concert -- this is a Christian band -- they had a concert in Hamilton at Copp's Coliseum, just this past November, and it was, like, packed out. It had over at least 10,000, over at least 10,000 young people, and they were under the age of 24, the majority. It was just the most awesome thing. Like, this is without radio, you know. It is mostly by word of mouth we all knew. And they come in -- Toronto is pretty close to Hamilton, so they came in just flocking by bus. It is an awesome event.

6965 The reason why I'm saying that, as far as the city, is just knowing that, you know, Toronto is where everything happens. You always hear whatever is going on here. So that is why this is really important to me. This is why I came out, just as a representative, just as a Christian, a young person listening to the radio, growing up here in this city, knowing the importance of this city, that this city affects everyone, and knowing that there is such a large -- there is such a vast number of Christians that I know, it's not -- the problem -- like, what we are having is not a lack of audience but just a lack. You know, there is not a lack of audience, there is just a lack. I didn't mean to repeat that twice.

6966 Anyways, going on, Christian radio, some of the awesome things of Christian radio, what it is that we get or that I get from it is now that I have -- I have grown up. Now I'm in St. Catharines, Ontario and I attend a bible college there. Now, St. Catharines, you know -- coming from Toronto, a big city, you know, St. Catharines is a little small to you, right, so, you know, I go to St. Catharines and I find out they have a Christian station. You know, like, they are just a little small city. You know, Toronto for sure should have a Christian station. And that is because they get -- they don't have a station. They are actually getting the Buffalo channel which is WDCX.

6967 Anyways, the programming, though, it is so -- the thing about Christianity, the programming of Christianity, is that it is above age, culture. It is all about a belief. It is a belief. So all age ranges tune in to listen, you know, because the major underlying basis is the faith, and that is what people are tuning in to listen to. What they have on it is preaching and teaching or they have, like -- for example, they have different churches that have slots, different slots of times that they have sermons, that church puts their particular Sunday service on on the station. They have music at different time periods.

6968 They even have a call-in show, and the call-in show is really good to listen to because you can hear the different ranges of people that call, believers as well as non-believers, young people, you know, older people. It is cross-cultural, just cross-boundaries.

6969 The reason why I'm saying this is because I was just listening to a program that really touched me. It was a young person calling in and they were asking on some really serious things of the faith, you know. And it's great to be able to call in and discuss a viewpoint on your faith with somebody who is going to understand and be able to speak back to you on that issue.

6970 So this is where I find the state that is so important, because there is -- in Toronto, even with a church of 2,000 or a church of, you know, 1,500 or even 800, a majority of them are coming -- a good percentage is going to be youth.

6971 The youth are so -- you know, I think that we are no -- I am 20 years old myself, so there is no -- you know, I know that some adults have spoken, you know, so much more grown up, that have spoken to you, you know, come from a background where young people weren't as active in their faith, but from my life, and from my friends and from living it, they are very active. You know, this generation is more active and more persistent and more concerned about what is happening in their churches and amongst each other and in their societies as well. Christian radio will give Torontonians, will give Toronto children, Toronto youth, Toronto believers a chance to be able to unite together, to be able to hear each other's voices.

6972 That concert that I mentioned, it was all across the board, Presbyterians, Protestants, Mennonites, you know, a list of different denominations coming together because the basis of it is our faith. So that is what Christian radio -- I think this is what Christian radio does for us. It brings believers. It brings believers together on their faith, as well as ministering to those that aren't necessarily churchgoers or anything but have a heart for faith issues. And this is a great way -- it's great to be able to discuss those things.

6973 Just let me see here.

6974 So just to wrap it up, that is the reason why I believe a Christian station is needed for Toronto is because of the majority, the amount of people, when you look at the stats.

6975 Also, just as a final comment, you know, someone asked me before, they asked me, you know: Is there nothing suitable on mainstream radio that you find for yourself? The thing about it is, the reason why mainstream does not satisfy, it doesn't encourage your faith, you know, the things that we are taught, because we do believe in the bible. You know, we believe in God, and the songs or the things that are spoken about necessarily are not towards the faith and not encouraging us in that belief. So that is why in mainstream there is nothing. That is why the stats are right that, you know, Christians don't necessarily -- we tune in for news. We tune in for the news and that is about it, because everything else is against -- you know, especially the music.

6976 As a young person, you know, the music does not promote the things that we believe in as far as the bible is concerned, relationships, and even society itself. It is not something that even society itself notices, the problem, notices that there is -- just with what is being taught.

6977 And that is it. That is where I am at.

6978 So I will just leave it that there is a need for young people to be able to -- even for young people to be able to voice their opinions, be able to learn from the teachings that would be on the radio, to be able to be a unit -- young people as well, you know, believers, to be able to be a unit. That will be a positive thing for Toronto. And it is crossing -- it is the one, I think -- I have listened to a lot of the other ones, and it is the one belief I think that it will include all sectors of the spectrum as far as, you know, people, different people groups, everyone. It includes them. It includes them because everyone is concerned about their faith. Everyone is concerned about what they believe in. All right.

6979 And that's it.

6980 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Beckford. You were spared the bell too.

--- Laughter / Rires

6981 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you for your participation.

6982 I believe, Mr. Secretary, that that ends our agenda for today.

6983 MR. CUSSONS: Yes, it does, Madam Chairperson.

6984 THE CHAIRPERSON: Tomorrow morning, then, we will resume at 9:00 with the interventions in the Jolly application.

6985 Thank you very much.

6986 Nous reprendrons à neuf heures demain matin.

--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1530, to resume

on Wednesday, February 9, 2000 at 0900 / L'audience

est ajournée à 1530, pour reprendre le mercredi

9 février 2000 à 0900

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