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Please note that the Official Languages Act requires that government publications be available in both official languages.
In order to meet some of the requirements under this Act, the Commission's transcripts will therefore be bilingual as to their covers, the listing of CRTC members and staff attending the hearings, and the table of contents.
However, the aforementioned publication is the recorded verbatim transcript and, as such, is transcribed in either of the official languages, depending on the language spoken by the participant at the hearing.
The insert belongs after the lunch break on October 16,
prior to paragraph 2083.
seq level0 \h \r0 seq level1 \h \r0 seq level2 \h \r0 seq level3 \h \r0 seq level4 \h \r0 seq level5 \h \r0 seq level6 \h \r0 seq level7 \h \r0 THE CHAIRPERSON: Before we proceed, I want to forewarn that we will be sitting until seven tonight. We expect by then to be in Phase III, so whoever has any control over your interveners, you should make sure that they know this. We have attempted to tell what our schedule is, but since we'll be hearing interveners, there won't be the problem we would have had last night, of interrupting panels or commissioners. So, seven tonight, and please -- beepers and telephones must be turned off. Commissioner Cardozo?
COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you, Madam Chairwoman. I understand before I start, Baljit Sangra wanted to add something to an earlier question.
MS. SANGRA: I just wanted to add something when we were talking about independent production. I've worked on some projects that I think definitely could have been co-produced. I worked on a BBC documentary on Sikhs and it was Sikhs and Diaspora around the 300th anniversary. They filmed in England and South Vancouver and India, that would have been an excellent project to be co-produced. I've also worked on a PBS series called the Global Voyager and -- it's an American show but they were filming ethnic communities in Canada, at that time in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. That would have been -- could be a good example of a co-production. As well, I shot some footage, I work on some South Asian films from India when they shoot in B.C. and I've shot some footage of behind the scenes and that, you know, when it's done, would be a good co-production or an independent production. So, those are just some examples of programs or projects that I think, you know, a station like Multi -- could come in on.
COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay. Thanks. I'm going to be moving on to the advisory board but I do have one quick question -- hopefully quick, and it had to do with that last answer, Mr. Lee. The problem with the break is it kept ringing in my mind. You said you would run this business like any other business and I would say to you that this business isn't like any other business for at least two reasons. One is it's regulated and so if you've let CRTC in there with their little hands telling you what you can and can't do, based on what you agree you would and wouldn't do here, and there's been a lot of discussion about the sensitivity required and so forth. So this isn't going to be a -- you're not going to be making scads of cash in this business. Looking at your CV, somewhere between selling raincoats and running a university, I suppose, is what this is. Is that -- are you comfortable with that? Do you feel you can, as a shareholder and the shareholders, are you all, you know, fully aware that this isn't going to be a money making opportunity.
MR. LEE: Commissioner, just to give you an example, when I was appointed to the Governor, University of British Columbia, I, as a volunteer position as you know, I thought of developing some of the land that the university owns, a thousand acres, so I talked President Strangway in allowing me to form a company, a real estate company at UBC and I appointed all the directors, who are volunteer on the board, and we developed a place called Hampton Place that's probably one of the most successful projects ever developed in the Lower Mainland. What we did, we said we don't sell the land and we don't -- they said they don't have any money and don't want to take any risk but taking everything into consideration we did exactly that -- and with -- I guess with my knowledge in real estate we presented a cheque to Martha Piper a couple of years ago for $81 million, but we still own that land out there. So that's the sort of voluntary type of thing and I treat this similar to that because I like to be involved with the community, I've been involved all my life and if I can sort of just give some input or use this vehicle to help the community and that's one of my main reasons for doing it.
COMMISSIONER CORDOZO: Okay. Thanks. It's not a non-profit organization you're running but when you talked about -
MR. LEE: Yeah, but that it's half-way and the reason why I said -- like I've run a lot of businesses but I agree, its got to be treated a little different because of the regulation but the basic principle of business is still the same. You've got to apply some of that to survive and that's what I meant.
COMMISSIONER CORDOZO: Okay. Thanks. Let me move to the advisory board then and ask how you, whoever it was selected the advisory board, what kind of criteria did you use? I take a couple -- Mr. Segal said you're not a token board and Ms. Deol, you said you're not a group of shrinking violets so I get a sense of who, of the kind of approach that the members want to take and I did my own math just looking at the backgrounds and it came out to something like one, two, three, four, five business people, a couple of people I had called writer and arts, two politicians, a couple from broadcasting, one from community, one from medicine although that's very arbitrary because each one had several different things in their background. So what did you -- what do you look at for the overall composition in the advisory committee?
MR. LEE: Well, when I was first asked, Commissioner, when I was first asked to join as a partner, we sat down and discussed -- and I said the first thing we have to do is get a good advisory group and based on our background, volunteer group at university and Joe Segal at Simon Fraser University and all the other associations with different groups in Vancouver, we got to know a lot of people that are leaders in the community. So we went down the list and said who are the best in that community and who contribute the most, who has the best influence in that community? And we noticed that in the South Asia group, there's so many different factions of -- so we picked the best person who is sort of the father of that group, Asa Johal. So these are the people that we picked and similar with all the other advisory groups that we appointed so we put a lot of thought into it. We had hundreds of names and we just went down, the group of us just went down the list and spent quite a bit of time looking at who is the most influential in that group and we listed all the names in a process of elimination and we came up with this 13 that we thought was the best in the business.
COMMISSIONER CORDOZO: Okay. And do you think you've got enough grass roots involved in it because I look at it and the word pre-eminent and eminent comes to mind, you've got more university transfers than any other group I've ever seen, which is fine and good but are there -- I don't want to take away from you, Mr. Segal, and other people who are also, you know, there's a mix so you've got people who you could think are grass roots as well?
MR. SEGAL: Can I just add to that. The advisory board consists of a group of people that understand the process and understand the project, but the most important component in this advisory board is the simple fact that they represent a cross section of the community and that they are respected within their community and not just their community. But in the general ethnic community and that's very important too, you know, I can be respected in the Jewish community and a bum in the general community, so you have to have the ability to network in the community at large and particularly the ethnic community.
MS. DEOL: I think -- I wouldn't mind adding to that, that there are a lot of successful people in this city. There are a lot of very accomplished people in this city. I think the number one thing that I have seen on this board is, along with being successful, these are people who believe in giving back. These are people who have a sense of their roots. They have not forgotten where they come from. A lot of people who are successful tend to ivory tower themselves and they do remove themselves from where they come from. I think the most important thing about this group is that they are still involved with who they are and where they come from. I think that is, you know, the number one common thing in all of them.
COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay. How often -- so you meet four times a year, is that right, the advisory -
MS. DEOL: I think initially, if we were to get the station, initially I would see us meeting once a month, in all honesty, at the very least. Maybe not all 13 but most of the people should be there once a month, because I think that the role we play is sort of the conscience, I guess, for the owners. It's up to us to keep them honest and to keep them on, you know, like we're not afraid to say you guys said you'd be doing this. And you know, again with -- you know, with you saying that all these people are eminent, they're also people who would not lend their names very easily to that many projects. They have a lot to lose. I think they had to have a lot of confidence, a lot of faith in the owners to say yes, you can, you know, attach my name to this, because they don't really need any more glory, you know, and they don't need another thing to do. They're all very busy. I think it was very important to them that they had faith in these people.
COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: How often does the board -- will the board meet with the shareholders or the management?
MS. DEOL: How often will the -- again, I think initially it should be once a month.
COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: So your meetings will always be with the -
MS. DEOL: We'll -- we'll probably meet -- well, I -- what I see is that we would meet on our own, have, you know, a few days to kind of process our thoughts and then meet as a whole group. Once we feel that we're comfortable kind of letting go a little bit then we'll probably go to once every two or three months.
MR. HO: Okay. The other thing is, you know, Vancouver is a small community. A lot of the advisory and a lot of the owners are partners here, actually will be seeing each other on a weekly basis in any case. It's not something that we're far apart and we do not see each other and only see each other once a month. It's quite frequent meetings as well.
COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay. Let me put forward a few scenarios to you and ask you how you would respond to these and I take a few things out of some of the surveys, the IPSO Reid survey, as Commissioner Pennefather mentioned, talked about a couple of things. The people who would be most interested in this service, older viewers and were -- there were a lot of people interested in late night viewing, so you the advisory board sees that -- how do you transfer that over to the management and I'm still not clear where that late night viewing of ethnic programming is because the late night looks to me like English.
MS. DEOL: No, I think the news is -- I'm sorry, can I see your schedule here -- our news is from eight o'clock on, is it not?
COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: So you would say late night was eight to ten, which is -- which is the essence -
MS. DEOL: That's what I think. I think most people have families and have jobs and have lives and the other thing is on the weekend there is a lot more for people. There's this NBC Sunday night -- I don't know if any of you noticed that, did you notice that?
COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Yes.
MS. DEOL: It's a very interesting concept because as Jay said, just because we're going to sleep late Sunday doesn't mean that, you know, the rest of the world is still not going on. So I think on weekends we're very strong and eight to ten, I think, is when most people -- most family people tend to watch television.
COMMISSIONER CORDOZO: Okay, for the older viewers, are there some programs that stand out more for older viewers?
MS. DEOL: James, what do you think?
MR. HO: For the older viewers, again, like I say, we take into consideration of the complementary type of things that we do here. We do have programs that's also geared towards the older viewers in the community. Like, some of the lifestyle that you see here, for sure, would be part of the older -- for the older viewers as well as the younger viewer but the other thing that we also have to take a look at, a lot of these older viewers, they tend to watch films that's from foreign sources as well.
And you know, what we have done here, like I say, we build our schedule here, we've been very careful in looking at all the different availability in this market here and we try not to take in those part of their speciality, away from them, by that I mean Shaw Multicultural -- a lot of their program are imported and I believe these are for older viewer people because of the language base. They do have some good programs, younger generation as well, but predominantly, these are drama, older version, older dramas for the older viewer. And the other reason why it is available with them is because it is a lot cheaper to acquire for them.
COMMISSIONER CORDOZO: Okay. Let me ask you about another point. The Meiklejohn study on pages 2 and 10 talked about cross-cultural programming being highly desirable, a suggestion that people want to -- and I'm paraphrasing here, people want to understand each other and increase inter-generational understanding so the shows I see are A Table By the Exit and Sounds Right Tonight. I'm not sure I'd include the ethnic cooking necessarily as cross-cultural in the sense of increasing understanding or maybe it is. Are there any other shows that deal with cross-cultural understanding?
MR. HO: Yes. Yes, Commissioner Cordozo, for instance let me just go into the news for one thing. The -- news from South Asian community, part of it is going to be Punjabi and part of it is going to be English. On the English portion, again, I would treat that as not only targeting the Punjabi community or the South Asian community as a whole, but it would be cross-cultural as well within their own -- within the South Asian community as well as cross-cultural towards the mainstream, for them to understand what's happening in the South Asian community, for the South Asian sometimes, also to have certain participation so that we can also broadcast that out.
The other one is, that we also have -- well, international sports, that's actually English and bilingual in certain areas such as -- you may have soccer from all over the world, sometimes they are not broadcast in English and you have cricket, badminton sometimes broadcast is bilingual. The ethnic -- sorry, the ethnic cooking, actually is broadcasted in different languages there but in certain things such as the Chinese, the Cantonese program, you know, there's a plan right now to have subtitles done in English and the other one is -
COMMISSIONER CORDOZO: Well, let me put this differently. If the advisory committee felt, having talked to people and thought about it themselves, thought there was a need for a program that really involved, that was in English so that the community at large could hear it but that brought people of different cultures together to talk about issues, how would you go about if -- let's say that was something hypothetically that you wanted to pursue. How would you see it? What would you do with that thought?
MS. DEOL: First of all, I think that's an excellent idea.
COMMISSIONER CORDOZO: I know it is.
MS. DEOL: Yeah, excellent idea. Well, we would probably sit down as a group first and discuss why it matters to us, why we think the owners should be paying attention to it and then in our next meeting with them, we would talk about the fact that they should perhaps think about doing a show, you know, like you said. And then they'd have to, of course, see where there's room in their day for that kind of show. It could probably start as one-of special sort of, you know, a talk -- a television show and, because, you know, we can't force things on them either but there's nothing wrong with trying something once. And based on how viewers felt about it, then we could look at doing it more often or making it sort of, you know, a weekly thing.
COMMISSIONER CORDOZO: Okay.
MR. HO: Most likely the situation if that happens, most likely we'll be getting a phone call ready from the advisory before they meet so most likely the situation is, while they're meeting we probably will be participating if we're
invited, by the way -
MS. DEOL: Well, you wouldn't be invited to the first one, that's what I'm saying -
MR. HO: And then, you know, timing is everything. If the issue is so significant, we probably or we most likely will want to air it from -- as soon as possible time, possible date before, you know, the whole thing sort of died down or it loses its taste in the community or whatever, the interest. You know, something that will pace as accordingly.
COMMISSIONER CORDOZO: Okay. Can you tell me about program development, whether the advisory board has a role in that and I'm thinking, you know, you start by talking to the community in general, then maybe producers have certain ideas, there's the station management and then something gets on the air at the end of a process. How do things move from being what the community tells you they'd like to see to something that shows up on the screen? Does the advisory board get involved in something like trying to get a certain kind of program, or all the programs that you're planning, the lifestyle programs, does the advisory board get involved in all of those?
MR. HO: No, not all of the program because there's a limited amount of time, a limited amount of people that, yeah, there is -- especially towards the advisory board but however, like you were saying our application, you know, between the owners and the management it's very limited amount of things that we -- it's a limited time, a limited amount of situation wherein -- and then with all your advisors who are even more, better in touch with the community, they're our ears and they're our eyes. When people get to know who these advisory boards are, I am -- I can say for sure not only that we will be getting phone calls, they will be getting lots and lots of phone calls as well with suggestions that come, recommendations and perhaps complaints and things like that. It's a lot of work that they have to do and it would be brought up to our situation, like I say, initially at least once a month, perhaps more frequent if the urgency arises. But at the same time, I mean we will also will not close the door on the public, they call us directly, I mean we will talk to them and perhaps if we think it's a big enough of an issue that we do not understand how to deal with it or even if we know how to deal with it, we probably would still have to run through the advisory board and let them see how we do things whether it's proper, you know, towards that certain community or not. It's all the sensitivities that we are also trying to bring in, too.
COMMISSIONER CORDOZO: Okay. Let me just ask you, and Ms. Pennefather talked to you at some length about this, but just in my mind, looking at the schedule, I thought it was -- if you allow me, rather thin in that you've got the different communities identified but the word Lifestyles applies to most of those programs and it didn't look that exciting to me. So before you go to TV Guide, you're going to have to replace the word Lifestyles with something else. Where do you see that -- I mean, is it going to be laid-back relaxing TV or is it going to be, say, cutting edge, exciting, captivating -
MS. DEOL: Okay. Well, first of all these are just working -- working titles, the way that most, you know, film or television projects are. I think it's going to be a little bit of everything. I don't think that good television is one thing to the viewer all day and all night. I think it depends upon the show, I think it depends upon what's happening with that particular group of people at the time. Sometimes it will be cutting edge and sometimes it will be more of, you know, a feel good thing, depending upon -- I mean really, like you can't -- it's hard to predict with television. Like, you can't say it will always be this, because it won't. It will change according to what's happening.
COMMISSIONER CORDOZO: Let me, since I gave the other group my incredibly expert feedback on their video, let me do the same with you.
MS. DEOL: Please.
COMMISSIONER CORDOZO: And it was visually appealing, very good introduction to the key members, the voice-over was -- gave us a good sense but I found what was missing was a sense -- in their case I said they had talked about too many negative discrimination type stories. In your case, those were absent. And they -- like, where is the balance between reflecting the reality, the community wishes, challenges and discrimination that exist and yet the -- the contribution that people around this sort of group make every day. Can you give us a sense or at least reassure me that what you're talking about is more than television shots of ethnic markets and dancing and stuff like that, which has its place on -- in a roster and as you say, people look for different things, so yes, people do want to see dance and they do want to see market scenes or whatever, but is there more than that, that you will be delivering to the viewer?
MS. DEOL: Well, I think that the other group had what they have on air to draw from, obviously, so they pulled stuff from off air. We went out and we used -- why don't you -- because you did the video, so you talk about the video.
MS. SANGRA: I think the video is a reflection of the excitement of having a local station. I mean we wanted to show that that's what we really love about being in Vancouver, why we choose to live here. It has made me feel good in terms of images but that's how we feel, I mean we're really coming -
COMMISSIONER CORDOZO: And I'm not asking you to defend the video so much as, you know, look into the future. I didn't get a sense from looking at the video that that would make great TV, you know. It's good for a certain number of scenes but overall, there's got to be more to it. There's got to be more -- there's got to be some serious stuff and some celebratory stuff and music and dance.
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