TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS
FOR THE CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND
TRANSCRIPTION DES AUDIENCES DU
CONSEIL DE LA RADIODIFFUSION
ET DES TÉLÉCOMMUNICATIONS CANADIENNES
SUBJECT / SUJET:
APPLICATIONS FOR FM RADIO LICENCES
DEMANDES DE LICENCES DE RADIO FM
Hilton Vancouver Metrotown
Hilton Vancouver Metrotown
Room Crystal III
Salle Crystal III
6083 McKay Avenue
6083, avenue McKay
November 30, 2000
Le 30 novembre 2000
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
Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des
Transcript / Transcription
APPLICATIONS FOR FM RADIO LICENCES
DEMANDES DE LICENCES DE RADIO FM
BEFORE / DEVANT:
Chairperson / Présidente
Commissioner / Conseillère
Commissioner / Conseiller
Commissioner / Conseillère
Commissioner / Conseiller
ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:
Legal Counsel / Conseiller juridique
Hearing Manager / Gérant de l'audience
Secretary / Secrétaire
Hilton Vancouver Metrotown
Hilton Vancouver Metrotown
Room Crystal III
Salle Crystal III
6083 McKay Avenue
6083, avenue McKay
November 30, 2000
Le 30 novembre 2000
TABLE OF CONTENTS / TABLE DES MATIÈRES
INTERVENTIONS BY / INTERVENTIONS PAR
Vancouver and Lower Mainland Multicultural
Family Support Services Society
Hellenic Radio and Television Media Limited
Mr. John Savvas
Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada
Hispanic Community Centre Society of B.C.
Ms Susan Soares
Multicultural Family Centre
Mr. Armindo Santos
Italian Cultural Centre
Mr. Ken Edra
Squamish Nation Chiefs and Council
United Native Nations
Health Association of B.C.
Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs
Reztown Lighting and Sound Inc.
National Aboriginal Veterans Association
Vancouver Aboriginal Council
Ms Shawna Reibling
REPLIES BY / RÉPLIQUES PAR
Rogers Broadcasting Limited
Aboriginal Voices Radio
Mainstream Broadcasting Corporation
Focus Entertainment Group
Jim Pattison Industries
Classic 94.5 FM
Telemedia Radio West
Standard Radio Inc.
Burnaby, B.C. / Burnaby (C-B)
--- Upon resuming on Thursday, November 30, 2000
at 0900 / L'audience reprend le jeudi 30 novembre
2000 à 0900
11555 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
11556 Madam Secretary.
11557 MS VOGEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
11558 We will start by recalling two intervenors who weren't here yesterday. I would like to invite Elena DiGiovanni to come forward at this time.
11559 What I would like to say before we start is that it is our intention to finish Phase III this morning, to then take our lunch, and start with and complete Phase IV this afternoon.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
11560 MS DiGIOVANNI: It has been quite a journey to get here -- nevertheless not being here before. But anyway, I will just read what I have and I have given you copies.
11561 I am a working professional in the elementary education system. My name is Elena DiGiovanni and I have driven in this morning from Mission.
11562 I have worked as a music specialist, elementary classroom teacher, and presently as a specialist in learning disabilities. I am also an active part-time working professional musician in the rock and roll/pop genres, as well as the latin jazz genre, and I am an active listener of smooth jazz radio.
11563 I am glad to have an opportunity to voice my opinion regarding the application for licence for Smooth Jazz 94.5 FM station. I attended the Joachabim concert back in September at the Vogue Theatre and upon entering was handed a card and a pamphlet about the possibility of the smooth jazz station.
11564 Being an avid smooth jazz fan, and in particular one who listens to KWJC 98.9 all the time, I thought this was a fantastic idea to have a station like that in Vancouver for a number of reasons. The first that jumped to my mind was the possibility of having a static-free smooth jazz listening experience because right now I listen to 98.9 in my car all the time. Much to the chagrin of my car pooling colleagues, they would also be elated to be able to have a static-free ride to work.
11565 Who would be the listener for this format? There is a large audience for this kind of music and it's only growing. There is a large demographic group, probably between the ages of 30 to 70 that would respond to this format.
11566 For example -- and these are cited from my own personal small circle of experience -- the art instructor/librarian in my school who is in his early 50s, who constantly plays music in the library -- old rock/new rock, and I said this is not your typical library; he does art instruction in the library --discovered the voice of Diana Krall through his daughter who is working at A&B Sound and upon hearing her he started to play the CDs in the library and then we started talking about this type of jazz music.
11567 This is really his first listening experience to this type of music and the rest is history. He is now listening to other jazz artists such as Norman Brown, Tuck & Patti, Joachabim and a number of smooth jazz compilations.
11568 Two of my girlfriends in their early 30s on my street just purchased Diana Krall's CD because they heard it in a little produce market in Mission. There is a small little independent produce market and this guy brings in his own CD system and plays jazz. And I couldn't believe that these two friends actually bought the CD based on that exposure to it. Prior to that, they had no clue who Diana Krall was and really why should the average listener know? Currently there doesn't exist any network that facilitates this listening experience to the general public under a format that is palatable and accessible. I think of crossover pop, R&B, AC, but rooted in jazz changes, just a little bit different harmonic structures in their smooth jazz format.
11569 I am not saying that Krall is a typical smooth jazz artist by any means, but her vocal work has crossed over the real jazz scene and made jazz more accessible for the average listener.
11570 A friend of my refers to this smooth jazz type of music as pablum jazz -- probably a term you don't want coined, but you know he says, "That's not jazz" and the next morning I am listening to John Coltrane take a 25-minute solo in the car. Well, it's not my idea of a relaxing ride to work either. But I think when he says "pablum jazz" perhaps it is a good term to represent this genre of music, and I realize there is a huge debate going on as to the difference between smooth jazz and real jazz and what it really constitutes, but if you think of the pablum concept as something to initiating or inviting somebody into a new concept, it's like a gradual entry process in the listening of jazz.
11571 The local care clinic in Mission is tuned into 98.9 for the background ambience. There must be a reason why they chose this station. Why not have a local station that offers the same mood?
11572 As a listener I am looking for an alternative to the adult contemporary, pop, country, hip hop, rap/pop culture, the rock culture. I would like to experience something that does not have a talk show or sitcom or insult my intelligence format that many of the current and trendy listening stations do, also an opportunity just to hear unobtrusive instruments of music.
11573 I think the smooth jazz idea speaks to a mature listening public and as the research shows probably more women in particular.
11574 Who is the performer? Local performers could finally have a vehicle/venue for performance and the spin-offs would be multiple. It would raise the profile of local musicians who, as we all know, many are of world calibre abilities but there are no networks to support the ongoing practice of these musicians that enable them to reach the general listening public.
11575 The average listener is attracted to the familiar. The unknown is not familiar and so many of our great players move back east into the U.S. in order to survive and in the hope of continuing their practice. The world knows Diana Krall today because Ray Brown discovered her in a quiet lounge in Nanaimo, took her under his wing and took her off to Los Angeles. As well the world knows Diana Krall because her latest works are more accessible to the average listener.
11576 98.9 is an excellent example of supporting your local musicians -- Peter White, Incognito, Fourplay, Masa Lee. Where in Canada can we say we do this with the exception of a very few specialty hours from CBC and Co-Op Radio that the average listener is generally not tuned to.
11577 The B.C. Vocal Jazz Festival has an enormous following and active participation from choirs at both the high school and college level and also brings in world-class performers, including Canadian talent wherever they can -- Carol Welsman for their annual festival showcases. It would be an excellent educational opportunity to be able to advertise and support events like this through a local radio station.
11578 To me jazz is about the music. It's not about image. They don't sell their music through the video. It's not about money. You can make three times more money playing a rock and roll gig than you can a jazz gig. It's really about people with a passion for creative expression. I think smooth jazz is an extension and a reflection of this and the appeal of smooth jazz in society today is also a reflection of the shifting paradigm in our society and the practices of introspection that are teaching us to look within for authentic power and not without, where power is measured in image and dollars.
11579 In new age terms what frequency are people leaning towards, vibrating at, or in radio terms tuning into -- and I am speaking about that as a listener obviously. I know there is a whole business aspect to all of this.
11580 Should the CRTC recognize that the frequency 94.5 would be meeting the current demand for listening and smooth jazz format, I realize that there are a number of possible choices of custodians that may be delivering this licence.
11581 I believe the CRTC would recognize that in order to ensure the integrity of this format there would have to be some prerequisites to getting a gig. For example, has the applicant presented a holistic vision? What evidence does the applicant offer? Is there a commitment to the genre and what evidence is there that the applicant knows its product? Does the applicant have agency in his cultural practice and what tools will they use to construct the practice? You cannot have effective agency in a practice you know very little about.
11582 I am here not just because I went to a concert about music that I love, but because a company had their tools and practice, created a possibility to connect and engage me, the average listener, in this process.
11583 I was not aware of any of this when I put in my support on the e-mail saying yes, I wanted a smooth jazz station. I had no idea what the whole procedure was nor was I aware that it was a particular company advertising through that whole system. So I am aware now that there are many other aspects to this process and that there are other companies competing for this licence and I am not here to speak really to the integrity or to any of those really other than my exposure to Telemedia. That's what brought me here.
11584 Telemedia already has the track record of supporting the jazz scene in Vancouver through the local Coastal and Blues Society and now has also offered to be a large financial support of the Vancouver International Jazz Festival.
11585 In addition to these current practices, they are already engaged in, they are proposing to support the development of jazz in schools through a program I think that is similar in some ways to ArtsCan, which districts are affording less and less of today.
11586 As an educator who has been involved with music education in elementary schools I can speak directly to the very sad situation of funding for the fine arts, which I am sure you have heard over and over this week, particularly music in the schools today.
11587 From ArtsCan we used to get four performances a year, now we get two. There used to be an elementary band program during school time, now it's an extracurricular activity.
11588 I know that the need is just as great at the high school level if not more so. The bottom line is that music education is in desperate need of support and Telemedia has demonstrated their vision of the smooth jazz station, including this component through the Jazz in Schools initiative which I see as quite a broad, inclusive initiative, not just targeting some specific groups.
11589 As well as funding for the digital audio interactive lab at the B.C. Tech University Telemedia is the only company that has the initiative to apply for the licence in Calgary as well as in Vancouver and I think this also speaks to their commitment and insightful global vision of a network that would western Canada an active voice and a much needed sounding presence on this side of the country, twice the opportunity for development of Canadian talent development and establishing a widespread cohesive listener and performer circuit.
11590 The present showcasing and performance opportunities for musicians at the local jazz festival which is where you get the huge crowds of the average listener -- you wouldn't normally get these people in the club, café or concert -- are certainly not enough opportunities for musicians to establish and expand their listening audiences whereas the general public listens daily to the radio.
11591 It's so accessible, inexpensive, you don't have to dress up or get a baby-sitter or drive for two hours there and back to enjoy the music and what a great opportunity to hear local musicians without having to leave your living-room.
11592 In conclusion I hope the CRTC considers the smooth jazz format for the 94.5 long-range broadcast frequency that will have the ability to broadcast at least as far as Mission, which is where I live, otherwise I fear I will be right back at square one, driving to work listening to static jazz and complaining car pooling partners.
11593 Thank you for listening.
11594 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms --
11595 MS DiGIOVANNI: DiGiovanni.
11596 THE CHAIRPERSON: DiGiovanni. Thank you.
11597 Commissioner Pennefather.
11598 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you, Madam Chair.
11599 Good morning Ms DiGiovanni. How are you?
11600 MS DiGIOVANNI: Good morning.
11601 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you for coming today. Your thoughts are quite clear here. I wanted to explore a little further with you though, are you a musician as well as an educator?
11602 MS DiGIOVANNI: Yes.
11603 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: You then talk about "pablum jazz".
11604 MS DiGIOVANNI: Yes.
11605 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I couldn't resist asking you again about that.
11606 MS DiGIOVANNI: That was not my term. That was my colleague's term in the morning, yes.
11607 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Well, I think we should just look at that a little more. You also referred to the crossover smooth jazz format -- "I am not saying that Krall is a typical smooth jazz artist by any means".
11608 MS DiGIOVANNI: It has a very negative --
11609 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Could you expand a little further on what you think smooth jazz is?
11610 MS DiGIOVANNI: Okay. Well to me smooth jazz is something that still has interesting harmonic structures. It just doesn't have three cords with no extensions or the 1,4,5 typical pop/rock songs. It only has three or four cords, right. And also too it has -- I don't know, I guess it just has a feeling, a presence, a feeling of relaxation and I am not challenged as much to listen to that compared to say a jazz, a real jazz piece.
11611 Like I say, when I have to listen to Miles Davis taking a solo or John Coltrane, I know I have to listen and I am called to attend to it whereas smooth jazz is something that I can sort of, you know, help me get through my day with. Does that make sense? I mean, it doesn't have -- taking solos all through their songs and it's very easy on the ear.
11612 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Okay. So I think you are looking at -- you mention that in terms of bringing people into the more classic or traditional jazz format. You are looking at smooth as a way to bring listeners --
11613 MS DiGIOVANNI: Yes, as a casual entry, and I mean, you know, the teacher at my school is a perfect example of that. Really his daughter works at A&B, bought him this Diana Krall CD, knew nothing about jazz, and then I was able to bring him a little bit more sort of jazz music, say like Tuck & Patti which is sort of bordering on the edge there. I mean some of their cuts could be considered smooth jazz, but then he was developing an ear for that and I think for anything, for anyone, the unknown is not familiar and people don't gravitate towards the unknown unless you are a real alternative kind of person.
11614 And so we like what we are accustomed to and what is familiar. So I think, yes, I think it's a way of educating the public and I think it's the public that wants that. I don't think -- you know, a lot of my girlfriends are saying, "Oh yes, that's a great idea". I would sit back and listen to that because I can't listen to any of the radio stations locally because to me they are in my face all the time. It's just like the television. I want something that is going to help me through my day, that is not going to agitate me and I find that those other things --
11615 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: It was important to hear you on that since the e-mail you did send to us talked about doctors, care clinics and businesses listening to smooth jazz.
11616 MS DiGIOVANNI: Yes.
11617 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So we wanted to be sure to know what you were referring to.
11618 MS DiGIOVANNI: Yes.
11619 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: One last question. In your three questions for getting the gig, you say, "Has the applicant presented a holistic vision?".
11620 MS DiGIOVANNI: Right.
11621 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: What do you mean by "holistic vision" in this context?
11622 MS DiGIOVANNI: In that context, I guess I mean that I am not sure of what all the parameters are of what categories of music they are pooling from, but when they say they are going to do a smooth jazz format, that encompasses that as a core, I suppose, and I suppose it will digress on either side, but that it sort of sticks to the core of what they are advocating to do because to me smooth jazz -- and you know, on KWJC sometimes I hear Tracey Chapman or Mariah Carey on there and then I turn it off because that's not smooth jazz to me.
11623 So I guess you have your categories that you pull this music from and I am not familiar with all that terminology, but that's what I meant, was a broad all-encompassing but still staying true to the core of what they are advocating.
11624 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Okay.
11625 Thank you very much. Thank you, Madam Chair.
11626 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner. Thank you, Ms DiGiovanni.
11627 MS DiGIOVANNI: Thank you.
11628 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thanks for taking the time to come all this way and join us.
11629 MS DiGIOVANNI: Thanks.
11630 MS VOGEL: Our next intervenor this morning is Vancouver and Lower Mainland Multicultural Family Support Services Society.
11631 Would you please come forward.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
11632 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning.
11633 MS ASSANAND: Good morning.
11634 My name is Shashi Assanand. I am the Executive Director of Vancouver and Lower Mainland Multicultural Family Support Services which is an organization that came into being about ten years ago, looking at the needs that immigrant and visible minority women were really not accessing services when they were experiencing violence, and over the ten years we progressed to a degree that now we have almost 24 languages that we provide services in and we work at the women and children and as a result their families as well so that we can give them the support that is really required in this particular area.
11635 Family violence is a taboo area, so as I go on maybe I will be able to explain to you some of the things that we have been able to access through the media and the community has been able to understand what it is all about. So personally, I have also worked in the communities in the social services field. I am a social worker by profession, and I work in the communities specifically focusing on immigrant communities. So I am very, very involved in multicultural issues and issues of women.
11636 I am a prominent advocate when it comes to these two areas. I have been provincially, locally and nationally involved. I am part of the Children's Panel here in Vancouver and work very closely with the Children's Commissioner on the Advisory Committee to the Health Minister on new reproductive and genetic technology. I was a member of the Multicultural Advisory Committee to the Minister and, I don't know, umpteenth numbers of boards that I am involved with.
11637 I am president of Multicultural Concerns Society and I was a provincial president of an organization which is called Immigrant and Visible Minority Women of B.C. So I was able to do the work and able to really see closely the issues that immigrant communities face from throughout the province, and I think it has been a privilege.
11638 I have also been nominated for a number of awards and have received just last year an award on safer communities that was established by the B.C./Yukon Society of Transition Houses and Minister of Women's Equality and a volunteer of the Year Award and a number of different awards.
11639 So it have been a very, very enriching experience and what I have been able to learn from this experience has been also enriching for me as a person.
11640 So I am here to support the application by Jim McLaughlin for a new radio station, The Future.
11641 My organization and many organizations throughout the lower mainland have written letters in support of this particular application because we are inspired by the proposal.
11642 When I looked at the number of organizations that have given the support letters and young people who have sent letters of support, I think it just led me to think that what I was also thinking was really appropriate and I know all these organizations as well and I know that it is not very easy for organizations like ours because we do get contacted by many, many people to support their applications. But I find one of the reasons I was inspired for this particular application was the fact that it had so much to do with the community and I think we out in the community are always looking to the media to support.
11643 So when I looked at that, and I also know that he has interviewed for two years so many different organizations and people who were able to tell him what the needs were told me that he has done a lot of homework before making this particular application and I think that speaks a lot to the work and his commitment to what he might be able to do for our communities and to have a radio station which is actually reaching out to the communities, whether it's youth, parents or individuals, I think is something that requires tremendous support from everyone.
11644 I want to tell you why many organizations, especially mine in particular, are supporting this particular application. The concept of Future FM is very new and unique as it will be oriented towards the youth reflecting lifestyles and tastes of diverse youth in greater Vancouver.
11645 At present, there are no radio stations that address the needs of the youth and especially youth of the diverse communities. There are so many issues that they need to talk about, but there is no place even to hear how they see themselves or how others like them see themselves. It's something that is absolutely missing in the community.
11646 The station will have a specifically designed and equipped mobile studio that will broadcast on location every day. It will provide for community agencies and diverse lifestyles. This is very innovative, and I can tell you from my experience how difficult it is for a community organization to become known and have their issues profiled in the media and that goes very much to my own experience with my organization which is about family violence, a topic which is taboo in immigrant communities -- in all communities, but more so in immigrant communities.
11647 What I realized very recently, we got funding from Heritage Canada to discuss topics of wife abuse, child abuse and senior abuse on radio and television. When we contacted different media outlets, what we found is that there was such -- the reaction was so strong that they didn't want to take those issues to the community because then their radio stations or TV stations would be targeted. But educating them, getting them on our side with a lot of help from Rogers as well, we found that when we actually went on the radio in the beginning there was a lot of resistance from the community, radio and TV as well.
11648 But as we went on -- because I did the Punjabi radio shows and I found that by the third or fourth, women and men were phoning me saying, "Thank you..." -- I did nine open line shows -- "Thank you for bringing this topic and talking about it" because now it's almost like giving them the permission that it's okay to dialogue on these particularly difficult issues, that if we had done that ten years ago all these women who died would not have died. And I thought it was such a powerful statement and for others to hear from the community itself that what they are learning because it's education and I think that communities that are empowered can make and bring the change as well.
11649 So that's one of the reasons I think if you can have an outlet where on a regular basis organizations that are providing services can talk about these things it is really bringing organizations and the communities together and making those resources available to them.
11650 There are thousands of community agencies like mine that are working every day in greater Vancouver to help improve the quality of life. My agency works with families of diverse backgrounds where women have been assaulted and it is one of the topics, as I was saying earlier.
11651 Other agencies like if they came to us and we talked about -- another thing that I find problematic areas is that when people hear and if the problem is immediate, they will do something about it. After a little while if everything starts looking okay people tend to deny and they tend to think it's okay so we don't have to talk about it, we don't have to access any services either and so on a regular basis when information like this continues to go to people and especially to youth, I think that rather than taking very difficult routes where they want to commit suicide or run away from home, that they will go to the service providers and ask for help and it can be done in a very non-threatening manner as well.
11652 So there are other agencies that work with youth at risk, others who help with people with disabilities and I must say that there are organizations that do disability work, but the immigrant population has a very difficult time accessing those services. So even getting to know that there are resources that will help them to speak in their own language and as a result advocate for them I think will be something that will help people to come out and seek services.
11653 You know, there are also organizations that support people in life threatening illnesses and I don't think that many people know about that in general, but more so from the immigration population because they come from areas where they have never really needed to go out for services so they are quite happy just dealing with it within the family and topics like family violence and so on really work at maintaining the secrecy and maintaining the denial and as a result refusing to do any work and correct the situation.
11654 So I think that the more we are able to openly discuss and talk about these issues, the more communities will feel they have permission and young people will feel that they have permission to talk about their issues.
11655 MS VOGEL: I am sorry to interrupt, we are way past the ten minutes.
11656 MS ASSANAND: Oh, sorry.
11657 MS VOGEL: That's okay.
11658 MS ASSANAND: Can I finish quickly?
11659 Another thing is that I think that through youth voices, one of the other important thing is that most of the young people think that they are the only people who are experiencing this and it's only one community that is experiencing this. But when you look around, all of them -- like we have 24 languages and I find there is so much commonality in the kinds of problems that they are experiencing and so when they hear others on the radio talking about the same issues, probably our whole focus about multiculturalism and integration, what will happen is that it will bring people to think that we are in a common situation in a multicultural Canada where we have common issues. We may have our race segregated, issues that specifically -- like arranged marriages, for example, are very specific to the South Asian community, but when people see that there are commonalities -- and I speak on this topic a lot.
11660 An Ukrainian woman the other day got up and said she went through an arranged marriage as well. So one tends to look at the commonalities and when youth discuss their issues, the conflicts that they are having with their parents and they see that it's not just their culture and their community, they will collectively be able to look at it and I think that they will find solutions because the solution to any problem is the community itself, and I think through radio like --
11661 THE CHAIRPERSON: Excuse me. I don't really want to interrupt but it's really to be fair to all of the intervenors and all the applicants that we are compelled to restrict the time.
11662 MS ASSANAND: Yes.
11663 THE CHAIRPERSON: So perhaps you could wrap up and I know Commissioner Pennefather has some questions too.
11664 MS ASSANAND: So I just want to say that in summary we are supporting this station because it will give youth in our society valuable information about what is happening in their communities, the resources that are available to them and the community events they can participate in. This will help to break the isolation that youth may experience and help them to integrate into a diverse and vibrant society and we fully support this application.
11665 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
11666 Commissioner Pennefather.
11667 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you, Madam Chair. Good morning.
11668 MS ASSANAND: Good morning.
11669 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you for being here and you have expanded very completely on your written intervention which describes not only your work -- and we appreciate hearing more about that -- but also your support for this application.
11670 I only have one area that I haven't heard you mention, but it has been talked about frequently at this hearing, and that is music. Radio is a spoken word, yes, and all the points that you have raised in terms of input and information, but also music.
11671 What in your experience, and with your comments about not only youth but also multicultural family support services, is the role of music in terms of your goals, your objectives, your concerns? This is a radio station and a large part of what is going to be on the airwaves will be music and a particular kind of music.
11672 Do you have any comment on that component of the application?
11673 MS ASSANAND: Well, generally music is the soul of how all cultures look at life as such and what I have also found with the youth, specifically youth who come to Canada and are trying to integrate into the Canadian culture, that music is extremely important to them. In fact, one of the ways why the whole community aspect can be integrated with the music and go to youth, that's the only reason they will probably open up and listen to this particular radio station.
11674 So they relate extensively and very well to the music. And the fact that it's going to be in English that also speaks to the youth's need which is that young Canadians who come to Canada their first language does become English and they relate more in English than in their own mother tongues. So as a result I think that through the medium of media and the music if we can reach the youth it is something that they will relate to very well whether it is in their language or it is in English. In fact, every effort is made by young people here to hear more western music than from their own ethnic language music.
11675 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you very much for your response and the information today.
11676 Thank you, Madam Chair.
11677 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Cardozo has a question.
11678 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you, Madam Chair. Thank you, Ms Assanand for coming today.
11679 I just wanted to ask you, you talked a lot about the need to get out the message about issues of family violence and other family issues to the ethnic communities and I am wondering what your thoughts are.
11680 Is it better to have services through a multicultural station in various languages or is it better through a station such as this which is going to be primarily an English-language station? I mention that partly in the context of what we have talked about this week. My colleague, Commissioner Cram, has been observing that there aren't many programming services that cater to the Indo-Canadian community and there hasn't been much talked about during this hearing in terms of increasing those services. So I am sure that you are aware of that need.
11681 So if you could just give me your sense of the best way to get the message out.
11682 MS ASSANAND: I think both are important. I think multilingual services are also very important for all the generations who want to discuss and who have limited access to English-language and so as a result English-language media. But there are ethno-specific radio stations. In fact, this afternoon I am going to a Punjabi radio where I am speaking on sexual harassment and sexual assault, and it is specifically directed to farm workers.
11683 So there are organizations or radio stations that are now trying to deal with it even though it has been a little difficult to get through to them, but they are realizing the need to do this work.
11684 What is really missing because our youth do not listen to Punjabi radio or a radio that is in their own language, because as they are trying to reject their parents in their growing up years and trying to find independence, they are also rejecting the culture and the language. So English becomes very important to them and so if it was a radio station that was oriented towards youth that is one of the things that has attracted me and inspired me to support this application. It will give them a vehicle in the language that they identify with now more here in Canada, but to be able to talk about issues that are pertinent to their own culture and the difficulties that they are experiencing in their own cultures.
11685 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And have you had discussions with the applicant about what form that kind of information would take?
11686 MS ASSANAND: Yes. We have talked about the fact that what will be happening is that when they are going to be visiting organizations this topic will come up. But besides that youth themselves will be speaking on the radio and talking about the issues that are impacting their life every day.
11687 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thanks very much.
11688 Thank you, Madam Chair.
11689 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Ms Assanand, for joining us today.
11690 MS VOGEL: Next, I would like to call two intervenors at this time: The Hellenic Radio and Television Media Limited and Roza Savvas who is going to be represented by John Savvas.
11691 Would you come forward, please? Whenever you are ready.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
11692 MR. PETER SAVVAS: Good morning.
11693 Madam Chair, respected members of the Commission, dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen.
11694 My name is Peter Savvas and to my right is my son John, second generation. I am known to the ethnic broadcasting family as a radio host, producer, operator as well as a TV producer at Rogers for 15 years.
11695 I am also an electronic engineer and since 1969 I have worked in the electronic media extensively in different radio stations. I am not a person of many words and I don't want to bother the Commission. I am appearing in front of you today to give my support for a new FM multicultural station in Vancouver.
11696 As an ethnic producer who is Greek-Canadian, I fully support this project that the Mainstream team is presenting before you here today for two main reasons. First, because the proposed FM radio station gives us, the Greek ethnic minority in British Columbia, substantial quality airtime to present our culture, our heritage, what is Greece today. This is something that no other radio management has done in the past.
11697 Secondly, because this is an exceptional team of professionals who respect and appreciate what the foreign language producers bring to ethnic radio station -- working long hours to prepare specialty programs and events without personal gain.
11698 We would like to express our thanks and gratitude to you, Madam Chair and the members of the Commission, for giving us the honour to be here today at this hearing to support the application of CHMB Mainstream Broadcasting Corporation for the proposed new FM radio station.
11699 Also we would like to thank the team of CHMB who have given us the chance to be part of their family on their AM dial and to commend them on their efforts to bring all the ethnic communities in British Columbia together.
--- Technical difficulties / Difficultés techniques
11700 MR. PETER SAVVAS: It is very important to stress the fact that the format explained in the application captures all audience and gives us, the producers, of our respective communities more freedom to bring them more of their culture and heritage through the English-language for the second and third generation who don't speak or understand the language well and through their own language for the first generation.
11701 Better service also means more news, more information and more up-to-date programs according to today's music scene, sports and culture activities.
11702 Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter. As a final note I would like to urge you to give this application your greatest attention.
11703 Thank you.
11704 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Savvas.
11705 You actually answered most of my questions in your presentation. But perhaps you could just elaborate a bit on what Hellenic Radio and Television has been doing so far in the community in terms of your third-language broadcasting --
11706 MR. PETER SAVVAS: Yes. The hellenic media is the only media in the Greek community which broadcasts on the Internet. We do broadcasts across Canada through satellite on Shaw cable and also we have programming on CHMB-AM on Sundays in the morning, from 7:00 to 7:30, and we do cover almost everything from the Greek community.
11707 THE CHAIRPERSON: You do...?
11708 MR. PETER SAVVAS: We do cover almost everything, what is happening in the Greek community.
11709 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you are the only Greek-language producer here?
11710 MR. PETER SAVVAS: No. In here in this room, yes, but also there is another program.
11711 THE CHAIRPERSON: In Vancouver.
11712 MR. PETER SAVVAS: Yes, it's only a couple of hours a week, I believe, and we do have also on the Internet 24 hours.
11713 THE CHAIRPERSON: What are you doing on the Internet? Hellenic radio has a site and you broadcast on the Internet.
11714 MR. PETER SAVVAS: Yes, we do have that at hellenicmedia.com. You can find it there.
11715 THE CHAIRPERSON: Wonderful.
11716 Thank you very much.
11717 MR. PETER SAVVAS: Thank you.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
11718 MR. JOHN SAVVAS: Good morning, Madam Chair and respected members of the Commission.
11719 My name is John Savvas. I am 23 and I am here today to offer my support to the Mainstream Broadcasting Corporation for an FM multicultural station.
11720 By profession, I hold a degree in analog digital recorded arts, and I have dealt with music and arts in many forms for quite some time now. I am of Greek descent, speak it to a degree and I am quite proud of my heritage.
11721 I enjoy listening to music from my homeland as well as from many other countries, slowly developing my taste towards international and world music.
11722 Personally, I have been in a unique position to notice a convergence trend of ethnic music and domestic music, watching many artists create a synthesis of old world sounds and new world technology.
11723 I believe a radio station that combines these elements in its format would help to serve the lower mainland and its growing ethnic diversity.
11724 Firstly, I feel it would serve to bridge the gap between the first generation and the second generation and that the former could enjoy and appreciate programming and songs performed in their own language while the latter will be able to listen to music and gain an understanding of their cultural and ethic identities of their respective backgrounds.
11725 I also believe it would help to serve the other cultures and that they could gain an appreciation for their fellow Canadians and their customs and their traditions.
11726 There is no other radio station of this kind of in Vancouver serving as a microcosm where ethnic communities speaking different languages can peacefully coexist with other communities through a common language, English. I do not believe that a need can go unserved due to the growing demand and diverse cultural make up of the lower mainland.
11727 Thank you for your time and I urge you to grant this application.
11728 At this time, I would like to answer questions that you might have.
11729 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
11730 We didn't get your mother here today.
--- Laughter / Rires
11731 THE CHAIRPERSON: We have father and son. What is it that you do?
11732 MR. JOHN SAVVAS: Currently I am working in digital recording arts which is basically behind the scenes of producing artists and their music format recording basically.
11733 THE CHAIRPERSON: And do you work with your father in the company?
11734 MR. JOHN SAVVAS: To a degree, yes.
11735 THE CHAIRPERSON: To a degree. So you have done some of the Web site work?
11736 MR. JOHN SAVVAS: Yes, I have.
11737 THE CHAIRPERSON: So tell me, what do you listen to now in terms of radio?
11738 MR. JOHN SAVVAS: Currently, the radio I don't really listen to that much. You pretty much get the same sort of thing, like you get this alternative stuff, you get some of the dance/pop. I more interested in world music, international music. I listen to new Greek stuff that my father has been giving me. I listen to most of the other ethnic songs as well.
11739 THE CHAIRPERSON: So for you there is a whole other market that you think is missing.
11740 MR. JOHN SAVVAS: Yes.
11741 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thanks very much.
11742 Do you have questions? No?
11743 Thank you very much for taking the time to be with us today.
11744 MR. JOHN SAVVAS: Thank you.
11745 MS VOGEL: Our next intervenor this morning is the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.
11746 Would you come forward, please?
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
11747 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning.
11748 MS MIDE: Good morning.
11749 My name is Susan Mide. I am the Manager of Communications and Social Action at the MS Society of Canada, B.C. Division.
11750 I am here today to support the application for this radio station. The MS Society of Canada is a voluntary organization founded in 1948. We have divisions throughout Canada as well as chapters throughout British Columbia.
11751 The programs that we provide at the MS Society help enhance the quality of life for people living with multiple sclerosis, the most common neurological disease affecting young adults in Canada. It is a disease of the central nervous system that affects people in a range of ways from numbness to hands and feet or limbs to blurred vision, fatigue and can be as debilitating as complete paralysis.
11752 The programs the MS Society provides help people living with MS and their families and friends cope with the disease. The programs include social action, advocacy, public education, information. We have a range of services provided to the B.C. Division including equipment provision program to help people purchase much needed equipment to live with their disease. We also have a very extensive library and public information available to our members.
11753 Other programs include our special events program where we raise money throughout B.C. and Canada to help people live with this disease, providing services, as I have mentioned, much needed services and very expensive services for us to provide.
11754 Our most common and our most well-known fundraising events include the Walk/Run for MS and the Bike Tour. These are national programs that raise a significant amount of money. Last year in British Columbia, the Walk/Run for MS raised $640,000 to provide services in B.C. and the Bike Tour raised $250,000. We have other smaller community events throughout B.C. throughout the year.
11755 We rely greatly on corporate, media and community support to hold these events. Our media sponsorship program is very comprehensive, but the hole that we have identified is that with such a common disease affecting so many different cultures and walks of life the one hole in the media support is multicultural and we feel that a multicultural radio station wold help provide greater opportunity for us to raise awareness, raise funds, increase participation through the multicultural society that we know in Vancouver and throughout British Columbia and Canada.
11756 I am here today to support this application. I feel that it's integral to serve our members and population and I don't believe we can do that without proper channels of communication and public awareness. Like I said, one great gap in our communication to the market is we don't have a multicultural vehicle currently in place to reach out to our members and our supporters and our sponsors.
11757 That's really my case and I believe that this application deserves tremendous support. It will play a critical role in the Vancouver market. It is integral for community organizations and non-profit organizations to rely on the support of media partners and media sponsors and certainly multicultural radio will serve an important function in our society.
11758 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
11759 Again, you answered some of the questions I had with respect to the hole that you found.
11760 Do you have a specific age group that you target in your communications?
11761 MS MIDE: MS is most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40, but there is no known cure of this disease so once diagnosed it is part of your life forever. So the demographics are quite widespread.
11762 However, in our marketing for special events and fundraising programs we do target really a very wide market, but commonly the ages of 20 to 50 we look at that demographic and that would be the case throughout Canada.
11763 THE CHAIRPERSON: And what about the existing three ethnic stations which are predominantly third-language services? Is this something that is important to you?
11764 MS MIDE: Absolutely, and we have had a certain level of support from these stations. They have run PSAs for us or had members of our organization or representatives on air to promote the events. But I believe competition is an important function to radio broadcasting and to media in our society and greater representation for the multicultural market I believe is critical.
11765 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Thank you for taking the time to be with us today.
11766 MS MIDE: My pleasure.
11767 MS VOGEL: I would like to call now the Hispanic Community Centre Society of B.C. and Susan Soares. Please come forward.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
11768 MS ALMGREN: Good morning, Madam Chair, distinguished members of the Commission, ladies and gentlemen.
11769 My name is Ann Almgren. I am the Executive Director of the Hispanic Community Centre Society of B.C.
11770 You may ask why a person with a Swedish last name is sitting here as the Executive Director of the Hispanic Community Centre. Actually, I am a Mexican-Canadian. My family have lived in Mexico since the late 1800s.
11771 The Hispanic Community Centre Society of B.C. is a non-profit organization. We are 10 years old. We help new immigrants integrate into the Canadian society. We provide ESL classes, a buddy system program which is we get help from the multicultural society -- a grant from them. We help establish residents and newcomers to learn the ropes on how to speak, how to get around in the lower mainland. We provide support for them.
11772 We have a legal clinic, help with furniture and clothing when it's necessary and have Spanish classes for children on Saturdays which we feel is very, very important.
11773 Many of these children their first language is English and they are not wanting to speak their own language and then there is a break between the parents and the children and so we promote that they be proud of their culture and their language and in that case we are helping both the parents and the youth to get along better and accept their new country.
11774 The Hispanic Community Centre Society is very much in support of the Mainstream Broadcasting Corporation operating a multicultural FM station that will provide multicultural international music and information.
11775 The hispanic community is growing every day. There are 22 Spanish-speaking countries represented as immigrants in Canada and every day I hear it more and more on the bus, on the skytrain. We are a growing community here.
11776 As hispanics we live with and for our music. For us our music runs through our blood. We need this from the moment we get up in the morning until the time we go to bed. It's our way of communicating and I feel that it is extremely important for our children who may be first-born Canadians to appreciate and learn about their own music and culture.
11777 I also feel that Canadians will learn more to understand the hispanic people when they listen to their music and an explanation of the lyrics or the singer is given in English by the announcer which is something that I understand will be done at this station if they should be lucky enough to get this.
11778 I truly believe that it's a very good way of reaching out to the hispanic community, but also to everyone else. We all need to learn to understand each other better and get along better and I feel that through the station and with a music which is very popular -- and it's not only popular for young people, but it's also very popular for older people because hispanic music is full of rhythm. It really comes from the soul and it is very romantic and it touches a lot of people. So I think it's wonderful to be able to share it.
11779 For hispanics, the most important thing is rhythm, loving one another, sharing and we want to promote the understanding between this and all the immigrants. In the great mosaic that we have here, especially in Vancouver, a multicultural FM station would be of great service to us. We hope that you will consider this proposal very carefully.
11780 Thank you.
11781 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
11782 Commissioner Cardozo.
11783 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you, Madam Chair.
11784 I wanted to find out from you whether there are many other Spanish-speaking programs available in Vancouver that satisfy the need in the community.
11785 MS ALMGREN: There are two very small ones. There is one on Thursday mornings for about an hour and there is another one I believe, but I am not certain when it is. I know that they are doing working hours so not everybody would have an opportunity to reach them and it's only in Spanish and I believe that this station would have more up-to-date music, music that is well-known which will promote what Latin music is everywhere because a lot of these other stations -- not to be negative in any way because it's nice music, but it's old folklore music and there isn't a lot of what the modern music, the hispanic music is about these days.
11786 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay.
11787 Have you had any discussions with the applicant about whether any of the programming here will be in Spanish?
11788 MS MIDE: No. From what I understand it will be in English, but they will be explaining where the music comes from, from what country, a little bit maybe about the ballads, that kind of thing.
11789 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And of interest to you what you are talking about today, if I understand it right, is programming that would be of interest to all listeners, but certainly to Hispanic-Canadians but the voice, the talking part, will be in English.
11790 MS MIDE: In English, yes.
11791 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And that is of interest to you.
11792 MS MIDE: Yes, I think that's very, very important to help with integration. Everyone who moves to Canada needs to learn the English language and learn to become a part of it, but at the same time we are all immigrants and I think that it's important the two should be shared.
11793 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Yes. And most of the hispanic community in this region are immigrants and their children.
11794 MS MIDE: Correct.
11795 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And which countries do most people come from?
11796 MS MIDE: In the last two years the majority of people that have immigrated are Mexicans and Colombians.
11797 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay.
11798 MS MIDE: That's the most common. I did some research on this not very long ago for a grant. Of course, they are arriving from many other places too.
11799 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And then going back 10 or 15 years that would be Salvadorians and Chileans perhaps.
11800 MS MIDE: That's right. And we still have Chileans who are coming. We see quite a few. A few Argentineans.
11801 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: So it's a combination of people who come as refugees and people who come as immigrants.
11802 MS MIDE: Correct, yes.
11803 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay.
11804 MS MIDE: In the 1960s, the last census, there was approximately 20,780 but we know that there is a lot more than that here now.
11805 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Of Spanish-speaking people.
11806 MS MIDE: Spanish-speaking that have arrived to Vancouver.
11807 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thanks very much.
11808 MS MIDE: You are welcome.
11809 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you, Madam Chair.
11810 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
11811 MS SOARES: Good morning, Madam Chair, members of the CRTC and ladies and gentlemen.
11812 My name is Susan Soares and I have just begun a career as an elementary school teacher in Vancouver.
11813 I represent the youth in the Portuguese community as I was crowned Miss Portugal of Vancouver 1997 and I have been extensively involved in various aspects of our ethnic community.
11814 In 1999, I represented Vancouver's Portuguese youth at an international conference held annually in Portugal. In 1997, I competed in the Miss Canada International pageant held in Toronto where I spoke publicly about the importance of multiculturalism in Canada.
11815 That is exactly the standpoint from which I come to you today. As a teacher in British Columbia I am required, as you know, to teach the components of multiculturalism which is, as the program states, a system in Canada that promotes cultural pluralism and the appreciation for various ethnic groups.
11816 As you have already learned, this is precisely the idea behind Mainstream Broadcasting's proposal. They have proposed a radio station that promotes greater cross-cultural respect and understanding -- a Canada in one radio outlet.
11817 Earlier this week I was sitting in my class looking around at all the face, revelling at just many ethnic groups exist in my class. I can assure you that my class as well as many others in Vancouver are good examples of our city's make up -- multicultural. I have students from all four corners of the globe. I told my students about my involvement with the CRTC hearing today so that they would know why I had to leave and more importantly because I was interested to find out their thoughts on this proposal.
11818 The students believed that this was a good idea because as on student said, and I quote:
"Miss Soares, you are sharing your background and learning about other people's cultures through their music".
11819 Essentially music is an international language that can be used as an outlet for education. Listeners from all cultural backgrounds gain an appreciation for world music while learning about each piece of music and where it came from.
11820 Being a second generation young person in the Portuguese community, I can attest that there is no radio broadcasting for young people in my community. The radio station proposed by Mainstream Broadcasting would dedicate many hours a week to playing Portuguese popular music, the kind of music that we like listening to.
11821 This would also ensure that the youth in my community are in some way tied to their culture. Having an English-speaking DJ ensures that second or third generation Portuguese-Canadians as well as different ethnic groups understand the music being introduced.
11822 The last thing I want is for my students or the youth in my community to overlook their cultural roots. This proposed radio station would meet the needs of Vancouver second and third generation ethnic Canadians by keeping alive that link and at the same time allowing different people to share their music with each other.
11823 So in summary, I encourage you, when deciding on who to present this licence with, to think about the diverse group of children and youth that exists in this city and to think about what their needs are as we move into the 21st century. I am sure that this will be due to only one decision and that is to approve the Mainstream Broadcasting proposal.
11824 Thank you.
11825 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Soares.
11826 Commissioner Demers.
11827 COMMISSIONER DEMERS: Thank you, Madam Chair. Good morning.
11828 MS SOARES: Good morning.
11829 COMMISSIONER DEMERS: I think my question will relate to your written intervention, your written letter, which emphasized what you brought internally from a trip you made in Europe recently.
11830 Maybe you could bring to us anecdotes or personal feelings you had because you indicate how you appreciated artists during that trip and the music styles. Maybe you can make us share that trip.
11831 MS SOARES: Yes, Commissioner Demers.
11832 This summer I was very lucky to travel with my best friend. We went backpacking in Europe and one of the things that we enjoyed the most on our travels was all the music that we encountered. We went to various countries such as France, England, Scotland, Spain and Portugal and one of the things that I find we lack in Vancouver is a radio station that plays music from most parts of the world and if you have travelled to those parts in Europe the music is very expensive.
11833 A CD that I bought in Portugal cost me almost $30 Canadian. Now, I managed to save up some coins and I bought three or four CDs, one of them from France and two of them from Portugal, and these CDs I brought back with me. These CDs I have played in my classroom. I am a hip hop teacher so I thought hip hop dance and one of the CDs I bought in France was strictly French hip hop music. So the students have asked me what they are saying and I can understand French quite well, so I spent some time with the students explaining the music and what they are saying as well as the Portuguese music that I brought back I have played at several Portuguese youth functions and at family parties or with just friends and they have appreciated the music as much as I did.
11834 So I guess what I am trying to say is that one of the things that we were very surprised was I guess when you live in Vancouver and don't have an opportunity to listen to such beautiful music from all parts of Europe, one of the things that we brought back and were able to share with our friends was this music.
11835 So I just wanted to present to you that we lack that in Vancouver, we lack that ability to share this beautiful music that comes from that part of the world.
11836 COMMISSIONER DEMERS: Thank you very much. Thank you, Madam Chair.
11837 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Thank you to both of you for taking the time to appear before us.
11838 MS SOARES: Thank you.
11839 MS VOGEL: I would like to call next the Multicultural Family Centre and Mr. Armindo Santos.
11840 Please come forward.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
11841 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning.
11842 MS DABIRI: Good morning, Madam Chairperson and members of the Commission.
11843 My name is Pat Dabiri and I am here representing the Multicultural Family Centre in support of Mainstream Broadcasting's application for a multicultural FM station.
11844 The reason I am here to do this is because I believe that such a station would support some of the work we do at the Centre. So if I could begin by telling you a little bit about the centre.
11845 The mandate of the Multicultural Family Centre is to assist people from various cultural communities in the Vancouver area who encounter cultural or racial barriers to accessing health and other community services.
11846 The Centre opened in 1991 in response to research, needs assessments and community consultations which indicated that immigrants and refugees were not accessing health services at the same rate as the general population and that they were experiencing declining health status the longer that they lived in Canada.
11847 We are situated in Reach Community Health Centre on Commercial Drive in East Vancouver which, as some of you may know, is a very diverse community. Currently we work with Vietnamese, Latin American and African communities, the majority of whom are immigrants and refugees and probably mostly are refugees actually.
11848 Our main focus, as I mentioned, is on health which we define broadly to include the social determinants of health as well as direct medical services. So to address the barriers experienced by these three communities in accessing health services, we use the community development approach meaning that the participants in our programs are involved in all levels of the program development and implementation and this is a fairly unique feature of our Centre in that the participants are able to use and develop their own skills and abilities in addressing their own health needs.
11849 Another component of this service is to work with other community organizations which is why we are here supporting this station.
11850 As an immigrant-serving organization, we are very aware of the difficulties faced by our clients in accessing information about health, health issues and health resources, but also general information about the community at large. This is one of the major barriers to receiving adequate health services, and in fact is a barrier to full integration and participation in Canadian society.
11851 This is partly an issue of language, about not being English speaking, but it's not entirely language. It's about being included and about not being marginalized. On conventional stations, the English used is often full of idioms and complicated language which excludes non-native speakers or even English-speaking immigrants who are not familiar with idioms or the cultural context of the content.
11852 We support a locally based multicultural radio station which could provide a venue where these communities could access information that is not otherwise available to them in the conventional media. Some of the programming that we think that could happen on this would include some public service information on health issues, either in various languages or in clear straightforward English.
11853 For example, there has been some recent controversy about cold medications and other health issues and that information just isn't known to the people that I work with because it's not available in accessible form.
11854 There are also other issues of local and provincial and national concern. The recent federal election campaign is a case in point. I was really concerned about the lack of information that the communities we work with were getting about the various party platforms, and it wasn't so much on how and when to vote, but it was what the parties stood for and even though they wanted to vote and wanted to participate in the political system, they didn't feel prepared to do this because there was no information.
11855 There is also a lot of other news events that happened that impact on people in these communities that they just don't hear about, they don't have access to because it's not given in accessible form.
11856 Another positive influence could be opportunities to educate the general public by presenting more accurate portrayals of the various communities through their music and through information given by the announcers. This could counteract some of the negative stereotypes being perpetuated in the conventional media. This would also promote intercultural understanding and the concept of multiculturalism not only among Canadian-born population but among the various immigrant communities who have often come from fairly homogenous countries and the concept of multiculturalism is not familiar to them. Music provides a very non-threatening and inclusive medium for this.
11857 Some of the other presenters have talked about the cultural identity of the youth and if I could just add to that. One of our programs involves promoting positive cultural identity and self-esteem with African youth. So a world music station that portrayed some African artists who offer an alternative to some of the negative images of the American rap music -- not all American rap music but certainly some of it has a really negative stereotype. So I think this could impact on the children's own sense of their own cultural identity but also on how other people in other communities view them.
11858 Lastly, it may be possible to provide some employment opportunities or public exposure to some very talented but underemployed workforce which exists in the local and immigrant population. A radio station could be an appropriate venue for this because often the written word is not a very effective way to convey some types of information to immigrant communities especially about health.
11859 Many cultures do not traditionally obtain health information in written form but use more oral traditions and some do not trust written information. It is also sometimes not that current where a radio station can keep people up to date and current.
11860 A world music station is ideal because music is such an important part of many cultures and it would attract many listeners from the larger society as well as many immigrant communities.
11861 So we very strongly recommend that this application be granted as it has the potential not only to entertain but to provide a really valuable service to the diverse population of the lower mainland.
11862 Thank you.
11863 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
11864 Actually my questions were around the work of your organization which you mostly addressed here in your presentation.
11865 Tell me what are the biggest challenges that you face with respect with communicating with your clients? I know you have articulated some of them, but it sounds to be that they are on several fronts. But I wonder if you could just -- what are the biggest ones?
11866 MS DABIRI: Primarily many people come from vary different health systems where health and illness are viewed very differently, so coming here their concepts of what causes disease and how it's treated are really different. So they need to fit into a treatment system and a health system that they are not familiar with.
11867 So getting information about what we see -- we are not necessarily right either, but what we see as the causes and treatments of various problems. They are also at risk. Quite often immigrant populations are at higher risk for certain illnesses and conditions once they come here, such as diabetes. So it's one of the biggest challenges just to fit those two concepts together.
11868 THE CHAIRPERSON: And is it primarily then in third-language programming in bridging that or is it --
11869 MS DABIRI: Not necessarily. I think certainly most of the African population we work with are English speaking, as well as many other languages, but it's more to do with the delivery of the information, whether it be the simplicity of the language. If you start looking through their eyes, we say a lot of really crazy things and we know, if you are a native-born English speaker you know what it means, but if you are not, you don't know. So just in a more clear straightforward manner delivering it. It doesn't have to be in a third language.
11870 THE CHAIRPERSON: Are you of the view that the Mainstream media could do a better job of this?
11871 MS DABIRI: As in the conventional delivery?
11872 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
11873 MS DABIRI: Very much so, yes. They could be a better job in terms of what, in comparison to what they are doing now?
11874 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
11875 MS DABIRI: Very much so. I think there is mostly a lot of negative images and negative things being portrayed in the conventional media.
11876 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
11878 MR. SANTOS: Madam Chair, distinguished members of the Commission, ladies and gentlemen. Good morning.
11879 My name is Armindo Santos and I volunteer most of my time at a non-profit organization, the Portuguese Canadian Seniors Foundation, of which I am the President. I am ethnic-Canadian and I support an ethnic radio station, Mainstream Broadcasting.
11880 I was born and raised in Portugal. There, in secondary and post-secondary schools, I sat side by side with other teenagers and young adults of very different backgrounds. Some of them were from Africa, some from India and some from Macau, South China. They looked different, had different cultures and religious beliefs, but we were very much alike when it came to sports and music. Those transcended all spiritual and physical differences. We did not use big words like "ethnic diversity" or "multiculturalism", but without even knowing it we practised their meaning. Shakespeare said that "music was the food of love". He believed it then and I always did.
11881 In my volunteer work during the last five years, I have been in close contact with the Portuguese community, old and young, as well as with other ethnic groups in Vancouver. What I have learned from this contact is that the older generation very seldom listens to the radio because they do not relate to what is being said nor to the music played. The young generation struggles to keep in touch with their cultural background, with their ethnic heritage, with their roots.
11882 Presently, there is nothing on Vancouver's airwaves that relates to the older generations of most of our ethnic groups and there is not much that the young ethnic-Canadians can identify with in terms of cultural diversity where they feel included.
11883 And that is why I am here today. When I learned about this proposal from Mainstream Broadcasting Corporation, I inquired about their program schedule of which I was given a copy. That schedule tells me that this station will provide the international community, old and young, with popular music that the whole family can enjoy together.
11884 For some time now, our institutions and our politicians have advertised throughout the world that we Canadians are very proud of our heritage, of our ethnic diversity, of our multiculturalism. These are beautiful words indeed. They are politically correct too. But they are just that if we don't mean what we say. And what a wonderful opportunity you have, ladies and gentlemen of the Commission, to do exactly that: give those words their true meaning and provide Vancouver ethnic-Canadians with a radio station they can proudly call their own.
11885 In conclusion, knowing how much something like this is needed in Vancouver and fully aware of the special needs of our ethnic seniors and our ethnic young, the two groups of people of all backgrounds in our society that we forget the most, and because I sincerely believe that Mainstream Broadcasting is committed to serving the needs of Vancouver's cultural diverse radio audience, I beg you to approve their application.
11886 They already have the experience, the people capable of doing it, they recognize the need and they have the commitment.
11887 Thank you for your time and for giving me the honour to be heard.
11888 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
11889 Commissioner Demers.
11890 COMMISSIONER DEMERS: Thank you, Madam Chair.
11891 Mr. Santos, let me ask first if there is at the present time in the Vancouver area broadcasting that addresses the Portuguese community.
11892 MR. SANTOS: They have a program, actually a company, they have a program on Sundays from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. that is broadcasted in Portuguese and they cater especially -- they try to cater to all ages of the Portuguese, but especially to the middle-aged and older as most of the music they have available is the typical Portuguese folklore music and the fado and it's a very good program that serves a part of the community. But that is two hours a week.
11893 Working mainly with seniors, I know that a good number of them they look forward to that Sunday afternoon where they can sit by the radio and listen to the Portuguese of their homeland. But as far as I know, it's the only program that is available now.
11894 COMMISSIONER DEMERS: Thank you.
11895 The fact that the programs you are interested in and have been described to you by Mainstream, the fact that these programs would be in English, it would be interesting to hear from you especially, you an active member of the senior community, maybe you were in the room in the last few days, but maybe not -- if not, may I say that there was reference to the young generation as being interested in the fact that it was English.
11896 Could you give a viewpoint from your perspective as a senior?
11897 MR. SANTOS: Certainly. From the viewpoint of the young people, of course, they like to know what music is coming up and where from. So it has to be introduced in English because even if they are from an ethnic background, sometimes their Portuguese or Spanish is not that good. So they appreciate it and it serves their needs for the music to be introduced, to be presented in English.
11898 For the older generation, especially for those who don't understand the English language, I understand your point. But they know that that program provides the type of music they appreciate. So it doesn't really matter to them if they appreciate they understand fully what the announcer, what the introducer is saying.
11899 Imagine yourself, let's say in Paris, and let's assume that you don't speak French, and you are in a nice café having a glass of wine or whatever and you are having a nice conversation and the radio is on and you don't understand what they are saying but all of a sudden they announce Céline Dion. You will stop because you understood the name. You will relate to that name. She may be singing in French and there again you may not understand what she is saying, the words she is singing, but still you relate, you feel proud because you feel that she is Canadian and therefore you feel that you are part of it.
11900 So it's the same thing with the older generation. They may not understand fully what the person is saying in English when he introduces the Portuguese, or whatever the case may be, but they know when he says the name of the singer, they relate to that singer and they will understand the words that the singer is saying and they understand the music, they relate to it.
11901 COMMISSIONER DEMERS: So could I understand from what you say that even if it is in the English language and with what you say as the relation that the listener would have to that, that the listener understands that it is programming directed to them, the ethnic-Canadians and in particular the Portuguese.
11902 MR. SANTOS: That's right. I know that they would appreciate to have a program like that even though if some of them don't understand the words that are spoken, but they relate to the music and that's the most important thing, that's something that they can identify with.
11903 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
11904 Thank you very much both of you for taking the time to appear before us today.
11905 MS VOGEL: Our next intervenor is the Italian Cultural Centre and Ken Edra.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
11906 MR. FINAMORE: Hello. I am Giovanni Finamore. I am the President of the Italian Cultural Centre Society in Vancouver.
11907 The Italian Cultural Centre Society is a non-profit organization which has 600 members of its own but also is affiliated with 35 Italian-Canadian societies basically representing a few thousand people. I came here today to speak on their behalf in favour of the Mainstream Broadcasting application.
11908 Myself personally, I was born in Vancouver, second generation Italian-Canadian, and like many of the 60,000 or so Italian-Canadians in the greater Vancouver I think we could greatly benefit from the proposal put forth by Mainstream. Of particular appeal to us is the six-hour slot that they have in their format for Sundays. This is a day where Italians -- well, Italians being very family-oriented really choose the Sunday as a time to relax and to be together, and I think that the appeal of something like this, a stereo program, would be something of great appeal to many.
11909 It would be something that I think they would make regular use of, something that would be on all the time, and in that way, as sort of the backdrop to the normal activities, I think that it would be not just well appreciated, but it's a great as well to get messages out to the community, and so on, to inform the community what is happening out there, as well as to be entertained.
11910 Currently we have very little in that way, especially in FM. I think there is, if I am not mistaken, an hour on weekdays, Monday to Friday. This would very much expand that, the six-hour period on Sunday.
11911 I think this is especially of appeal to second and third generation Italians like myself, especially because not just the Sunday, which would be all in Italian, but the international and the sort of world music segments with English commentary is particularly useful.
11912 We find, especially at our cultural centre, that with the younger generations that are somewhat understanding of Italian at least because it's practised still by their parents, and so on, we conduct all our business in English, of course, and even our cultural events and everything are introduced with a backdrop in English. Everything is explained so that everybody feels a comfort level.
11913 Speaking on behalf of my generation as well, most of us have at some point been back to Italy, the "old country", as we say, and everybody who comes back from there to here always has a lasting impression of the sites and sounds and the culture and I think they may not be totally fluent, but they understand and this is a way for them to experience things that are happening in Italy and some of the modern music, and so on, that comes from there, and the classics as well. Of course, Italy is blessed with a very rich culture and music.
11914 So I think just in that regard, I think it would greatly benefit the community at large. Let's here, what else did I want to tell you?
11915 I think that's basically it in a nutshell. I mean, I could expand further, but basically I wanted to be here to support the application because I think it's something that we don't currently get enough of and I think that the format that is being presented would really be of benefit to our community at large, and it really would be a great way for us -- once we have a good following of the station in terms of listening, the listening public on a regular basis -- for us to get our message across to the community, what is happening out there.
11916 The Italian Cultural Centre has been very successful in the last 23 years, but the challenge is always greater for us to attract and keep the younger people involved. I think we have to have the medium for getting the information out there to what is happening. I think community is so important especially in big cities like Vancouver where you can easily get lost and not feel a part of anything.
11917 So I think this is a wonderful way to get the message out there to people of what is happening out there and make them feel comfortable with the Italian language and culture and what is happening out there. Young people today you have to entertain them. They are not going to listen to AM mono sound. There are so many other options for them in terms of entertainment and it has to be a certain quality to get their attention we find.
11918 So this would be one way, at least if there is an FM broadcast, at least a decent time slot that is sort of on a regular basis that they know that they can tune in.
11919 That is basically all I wanted to say and I thank you.
11920 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Finamore.
11921 As you may be aware, we have a number of applicants competing for this frequency and two of them have proposals that are very much directed at the younger third generation -- second and third generation ethnics.
11922 I just wondered if you had heard -- in terms of what you see of the younger generation, what kind of music are they listening to, what kinds of things that are appealing to them?
11923 MR. FINAMORE: Well, I think that younger people I know that they appreciate a mix of all kinds of music. I know, I mean we are blessed here that younger people have sort of a higher level of education than the first generation Italians that came over here. I mean, for one thing they are, of course, assimilated with the whole community and all the different ethnic groups, so they are pretty much into everything.
11924 However, I feel that music that comes from our region, comes from Italy, is of particular appeal to the people that I have met and I know in our community we don't seem like we get enough of exposure to that. They would like to see more of it and in this particular bid I know one of the individuals that has been in the community for a long time in broadcasting. So I was comfortable with him being associated with that because I know what kind of quality he can bring to it and potential success. That's why.
11925 THE CHAIRPERSON: And the six hours of Italian programming is of particular interest to you.
11926 MR. FINAMORE: Well, of course. I mean, the rest of the week obviously I think would be of very much use as well, especially with the English commentary to explain where this music comes from, and so on. I think that's of appeal to everybody, especially, like I say, the younger generations. But the afternoon slot on Sunday, yes, of course, that's a primary appeal.
11927 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
11928 MR. FINAMORE: Okay.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
11929 MR. EDRA: Good morning, Madam Chair and distinguished panel.
11930 My name is Ken Edra and I am a second generation Filipino-Canadian. I was born, raised and educated in Canada and I am a realter by profession.
11931 When I heard that CHMB-AM 1320 was applying to the CRTC for a licence to operate an FM multicultural radio station, I was excited. My initial reaction was "finally, finally a station where all nationalities can participate and share different ideas and cultures, a local presence offering a global view through music".
11932 The power is in the format. Multicultural programming in English and using music as a universal language. Although I was born and raised in Canada, I have strong cultural ties to the Philippines and I am proud of our traditions and heritage. I feel blessed to have retained some cultural ideals and to have been able to visit the Philippines on several occasions. It's a beautiful country.
11933 I have been a realter for eight years now and the majority of my clients are Filipino. Being a proud Filipino-Canadian I feel it's important because it will allow me an opportunity to reflect on my culture and reflect the Filipino way of doing things to an international audience. It's a non-obtrusive way of understanding my culture.
11934 In the near future I plan to have children. I would like to think that there will be programming in place to further enrich their lives and reinforce traditional Filipino values.
11935 I am constantly looking for new and exciting ways to promote myself in the community and believe that advertising on CHMB-AM 1320 multicultural radio station would benefit my business because the primary medium of communication is English and I would be better able to target young adult Filipino-Canadians.
11936 Additionally because it is multicultural I will be able to promote my services to other communities seamlessly.
11937 I have been asked on several occasions to offer advice on my community's dream of having their own community centre. I would like to see this dream come true. Currently the Filipino community has no other so-called mixed medium to get their message out other than newspapers strictly targeted at the Filipino community.
11938 Approving this licence would allow the Filipino community to get out this message of a new community centre to more people and potentially receiving help and support from other communities. It will act as a catalyst in opening the door for others into the Filipino community and promote understanding and sharing of the Filipino culture.
11939 It has been my experience that a great organization, more specifically a great community, is the summation of all the people involved within that community. Multicultural programming offers many benefits that will only enhance our city.
11940 I feel honoured to have been given this opportunity to represent the Filipino community and respectfully request, Madam Chair and distinguished panel, to approve CHMB-AM 1320's application for an FM multicultural radio station.
11941 I would like to end with this thought: you don't know where you are going unless you know where you have been.
11942 Thank you.
11943 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Edra.
11944 Commissioner Demers.
11945 COMMISSIONER DEMERS: Thank you, Madam Chair.
11946 Mr. Edra, you have referred at the end of your presentation that you were representing the community of Filipino people in the area.
11947 MR. EDRA: Yes.
11948 COMMISSIONER DEMERS: Could you put that into perspective. Are you president, are you --
11949 MR. EDRA: I don't represent any specific organization other to say that I am a member of the Filipino community and that I would like to contribute and I wanted to be given this opportunity to contribute to something, what I feel is important, this multicultural forum.
11950 COMMISSIONER DEMERS: Thank you.
11951 Is there programming at the present time on broadcasting stations addressed more particularly to your group, if we could say?
11952 MR. EDRA: To the best of my knowledge there is only like an hour of programming in place currently.
11953 COMMISSIONER DEMERS: In an ethnic language, in Filipino?
11954 MR. EDRA: Yes, in an ethnic language, but it's more specifically targeted -- it's more for a younger audience.
11955 COMMISSIONER DEMERS: Thank you.
11956 Maybe my last question would be that station is proposing to broadcast in English and the question I would put to you is: is it still multicultural programming if it is broadcast in English and may relate to the fact that there are English broadcasting stations in the area.
11957 MR. EDRA: For the Filipino culture in general, English is the second most dominant language in the country so the majority of Filipinos who do come from the Philippines already have a better command of the English language than so-called other cultures.
11958 So I think programming in an English format won't necessarily detract, but only enhance their participation in the new society that they are potentially coming into.
11959 COMMISSIONER DEMERS: Would you be familiar enough with the schedule of the proposed station to indicate why its broadcasting in English would be done in such a way that it would address your community more than what we call the more mainstream broadcasters?
11960 MR. EDRA: It's grouped into Southeast Asian programming format, and I would say that among Asian countries our cultures and our beliefs are somewhat similar and then many times, you know, they may even overlap. So I think it will work out perfectly okay, or it will work out fine. I mean, in essence you would be killing three stones with one stone -- three birds with one stone, sorry. Excuse me.
11961 I mean, essentially the message is out there and it would benefit everyone. I don't think that the station is trying to replace. They are only trying to reinforce and to contribute something extra in offering more choice which I particularly think is a commendable thing.
11962 COMMISSIONER DEMERS: Thank you, Mr. Edra. Thank you, Madam Chair.
11963 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner Demers.
11964 Thank you both very much. We appreciate you taking the time to come and speak to us today.
11965 Thank you.
11966 We will break now until 11:00.
--- Upon recessing at 1046 / Suspension à 1046
--- Upon resuming at 1104 / Reprise à 1104
11967 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary.
11968 MS VOGEL: Thank you, Madam Chair. I finally get to say something different. I don't have to call anyone.
11969 I believe we have at the table Squamish Nation Chiefs and Council represented by Chief Bill Williams; United Native Nations represented by Scott Clark; Health Association of British Columbia represented by Larry Odegard; Vancouver Métis Association represented by Jean-Paul Stevenson; Interior Alliance represented by Chief Arthur Manuel; Reztown Lighting and Sound Inc. represented by Leonard Fisher; National Aboriginal Veterans Association, B.C. Chapter, represented by Arthur Eggros and the Vancouver Aboriginal Council represented by Bob Joseph.
11970 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
11971 What I would like to do now is just review how we are going to handle this procedurally. So what we will do is hear from each of you in turn and we will question each of you at the close of each presentation.
11972 I just wanted to point out that unlike in Phase I, we are not able to jump around to various intervenors or have others answer questions put by the panel to one. So I hope you will bear with us as we go through this.
11973 So whenever you are ready.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
11974 CHIEF WILLIAMS: (Native language spoken).
11975 Members of the Commission, I am Chief Bill Williams, Chairman of the Squamish Nation Chiefs and Council.
11976 I want to extend a warm welcome to you who have come here to consider awarding a new radio licence in the traditional territories of the Cosalish Peoples.
11977 I would like to clarify that being here last week, last Thursday, I was here on behalf of Protocol as one of the hereditary chiefs of the Cosalish tribes. The hearing was on is the reason why I was here. I am here today specifically because of the representation of the Squarish Nation membership itself.
11978 I am pleased to appear in front of you representing the Squarish Nation. We are one of the most progressive, forward-looking urban First Nation communities in Canada. We are moving ahead with education, economic development and communication initiatives in our community, to name a few directions in which we are going.
11979 It is also a pleasure for me to be here because of my own personal experience with native broadcasting in Canada. My background includes an involvement in the development of the northern native radio here in British Columbia. As one of the founders of the Northern Native Broadcasting, I know about the history, the development, the challenges of creating and operating a native radio network.
11980 I have seen the northern service develop and mature over the years. I have also seen government funding cuts in the NNB's ability to provide adequate service challenged. I have seen how they are adapting to funding cuts and how they must work hard to maintain network programming for the northern audience in remote native communities.
11981 It is good to know that they are providing a valuable service in the north where they have developed their expertise. Here in the south it is a different story.
11982 We receive occasional radio programming through the co-op radio broadcast or reports filtered through mainstream media, but there is no native network here. People have talked about it for years but the focus has been on northern needs and besides there resources have not been available. Urban aboriginal people here have been neglected.
11983 There can be no doubt there is a need and that there is a large potential audience. The urban aboriginal population perhaps is as large of 100,000 in the Vancouver area.
11984 My understanding is that the Aboriginal Voice radio application lays out a project that is for these people. It is devoted to the creation of a national radio service, one that focuses on urban audiences. The Squarish Nation Chiefs and Council are well aware of the needs and we wholeheartedly support the need for a new native radio service in the Vancouver area.
11985 This new service would immediately provide an easy way for us to connect with other First Nations and aboriginal peoples. We will hear their voice and they will hear ours, especially on matters that are important to all of us.
11986 An example is the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision regarding the non-native leaseholders living in the Musqueam Reserve. The perspective on this important story which affects all reserves, lands and came out exclusively of that of the renters. This court case directly affects any lease that is on Squarish Nation lands or any lease holdings that are on any aboriginal reserve lands right across Canada. So it is very important that this information be given to us.
11987 If we had a native network of our own, it would provide an opportunity to educate and inform all Canadians, both locally and nationally. We could have carried out a full and frank discussion of all the related issues in a way that is widely accessible to natives and non-natives.
11988 Squarish Nations voice of support with AVR's proposal is part of that loud course of support from local aboriginal communities and their organizations you will hear from today.
11989 Aboriginal Voices Radio came to us with respect and knowledge of our culture and traditional territory. They reached out to us and explained their national network plans in the vital place of the Vancouver region and its ultimate success.
11990 We agree with that that a truly national native radio network could not exist without the Vancouver radio service. They asked us for support and advice and after they clarified the important aspect of their plan we agreed to support their efforts.
11991 The Squarish Nation puts a high priority on our youth and on education, employment and training. We see opportunities to work with AVR to involve aboriginal youth in our community and we look forward to developing and expanding our relationship.
11992 We support the business plan put forward by the AVR. In particular we support their decision to be fiscally conservative coming out of the gate. Their plan to expand the network as quickly as funding becomes available is wise strategically.
11993 They also realized that the sooner they are able to reach aboriginal audiences across southern Canada, the sooner it will generate significant levels of interest and revenue.
11994 This will lead to greater financial stability and a solid business model not dependent on long-term government hand-outs.
11995 If we were talking about a local radio station it would be a different situation altogether, but I believe in the need for a network first then we can expect to see further developments of the local radio.
11996 For this reason we support AVR's intention to be conservative and practical in the development of a schedule of local program to be heard only here in Vancouver and not over the national network.
11997 And expansion of a radio only program would only be developed once adequate resources become available. This national first approach followed by local expansion is good planning.
11998 I know from my own experience that a network radio service could be financed from a number of revenue sources especially when it reaches a critical point of development.
11999 We are all familiar with the conventional wisdom that money makes money, but we also know the audience side attracts revenue opportunities. It is important to get the network up and running first in Vancouver and other key centres with large aboriginal populations such as Calgary, Regina, Ottawa, Montreal, Atlantic Canada, for example. But how does this all get done in a way that addresses our urgent community needs? We understand that a favourable decision with a licence to a mainstream commercial radio company is not competitive with AVR in this hearing.
12000 We will commit them to significant development funds for an Aboriginal Voices radio. If that happens, then AVR's launch will be a blastoff of historic proportions. You must be excited as we all are about the significance of such a breakthrough for the aboriginal community and the broadcast initiative. Such a large source of funding provides many otherwise unavailable doorways through which other funding includes matching funds that might be secured.
12001 On behalf of our community I deal with financing of major projects, and believe me money does get money.
12002 In summary, we share the AVR's vision of urban aboriginal peoples having new accessible media for communicating native issues and concerns. We see the immense value of a new local area service that would bring together the voices of our own Vancouver and area communities and those of others from across Canada.
12003 We are looking forward to working with AVR to ensure their success, whether in the area of production, radio programming, local studio facilities or education and training.
12004 In summary, we recognize the benefits to the Squarish Nation and to all the people of Vancouver that would come from a favourable licensing decision for both Aboriginal Voices Radio and their commercial broadcast partner.
12005 Members of the Commission, you face an important decision. It is a decision that will make a difference in many ways in many lives.
12006 I wish all the best in your deliberations.
12007 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Chief Williams. Thank you very much for being with us here today.
12008 Many of my questions were based around the extent to which you recognize that there were only modest commitments for local programming with respect to this licence. So you have dealt with many of those in your presentation.
12009 Perhaps you could elaborate a bit on your relationship with Northern Native Broadcasting. As you may know, they have opposed this application and I wonder, are you still involved with them?
12010 CHIEF WILLIAMS: No, I am not.
12011 THE CHAIRPERSON: You are not.
12012 CHIEF WILLIAMS: My capacity was to go around to all 50 aboriginal communities for Northern Native Broadcasting when it was first starting and to give them the light and incorporate them as a company and set up a board of directors and set up a training schedule to train and set out the whole structure that exists today.
12013 THE CHAIRPERSON: So I take it that you are of the view that in an overall sense these two services can coexist and that this --
12014 CHIEF WILLIAMS: Oh, they can definitely coexist. The problem that Northern Native Broadcasting has right now is they don't have the capacity to go 24 hours a day. They don't have the resources or they don't have the staffing to be able to pull all the stories in and put it together.
12015 That's why I see the national network established first because even regionally we wouldn't have the capacity to have a full 24-hour programming immediately and we would need support from other areas of Canada to ensure that we have proper good broadcasting at a calibre and level of calibre that I think is necessary in order to attract the advertising that is required in today's media.
12016 THE CHAIRPERSON: Now tell me, to what extent would, if this were to be launched, the local aboriginal organizations and communities have in Aboriginal Voices? Are those discussions that you have had with Mr. Farmer at this time?
12017 CHIEF WILLIAMS: My understanding is that there is going to be a local board of directors that will oversee programming implementation in Vancouver.
12018 THE CHAIRPERSON: And what about with the overall AVR?
12019 CHIEF WILLIAMS: My understanding is also that we will have a representative on the AVR board to ensure that our voice is not lost.
12020 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
12021 Surely that can't be it. Perhaps it is. I don't have any further questions for you.
12022 Any of my colleagues here? No?
12023 CHIEF WILLIAMS: Thank you very much.
12024 THE CHAIRPERSON: And thank you very much for being with us today.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
12025 MR. CLARK: Good morning.
12026 It is truly an honour to be here before you today to make a presentation in support of the Aboriginal Voices Radio.
12027 My name is Scott Clark and I am the President of the United Native Nations which is a provincial advocacy organization representing the interests of our people throughout the province.
12028 We have over 35,000 members signed up with our organization and we have provincial board representation covering every area of the province.
12029 The organization has a long history of advocating on behalf of aboriginal people and when I use the term "aboriginal", I am speaking in terms of First Nations, status Indians, non-status Indians of which we have 70,000 here in B.C., over 25,000 Métis people and a couple of thousand Inuit people.
12030 British Columbia is home to 28 unique nations with 28 unique languages. The diversity of our people is incredible to say the least. It's really an honour for me to be sitting here at this table with many of the representatives from the different groups that make up our community.
12031 The UNN has been advocating and continues to advocate for ensuring that the voice is heard of aboriginal people -- the diverse voices of aboriginal people. We have a long history of advocating for employment and training, education, child care, child services, justice, transfers. We have a very extensive history in that and we are currently involved in numerous initiatives with the federal and provincial government to address the dire needs of the aboriginal population.
12032 That's the reason why I am here today, because I think this initiative is so important to begin as one significant pillar, to begin to address the needs of our people, and as the leader of the organization, my intent is to support this initiative.
12033 Vancouver, greater Vancouver, is what I like to say the second largest reserve of aboriginal people in the country. Only Winnipeg has a larger aboriginal population. We estimate approximately 60,000 aboriginal people and growing significantly.
12034 Many of our aboriginal people have been living in the cities for lots of reasons, ie. poor housing conditions, small reserves, little economic opportunities, et cetera, within the reserves. As a result, you have second, third, fourth generation aboriginal people living here.
12035 The Canadian government issued the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples that you may be familiar with. It was a $58 million report, the most expensive report in Canadian history, and within that report they identify the large urban aboriginal population -- up to 80 per cent of aboriginal people live off reserves. Many of them live in the large cities, particularly Vancouver.
12036 There is a common myth out there in the television media and the newspapers, et cetera, that we are First Nations and we live on reserves. The reality is significantly different. As I said earlier, 80 per cent of them live off reserve, many of them are non-status, many of them are Métis or Inuit.
12037 This just goes to show the dire need for this type of a radio station to educate Canadians and to build networks with other ethnic groups and to raise awareness on issues impacting aboriginal people and Canadians as a whole for that matter.
12038 Our task is a very difficult task because we don't have access to the media in a manner that we can get our true realities out there to mainstream government and public.
12039 The radio station, and I am a personal fan of radio myself. It's one of the very few mechanisms where you can get that two-way communication, and we don't have that here in Vancouver and it's direly needed, especially with our young population.
12040 One of the significant things that I wanted to share with you is the aboriginal population is significantly different than the Canadian population. If you look at the demographic profile, over 60 per cent of our people are under the age of 25 and we have the highest fertility rate of any ethnic group in this country. We estimate from the latest statistics that our population will double in 25 to 30 years and then double again in another 35 to 40 years.
12041 It makes it very difficult for us when we have that population difference in mainstream media to have our issues addressed, particularly when government is developing policy and programs for the merging, if you will, baby boom generation who is now moving into retirement, and as a result it's very difficult for us to truly get our differences reflected in mainstream.
12042 Our young people are sitting in a crisis right now. I like to think of it as a ticking time bomb and I say that because if we look to Winnipeg as an example where the highest aboriginal population is, we know that there is over 22 gangs in Winnipeg, aboriginal gangs. We don't experience that here in Vancouver. We have a very dynamic young aboriginal population that is really starting to take ownership over their lives, their identity and getting involved in positive ways in community development.
12043 But our youth are faced with many challenges because our conditions, our youth conditions, aren't the same as mainstream or the non-aboriginal population. Our housing needs, the homeless crisis, single mothers -- you can go right down the list -- HIV/AIDS, disabilities. Those issues aren't being addressed right now and as a result it makes it very difficult for our young people to succeed and one only has to look at that young aboriginal girl who committed suicide. She was 14 years old. She was bullied at school and it's because of that lack of knowledge, that ignorance and that inability for us to communicate our issues out to the broader population.
12044 You can look at it two ways. It's a crisis or it's an opportunity and what our young people are doing is seizing the control. They are out there getting involved in the community organizations. They are out there getting involved asking questions to all the candidates in the most recent election that we had. In fact, there was over 40 aboriginal youth that were actively engaged in raising issues to all the candidates throughout the province.
12045 We see this as a process, a very important process, to assisting young people to learn their identity, re-learn their languages, or learn their languages. We see it as an opportunity for our young people to express their concerns in a positive manner and build relationships with all Canadians. It's happening now.
12046 The AVR application is something that is long overdue. When you look at the radio stations of the day and you look at the content, there is a serious vacuum out there on just some of the issues that I have shared with you that is common knowledge in our communities but is not common for the non-aboriginal society.
12047 It's to me very -- it's a little troubling for me that we move into the new millennium and this isn't in place. You have many radio stations today that make profit off the licensing. We are not talking about making profits for individuals. We are talking about creating a forum for addressing very serious social issues in a positive manner and I sincerely hope that the words I have just shared with you help you influence to support the AVR application because we are talking about community development, community identity, sharing knowledge, building partnerships and starting to address the myriad of issues that are not only impacting the aboriginal community as a whole, but the non-aboriginal community as well.
12048 If I can close off here. We really have an opportunity all of us here, and I would suspect that if this application is successful that I think everybody, including the panel and all the other presenters that have been here before you will agree in their hearts that we all have a collective responsibility to find positive ways to address the myriad of issues impacting our people.
12049 Thank you very much for hearing my words.
12050 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
12051 Commissioner Cardozo.
12052 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you, Madam Chair and thank you Mr. Clark for being here and your presentation.
12053 I had the chance to visit your Web site earlier this week which provided me some information on your organization and really helped me think about the questions I would like to ask you.
12054 What are some of the programs you would want to see that wold be of particular interest? Is it music? Is it talk about things?
12055 MR. CLARK: I think in our population, because we are so young, we have such a young thriving population, the message really has to be -- a good portion of the message has to be targeted to the young people. I see young people being actively involved in the planning and a lot of them are involved, they are not listening to Mozart, although I encourage them to. They are listening to hip hop and rap and all that type of stuff. I see a big part of that.
12056 I also see a vehicle for exchanging ideas and having discussions. It would be absolutely wonderful to have talk shows like CKNW has where they have guest speakers coming in and you have that two-way dialogue and the exchange of ideas between people. I see that as really important.
12057 I also see perhaps one of the most critical issues before our people -- we have so many, but this one is very important -- is the near extinction of our languages. We have 28 distinct languages here in British Columbia. There are 52 in the country, but 28 here, and unfortunately the federal government has only allocated $300,000 provincially for those 28 languages to survive and I see language as being a very significant part of programming for the station as well.
12058 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: You mentioned there are 60,000 aboriginal people in the province. How many would be urban?
12059 MR. CLARK: No, a new census that is coming out. We have over 200,000 aboriginal people in the lower mainland. We estimate up to 60,000 aboriginal people and --
12060 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: So the 200,000 is what?
12061 MR. CLARK: Just over 200,000 aboriginal people in the Province of B.C.
12062 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: In the province, okay.
12063 MR. CLARK: In the lower mainland, 60,000.
12064 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay, 60,000 in the lower mainland.
12065 MR. CLARK: Yes.
12066 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And of the 200,000, how many are urban including Vancouver?
12067 MR. CLARK: Eighty per cent of that population.
12068 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: So 80 per cent of the aboriginal population is urban.
12069 MR. CLARK: Are living in off reserve communities.
12070 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: A couple of issues come to mind in recent months: the Nisga'a Land Claim Agreement and the Musqueam land issue in the Vancouver area in recent months.
12071 Is it your sense that they were areas where an aboriginal perspective was aired in a fair manner?
12072 MR. CLARK: Those are highly complex issues and it's my job to be on top of those issues and know those issues and both on the Nisga'a Agreement there was a lot of misinformation that was put out there and the same thing with the Musqueam and the same thing right now with treaty process. We really don't have a vehicle to ensure that the diverse aboriginal perspectives are being shared to the general population and even our own people.
12073 So to --
12074 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Are there any outlets currently that stand out as you would call more fair than others?
12075 MR. CLARK: We have APTN Television now that is starting to come out and which is excellent for the TV medium. As far as radio is concerned, there is a co-op in -- I don't know if you are familiar with the co-op.
12076 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Yes.
12077 MR. CLARK: I am sure you have all been up there, but there is a small section of time there. So really the answer is outside the co-op, no, I don't know of any other venues for our words and voices to get out.
12078 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Now you represent communities throughout the province, and you are aware of Northern Native Broadcasting.
12079 MR. CLARK: Yes.
12080 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Do you have any thoughts -- they are not in favour of this particular application.
12081 MR. CLARK: Yes.
12082 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: What are your thoughts on that?
12083 MR. CLARK: Well, again you have to look at the diversity of our people and the regions of this province and the Northern Native Broadcasting is representing the northern issues, which are very distinct to Vancouver issues, and my hope is that if we are successful here with this application that I am sure that Northern Native Broadcasting would partner with us, but they just don't have the capacity and they don't have actually the connections in the community and that's why I was very honoured sit here before you with the people here because we have such a rich diverse group here representing every sector of our community for the lower mainland.
12084 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Do you see a time, from what you are saying then -- let me ask you rather than make my conclusions.
12085 Do you see a time when Northern Native Broadcasting and AVR could be sharing programming?
12086 MR. CLARK: I would see I guess my sense of it would be that Northern Native Broadcasting would have to work with AVR and vice versa, AVR would have to work with Northern Native Broadcasting.
12087 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And are you in a position to facilitate that?
12088 MR. CLARK: As a --
12089 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Are you sort of a third party provincial organization that can --
12090 MR. CLARK: We are a provincial aboriginal advocacy organization and we partner with well over right now 200 organizations in the Province of B.C., non-profit societies and, yes, we would be able to help facilitate a dialogue.
--- Pause / Pause
12091 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: I had a bunch of questions for you and as you spoke there were a few more that came to mind so I am just checking my notes to make sure that I have them all.
12092 My last question is the issue of the ticking time bomb that you mentioned in aboriginal youth.
12093 Can you draw for me a clear line between the problem of the ticking time bomb and what the radio station can do?
12094 MR. CLARK: Okay. As I said, 60 per cent of our population is under the age of 25 and it's growing. The urban off reserve population has been locked into an abyss between the federal and provincial government. Both those governments have stated that it's not their responsibility to address off reserve peoples' needs, housing, education, et cetera, right down the whole line and this has been going on regardless of the party.
12095 As a result of the dire poverty issues in our communities, we are sitting on a situation where we could have what happened in Winnipeg.
12096 One of the key things that I see that a radio station can do is it can sensitize Canadians to the political reality of urban off reserve aboriginal people to just get everybody to realize that if we are a country based on generosity and support, then regardless of what government is in, regardless of whether it's federal, provincial or even municipal, that we all have a responsibility to work towards it, and I see a radio station as one significant pillar in creating knowledge and sharing knowledge between mainstream population, aboriginal and government levels and I also see it as a very important vehicle for young people to get involved and share their ideas and their success stories with other young people in the lower mainland and eventually I would hope to see it across the country.
12097 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Those are my questions. Thanks very much, Mr. Clark.
12098 Thanks, Madam Chair.
12099 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner Cardozo. Commissioner Cram I believe has a question.
12100 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you, Mr. Clark. You were talking about Winnipeg which of course is near my home, and NCI, Native Communications has been there for I think coming on two years, if not longer, two and half years.
12101 MR. CLARK: Yes.
12102 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Are you aware of whether or not they have had any impact on native issues and especially the youth in Winnipeg?
12103 MR. CLARK: No, not specifically to that particular station. I do know that the politics in Winnipeg is significantly different than it is in Vancouver and I can't speak to that particular licence specifically.
12104 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you.
12105 THE CHAIRPERSON: I have one question.
12106 MR. CLARK: Yes.
12107 THE CHAIRPERSON: When you talk about the lower mainland -- I am just wondering if you can help. I live here but my colleagues don't and we have a lot talk about it.
12108 Can you give me the geographic --
12109 MR. CLARK: What is the GVRD?
12110 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is that what you mean?
12111 MR. CLARK: Yes, Greater Vancouver Regional District, and it's made up of, I think, 22 or 26 municipalities.
12112 THE CHAIRPERSON: As long as you meant the GVRD and not beyond that.
12113 MR. CLARK: Yes.
12114 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
12115 Thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. Clark.
12116 MR. CLARK: Thank you.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
12117 MS WARD: (Native language spoken) et bonjour.
12118 Firstly, I would like to acknowledge and thank Chief Bill Williams and the Cosalish people for allowing us to work here in their traditional territory and for allowing us to speak today.
12119 Secondly, I would like to tell you that I am not Larry Odegard. I am Joy Ward and you might remember me from my presentation last week.
12120 I come to you today wearing three hats. I come to you because I do work for the Health Association of British Columbia and the CEO is Larry Odegard, but I have been delegated the duty to speak on behalf of the Health Association who employs and Advisory Council called the First Peoples' Health Council which is made up of a number of provincial aboriginal health organization leaders from all over the province.
12121 I also come to you as an aboriginal woman. I am Cree, I am Haida and I am French. So I have a leg in both the native and the non-native world. When I was five, I was fostered and adopted and raised by non-native people and in fact I was born right here in Vancouver.
12122 I also wear a third hat and that is I am a child and youth fatality investigator for the Attorney General's Children Commission. In that capacity over the last three years I have had the opportunity to review the tragic deaths of many children in this province. The majority of whom I reviewed were aboriginal children. Those deaths involved suicides, homicides, motor vehicle accidents many of which were drug and alcohol related and, of course, sudden infant death syndrome and for aboriginal children in this province it's six times higher than non-native babies.
12123 I was once told by an elder to speak from the heart, to put my pen and paper down and speak from the heart and we are traditionally an oral society. So I apologize you don't have a prepared script from me today. I do have a few scribbled notes.
12124 If you are not already aware, please let me tell you that our health here in Vancouver, here in this Province of British Columbia and here in this country for our First Peoples is the worst in the country. Those statistics and that allegation is in fact supported by factual statistics and our provincial health officer who is Dr. Perry Kendall, with whom we work very closely in the Health Association, supports that with an annual report and in fact is in the process of preparing an aboriginal-specific health report for this province.
12125 But last year in 1999 of all his health goals he included one for aboriginal health and he said that it needs to be improved.
12126 Unfortunately he wasn't able to offer a strategy and with all due respect to Dr. Kendall I have to give him credit for saying that he is allowing the First Peoples of this province to come up with that strategy. But he does emphasize that our health is the worst and that it does need to be improved.
12127 Now why do I come to you, the CRTC, taking about health? Because I believe a radio station is one way to help improve it, but I also need to stress that it's not enough to just come here and give you facts and statistics and quote that our health is bad and we need to do something about it.
12128 That story needs to be contextualized. It needs to be supported with the background on how we got to where we are and why our health is so bad today and we need to understand how we got there. How do we do that? Well, one way is to talk about it. Traditionally because we are an oral society, we tell our stories and today in the year 2000 the moccasin telegraph and our smoke signals are not enough. They do work and they are always our primary source of communication, but we do need more and there are in excess of 196 registered bands, not to mention the non-status and the Métis and Inuit people in this province and we don't have a radio station here in Vancouver to support our unique voice.
12129 Some of the issues that affect the health of our people have already been stated, but let me stress them again -- diabetes, HIV and AIDS, SIDS, also known as sudden infant death syndrome, drug and alcohol issues. How can we fix this? We need to talk about, as I said, how we got there. We need to address the issues of colonialism, residential schools, and the loss of our culture.
12130 We can do this through open and improved lines of communication and we can do this through an aboriginal radio station starting right here in Vancouver. This offers a connection not only between our First Peoples but our non-First Peoples. It offers a connection and a bridge, as I spoke of last week, a necessary bridge between aboriginal communities and the health authorities, and also our rural and urban people.
12131 It provides for our unique voices to be heard and it allows a voice for our people who are incarcerated in the prisons and it's a tragic fact that there are many of our people in prison. But they have access to radios too.
12132 Some of the barriers that we would like to conquer can be accomplished by education, by sharing information and by an increased awareness of the factors still impacting not only our health but our wellness and this includes our mental health. It would be good if we had an aboriginal radio station to have a regular segment on First Peoples' health matters.
12133 There are some quotes from the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples and I am aware of the time, but I would like to quote one that pertains specifically to aboriginal women. It's by Eleanor Huff(ph) from the Quebec Native Women's Association and she says:
"Although their roles in formal and informal institutions are crucial to the day to day survival of urban aboriginal people, the needs of urban aboriginal women are virtually invisible and the reality of their lives often remain unrecognized and invalidated. In their submissions to Commissioners..."
12134 The RCAP Commissioners:
"... they called for their presence to be recognized and their needs acknowledged. We urge the Commission..."
12135 And these words could apply to this Commission:
"... to take into account in its proceedings the specific needs of aboriginal women and their families in the urban setting. More than others we are often ill-equipped and the victims of segregation and discrimination". (As read)
12136 Last but not least, I would like to tell you a quote from the Family Violence Centre right here at the Native Education Centre, and I don't have the words in front of me but I do remember the effect. They talk about in this world of push and shove how we non-native people sometimes rely upon Maslove's hierarchy of needs which is a vertical system. But we as First Peoples have always known that we walk in circles and that we know where healing is concerned we walk in circles because healing has no beginning and no end.
12137 And I will close now by saying hawa(ph), which is Haida for thank you et merci.
12138 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Are you sure I can't call you Mr. Odegard now?
12139 I wonder if you could just tell us a little bit more about both the Health Association and the First Peoples' Health Council and what kind of work you are doing in this regard?
12140 MS WARD: The Health Association of British Columbia thrives on membership dues that are paid primarily by the health authorities throughout this province.
12141 Those health authorities would include the bigger players like the regional health boards such as Vancouver-Richmond Health Board and Capital in Victoria, and the smaller organizations such as the community health councils and then community health societies. Within the Health Association of B.C., the CEOs met almost two years ago and decided, "Yes, we do need to improve aboriginal health, but we don't know how to do this" and called upon the advice and expertise of some people in the Ministry of Health, ie. specifically the Aboriginal Health Division.
12142 They suggested to the Health Association that they form an advisory council and call it the First Peoples' Health Council and the First Peoples' Health Council suggested to the Health Association that the first thing they needed to do was employ someone who was aboriginal, hence that's how I came to be there.
12143 The First Peoples' Health Council is made up of a number of representatives from aboriginal health organizations all throughout the province, including aboriginal health governors who sit on the board of directors with the health boards, Métis organizations, urban/rural status and non-status representatives such as the Chiefs Health Committee, the B.C. Union of Indian Chiefs, the Métis Provincial Council.
12144 We have had Scott Clark from the UNN and a representative from the B.C. Association of
Friendship Centres sit at our table, and so on.
12145 THE CHAIRPERSON: Can you tell me a bit about what you do?
12146 MS WARD: Well, the Health Association of B.C. is known as a tough leader and we have been instructed by our members to help stir the ship not row it. So we are a thought leader, we are a voice, we are an advocate and we monitor the actions of the health authorities.
12147 We take advice from our First Peoples throughout this conference and we present that in the form of written documents such as -- the thought escapes me right now, I am asked to write them all the time.
12148 Anyway, we publish public articles that pertain to the health of First Peoples and issues that are related to them.
12149 THE CHAIRPERSON: So it would be more in terms of directing then where the needs are and specific manners of dealing with health issues in the aboriginal communities. Is that --
12150 MS WARD: Yes.
12151 THE CHAIRPERSON: You don't deliver programs, I guess is my question.
12152 MS WARD: No, we are not a service delivery. We do publish -- sorry, what is called position statements and dialogues and we invite feedback from both the health authorities and most certainly representatives of First Peoples throughout this province.
12153 We with the First Peoples' Health Council meet on a regular basis five times a year and, as I said, they are brought in from all over the province and we spend one whole day with a full agenda talking about the priority issues. With that then we make a motion to the board of the Health Association of B.C. and they agree or disagree to publish throughout the province through these written documents.
12154 So we advocate not only to the Ministry of Health and other entities in the provincial government, but we have been known to advocate to the federal government as well.
12155 THE CHAIRPERSON: Are you finding it to be an effective mechanism or organization? Are you satisfied with its effectiveness?
12156 MS WARD: Yes. I have to admit that it's a slow and laborious and sometimes frustrating process, but a necessary one. And do I think it's effective? Yes, or I personally wouldn't be here.
12157 THE CHAIRPERSON: I guess it was in the sense of it's something that started and it's new, are you excited by the direction it's going and how it's working, and that kind of thing.
12158 MS WARD: Yes, very much so, and when I went to our CEO, Larry Odegard and said, "We have an opportunity to support this licence for an aboriginal radio station and I know that you might not see the connection between that and health, so here let me tell you real fast", there was no hesitation on his part to say, "Well, why wouldn't we". Yes, I am excited.
12159 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great.
12160 One other question. I know you have talked about linking to see regularly scheduled airtimes allocated to the dedication of First Peoples' health matters and I am wondering if you have had those discussions and if there had been any results of that?
12161 MS WARD: Well, traditionally we would consult with our people and that would be probably the representatives of the First Peoples' Health Council who would again consult with their members of the community to identify specifically what they would like to see discussed, but the overall consensus is that would be a good thing to have that venue on a radio station to share and inform.
12162 THE CHAIRPERSON: And with AVR, have you had those discussions?
12163 MS WARD: Yes. They have been supportive.
12164 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Ms Ward. Do we have any other -- no?
12165 Thank you very much.
12166 MS WARD: Thank you.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
12167 MR. STEVENSON: I have some copies.
--- Pause / Pause
12168 MR. STEVENSON: (Native language spoken). Bonjour, messieurs, dames and good morning.
12169 Thank you for giving me the opportunity to appear before this hearing.
12170 In the tradition of my people I would like to acknowledge and thank the Cosalish Peoples for allowing us to meet in their traditional territory.
12171 My name is Jean-Paul Stevenson. I am the elected leader of the Métis community with over 700 active members in the lower mainland. I greeted you today in our traditional languages and I don't speak any of them very well.
12172 I am also the Chief Executive Officer of a mineral exploration company that is developing a copper/gold porphyry deposit in north central British Columbia within the traditional territory of the Lake Babine Nation.
12173 I donate office space and my time to serve my community so in the traditional Métis way I have a foot in two camps. I have served on the Premier's Committee for Mining Initiatives and I am the Vice-Chair of Vancouver City's Council's Special Advisory Committee for Cultural Communities and I have on the British Columbia Multiculturalism Advisory Council where I learned quickly about the lack of sensitivity on important issues to our people and the need to get our story to mainstream Canada.
12174 What you have before you is a Métis social activist who happens to be a successful businessman.
12175 You may be saying to yourself, "I thought the Métis were all on the prairies" -- I hear this all the time. Well, there are 30,000 of us in B.C. and in the 1996 census over 6,000 identified as Métis in the lower mainland. If we had a national radio station you, the City of Vancouver and all of Canada would know we existed. It is for this community and the urban aboriginal community on a whole that I am supporting the Aboriginal Voices Radio proposal for a service in Vancouver.
12176 The soul of Canada has been the CBC, a broadcast service that ties mainstream Canada together from coast to coast to coast. The time is now for aboriginal peoples to have their own easily accessible radio service as well. This will benefit our people and the people of Canada.
12177 The aboriginal people of Canada have a long and diverse cultural history in this land we now call Canada. We are a primary force in the fabric of Canadian culture that is historically underrepresented. To understand the cultural fabric of Canada, people need not only be educated in aboriginal history, but to the powerful role that we as aboriginal people will be playing in the future of Canada.
12178 The depth of aboriginal culture, including music, arts and insights continues to set the tone of a large per cent of not only aboriginal culture but also mainstream culture, politics and social dynamics.
12179 The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples recommended that the CRTC:
"... include in licence conditions for public and commercial broadcasters in regions with significant aboriginal population concentrations requirements for fair representation and distribution of aboriginal programming, including aboriginal language requirements".
12180 The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples also recommended the CRTC be mandated to establish:
"... provisions for joint ventures as part of licensing conditions to ensure a stable financial base for the production and distribution of aboriginal broadcast media products, particularly in southern Canada".
12181 Canada's Broadcast Act states that radio must reflect in its programming and employment opportunities the special place of aboriginal peoples.
12182 Obviously, the submission before you fulfils these mandates and more. You are probably more aware than I of the legal, cultural and historical need for such a service.
12183 So I am going to speak from my own heart. I am a recovering addict/alcoholic and I am the President of an aboriginal society that manages a support house for aboriginal men recovering from additions.
12184 In my service to my brothers, I have the opportunity to arrange schooling and job training. I also research cultural information to help our men recover their pride and their place in our society. The majority of our people cannot be reached through mainstream media. APTN, the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, requires access to cable TV and newspapers are not often seen by those most in need.
12185 With no effective voice across Canada Métis people and all aboriginal people are feeling alone in their struggle to regain their sobriety, pride and self-respect.
12186 The establishment of an aboriginal radio station will fill this need. At no cost to our listeners a national radio station will unite our brothers and sisters in a way not possible today.
12187 In the name of the Métis in this city and my brothers and sisters in recovery, I ask that you help us rebuild our nation. I ask that you approve this application.
12188 All my relations.
12189 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Stevenson.
12190 Commissioner Cardozo.
12191 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you, Madam Chair. Thank you, Mr. Stevenson and seeing that I haven't had the benefit of education about the Métis in B.C., I wonder if you could tell us a little more about the history of the Métis people in this province and in this region.
12192 MR. STEVENSON: In the province as a whole, the Métis have communities in northeastern British Columbia that were established before the time of Treaty 8. A number of them moved up into northeastern British Columbia during the Métis defence of homelands, the Battle of Batoche, the Riel -- what is known as mainstream Canada Riel's rebellion. The Métis were the guides and the leaders of the traders that came to this province -- Maillardville, Fort Langley. You will see in all those graveyards Métis names.
12193 We were the guides, the trappers, the traders. Leaving from Quebec, the Métis settled Kansas City. We have large communities in Thunder Bay. We are not just from the Prairies. The actual culture developed as a whole perhaps in the Red River Settlement, but the Métis are from right across Canada and we were the first travellers into this province.
12194 I have had the honour and privilege to meet an elder who can remember his mother and grandmother making sashes for the Métis traders that came with Simon Fraser with the Carrier/Sekani territory.
12195 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Making sashes here.
12196 MR. STEVENSON: They were making sashes in what was then Tachiat(ph).
12197 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And today where do most Métis people live?
12198 MR. STEVENSON: Métis are primarily urban aboriginals. We have a large community here in Vancouver in the lower mainland, a very large community in Prince George, Dawson Creek, Chetwind. We are throughout -- we are in every city of the province. There are 1,000 active Métis in the Victoria-Southern Vancouver Island area.
12199 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And what would you see as a programming that would be of most interest? The kinds of programs you would like to see on AVR -- in general and also for recovering addicts that you talked about at the end of your presentation.
12200 MR. STEVENSON: I think the prime concern we have -- and as a Métis leader I publish at my own expense a monthly newsletter trying to reach people -- we have absolutely no way to reach our community. We have people phoning us that have seen adoption papers for the first time and they finally find us and they are Métis and how do you join, what do they do?
12201 So the Aboriginal Voices Radio would give a source of information where people could realize they are not alone in this city, that there are Métis here, there are other aboriginal organizations.
12202 Scott is more of a political activist. I lean on him for a lot of information. I had no idea until I got a brochure in the mail that the UNN had a GED program. I now have two of our fellows from our recovery house taking that program. We don't have that communication.
12203 What I see Aboriginal Voices Radio doing is getting the word to our community what is where so that we can begin to road to recovery.
12204 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thanks very much, Mr. Stevenson. It was very helpful.
12205 Thanks, Madam Chair.
12206 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
12208 MR. FISHER: Good morning.
12209 I am a bit old school. Like my predecessors here I generally try and speak from the heart and address the issues in that fashion, but Kennedy(ph) suggested that I put my thoughts in paper so that it would go in the record and you could review it later on and think what you would.
12210 So I am going to go at this from the paper that I have generated and then of course I will answer questions, but I might have other thoughts that I would like to continue with.
12211 THE CHAIRPERSON: Whatever you say is on the record.
12212 MR. FISHER: Excellent, I appreciate it.
12213 Greetings and regards to the Commission and all the presently functioning broadcast interests in attendance here.
12214 If I could directly introduce myself. Let me tell you my name is Lenny Fisher. Over the previous decade, my work has been involved in the technical production in the motion picture industry in Vancouver here for which I trained at a local community college also here in Vancouver.
12215 The program I attended was intended to provide an overview of the design, process, function and operation of the present day communications industry. It served to introduce the relevant employment opportunities that exist as we examined film, television, photo journalism, newsprint and naturally radio.
12216 That ten-month training period, followed with a brief unpaid practicum on a feature film developed into a decade of unprecedented employment and career advancement opportunities here in what is often times referred to as Brollywood(ph) or Hollywood North.
12217 Something truly significant has taken place over those past ten years, something we know now can be the great equalizer when it comes to function meeting form and what I am referring to is digital technology.
12218 We had only a glimpse of the potential during our training because our program was fast-tracked and it was the fast-track equivalent of a two-year program that the college offered and therefore our access to what I like to refer to as the "machinery" was limited.
12219 Three years ago, I underwent further training at an audio engineering training facility with an eye to developing a better awareness of digital audio. While this grounded by knowledge of the phenomenon of sound -- of which I would like to do a demonstration later -- and more comprehensively aspects of practical production, again the nature of the training facility and the access to the machinery was limited.
12220 Two years ago, having decided with an informed opinion that the mythical process of convergence is more atmosphere than a destination, I underwrote $50,000 of digital audio recording equipment and set about to develop my company, Reztown Lighting and Sound.
12221 What was laid out in the initial business plan is partly responsible for my appearance here before you today. The other reason is you need me to be here.
12222 Please do not mistake my meaning because it's far from the catbird seat of opportunity here. When I envisioned myself working in the communications media it was always with a sense of obligation and that is to be a public spokesperson or otherwise a purveyor of credible information is truly a privilege. In Sto:lo culture practice here in lower mainland and Fraser Valley where I was raised, our traditional manner of passing information, either through generations or perhaps about significant events in a region was through the perception and recollection of a witness.
12223 This witness would be one who had personally observed an event as it unfolded and was recognized by those responsible for convening the gathering to be the eyes and ears. A witness would then become a source of credible reference about this particular activity or event and would be capable through intelligence, understanding and emotional perception to recount the event in detail and feeling. In this fashion we learned to speak for ourselves but to never put words in other people's mouths.
12224 When I say convergence is more atmosphere than destination, what I mean is to identify the threshold of sociological transition we have arrived upon and to dimentionalize the space, the enormous inner space understand therefore one's inner peace following a leap of faith. We are there, you are here.
12225 Presently all together, we from First Nations to first generation Canadians need clarity. We need understanding, we need awareness, we need dialogue to define compatible arrangements and we need compassionate involvement.
12226 Reztown was established through my commitment to participate in meaningful change. Proactivity is neither reactionary nor revolutionary. It's simply necessary. That is what brings me to the hearing now.
12227 At the turn of the century, before the Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission, idling were the turnkey mobile digital recording studio along with the skills to operate it to address the need for service, access and support of the Aboriginal Voices Radio Network.
12228 And for this Committee, my intention is to illustrate the limitless possibilities and the millions in potential this network withholds in the coming decade alone. An example. Upon invitation today, Reztown would be capable of revitalizing and digitizing the analog recording archives of many First Nations cultural libraries thereby establishing a net raw material for languages programs to support the Aboriginal Voices mandate and reintroduce the ancestral voices of those communities to the subsequent generations.
12229 And that is what we are prepared to do is produce and engineer specialty programming like live events that may replay as "taped live at" performances of emerging musical artists or community events themselves.
12230 Reztown would also be available to produce on-location public forums, meetings, or with appropriate support, talk shows hosted by First Nations institutes or administrative bodies.
12231 If it has anything to do with forward-thinking, proactive problem-solving, solutions-oriented, information-generating activities, Reztown is ready, willing and able. We are prepared to develop training alongside production as the demand requires because we believe there is value in culture beyond what is being experienced presently.
12232 Reztown believes what is necessary is for interpreters of First Nations culture to be heard in context, not continually in response.
12233 Reztown is a concept rooted in a reality that would address the needs for criminal rehabilitation. We could produce a program for the disproportionate number of incarcerated First Nations peoples. Think along the lines of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission or Tribunal, a remand vision that the compelling nature of recidivism itself to be arrested by former criminals acknowledging and apologizing for their transgressions and putting forth the message of a better way.
12234 Alongside all the potentially informative and enlightening programming developed elsewhere amongst the network infrastructure, Reztown programs would strive to be a consistent, credible reference on the AVR network for other opinions on issues facing the native nations and become a wellspring of information and details otherwise overlooked.
12235 What I had in mind when submitting my letter of intervention on behalf of Aboriginal Voices Radio Network was to provide the Committee in flesh and bone and face evidence that what this application represents is not the Pollyanna daydream of some left-over social theorist, but the necessary step towards a new equilibrium we can all recognize the need for.
12236 Looking out over the ground Reztown has covered to be here, I would like to say I have been waiting for you, but given the current circumstances I feel overdue. As gatekeepers to the collective subconscious, I invite you to step forward alongside with the full understanding that we have solutions at hand to overcome barriers of ignorance and access.
12237 We have the will and untapped desire gently percolating into maturity and motivation. We withhold the capacity to become extraordinary global villages by remaining barefoot historians, barefoot historians who tend their own needs, express their own ideas, determine their own destiny, sing their own songs and by their own ability and freedom to communicate can create allegiance where there has only ever been adversity.
12238 Such is the power of understanding so is the potential of an Aboriginal Voices Radio Network.
12239 I thank you for your time and consideration.
12240 The stuff I would like to ad lib with at this point -- and I won't go too far, but some of the points that came to mind were that we do have to come to terms with where we are and how we got here, and I think a lot of the problem with mainstream communications is they do come just simply for responses and that's not the answer.
12241 Another thing is that radio is a very intimate medium. I would like to make a demonstration -- I could say this and I can directly amend something emotionally in you because well, I am whispering --
--- Laughter / Rires
12242 MR. FISHER: but this is only part of the audio phenomenon and ability of radio.
12243 The other thing is volume. I can humanize myself by making myself larger than life. I don't know if you would want that, but that's possible.
12244 Essentially the most important thing is that it is a personal medium.
12245 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
12246 Commissioner Cardozo.
12247 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you, Madam Chair.
12248 You may not be a Pollyanna social theorist --
--- Laughter / Rires
12249 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: -- but you certainly are a visionary social theorist and it's a good thing that Madam Chair pointed out that your comments are on the record because some of the words you mentioned I am going to have to look up in my dictionary to fully grasp the meaning of what you have said today. But thank you very much for that.
12250 I just have a couple of questions. What I understand from your written submission and what you said today is you talked about in your written letter about a business plan and an initiative that you were planning. Today you talked about revitalizing and digitizing material.
12251 Do I gather that what you will be is part of the technical and technological infrastructure that will be available to AVR?
12252 MR. FISHER: Absolutely, and I consider myself somewhat like an independent producer who happens to be an engineer. It's just cost- effective. I would look to supporting the network through freelance or contracted work or subsequently be employed by groups like the United Native Nations to go through archival material that would make compound radio.
12253 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you.
12254 In the film production work that you have done, have you had a lot of experience in aboriginal themes or stories?
12255 MR. FISHER: Unfortunately, I work in the mainstream. I work for large international associations of theatrical and studio employees technical unions and as we know there is really not much call for -- well, once every generation or so we get something like Dances With Wolves or Smoke Signals -- Smoke Signals is different. It's an aboriginal initiative so it's not the same.
12256 But no, there is not much in that direction. But when it does pop up, it is simply a stereotypical, one-dimensional representation backdrop character to drive forward the plot of the bulletproof white guy.
--- Laughter / Rires
12257 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: With or without a black jacket?
12258 MR. FISHER: They are bulletproof, it doesn't matter.
12259 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: So I take it that became the conquest of your yet to be --
12260 MR. FISHER: Well, you know, geez I am an old school hip hop fan too. I grew with an emergence of the hip hop scene and Gil Scott-Heron came up with the phrase "The revolution will not be televised" and I think that speaks for itself.
12261 I think APTN is a progressive and positive attractive initiative, but the cost of creating material for television is prohibitive. Even still in the digital transition state that we are in, it's still you need a lot more manpower, a little more money and radio is not that way.
12262 I could do a program pretty much by myself. I would like to have support and definitely need support --
--- Laughter / Rires
12263 MR. FISHER: -- but I could pretty much pull it together and produce it.
12264 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: What are the kinds of programs do you anticipate being able to do for AVR?
12265 MR. FISHER: Well, off the top of my head, I would like to focus on some of the -- I have been listening to a lot of CBC during the election just trying to gather information from the sources that are presenting it.
12266 I would definitely focus on some kind of contemporary talk or issues, news magazine issues and really go after different voices, different opinions, different everything because the monopoly that Reizmer(ph) and all these other presentors have on the listening audiences is just a stronghold and they are just driving home opinions, they are hitting all the hot button issues and they are appealing to the emotional, for a lack of a better word right now, idiots.
12267 And they respond and they get up on the -- they get themselves broadcast and their spew forth this vitriol and it just gets aggravating and frustrating.
12268 So the short answer is talk show stuff. I would definitely have a youth-oriented program that would be set level by an audition process that you had to come with the goods. You couldn't just get on the radio and just spew your own vitriol. You would have to come prepared, you would have to come practised, you would have to come auditioned and from that point I think the quality calibre and the interest would be compelling enough to make it good local radio and very interesting national radio and it's here amongst us. There is no question that with a population base of such large numbers under the age of 30, well it's our Woodstock, it's our new wave era, it's our punk era, it's our hip hop era. They are out there. They are feeding from all those previous genres, but they are going to develop and speak their own mind and have their own insights.
12269 So I'm here as a -- I have been waiting for them too. I am waiting to produce and support them.
12270 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you. Thanks very much.
12271 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Fisher.
12272 MR. FISHER: Thank you.
12273 THE CHAIRPERSON: Onwards.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
12274 MS TARA WILLARD: Madam Chair, Commission members, broadcasters and members of the public.
12275 We speak to you today acknowledging that we are here on Cosalish territory. My name is Tara Willard.
12276 MS TANYA WILLARD: I am Tanya Willard.
12277 MS TARA WILLARD: And we are here as emissaries of Chief Arthur Manuel of Neskainlith, a Secwepemc community close to the Se'shalt Lakes in the south central interior of British Columbia. My sister and I are both band members of Neskainlith.
12278 For myself. I am a student. I live here in Vancouver. I go to the University of British Columbia and I have worked basically for the last four years during my summers with Chief Manuel.
12279 I work at a youth resource centre. I am also active with aboriginal media. I have a show once a month with Co-Op Radio and I also work with Red Wire, the urban native youth magazine. I am based here in Vancouver as well.
12280 So we are here representing Chief Art Manuel in the Interior Alliance. Chief Art Manuel is the Chairperson of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council as well as the Interior Alliance. Now the Interior Alliance includes five interior nations, including the Okanagan, the Nicomen, the Stapian(ph), Skawahlook and the southern Carrier, whose traditional territories cover one-third of the province of British Columbia.
12281 The peoples of the Interior Alliance have never seeded, released or surrendered their land which they hold aboriginal title.
12282 Chief Manuel also co-chairs the Assembly of First Nations Delgamuuk Implementation Strategic Committee, or DISC for short, fighting for the recognition of aboriginal title and rights on a national basis.
12283 One important part of the six-point DISC strategy to implement aboriginal title is communication and community participation. We understand that it's essential to get indigenous communities involved in the exercise of aboriginal title and also to inform the non-native community about the importance of our traditional territories to our peoples.
12284 Aboriginal Voices Radio station would not only invite the active participation of aboriginal communities, it would also enable them to pass their own information and points of view onto mainstream society.
12285 A national radio network would help us develop a broader perspective on different issues of concern to indigenous peoples. In the case of the Interior Alliance and DISC, our main focus is aboriginal title. We work together with indigenous peoples all across Canada in defence of our traditional territories and join in the struggle of changing the extinguishment policy of the federal government.
12286 Through a national aboriginal radio network, we could show the national dimension, get positive implications of the Delgamuuk process to Canadian society.
12287 As indigenous peoples we have maintained our inherent rights to self-determination and the land. Still for the past centuries, we have been mainly excluded from mainstream society and the economy. This includes the communications branch.
12288 We have a right to radio and to do it in a way that is a meaningful change.
12289 MS TANYA WILLARD: As young indigenous persons living in the city, we deserve and we want better access to communications. The growth of our native populations indicates that the young people are in need of ways to communicate our diversified talents.
12290 We need the infrastructure and communication links to share our voices with other urban and rural native communities as well as the rest of Canada.
12291 Aboriginal radio would link urban native use more to our communities and also enable us to have our own creative input in developing new expressions of indigenous culture.
12292 We have a responsibility to our communities to ensure that the next generations, our children and grandchildren, will grow up in an environment that fosters public education about the issues that concern our people.
12293 One important aspect in the maintenance of our cultures is the perpetuation of our languages and the sharing of our experiences in order to foster relationships with each other and the non-aboriginal community.
12294 I just wanted to speak a little bit about my experience with aboriginal media and I think we have talked a little about here concentrating on the youth and how this can be a positive step towards creating some social change and dealing with some of the social issues that youth are dealing with today.
12295 Just to illustrate that, I want to just talk a little bit about a personal experience. I attended a program at the Gulf Islands Film and Television School where it was a group of native youth that came together to produce videos that came out of their own stories, their own voices, their own experiences. It was a six-day intensive course and every night we held talking circles and we shared our experiences and how the day was and how the process was.
12296 By the end of it there was just an amazing difference. Young people had come and the difference was that somebody had taken the time and they felt like their stories were important. All of a sudden it took it out of the dimension of just them in an isolated community or in an isolated social network talking about their issues to feeling pride in something they did and a mastery because we actually were producing the videos as well.
12297 I think that with AVR the potential is really great for youth to both be involved and to benefit from having that access point and a feeling of pride and feeling a connection to their cultures and educating themselves about other native cultures as well.
12298 So I just wanted to kind of illustrate a bit of personal experience and how that link is actually facilitated in a real way.
12299 I also just want to say that I think there is, to reiterate, there is a real potential here. We are talking about something that is really beautiful which is the ability to have our stories, our voices, our histories and wisdom heard by all our communities and all the nations and all the diverse populations here in Canada.
12300 And so I am just going to continue a bit more with the script. I just thought I would add that in.
12301 So Chief Manuel supports this important initiative and by sending us as his representatives he also expresses that it is important to link together the experiences and needs of indigenous peoples living in cities and on the reserves on a national level, especially if you take into account that the whole of British Columbia and Canada is the traditional territory of indigenous peoples to which we collectively hold aboriginal title.
12302 Aboriginal title in a broader sense does not only cover our right to land. It also encompasses our right to express our own culture and the right to self-determination.
12303 The creation of a national aboriginal radio service is a step in the right direction.
12304 Thank you.
12305 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Miss Manuel and Miss Manuel.
12306 MS TANYA WILLARD: We are not Manuels. Willard.
12307 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, I am sorry.
12308 MS TANYA WILLARD: That's okay.
12309 THE CHAIRPERSON: There have been so many names in the last two weeks.
12310 Commissioner Cardozo.
12311 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you, Madam Chair, and thank you both for coming here.
12312 The Interior Alliance covers regions in the interior not Vancouver. Is that right?
12313 MS TANYA WILLARD: Yes.
12314 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: This station, or this application is for a station in Vancouver. Do either of you live in Vancouver?
12315 MS TANYA WILLARD: Yes, both of us are based in Vancouver and I think just to address what Scott was saying about 80 per cent of aboriginal populations living off reserve, there is a significant amount of people from the interior who actually are coming to Vancouver because of better economic opportunity, because of education, coming to Vancouver to come to other post-secondary institutions and for a lot of reasons, but there is a significant base of people from all of those nations here in Vancouver and lower mainland.
12316 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: People from there living here.
12317 Let me ask you about people who do live there, and Chief Manuel who I take it lives -- does he live in Kelowna?
12318 MS TANYA WILLARD: Kamloops.
12319 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Kamloops, okay.
12320 What would the importance of a station in Vancouver for somebody living in Kamloops be?
12321 MS TANYA WILLARD: I think that with the AVR it could be that -- it would be they would be based in the lower mainland, but I think that obviously the issues are connected and that there would be space for consideration of issues going on in the interior.
12322 Definitely the Interior Alliance has represented the viewpoint of not participating in the treaty process and I think that that kind of coverage just based on the realities of the connection and the lower mainland being a real focal point for communication and for meetings and all of those things that I just can't see how those issues would not be given importance or covered with AVR, just because of its location. I don't think that would be a barrier.
12323 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: That was an issue that at some point, as I understand, AVRN, the network's interest is that at some point they would have more locations in other parts of the country, but that's not before us so I am not allowed to talk about that today.
12324 Is it your sense for people living in the interior that -- well, I guess I am getting back to the issue I just said we can't talk about.
--- Laughter / Rires
12325 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, please stay away from those.
--- Laughter / Rires
12326 MS TANYA WILLARD: We would like to put forward another proposal now.
--- Laughter / Rires
12327 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: The door is open.
12328 Is it better for people in the interior to have a Toronto-based station sooner rather than perhaps waiting for a station that may come from northern B.C. down the road?
12329 MS TANYA WILLARD: I am not sure what you mean.
12330 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay. There is a concern that has been raised by Northern Native Broadcasting that operates a couple of stations in the north of the province in Greenville and Terrace and they are interested at some point in expanding throughout the province. We don't know when that would be.
12331 Is it of more interest to you to wait for that, for that B.C.-based organization to come south or is a Toronto-based aboriginal station, does that satisfy your interest?
12332 MS TARA WILLARD: I will answer that.
12333 As I mentioned in the beginning of my presentation, with the Interior Alliance being involved with the national Delgamuuk Implementation Strategic Committee which already has national workings to bring about communications and committee participation. So from that point of view I think that sooner is better to establish that networking, to get the issues out on a national level to foster that education, public education across the country.
12334 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: So the Toronto-based approach doesn't bother you. Like a Toronto-based station that is national is not a problem for you?
12335 MS TARA WILLARD: You mean including the Vancouver station as well?
12336 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Right.
12337 MS TARA WILLARD: And linking up that national sort of network. Yes, I think that would be sort of better.
12338 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay, thanks very much. Those are my questions.
12339 You wanted to add something?
12340 MS TANYA WILLARD: I just wanted to add that I think actually it's really important that there is a link that is taking place in larger city centres. I think that a lot of our youth are really attracted to city centres and what is going on in those places and we get a lot of youth moving from their communities out into the city centres without a support structure there to support them, and then tragically they become very involved in difficult social issues and I think that it's really important that young people see it coming from a place of kind of excitement and be excited about it.
12341 I think it's important for the rural communities too, but I just think there is an importance there that they can see it can serve something bigger and that links happen.
12342 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Well, that does lead me to one more question.
12343 You talked about people from the interior moving to Vancouver. Is there a lot of movement between Toronto and British Columbia that you are aware of?
12344 MS TANYA WILLARD: I mean, I think that there is a lot of moving going on just in general with aboriginal people coming to different centres. I think there is quite a link between Toronto and Vancouver. Just speaking from the aboriginal art scene, there is a lot of links between what goes on in Toronto and in Vancouver and there is a lot of transmigration that happens there. So there is a strong link existing.
12345 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thanks very much.
12346 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
12347 MR. EGGROS: I don't know whether to say good morning, good afternoon, or whatever it is.
12348 THE CHAIRPERSON: It all works.
12349 MR. EGGROS: Pardon?
12350 THE CHAIRPERSON: It all works.
12351 MR. EGGROS: Anyway, welcome to the Cosalish territory. My name is Arthur Eggros and I am with the Stellat'en Band, West Saanich Nation on Vancouver Island, Grandwood Bay.
12352 I am the Vice-President of the National Aboriginal Veterans Association of the B.C. Chapter.
12353 We have been ongoing since the mid-1980s, but never really getting out to all the communities to talk about our veterans and what is going on and what is happening in DVA, the Department of Veterans Affairs.
12354 Because of all of this going on there was the lack of funding for the Aboriginal Veterans Office to go on and therefore it's all done by volunteer workers out of the lower mainland here.
12355 We also have a very generous support by the United Native Nations. Our President, Scott Clark, let us have office space, telephone, and mostly it is to have somebody take our messages if we are not in. This is very important. This still keeps us in the light of what is happening here. Without that, I don't think we will be able to survive.
12356 I know that we are always been asked about our warriors and why that they feel that Canada has not done the proper things to them. We have talked quite a bit about this here, really getting no place. But what we would like to do is the people of Canada and of British Columbia to listen to our stories, to listen to what our elders have to say.
12357 They did their part for a nation they really believed in. They went out and fought in foreign lands but they had to give up their indianness to become citizens of Canada.
12358 Once this had happened, they returned home to find out they could not live or get any kind of support from the reservation they had come from. They found out they could not get the support from any of the resources here in the community as a Canadian citizen -- returning from World War Two.
12359 You know, it's a sad thing to say that our people and other people don't really know the true story of our veterans. It is now with this radio station coming into place that we can now start to educate our young, our own people and other people about what had happened to them. You know, it's time for them now to be recognized as the great warriors that they are.
12360 Just like any other time, we are always in the back of the bus. We figure no more. I have listened to many, many stories about our elders and what they have done and what they received once coming back home. It's enough to make a person feel very, very sad at all times.
12361 I know if we could get communication to go out to the people, a medium to the United States too where we have a lot of our brothers and sisters that served with us are Canadians and don't know what is happening over here. This would be good for them to have.
12362 You know, we have been held back so long in so many different ways and not expressing our voices to anybody. And when I say "anybody" I am talking about our own community. They do not know the life history of our veterans. Today they still suffer from all the -- I don't know, the horror of war that they had to go through. To hear them talk about the stories and how it affected their lives and how it affected their families and their children. I think if we had had the same fair share break as any other veteran that came out of World War Two that today our population would be stronger, smarter and healthier.
12363 So this is why today I am very honoured to be here and speak on behalf of our aboriginal veterans of B.C. They long to have their stories told, they long to have somebody hear from them. We sat at the Senate when they came down here, I think it was in 1995, to hear their grievance about what had happened to them. We had ten witnesses that were allowed to speak on behalf of the veterans in B.C. Out of this, recommendations came forth a year afterwards and there were nine of them. Out of the nine, one more or less has been completed and the other one is now taking place and will be done on June 21st of next year.
12364 One is a scholarship for our aboriginal veterans who do not have the means and ways of sending their children or themselves to universities, college or whatever because they were not entitled to any type of money or financing of their schooling or medical and all the other good things that everybody else had received.
12365 So as we look at it, many of our veterans blame Canada for all the wrongdoings that have happened to them and how we are now living in a type of world where we could have been a lot more happier in.
12366 And this is what they want to do today, is to make it better for other people to understand us, for us to understand the other people. The importance of communication throughout the land of Canada is very important, not only to our culture, but to all other cultures that are here with us, for us to understand them and for them to understand us. And this we have tried for many, many years to do.
12367 I see that this communication that will be coming into place will be a very helpful tool for all the people of Canada and British Columbia to better understand the native way of life. The hardship that we see throughout the land where we see people abusing alcohol, drugs or whatever is because they do not have the opportunity to hear about certain things and where they can have the resource at hand to help them.
12368 And that's the importance within our native community, it is for it to go out, for the people to know where to come to, who to talk to, who can help them and steer them in the right direction.
12369 This young lady over here talked about the health care, diabetes, and how many of our people are suffering from that today and yet they do not go out and ask anybody else. They won't ask because they have been ridiculed in many different ways and they have never received a proper answer that they could understand to where all the resources are at.
12370 With this network being on the air, it will help our native people and other people from other cultures to have a better understanding tool for them to find out and given the information of where to go to and their own resources such as our too.
12371 With our aboriginal veterans we have everybody included -- status, non-status, Métis and Inuit -- and I think for this reason here is why we have been very slow in coming around and achieving funding for this program here.
12372 With our veterans they have so many ideas in their heads in which way to go to help out our youth today -- all the troubles that have been going on and what is happening in urban areas and the reserves and all this. They talk about the times that they lived on reserves and what was happening to themselves, about once entering the military and how they learned to work as a team, how to be a disciplined person and how to take care of oneself. These are the words that they want to get out to our youth today.
12373 They would like to see them in the cadet core. They would like to see them go into the bald eagle program. They would like to see them into other programs that resources have on the community, but there have to be more details of what is out there for them to understand.
12374 And this is what our veterans have always talked about. We don't glorify the war. We went through it, but we don't want to see our children go through that. It is hard to lose someone that doesn't come back and for them, the great warriors that they are, it is to say what happen to our children, this is what they died for -- the equality of our people. I think we will always be there. We will have it all the way through. Whether others accept it or don't accept it, it will be there.
12375 We are not here today to say that we are going to take a political stand. We are here to be with the people for the people. We want them to be a part of us and the only way we can do it is to have this network go on. There are so many different issues that we have to talk about for our veterans.
12376 MS VOGEL: Mr. Eggros, I am sorry to interrupt, but we are well passed the ten minutes. I am wondering if you could conclude.
12377 MR. EGGROS: Okay.
12378 Thank you very much and I would like to close out with our saying is that we believe that the Aboriginal Voice will be enhanced and our goal is unity, dignity and healing and that will be for all listeners, native and non-native.
12379 Thank you.
12380 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Eggros.
12381 Commissioner Cardozo.
12382 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you, Mr. Eggros.
12383 I am quite aware of the issues you have outlined in terms of the difficulties that have been faced by aboriginal veterans and I appreciate your coming here to share these with us today.
12384 I am wondering, of the members of your organization, are there many that still do speak aboriginal languages?
12385 MR. EGGROS: Yes, there is. There is quite a few still within our membership that when we have gatherings or whatever they do speak in their own tongue to welcome them to their territories or say thank you for allowing us to come into your territory.
12386 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And do you see a radio station as playing a role in keeping those languages alive and growing then?
12387 MR. EGGROS: I think that one is --pride, we always feel pride at our veterans who know the language and hear it. We will continue to speak it and more than willing to listen to it. That is something that we know is sort of dying out. With this help, with this station like this and hearing the people talk in our language will ensure or give encouragement to others to speak it.
12388 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Well, thanks very much.
12389 I don't have any further questions, but I do want to acknowledge that your testimony has been very useful to us today, both as a veteran and as an elder.
12390 Thank you very much.
12391 MR. EGGROS: Thank you.
12392 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner Cardozo.
12393 Thank you very much, Mr. Eggros.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
12395 MR. JOSEPH: (Native language spoken)
12396 Greeting to all of you. I wanted to start by acknowledging our presence on Cosalish land and thanking them for allowing us to be here. I want to thank the committee members for allowing us to be here to present our views. I hope that in some way our views will be heard and considered.
12397 My name is Robert Joseph. My ancestral name, my chief kinship name is Kwakwakagadsie(ph), big thunderbird. I come from the north coast. I am a member of the Kwalano(ph) tribe of the Kwakwaka'waku First Nations, but my duty here today is to speak for the Vancouver Aboriginal Council.
12398 The Vancouver Aboriginal Council is a coalition or alliance of 47 service delivery agencies, aboriginal service delivery agencies in Vancouver and our primary goal is simply to try to bring together all of that interest, all of that energy, all of that planning, all of that resourcing together so that we can try to maximize benefit and efficiency in terms of the delivery of service to our people.
12399 In addition, while I am living here in West Vancouver, I am the Director of the Provincial Residential School Project, which is a project of the First Nations Summit. My job there is to assist our First Nations people whatever their status in coming to terms with the legacy of abuse in Indian residential schools.
12400 I really feel strongly about the need for an aboriginal radio licence. I feel very strongly about that and it comes as a result of the long experience I have had in our indian communities. It has been over 30 years now that I have worked in various capacities with the native people throughout the province.
12401 I have worked for provincial organizations like the Union of B.C. Chiefs, Native Brotherhood of B.C., Raven Society, I have worked for tribal Council like the Kadra District Council, the Muskmak(ph) Tribal Council, the Nuu-Chah-Nulth Tribal Council. I have worked for large and small bands. A long time ago, when I look back, I see my trail seems to be so long now.
12402 And I look back at another time when I was young. I worked at an organization called the Company of Young Canadians. I am sure that maybe none of you are even old enough to have heard about the Company of Young Canadians, but it was in a time of great idealism. It was in a time when Prime Minister Mr. Pierre Elliott Trudeau wanted to bring about a just society for all of us and it was at that time that I first began to really become involved in community organizing and we had 16 projects throughout the coast here in B.C.
12403 After that I worked for various federal government agencies as a local government advisor, a community development worker, a district manager and aboriginal fisheries advisor to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. So you can see that I speak from experience that understands the fundamental requirement and need to have a strong voice and I think this radio station would give us a very, very strong voice.
12404 I have some other experience too in communications. A long time ago, again, I was a reporter for the Vancouver Sun, I was a reporter for the Can River Upper Island Courier(ph). I worked for native publications like the Native Voice and the Sika Raven Society, Indian Voice and others. So I have some experience and I know the potential for positive impact with good communications. And so I feel strongly about the need for this particular application before you.
12405 In all of my efforts, in all of my experience, I have always had a compelling need to try to bridge all of the solitudes between us. I tried in my own way to bring about understanding between all of us and it has been extremely, extremely difficult, but I did try.
12406 I have sat on boards of hospitals. I have sat on boards of credit unions. I have sat on boards of alcohol and drug treatment centres. I have been a board member of the Chamber of Commerce. I have been the Chairman of United Way drives and heart drives and many other boards, and always it has been in an attempt to be of some kind of service, not only to the aboriginal community, but to the greater community because I think sooner rather than later we need to move toward bridging that solitude.
12407 I think that communication is a fundamental cornerstone to any of these things that we want to bring about. It is so important.
12408 I mentioned earlier that I am a hereditary chief. I just wanted to do a quick, real quick flashback of a little bit about our history.
12409 I am told that in my tribe that we had a first ancestor. It really talks about genesis when you talk about first ancestors. That in our territory thousands of years ago there was a supernatural thunderbird that sat on top of Kway(Ph). They have since changed the name to Mount Steven. At one time during that time, before our time, this supernatural thunderbird descended from that mountain top and began to shed his thunderbird identify, his breastplate and wings and so forth, and when he got to the valley for that great mountain he was the first ancestor of the clan of which I am a direct descendent.
12410 I only mention that because throughout all of the territories of the Kwakwaka'waku we have at least 50 first ancestors stories that delineate absolutely and clearly our genesis, our territories, our languages, our membership laws, our codes, our customs, our laws, our distinct forms of traditional government, our distinct relationships to each other and to the environment, to the land around us, our sense of spirituality, our sense of family and community.
12411 I wanted to mention that because since that time a whole number of things have come about as a result of colonial imperatives that were so destructive to the aboriginal people. All those colonial imperatives were intended to remove us from our lands. All of those imperatives were intended to do away with the Indians, to destroy us so that we would be no more and all of the edicts of Fathers of Confederation and members of the Church and other members of the state, and I think it's important to recognize that because the Canadian public in general, society in general, refuses to accept that legacy, and it hurts too much and we have to change that.
12412 Aboriginal people here and throughout Canada have grave, serious problems. Every day we look at the screaming headlines about our suicide rate going through the roof. Every day we see the images of children in the north sniffing gas and falling down in the mud. Every day we hear about thousands of aboriginal people suing the Church and government. Every day we hear about the high unemployment rate, the high mortality rate, the rampant poverty. Every day we hear about the perpetual violence, the high incarceration rate. Every day we hear about the substandard health conditions and it hurts deeply.
12413 We have in British Columbia a treaty process that has produced very little other than high expectations, other than heightening the tensions of racism and intolerance. Every day we become more dispossessed as aboriginal people. Every day that the disparity between our societies grows larger and wider. You know what we do? Eventually we normalize that hopelessness, we normalize that trauma and it's not right. It hurts very much.
12414 Over our history together, they instituted residential schools. Here in British Columbia there were 17 of them. Throughout all of Canada there were 150,000 children who were forced to go to these schools. They were dispossessed of their parents, they were dispossessed of their communities, they were dispossessed of all of the inherent intrinsic values and principles that have always been sacred to us and we find ourselves here today facing the dilemma of what to do about that legacy of abuse and destruction and despair.
12415 I know that's difficult to have to listen to, but in the face of all of that, in spite of that, the aboriginal community stands willing, wanting, requiring, desiring to heal and to move on from that legacy of pain.
12416 We have some capacity. We need to create more capacity to deal with that legacy. We are fortunate that we have this indomitable spirit that says, "No, no, no. We will not go away. We will not give up". And so we have all kinds of momentum in our own communities about what we want to do.
12417 We want to reconstruct our families, our communities. We want to reconstruct our languages, our traditional laws. We want to regain our lands and our resources so that we can be self-sustaining.
12418 We want to determine our own forms of governments as we used to. We want to exercise our own spirituality, to have what is ours. That's what we want. To be aboriginal people what we are, to be what the Creator intended us to be. To live and to be a part of this great country of ours. We want to do that.
12419 We still have hopes, we still have dreams, we still have visions and one day together we can move forward from the place of despair and hopelessness.
12420 We haven't been able to do that for a long, long time, too long. In the richest country in the world, we haven't been able to do that.
12421 We have no voice, we have no power, we have no influence, we have no purpose. But we are awakening and we think that this, small as it might be in the great scheme of things, a radio station for aboriginal people would be extremely useful.
12422 And that's why we are here today. That's why VAC in interested in being here today to try to present our views on this matter, because there are many, many aboriginals right here in the lower mainland in Vancouver, 60,000 you have heard the figure.
12423 MS VOGEL: I am sorry to interrupt, but again we are well passed the ten minutes.
12424 Could you conclude, please?
12425 MR. JOSEPH: Oh, it couldn't have been ten minutes!
--- Laughter / Rires
12426 MR. JOSEPH: All right, all right.
12427 So in summary, in conclusion, I think it is an unescapable fact that aboriginal people would benefit from this radio licence. It would be a tool of empowerment, a tool of inspiration, a tool for rebuilding individuals, families and communities. It would be a tool for regaining our pride and our dignity and would bring about new hope for us. It would be a tool for educating. It would be a tool for reducing intolerance. It would be a tool to allow us to promote and to advocate justice and equality and bring about solutions to all of the things I talked about.
12428 The potential is there. This licence, however big or small it is in the total scheme of things, is crucially, crucially important for us.
12429 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Joseph.
12430 Commissioner Cardozo.
12431 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you, Mr. Joseph. That really gives us quite an interesting overview.
12432 I am wondering if you could add a little more. The Vancouver Aboriginal Council is a collective of service provider organizations, as you mentioned. You have talked about the challenges facing aboriginal people across the country and eluded to the gas-sniffing that we have seen more of on television in Sheshatshiu in the last few days, and there was a rather chilling documentary on CBC last night which you might have seen.
12433 There is no question that there is a lot that needs to be done and there have been other discussions about health services, social services, and so forth. I wonder if you could just draw us -- if I can repeat a question I asked earlier -- the line between dealing with those challenges and a radio station. You said it may be small in the scheme of things.
12434 Can it really make a difference when you think of the monumental challenges that we all face?
12435 MR. JOSEPH: Yes. One of the things that the Canadian government and other government levels have not yet recognized and they have not yet appreciated is the fact that the only real solutions that are going to work for aboriginal people will be the solutions that we come up with for ourselves.
12436 In the absence of being able to communicate some of these solutions and these models of restoration through the greater aboriginal population, we have not been able to bring about the level of inspiration that we need to do that.
12437 And I think in either a big or a small way, whatever it is, whatever level, this radio voice would have a huge impact.
12438 Just before I got cut off I was going to talk about the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. All of you know about it, I suppose, and most of us have seen it, and I am not an expert of television, but what I do know is this, that even with the barrage of potpourri images of aboriginal people nationally to speak their language, doing their dances, telling their history, that has already inspired many of us throughout the country to want to associate with that history, that culture, that language, that pride, that dignity that we so desperately want for ourselves.
12439 So I think an aboriginal radio station would be very important.
12440 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And you are saying APTN has begun to do that?
12441 MR. JOSEPH: APTN has created an explosion of consciousness. For starters that's a big, huge step, just creating an explosion of consciousness. Otherwise we have always been isolated from each other. Now some of our young people and some of us old guys can look at this television with some sense of pride and feel good about ourselves.
12442 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Can you give me an idea of some of the programs that would you like to see on the radio station that would be most useful?
12443 MR. JOSEPH: Yes, I heard some of the other ideas. I think talk radio is an excellent forum for any radio station. It would create a dialogue between aboriginals and aboriginals and aboriginals and non-aboriginals. That is long overdue. As you may or may not know -- and maybe this is a very biased perspective -- mainstream media has not been able to carry our message, or accommodate the degree of dialogue that we need to have. A long time ago, as I said, when I was young, I heard this Marshall MacLuen guy saying the medium is the message. Then it still holds true today and I think if aboriginal people had the medium we could create a wider framework for dialogue than currently exists.
12444 But for starters, I think talk radio would be important. I think focused programming on health and education and environment and family and politics could all be programmed to the extent that our interests, all of our interests, various interests among the aboriginal community, would be from time to time served.
12445 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: You mentioned in your introduction, Mr. Joseph, that you are from the north of the province, but now your focus is Vancouver.
12446 Does it matter to you that this is a Toronto-based station as opposed to a northern B.C. or a B.C.-based station?
12447 MR. JOSEPH: What is important to me is that we develop the capacity to bring about an aboriginal perspective that through whatever technological means is disseminated so that whether it's urban or rural or north or Toronto or Vancouver, we develop the capacity to do that, to make those linkages of ideas and psychology or whatever it is, to make those linkages. So really I think that because this initiative is underway, in the absence of any other initiative, this should be considered very seriously.
12448 I applaud -- I have heard the Northern Native Broadcasting thing brought out once or twice now. I applaud their effort, but in the years that they have been in existence, and I don't know for sure how long, they have not been able to develop the capacity or not been able to develop a response to the greater need and I think that is important, to have the perspective of what the greater need that is required in Indian country to --
12449 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Well, thank you very much. Those are my questions.
12450 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner Cordozo.
12451 I would like to thank all of you very much. We very much appreciate that you have taken the time and the trouble to come and speak to us today.
12452 Thank you.
--- Pause / Pause
12453 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary.
12454 MS VOGEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
12455 Our next intervenor is Shawna Reibling.
12456 Please go ahead whenever you are ready.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
12457 MS REIBLING: Madam Chair, Commissioners, ladies and gentlemen.
12458 Thank you for granting me an appearance to discuss the difference CJSF had made as a community-based campus station even with its limited cable signal.
12459 Though I could probably talk for hours about CJSF I will try and keep my presentation to the written brief.
12460 One of the organizations I have gotten involved in through CJSF is the Vancouver Society of Storytellers. Storytelling and radio are linked, as well as being an intimate medium, because "if stories come to you, care for them and learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive", that's from B. Lopez, the storyteller. The narrative impulse is embedded in and enriched by the human experience. This makes CJSF an essential service to the diverse voices of the Burnaby and greater Vancouver area.
12461 When I arrived in B.C. as a brand spanking new first-year student at SFU, I discovered that the reality of moving across the country was overwhelming. My heart was not in biology -- it was in extracurricular things. As well as pursuing science in high school, I also was school year book editor, World Vision fundraiser and part-time staff member of the AV department. Without the community of people and breadth of activities I had been involved in, I was lost.
12462 When I began my studies at SFU I lived in student residences. For those of you who are not familiar with the physical location of SFU, it is located on Burnaby Mountain, 1340 feet above the surrounding Burnaby community. This geographic isolation is confounded by the fact that only 12 per cent of students live on campus.
12463 I overcame this isolation by discovering the community in and around CJSF. I met many people from many different backgrounds and experiences through CJSF. When I became involved with CJSF in 1996, CJSF had already been in existence for many years. The club evolved into a society because clubs generally don't lend themselves to community involvement. CJSF filled this student community gap and provides all members of the community, including students, a space to make radio. CJSF is a community-based campus radio station.
12464 It is my belief that CJSF would make the best use of the scarce number of frequencies in the GVRD. After CJSF had to find another frequency for this application -- please see Decision 99-480 -- a diverse group of students decided that CJSF needed to do something to reach farther out into the community.
12465 CJSF now broadcasts on cable and the Internet which can't be heard by those of us who lack such luxuries as cable service and high-speed Internet access. It was ironic that I helped to write the help page for listening online without being able to access the service myself.
12466 Now that I live off the hill and can't regularly visit the station, I am confronted with a lack of information about local events taking place in and around SFU. While I am gifted with relationships built through the social capital created at CJSF, I can't listen to it at home. While I hear about events happening at UBC through CiTR, I have yet to hear about events happening around SFU through FM radio.
12467 But it is not CiTR or CFRO's responsibility to serve the eastern portions of the GVRD. It is the responsibility of SJSF. But how can you serve everyone in your community effectively if you can only be heard by those with cable or high-speed Internet access?
12468 The mandate of the CTTCV includes programming reflecting "social values". I believe this includes allowing democratic access to media for people of all socioeconomic groups. Broadcasting CJSF on the FM band would remove access obstacles for those with lower incomes. It would also promote and increase participation by community members who may not otherwise know that there is a radio station in Burnaby.
12469 The communities that CJSF serves are increasing in numbers. In 1996, according to sensus data, the GVRD was the second fastest growing metro area in Canada. At SFU, the percentage increase in the number of incoming students from Burnaby, Coquitlam, Surrey and Port Moody are respectively 1.7, 1.8, 1.5 and .2 per cent while enrolment from Vancouver has dropped by 0.5 per cent between 1995 and 1999. This growing community needs an FM station.
12470 An FM licence would allow more third-sector organizations to use services CJSF provides. The concept of selling your audience is applicable here. If CJSF had an FM signal, more third-sector groups would use its services because they would be more effective in serving their communities in turn. Licensing CJSF on the FM band affects not only CJSF, but the organizations it serves and plans to serve.
12471 As I became more involved with the technical aspects of CJSF, I began to feel responsible for CJSF and ran for the board of directors in 1998. On the board, I was treated as an equal member with valuable ideas to contributed. I was able to effect change in a concrete way and implement the ideas of CJSF members. As a member of the voting public in one of the less desirable demographics, it is not every day that I can put my ideas in action, but I will leave an analysis of democracy in Canada for another day.
12472 On International Women's Day, I had a segment that allowed me to discuss issues around women and technology. No one batted an eyelash at my interest in how the on-air console was wired and my input into the design of the production studio was actively solicited. I was supported to develop my non-traditional interests in a non-discriminatory environment.
12473 The evaluation of new radio stations is based on the promotion of local talent and contributions to the Broadcasting Act. CJSF has been an organization that has added voices to the cable radio spectrum and will enrich the FM spectrum. Historian Arnold Toynbee wrote that:
"Civilizations in decline are consistently characterized by a tendency toward uniformity. Conversely, during the growth stage the tendency is toward differentiation and diversity".
12474 This leads me to believe that a diversity of voices on the FM spectrum is imperative to the survival of our society.
12475 During CJSF's presentation to the Commission questions were raised about the overlap between course work and CJSF. In my experience, it is almost unheard of for students from diverse faculties to work together. But this is only true from an academic point of view. As many relationships can attest to, life is not separated by academic discipline. At CJSF community members and students from all faculties work together to create programming. It is important to note that many students draw no separation between academic and other parts of their lives. Students are also community members who come together at a community-based campus station. Parents and advisors are always bemoaning that you need volunteer experience to get ahead in the world. So this also impacts the number of students who volunteer at CJSF.
12476 Recently I took a course about Community Economic Development that required me to profile a third-sector organization with CED principles. A third-sector organization is an organization that is not a public or a private sector organization. One of the principles of CED is the development of social capital. Social capital is "a sense of community by fostering relationships of acceptance, understanding and mutual respect". That is the essence of what happens at CJSF. In offering the public a forum for expressing points of view that otherwise may not be heard in the media, CJSF enriches its community.
12477 In closing, I would also like to point out to the Commission that because SFU is one of the most respected comprehensive universities in Canada, as of last month, it needs to have an FM station. With the skytrain expansion, CJSF will become more physically accessible to the community. It will become more important for CJSF to have an opportunity to reach every member of the listening community.
12478 If I may, I would also like to agree with Commissioner Pennefather who addressed CKCU in June saying:
"We strongly believe that a healthy and vibrant community campus radio must continue to contribute its unique perspective on our history, our future, but above all, on our present".
12479 CJSF embodies this desire. Please grant CJSF a licence.
12480 Thank you.
12481 THE CHAIRPERSON: How brilliant of Commissioner Pennefather!
--- Laughter / Rires
12482 THE CHAIRPERSON: And now apparently she has some questions for you.
12483 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you, Madam Chair.
12484 I am just very honoured to be quoted in the same text with Arnold Toynbee.
--- Laughter / Rires
12485 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I have to say, I was speaking on behalf of my colleagues on that occasion celebrating our 25th anniversary and certainly a celebration of campus radio in Canada and certainly was reflecting on the spirit and letter of our campus policy.
12486 I see that you have had quite a bit of experience with CJSF and you have underlined the important work and the respected work of CJSF over the last few years.
12487 But let's focus on why it needs an FM frequency at this time, and I think you have spoken about that from a personal point of view and from reaching numbers. But could you just expand a little more on the relationship of this FM band and your comment:
"It would also promote an increased participation by community members who may not otherwise know that there is a radio station in Burnaby".
12488 Since you know well how it functions, what do you see CJSF doing to reach out to the new community that it will reach with this new FM band in terms of programming and in terms of recruitment of volunteers?
12489 MS REIBLING: Well, when I was on the board, we reinstated the volunteer position which is an executive volunteer position where it's a person whose job it is to go out and recruit volunteers and organize how volunteers volunteer for the different departments in the station. So that was one of the steps that was taken. FM will help this because a lot of people don't have cable radio so it's hard to get them to take their time resources and their resources, the monetary resources, and put it towards CJSF because it only has a limited audience.
12490 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: You have mentioned I think somewhere else in the speech, just above:
"This includes access to media for people of all socioeconomic groups".
12491 So I was also referring in a little more depth to the diversity of the community and how you see the station further reflecting that diversity with this new FM band.
12492 What specifically do you think it will do to reflect that new and even greater diversity that the FM band would bring?
12493 MS REIBLING: Well, I think if it reaches more members of the community, then the diversity of shows will increase and also I was most heavily involved with the production department. So in the production department, I think it would give a chance for people non traditionally in technical areas to volunteer.
12494 I know that I have had friends up in the station while I have been doing work and they don't realize that there is this whole production facility that you can access as a volunteer. I mean, personally I can't afford the equipment, but CJSF gives me the ability to use the equipment and use it to create something that is of broadcast quality to go on air.
12495 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you very much, Ms Reibling. Is that how you pronounce your name?
12496 MS REIBLING: Reibling.
12497 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you for coming today.
12498 MS REIBLING: Thank you.
12499 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you Ms Reibling very much.
12500 MS VOGEL: I believe, Madam Chair, those are all of our intervenors, Madam Chair.
12501 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, Madam Secretary.
12502 MS VOGEL: Thank you for the brief elevation in my status.
--- Laughter / Rires
12503 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's been a long two weeks.
12504 I guess that concludes Phase III.
12505 MS VOGEL: Yes, it does.
12506 THE CHAIRPERSON: And we will break for lunch and be back at 2:30 for Phase IV.
--- Upon recessing at 1330 / Suspension à 1330
--- Upon resuming at 1430 / Reprise à 1430
12507 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon.
12508 We will now commence Phase IV of the proceeding.
12509 Over the course of the hearing, up until the end of Phase III, we received technical studies and documents for applicants. The Commission has not had a chance to review these documents so can't expect applicants to consider and properly respond this afternoon.
12510 Therefore, we have decided to extend Phase IV with regards to technical matters only for a period of 11 working days to the end of Friday, December 15th.
12511 With respect to this afternoon's rebuttals therefore, we will not be accepting responses of a technical nature. Before we hear rebuttals, we will take a 15-minute break for applicants to amend their rebuttal remarks.
12512 I want to emphasize that this extension to Phase IV applies only to all technical matters, studies, maps, et cetera, and we will not accept in this extended Phase IV any rebuttals on any other matters.
12513 Everything filed in the course of this extended Phase IV will be kept confidential until Phase IV closes on December 15th. It will then become part of the record available to the public.
12514 So we will now adjourn for 15 minutes to amend any of your rebuttal remarks. If you have any questions, please speak to staff over here on my left.
--- Upon recessing at 1433 / Suspension à 1433
--- Upon resuming at 1450 / Reprise à 1450
12515 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary.
12516 MS VOGEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
12517 The first presenter in Phase IV this afternoon is Rogers Broadcasting Limited.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
12518 MR. MILES: Madam Chair, members of the Commission, we will be under ten minutes.
12519 I am Gary Miles, the Executive Vice-President Radio Operations at Rogers Broadcasting.
12520 With me to my left is Erin Petrie, General Manager and Program Director of CFSR-AM Abbotsford.
12521 To my right, Steve Edwards, Vice-President, Engineering, now in a non-speaking role. Behind me Wolfgang Von Raesfeld, Vice-President and Vancouver Market Manager and Wayne Stacey of Wayne Stacey and Associates, also in a non-speaking role.
12522 We are here to present our reply to interventions with respect to our application to change the frequency of CFSR-AM Abbotsford from an 850 KHz on the AM band to 107.1 MHz on the FM band.
12523 Two intervenors have suggested that our application should be denied because it would allow Rogers to enter the Vancouver market through the back door. Neither the 3.0 malleable contour nor the .5 malleable contour for our proposed new FM radio station would reach --
12524 MR. RHÉAUME: Mr. Miles, if I can interrupt.
12525 There was a mention by the Chair that there should be no technical references. Could you go to your next topic, please?
12526 MR. MILES: I guess, I am sorry, I had thought that against the interventions --
12527 MR. RHÉAUME: No. It can all be done in writing in the next 11 days -- working days.
12528 MR. MILES: So would we then be able to discuss our proposal to maximize the choice and diversity of radio services?
12529 MR. RHÉAUME: As long as you do not refer to technical issues.
12530 MR. MILES: All right. How about if I go and you stop me.
12531 MR. RHÉAUME: Certainly.
--- Laughter / Rires
12532 MR. MILES: Look it, I appreciate the situation. I mean, we had ten quick minutes to take a look at it. We took out all of our technical stuff.
12533 So we are now discussing again what we said we would do for the choice and diversity and unfortunately it does mention two technical aspects because one is the Turn Island and -- no?
12534 MR. RHÉAUME: No. It should be taken out.
12535 MR. MILES: Okay.
12536 I will now turn things over to
--- Laughter / Rires
12537 MS PETRIE: And I will turn it over to Steve -- no.
12538 Two intervenors have suggested that our proposed conversion of CFSR-AM to an FM radio station would not make a significant contribution to the local community and would not increase choice and diversity for local listeners.
12539 Our proposal in this application is to give British Columbia's fifth largest city its first local FM radio station.
12540 In our presentation last week, we described for you the overwhelming presence of out of market radio stations in Abbotsford, including 16 out of market U.S. FM radio stations and the very real difficulties we face in trying to combat that presence with an AM radio station.
12541 We set out in detail our plans for our new FM radio station, including the outstanding local programming that it will provide.
12542 Karen Young, representing the people of Abbotsford, talked about the importance to the community of having a strong and effective local FM radio service. We also noted that the approval of our application would strengthen the Canadian broadcasting system as a whole by repatriating listeners from U.S. radio stations.
12543 We believe these are all very strong reasons why the approval of our application to convert SFCR-AM to an FM radio station would be in the public interest.
12544 MR. MILES: Madam Chair, members of the Commission. We believe that the proposed use of FM frequency 107.1 in Abbotsford would benefit local listeners, the local community and the Canadian broadcasting system. It would be the best and most effective use of that frequency.
12545 We appreciate this opportunity to reply to the interventions and we will file our technical thing within 11 working days.
12546 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Miles. Thank you.
12547 We have no questions.
12548 MS VOGEL: Next in Phase IV is Radio Malaspina Society.
12549 For the record, Madam Chair, we have been advised that Central Island Broadcasting who would have been next is not going to offer a rebuttal during this phase.
12550 So I would invite Simon Fraser Campus Radio Society to come forward, please.
12551 MR. THYVOLD: We have no technical issues to raise at this time.
12552 Thank you.
12553 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
12554 MS VOGEL: Would Gary Farmer from Aboriginal Voices Radio come forward, please?
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
12555 MR. FARMER: Greetings once again, Madam Chair, members of the Commission.
12556 We are pleased to appear for you again finally to offer some final remarks about the public hearing process and we are honoured that we have spent some time with you in this land of the Cosalish People. We honour that time and the space.
12557 We thank you for your attention to all of our submissions.
12558 We also wish to thank your hosts and, of course, the supporters of our application. The support the native community has offered here in Vancouver is just overwhelming and we trust the Commission appreciates the historic significance of this level of unity that we have managed to bring forth in our application.
12559 In particular, we acknowledge all the community supporters who have appeared before you earlier in this hearing. We made a number of issues clear.
12560 The first certainly, of course, is the community has urgent needs. We recognize that and we also honour the fact that the community really wants a national voice. That was really clear to me.
12561 The community is really behind our development plans as well in a national roll out, et cetera. We especially would like to recognize the support through this whole process, for me, of Newcap Broadcasting and certainly the amount of support that they are offering in their application currently.
12562 It's a really significant funding proposal that Newcap has in its application. Naturally, we see Newcap support for aboriginal radio as being the most important difference between all the other applicants in this process going for commercial licensing.
12563 We honour that support that they have given to us and the strength that they have given to us to be here with you today.
12564 The funding from Newcap, of course, would immediately --
12565 MR. RHÉAUME: Mr. Farmer, if I may. In this phase you are responding to interventions. Any reference to Newcap and the funding should have been made in your presentation-in-chief.
12566 MR. FARMER: Okay.
12567 MR. RHÉAUME: So I hope you can go to another topic.
12568 MR. FARMER: Well, you know, I just want to close I guess at this time with our vision and thank you and that the Commission understands that that same vision lives in many of the hearts of the people here in this city.
12569 So with that, I think I will just cut the rest of that because I never know here.
12570 So thank you very much. I would be happy to answer any questions you might still have at this point.
12572 THE CHAIRPERSON: We don't have any questions. Thank you very much, Mr. Farmer.
12573 MS VOGEL: I would ask Mainstream Broadcasting Corporation to come forward please.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
12574 MR. HO: Good afternoon, Madam Chair and the panel of Commissioners.
12575 Mainstream Broadcasting, there are three of us today. To my right is Mr. Ed Ylanen and Mr. Keith Peron immediately to my right.
12576 I will start first.
12577 Madam Chair and Commissioners, we are pleased to provide the following reply comments to all interventions. Appearing with me are Ed Ylanen and Keith Peron.
12578 First and foremost we would like to note that more than 1,500 individuals and organizations submitted letters of intervention in support of our application. Many of these intervenors appeared at the public hearing to voice their support in interventions. These interventions are important because they demonstrate their support for our application from a wide variety of the ethnic communities we have proposed to serve in the Vancouver lower mainland.
12579 Only one written intervention voiced conditional opposition to our application. It was submitted by the Fairchild Radio Group. We will note that Fairchild, which is our main competitor, stated that it would not object to the Mainstream application being approved if we answered their concerns.
12580 We consider our written reply dated November 13, 2000 along with our suggested conditions of licence, provides a complete answer and meets the concerns expressed by Fairchild.
12581 During Phase II of the hearing, Standard Radio and Focus Entertainment intervened against the Mainstream application. We are pleased they did so because the topics they addressed demonstrate a misunderstanding of key elements in our application. We are pleased to correct the record through these reply topics.
12582 MR. PERON: Focus stated that we are really a mainstream application dressed in ethnic clothing. While this is a clever play on words, the reality is our application will bring a large number of ethnic communities into the Mainstream Broadcasting, to our full commitment to them and to world beat and international music.
12583 As the Commission stated in Public Notice 2000-14, the creation of a sub-category for world beat and international music will enable ethnic stations to describe their music with greater ease.
12584 This is the only category of music we will program and it will be directed to the ethnic communities in Vancouver other than the Chinese community which we consider to be well served.
12585 Focus also stated that we are ignoring the East Indian community. The fact is we are not. Our international music program, which is our morning and evening drive program, will include music from India. This is set out in our program schedule provided at Apex 2 of our supplementary brief.
12586 It is also important to note that the amount of programming for this community is based on the fact that there are presently seven different sources for East Indian music in Vancouver through conventional radio and CSMO operations. The East Indian community is important and we have not ignored it.
12587 This leads us to a fundamental important part of the application and that is the make up of Vancouver's ethnic population. Most people like Focus think Vancouver being Vancouver as being Chinese and East Indian. We have attached a summary chart of the top 25 ethnocultural groups in Vancouver. Focus may be surprised to see that the German community comes in second and is 50 per cent greater than the combined South Asian communities.
12588 When the European ethnic communities are added together, the number is greater than the Chinese and South Asian communities combined. Our European popular world music program which is our core daytime program, from Monday to Friday, is directed at this very significant and underserved market.
12589 MR. YLANEN: Standard stated that our CTD was the lowest of all applicants and not commensurate with profits.
12590 We acknowledge that it is the lowest, but this hearing should not be about the highest CTD being the winning applicant in a competitive process. If it is then the process effectively becomes an auction and an ethnic format will never again be licensed in a competitive process.
12591 In the London, Ontario FM licence decision, 99-428482, the majority of Commissioners rejected awarding the licence to the applicant with the highest CTD. Our CTD is comparable to the CTD commitments of other ethnic licensees. It is responsible and it is appropriate in the circumstances.
12592 Focus alleged that we amended our Canadian content on the fly to 10 per cent increasing it to 15 per cent and 35 per cent at the end of the licence term.
12593 Focus got the numbers right, but everything else wrong. In our supplementary brief, we stated clearly our objective to exceed Canadian content requirements. We will do this by initially going to 15 per cent from the required 10 per cent and ultimately 35 per cent by year seven of our licence term.
12594 To repeat what we said in our supplementary brief, we recognize the importance of including Canadian content as a fundamental component of our application and ultimately reaching the goal of 25 per cent Canadian content.
12595 The final issue in our reply is the assertion by Focus that second and third ethnic generations will be better served by their proposed urban format. The first reply comment is that Focus equates the second and third generations with young people. This is not accurate.
12596 The second and third generations cover a wide range in age and includes younger and older people. The most important feature of the second and third generations is a desire to maintain a connection with their ethnic roots and heritage. To say, as Focus did, that this would be done through urban music is preposterous and shows a remarkable lack of sensitive towards the whole concept of ethnic broadcasting.
12597 Our proposal for ethnic broadcasting has been designed to reflect the reality of Vancouver as the most ethnically diverse city in Canada and to grow with the multicultural, multiracial and multilingual population in a way that celebrates our diversity.
12598 MR. HO: Madam Chair and Commissioners. We would like to thank you for a full and fair hearing of our application and through you to thank Commission staff for their courteous and prompt responses to any of our questions.
12599 There are 11 worthy applications before you and we wish you well in your deliberations. We will be pleased to answer any questions you may have.
12600 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Ho. We have no questions.
12601 MS VOGEL: I would ask CHUM Limited to come forward.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
12602 MR. WATERS: Good afternoon.
12603 Just for the record with me this afternoon are Paul Ski, Ross Davies and Duff Roman and my name is Jim Waters.
12604 Madam Chair and members of the Commission, I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the over 150 intervenors who wrote to the Commission on our behalf and the dozens of individuals and community organizations who gave up their time and energy and worked with us in support of our application and in the development of M.Play Vancouver.
12605 There are a few issues we would like to address. With respect to SRC, CHUM will follow the direction of the Commission and will submit a response by December the 15th.
12606 Standard suggested that CHUM started with a 10 per cent Canadian content commitment and then changed it to 35 per cent because they said we were confused. Standard is misinformed.
12607 When we filed our application in May of this year, our commitment to Canadian music was 35 per cent. When the new music criteria came into force in June, we did not file a change to our original Cancon commitment.
12608 Since it was not our intention to alter in any manner the underlying assumptions of the application that Canadian content level remain unchanged at 35 per cent. It was our intention then, as it is now, to play 35 per cent Canadian content without differentiation between Category 2 and Category 3.
12609 CHUM's application represents a true smooth jazz radio station. We have done the research, we have studied highly successful radio stations operating in this format and we know the elements of success. At 66 per cent instrumental music and 66 per cent subcategory 34, this is the true smooth jazz format.
12610 I would like to address M.Play Vancouver. As you heard over the past few days, Vancouver has many educational institutions and volunteer organizations in the music sector that are universally in need of additional support from the private sector.
12611 Starting children to music education at a young age can elevate them to the world stage. In Vancouver, there are hundreds of young people who are reaching that critical stage where they will either commit their life to music or move on with frustrated dreams. M.Play will help make dreams come true.
12612 I would like to make clear that M.Play is a formal COL commitment to an additional licence term of seven years. As demonstrated by our experience in establishing and sustaining funding mechanisms, such as FACTOR, ArtsFact, VideoFact and BravoFact, it is our intention to extend the M.Play program beyond a single licence term in Vancouver and throughout CHUM Group Radio.
12613 We also note in Public Notice 1996-114 which put the new CTV policy into effect, the Commission recognized that licensees had the relatively simple choice of contributing exclusively to national organizations such as FACTOR or had the option of making contributions to community-based organizations including, and I quote:
"Music organizations, performing arts groups, schools and scholarship recipients".
12614 We think there was an important and clear message in the 1996 CTD policy. Licensees could make an easy choice and work with national organizations or do the much harder thing and disburse the money locally where it is needed.
12615 Madam Chair, members of the Commission, CHUM chose to follow both paths by providing FACTOR more than double the annual benchmark and our M.Play initiative follows the second, more difficult path.
12616 Our out of pocket direct cash commitment over this term is $7,378,000. You have heard from a wide group of organizations and the performers themselves. They need this money to move to the next level and for that reason CHUM believes that the M.Play initiative distinguishes our application.
12617 In reference to the local issue, the CHUM philosophy has always been local management with local autonomy. If any local organization in any CHUM market requests our help it is the local manager they deal with, not head office. You can get to the decision-makers quickly. They live and work in the community. They are local. We know this philosophy is one of the keys to our success.
12618 But that's not the only issue in this debate. All of our business, be they radio, specialty TV or conventional television, are committed to developing, promoting and providing exposure to Canadian talent.
12619 This morning, I spoke to my father, Allan Waters, who is listening to these proceedings on the Internet right now back in Toronto. He asked me to remind the Commission of something he feels is very important, and I quote:
"Broadcasting is our business, our only business".
12620 In a world that has become dominated by large, foreign-owned, multinational media conglomerates, strong national Canadian broadcasting companies are essential if Canadian voices are to prevail. Canadian music, particularly in niche format, needs not only local airplay, but national support and national exposure.
12621 Not only does CHUM bring strong local management to this application, but CHUM's longstanding support of jazz at the national level via Bravo! is another benefit to this system. Strong national broadcasting organizations can do more. We are here to help.
12622 Madam Chair, members of the Commission, we know it has been a long and complex hearing. We thank you for your thorough examination of our application and we wish you well in your deliberations.
12623 Thank you.
12624 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Waters. No questions.
12625 MS VOGEL: I invite Future Radio Inc. to come forward now.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
12626 MR. McLAUGHLIN: Madam Chair, Members of the Commission, my name is Jim McLaughlin. With me today are Vera Radyo, our expert in multiculturalism. On my left, Ellie O'Day an expert in the local music scene.
12627 Thank you very much for the opportunity to respond to interventions directed toward Future's application for an urban rhythm FM station on 94.5 FM.
12628 Vera, would you like to start?
12629 MS RADYO: Sure.
12630 I would like to thank the people who wrote over 500 letters of support for our application, in particular a number of the community's agencies whose concern for the people of the lower mainland is paramount. The staff in those agencies took our proposals to their boards and their membership and they received back the mandate to support our application.
12631 Community agencies don't provide their support easily and it was only after discussion and sober reflection that they offer support. Agencies like the United Way of the lower mainland, the Immigrant Services Society of B.C., la Maison de la Francophonie de Vancouver and the Native Education Centres support our application because they believe we will genuinely make a difference in this community.
12632 Lama Mubago and Shashi Assanand took the time to appear because of their passionate belief in our proposals to get out into and touch the community every day and we thank them all most sincerely.
12633 MS O'DAY: I also offer our thanks to the 500 plus people and organizations that offered letters of support and interventions. I interacted mostly with people from the music community.
12634 I spoke to local record producers about what was bubbling under a new music about the mix or urban and international sounds. I spoke to music educators, musicians, concert promoters and independent record labels. I spoke to artists and managers who work in the urban music scene, but most of the people who support our application practice their craft in jazz and rock.
12635 So why did they support our application? Very simply, they see the paramount need for the format. Young people buy and set the trends. Without a station bringing the latest to the community, the music scene and sales will wither and die. In addition, many told me they support our community involved approach. They want their community to be a better place to live throughout better understanding between all the cultures that make up today's Vancouver.
12636 MR. McLAUGHLIN: I would now like to address issues raised by other applicants and edit as I go here.
12637 There may be the ability to licence more than one commercial FM station. When you do get to the technical area, that may be something you will discover. We wanted you to be aware we have no objection to such a move. We would be happy to participate in such a program of two, three, four licences.
12638 We understand the dynamics of the market and the policy imperatives in Vancouver. Not surprisingly, I am sure as an independent broadcaster, we believe that 94.5 is best suited for the service we propose.
12639 Smooth jazz is likely a viable specialty format. It does not, however, represent the best use of the 94.5 frequency and will not respond to the underserved needs of the Vancouver community the way urban rhythm will.
12640 The fact is that as Kaan Yigit outlined in our presentation, the urban format wins hands down when it comes to audience acceptance and need, potential records sales, career building for artists and general interest in the community.
12641 Passing reference was made in the interventions by our competitors to both our programming niche and our playlist. We are very comfortable that we have provided the Commission with exhaustive research by Kaan's Solutions Research Group that shows the very significant need for the mainstream urban rhythm service we have proposed.
12642 As for program or music duplication, we are committed to playing new music, Canadian music and local music which, as both our research and a number of knowledgeable intervenors have demonstrated, is simply not available in the local market.
12643 A few Canadian artists may be duplicated, but their individual songs will not be. The comparison of the publication Radio and Records most current playlist referenced by Matthew McBride, our programming expert earlier in the proceedings, prove that conclusively.
12644 I noted also with some satisfaction that intervening artist after artist from every applicant picked airplay as the most important single item in ensuring the success of a new song and a career.
12645 We researched and identified the importance of airplay before putting together our business plan, and we included substantial airplay with one new song by a Canadian artist every hour and 42 per cent Cancon right from the start.
12646 When you are a small independent broadcaster, you can't always match the huge Canadian talent dollars that big broadcasters commit to, but you sure can offer artists what is really important to them, access to the airwave, which promotes their recordings and their careers.
12647 Lastly, we believe that these hearings have demonstrated that this is an opportunity to licence an independent, experienced, well-financed local broadcaster who knows his community, offers it more than just a music format and has the resources to carry out his business plan.
12648 Thank you for your time and attention and a particularly full and fair hearing.
12649 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. McLaughlin. We have no questions.
12650 MR. TOUCHETTE: Madam Chair, I would like to invite the Focus Entertainment Group please.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
12651 MR. ROTA: Good afternoon.
12652 I would just like to start off by introducing the panel. We have on the far left: a financial partner, Blake Cowan; also Mr. Don Hamilton, our Chairman of the Board; our Program Director, Mr. Maximus Clean; and, good old Jim Robertson, our broadcast consultant.
12653 MR. CLEAN: Madam Chair and Commissions, Focus Entertainment wishes to respond to the remarks directed to urban applicants by Standard Radio during Phase II of these proceedings.
12654 Standard's president suggested that an urban station should not be licensed in Vancouver since Z95 "largely occupies this niche". He stated that of 12 records on the Future Radio's proposed playlist, Z95 had 11 of them, including seven in heavy rotation. While we cannot answer for Future and the playlist it proposes for its urban rhythm station serving a 12 to 24 demographic, Focus Entertainment can assure the Commission that the full spectrum of urban music styles that would be played on The Beat in catering to its 18 to 54 listening audience will in no way be duplicated by Z95 or any other station in the Vancouver radio market.
12655 For Standard to suggest that Z95, a top 40 contemporary hit radio station, is anywhere close to being an urban music station is simply not the case. Z95 is a contemporary hit station which plays small amounts of urban music. Their urban menu is very limited because as a top 40 station, Z95's job is to focus on hits. As such, an urban artist is played in rotation next to hit records from established artists from other popular music genres. Hence, for the avid urban music listener, a CHR format, like Z95, offers no continuity or depth of urban music across their limited playlist of hit music.
12656 Madam Chair, that is precisely why Vancouver urban music listeners suffer through static and poor reception to tune to Q93.3 in Seattle in order to access urban music. They do so because it is not available on local Vancouver radio beyond the urban hits played on Z95.
12657 We would also note that Z95 currently dominates the Vancouver market in terms of reach. Having said that, it is interesting to point out that Polara's extensive market research illustrates that Vancouver's radio audience wants more variety beyond the musical programming mix offered by existing stations. Among the more frequently mentioned types of musical programming that listeners would like to hear less of included: less repetitive music, pop music and top 40.
12658 Madam Chair and Commissioners, there is a lot more involved in being a fully dedicated urban music station and playing hits of whatever urban artists happen to be among the top 40 charts at any given time. In this regard, we should look at Z95 and some of the many reasons why it is misleading to construe it is an urban station or even as a station that largely occupies the urban niche in Vancouver.
12659 One, Z95 does not play a full menu of urban music including rhythm and blues, hip hop, soul, world beat, reggae, bongara, motown, gospel, house and retrofunk, among others. It plays the hits of urban and rock and pop and crosses over artists from other genres.
12660 Two, Z95 does not play the music of unknown or even emerging local Canadian urban artists, nor does it incorporate and dedicate entire programs in its daily programming schedule to expose and profile the works of unknown, emerging and established Canadian urban artists.
12661 Three, Z95 does not devote every penny of its Canadian talent initiative towards furthering and enhancing the careers of local Canadian urban artists.
12662 Four, Z95 does not reach across the generations of 18 to 54 year old listeners, and provide the various demos therein with urban music styles that they love and want to hear.
12663 These are but some of the reasons why Z95 is not an urban station or is even remotely close to "largely occupying the urban niche" in Vancouver. That would be like saying that because Z95 plays Shania Twain's hit music it largely occupies the country music niche in Vancouver.
12664 MR. HAMILTON: Madam Chair, Focus Entertainment also takes issue with Standard's comments relative to Canadian talent development initiatives proposed by urban applicants, initiatives which they termed as a fraction of the commitments proposed by Standard and inadequate relative to the value of a station occupying the 94.5 frequency.
12665 In this regard, Focus Entertainment is very proud of its $3.5 million in direct and indirect Canadian talent development initiatives, and would point to the fact that our $2.8 million in direct expenditures is more than the direct dollars proposed by the Telemedia classic 94.5 FM Pattison Future Radio and Mainstream applicants.
12666 Given the fact that Standard is among the broadcast giants in Canadian Radio and are already blessed with two Vancouver radio stations, it is entirely appropriate that they should be putting an $8.7 million CTD proposal on the table. The fact that Standard proposes to outspend every one in pursuit of 94.5 does not mean they are the best nor the most worthy applicant.
12667 While CTD commitments are obviously an important factor in the Commission's evaluation of applications, there are many other critical considerations that come into play.
12668 At the most recent Toronto hearing, the Commission granted a licence to Milestone for an urban music station serving the 18 to 54 age demographic. Milestone's CTD package, while excellent, was considerably less than those of several other applicants yet they were successful in gaining a licence for 93.5 FM, and rightly so.
12669 I would only add that Focus Entertainment's $2.8 million in direct expenditures exceeds the amount proposed by Milestone. As one of those urban applicants, Focus Entertainment's commitment to spending a minimum of $2.8 million in direct expenditures on Canadian talent development, all of which are exclusively dedicated to local urban talent, will have a significantly beneficial impact on Vancouver-based urban artists who currently have access to zero dollars from local broadcast interests.
12670 Madam Chair and Commissioners, Standard also talked about local ownership and the value of a large broadcast organization being able to perform both local and national roles concurrently. While there are many benefits occurring to broadcasters fortunate enough to be in such a position, there are also many benefits to the radio listeners and business community of greater Vancouver who have strong local independent radio voices in the marketplace to help achieve some measure of competitive balance against the predominance of multiple station ownership.
12671 An example of one of the down sides of ownership concentration in Vancouver's market was captured by the media director of a national advertising agency who said:
"Consolidation is something we will all pay for. You add common ownership to a high demand market and you have advertisers that are rethinking using radio." (As read)
12672 One of the many upsides to a local independent radio voice in Vancouver was also reflected in the comments of a media director of a regional agency, who noted:
"I would recommend it to clients. First, I think the format is good for this market. Second, it will translate into audience. And thirdly, we like to support independent broadcasters because they work hard for our clients." (As read)
12673 While Standard and others are arguably local, in that they operate anywhere from two to four radio stations in the Vancouver market, they do not represent new ownership diversity to Vancouver in the same context that Focus Entertainment does.
12674 Madam Chair and Commissioners, all of the supporters for urban, smooth jazz, classical and multi-cultural espouse the same common themes: local ownership, diversity, access, on-air exposure, and airplay for local talent.
12675 Focus Entertainment's application embodies all of these critical elements, and more.
12676 MR. COWAN: Madam Chair, in a perfect world, there would be frequencies for everyone and the various publics across all formats could have their listening tastes and programming wishes sated.
12677 Regrettably, this is not the case. If there were two viable commercial frequencies available to Vancouver, then from Focus Entertainment's perspective the Commission could realistically license an urban and a smooth jazz station without causing any significant upheaval because Vancouver's healthy radio market could sustain both formats.
12678 If, in the final analysis, 94.5 is the only viable commercial frequency, then it should be awarded to Focus Entertainment's broadly based urban-music-formatted FM station.
12679 This programming matches the listening needs and tastes of the various demographics within its 18-to-54 listenership spectrum, responds directly to Vancouver's vibrant and ever-growing culturally diverse urban music community and its long-suffering and neglected urban artistry.
12680 MR. ROTA: In conclusion and on behalf of Focus Entertainment, I wish to thank the many intervenors who have expressed their support for The Beat.
12681 On a personal note, Madam Chair, I wish to advise our cousin, Alia Rota, who supported one of the smooth jazz applicants that he has lost all Sunday dinner privileges and that he should not expect a Christmas card or any gifts this year.
--- Laughter / Rires
12682 MR. ROTA: My colleagues and I wish to thank you, Madam Chair and Commissioners, for the courtesy and patience extended to us over these past two long and difficult weeks. We wish you well in your deliberations and hope you will enjoy a restful and peaceful holiday.
12683 Thank you.
12684 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Rota. We have no questions.
12685 MR. ROTA: Thank you.
12686 MS VOGEL: Would Jim Pattison Industries Ltd. come forward, please.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
12687 MR. ARNISH: Good afternoon, Madam Chair, Members of the Commission and Commission staff.
12688 My name is Rick Arnish and I am here with Mr. Jim Pattison, seated to my right.
12689 To my left are Gerry Siemens and Gord Eno of our Vancouver stations. Behind me is Gary Jessop, our regulatory counsel. Beside Mr. Jessop is Michael Korenberg, Managing Director, Corporate Development of the Jim Pattison Group. Beside Mr. Korenberg is Mark Rogers, our General Sales Manager in Vancouver.
12690 Madam Chair, before starting our presentation, I would like to thank the many individuals and groups who supported our application with their written interventions, and in particular those who took the time to come here this week to speak.
12691 I would now like to ask Gerry Siemens to begin our presentation.
12692 Gerry, please.
12693 MR. SIEMENS: Madam Chair, in response to the interventions, I would like to again demonstrate why the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group deserves to be awarded 94.5 FM. We believe that our application meets and exceeds the Commission's announced criteria for new licences.
12694 One, the ability of the market to absorb a new station: The niche specialty format we proposed will have minimal impact on other stations; either an urban or an ethnic licence will duplicate at least one existing station. An urban licence would significantly overlap Z-95 while mainstream would clearly take listeners from Fairchild's ethnic FM station.
12695 Second, the competitive balance of the market: Madam Chair, we believe that there is competitive imbalance in this market. If you will refer to the chart on the screen, you will see the national radio players and their share of commercial radio tuning in this market. Our share is the lowest of all groups, primarily because of the niche formats we program.
12696 All of the players are present in most major Canadian markets -- and the next chart shows their nation-wide radio revenues. Our current aggregate radio revenues are but a small percentage of the smallest of these groups.
12697 Clearly, to take on these strong players will require substantial financial resources and the synergies that come from owning existing stations in the market. Madam Chair, licensing us will put us in a position to compete with the multi-station and multi-platform players in our market.
12698 Third, diversity of voice: Vancouver is well-served with differing media voices, now concentrated in fewer hands. The national radio chains are here. The four national English-TV networks are here. We have two strong dailies as well as both national newspapers. Not one of them is locally owned. True diversity must include voices from here, our city, our province.
12699 Diversity of ownership on the national stage is also crucial. Monday's election results demonstrate clearly that westerners see national issues much differently than central Canadians. Strengthening a regional player will help ensure that our national diversity is reflected.
12700 Fourth, the quality of the business plan: Many intervenors pointed out the importance of the smooth jazz sound to the diversity of the market. If you will look at the screen, you will see a chart that we have prepared showing where smooth jazz and the other proposed commercial English-language formats would fit.
12701 Clearly, smooth jazz will fill the obvious hole in this market better than the other formats.
12702 Again, to underscore our commitment, we were the only smooth jazz applicant to submit a business plan based on a specialty format right from the very beginning. Other smooth jazz applicants amended their proposals on deficiency, but not one of them revised their financial projections to reflect this very fundamental change.
12703 In our opinion, this could be a fatal flaw in any business plan not revised to reflect a specialty format.
12704 Knowing how niche formats perform in Vancouver, we submitted realistic revenue projections. This means we will not have to come back to you for a change in format if the economy does not perform well or if the station does not meet unrealistic projections. There was always a real risk to these forecasts.
12705 One another matter. Standard Broadcasting indicated in Phase II that they proposed the most jazz of any of the applicants. This raises three points.
12706 One: Regardless of the classification, 100 per cent of the music we play will be smooth and traditional jazz, as the chart on the screen demonstrates.
12707 Two: Our proposal is to dedicate a minimum of 50 per cent of our music to category 34, jazz. What you see on the screen now shows how we differentiate categories 21 and 34.
12708 As you can see, our definition of category 34 is a very clean one. If a song has been on an AC chart, we did not classify it as category 34. Clearly, our 50 per cent is an unequivocal category 34 that does not include category 21 artists such as Céline Dion, George Benson, Nathalie Cole, Sting or Sade.
12709 Three: Our view of the smooth jazz format also has space for some of the other styles appropriate for the format, including category 23, acoustic, 24, easy listening, as well as other category 3 music like world beat and folk -- truly a diverse sound.
12710 I would now like to turn to Canadian content. Local artists in the jazz community outlined the importance of the exposure of Canadian music. We proposed a specialty format with a blended Canadian content of 25 per cent going to 35 per cent. We have a responsible proposal for significant airplay for Canadian artists without burning them out by overplaying them.
12711 We can assure you that our Canadian content will not be made up by playing Canadian AC artists and calling them category 34 jazz. Contrary to Standard's intervention, we did not change our application at this hearing. However, when Commission counsel asked if we would meet the regulations if our blended approach were not accepted, we said yes.
12712 I would like to turn now to local reflection. We believe that our innovative and extensive arts commitment, our support of training for local adult learners from the four designated groups, and our commitment to employment equity from day one ensure a new and unique way to reflect our community.
12714 MR. ARNISH: A number of other applicants have questioned the level of Canadian talent development we proposed. Madam Chair and Commissioners, we have three points that we would like to raise in this context.
12715 First, our proposals result from a realistic business plan, and our financial commitments are what a niche format can support.
12716 Second, all of our proposals are true CTD spending.
12717 Third, the Pattison Group of Companies will provide additional support above and beyond the station's activities.
12718 The business plans of our competitors were based on the non-specialty formats that they originally filed. The levels of CTD that some of them proposed cannot be sustained by the revenues that our experience tells us a niche format will generate in Vancouver.
12719 You have heard a variety of CTD proposals, including a range of support that we provide as a course of everyday business. We haven't claimed specialty programs, broadcast of concerts, streaming on our Web site, an advisory board giving away tickets to concerts, compiling existing recordings on a CD, free air travel, or support for jazz lobbying as CTD.
12720 Our proposals are clear, well-focused and appropriate. Our CTD dollars go directly to Canadian artists. Intervenors from the jazz community indicated the importance of airplay for Canadian artists as well as exposure, funding for recordings and live concerts, and that is precisely what we will do.
12721 This is very important. In addition to Kool-FM's direct and indirect dollar expenditures, the Pattison Group of Companies will provide real tangible benefits to Canadian artists. We have not included these benefits in our dollar amount, despite their significant value.
12722 As I outlined the other day, our television station will produce, free of charge, music videos and television programs, Save-on-Foods and Urban Fare will front-rack the CDs Kool-FM will fund. Pattison Outdoor will provide free publicity for the CDs and concerts, and Beautiful B.C. magazine will provide additional marketing support.
12723 Finally, Madam Chair, future performance can be predicted from past practice. We are experts in programming niche formats in Vancouver and we filed this application to fill a niche. We have stayed the course in our FM country format, serving 260,000 listeners per week, and have developed an innovative AM niche format that provides programming to the very underserved 50-plus age group, some 156,000 listeners every week.
12724 Now I would like to ask Jimmy to sum up.
12725 MR. PATTISON: I would like the Commission to consider three points.
12726 First, local ownership is important to ensure that Vancouver is home to a growing western Canadian broadcast entity. A local owner knows their community and can make important decisions on a wide variety of issues without having to refer to a head office some place else.
12727 It is my experience that national and international companies tend to give disproportionately in the community where they are headquartered -- and we are a good example of that.
12728 We support many charities and non-profit organizations each year, and while we have businesses in various parts of the country our focus is here in Vancouver and in B.C., which of course is our home.
12729 Second, if a local owner, why us? To be viable in this market against the dominant eastern chains, significant resources are required. In my opinion, a stand-alone FM station will have a difficult time of it in a highly competitive consolidated radio market.
12730 The last English-language FM station granted here went to an independent local group who later sold out to Standard Broadcasting. Our track record shows that we have been committed to radio here in Vancouver for 35 years, in good times and in some bad times.
12731 Third, as you can see from the chart, we are fighting for our life in the Vancouver market, our only major market, and we need more strength in our hometown. This application is not about business as usual for us. This is a big deal to our company and our broadcast division, and I want Commissioners to know how much I appreciate the enormous amount of effort, energy and work that Rick Arnish and Gerry Siemens and their management team have put into this application, and I and they really want and need this important licence.
12732 Madam Chair and Members of the Commission, if you award our Vancouver broadcast group this licence we will build a radio station, one, that will help level the competitive playing field in Vancouver, two, that will strengthen a western-based broadcasters, and third, that will be a leader in the development of local and Canadian smooth jazz artists.
12734 MR. ARNISH: Thank you, Jimmy.
12735 It has been a long two weeks for all of us, but in particular for you. We appreciate your patience, your humour and your thoroughness with all of the applicants, and we wish you the best in your deliberations.
12736 Thank you very much.
12737 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. We have no questions.
12738 MS VOGEL: Would Classic 94.5 FM come forward, please.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
12739 MS ROBERTSON: Madam Chair, Commissioners, staff, I would like to respond briefly to the dismissive intervention of Standard Radio regarding the need for a classic music station in Vancouver. Their position was simply that a classical station is less viable than a smooth jazz station and that the market was fully served by CBC.
12740 We reject both assertions.
12741 When Robert Centre and Robert Blackwood came to me over a year ago with a concept of a classical station, I was interested, but before considering backing the idea I undertook to examine both the market and the potential of the proposed station in detail. As with other businesses I have started over the years, since I am putting my own hard-earned cash on the line, I am obsessive about making sure the investment is viable long term.
12742 I believe Standard is wrong on both counts. The local needs of the market are not being served by CBC Two. CBC Two plays a national role. The additional implication that la Chaîne will also serve this market is not true. It is also national and in the French language. Both provide a valuable service, but they do virtually no local programming.
12743 Secondly, on the viability question, there is in fact no provable demand for whatever smooth jazz may be. There is clear demand for a local commercial classical music station. It is shown in the support of the community for activities of classical and real jazz events and reflected in the strong written and oral individual interventions for Classic 94.5 FM.
12744 We urge the Commission to weigh these interventions carefully when considering our application.
12745 Last week we listened with mounting confusion to all the applicants for smooth jazz stations in Vancouver. What is smooth jazz? Six applicants, six different concepts. Our conclusion after all this debate: smooth jazz is not a music format. It is an American marketing concept in search of an audience. It will not add diversity to the Vancouver listeners choice on the dial.
12746 For instance, CHUM's Vancouver station, CHQM, is now programming soft favourites. Listen to this station at 103.5 and you will find it sounds a lot like the tape we heard from Craig at this hearing last week.
12747 The question the Commission must answer is: Does Vancouver need another adult contemporary station, albeit a jazzed up AC station.
12748 There was considerable discussion in the rebuttals to the interventions regarding the size of the CTD commitments. Our direct contribution may be modest in terms of the millions promised by other applicants. Our contribution is directly related to the annual revenues of the station. If our conservative projections hold true, we will be making a direct contribution to Vancouver performers of $778,000 over the seven-year period. We will also undertake to review this formula in year four of operations. Our total projected contribution, direct and indirect, over the seven years of the licence is estimated to be almost $6.5 million. We believe that this is an excellent contribution for a specialty market station.
12749 Two other points regarding the assertion that CBC already covers the classical market.
12750 Vancouver enjoys an abundance of trained, celebrated and audience-supported classical and jazz performers, a list of whom would take up the whole 10 minutes that we are allotted today. Thanks to CBC and a growing number of other CD produces, there is sufficient product to sustain 35 per cent Canadian content radio in these established musical fields. We have made that commitment.
12751 But there is very little opportunity to hear such artists on Vancouver radio now, and there is no opportunity to hear the performance of the best of our young musicians, the new Ben Heppner's, Jane Krupps and Fraser MacPherson's. Classic 94.5 FM will give them the most essential element in their young careers: exposure on-air.
12752 One final point regarding CBC. Obviously when I was doing my due diligence with the consultants and the accountants, one of the key questions was: Would there be sufficient advertiser interest in a 35-plus demographic offered by a classical commercial music station?
12753 Our research led us to the success of other classical music stations in Canada and elsewhere and to the Vancouver market, where not only arts organizations but also existing radio and print advertisers told us there was considerable interest in a focused high income market such as those drawn in other markets. CBC Radio, of course, provides no advertising venue.
12754 There is an expanding audience, both listeners and advertisers for a classic music and real jazz arts station. The CRTC has already licensed classical stations in both Montreal, where the Francophone station shares the market with both la Chaîne and CBC Two; and in Toronto where la Chaîne and CBC Two are joined on the dial by CJRT's classical music and traditional jazz programming. They all thrive.
12755 We ask the Commission to consider our application favourably, and we thank you for the opportunity to present our case to you over the course of the last two weeks.
12756 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Robertson.
12757 We have no questions.
12758 I think we are going to take a break. We are about midway through, are we?
12759 MS VOGEL: I am for that.
12760 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would that be all right?
12761 MS VOGEL: Perfect.
12762 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do I have your permission?
--- Laughter / Rires
12763 THE CHAIRPERSON: Fifteen minutes.
--- Upon recessing at 1550 / Suspension à 1550
--- Upon resuming at 1605 / Reprise à 1605
12764 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary.
12765 MS VOGEL: Again I notice I don't have to issue an invitation for Craig Broadcasting to come forward.
12766 Would you proceed whenever you are ready, please.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
12767 MR. COWIE: Good afternoon, Madam Chair, Commissioners, Commission staff.
12768 I am Bruce Cowie and with me is Jennifer Strain. We are here on behalf of the application by Harvard and Craig for a new adult contemporary smooth jazz FM station to serve Vancouver.
12769 We would like to address three issues: the format, Canadian talent development and local ownership.
12770 Before turning to those topics we would like to respond to a question that Commissioner Cardozo asked during our oral presentation about the projected 35-54 audience share for The Breeze. We told you we would come back to you with that answer, and it is as follows.
12771 The range of the share at maturity we project to be 4.4 to 5.3. In year one of the licence we project a share of 3.5.
12772 We hope that answers that question.
12773 Madam Chair, we have done our homework. As you know, our approach to this format is different than that of the other applicants for a smooth jazz licence. We have applied for a non-specialty licence, because we believe that this is the only way to make the new station accessible to listeners and to Canadian artists, and to ensure its long-term viability and commercial success.
12774 NAC smooth jazz is essentially a marketing term that was coined in the United States to describe a format with contemporary easy listening sound. Smooth jazz is not synonymous with subcategory 34 jazz and blues.
12775 What has made the format successful in the U.S. and elsewhere is its blend of new adult contemporary, easy listening and contemporary jazz selections. It is the same non-specialty format that CIWV-FM Hamilton is licensed to offer. It is a mainstream format.
12776 The other applicants for a smooth jazz format are not applying to do the same thing. They are applying to air predominantly specialty programming that we, frankly, do not see as being commercially viable in the long run. Two jazz stations, including one in Vancouver, have tried to make a go of that in the past and have failed.
12777 In Public Notice CRTC-1999-76 the Commission issues a call for comments on proposed revised music categories. In that document the Commission included, under the easy listening subcategory of Category 2, and I quote:
"Musical selections that appear on the NAC smooth jazz charts compiled and published by music trade publications."
12778 In the final document, PN-2014, that outlined the changes to the content subcategories. It is true that soft contemporary jazz is in specialty subcategory 34. However, the reference to NAC smooth jazz is nowhere to be found.
12779 We have researched and studied the format and it is our position that the selections that are heard on NAC smooth jazz stations more readily fall under the easy listening and pop categories than they do under the jazz and blues category.
12780 We have also had discussions with the operators of the Hamilton station, including Jim Craig, the program director of that station. It is their understanding that their format falls predominantly under Category 2 and that the revisions to the content categories have not changed that. Mr. Craig describes the Hamilton station as easy listening music of the millennium.
12781 A number of smooth jazz artists like Peter White and Warren Hill perform cover tunes of popular hit songs that may have some elements of the jazz style but don't necessarily fall into specialty subcategory 34.
12782 We would argue that there is plenty of room for interpretation as to where some music selections fit, whether they are easy listening or soft contemporary jazz. In that case, the context of the format itself is important. The context for our proposed station is that it will have a free flowing easy listening contemporary sound that will appeal to a wide audience. It is not a specialty format.
12783 Indeed, what drives the success of this format in the United States and will make it viable in the long term is its commercial appeal. It must be accessible and include artists and selections that are familiar and will draw listeners into it.
12784 Does this mean that the format is just another pop station? Absolutely not. It is clearly distinguishable from other mainstream formats by the high level of instrumental selections. We have said we would broadcast 50 per cent instrumental selections and we would be prepared to accept that as a condition of licence.
12785 The popular artist selections are also different from what would hear on an AC station. For example, we included in the video and in the audio tape that was played during our presentation a lesser known Céline Dion track that fits the format of The Breeze but would not get much airplay on other mainstream stations.
12786 Robert Kerr from the Coastal Jazz and Blues Society listed specialty programming as being an important feature of this format, and we agree. That is why we created specialty blocks in our schedule that would air regularly and would ensure that traditional and other true jazz programming also gets exposure. Forays into future jazz, coastal jazz and blues, live from The Breeze featuring local and touring jazz artists, and world beats with the Jack Schuller(ph) name, just as a few examples.
12787 We reiterate that NAC smooth jazz is a mainstream format and needs to have flexibility to grow and to evolve in order to be successful and in order to cultivate Canadian artists.
12788 In its intervention against competing applicants, Standard Broadcasting suggested that the Commission's emphasis should be on the applicant who puts the most money on the table for Canadian talent development or, put another way, the licence ought to go to the highest bidder.
12789 We agree that an applicant's CTD commitment ought to be commensurate with the value of the licence, but it is inappropriate for Standard to deride the CTD contributions put forth by other worthy applicants whose pockets are perhaps not as deep as Standard's.
12790 More importantly, while the quantity of the CTD commitment is clearly one very important element the Commission has to consider, there are other equally important considerations.
12791 What is the quality of the CTD commitment?
12792 Standard is certainly not above reproach here, as they have included in their CTD package the costs of Internet audio streaming, radio programming and other things that we view as a normal cost of doing business.
12793 Diversity of ownership and of voices is also important, as is diversity of format.
12794 Madam Chair, the moment that the policy becomes one of auctioning off a licence to the highest bidder is the day that you and I can throw away our copies of the Broadcast Act and call it a day. Our view is that the question should be: Which applicant offers the most benefits for the system, for artists and for listeners.
12795 We have given you examples of the kinds of initiatives that have created with Coastal Jazz and Blues and others to get money directly into the hands of artists and musicians to help boost their careers.
12796 Through our volunteer advisory board -- administrative costs by the way which will be absorbed by us and not paid out of the CTV Fund -- we will have the opportunity to spend the funds on eligible, third-party organizations thoughtfully and in consultation with members of the local community.
12797 In this way, we believe our CTV Fund can and will have significant impact on local and Canadian artists.
12798 Chair Grauer, one of your concerns during this hearing has been the question of local ownership and how important it is and we think that's a good question.
12799 We do not subscribe to the view that an eastern Canadian based broadcaster cannot do an excellent job of serving the local Vancouver community. CHUM, Standard and others are doing that now.
12800 What we suggested in Calgary and would reiterate here is that with a new licence you have an opportunity to inject new diverse voices in an industry that is rapidly consolidating.
12801 I think the other part of your question is whether having head offices located outside of the community makes a difference.
12802 We think it can make a difference, but it probably depends on the owner involved and their operational approach. In the case of larger operators in media companies, key decisions about what happens at the branch plant are often made at head office by people who don't live and work in the community.
12803 It is a business reality that many of the larger players have consolidated administrative programming and other management functions at head offices in Toronto, Montreal or elsewhere.
12804 We think it can be a cause for concern and that sometimes it may put owners out of touch with the nuances of their operations in different regions of the country.
12805 Section 3.1D of the Broadcasting Act says that:
"The broadcasting system should service to safeguard, enrich and strengthen the cultural, political, social and economic fabric of Canada". (As read)
12806 We certainly don't think this objective is furthered if key decisions about western Canadian businesses are being made by management located elsewhere.
12807 It compromises the autonomy of the local station and of the region and we think potentially weakens the economic and political fabric of Canada.
12808 You need look no farther than the results of Monday's election to see that western Canadians share a common goal and a sense of themselves as being distinct from the other regions of this country.
12809 What we have going for us is our track record of immersing ourselves in the local communities in which we operate, our hands-on management style and the fact that we are relatively small, nimble operators without layers of head office bureaucracy.
12810 The station we are proposing will be an independent stand-alone station with its entire management team here in Vancouver. From Calgary the owners can get here by plane in just little over an hour.
12811 Madam Chair, there is no easy answer, but we think it is important to consider these kinds of issues in your deliberations.
12812 In conclusion, we want to thank the many intervenors who wrote and appeared in support of our application.
12813 Madam Chair, Commissioners and staff, we would like to thank you for your thoroughness and we wish you well in your deliberations.
12814 Thanks very much.
12815 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Cowie. We have no questions.
12816 MS VOGEL: Would Telemedia Radio West Inc. come forward now please?
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
12817 MR. BEAUDOIN: For the record, Claude Beaudoin, President of Telemedia Radio Inc. and with me Nanon de Gaspé Beaubien, one of the three shareholders of Telemedia.
12818 Madam Chair, Commissioners, here is our response to the comments that we heard in the last few days.
12819 On the French CBC application, we will file further technical comments on this matter prior to December 15, 2000.
12820 On why smooth jazz is the best use of 94.5 FM. The Commission heard from scores of intervenors who presented strong arguments for giving jazz artists the last full power frequency in Vancouver. Many intervenors from the music industry and music education community highlighted the importance of getting this format on the airwaves in Canada.
12821 Smooth jazz has the strongest community support and will be successful. In addition, a licence for smooth jazz specialty station will ensure that Vancouver's new radio service will remain distinct.
12822 On Telemedia's commitment to smooth jazz airplay. Most of the Canadian jazz artists in response to questions identified airplay as the single most pressing need. Bill King, appearing on behalf of Standard, identified the need for a national jazz networks of stations. He emphasized that it cannot stop with Vancouver. We agree and know that among the smooth jazz applicants in Vancouver only Telemedia applied for a smooth jazz format licence in another market.
12823 On Canadian content. Of the 11 applicants in this highly competitive process, only Standard intervened against other applicants on the issue of Canadian content levels.
12824 The Comission discussed Canadian content levels with several applicants. Telemedia, like Standard, originally filed for a smooth jazz station as Category 2 with a 35 per cent commitment to Canadian content.
12825 It is not obvious to Telemedia in reading the public file that standard came to this hearing at 35 per cent. In reading Standard's August 31, 2000's response to the Commission deficiency letter, we do not see any indication that Standard intended to accept anything other than the minimum required Category 3 Canadian content.
12826 But we choose not to intervene against Standard as Telemedia believes that it is in the public interest to have applicants at the highest Canadian content level and we do not see that any applicant in this proceeding has been prejudiced by these discussions or amendments.
12827 On the Canadian talent development. Intervenors were united on four key elements of Canadian talent development. One, jazz artists need airplay to succeed. Telemedia is committed to 70 per cent jazz music from Category 34 and 35 per cent Canadian content.
12828 Two, we heard local artists need exposure and promotion. Our response. Telemedia will provide $3.2 million in promotional support to local jazz artists.
12829 Three, we heard local jazz artists need the opportunity to create and perform their music before as many audiences as possible. Telemedia's support of the Vancouver Jazz Festival and more, Saturday Night Live, and the Showcase, and more, will provide direct and significant exposure.
12830 We heard also the essence of jazz in improvisation. Telemedia's significant support of Tech B.C. Universities, a cutting-edge interactively lab, directly fosters innovation and improvisation opportunities for local jazz composers, jazz greats like George Lewis will work in Vancouver with this new program.
12831 We have confidence that the Commission will examine each of the Canadian talent development proposals in a consistent manner in order to measure the positive impact on the music system, the local jazz community, and the broadcast system.
12832 On adding a new voice in the market. Some intervenors commented on the need for a new voice in this market. This could be the Commission's last chance to add a new voice. CHUM, Standard and the Pattison Group already have two services each in Vancouver.
12833 There is a balance between them and there will not be a new voice. If you choose a new voice, Telemedia brings not only a new editorial voice, but also a new service that brings the full resources of British Columbia regional news and information system to Vancouver.
12834 On regional radio. Of the applicants before you, only Jim Pattison and Telemedia have invested in British Columbia regional radio.
12835 Mr. Pattison already have two Vancouver radio stations to provide some balance between large and small markets. A Vancouver licence will give Telemedia that same balance.
12837 MS de GASPÉ BEAUBIEN: Thank you, Claude.
12838 On local ownership. We heard several comments from intervenors on local ownership. If the Commission decides that local ownership is one of the criteria they will use in a decision-making process, we submit that Telemedia meets this criteria.
12839 We are three equal shareholders in Telemedia and I live in Vancouver. Since I became one of the shareholders two years ago, Telemedia has made a significant investment in western Canada through our purchase of Okanagan-Skeena.
12840 No other applicant, public or private, is even close to Telemedia in terms of delivering radio service to small communities throughout British Columbia.
12841 In conclusion, by licensing Telemedia first, you add a new voice in Vancouver. Second, you add a new specialty service that will remain distinct. Third, you strengthen regional radio in British Columbia and fourth, you add a broadcaster with a local ownership presence in Vancouver.
12842 Only with Telemedia can all four of these goals be delivered.
12843 Madam Chair, Commissioners and CRTC staff, we thank you for your attention and your patience during these two weeks and we wish you well in your deliberations.
12844 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
12845 We have no questions.
12846 MS VOGEL: Would Standard Radio Inc. come forward please.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
12847 MR. SLAIGHT: Good afternoon, Madam Chair and members of the Commission.
12848 I am Gary Slaight, President and CEO of Standard Radio.
12849 With me today is Eric Samuels, Program Director of our two Vancouver stations, and Peter Grant, our Regulatory Counsel from McCarthy Tétreault.
12850 We are pleased to have the opportunity to speak to you today. We would also like to congratulate you on conducting such a fair hearing.
12851 We would also like to thank the staff for all of their assistance, especially in arranging for our live performance during our presentation.
12852 We do not envy the task you will have in rendering a decision given the number and the quality of the applications before you. We have focused our reply on two points. First, a matter raised by the urban applicants, and second, a question of local ownership.
12853 We will reserve our comments on technical matters to be filed later in writing as requested.
12854 We will start by addressing points raised by the urban music applicants and their supporters, namely the suggestion that Z-95 does not play a significant amount of urban music and in particular Canadian urban music. This is quite wrong.
12855 Let me set the record straight. Z-95 was originally an all-urban station but changed format to a CHR rhythmic format which includes a significant amount of urban, but is also focused on CHR. This change occurred before Z-95 was bought by Standard Radio.
12856 Since we acquired the station in 1996, we have not changed the format. It continues to be a CHR rhythmic station with a strong focus on urban music. Nor does Z-95 focus only on U.S. urban artists. A review of our playlist demonstrates that Z-95 includes a wide range of Canadian urban artists on its playlist, including all four of the Canadian artists mentioned in Future Radio's research as defining their proposed sound, Deborah Cox, Choclair, Soul Decision and Lan, and 74 per cent of the Canadian urban artists in the Focus playlist have been played on Z-95.
12857 Contrary to what you have heard from the two urban applicants, Z-95 is playing dozens of Canadian urban artists. A list of some of these artists are attached to our presentation.
12858 The list not only includes urban artists across Canada, but numerous Vancouver urban artists like D-Crew, Robin Newman, True Blue and Kail(ph). So Canadian urban artists do have a home on Z-95. In fact, Z-95 has had the privilege of breaking a number of Canadian artists nationally by being the first radio station in Canada to give their new releases airplay including urban artists like Carlos Morgan and D-Crew.
12859 As we said before in our intervention, the two urban applicants have proposed formats that are very similar to Z-95. Their demographic projections show a similar demographic to that of Z-95.
12860 The one comment we can agree on is that this format attracts young, multicultural and ethnic listeners. We agree because this is exactly the audience that Z-95 attracts. Almost 50 per cent of the hours tuned to Z-95 is made of people in the 12 to 23 demo, representing over 40 per cent of all tuning from this demo in the market.
12861 In terms of ethnic audience, Z-95 ranks number one of all Vancouver stations in reaching the 12 plus audience in every language category, including Chinese.
12862 Now let me turn to the issue of local ownership. A number of intervenors who supported the Pattison application seemed to be arguing that very little else matters except local ownership. But with respect, that is not what the Commission policy states. Local ownership is one factor to be considered, but is not the only factor, and many other factors are just as important if not more important. Local ownership by itself does not necessarily result in better local services.
12863 Let me tell you a bit about how Standard Radio operates in local markets. Standard Radio has a mission statement that sets out its core values. One of our core values is "to share our success and good fortune with the communities in which we live, work and play".
12864 We give our local management the resources and the support to be a full part of the local community and our track record in supporting the local community is unparalleled in the industry.
12865 For example, in Montreal we raised over half a million dollars last year for various local charities, including $250,000 for the Missing Children's Network. In Edmonton, our stations received the Gold Award from the Alberta Chapter of the United Way for the highest donations per employee of any company in Alberta, and in Vancouver the employees at Z-95 and CIL donated more to the United Way than did the employees of all other radio stations combined.
12866 To speak more about our record in Vancouver, let me turn to Eric Samuels.
12867 MR. SAMUELS: Thanks, Gary.
12868 In Vancouver, Standard Radio has helped raise millions for organizations like the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation, St. Vincent's Hospital, the Peace Arch Hospital Foundation, Surrey Memorial and Royal Columbia Hospital Foundation, the local chapter of the Canadian Liver Foundation, all of them have filed written intervention supporting our application.
12869 In the last two years in fact, Z-95 and CIL have donated almost $3.5 million in public service and free airtime to community groups and charities in the greater Vancouver area. Groups supported include Vancouver area food banks, B.C. Persons with AIDS Society, Big Sisters, Down Syndrome Foundation, the Battered Women Support Services, and the list goes on.
12870 We donate hundreds of prizes to charities each year. We assist amateur sport organizations raising money for equipment, trips to tournaments and we help schools purchase computers, playground equipment and clothing.
12871 We are also out there in high schools. During an average year, our Video Hit Tour, which includes public service announcements on issues such as drinking and driving, drugs and other topics, appears in 35 Vancouver-area high schools.
12872 MR. SLAIGHT: None of that local involvement or contribution shows up as part of the Canadian talent development package. It is simply what we do to put back something into the local community and to people who say that you have to be locally owned to be relevant in the community, we point to a record of community service that is unmatched in all of our markets.
12873 The other side of the coin is to ask what a national applicant can do that a locally owned operation cannot and in a musical genre like jazz, with artists located in communities across the country, what is needed is a national as well as a local strategy. That is where a purely locally owned operation may not be as well positioned to make a difference.
12874 If we are granted this valuable licence, our substantial expenditures, both locally and nationally in support of a Canadian jazz star system will make a huge difference.
12875 Before concluding, I want to thank the many intervenors who wrote letters of support for our application, and particularly the ones that appeared before you this week -- Jim West, Kerry Galloway, Sylvia Sweeny, Lee Aaron and Bill King.
12876 It was our intention from the beginning to submit an application which would stand out because of its quality and its depth.
12877 We believe we have done so and we are pleased that so many intervenors, particularly those from the Canadian jazz industry, both locally and nationally, agreed. Many of those intervenors focused on the importance of airplay. We have acknowledged this from the beginning with our 35 per cent Cancon commitment across the board.
12878 But airplay is not the only factor. The rest of our Canadian Jazz Star Package, from CDs to touring support, is also important, as many intervenors noted.
12879 Last but not least, many intervenors stressed the importance of adhering to the specialty jazz format, something we have gone out of the way to reflect with 80 per cent of our music devoted to subcategory 34.
12880 That concludes our reply, Madam Chair and members of the Commission. We thank you for your attention and we wish everyone a safe trip home, locally or not.
12881 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Slaight. We have no questions.
12882 MS VOGEL: Would Newcap Inc. come forward now please.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
12883 MR. ROB STEELE: Good day, Madam Chair, Commissioners.
12884 With me today is John Steele to my left, and to my right is Bob Templeton, and I am Rob Steele.
12885 I would like to take this opportunity to thank the intervenors who appeared on our behalf. Also I would like to respond to questions raised during the course of the intervention. There are four primary questions.
12886 The first one, can the market support another commercial FM station? Number two, what should the format be? Number three, should the Commission licence a new or an existing player? And four, should it be a large or small broadcaster?
12887 The first question, can the market support another commercial FM station? The Vancouver market can support at least one new commercial FM station. By any measure, be it the number of stations in the market per capita, the average revenue of existing stations, or the condition of the radio advertising market, Vancouver could easily absorb new commercial licensees. Nobody has said otherwise.
12888 Number two, what should the format be? Intuitively it makes sense that smooth jazz would appeal to cosmopolitan urban listeners. Our research and that of five other applicants shows substantial demand for smooth jazz in Vancouver. The format has an even higher appeal to visible minorities, a significant part of this community.
12889 The local and national jazz communities strongly support this format. If smooth jazz is to become a strong branch of the Canadian music industry, the format needs a commercial presence in Canada's second largest English-language market.
12890 The third question, should the Commission licence a new or existing player? We strongly believe that the licensing of new entrants brings the greatest benefits to the local community.
12891 First, a completely new entrant creates between 30 and 40 new skilled jobs in the community. This compares with eight or so that an existing broadcaster would add to their operations to set up a new station.
12892 Secondly, the community benefits even more when a new entrant, such as Newcap, makes an exceptional commitment to the immediate achievement of employment equity, which is reflective of the current make up of the community.
12893 Third, a new entrant means a new local voice in news, not just another outlet for an existing voice. This is key because we are beginning to see that consolidation and immediate cross-ownership is reducing the number of voices in the system.
12894 We have seen this in Vancouver. The addition of a new radio entrant will bring a new distinct news voice to Vancouver audiences.
12895 I would like to address the issue of local ownership, and it is hard to argue against local ownership except where it means that a new voice in the community won't be heard, and except where it means that discouraging growth for companies beyond their balkanized regions and except where it means missing significant benefits to the local community and to the broadcasting system as a whole.
12896 There is no presumption in favour of local incumbents in the Broadcasting Act. That would be inconsistent with an Act that has always held nation building as a central objective. In effect, it would tell Canadians from one part of the country that they aren't welcome in another. It would presuppose that only those with historical origins in the market can serve it effectively. And that is contrary to our experience in Edmonton, Camrose and Thunder Bay.
12897 Licensing choices should strengthen the fabric of Canadian culture and we believe that licensing new entrants from other parts of Canada helps accomplish this.
12898 Four, should it be a large or medium-sized broadcaster, and we define ourselves as medium sized.
12899 Acquiring new licences is critical to the health of medium-sized broadcasters. Newcap has tried to purchase new stations in large markets, but we have simply not been able to put up the highest bid and that's not because we want to bargain. We just don't have the resources to buy our way into large strategic markets. The growth of small or medium players is important to the system as a whole particularly when there is so much convergence of the largest players and the Commission may use the licensee process to correct the market imbalances.
12900 Finally, why Newcap? We want to be judged in our Canadian content commitments and our initiatives under Canadian talent development. Our Canadian content commitments, 20 per cent of all Category 3 smooth jazz played and 35 per cent of all Category 2 music played which averages out at about 27 per cent is very strong for a specialty format particularly one like ours that calls for a high ratio of instrumentals.
12901 Also our programming and news expenditures of $13.4 million is much higher than any other applicant.
12902 Now, let's talk about Canadian talent development. You have asked what criteria should be used in judging CTDs. Please consider the following.
12903 One, the monetary value in the context of the financial capabilities of the applicant. Two, responsiveness to local needs, and three, the immediate effect of the contribution, and four, creativity in meeting demonstrated needs.
12904 Our company operates in many small markets. For us, $7.8 million in direct and indirect benefits is a very significant and aggressive commitment. Newcap's direct contribution to the smooth jazz artistic community are all directed at local talent.
12905 Newcap's contributions will deliver immediate results, giving rise to new resources in both the smooth jazz and aboriginal communities.
12906 Newcap support of the Aboriginal Voices Radio Network is also directed at serving a demonstrated need in this community. This city and province has one of Canada's most active aboriginal populations and the population deserves a voice.
12907 You have heard from the aboriginal community and they have spoken eloquently for themselves. They have a message and they need a medium.
12908 Newcap's contribution to the AVR initiative represents a creative solution to a demonstrated need, and we want to be seen as a broadcasting leader, helping to enrich the entire system.
12909 In conclusion, Madam Chair, we appreciate the opportunity to appear in front of you and your fellow Commissioners. It has been a long haul and we look forward to hearing your decision.
12910 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. We have no questions.
12911 MS VOGEL: And would the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation come forward please?
RÉPLIQUE / REPLY
12912 M. LAFRANCE: Bonjour.
12913 Mon nom est Sylvain Lafrance et je suis accompagné aujourd'hui de Denis Doucet et de Pierrette Savard de Vancouver.
12914 L'audience qui se termine aujourd'hui soulève des enjeux primordiaux pour la Société Radio-Canada.
12915 Durant les interventions il a été largement question de la place que doit occuper le service public de la Radio française dans le marché de Vancouver.
12916 Ce débat pour la dernière fréquence de classe C à Vancouver met nos intérêts de diffuseur public national directement en compétition avec ceux plus commerciaux d'une dizaine de diffuseurs privés.
12917 De façon générale, la position des requérants concurrents à l'égard de nos services se résume ainsi. La plupart reconnaissent que leur Chaîne culturelle est un service important, voire fondamental, qui doit être offert dans la région de Vancouver.
12918 Néanmoins tous soutiennent que les francophones de Colombie-Britannique ne constituent qu'un très faible pourcentage de la population et que pour cette raison l'octroi de la fréquence 94,5 à Radio-Canada équivaudrait un mauvais usage du spectre de diffusion.
12919 En conséquence, les requérants concurrents proposent des solutions alternatives qui compromettent la qualité et la portée de l'ensemble des services de Radio-Canada en Colombie-Britannique.
12920 C'est ici selon nous le fondement même de notre système de radiodiffusion qui est remis en question. Je répondrai tout d'abord que notre auditoire cible comme diffuseur public national ne se limite pas aux francophones mais s'adresse à l'ensemble des citoyens.
12921 La Chaîne culturelle vise à présenter en français aux Canadiens de toutes cultures et de toutes origines la réalité culturelle du pays en donnant accès au meilleur de ce que nous sommes, tant dans le domaine de la musique que des idées.
12922 Notre système de radiodiffusion repose sur la prémisse fondamentale qu'il doit exister partout au Canada un juste équilibre entre l'offre radiophonique publique et l'offre du secteur privé. Ce système repose également sur les droits fondamentaux des deux communautés de langues officielles qui doivent avoir accès à des services radiophoniques de qualité dans leur langue où qu'ils soient au pays.
12923 Ce système commande une saine gestion de l'offre radiophonique non seulement en fonction de l'écoute locale dans chaque marché mais également en fonction du lien que peut créer entre les Canadiens un service radiophonique national.
12924 Ce système finalement favorise l'enrichissement de l'offre radiophonique par la création de contenus originaux et par la promotion du talent de la culture canadienne.
12925 On commettrait une grave erreur si on se limitait, comme le proposent d'autres requérants, à mesurer la Chaîne culturelle en fonction de son auditoire potentiel francophone sans tenir compte de son rôle fondamental, tant à l'échelle régionale que nationale.
12926 La Chaîne culturelle met les Canadiens en contact avec leur culture. Elle capte et diffuse au pays plus de 300 concerts par année dont une trentaine proviennent de la région de Vancouver.
12927 Elle fait entendre annuellement au-delà de 2 500 musiciens canadiens en plus de permettre à 250 comédiens et une vingtaine d'auteurs d'y trouver un mode d'expression de premier choix.
12928 Elle contribue au développement du talent canadien en diffusant des oeuvres originales, en s'associant à une vingtaine de festivals de musique au pays, et en organisant des concours de talents pan-canadiens comme, par exemple, le concours de jeunes compositeurs, celui des jeunes artistes ou celui des jeunes musiciens.
12929 La Chaîne culturelle joue un rôle complémentaire dans l'ensemble de l'offre radiophonique de CBC/Radio-Canada. Elle offre en français des émissions uniques de fiction, de documentaires, de musiques du monde, de chansons traditionnelles et de musiques expérimentales qui ne se retrouvent sur aucune des autres chaînes de Radio-Canada.
12930 Elle se distingue par la grande variété de son choix musical, allant de la musique classique à la musique contemporaine, en passant par les nouveaux courants musicaux et bien entendu le jazz qui occupe une place importante dans nos trentaines.
12931 En plus de son émission quotidienne Escale Jazz, la Chaîne culturelle produit l'émission Silence... on jazz à partir de Vancouver qui fait entendre à chaque semaine des captations originales de concerts de jazz.
12932 On offrant la Chaîne culturelle à l'échelle nationale, Radio-Canada soutient en tous points la politique culturelle du pays et se conforme ainsi aux exigences de la Loi sur la radiodiffusion.
12933 Cette loi tient compte de la réalité historique du Canada. Elle vise à sauvegarder, enrichir et renforcer la structure culturelle, politique, sociale et économique du Canada. Elle instaure un système canadien de radiodiffusion essentiel pour le maintien et la valorisation de l'identité nationale et de la souveraineté culturelle.
12934 Elle confie à Radio-Canada comme diffuseur public national le mandat de poursuivre ces objectifs essentiels partout au pays et dans les deux langues officielles.
12935 C'est pourquoi l'ampleur de l'auditoire potentiel ne peut pas constituer un critère acceptable pour l'octroi d'une fréquence dans un marché comme Vancouver.
12936 Dans ce marché déjà dominé par 17 diffuseurs privés, il y existe des considérations bien plus fondamentales. Il faut tout d'abord considérer que notre demande constitue pour Radio-Canada le seul moyen de rejoindre plus de 50 pour cent de la population francophone de la Colombie-Britannique.
12937 Pour ces francophones dispersés sur un territoire assez large ce service représente un des seuls moyens d'avoir accès dans leur langue à la culture canadienne.
12938 Cette chaîne multiplie par deux l'offre de services radiophoniques en français comme l'a souligné une intervenante devant vous. Elle contribue au rayonnement de la culture francophone et fait ainsi connaître aux anglophones et aux nouveaux arrivants toutes les réalités culturelles du pays. Elle contribue à l'essor de la langue français à l'extérieur du Québec ce qui s'avère fondamental dans une province aussi éloignée géographiquement du Québec que la Colombie-Britannique.
12939 Les nombreux appuis envoyés au CRTC témoignent de l'importance de notre demande. Parmi notre trentaine de lettres de support notons celle de la Fédération des francophones de la Colombie-Britannique qui affirme, et je cite, que:
"L'accès à des services radiophoniques en français contribue grandement à rehausser le sentiment de fierté et d'attachement à leur langue".
12940 Notons également celle des représentants de la Maison de la Francophonie de Vancouver qui considère la Chaîne culturelle comme un outil de développement culturel et éducationnel sans pareil pour la communauté franco-colombienne.
"Elle comblera un besoin réel chez les francophones en milieu minoritaire d'avoir accès à la programmation d'excellence sur les arts et la culture d'ici qui sera offerte sur cette chaîne".
12941 Notons finalement les interventions d'organismes tels que le Pro Art Alliance of Greater Victoria ou le Canadian Parents for French qui voient dans la Chaîne culturelle une occasion unique pour les anglophones d'être exposés à la culture francophone du pays.
12942 Cette demande a comme objectif pour la Chaîne culturelle de rejoindre 35 000 de ces francophones, 150 000 francophiles et tout le public intéressé par des contenus culturels et musicaux de qualité d'ici et de partout dans le monde.
12943 Nous couvrirons ainsi plus de 60 pour cent des francophones et francophiles de Colombie-Britannique et nous répondrons aux attentes du CRTC de desservir plus de 50 pour cent de la population francophone.
12944 Madam Chair, ladies and gentlemen of the Commission, I would like to thank you for all the consideration you have brought at this hearing during the past two weeks.
12945 During this time we have heard much discussion about programming diversity, about the best use of frequencies, and the targets and goals they would attain in the market or with the public.
12946 When all will be said and done after this hearing, the overriding concern will be the public interest.
12947 We believe the public interest goes far beyond population figures, the potential use of a frequency to reach underserved demographics and the number of stations for the market.
12948 We believe the public interest also includes striking a balance between private and public, between local stations and stations that establish and maintain national links, and between radio services in English, in French and in other languages.
12949 It includes establishing communication links among communities within Vancouver and between Vancouver and the rest of the country.
12950 It includes supporting and broadcasting Canadian talent. It also includes presenting the best of the world's orchestras and cultural events and it includes building and completion of a national broadcasting infrastructure from coast to coast.
12951 Your mission to strike this balance and all its components will no doubt be difficult. If the question becomes: is the public interest better served by granting 94.5 for an 18th commercial station or for la Chaîne culturelle, I would say that given the objectives of the Broadcasting Act, the CRTC's target of 50 per cent coverage of francophones in each province, the range of choice already available to Vancouver listeners and the suitability of other FM frequencies for commercial broadcasters, the answer should be clear.
12952 La Chaîne culturelle devrait être à Vancouver.
12953 I wish you well in your final deliberations.
12955 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Merci.
12956 We have no questions.
12957 Pas de questions.
12958 MS VOGEL: Madam Chair, those are all the presenters for Phase IV.
12959 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Madam Secretary.
12960 My colleagues, both staff and Commissioners, want to thank all participants and applicants for their cooperation and patience over the past two weeks.
12961 We heard many proposals for frequency alternatives, and given the frequency scarcity in the Vancouver, Victoria and lower mainland area and the number and variety of applications in front of us, we have difficult work ahead.
12962 We appreciate the effort and the goodwill of the applicants and their very capable engineering consultants who have provided us with alternatives.
12963 Finally, on behalf of the panel, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our legal counsel, CRTC staff, translators, court reporter and the technicians.
12964 We are also particularly grateful to the intervenors for their thoughtful and heartfelt contributions to this proceeding.
12965 And last but not least, my personal thanks to my fellow Commissioners for their support and patience throughout this proceeding.
12966 MS VOGEL: Madam Chair, may I interject?
12967 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, we are not finished?
12968 MS VOGEL: Not quite.
12969 We have non-appearing applications associated with this proceeding. They are listed at the beginning of page 17 of the agenda. Even though there is no oral representation, they are nevertheless part of this public hearing and as such they will be considered by the Commission and a decision will be rendered at a later date.
12970 Thank you.
12971 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
12972 And now I will say thank you, and before we close, the technical studies that have been filed already will be available in the Vancouver office tomorrow morning and the headquarters on Monday -- for the record.
12973 Thank you.
--- Whereupon the hearing concluded at 1655 /
L'audience est levée à 1655