ARCHIVED -  Transcript - Hull, QC - 2000/09/01

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Conference Centre Centre de Conférences

Outaouais Room Salle Outaouais

Hull, Quebec Hull (Québec)

September 1, 2000 le 1er septembre 2000

Volume 15


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

Applications for Licences to operate New Pay and Specialty

Services for Digital Distribution / Demandes de licences

visant la distribution numérique de nouveaux services de

télévision spécialisée et payante


Françoise Bertrand Chairperson of the

Commission / Présidente

du Conseil

Andrée Wylie Chairperson / Présidente

Jean-Marc Demers Commissioner / Conseiller

Ronald Williams Commissioner / Conseiller

Martha Wilson Commissioner / Conseillère


Peter Cussons Hearing Manager and

Secretary / Gérant de

l'audience et secrétaire

Alastair Stewart Legal Counsel /

conseiller juridique

Peter McCallum Legal Counsel /

conseiller juridique


Conference Centre Centre de Conférences

Outaouais Room Salle Outaouais

Hull, Quebec Hull (Québec)

September 1, 2000 le 1er septembre 2000

Volume 15









Hull, Quebec / Hull (Québec)

--- Upon commencing on Friday, September 1, 2000

at 0830 / L'audience débute le vendredi

1er septembre 2000 à 0830

30717 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning. Welcome back to the fifteenth day of our hearing.

30718 Bonjour et bienvenue à notre quinzième journée d'audience.

30719 Monsieur le Secrétaire, s'il vous plaît.

30720 Mr. Secretary, please.

30721 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you, Madam Chair.

30722 Before introducing our first intervenor, I would just like to make an announcement.

30723 As we have already announced, there is a definite possibility that Phase IV of this competitive process, the rebuttal stage, will start some time next Tuesday afternoon -- that's the 5th of September -- rather than Wednesday morning.

30724 Applicants would be called, of course, in reverse order. Since KRG Television has decided not to appear in Phase IV, they will, of course, respond to our questions in writing. The first applicant to be called will be The Sports Network. Then we would call The Justice Channel, Vision TV and so on.

30725 Of course, if Phase IV is moved forward, there is also a good chance that the pay-per-view video on demand portion of our hearing may commence some time on Wednesday, 6th September, rather than next Thursday.

30726 Applicants and intervenors involved in the pay-per-view VOD proposals are now on notice.

30727 I would now like to introduce our first intervenor this morning, The Canadian Comedy Awards, Mr. Progosh.

30728 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning. Before we proceed with this part of Phase III, which is the hearing of interventions in support of one or more of the applications, I want to reiterate what I said in my opening remarks at the beginning of the hearing, which is that we may or may not engage in discussion or questioning with supporting applicants, but we are interested in hearing them. We want to hear as many as possible in the time we have. Therefore, we want them to be assured that their presentation is going to be part of the record and transcribed and added to their written intervention.

30729 Avant de commencer cette partie de l'audience, je veux rappeler aux intervenants qui vont comparaître en appui à une ou plusieurs demandes que nous n'aurons probablement pas le temps d'engager une discussion ou de poser des questions à ces requérantes. Nous voulons les rassurer que nous sommes très intéressés à les entendre et voilà pourquoi nous voulons en entendre le plus possible dans le temps que nous avons à notre disposition et que vos interventions seront transcrites au procès verbal et ajoutées évidement à votre intervention écrite.

30730 Alors nous sommes prêts à procéder.

30731 We are ready to proceed now when you are ready.


30732 MR. PROGOSH: As the creator and producer of The Canadian Comedy Awards, I have come here to speak on behalf of Salter Street's bid for a comedy channel for kids. There are several reasons why I support the concept of a comedy channel for kids. There are several reasons why I support Salter Street's bid.

30733 There are several things I think you should know about me to fully comprehend what I am saying and why I wanted to drive all night after 18 hours on set yesterday to be here this morning to talk to you.

30734 As an actor and as a person, I intend to be very passionate about things and I tend to personalize things a lot. Making things personal and passionate often allows people to dismiss what I am saying in business and political settings. This is a business and a political setting, but you are stuck with me for the next eight and a half minutes or so.

30735 I have been fortunate to make my living in the Canadian entertainment industry since 1982 and support my family at the same time, which is a rarity. Aside from two two-year stints in politics, two years here working with a consulting firm as Progress Associates and two years on behalf of ACTRA as elected representative chairing the Lobby and Legislature Committee and Apprentice Membership Committee.

30736 I have worked in film and television. I have been a regular on a series. I am currently a regular on a series being filmed by Sullivan Entertainment for the BBC. I have also spent 18 years performing comedy standup, sketch and improv, touring from coast to coast in Canada. Being a Canadian actor also means I have also done the compulsory hellgate dressed up as a Canadian Mountie.

30737 A year ago I formed a company called Higher Ground Productions with my partner, Chaz Hay, and in one year we have produced a series called Inside Country, a documentary for The Comedy Network about Elvis impersonators called King for a Day, a CBC special called An Evening with Blue Rodeo and The Canadian Comedy Awards and created the Canadian Comedy Hall of Fame.

30738 In short, I have been in front of them, behind the camera, I have been in the political back room and I have been on the political front line and I have toured from coast to coast as a comic. It doesn't make me smarter than anybody else who has appeared before you. It certainly hasn't made me richer than anybody else who has performed before you and it doesn't make me more powerful than anybody else who has presented before you, but it does make me uniquely qualified to talk about comedy to a political entity.

30739 Why a comedy channel for kids? I think you are all familiar with Salter's presentation, a very impressive one with statistics and rationals that makes me as an actor and as a father very proud and very hopeful, but I would like to add two factors that they may not have stressed.

30740 Five to 17 year old people in this country are light years ahead of where we were when we were their age. As a result, it is our responsibility to make sure that they have stimulating educational and positive programming focused on their development. We need to reach out to them and we need to listen to them.

30741 The Salter Street bid clearly states, and I am quoting, that they are to be a new vehicle to educate children in our cultural heritage and to entertain them with quality programming.

30742 In a world where a great many, if not -- I won't say the percentage, but a great many programming decisions are based on reaching key market segments as defined by sponsors, this raison d'etre that I quoted from the Salter Street bid for a kids comedy channel makes me as a parent very hopeful.

30743 I think we can all face a fact here. None of our kids will ever be able to watch a hockey game without advertising on the boards. They will never be able to go to an event at an Ottawa Civic Centre or a Montreal Forum or a Toronto Maple Leafs Gardens or a Pacific Coliseum. It is pretty unlikely that they will ever get to go to a rock concert that isn't sponsored.

30744 It's nice to know that a responsible entity in this country has stepped forward and applied to be a broadcaster and has designed a channel for the kids and for the parents.

30745 Why Salter Street? Well, in the past few months we have heard from huge conglomerates and corporations like Rogers and BCE who are pointing at each other and saying things like "Well, BCE has ExpressVu and as a cable channel, we got a cable network, and it's unfair competition", so I am a little passionate there.

30746 Suffice to say that by these companies' very structures and legal operating procedures, the prime motivator for them has to be percentage increase for shareholders. Do you think a company like Salter Street is forging an industry in Atlantic Canada with that as their prime motivator? I don't think so. I think it was heart and ethics.

30747 As a self-proclaimed comedy expert in this country, I am telling you that Salter is comedy in this country. They are the beacon and the standard by which the comedy community measures all others, and very few measure up.

30748 You have already heard about the awards of the shows like This Hour Has 22 Minutes and Codco and the great work that they have done, but what you haven't heard is that they have a reputation in the comedy community for treating people with professional respect. They let funny people be funny.

30749 They provided opportunities for actors, writers and directors to make a living staying in this country. What is truly amazing is that they did it in Atlantic Canada, and what is even more amazing is that they did it with respect for the guilds and the unions that govern the entertainment industry.

30750 They have never tried to skirt around existing agreements. They have never tried or asked for special discounts. They have never taken advantage of those whose creativity is the basis for all broadcasting.

30751 And they have gone beyond that. They have forged ahead with two new components, that they are going to involve creative people, especially the young, and make them more involved right from the beginning of the network. It is the new media component and their commitment to independent producers.

30752 You all know the presentation clearly outlined what they did about the new media component. I refer back to my statement that 5-to-17-year-olds are light years ahead of us. They are more familiar with the new media than we are. They are more familiar with the Internet and computers than I will ever be. It is very important that they have this.

30753 Every region, every age, every race through the new media will be able to contribute, to criticize, to help develop and mould the station. It gives kids and their parents a direct voice that can compete with the business of show.

30754 I would like to repeat that because I think it is really important: it gives kids and the parents a voice that can compete with the business of show.

30755 The station will open doors and minds to opportunities and communications and entertainment, and it will do so by making people laugh. Why is it so important what they have done to an independent producer? This is a fact. Salter Street can understand the independent producer like no conglomerate can. They forged an industry where there was none, and in the process they faced the same trials, tribulations and frustrations that all independent producers in this country face: the challenge of getting their product on television.

30756 Despite the proliferation of specialty channels, it is still almost an impossible task. I know this, because I produced the first televised Canadian comedy awards and established the first Canadian Comedy Hall of Fame.

30757 The show was viewed by over 200,000 people on a specialty channel and was watched by over 400,000 people on a major network at the 12:00 p.m. time slot.

30758 It featured Dave Thomas, Martin Short, Jane Eastwood, Colin Mokery, David Steinberg, Mike Myers and 20 more actors and comics, all paid actor rates.

30759 Barbara Hamilton, John Candy, Wayne and Shuster, Dave Broadfoot and Don Harron were inducted into the Canadian Comedy Hall of Fame. I am still to this day having difficulty convincing the networks in this country that this show is worth as much to this country as one hour of Survivor or Ally McBeal.

30760 Finally, I would like to say that I think it is an important network. Salter Street should get it, even if it is just to provide a few laughs.

30761 In conclusion, from someone who has slugged it out in the comedy trenches across this country for over 18 years: It sure would be nice to see someone from our side of the tracks win one, just for a laugh.

30762 Thank you.

30763 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Progosh.

30764 I must say we admire your passion so early in the morning and after such a long drive. We hope you have a good trip back. We appreciate the effort you made in coming to make your presentation to us. Thank you.

30765 MR. PROGOSH: Thank you very much. Have a happy Labour Day.

30766 THE CHAIRPERSON: The same to you. And keep laughing.

30767 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: And make us laugh. It is important too.

30768 MR. PROGOSH: I will try.

30769 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.

30770 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you, Madam Chair.

30771 We will now hear an intervention on behalf of the College of Family Physicians of Canada.


30772 DR. RENAUD: Bonjour, mesdames et messieurs.

30773 Good morning and thank you for allowing us to present to you.

30774 I am Dr. Claude Renaud, Director of Professional Affairs for the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

30775 I am here this morning to explain why the organization I represent supports the health specialty television channel being proposed by Alliance Atlantis Broadcasting and its partner, WebMD Canada; why we feel strongly that the application for Health Network Canada, "the Healthy Choice", merits your consideration and approval.

30776 FRENCH

30777 Family physicians are on the front lines of health care. Our members, working with other professionals, provide the services that are the primary-care backbone of the system.

30778 For example, it has been estimated that family doctors meet 75 to 80 per cent of all the health care needs of the population right there in their offices, without further referral. And that is in the context of a multi-disciplinary care team.

30779 As well, family doctors typically reside in the communities which they serve. They know their patients, patients' families and friends, and the neighbourhoods and environments where their patients live and work.

30780 It is this close patient-doctor relationship that is at the heart of our medical practice.

30781 It is this one-on-one relationship with millions of Canadians that gives us a unique knowledge and understanding of the health care needs of the population.

30782 And it is from this perspective that we feel we can bring some comment on the application before you today.

30783 Increasingly, Canadians are asking for credible, reliable, practical health care information. The College of Family Physicians of Canada has been responding to this growing need in many ways. For example, we have developed and initiated a Patient Education Program. This consists of an extensive consumer library of health care brochures, which are distributed broadly to patients through our members across Canada.

30784 Illness prevention and health promotion messages are now a priority for us. We are active in providing consumer information on subjects such as healthy lifestyles for the prevention of heart disease, proper immunization and the proper use of antibiotics.

30785 We are also exploring innovative ways to get this information directly to Canadians, and to an even broader audience, through new technologies and new media.

30786 We are therefore familiar with and have reviewed many of the various Web-based providers of health and medical information.

30787 In addition, the College recognizes the power of television in delivering health information in a highly engaging, informative and interactive manner. We ourselves are currently working with a partner to deliver medical information via satellite television to family physicians in the form of continuing medical information.

30788 As you can see then, our own priorities and programs are very much aligned to what you are considering here today. We believe that Canadians will benefit immensely from a television channel dedicated to providing them with information, advice and insight to helping them gain a better understanding of healthy lifestyle and helping them take on the responsibility for their own care.

30789 I have explained why CFPC endorses the creation and licensing of a health specialty channel for consumers.

30790 I would now like to explain why we support this particular application. Our College feels there are several important criteria, which should be used to assess the merits of the various proposals. First, the quality and credibility of the information. We would expect at a minimum that the information made available to Canadians via this interactive channel be based on sound information.

30791 We are concerned with the proliferation of much of the information presently on the Internet, a phenomenon which may put people at risk in terms of their health. We must, therefore, try to ensure that all programming is offering the most accurate, value and safe health information available, and that should be in the context of our existing health care system, as part of that system.

30792 In this respect, we applaud Health Network Canada for establishing a very impressive advisory board composed of 12 distinguished health care professionals. We feel that this initiative, taken independently by the applicant, will help ensure that the content of the programming is credible and reliable.

30793 In addition, Health Network Canada has indicated to us that it would welcome our participation as a possible content provide and/or reviewer. As a body that is responsible for accrediting the post-graduate programs in family medicine in all 16 Canadian medical schools and for certified family doctors in this country, we feel that we can play an important role in contributing to this exciting new venture.

30794 The second criterion, another very important criterion which we feel the CRTC should consider in awarding a licence is the track record of each of the partners. As I mentioned earlier, the College of Family Physicians of Canada is itself exploring new ways to deliver health information and we are therefore familiar with the major Web base providers.

30795 We are most impressed with WedMd. It is the largest such site in the world, and we feel that it has the technological experience and capabilities as well as the health information resources and tools, along with the capacity t o develop original Canadian content, all of which will be so critical to the success of this new proposed channel.

30796 We note, also with satisfaction, that the parent company of Alliance Atlantis Broadcasting is Canada's largest independent production and distribution company.

30797 A Canadian television channel dedicated to health information programming will demand a high level of original production in this country. The reason is simple. Much about our health care is distinctly Canadian. For example, which prescription drugs are approved for use in Canada and there are other examples, not the least of which is our universally accessible high quality health care system of which we are all very proud.

30798 Thirdly, we feel that timelines is an issue. We noted earlier that Canadians are increasingly seeking this kind of information and that a specialty television channel would be of enormous benefit. However, long delays in the provision of this service would force consumers to seek alternative, non-Canadian sources.

30799 We are confident in the ability of Health Network Canada to deliver this service in a timely manner.

30800 Enfin, le Collège des médecins de famille du Canada attend avec impatience la création de ce nouveau canal spécialisé dans la santé et espère qu'il sera bientôt disponible au Canada.

30801 Nous savons par le biais de notre expérience clinique quotidienne qu'il y a une demande importante et croissante pour l'information santé ciblant directement les consommateurs.

30802 C'est une initiative importante qui sera bénéfique à la santé des Canadiens et Canadiennes. Elle sera bénéfique si l'information est crédible et fiable, si ce service a accès aux ressources médicales et préventives les meilleures au monde tout en étant adapté au Canada et aux besoins spécifiques des Canadiens et Canadiennes et si cette ressource devient disponible dans un avenir proche, aussi un élément critique parce que, comme vous le savez, il y a énormément de concurrence et la concurrence souvent n'est pas de ce côté-ci de la frontière, mais de l'autre côté.

30803 For all these reasons, CFPC is pleased to support the application by Health Network Canada. It represents a potentially invaluable asset in helping Canadians become better informed about their health.

30804 We believe that the best health care consumer is a well-informed consumer and we are committed to encouraging the development of initiatives, initiatives such as Health Network Canada which provide the best health information and programs to the Canadian public.

30805 Merci beaucoup.

30806 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Nous vous remercions, docteur Renaud. Heureusement, vous ne nous avez pas demandé de vous indiquer ce que nous avions mangé pour déjeuner avant de nous présenter devant vous.

30807 DR. RENAUD: On pourrait en parler, si vous voulez.

--- Rires / Laughter

30808 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Je ne pense pas que vous vouliez le savoir.

30809 DR. RENAUD: Non, d'accord. Mais je ne vous dirai pas ce que j'ai mangé moi non plus.

30810 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Nous n'avons pas de gruau, je peux vous assurer ça -- sauf dans les muffins.

30811 DR. RENAUD: En autant qu'il n'y a pas trop de gras saturé, ça ne sera pas si mal.

30812 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Nous apprécions beaucoup que vous ayez pris le temps de venir nous parler. Sans doute que vous avez une vie occupée et que c'est un effort pour vous. Nous l'appréciions beaucoup.

30813 DR. RENAUD: Ça me fait plaisir.

30814 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Nous vous remercions.

30815 DR. RENAUD: Merci, Madame.

30816 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.

30817 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you, Madam Chair. I am going to change our order slightly and invite an intervenor to come forward on behalf of Marie Saint-Pierre Design Incorporated.

30818 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Bonjour, Madame Saint-Pierre. Allez-y quand vous êtes prête.


30819 Mme SAINT-PIERRE: Madame la Présidente, membres du Conseil, Mesdames et Messieurs.

30820 Je vais me présenter. Tout d'abord, je suis Marie Saint-Pierre, créateur de mode. J'oeuvre dans le domaine depuis 13 ans à mon compte.

30821 Je suis ici pour soutenir Perfecto, la Chaîne, une chaîne dédiée à la mode et au design.

30822 Je distribue mes collections de prêt-à-porter féminin à travers un réseau de boutiques spécialisées au Canada, en Europe et au Moyen-Orient. J'ai aussi deux boutiques, une dans le quartier de Yorkville à Toronto, et une à Montréal sur la rue de la Montagne.

30823 J'ai présenté mes collections à Paris, New York, Singapour, Montréal et Toronto sur une base régulière, et pour ceux qui ne sont pas familier avec mon parcours ou qui ne me connaissent pas, j'ai joint à ma présentation une copie des faits saillants de ma carrière.

30824 Par contre pour ceux qui me connaissent de vue, c'est probablement attribuable à Perfecto, MusiquePlus et D que vous me reconnaissez. Depuis 1992, Perfecto et D ont joué un rôle exceptionnel dans le développement de la mode québécoise et plus particulièrement dans sa reconnaissance auprès du grand public.

30825 Très souvent lors de sorties je suis fascinée de voir l'impact des reportages télévisuels qui m'ont été accordés -- en fait, on me reconnaît. Le processus d'éveil que MusiquePlus a engendré a des répercussions importantes. La jeune génération plus particulièrement s'intéresse dorénavant plus à l'univers de la mode et du design qui, soit dit en passant, est leur univers culturel.

30826 Avec un contenu diversifié et international, Perfecto et D ont réussi à positionner de façon dynamique le design québécois et canadien.

30827 Une station totalement dédiée à la mode et au design, moi j'y crois. Elle confirmera la place prépondérante qu'occupent ces secteurs dans nos vies de tous les jours mais aussi dans notre économie. Au-delà du glamour, la mode fait partie de notre identité culturelle. Elle exprime nos sensibilités, notre rapport aux autres. Elle est communication.

30828 Une station mode-design 24 heures pas jour, j'y crois. Pionnier dans le domaine de la diffusion spécialisée, MusiquePlus/MuchMusic a déjà ses entrées dans l'univers de la mode internationale. Sa programmation très diversifiée exprime bien sa compréhension du milieu. Lors de mes rencontres avec les gens de MusiquePlus, j'ai pris connaissance du projet dans son ensemble et plus particulièrement la programmation. L'émission Les plus beaux Perfecto, par exemple, saura inscrire les dix dernières années de la mode d'ici dans une histoire, une histoire que la mode n'a pas vraiment.

30829 A elle seule, cette émission a contribué de façon spectaculaire a l'évolution des présentations des défilés des créateurs canadiens et québécois, non seulement en les diffusant, mais en instaurant par le fait même un calibre de présentation visuelle, en plus son rôle de banque d'archives qui m'a servi à plusieurs reprises lors d'entrevues ou d'émissions souvent je demande à MusiquePlus de me prêter les vidés des défilés afin de soutenir le contenu visuel de ces entrevues-là qui sont diffusées sur d'autres chaînes de télévision.

30830 La mode au Québec est dans une période d'adolescence. Nous avons beaucoup de chemin à faire afin de nous positionner à l'échelle internationale et la façon la plus sûre d'amener cette industrie à maturité est de la faire connaître d'un large public et de l'intégrer au quotidien.

30831 La réalisation de ce lien essentiel entre le public et la création repose sur les médias. Aujourd'hui le public qui s'intéresse à la mode ou au design sous toutes ses formes est rationné.

30832 Avec son expertise et ses antécédents, Perfecto, la Chaîne saura tirer son épingle de jeu et satisfaire un public de plus en plus assoiffé.

30833 Merci.

30834 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Nous vous remercions, Madame Saint-Pierre. Nous apprécions beaucoup que vous soyez venue nous faire une présentation, et j'espère que vous n'aurez pas de commentaires à faire sur nos toilettes.

--- Rires / Laughter

30835 Mme SAINT-PIERRE: Je ne suis pas ici pour ça.

30836 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Avant c'était le médecin et le petit-déjeuner, maintenant c'est la mode et nos toilettes.

30837 Mme SAINT-PIERRE: Non, pour ça on charge.

30838 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Merci.

30839 Mme SAINT-PIERRE: Merci.

30840 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Au revoir. Merci beaucoup.

30841 Monsieur le Secrétaire, s'il vous plaît.

30842 MR. CUSSONS: Madam Chair, I would now like to call on Cinéma Esperança International to present its intervention, please.


30843 MR. BENNETT: Good morning, Commissioners. It is a pleasure for me to be here. My name is André Bennett. I am the Chair, President and CEO of my company, called Cinéma Esperança. I have dedicated the last 17 years of my professional life to cinema. Before that I was an academician. I was a teacher.

30844 Historically I have had the honour of helping to quick-start the careers of several Canadian talented filmmakers, including Atom Egoyan, "Family Viewing", "Speaking Parts", Guy Maddin, "Tales from the Gimli Hospital", "Archangel", "Careful", Bruce McDonald, "Road Kill", "Highway 61", and Patricia Rozema, "I've Heard the Mermaids Singing".

30845 It was always a pleasure working with these people. I love to work with Canadian and international cinema.

30846 I want to support CHUM's licence proposal for a new independent film broadcasting channel. I think it is critically important.

30847 There is nowhere in the world at this point in time that provides the public, whether it is the Canadian public or other publics, with world-class cinema, whether the movies come from Canada, France, the Far East, South America -- whatever.

30848 The closest experiences we have had to this point are the Sundance Channel and the Independent Channel in the United States, but there is really no broadcaster that is committed to providing world-class movies that you get to see at such places as the world film festival in Montreal, the Toronto international film festival and the Vancouver international film festival.

30849 When you attend Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, you immediately experience waves of people wanting to see movies -- blocks upon blocks of people wanting to see the most obscure film from somewhere in the world, and also in Canada.

30850 We need a service that will provide the Canadian public with something they do not normally get to see; that is to say, world-class cinema.

30851 I am really excited about the CHUM proposal for an independent channel. I think it is critically important -- critically important.

30852 I am also incredibly enthusiastic about CHUM's commitment to -- it promised licence fees of over $250,000 for the next 10 new independent Canadian features. This is really important for the development of the Canadian film industry.

30853 My commitment is to both Canadian and international cinema. As such, I need venues. I need venues to broadcast my films after they have been released theatrically. This is why I am so excited about what CHUM proposes.

30854 My greatest ally to date has been Bravo!. Thanks to Bravo! the Canadian public has seen many of my films, which would probably never have been broadcast otherwise. They have an astute staff of programmers. I am especially thankful to Paul Gratton, who is a real cinéphile.

30855 I have nothing but glowing remarks to say about this proposal. I think it is really critically important, not for me, but for the Canadian public. There is too much stuff that is happening that is basically repetitious, repetitious, repetitious.

30856 Certainly with this licence not only would Canadians be able to see world-class film, they would be able to see world-class Canadian films.

30857 I have been waiting for this kind of thing to happen for many, many years. I cannot support it strongly enough. I have been waiting for it all of my professional life in the cinema world.

30858 Thank you very much.

30859 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Bennett, for your presentation. We appreciate the effort you made to come and speak to us.

30860 Mr. Secretary, please.

30861 MR. CUSSONS: Madam Chair, I would now like to call on Domino Film and Television International Limited to present its intervention, please.


30862 MS RITTER: Good morning. My name is Jeanne Ritter. I am President of Domino Film and Television International Limited. We are a small company. We handle only Canadian productions. We distribute across Canada and around the world. We have a catalogue of approximately 70 productions, virtually all of which are theatrical feature films.

30863 We launch about three pictures theatrically in Canada a year. Among our recent theatrical launches are "Full Blast", which was the first Acadian feature film shot -- it was the first Canadian film shot in French outside Quebec. It was the first film for Rodrique Jean and it has been winning prizes around the world. It was launched in both subtitled English and original French versions. It is an important film. This is the kind of film that the Indie Channel will be able to provide an excellent showcase for.

30864 The other productions in our catalogue include Darrell Wasyk's "Mustard Bath", the multi-award winning documentary feature by Peter Mettler called "Picture of Light", which has played in 30 Canadian cities over the last several years, and "Skin Deep", which was a co-production with the National Film Board.

30865 We have worked with a lot of first-time directors and we believe that we provide a very carefully tailored marketing approach to Canadian films. I believe that we are the only Canadian distribution company that handles exclusively Canadian productions, and we very much support the application by CHUM for the Indie movie station.

30866 The films that we represent are very often low budget films, films that are made with the passion of a filmmaker's whole being, and we believe that that is an important element in Canadian production.

30867 We are reluctant to see too much exposure being given to what are really generic kinds of pictures, where you can't tell whether it was shot in Vancouver or the States, where you really have an ersatz kind of product. That is not the kind of picture we handle. We have a lot of films that are marginalized because of either cultural or sexual orientation, or because they are documentaries aimed for theatrical launch.

30868 I wanted to speak a little bit about the confusion that could arise if we have an independent film channel which is showing short documentaries as well. We believe that films like "Picture of Light" have a real place on an independent film channel. But if we were in a position where the programmer was also programming productions such as Lulu Keating's "The Moody Brood", which we also represent, which is an hour documentary which has been shown on "Rough Cuts" on the CBC, the problem of mixing the documentary shorts and the theatrical features is that the documentary shorts are going to be very much shortchanged in terms of licence fees.

30869 We really support the concept of an independent documentary station -- channel -- dedicated to documentaries, and the feature films channel presenting just features.

30870 We realize that in Canada we are producing about 60 hours of theatrical features a year. As a result, we are quite content to see a slightly lower percentage of Canadian features on an independent channel.

30871 André has spoken clearly about the importance of seeing films from around the world and closing off the opportunities for the majors to completely control the industry.

30872 One of the reasons I decided when we established ourselves in 1983 to handle only Canadian productions was because I came out of the commercial structures. I worked for Paramount twice. I worked for Disney. I worked for Astral, where we were doing productions and the distribution and marketing of productions which were really American in all -- even at Astral, in all but name very often.

30873 I found that I needed to be able to involve myself passionately in my work. The first time I worked for Paramount we promoted -- I was Director of Publicity and Promoted, we promoted the second of the "Friday the 13th". When I went back to work for Paramount again some number of years later, I promoted the eighth and ninth "Friday the 13th".

30874 I wasn't in a position to set up my own company at that time. I didn't have those resources available to me, but I resolved that when I did have a choice I would not be involved in major studio productions in any way in the future.

30875 I think that André also has made a choice to devote his energies and his commitment to productions that normally don't fit into that slot where 95 per cent or 98 per cent of our viewing time around the world is devoted.

30876 I think if I had anything else --

--- Pause / Pause

30877 MS RITTER: I would like to speak a little bit about my relationship with CHUM. When I first set up my company, Jay Switzer, who was programming for CityTV at that time, was very supportive and, subsequently, when Bravo came on line, Space Channel came on line, when Paul moved from the OFDC to the CHUM organization, I continued to feel that I had friends. I continued to feel that I had people who understood my vision and my perspective and who went out of their way to support it.

30878 The level of knowledge that Paul brings to programming has always been incredibly impressive. The perspective of supporting smaller structures, the idea that you don't have to have immense conglomerations of companies who are interrelated and buying back and forth between groups that are owned virtually by the same structures I think is important. CHUM has always supported smaller distributors, has always opened their doors and carefully examined what people were doing in the industry.

30879 I can't think of anyone who would be better able to run an independent film channel. Their concept of investing up to $280,000 or licence fees up to $280,000 per independent Canadian production will open doors for many filmmakers who these days are having difficulty putting together their financial structures.

30880 It will be a valuable way to ensure that there is a growing industry, that the young people who are moving into directing have the option of having other structures for support.

30881 The importance of making sure that the programming isn't just what has been certified by CAVO, but in fact represents diversity perspectives, the cultural multiplicity of our country, as well as other countries, and isn't just the homogenized version of culture that we are fed so often I think cannot be overemphasized.

30882 I would like to thank you for taking the time to listen to my opinions. I very much appreciated the invitation to come. Again, I very much recommend that you seriously obviously weigh the alternatives, but I would say that there is no doubt in my mind as to who should receive this licence. I think that CHUM should be given this licence.

30883 Thank you very much.

30884 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Ms Ritter, for your presentation.

30885 MS RITTER: Did you have questions?

30886 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, we don't. You were crystal clear.

30887 MS RITTER: Thank you very much.

30888 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

30889 Mr. Secretary, I think we will take a 10-minute break now.

30890 Nous reprendrons dans dix minutes.

--- Upon recessing at 0920 / Suspension à 0920

--- Upon resuming at 1038 / Reprise à 1038

30891 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Nous allons terminer maintenant puisque les intervenants qui étaient à l'agenda ne se sont pas présentés.

30892 We will adjourn now for the weekend since the remaining intervenors on the agenda have not indicated that they would appear this morning.

30893 We will then resume at 8:30 on Tuesday morning with the rest of the Phase III intervenors. We remind applicants that we will proceed with Phase IV on Tuesday.

30894 Alors nous reprendrons à 8 h 30 mardi matin et nous rappellons aux requérantes que nous débuterons avec le reste de la Phase III mais que tout probablement nous nous engagerons dans la Phase IV dès mardi.

30895 Alors bon week-end à tous.

30896 Have a happy weekend.

--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1040, to resume

on Tuesday, September 5, 2000 at 0830 / L'audience

est adjournée à 1040, pour reprendre le mardi

5 september 1998 à 0830

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