ARCHIVED - Transcript, Hearing 9 December 2010

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Volume 5, 9 December 2010





To consider the broadcasting applications listed in Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2010-146


Doubletree International

Plaza Hotel Toronto Airport

655 Dixon Road

Toronto, Ontario


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.

Canadian Radio-television and

Telecommunications Commission


To consider the broadcasting applications listed in Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2010-146


Len Katz   Chairperson

Louise Poirier   Commissioner

Peter Menzies   Commissioner

Timothy Denton   Commissioner

Candice Molnar   Commissioner


Cindy Ventura   Secretary

Crystal Hulley   Legal Counsel

Michael Craig   Hearing Manager


Doubletree International

Plaza Hotel Toronto Airport

655 Dixon Road

Toronto, Ontario

December 9, 2010

- iv -



PHASE II (Cont.)


Greg Duffell   739 / 4590

Daniel Besharat   748 / 4634

David James Cooper   775 / 4788

Sid Whittaker   790 / 4846

Allan Jones   809 / 4965

Owen Leach   816 / 5007

U-Sheak Koroma   831 / 5104



CKLN Radio Incorporated   837 / 5136

   Toronto, Ontario

--- Upon resuming on Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 0901

4584   THE SECRETARY: Thank you and good morning.

4585   I would now call Greg Duffell and Daniel Besharat to appear as a panel to present their intervention.

4586   Legal Counsel Crystal Hulley will now swear in the intervenors.



4587   THE SECRETARY: Thank you.

4588   We will start with Mr. Greg Duffell.

4589   Mr. Duffell, you have 10 minutes for your presentation.


4590   MR. DUFFELL: I thank the Commissioners for granting me an invitation to appear at this important hearing concerning the future of the licensee CKLN Radio Incorporated.

4591   My name is Greg Duffell. I have volunteered for the better part of the last decade at CKLN as the co-host and producer of a popular current events spoken word program.

4592   Since 2005, once I became familiar with CKLN's bylaws, board and staffing structure, I was increasingly concerned about the integrity of decision-making at CKLN. Rules were not being followed.

4593   I learned that back in the year 2000 CKLN went about altering its bylaws to create three new voting positions on its board: seats for the Station Manager, Program Director and "former core staff." Another seat, for faculty or administration of Ryerson University, was removed entirely. These decisions all ran counter to the CRTC's Campus Radio Policy issued that same year.

4594   In the ensuing years, CKLN held Annual General Meetings irregularly and arbitrarily, as shown in my accompanying chart, Table 1. You will also notice that in a 10-year period only one or two sets of audited statements were ever distributed.

4595   CKLN's lack of transparency in its fiscal affairs and their seemingly deliberate steps at non-compliance with the CRTC were harbingers of trouble.

4596   For over four years, between 2003 and 2007, CKLN had no station manager. By 2004, CKLN was so deeply in debt that it faced bankruptcy. That year the Ryerson Students' Union, the RSU, bailed CKLN out in a backroom deal.

4597   I am going to move more contemporaneously now and talk about staffing.

4598   CKLN's new administration has not hired a Station Manager or Program Director, operating without day-to-day operational management for well over a year, with no end in sight.

4599   On page 3 of CKLN's September 2009 CRTC Report 2, CKLN stated the intention to "exclude the station manager and program director from future boards" and that it is "an obvious conflict of interest that is associated by any party occupying both positions simultaneously."

4600   Yet, since that was written, Vice-Chair/Secretary Andrew Lehrer and Chair Ron Nelson appointed themselves de facto CKLN Station Manager and Program Director and remained on the board in spite of the "obvious conflict of interest."

4601   Programming at CKLN has been reactionary under the current leadership. Ron Nelson's stated goal in September 2009 was to simply restore CKLN's pre-2007 program schedule. His first action, however, was to double the amount of airtime he occupied to six hours a week. As usual, token attention was paid to student programming.

4602   Many initiatives were promised in the September 2009 report, not the least of which was the vow to engage in extensive "technical volunteer training." It is doubtful any serious effort was undertaken in this regard given the multitude of compliance lapses in the Commission's ensuing 2010 evaluation of CKLN's logs and records.

4603   CKLN responded by suggesting that they would be relying on proxy staff at Ottawa's NCRA "to ensure that all necessary regulatory and supervisory steps are taken."

4604   On that note, I feel it is important to mention how the NCRA has played a dubious role in events at CKLN.

4605   In July 2009, two NCRA officials traveled to Toronto from Ottawa and were inserted into the governance of CKLN. They assumed the roles of Chair and Secretary, arbitrarily determined membership, ignored the bylaws and conducted elections for a "new" CKLN board.

4606   Who was it that arranged for their appearance, provided them this sweeping authority and paid their expenses at a time when the elected board had been locked out of CKLN?

4607   What I do know is that this was done inside the premises of, and sanctioned by, the RSU and the PALIN Foundation.

4608   I am going to move to what I consider to be the aspect of the financial viability of CKLN going forward.

4609   According to CKLN, the absence of paid staff is due to lack of funds. In their September 2009 report, there was no coherent plan for CKLN to raise capital.

4610   CKLN's first fundraising drive since that report has recently concluded and appears to have fallen far short of its stated financial expectations.

4611   CKLN traditionally announces pledged fundraising totals that are far in excess of the funds eventually collected. CKLN's auditors always state that CKLN's revenue from fundraising and advertising activities are "not susceptible to satisfactory audit verification."

4612   Since the postponement of the CRTC hearing in May, CKLN has released no less than four previously unseen sets of yearly audited statements that date back to 2006.

4613   Based on these statements, revenue appears insufficient to pay for staff, for instance. Revenue from advertising is hidden. No effective strategy to optimize the four minutes of advertising per hour allowed by the CRTC has ever been developed. Ideological disputes and corruption results in little to no revenue accruing to CKLN.

4614   There is considerable use, however, of CKLN airtime by hosts in aid of their own business enterprises and for personal profit. For instance, current CKLN Chair Ron Nelson, as I said before, hosts two weekly three-hour programs, both of which promote, and one is even named after, Mr. Nelson's company Reggaemania.

4615   Extemporizing here for a moment, if I may, yesterday upon questioning about the prospect of suspension of the licence, I noticed the horror and revulsion expressed by Mr. Nelson and others. I suspect this is a reaction based on their fear about loss of personal income.

4616   CKLN receives no regular grants. The Ryerson student levy remains CKLN's only real source of income. Going forward, it is difficult to see how CKLN's rising cost structure in terms of salaries, benefits and technical operations can be financed.

4617   Now, I am going to move on to a very important topic, I think, and that is the transfer of ownership and control which the CRTC has brought up in this hearing.

4618   The RSU, which occupies a seat on CKLN's board, has been aware of the deteriorating situation at CKLN for years. Without nomination or approval by the CKLN membership, the RSU's auditing firm became CKLN's auditors. That was back in somewhere around 2007.

4619   Something unusual occurred in 2007 also. The board of CKLN was not as amenable to the influence of the RSU as it had previously been. As a result, the RSU began to distance itself and by early 2008 was boycotting their seat on CKLN's board entirely.

4620   It seems that when the RSU could no longer be assured of getting their way at CKLN, they turned their attentions to fomenting and encouraging a rebellion, advanced by their loyal adherents, including CKLN paid staff, along with their dupes and cronies within the membership.

4621   For two years, chaos ensued as the RSU encouraged and facilitated a board in exile whose ranks included Ron Nelson, former Station Manager Conrad Collaco, and a man who posed as Chair of CKLN, Arnold Minors, who was not a member of CKLN and who ran a professional consultancy firm.

4622   By late 2008, the RSU cut off funds to CKLN. In March 2009, after their tag-team partner the PALIN Foundation locked CKLN's doors, the RSU appears to have directly paid many of CKLN's bills and controlled its transmitter.

4623   The RSU demanded specific remedies at CKLN, identical to those their ally Arnold Minors had been promoting the year before, which had included mediation by the NCRA.

4624   Those who currently speak as the CKLN board, although aligned with the RSU, may have been coerced into signing the new PALIN agreement before being allowed to enter the CKLN premises in September 2009. CKLN was denied their student levy funds until such time as they agreed to sign the new RSU agreement about funding in January 2010.

4625   "CKLN must appease the RSU." This is a verbatim quote by so-called Treasurer of CKLN Michael Harnett at a board meeting on November 9, 2009. I view appeasement as a practice historically entered into at the expense of principle.

4626   It would appear to me that if subsequent boards do not meet the approval of the RSU in a variety of ways, the signed agreements allow for CKLN to be evicted from its premises as well as cut off from its funds.

4627   If CKLN had a modicum of independence in the past, it has surely been lost now. Despite all the denials by both the board of CKLN and the RSU, the facts are plain, I believe. The RSU and the PALIN Foundation control CKLN.

4628   The executives of the Canadian Federation of Students allied entities Ryerson Students' Union, the PALIN Foundation and CESAR have a fortress mentality. Whatever entity exists inside what they consider to be their sphere must toe their line.

4629   The Commission is correct in addressing the role played by the RSU and the PALIN Foundation with relation to CKLN and its operations. I believe their reckless interference and desire for control poses grave dangers for CKLN's future.

4630   This ends my presentation and thank you again.

4631   THE SECRETARY: Thank you.

4632   We will now proceed with Mr. Daniel Besharat.

4633   Mr. Besharat, you have 10 minutes for your presentation.


4634   MR. BESHARAT: Thank you.

4635   Good morning, Mr. Chair, Commissioners. My name is Daniel Besharat. I would like to thank the Commissioners and staff for providing time for my comments.

4636   Let me tell you a little bit about myself. My goal as a longtime programmer at CKLN has been to produce quality programming and be an engaged member of the station. Listeners have donated funds to my show, ranking it in the top three programs during CKLN's yearly fundraising drives.

4637   CKLN is a deeply factionalized organization. Yet, I have avoided becoming part of any organized faction. I am a true volunteer at CKLN, working towards its best interests.

4638   During my available time I will speak to the issues surrounding CKLN's non-compliance with Radio Regulations, CKLN's financial viability and ownership.

4639   Let us turn to the unlistenable logger tapes that CKLN supplied for the Commission's evaluation.

4640   Logger tapes are central to the CRTC'S ability to evaluate compliance with Radio Regulations. CKLN's failure to provide proper logger tapes extends back years. CKLN has consistently failed to meet logger tape obligations and attached as Table 1 is a summary of this history.

4641   Current administrators of CKLN were told in October 2009 that clear and complete logger recordings were required to be kept. Yet, by January 2010 CKLN was still keeping inaudible logs.

4642   I believe that when CKLN told the Commission in 2009 that the logger tape problem was resolved and that the station was committed to meeting all Regulations that this was a deliberate and wilful deceit in the hopes that the Commission would believe the words on paper and turn away.

4643   Training at CKLN has historically been poor or nonexistent, resulting in the lack of compliance found in the performance evaluation. In my time at CKLN I have never received training relevant to the Regulations.

4644   This leads us to the deteriorated content programming. Spoken word, ethnic and Canadian content programming are significant and important aspects that differentiates campus radio from commercial radio.

4645   In a review of the January 10 to 16, 2010 broadcast week I have prepared a table outlining CKLN's requirements versus actual broadcast content. Table 2 and 3 will show that despite CKLN's broadcast range covering millions of people, the station does not conform to the Commission's spoken word or ethnic programming requirements.

4646   CKLN has arbitrarily created a whole new definition of what it considers "ethnic programming." At CKLN such programming is delivered in English and not a third language.

4647   The performance evaluation detailed the myriad of problems during one day. An examination of the full week would have shown that there was no effort to conform to the Radio Regulations.

4648   There is no outreach. CKLN is fanatical, they don't want diversity. Why? Because they operate in an insular environment with the goal of reducing participation to one faction, their own, those you saw here before you yesterday.

4649   To consider CKLN's future viability, I believe that we must first look at its troubled past. Internal difficulties and financial problems have plagued CKLN for decades and Table 4 outlines this with newspaper reports.

4650   Quotes from these newspaper reports include: "hostile environment of intimidation, manipulation"; "$21,000 in outstanding bills"; "$200,000 in debt"; "owed between $50,000 and $60,000 in two outstanding bank repayments"; "CKLN should be dismantled."

4651   Regardless of who is in control of CKLN there is an inability or unwillingness to manoeuvre out of basic problems by simply reading and following established rules.

4652   During my time at the station I have watched as programming has deteriorated, listeners have drifted to Internet or satellite and donation levels have fallen drastically. CKLN has become moribund.

4653   The current administrators have demonstrated their inability to come up with creative solutions to financial matters. Instead, they default to failed policies. They have invoked the National Campus Radio Association in Ottawa as the saviour for Toronto's CKLN.

4654   There appears to be no interest in financial transparency at CKLN unless forced by a government agency. Three years of statements were clumped together only under pressure. A regular member does not stand a chance at finding out anything unless CKLN is dragged kicking and screaming into compliance.

4655   CKLN is a secretive organization. Financial crisis management is the hallmark at CKLN. It appears to me that despite lacking the skills to properly manage a radio station the current administrators are consumed with gaining power.

4656   This turns us to the important question as to who really controls CKLN.

4657   I watched during late 2008 and throughout 2009 as the ownership of CKLN was effectively transferred to a consortium including the Ryerson Students' Union and/or PALIN Foundation. The most troubling moments during this transfer process happened with the signing of "new" agreements with the Students' Union in September 2009 and January 2010.

4658   CKLN's original 1982 agreement with the Students' Union clearly outlined the role and responsibility to transfer funds to CKLN and make space available for the station.

4659   Under the new agreements, the Students' Union does not have ensure "equivalent space" be made available should a change to the current space occur and can "indefinitely withhold future instalments" of the student levy from CKLN.

4660   During 2009 access to CKLN's transmitter site required the approval of the Students' Union/PALIN Foundation. In a bid to gain power at CKLN the current administrators signed away CKLN's ownership to a third party.

4661   The student contribution to CKLN's funding, which makes up a whopping 95 percent of the station's operating budget, could vanish entirely pending a future referendum of Ryerson students.

4662   I would like to deviate for a moment from my script and make a few extra comments.

4663   CKLN yesterday stated that they would a station manager and program director in two months, but they said they would have this in their September 2009 report.

4664   CKLN states that funding is secure, but how can this be the case when the Students' Union can revoke this money?

4665   CKLN states that on December 15th the bylaws will change, but students are still in exams. Students are not appreciated at CKLN and the new bylaws will not fix the problems that have existed.

4666   CKLN says that meetings are mandatory. I have been to these mandatory meetings. No one shows up. There is no discipline if you do not follow the rules.

4667   CKLN's answers yesterday appeared virtually at the last minute and given on the spot and I don't believe that they are convincing.

4668   In conclusion, CKLN has been consistently unable to comply with Regulations. In late 2009, CKLN made many promises to the Commission and since then has continued to break Regulations. By allowing obscenity and racist material, CKLN shows to this day that it does not understand the Regulations.

4669   As reported in a newspaper article on December 7, 2009, so-called CKLN Chair Ron Nelson stated:

"We're back in good again with the CRTC."

4670   A public statement such as this, when not backed up by the necessary efforts to make such harmonious conditions a reality, undermines CKLN's credibility in terms of its many serious obligations.

4671   I do not know whether it is the job of the Commission to hold the hand of CKLN and to watch them every step of the way. CKLN has been given a privilege and with that privilege comes responsibility that they are unable to shepherd.

4672   At the membership level we are helpless. Telling them that they are not doing their job is the fastest way out the door.

4673   Mr. Chair, Commissioners, staff, thank you for your time in allowing me to present my thoughts as part of this hearing. I will be happy to answer your questions with regards to my submissions and comments.

4674   THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you both very much for your presentations here this morning.

4675   I have a couple of questions and perhaps my colleagues have some as well.

4676   Can both of you tell me how long you were programmers at CKLN?

4677   As well as I think, Mr. Besharat, you said you had no formal training on Regulations. If you can expand upon what level of training you did have, how it was provided, whether it was mandatory attendance or not.

4678   And, Mr. Duffell, to the extent you had training, if you can elaborate on that as well, I would appreciate it.

4679   MR. DUFFELL: I started at CKLN in April 2000 as the host of at that time a one-hour radio program on Sunday mornings. I remained as the host of the program until October 2006 when the board of CKLN removed me from the show and basically banished me because I had just brought up complaints about corruption and so on at the station. So they just removed me and Daniel.

4680   I returned under the terms of a mediated settlement in a lawsuit that we both brought in May 2007. In December 2007 CKLN settled with us and we came back on the air to our slot on Sunday mornings, now two hours -- it had changed to two hours sometime around 2002 -- and we continued broadcasting until February 22nd, 2009 when the next week, the next Sunday, the station was effectively locked and we were unable to do the radio program any more. And we consider ourselves members still.

4681   As terms of -- in terms of the mediated settlement, the volunteer agreement that CKLN put forward we felt was unacceptable to sign and so we're still in -- we're in arbitration at the moment about this matter because that was one of the terms of our legal settlement. So that's basically my history with the station in terms of broadcasting.

4682   THE CHAIRPERSON: You're not currently on the air?

4683   MR. DUFFELL: No, I am not.

4684   THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Mr. Besharat?

4685   MR. BESHARAT: I began in July of 2001, and I'll leave the rest of the history to what Mr. Duffel said.

4686   As for the -- as for your question about training, at the time in 2001 training was non-existent. I was on the air. No one approached and said, "You need to be trained". There was no formalized system by which someone at the station like the program director would sit you down and say, "Here's a rule book. Here's what you can do; here's what you cannot do".

4687   This was simply not the case. You could go on the air and it was -- there was almost a mentality at the station of just free air. Come in and just say what you want. Everything else can go out the window. There was no mandatory training of that particular type.

4688   In 2005, that changed. They began to have what they called a volunteer agreement. The primary purpose was to hand out security cards. CKLN had moved buildings and now you required a security card to get in the door. Before, the doors were just open. Doors were unlocked to the studio.

4689   You could literally walk in off the street, enter a Ryerson building, go through a couple of doors that were unlocked and you would be in the main on-air facility. Now you required a security card, and for that security card you had to sign a volunteer agreement.

4690   Again, this was more interested in don't leave the door open for other people than it was for follow the rules on air, follow -- you know, follow the regulations as stipulated by the Commission.

4691   And here it was only mandatory to the extent that if you needed a card. If your friend had a card and they could let you into the studio, no requirement to sign.

4692   As the years progressed and as the Commission, especially in July, began to come down on CKLN and say, "Well, what's happening with all these broken regulations?" then in September when they went back on the air, they said, "We need an agreement". And then they drafted that agreement.

4693   And this, for the first time -- again, there's a little bit of wording in here about -- or within that about following regulations. Was this mandatory? There's no way to tell.

4694   I've asked CKLN to see the -- look at the people on the air and have they signed this agreement. They're simply unwilling to provide this list. After you sign it, there's no quiz. There's no real way to make sure that it has actually entered a person's understanding of what the Regulations are.

4695   And as I spoke about training, they claim that these training sessions are mandatory. Virtually nobody shows up. I mean, they -- you heard yesterday about this bylaw meeting that they had I guess it was last week or the week before where they didn't get quorum. Quorum is 25 people. There are 20,000 students. They make a claim that there's 170 volunteers. How many community members are there, and they cannot achieve 25 people to pass bylaw reform.

4696   This is -- to me, it was just shocking. Nobody shows up. There is no punishment for that, so nothing is mandatory.

4697   MR. DUFFELL: I guess I didn't really answer about my training, and I will now.

4698   When I expressed interest about going to CKLN, which really was based on one of the programmers actually calling out to the audience because he was going to be leaving that program and I particularly liked this program, and I heeded the call, he trained me. I came down and he sort of explained how the board worked.

4699   There was no discussion about CRTC Regulations or any such thing, and I don't recall any regular training sessions that were offered at any point. I felt that -- when I got to CKLN, you know, I felt the station had been up and running for a long time.

4700   As a listener, you know, there isn't always notices about what's in or out of compliance, so I just assumed these people knew what they were doing. And I knew that -- I knew some common sense things that you couldn't do, but even then whenever, by mistake, I might have crossed over that line and I got very worried about it and would phone in to the station manager and say, "Oh, you know, I did something bad. I didn't realize there was a word in this song or something like that that I played". He would go, "Oh, don't worry about it".

4701   And I'd go -- I mean, I worried about it. I thought I don't want to be the one that makes CKLN lose its license. But there was a bit of a laissez-faire attitude in everybody else which I never had all the way through. I knew the basic rules, the common sense rules. But specifically, they'd never been presented to me.

4702   I mean, they never presented us the bylaws of the company. We never got any documentation as a -- you know, a person that would come to the station, as a new person. You didn't get an introductory package at all.

4703   THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. I want to talk a bit about, I guess, Mr. Duffel, your submission this morning about unsatisfactory audit verification.

4704   Can you explain -- can both of you explain to this Panel what role programmers played in the advertising space? What were your obligations or what were your capabilities or permissions in terms of getting programming and how -- was there a compensation plan when you were there and to what extent do you know about it?

4705   MR. DUFFELL: I always thought when I heard advertising on CKLN that the money was going to the station. It would only make sense, really, but that wasn't the case, I found out later.

4706   But to tell you about my earliest recollections about discussions about advertising, I -- during fundraising, I was looking around and whatever contacts that I had in my daily going about the community that might be interested in having something to do with promotion on CKLN. And this would have been around the time of fundraising.

4707   I'd say this is in 2001. And it was a health food store and -- that I went to regularly. And I said, you know, "Would you be interested in donating something, you know, of some value that I could offer on my show and, you know, as an incentive to people to bid or offer some money to the station?"

4708   He said, "Oh, yeah, that sounds okay". And this became a bit bigger. He took a real interest in this. And the next -- I did it the first week, you know, maybe a $25 gift basket and then the next week, he says, you know, "I want to do more. I want to do more".

4709   And I go, "Okay", you know. More to go to the station, that's great.

4710   So he said, "What if we offered, you know, $500 or something?" And I go -- of goods. And I go, "Well, that's great".

4711   So then there was a topic -- it came up how -- something about advertising came up later about them actually advertising on the station, getting advertising for their contribution, you know, in lieu of their contribution to the station, that it would be, you know, they'd get a little bit of advertising.

4712   And I remember the station manager and the program director at the time said, "Oh, you know, you can get a commission on that". And I was a bit taken aback by it, really, because I came to CKLN as a volunteer. I never thought of making money out of it.

4713   I thought that I was going to be contributing to the station. If I was raising money, it would go the station. We needed -- I mean, the equipment was appalling. We needed -- it seemed like we were always cash strapped and I thought, well -- I thought it was my duty to bring money to the station, so -- and I was surprised.

4714   And I said to them, I said, "I don't want any money". But that obviously led open the possibility that other people were making money.

4715   What struck me about yesterday's -- the presentation by CKLN, at one point you may recall that they were talking about -- they were sort of confused about what the commission was on -- for advertising. And Mr. Nelson turns, "Is it 10?" And they go, "Oh, it's 15".

4716   Well, I believe in -- I think it's the submission of Josie Miner you'll find documentation that shows that Mr. Nelson had arranged to get 25 percent commission. There's a signed document in there, if my memory serves me correctly.

4717   So there were varying -- certain people would get certain amounts of compensation. I mean, I'm shocked -- you know, these people are all saying, "Oh, I'm a volunteer".

4718   You know, I'm taking care of someone right now that's terminally ill and I take her to the hospital and -- Princess Margaret, and there are volunteers there. If I thought those volunteers somehow got paid money or something, I mean, they wouldn't be volunteers, would they?

4719   I consider myself to be a volunteer. I know Daniel was. And I resent people making money off that station that call themselves volunteers. Notice Mr. Nelson said he was employed there.

4720   THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Can we hear from Mr. Besharat?

4721   MR. BESHARAT: Yes, thank you.

4722   A few things to note, I think, about the volunteers and advertising space. First of all, there's virtually no regulation. I've had discussions with Mr. Harnett about -- we've presented to him ideas. We go here's this person on the air that clearly you can hear some level of advertisement is going on. Are they being monitored? Are they -- where is the paper trail that goes between that ad and CKLN? Nothing exists.

4723   It is regular as from listening to CKLN that going over four minutes an hour, which is against regulations, is commonplace. That it would happen a few times a week would not be uncommon at CKLN.

4724   Volunteers at CKLN are, in essence, independent agents without a strong oversight of, let's say, an advertising director. Poor paperwork at CKLN, virtually no paperwork, has led, finally, to the audited statement saying we cannot satisfactorily come back and say we know what's going on with the advertisement.

4725   I don't believe CKLN has had an advertising position for a few years now. It's been at least 2007. It's been quite a few years, if not even longer than that. It's poor.

4726   And the one thing I asked Mr. Harnett, I had discussions. I say, "I hear so much advertisement on the air. If I calculate what, on average, is going out on the air and if I look at the numbers in CKLN's books, they don't match. CKLN should be making at least this much money, but they're making half or a quarter. Why is that? No regulation.

4727   And when people are independent agents and they're allowed to simply get away with whatever they want to get away with, they want to keep that power. They want to keep that regime going. And that's what we have at CKLN.

4728   THE CHAIRPERSON: Can I just ask you this specific question?

4729   When you were on air, did you have an obligation to generate a degree of -- a certain amount of revenue and were you compensated for it?

4730   MR. BESHARAT: No.

4731   THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

4732   MR. BESHARAT: The only -- just one little caveat to that. During our fundraising, they would come and say what a show goal was so, for example, they would come before the yearly fundraising drive and they would say, "Your goal is $250". And then you would try to make that or you would not make that, but that goal on a personal basis would not be relevant in any particular way.

4733   If you made the 250, I guess you got a pat on the back. If you were at 25 percent of that, shows then disappear because they didn't make money.

4734   THE CHAIRPERSON: But you didn't get a compensation of 15 percent or whatever the number was they were quoting.

4735   MR. BESHARAT: Not -- never. I've never gotten a single penny from CKLN, nor -- during fundraising you're not offered that.

4736   THE CHAIRPERSON: All right. Okay. Just my last question.

4737   Both of you were silent on what action, from your perspective, the CRTC should take. I think, Mr. Besharat, you said we should look critically into the situation, was your summation and your initial comments.

4738   You heard yesterday in the opening remarks and again through the day the notion that we have available to us mandatory orders, suspension, revocation. I believe NCRA came in with a proposal that maybe can be worked out. I have no idea. But their proposal was a two-year renewal.

4739   What are you proposing? What are you suggesting this Panel do?

4740   MR. DUFFELL: In my original submission, I -- this was in April. I suggested mandatory orders.

4741   Now, I'm not a -- you know, I'm not an expert about what that would entail from your end, form their end. I mean, I kind of have an idea it would involve Court orders.

4742   But yesterday, Chairman Katts went on at length about the suspension. And I noted earlier in my submission here today about the reaction by CKLN. And I had a chance to think about that, about suspension, and I don't think I really thought much about that one before, you know, until it had been discussed here.

4743   And I thought it made a lot of sense because CKLN is -- they're saying they don't have a paid staff yet. They've got all these problems, perhaps, potentially with compliance because of the programming and not having things absolutely in line. And there seems to be a lot to put together in terms of the company.

4744   And I thought if I were in their position, I might look at suspension as being a bit of a relief, a time where -- a little timeout where you could get it together, get things in compliance, get a good station manager, get a good program director and not be worried about the day-to-day operations of keeping that radio station going.

4745   And as Chairman Katts and others said yesterday, that the money, evidently, is secure. The funds are coming in from the students every year, so that's secure. If -- so I guess I've changed my mind about it from, you know, seven or eight months ago and from having pondered it, I guess I think the suspension one is probably in the best interests of CKLN and the people who are charged with reforming it.

4746   So that's my view on that.

4747   MR. BESHARAT: I guess I'll go from revocation to mandatory orders.

4748   On revocation, I think the question was, you know, who would it be good for. On a -- for a station that isn't meeting ethnic programming requirements, is playing Tacoma, Washington radio for hours during a day, a station that isn't meeting Spoken Word programming and Aboriginal and French programming, who it would be good for is the Toronto community so that they would get stations that do conform with the Regulations.

4749   But there is a need for community radio, so revocation is a problem.

4750   Suspension, I believe, is also a problem because notice all the resistance. But will it only save CKLN for a day or for a month? And I guess this is the same comment I would make about mandatory orders.

4751   As I've shown in my submissions and my oral presentation, CKLN's problems are not simply two years old or five years old or 10 years old; they go back 15, 20 years. Virtually to the early days of CKLN's existence.

4752   CKLN problems will happen again. Crises will happen over and over and over if we look at the historical information in front of us.

4753   The problem is, how do you really change CKLN? And what you need is you need a really deep overhaul, ground to the top. And I believe that if you only look at the surface and you just skim away the surface and you fix just that, there's no dealing with the root causes of CKLN's problems.

4754   And I think that unless you really get right to the core, CKLN will go through financial crisis after financial crisis, managerial crisis after managerial crisis, not having paid staff to run the day-to-day operations, continuing to fail at Regulations. It's a real problem.

4755   And I don't know. I mean, to answer your question, I don't know which one I would stand behind at 100 percent because how do you deal with that root cause. How do you go after that? Do you -- I mean, mandatory orders. Are we talking about laying out 50 mandatory orders?

4756   I mean, as I said in my opening material, is it the job of the Commission to hold CKLN's hand all the way through this process?

4757   CKLN has shown repeatedly since July 2009 a simple lack of willingness to comply over and over and over and over again. There's pressure and pressure and failure and failure. What do you do?

4758   THE CHAIRPERSON: Well ---

4759   MR. BESHARAT: I think it's a difficult -- I think it's a very difficult question.

4760   THE CHAIRPERSON: What is -- so what? Shut it down, or what?

4761   MR. BESHARAT: The options are before you. I think each of them has a good aspect and I think each of them has problems. I think that no matter which one is selected, I believe that without going to the root, to the causes of CKLN's problems, which is very difficult -- and I know from a membership point of view it's very difficult no matter which one is selected.

4762   I believe that maybe the problem will be cured for a month; maybe it'll be cured for six months, but come back a year, come back three years, it'll simply repeat myself because that's what history tells me.

4763   If you look back, you see it happening over and over again. Sure, CKLn may have a couple of years here and a couple of years there that are good, but then you have this rollercoaster ride. It's very difficult.

4764   Thank you.

4765   THE CHAIRPERSON: Those are all my questions. Anybody, Panel? Mr. Denton.

4766   COMMISSIONER DENTON: Mr. Duffel, shut it down or not?

4767   MR. DUFFELL: Well, I have a long history with CKLN. I started as a listener and then I was there as -- been there as a volunteer and I had a chance to do a program. I took that program, you know, talking about the amount of -- you know, our responsibilities to raise money. I felt it was important to raise money.

4768   And Daniel and I got that program, a Sunday morning program, and you know that Sunday morning is a dead zone in radio. Our program was -- had to be the top show.

4769   COMMISSIONER DENTON: The question is ---

4770   MR. DUFFELL: But the thing is that I feel -- you know, I feel a certain emotional bond to CKLN and, you know, I think it's a good idea. You know, I -- so it's hard for me to say shut it down, so ---

4771   COMMISSIONER DENTON: If it weren't hard I wouldn't be asking the question 'cause we got to answer that one.

4772   MR. DUFFELLL: Well, as I said before, the idea of suspension, at least, puts the idea in is if they can't pull it together then it is shut down and it's their responsibility. It's their choice whether they want to get it together or not, whether they can get it together to your satisfaction and without, as I said, all the pressure.

4773   So I think that the suspension one puts the responsibility where it should be.

4774   Now, revoking, that's pretty harsh, you know, and I know that the Commission is -- doesn't often do that, so obvious -- you know, if -- I mean, it's not my professional job to decide these things, either.

4775   But again, my emotional bond, I guess, in a sense with CKLN, why I'm interested in CKLN. If I wasn't interested in it, you know, then I wouldn't be here.

4776   COMMISSIONER DENTON: So I'll take that as a no.

4777   MR. DUFFELLL: What?

4778   COMMISSIONER DENTON: Don't shut it down.

4779   MR. DUFFELLL: Well, I think suspension has the possibility of it being shut down.

4780   COMMISSIONER DENTON: I'll -- thank you. That's fine.

4781   THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your appearance here. Let's get the next group on, and there's a five-minute pause while some copies are being made. But let's not leave the room or anything.

--- Pause

4782   THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman

4783   For the record, we have been advised that Mr. Tom Power listed on the agenda will not be appearing at the hearing.

4784   I would now invite Mr. Ken Taylor, Mr. David Cooper and Mr. Sid Whitaker to present their interventions.

4785   For the record, Mr. Ken Taylor is not in the room.

4786   We will now have legal counsel swear in the panel.



4787   THE SECRETARY: Thank you. We will begin with Mr. David James Cooper. Mr. Cooper, you have 10 minutes for your presentation.


4788   MR. COOPER: Thank you.

4789   I thank the Commission for the invitation to speak at these hearings. For the record, my name is David James Cooper, I was an employee at CKLN in 2008, 2009 as a coordinator for -- paid employee by the way -- coordinator for volunteers, students, and fundraising, as well as a host of various shows on CKLN from 1995 to the stations seizure and removal from the airwaves in March, 2009. I have also been a music journalist for a variety of newspapers for a number of years, and previously testified at CRTC hearings back in 1990 on an unrelated matter.

4790   In the interests of full disclosure and background, I am currently a programmer over at CIUT Radio where I was once on staff years ago as well.

4791   I wish to deal with some specific issues and questions raised by the Commission in these hearings. Number one is the issue of funding.

4792   The ability of CKLN to raise funds to pay for its essential services such as staffing, equipment upgrades, insurance, and legal problems is obvious. CKLN relies to an unhealthy degree on a student levy which, as the events of 2008 show, can be withheld at anytime. A shortfall which is not covered up by the levy is made up for partially by ad sales, some grants and through an annual funding drive.

4793   In this context the disappointing results of the last funding drive must be taken into account. CKLN had a stated goal to raise $88,000, which is a typical goal of years past. They actually claim to have raised $48,000 by the drive's end, although I noticed that in the hearing yesterday they upped that to over $50,000. Regardless, this is clearly dramatically less than $88,000.

4794   In factoring in these figures what the Commission should keep in mind is that this total is simply a projection based on pledges, it is not real money. CKLN has a historically low collection rate that will likely result in slightly less than half of the total actually being paid.

4795   The reasons for this, historically, have to do with an over reliance on a few musical genres whose audiences are prone to call in and make pledges, often large ones, so they can hear their names right on the air. They have no intention of actually paying up. This is just human nature, but it is something that has to be factored in at the end of the day.

4796   The lack of musical variety at CKLN will tend to make this problem worse over time as CKLN has chosen to rely on these musical genres and communities more heavily. Basically, if you are a fan of hip hop, for example, which I am sure you all are, and CKLN has over half a dozen or more hip hop shows. Then you are probably going to be quite happy with that, however you are not going to donate to all of them because you simply can't afford that.

4797   You are going to pick one or two of your favourites and leave it at that. And if you have $100 to give, you are not going to give $100 to each, you are going to give $50 to one and $50 to the other. Again, it is basic human nature.

4798   Basically, if you are putting all of your eggs in one or two baskets, that does not give you twice as many eggs, particularly if the baskets are already leaking as stated above.

4799   In addition to these long-term problems there were some specific problems with the last funding drive just past that should be mentioned. First, is the issue of timing. They chose to hold the funding drive a month before Christmas. This is unprecedented, I have never seen anybody do this before. They could not have picked a worse time for reasons that should be obvious. This, in turn, is bound to adversely affect their collection rate.

4800   There is also a serious lack of publicity. The funding drive started on a Friday, but it was not until the following Sunday that the website even mentioned it at all. Prior to this, the only reference to the funding drive was the note on the website, was a notice from 2008 which had the wrong date and the wrong phone number.

4801   To anticipate the inevitable excuse that they were having problems with their website and couldn't figure out how to update it, they obviously had been update it to announce CRTC hearings and support letters, and also to announce their AGM. The only other publicity to mention was a few emails sent out to staff, a Facebook invite that went out a week before, and three Twitter postings in the previous week.

4802   Other funding. The Commission has expressed concerns about CKLN's ability to raise funds through ad sales. Your questions were met with promises that programmers would be "encouraged" to sell ads and would be offered incentives in the way of commissions, which by their own admission have already been in place for years.

4803   That the public would be similarly encouraged to sell ads and would be encouraged to buy them, then members of the public would be encouraged to make donations. These are in fact the same promises they made to you October 2009 and which they have not yet met.

4804   They can offer all the encouragement they want, but they have not given you anything that can be considered any sort of strategy.

4805   Yesterday Mike Harnett told you that their plan was to work with some corporate ad agency. But how is this going to work? I have already spoken to ad agencies in the past on this and I will tell you the first question that they will ask is, what are your ratings, can we see your DBMs? And CKLN doesn't have any, CIUT does. CKLN relies on a free survey that was taken by a mobile track company in 2000 which was incomplete then and completely irrelevant now.

4806   Ad agencies also expect immediate, direct and positive answers and a professional attitude. They have no patience for dealing with various committees who are more concerned with making sure ads are politically and ecologically pure enough for their liking.

4807   Finally, ad agencies expect you to actually run the ads in full and on time. That means someone is going to have to monitor programming as it is happening to ensure this actually happens and the equipment to do so is always working. And no committee is going to do that.

4808   Finally, ad agencies do not work for the radio stations, they work for their clients who are the advertisers. If CKLN does not appeal to their demographic target they will not advise their clients to buy ads there. If they are not happy with their service, they will not return. It is not their job to help CKLN.

4809   In its October, 2010 report to the Commission CKLN made a number of other claims about potential fundraising plans to the effect of renting out the CKLN studios to record bands and outside radio ads. This, frankly, is utter nonsense. The CKLN studios are not setup for this. They can't be, they are small voice-over studios and the only band that could possibly record there would be of the one-man variety.

4810   Furthermore, they do not have a qualified recording engineer, nor have they budgeted for one. They do not have professional quality microphones and other such equipment that would enable them. They have not budgeted for this either. They themselves are constantly complaining about the state of existing equipment.

4811   At any rate, there is not exactly a shortage of professional quality studios in Toronto anyway, so it is hard to see what market they would be serving.

4812   Student involvement, this was one of my jobs in the past. In this requirement the CRTC states that campus community radio stations devote sometime to students which is "relevant to their field of study." CKLN cannot be said to be doing this in anyway.

4813   Part of my job that I most enjoyed in 2008 was working with students. We made this a priority. I held meetings personally with Ryerson faculty and students about finding a meaningful role for them, particularly in the radio, television and journalism departments, which Ryerson has. We set aside some airtime for them, we held training sessions and we were able to significantly increase on-air student involvement in accessible time spots. We also had four work study positions and a number of high-school co-ops. All of this was met with extreme hostility by certain factions at CKLN and has all since been undone.

4814   Since the takeover of CKLN the current board has made many promises about increasing student involvement. In their 2009 report to the Commission they devote two pages to this. To date, they have delivered on none of it. Their sole student activity in 2009/2010, besides a constant search to recruit and then replace student board members, was a single "student recruitment meeting" in 2009 which was cancelled and then not rescheduled. Aside from that the rest is window dressing.

4815   In their submission the NCRA claims that CKLN has added four new student shows. What the NCRA may not be aware of is that these are in fact the same shows that existed three years ago, albeit with different hosts, they simply moved a couple around and changed the name on one of them. And most are, in fact, at early morning hours that could not be filled anyway.

4816   In my 2008 meetings with Ryerson faculty I was met with great skepticism about CKLN's ability and willingness to be more open and accommodating. Simply stated, CKLN has always had a bad reputation for its highly politicized and toxic atmosphere and faculty were reluctant to subject their students to a hostile environment.

4817   But I had a good personal reputation and a number of journalism and RTA students backed me in these discussions, and faculty was won over, only to have their students treated with suspicion and ultimately most of their shows cancelled. I do not believe that Ryerson faculty will want to risk subjecting their students to the mercies of CKLN again.

4818   In fact, both the RTA and journalism departments at Ryerson have already given up on CKLN and they have both set up their own separate online radio stations where students will not have to endure the endless political jockeying of CKLN. The addition of CKLN to a résumé is not even seen to be helpful anymore given CKLN's bad reputation. Whatever opportunity there was to address this lack is long gone now.

4819   The issue with staffing. The Commission has addressed the concerns about the lack of staffing at CKLN and asked a question of the NCRA about how many campus stations have no staff. The answer was that there were many. I can in fact actually think of three in the GTA; there is CFRE in Erindale, CKRG in Glendon and CHOP in Newmarket. However, it must be stated that these are all tiny stations with less than 10 watts, they only broadcast from about 8:00 a.m. to midnight, and they only broadcast during the school year and they break for Christmas and March break. To compare them to CKLN, which is a 24/7 station with a much larger signal and budget, is impossible.

4820   In an earlier case I can recall the campus community station in Prince Edward Island, CIMN, which got its licence in 1995 with no staff. At the time of granting that licence the Commission expressed serious reservations about lack of staff. And by 1999, that station was off the air and has remained so. would also point to the histories of CJWV in Winnipeg in 2008 and CHSC in St. Catharines this year in which similar concerns were raised.

4821   I recognize that there were of course different issues raised in each case, but this issue of a station being able to maintain in compliance, raise funds, maintain equipment and do any sort of long-term business plan is jeopardized without competent staff.

4822   I am going to divert here from my written script for a second. The Commission has asked several questions about incidents involving on-air compliance at CKLN, dead air, profanity, a phantom broadcast from Tacoma Washington. And the response of CKLN has been, we will start punishing people. The next time this happens heads will roll.

4823   But this is the wrong answer. It is missing the point. The real question is how does it happen in the first place and why does it continue to happen? It happens because there is nobody minding the store. It is pointless to blame an untrained volunteer for a mistake they made if they were not given instruction on how to deal with dead air or nobody arriving in time. This is a matter of both training and day to day supervision.

4824   I understand that mistakes can happen at any station. And if they happen at 3:00 in the morning and nobody noticed, I can understand that. But if 3:00 in the afternoon and they are broadcasting from Tacoma, Washington for several hours and nobody noticed or they are broadcasting an hour of dead air and no one noticed? How is that even possible. The only way that is possible is if there is nobody there watching the place. That is unacceptable.

4825   The staffing issue at CKLN is further complicated by the highly politicized nature and culture of entitlement at CKLN which makes it next to impossible for any proposed station manager or program director to actually manage or direct. If they are simply a glorified office manager doing mostly paperwork and at the constant mercy of a bewildering array of committees and a micromanaging board, they cannot be expected to do make any real decisions, let alone difficult of unpopular ones.

4826   The dependence on RSU. CKLN is dependent to an unhealthy degree on the goodwill of the Ryerson Students' Union. This dependence is increased by CKLN's inability to raise significant funds independently or competently manage the funds they do get. This enables RSU to interfere in the affairs of CKLN whenever they want simply withholding or even threatening to withhold the levy or threatening to evict CKLN, as they did.

4827   There is nothing stopping this from happening again in the future either. Earlier I referred to the case of CIMN in PEI, which was shutdown in 1999 after much interference from the student union there, which had designs on their levy and office space.

4828   I also recall the case of CFRE in Erindale, which was going for a signal increase in about the year 2000 or so only to suddenly be undercut by the student union which evicted them from their studios and offices and took them for themselves. Or the ongoing situation at CKMS in Waterloo, which has already been shutdown by the interfering student union there.

4829   Student unions are politicians, they will behave like politicians if you let them. They will interfere where they are not needed, they will grab power where they sense weakness, they will exploit political divisions. Once again, it is human nature. And the more you are dependent on them, the weaker you are, and CKLN is very dependent indeed.

4830   THE SECRETARY: Excuse me, Mr. Cooper.

4831   MR. COOPER: Yes.

4832   THE SECRETARY: Please wrap up. You have two minutes remaining. Thank you.

4833   MR. COOPER: That is fine.

4834   In its statement CKLN has referred to RSU as a "benefactor" a "trustee" and a "partner." This is a dangerous misreading of the proper relationship. CKLN and RSU are not partners, RSU is not a benefactor. CKLN was neither licensed nor incorporated this way. This de facto dependency has not led to stability of CKLN anymore than at CIMN, CKMS or CFRE and there is no reason to believe that it will do so now.

4835   In addition, the absence of and indifference of Ryerson University itself has already been noted by the Commission. If Ryerson itself is not prepared to take any interest in supporting them, then what does that say about CKLN's long-term relevance and stability? As I have stated above in explaining the disengagement of the RTA and journalism departments to the extent of funding and setting up their own online radio stations -- I am going to move it along.

4836   It would be expected that the Commission would have here today letters of support from Ryerson University along with a commitment to guarantee stable funding. That you would have at least some students here to show support here or a petition, or you would have letters of support from Ryerson Faculty. That you do not, speaks volumes.

4837   The Commission has repeatedly asked that mandatory orders are needed at CKLN. The position of both CKLN and their answer is that nothing needs to be done because all their problems are in the past. Clearly, this is an untenable argument. I do not know if mandatory orders are sufficient to deal with the problems, which are structural and even embedded in the culture of CKLN. But there is certainly a bare minimum to ensure basic compliance if that is even possible anymore.

4838   Even in the answer to a direct and on-point question from the Commission at which you asked directly, "If mandatory orders were imposed, how would you change how you run CKLN starting tomorrow?" The answer you got was, nothing, nothing will change because we are 98 per cent in compliance. To even make such an answer shows they don't really get it, something stronger is required.

4839   I am also greatly concerned with the message that will emerge from these hearings. I realize that sending message is not the Commission's prime role. But the question must be asked, "What does it mean to the campus community sector as a whole when a station can be blatantly, openly and publicly out of compliance for so long on so many levels and suffer no real consequences?

4840   Over at CIUT we were getting prepared for our licence renewal this year, which has been extended. We take great care to ensure compliance and stability, and CKLN has not because factions there and at RSU would rather fight among themselves and follow personal agendas. They should not be rewarded for this.

4841   The message must be that this is not a game, the rules must be followed by everyone with no exceptions and there must be consequences to blatant non-compliance. The rule of law must be followed.

4842   Thank you.

4843   THE SECRETARY: Thank you.

4844   We will now proceed with Mr. Sid Whitaker. Mr. Whitaker, you have 10 minutes for your presentation.

4845   Thank you.


4846   MR. WHITTAKER: My name is Sid Whitaker and I would like to thank the Commissioners for allowing me time to speak today at these hearings.

4847   I am a former volunteer host of CKLN who hosted an overnight show and did fill-ins for a few years back from 1995 to 2000. I therefore do have some relevant experience of CKLN. I mention this to refute Andrew Lehrer's written response of November in this year, paragraph 8, in which he claimed that I have never been a member of or volunteer of CKLN nor has he ever attended any meetings at CKLN as far as we can tell. Therefore, his comments are not only highly subjective, they are based (sic) on any firsthand experience or direct knowledge of CKLN's internal situation.

4848   Besides the earlier experience, I have also followed the various highly public disputes which have surrounded CKLN since 2008, which have been highly publicized in various media outlets and message boards.

4849   I have limited myself to on-air incidents which are in the public realm when I point out that the quality of on-air programming at CKLN has suffered a noticeable decline since 2009, which directly shows the inability of untrained and unprofessional volunteers to manage day to day on-air conduct and maintain equipment when they are being managed by even less qualified and untrained management and no apparent actual staff.

4850   My complaints of April and July of 2010 detail only a partial list of on-air mistakes which range from minor to unprecedented. And range from numerous incidents of dead air to profanity, to confused hosts admitting on the air that they do not know the simplest things such as how to turn on a mike, how to plug in headphones, or how to find programs on the computer.

4851   In a few cases hosts have actually asked, on the air, for someone to call in and help them out, which apparently never seems to happen.

4852   The excuses from CKLN for this have ranged to denials that these events have occurred to blaming their volunteer host for not knowing what they are supposed to be doing and blaming the state of the equipment.

4853   I agree that this is not the job of volunteer hosts, some of whom may not have any experience to be experts in dealing with such problems. It is, however, the job of management to both train them and to be monitoring the day to day programming and to be able to provide leadership and solve some problems as they arise. Obviously, that is not happening. It is clear that the stated status of CKLN as an all-volunteer station has failed.

4854   Even if there was such day-to-day management at CKLN the conduct of the current board of CKLN is severely compromised, as is shown by its actions, including to incident of July 8, 2010, which I previously wrote the CRTC about.

4855   As the Commission will recall, that in the case of Wednesday, July 7, 2010 CKLN aired live feed from an NPR radio station from Tacoma Washington for much of the day starting at 7:30 a.m. without explanation in the apparent absence of anybody in the booth or offices. This live feed included ads and station IDs from NPR station in Washington and had no mention of CKLN nor any apparent Canadian content, as required.

4856   In their reply CKLN again blamed volunteer staff who they claimed had acted without permission. But they did not address at all the question of how a board member and show host could come in at 11:00 a.m. and do her show until 2:00 p.m., then turn the feed back on before apparently leaving.

4857   Nor did this address the bigger question of how is it possible that this could go on for much of the day during office hours without anyone either noticing or taking action?

4858   Similarly, there is no explanation from CKLN as to why the numerous examples of dead air and confused hosts, which have happened during regular hours, can be allowed to continue to happen without any apparent supervision or oversight.

4859   To make the above problems worse the hostile attitude of CKLN to any criticism which is shown in their replies to me, as well as their numerous public statements about the "enemies of CKLN" who they blame all problems on.

4860   As further evidence, I refer the Commission to the reply I got from CKLN on July 7, 2010 which even CKLN now admits in its letter on November, 2010 contained language that was "overly motive" and "inappropriate".

4861   However, in the same letter CKLN is again using insulting language calling me "disillusioned" and making a completely unsubstantiated claim that I have been "coordinating" a complaint from another complaint about the July 8, 2010 broadcast with one filed by a Johnathan Mitchell.

4862   For the record, I would like to inform the Commission that I am unaware of the other complaint and I do not personally know Mr. Mitchell nor have I heard the name before. However, I do share no surprise that more than one person has actually been complaining about CKLN.

4863   In their response CKLN further complains that I did not contact them instead of filing a compliant with the CRTC. But in CKLN's letters to me and various public statements over the past two years reveal there is a hostile bunker mentality at CKLN which actively discourages any criticism or complaint as "anti-CKLN" and unworthy of consideration. CKLN also seeks to dismiss my complaint because I didn't file it fast enough for their liking.

4864   However, because of the odd nature of the July 8 broadcast from Washington and the dismissive and insulting reply of my previous complaint, I felt it appropriate to take time to research the KPLU broadcast online and confirm if there was an appropriate reason for this to have occurred.

4865   Finally, in the responses to me CKLN has also denied that members of CKLN, including members of the board, have been using the airwaves for personal profit. Calling such claims defamatory and deeply offensive. However, a search of the website, run by a host of two shows on CKLN, actually includes a price list with payment instructions. Even a cursory listen to these shows makes it clear that the various paid announcements are beyond the limited amount of ad time allowed for campus radio.

4866   Furthermore, it is not made clear that these announcements are paid ads at all, which allows CKLN to continually claim that these are community announcements and they were done as a service, although a price list clearly implies otherwise.

4867   Furthermore, the host in question also used the airwaves to promote the website in question, which in turn sells ad space for a profit. If CKLN is actually going to get a cut from this arrangement, correspondence with CKLN does not say so.

4868   The responses in CKLN's two letters are completely non-responsive and disingenuous, often trying to change the subject.

4869   For example, in their July 7 letter CKLN goes on for five paragraphs to justify the on-air flogging of events for money, saying that:

"It is common for programmers in various musical genres to be involved in their musical community outside of CKLN on a volunteer or paid basis and this is quite common at all community radio stations."

4870   This is evasive and does in no way address my concerns about using the airwaves as a promotional tool for profit.

4871   As for the issue of using the airwaves to promote a website, which turns out to be used to sell more ad space outside CKLN, the excuse offered is:

"Having a website associated with a show is a norm, not a conflict."

4872   Besides being evasive, this is also untrue. While many shows at CKLN or other stations do indeed have websites to post charts, playlists and other information, they do not also use them to openly sell ad space, which this one clearly does, nor do they use the airwaves to blatantly promote an outside ad business.

4873   If CKLN is getting a cut from all this ad revenue, it is not made clear either on the web page or for that matter in any of the letters to me from CKLN.

4874   In my time at CKLN it was made clear to me that using the airwaves to personally profit was considered "payola." It was not only inappropriate but illegal and in violation of the CRTC's Regulations.

4875   In my listening to other stations I do not hear that sort of behaviour to anywhere near the extent of CKLN. Clearly, it is time for the CRTC to make its position on this more clear, not only at CKLN but elsewhere.

4876   In conclusion, it is clear to me that the situation at CKLN has been allowed to deteriorate over the past two years to the degree that on-air quality has suffered and the ideals of not-for-profit community radio have been hijacked by a small and hostile group who are being allowed to make use of the public airwaves for their own personal vendettas and profit.

4877   I ask that the Commission take strong regulatory steps to address these problems, not only to solve the problems at CKLN but to send a message out to other campus/community stations in Canada who are no doubt watching all this.

4878   The following is from the website:


Payment for your flyer can be made at Treajah Isle Records (1513 Eglinton @ Marlee...) or at the offices of Reggaemania Inc. (1750 Brimley Rd. ...) across from the Scarborough Town Centre.

If you have a TD-Canada Trust account, money can be direct deposited into the account. Money can be transferred to Ron Nelson by using the internet or Telephone Banking when you provide your live operator the following info: ATT: TD Canada Trust/Ron Nelson/Transit # ..."

4879   Basically this is on Ron Nelson's website. This is what I referred to in the earlier statement.

4880   That about sums it up. Thank you for your time.

4881   THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.

4882   I would ask Commissioner Menzies to start any questioning you may have.

4883   COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I just have a couple of questions. Thank you for your submissions.

4884   I think we can all take it as understood that the station from its own admission has not been in compliance, so I am not going to go on those. There are really only a couple of things to deal with.

4885   First of all, what would it take for everyone to lay down their weapons in this?

4886   MR. WHITTAKER: Well, that would be obviously a return to the way things were, the way things were when the station flowed. I really have no worry about management this, management that. I just want my radio station back.

4887   I just want music to be playing all the time. I want it to be smooth. I don't want it to be interrupted. I don't want to hear NPR. I like to listen to it when I drive my truck. I like to listen to CKLN whenever I have the opportunity.

4888   But that station clearly isn't there anymore. That station clearly has been replaced with amateur hour and that is unfortunate. It is a great loss to the community.


4890   MR. COOPER: Well, as I said, I have already moved on. I am at another radio station. I am better off there.

4891   I gain nothing from being here but I do want it put on the record what has happened and I want to put on the record something beyond the excuses that CKLN has offered. I am truly appalled at what happened there. I am truly appalled at the precedent that this sets and I am not the only one.

4892   It just needs to be put -- whatever you end up doing, I don't know. Honestly, it is an awfully tough call, so I don't know what you are going to do with this. But at the very least it has been put on the record, my opposition to what has happened.

4893   COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Now I am going to ask you to take a little responsibility for your opinions and tell us what we should do in terms of this.

4894   Mr. Cooper, you asked for the rule of law to be imposed. I mean we can ignore it, which hardly seems the rule of law. We can impose a mandatory order which allows the station to live at least for a little while. We can suspend its licence, which the operators or the board at this time say would be equivalent to killing the station, or we can revoke its licence.

4895   MR. COOPER: Yes, I understand those are your options.

4896   COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thumbs up or thumbs down, Mr. Cooper?

4897   MR. COOPER: Well, revocation is certainly -- that is an awfully tough call to make and I can understand the reluctance to make it. I don't even want to say that. I can't think of a logical reason. Just emotionally, I don't want to go there.

4898   Mandatory orders would seem to be the bare minimum that is required. Again, as I said, whether or not that is sufficient to deal with the problems there, I don't know. Whether or not they can be followed, I doubt it.

4899   You could also make the argument that you as a Commission have already given them numerous instructions and orders since 2009 which they have not followed and they have made you numerous promises since then which they have not kept.

4900   You can make the argument you have already given the equivalent of mandatory orders and not gotten satisfactory results or perhaps you do need something stronger.

4901   Suspension is certainly a big blow. How bad that would affect them, difficult to say. I mean it would certainly be a big emotional blow.

4902   Would it affect their ad revenue? It doesn't look like it because it doesn't seem like they really have very much, as you yourself have noted.

4903   COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Make your call.

4904   MR. COOPER: A mandatory order, at the bare minimum. If you decide that that is not enough, that they have not given you enough compliance thus far with the instructions that you have given them thus far, then you have to take it to the next step.

4905   COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. If we chose mandatory order, how would you imagine they would be able to move forward with all this sniping still coming at them?

4906   MR. COOPER: I don't think that they can and it is not an issue of sniping coming at them.

4907   COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, thank you.

4908   Mr. Whittaker, same question.

4909   MR. WHITTAKER: Same question. Well, this really depends on what the scope of the mandatory orders are. What can the Commission ask for in a mandatory order? Can they ask for a better structure of the station? Can they ask for, you know, more compliance in terms of the rules as well as creating --

4910   COMMISSIONER MENZIES: One thing we can't ask for is for them to go back to where they were.

4911   MR. WHITTAKER: Understandable. You would need a time machine for that.


4913   MR. WHITTAKER: But what can be done to straighten this -- you see, when I was on CKLN it was --

4914   COMMISSIONER MENZIES: No, no. I need to -- really what we need to deal with is whether -- the question before us is whether or not this station is capable of moving forward in compliance with CRTC Regulations.

4915   All of the other stuff is interesting and informative but it doesn't really matter at this stage. What we need to deal with is --

4916   MR. COOPER: I personally tend to think that --

4917   COMMISSIONER MENZIES: -- the issue of -- I will come back to you, Mr. Cooper.

4918   Mr. Whittaker, mandatory order, suspension or revocation?

4919   MR. WHITTAKER: Well, I mean mandatory order seems to have the most opportunity for constructive --


4921   MR. WHITTAKER: The ability to save the station seems like a good idea. It is a great station or has the potential to be a great station, but it also has the potential to be a bad station. It depends on how it is managed.


4923   Mr. Cooper, you had something to add?

4924   MR. COOPER: I am not sure whether they can comply with mandatory orders, but I can understand you wanting to give them every opportunity to do so or to give them another chance to fix whatever problems if that is possible, and if so, then that is at the very least the way to go. The question is whether or not it is strong enough medicine.


4926   THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Cooper, just following up, do you think it is possible?

4927   MR. COOPER: I personally don't think the problems can be fixed, but that is just a personal opinion.


4929   It says in your opening remarks, Mr. Cooper, that you were a paid -- I think you said paid, although the words aren't here --

4930   MR. COOPER: Yes.

4931   THE CHAIRPERSON: -- coordinator for volunteer students and fundraising. I understand about fundraising.

4932   What does a coordinator for volunteers do?

4933   MR. COOPER: Well, that would be -- basically we would take in show proposals, of which we got a few, and sort out, sort of go through them, see which ones had some potential, sort of tally them up with needs that we had musically for the time.

4934   For example, if the decision was that we needed a new jazz host, for example, go through it, see if there are a few good jazz proposals in there. If there are, bring them in, interview them, they go through a training session, they get introduced to the program director and then we make a call as to whether or not they are the right person. They get a probationary period on the air to see how they do.

4935   That would also tie in with students as all, which requires a bit more structured recruiting.

4936   THE CHAIRPERSON: But it is more programming than it is what to do on the air when you are on the air?

4937   MR. COOPER: That is part of training because --

4938   THE CHAIRPERSON: Part of training.

4939   MR. COOPER: -- it would certainly be explained to them everything that was required of them. They got a copy of the Programmers' Handbook, which I believe you have on record there.

4940   THE CHAIRPERSON: Does the role of the coordinator of volunteers deal with training as well or that is somebody else?

4941   MR. COOPER: Not the actual technical training. That would be farmed out to the production coordinator because he had the technical skills.

4942   But it would be taking them in, explaining to them what was required in terms of on-air conduct and what to do if, for example, the next host doesn't come in or there is dead air or something.

4943   The actual technical training of how to use the board would be handled by the more technical person.

4944   THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Tell me a little bit about what is done at CIUT since you are there right now.

4945   MR. COOPER: In terms of...?

4946   THE CHAIRPERSON: In terms of training, in terms of --

4947   MR. COOPER: They do have regular training sessions. They get a lot of show proposals and they don't necessarily have room for them all. But they do regular training sessions where they learn the equipment.

4948   They get -- there is, not a Programmers' Handbook, but there's a number of sheets of paper that explain, again, on-air conduct and how to fill up playlists and the importance of doing so, the importance of Cancon and things like that.

4949   So there is a whole sort of session or a couple of sessions in which all that is explained.

4950   THE CHAIRPERSON: Who does that?

4951   MR. COOPER: That is done there by -- there is a coordinator and there is a program director who oversees.

4952   THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, thank you.

4953   Any other questions, Commissioner Poirier? No.

4954   Commissioner Denton?

4955   COMMISSIONER DENTON: No, I am fine.

4956   THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your appearance here.

4957   Let's move on to the next party please.

4958   THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

4959   I would now call Allan Jones, U-Sheak Koroma and Owen Leach to come forward to appear as a panel to present their interventions.

--- Pause

4960   THE SECRETARY: For the record, U-Sheak Koroma is not in the room.

4961   I will now ask Legal Counsel to swear in the intervenors.



4962   THE SECRETARY: Thank you.

4963   We will begin with the presentation by Mr. Allan Jones.

4964   Mr. Jones, you have 10 minutes for your presentation. Thank you.


4965   MR. JONES: Good morning. My name is Allan Jones. I am a concerned citizen and I am an active Black community member in Toronto, a programmer on CKLN Radio since December 16th, 2007, following in the footsteps of a great man, Mr. Milton Blake, who hosted the show for over a decade and who passed away in October 2007.

4966   I am also a co-founder and a Director of Jones & Jones Productions, a company involved in major productions and event management.

4967   This morning, I will try to give the panel reasons why CKLN should be allowed to continue, albeit with conditions, because CKLN means a lot to the communities out there and to my community, the Black community, in particular.

4968   I am not part of any group within the station. I am just a Black programmer who loves CKLN and loves all the communities it caters to. But today I want to highlight the Black community because we are so underserved by mainstream radio.

4969   When we started Jones & Jones Productions back in 1987, CKLN Radio was our main media support.

4970   In 1988 we launched the Jones & Jones Talent Search with a formula similar to the very successful American Idol. Our first winner was a young Thando Hyman, now the principal of Toronto's first Africentric School.

4971   Others who were a part of the Talent Show experience were Jully Black, now a big-time Canadian R&B artist, Kaos, a well-established Canadian hip-hop artist, Chris Rouse and many others. We were able to help these individuals because CKLN helped us.

4972   We have maintained a close connection with CKLN since, and it was truly a pleasure for me to be able to become a programmer on December 16, 2007, to "repay" CKLN Radio for the tremendous help they have provided to our company and others like ours, and in the process being able to serve a community that is underserved by the mainstream radio stations and other media houses.

4973   Planning my program, which is laced with various features, takes me an average of seven hours each week. I drive from Brampton to downtown Toronto each Sunday, pay $6 for parking each week. As you can see, it costs me to do my program but I do this willingly as a labour of love for CKLN Radio and the community.

4974   In Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area we now have three campus community radio stations operating, CKLN, CHRY and CIUT, but it is the 26-year-old CKLN that is the oldest, which has set many of the standards that are normal among community radio stations today. And the three campus community stations are all different, exhibiting characters which make them unique. They all have a role to play.

4975   As a Brampton resident of African heritage, I receive most of my community-relevant information on CKLN 88.1 FM, which serves many other communities, including many who are marginalized and have limited outlets for their views and experiences.

4976   With the ongoing influx of many individuals of Caribbean and African orientation moving into the GTA, there is an increased need and demand for a station like CKLN. The demand is enhanced by the availability of the CKLN signals on Rogers Cable 947 and through the Internet at ckln.fin.

4977   I host and produce The Musical Triangle, a two-hour program aired on Sundays from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on CKLN. This is a topical, Black-focused, community-relevant program with music and chatter interspersed with commentary, interviews, health-related issues and comedy.

4978   To emphasize why CKLN is a vital resource in Toronto and beyond, here is a sampling of comments I have received on my show:

4979   - From Sandra in Brampton: "You provide health information that I do not even get from my doctor."

4980   - And Marcia in Malton: "Now I know how to interact with my doctor when I have an appointment with him. I now take notes before the visit."

4981   On Saturday, April the 10th, I hosted a Black Diabetes Expo sponsored by the Canadian Diabetes Association at the Jamaican Canadian Centre in Toronto. The event was well supported. At least 12 individuals came up to me to let me know how much they appreciated my program and expressed that they were at the event because they heard about it on my show.

4982   If you view this, ladies and gentlemen, in the context that Black Canadians have one of the highest diabetes rates in Canada -- among the 3 million who have diabetes, plus many others who do even know they have diabetes -- you will see why keeping CKLN on the air is so important to my community.

4983   I have featured on my program many of the common and deadly diseases in the Black community:

4984   - prostate cancer, highest rate in Black men;

4985   - high blood pressure, highest rate in Black men and women;

4986   - sickle cell disease, highest rate in Black individuals;

4987   - breast cancer, Black woman have a very aggressive form which affects them at an earlier age;

4988   - and many others.

4989   The feedback I receive from the community based on the calls into my show and when people meet me on the street is positive and overwhelming.

4990   My program also provides an opportunity for the Black and wider community to hear from many of our leaders both in the Caribbean and locally.

4991   I have interviewed individuals like the Hon. Tillman Thomas, Grenada's Prime Minister; Mrs. Beverley Manley, former first lady of Jamaica; Justice Irving Andre, from the Brampton Courts; Deputy Chief of the Toronto Police Services, Peter Sloly; Dudley Laws from the Black Action Defence Committee, and many others.

4992   Yes, Committee, I recognize we have had problems and we still have problems at CKLN, but I get a sense that from hereon we will be stronger and be able to serve the community even better.

4993   In meetings and in my interactions with the present Board of Directors I detect a new commitment to see CKLN retake its leadership role as a radio station for the Black community and many other communities.

4994   CKLN has always been "our station." This is the station where the young poet, artist, actor can get a chance to strut their stuff and hear their song or poem being aired. Many have gone on to Canadian and international stardom after getting their start on CKLN Radio.

4995   Members of the panel, when a visually impaired woman calls me from Jane and Tretheway here in Toronto and explains what CKLN and my show means to her with tears in her eyes, in her voice, it makes me cry also.

4996   And every Sunday when I am driving into Toronto, it is not to promote me, Allan Jones, it is to enhance communities and bring people to a higher level than where they were when the show started that afternoon.

4997   I love CKLN and what we are, but more importantly what we can become. This world just celebrated John Lennon on the anniversary of his death, and like Lennon, I am saying that "all we need at CKLN is love."

4998   Too much anger and hatred and people looking out for themselves, rather than focusing on the people who matter, and that is the communities we serve, and most important for me, the Black community.

4999   The community radio stations are to a great extent our stations and this is why the recent announcement that the CRTC may grant CARN 98.7 a licence to operate in Toronto to promote Caribbean and African culture resonated so well with the Black community. There is great excitement at this prospect, but this new station will not be a campus community-based radio station like CKLN, so we expect it to operate differently.

5000   I am not an advocate of the "if I am not in charge, close it down mentality." This is an attitude I detest strongly.

5001   I very respectfully urge you ladies and gentlemen of this panel to allow CKLN to continue its task of being one of the significant voices for the Black community and many other communities who are not well represented in mainstream media.

5002   They have done wrong. Punish us if you want, but please do not revoke or suspend the licence. I am very, very confident we can work it out.

5003   The message is loud and clear from the CRTC: Change and improve or we will close you down. Please allow us to continue and allow us to change.

5004   Thank you so much.

5005   THE SECRETARY: Thank you.

5006   We will now proceed with Mr. Owen Leach. Mr. Leach, you have 10 minutes for your presentation. Thank you.


5007   MR. LEACH: I have been a long-time listener of CKLN and I also, in the past five years, have been doing a program called Taxi Talk as part of the Sounds of Africa program.

5008   This is a unique program in the city of Toronto. I don't -- I am sure that no other station in the city offers such a program and gives taxi drivers an opportunity to communicate with the public and to other drivers in regard to what goes on in the taxi world.

5009   It would be a sad loss if CKLN was -- its license was revoked and the station was closed.

5010   I, myself, have been involved in politics in the city. I have run in local elections in the '80s and, therefore, I have a very strong sense of community life and political life. And I recognize the value of CKLN to the community.

5011   It offers the widest range of music and Spoken Word, and you can get jazz, all kinds of jazz, hiphop, reggae, soul, whatever on the air and also a wide range in discussion representing different interest groups in the city which CBC or 1010 radio doesn't touch.

5012   It would be a great loss to the city if it were tampered with and caused to be off the air.

5013   I was involved in the issue when CKLN radio was taken over by a small group. And I don't want to dwell on this, but there was a clique that took over the radio station and excluded everyone else, fired approximately 60 programmers and there was no access to them.

5014   There were no postings of meetings. There was nowhere we could meet with them to talk with them, and they resorted to calling the police if we tried to get on the premises. It was a very dark time for CKLN.

5015   That has been past. We have fought and we have gained a democratic process at CKLN. No one can come here and say they're excluded for any reason. They might not get agreement on everything, but they have an opportunity to meet with the Board and express their opinions.

5016   I think that CKLN at this stage is -- really comes down to it as an issue of administration that has -- they're gradually moving into to strengthen the administration of the station.

5017   Imagine volunteers just came in to the station after the clique left and they took on all of the administrative work free of charge, just on a volunteer basis. We can't expect that they will be able to function at the level of a paid administration and properly staffed station.

5018   They are -- we are undermanned, I would say, but we are heading in the right direction.

5019   The prophets of doom have their own issues, but I and others are taking a positive outlook on this situation and we are sure -- I am sure, too, of them, that the station can, within its own self, as it has been constructed at this time, can move forward on its own initiative.

5020   At one time CKLN was almost bankrupt, but it has recovered. It escaped that and it has recovered. It is now in a position where it's been able to raise approximately $50,000 this year. That is a tremendous achievement if you compare it with the situation that it was left with by the former administration. And I have every confidence that CKLN will reach its regular target in fundraising in the future.

5021   The listeners are coming back and CKLN administration will be professionalized and restructured to carry on the duties that should be executed.

5022   Now, I think that the station itself is invaluable to not only the black community, but all communities in the city and in particular also the student community at Ryerson. Ryerson also has a department in journalism which U of T and York University don't have, so the radio station is strategically located for the education curriculum of the university.

5023   Radio, as we know, is still a medium that is widely used. It's used in the home; it's used -- it's found in vehicles, in the cars and trucks and taxis. Indeed, if I couldn't have CKLN radio every day while I'm driving, I don't think I would drive.

5024   Radio is on land, on sea and on air. It is very important and influential, and has a very important function to fulfil.

5025   I guess I am a little bit of a Peter Gzowski-ite when it comes to radio because I have experienced myself its value in my life and in others.

5026   Some mention was made about the fact that students at Ryerson -- it seemed to suggest that students at Ryerson are turning to the internet rather than radio.

5027   THE SECRETARY: Mr. Leach, I'm just reminding you, you have one minute remaining to conclude your presentation.

5028   MR. LEACH: Right.

5029   THE SECRETARY: Thank you.

5030   MR. LEACH: I would like to say that the internet is there and it will be making itself felt as a medium in many different areas, but there's no way that students at Ryerson are turned away from radio because of the internet. Indeed, I think that the internet is now being utilized by broadcasters at CKLN also, other broadcasts. I could name some that are using internet along with CKLN radio.

5031   So in my opinion, there's no turning away from radio by students. I would like to see the students because they play a substantial role, financial role in the station -- I would like to see our Board make steps to see whether the curriculum at Ryerson could integrate their teaching and certificates as part of the CKLN training.

5032   I think that could draw us much closer to the administration and be of great benefit to the students. You know, some students volunteer for the radio, but certainly it is natural if they're just doing it out of curiosity or for the experience.

5033   Now, when exam times come around, they'll find themselves pulled away from the station, so it's always, you know -- you're always having to try to attract students to radio because of -- because they're there, really, to study. And although they're interested in having the radio experience, they wouldn't give up their studies if they have to ---

5034   THE SECRETARY: Thank you very much, Mr. Leach.

5035   MR. LEACH: --- for the radio.

5036   So I am here, finally, to ask you to allow CKLN administration to restructure itself now that it has more funds and to employ an administration that can carry on the work that has been begun and is improving day by day regardless of the little problems that crop up and we know will crop up in this situation.

5037   Let CKLN continue without any sanctions. Thank you.

5038   THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. I would ask Commissioner Denton to begin the questioning.

5039   COMMISSIONER DENTON: Good morning, gentlemen.

5040   The choices before us are suspend, let them go on with Court-ordered conditions or revoke the license. And in order to come to a decision about this, we need to have confidence that the current Board of Directors is capable of getting on with the job of running the station in an orderly way and such that we can be satisfied that the shenanigans that have gone on in the past are not going to be repeated.

5041   So what I would like to hear from you is do you believe that the current Board of Directors is going to be able to pull this off properly to get the station going in a way that a radio station should be running?

5042   MR. JONES: Can I take that first?

5043   The fact that we're here today, sir, I know in the past communication has occurred between the CRTC and the station, letters. To my knowledge, this is the first time we're actually sitting in front of members of the Commission.

5044   Am I correct, sir?


5046   MR. JONES: Okay. So it's a heightened kind of situation. I get the message.

5047   I'm not part of the administration, but I'm positive they also get the message. What I would suggest of all the three options you presented is the Court-ordered sanctions, the mandatory order where you have -- I can't tell you how to do it, but I'm sure it's a structure where you have different timelines to meet certain conditions.

5048   And I feel very, very positive because the people who are involved with the Board, they love what they do. They love the station. And I would -- I can't even fathom the idea that they would get that kind of mandatory order from the CRTC and not follow it to the letter of the law and allow the station to continue.

5049   COMMISSIONER DENTON: I think that's a good answer. Thank you.

5050   Mr. Leach?

5051   MR. LEACH: Yeah. To really evaluate the situation, you've got to look at where this Board has taken CKLN from to where it is now.

5052   COMMISSIONER DENTON: So the question that we're addressing here is your confidence in the Board to get what -- to get done what needs doing.

5053   MR. LEACH: Yeah. I've seen them move forward as a dedicated Board, volunteer Board, and I foresee paid office staff coming in now that they've raised more funds and I would like to see them continue on the path that they have set.

5054   I am sure that they will meet the requirements of the CRTC in the future, near future.

5055   COMMISSIONER DENTON: In the immediate future.

5056   Thank you.

5057   Mr. Chairman, I don't have other questions to ask. I'll turn it over to others if they want to.

5058   THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Commissioner Poirier?

5059   COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes, I have a question for Mr. Jones.

5060   Today you mentioned in your presentation that the three campus community stations are all different, exhibiting characters which make them unique.

5061   MR. JONES: M'hm.

5062   COMMISSIONER POIRIER: So let's take one hypothesis, and the one is that we would revoke the license.

5063   What would the community lose, then, losing CKLN?

5064   MR. JONES: To be selfish, first of all you're going to lose my show. And I'm serious about that. It's very important to our community. You're going to lose a show like Adigi Chocolate, who plays that brand of reggae on a Monday afternoon that you will not hear anywhere. She's a Canadian-born Caucasian, so she has a whole different sensibility and touch and understanding of the music versus, say, a Ron Nelson who comes on on a Friday evening, someone who has a strong Jamaican heritage.

5065   Those things would be missed. I mean, downtown Toronto, we're different from CIUT. Very different. You cannot pick up a CHRY downtown Toronto. We run that section downtown Toronto. And I'm very happy to be part of it.

5066   So did I answer your question, ma'am?


5068   MR. JONES: You hope?

5069   COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yeah. Well, I -- what I mean is I thought that you would explain a little bit more how different it is, how the style is different, how the ---

5070   MR. JONES: All right. Let me give you an idea. I find -- I'm giving you my personal thought.

5071   I find CHRY to be a bit more ethnic in their presentation, in their style, in their language than -- and it seems to reach more a Jamaican-based population. At CKLN, it's more diverse. Yes, we reach a Jamaican population, but we reach a lot of different other groups, and in a different manner, too. And I will use this word guardedly. I think we come with a higher level of sophistication than maybe a CHRY does.

5072   And CIUT, which is also downtown Toronto, it's very different in their presentation style and their programming from CKLN, so to remove CKLN you're really taking out a vital segment that serves my community. And I'm speaking specifically to the black community.

5073   I told in my presentation a lot of the health things. If they don't hear it there, a lot of people don't hear it anywhere. It's well established that in my community we don't read as much as we could. People are radio oriented.

5074   When I say to the men, "Go do your prostate cancer test" -- this Sunday I'm going to highlight the fact that Mark Daley, who's a big advocate on City TV for prostate cancer, passed away. And in tribute to a man like that, you go check your prostate.

5075   These things come to our community through CKLN. I don't hear it being broadcasted anywhere from a CIUT or maybe a CHRY.

5076   COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Thank you. It helps a lot.

5077   Do you have something to add, Mr. Leach?

5078   MR. LEACH: I ---

5079   COMMISSIONER POIRIER: No? Okay. Thank you very much.

5080   MR. LEACH: My view, you know, is simply that we should be allowed to continue and improve the station and keep it going.

5081   COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Thank you very much.

5082   THE CHAIRPERSON: I've just got a few quick questions for you gentlemen.

5083   The first one is training, Mr. Jones. To what extent were you exposed to training at CKLN or in any of your other endeavours?

5084   MR. JONES: You know, when I started at CKLN I didn't have the new Board and people to help me, and I have to pay tribute to Tony Barnes, who really came down with me many Sundays. I picked him up at his house and he showed me how to operate the board until I could fly on my own and he let me loose.

5085   So I did receive training. There was Mark Bailkowski, who was the technical person, was also very helpful in that particular time.

5086   In this new era, we have had training programs set up, and Ron Nelson is always there to help. I mean, I can call him almost 24/7, I'm having a problem, "Ron, blah, blah, blah". He gets right back to me, a text message, on the phone. And there was a formal training program.

5087   I think we have gone through two where we have different time schedules based on your availability. You sign up, you go and you understand how to operate. You understand the guidelines that operates at the station in terms of your -- how you can behave on air.

5088   You know, I heard a lot of talk yesterday about profanities, and that was something that came up strongly to us, leave out those words, dah, dah, dah. In fact, I'm not so inclined to have those type of words coming out of my mouth on a normal basis, but even when I get into that booth I'm very cognizant of the fact that, you know what, here's a live mike in front of you. Be careful what you say. Just be careful. Try to enhance community rather than bringing down community.

5089   THE CHAIRPERSON: My second question, I guess, is to you as well, Mr. Jones.

5090   MR. JONES: Yes, sir.

5091   THE CHAIRPERSON: It has to do with the contribution that you're making to the community, and you've talked about that here and I commend you for it.

5092   To what extent are you involved in getting your audience to support CKLN through fundraising?

5093   MR. JONES: Very much involved. Everywhere I go -- like I do a lot of emceeing engagements, and I would always mention something health oriented, mention about the program, talk about supporting community radio.

5094   In fact, when we had -- we have a regular commentary each week where we talk about serious issues. And during the fundraising, we devoted the time to contributing and helping community, part of which is CKLN.

5095   THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you engage in selling advertising and are you compensated for it?

5096   MR. JONES: I helped in bringing some ads to the station, and there's a small commission that I received for it. But I haven't sold any in recent -- I think it's like about -- I think it's 10 percent.

5097   THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Those are my questions as well.

5098   I think that completes this Panel, Madam Secretary.

5099   THE SECRETARY: Yes, Mr. Chairman. This completes Phase II of this hearing. Thank you.

--- Upon recessing at 1100

--- Upon resuming at 1140

5100   THE SECRETARY: We will be starting with a presentation by U-Sheak Koroma, who was unavoidably detained this morning. He will have five minutes to do his presentation.

5101   MR. KOROMA: Thank you very much.

5102   THE SECRETARY: I will now pass it over to legal counsel. Thank you.


5103   THE SECRETARY: You may begin.


5104   MR. KOROMA: Thank you.

5105   Good morning. I want to say first of all thanks for actually giving me this opportunity to address the panel. And I had to leave a very important matter to get here, because CLKN is actually very very important not just to me, but to the continental African community as a whole.

5106   I think that one of the best things that the CRTC have done in Canada is actually giving that forum to community campus radio stations. And CKLN for the past 25 years has been that go-to station for new and old comers to actually get the news that we don't get in the mainstream media.

5107   I happen to host Sounds of Africa, but with out bias. I have to say that when I got to Toronto that was a baby step of CKLN. And I got involved as a listener and then got inspired to be part of CKLN, and I have been doing that for many many moons now without pay, paying for parking everyday.

5108   But I want to actually ask the panel to look back into the history of CKLN 25 plus years and see what CLKN have achieved. Whether complaints were happening the last 20 years, and what has triggered all of a sudden these numerous complaints that are going out. Let's don't forget, that in life issues happen. I am quite sure even within the CRTC nothing is perfect.

5109   And for an institution like CLKN with volunteers -- and I want to commend the present board of directors regardless of the difficulties that they are facing, that they have taken their time our dedicatedly to not just direct, but to manage the station. And I am asking the panel to be very conscious that the very two weeks or few weeks that CKLN was off the air was a disaster for the listeners.

5110   Not necessarily for me. Up to date I get emails pouring in as to what happened. The continent of Africa and the whole of the world is connected together via CLKN unique programming. Are there difficulties? Yes. But these difficulties can be addressed I think with due process, which I think the volunteer membership and the board of directorship are ready to do.

5111   And what I ask the panel to do here today is not to be punitive, not to look at personal vendettas that people have done. If you love a child, as we love CLKN, then we walk together to correct the mistakes that have happened. I think the best decision the panel can come out here with is to give directions and to give time limitations to the station to actually address whatever issues that the panel shall have. I am quite sure the panel should have great concerns because of what has happened.

5112   But most of what has happened, I will say for the record, that 90 per cent of what has happened in terms of reportage is personal vendetta and witch hunt and we should not go on those hearsay evidence that have nothing to do with the actual core value of CKLN. CKLN serves not just Toronto, but a global village, we have to realize that. And even thinking of suspending CLKN would be disastrous to not just the Toronto audience, but to the global village.

5113   We get calls from Russia, from United States, from UK, from Africa when Sounds of Africa is on. As we always say in our closing, and I will close on that, the Sounds of Africa on CKLN can only be imitated, but never duplicated. And I ask the panel to use your due diligence and conscientious mind to actually guide CKLN to get on top of where they were as the best campus station in the country and one of the best sources of alternative news.

5114   I thank you for your time. Thank you.

5115   THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

5116   Are there any questions?

5117   COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yes. I might have one or two questions.

5118   THE CHAIRPERSON: Go ahead.

5119   COMMISSIONER POIRIER: (Off microphone) ...frequency is a public good and there are some obligations to be fulfilled by whoever owns those frequencies. And I wonder if you believe that this board and this organization will, in the future, be able to fulfil those requirements and why would it change, because they haven't been following the rules up to now?

5120   MR. KOROMA: I will go on the record that without a doubt that this institution, CLKN Radio, is ready to innovatively progress as per the rules and regulations of the CRTC. Yesteryear's problems have been there because of circumstances beyond their control.

5121   But I have seen a dedicated board, I have seen a dedicated and new energy among volunteer members that, you know what, when you are that low you cannot go further, all you can do is to go forward.

5122   And I will put that on record that, yes, to your question.

5123   COMMISSIONER POIRIER: My last question, Mr. Chair, is give me an example, has the board implemented a mandatory training for volunteers for the last year?

5124   MR. KOROMA: Yes. It has been ongoing. I am one of the beneficiaries definitely of one of those trainings without a bias, where before most of the rules and regulations of the CRTC was not made available to volunteers one way or another. And now this board has made it a point of duty to actually hold programmers, even though they are volunteers, to hold them responsible to whatever they do. And yes, they have been doing those trainings.

5125   COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Thank you very much, Mr. Koroma. And thank you, Mr. Chair.

5126   MR. KOROMA: Thank you.

5127   THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for appearing this morning and good luck.

5128   MR. KOROMA: Thank you.

5129   THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

5130   Before beginning Phase III, I would like to indicate for the record that the licensee, CKLN Radio Incorporated submitted in response to an undertaking proposed 2011 operating budget, which will be added to the public examination file. Copies are available in the public examination room.

5131   Now, Mr. Chairman, we will proceed to Phase III, in which the licensee can reply to all interventions submitted for its item.

5132   Legal counsel.

5133   MS HULLEY: I would just like to remind the members of the panel, for the record, that they swore an oath or took a solemn affirmation, and that continues to apply. Thank you.

5134   THE SECRETARY: Thank you. Please reintroduce yourselves for the record and after which you will have 10 minutes for your presentation.

5135   Thank you.







5136   MR. NELSON: My name is Ron Nelson, I am the Chair of the Board. To my left is Andrew Lehrer, the Vice-Chair, and Board Member Bryce Seefieldt. To my right is Toby Whitfield representing the Ryerson Students' Union.

5137   First of all, good morning. We would like to thank the Commission for this opportunity to respond to comments and to also discuss the past as well as the present and future, that we are constantly working on to create at CKLN.

5138   First actually, I would like to apologize, Mr. Mike Harnett who was here yesterday, our Treasurer, he could not get out of working, so he wishes he could be here today and cannot, expresses his regrets.

5139   We would like to start by clarifying our comments regarding mandatory orders. What we said was that we were willing to voluntarily abide by any direction from the Commission and we will abide by all CRTC regulations, whether or not there are mandatory orders. Just to make that clear. However, we also feel we can successfully be in full compliance under a mandatory order of sorts.

5140   We would like to thank all the great voices who spoke today and yesterday in support of CKLN and its tremendous history and the influence it has on many communities.

5141   On the one hand, we have heard from a number of individuals regarding not only the importance CKLN holds to them and their communities, but also in regards to the positive changes that have occurred and the improvements in the internal structure and atmosphere at CKLN.

5142   We don't want to dwell on the past, but the past toxicity and conflict, it is important to note that that is all gone now, it has been replaced with a positive familial mood. And past neglect of regulations has given weight to an emphasis that broadcasting is a privilege and it carries responsibilities and regulatory requirements rather a right. So we are fully aware of that.

5143   We have also, from the presentations of several previous board members and programmers, we have seen a manifestation of the divisions, the infighting and toxicity that led to the crisis from which CKLN gladly has now emerged. The question has been asked over and over again today, does this current Board have the ability to take CKLN into the future.

5144   And my answer to that is, yes, an astounding yes. That is my firm belief. We believe that the issues raised by the interveners have all been addressed in our written submission, so we are not going to dwell too much in responding to things that we feel has already been responded to. So we don't want to waste the Commission's time.

5145   But that being said, we would be glad to answer any questions regarding any outstanding concerns after we conclude.

5146   Since July of 2009 the Board has spent much of its time cleaning up the mess that was left to us. And I am not going to take a lot of time, I just want to quickly quickly summate so we can deal with the present and the future. But this is important. I mean, our Board that you see here today, we are dedicated and committed and very hardworking and we have done several things.

5147   We have brought back a full compliment of volunteers and we have increased Ryerson student involvement a lot despite some of the things that were said. We have addressed previously neglect complaints that were made to the CRTC. We have organized financial records and conducted three years worth of financial audits, and we did this in a matter of months. We have developed and implemented a CRTC-compliant playlist or log.

5148   We have restored a full program grid and enhanced it by adding more hours of spoken-word programming and more quality programming. We have developed and enforced volunteer programming commitments, a contract that brings all on-air staff to accountability for their on-air conduct. We have retrained an entire volunteer staff, up to 170 people. We have, in our opinion, repaired a damaged transmitter -- well, we have repaired the damaged transmitter and we have modernized our audio logging system; cost a lot of money, but we have done it.

5149   We have also re-established much of our unique legacy of special programs. CKLN has been an award-winning radio station over the years.

5150   And again, we have asked what is the difference between CKLN, CIUT, CHRY, three similar community radio stations. CKLN was there for the G20, we were there, in there, we got arrested doing it, some of us. We were there for Women's Week, we were there for Pride, African Liberation Month, Caribana, et cetera, et cetera. CKLN is basically there in the community, representing the community.

5151   We have also taken the important steps of redrafting the by-laws addressing but not limited to the issues leading to the management breakdown of 2008 and 2009. And we feel that is a very crucial and important step in terms of making sure things that happened in the past will never happen again in the future. It's taken a lot of work and commitment, but we have been committed to that.

5152   We have also revitalized multiple income streams through a revised advertising policy, reintroducing sponsored live-to-air broadcasts and, most importantly, initiating a highly successful FundFEST campaign that more than doubled the amount raised in the last campaign previous to this one.

5153   Again, we are trying very hard to kind of ignore a lot of the accusations that were made and some things that were said. We are not going to respond to that.

5154   We have also hired a part-time volunteer FundFEST coordinator who did a great job by the way. And one of the things that we didn't spend a lot of time talking about today but, you know, it is one of the crucial aspects as to why CKLN is in the state it is right now, we have had to spend a lot of our time and energy and money, withstanding the multiple legal challenges that are out there that were inherited from the past and came into present and may still haunt us in the future.

5155   We have also brought to an end the toxic atmosphere that as paralyzed CKLN. We believe that firmly. And we have done all of this while running the day to day operations and maintenance of CLKN.

5156   MR. LEHRER: We are proud to list those accomplishments and we are proud of the effort put in by ourselves and numerous volunteers in order to bring them about.

5157   However, we are quite aware that there is much more still to do. Our current agenda is as follows. In the short-term by-laws will be proposed at the December 15 Special General Meeting, and will now included a change in our fiscal yearend date to August 31st. We will resubmit financial reports in compliance with the CRTC fiscal yearend of August 31st, and I believe that can be done within a month. We talked to our auditor yesterday.

5158   A hiring committee will be struck by January 10th with a job posting released by January 15th for a management position. The first official management hire will occur by February 28th, 2010. A programming committee will be struck to work with the new management and the Board. We will be fine tuning the 2011 operational budget in consultation with hired management. Management staff and the Board will work and continue to work with the NCRA to ensure full compliance with CRTC regulations. And a comprehensive monitoring of our programming logs and a method of doing that.

5159   Development of a clearly outlined public complaints submission and resolution procedure. We will develop and implement a large-scale plan for technological retooling the station, addressing on-air consoles and playback devices, digital playlists and logs, all in order to improve the quality and reliability of our programming and our records.

5160   And we will negotiate modifications to the RSU CKLN and the CKLN PALIN Foundation agreements regarding our tenancy and regarding the student levy.

5161   MR. SEEFIELDT: On the longer term, although still very important, issues we would like to address are a full-year plan for special events and specialized programming to ensure appropriate time and consideration is allotted for the extremely valuable specialized programs which Ron spoke to earlier, some of which are International Women's Day, African Liberation Month, Pride Week and the many other special programs that CLKN prides itself on uniquely presenting.

5162   Also, committees will be struck 30 to 90 days in advance of these events, respective of the priority to ensure full campus and community engagement.

5163   We will also develop a volunteer committee to assist management in the selection and training of station volunteers.

5164   We will develop campaigns to continuously increase Ryerson student involvement, a huge priority for this board.

5165   We will complete a review and updating of programming handbook to address holistically the roles and expectations of a CKLN programmer with consideration to:

5166   - on-air policies; profanity, compliancy guidelines, Cancon, maximum hits, logging responsibilities, technical protocol, et cetera -- although they are trained in these, we always feel the programming handbook is important to review and update constantly, so we would like to finetune this;

5167   - and also, it will address station involvement, including meeting attendance, Fundfest participation and many other expectations not clearly set out previously.

5168   This handbook will outline clearly yearly performance evaluation criteria and consequences for failure to comply with guidelines. This will be accompanied with a yearly performance commitment contract renewable yearly.

5169   Special attention to the new advertising policy, eliciting programmers to take action as independent advertising sales agents for the station. That is a big priority for us too, to enrol the whole community in increasing the revenue.

5170   We will also develop a year-long plan for campus outreach and community involvement increasing the station profile and soliciting the support and involvement of new members, volunteers and sponsors.

5171   As we mentioned in our opening statements, this has been a very insightful and revealing hearing. We would like to thank the panel for allowing us to hear so many viewpoints on how great community radio must be run.

5172   The current board has the ability to take CKLN into the future, and with the assistance of our volunteers and the NCRA and under the guidance of the Commission, we plan to do so.

5173   We now invite Mr Toby Whitfield to add his remarks on behalf of RSU.

5174   MR. WHITFIELD: Yesterday discussions took place about student fees, access to the Brookfield property by RSU, the RSU/CKLN fee agreement and the PALIN Foundation.

5175   I did bring some documentation today and I am happy to answer some of these questions to the best of my ability if you do have questions about those documents. I don't want to necessarily go through everything right now.

5176   Comments have also arisen about the position of Ryerson University and various departments within the University.

5177   Although I said yesterday that I do not represent or speak on behalf of the University, I did speak with, this morning, senior administration at the University and they have confirmed that the University has not taken a position on these proceedings and, I suppose importantly, have indicated that they haven't taken a negative view towards CKLN, although I feel that some of that may have been suggested in some of the discussions.

5178   Lastly, a lot of discussions have taken place about students and student involvement.

5179   As the only student here and as an elected representative on behalf of the 24,000 students at Ryerson, both full-time undergraduate and graduate students, I think I am uniquely positioned to respond to student concerns and student involvement.

5180   While it is unfortunate that this hearing was scheduled during our exam time, I do think it is important to have a student perspective and I know some of you have mentioned that.

5181   You have also talked about the large financial resources that are provided to CKLN by students and I appreciate that. I believe that students have never and likely will never represent, for example, 65 percent of the programming grid or whatever the exact percentage of financial resources they contribute. I don't think that will exist in programming, nor do I think it necessarily needs to.

5182   I do believe, however, that for a couple of years leading up to this past summer there were many actions that indicated very little student involvement. We have heard of many of those discussions in the last two days, but I do believe that this board of directors since July has demonstrated an honest commitment to reengaging our campus community.

5183   There are more student programs and they continue to try and find unique ways to engage students. I think that is really important because they are working hard to reengage our campus community.

5184   In closing, I truly believe that this board is in a great position to continue working on building relationships with students. They have already started those relationships and as a student I can attest it is not necessarily easy to instantly build connections with students all across our faculties as a diverse downtown campus, but they are doing a great job so far.

5185   I think that is important and I think that was an opinion or a perspective that hasn't been talked about a lot in the last two days.

5186   So I will leave it with that and I do think that this board has been doing a great job engaging our student community.

5187   I am of the opinion that there is always ways to improve relationships with students. That is true of the Students' Union. That is true of our students. That is true of the university administration. So true is it of our campus radio station.

5188   But they are doing it and I think they have the passion to continue to do that.

5189   So I will end on that note. Thank you.

5190   THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. I only have one question.

5191   Can you gentlemen tell me who on the board today were on the board prior to July 2009, for the record?

5192   MR. LEHRER: Michael Harnett was on the board from, I think it was November 2008 until, you know, things fell apart in February or March 2009. So he was briefly on the previous board.

5193   THE CHAIRPERSON: Is he the only one?

5194   MR. LEHRER: Toby Whitfield actually as well.

5195   MR. WHITFIELD: So at the time when there was two and at one point three different groups each claiming to be the board, I did my best to attend as many different board meetings and have dialogue with all three boards.

5196   As the RSU representative, I was elected by the Students' Union to represent or to sit on CKLN, although there were three different groups.

5197   MR. SEEFIELDT: Also, Ron Nelson was on the board about 20 years ago.

5198   MR. NELSON: No. It was in 1984. I was a student on the board, a graduate of radio, Ryerson Radio and Television Arts. I just wanted to mention that as well.

5199   THE CHAIRPERSON: So out of the seven people that are on the board currently, two of you were on the board prior to what you call the mess that you are cleaning up now?

5200   MR. NELSON: Correct.

5201   THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Those are my questions.

5202   Any other commissioners? No.

5203   Thank you very much.

5204   MR. NELSON: Thank you.

5205   THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary.

5206   THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

5207   This concludes Phase III and this item.

5208   I would like to indicate for the record that the intervenors who did not appear but were listed in the agenda as appearing intervenors will remain on the public file as non-appearing interventions.

5209   This completes the agenda of this public hearing.

5210   Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

5211   THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. I would like to thank all the participants for their attendance here as well and the support of the various people who have been here as well as the staff both here and the staff back in Gatineau as well and thank my fellow commissioners. Thank you.

--- Whereupon the hearing concluded at 1207


____________________      ____________________

Beverley Dillabough      Sue Villeneuve

____________________      ____________________

Monique Mahoney         Jean Desaulniers

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