ARCHIVED - Transcript, Hearing 30 January 2014
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Volume 4, 30 January 2014
TRANSCRIPTION OF PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
To consider the broadcasting applications listed in Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2013-568, 2013-568-1, 2013-568-2 and 2013-568-3
Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel
15269 104th Avenue
Surrey, British Columbia
30 January 2014
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 Contents.
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 2013-568, 2013-568-1, 2013-568-2 and 2013-568-3
Carolyn PinskyLegal Counsel
Joe AguiarHearing Manager
Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel
15269 104th Avenue
Surrey, British Columbia
30 January 2014
- iv -
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE / PARA
9. Access to Music Foundation (int. 4518) 1160 / 7378
27. Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation (int. 8954)1170 / 7440
28. Surrey RCMP Detachment (int. 9271) 1182 / 7492
26. Brij Mohan & Associates (int. 8719) 1189 / 7536
30. Anita Lynette Dalakoti (int. 9292) 1196 / 7576
31. Sheetal Gupta (int. 3899) 1201 / 7603
33. Indira Prahst (int. 6949) 1209 / 7651
32. Dr. G.S. Cheema Inc. (int. 7584) 1219 / 7711
2. Sher-E-Punjab Radio Broadcasting Inc. 1266 / 8119
3. 2308739 Ontario Inc. 1291 / 8269
4. I.T. Productions Ltd. 1298 / 8320
5. South Asian Broadcasting Corporation Inc. 1305 / 8366
6. Akash Broadcasting Inc. 1326 / 8489
7. South Asian Link Directory Ltd. 1329 / 8518
8. New Vision Broadcasting Inc. 1333 / 8541
9. Surdel Broadcasting Inc. 1336 / 8562
10. Mosaic Media Inc. 1344 / 8637
11. Sky Radio Broadcasting Corp. 1350 / 8694
12. Idea Broadcasting Corporation1357 / 8753
13. South Fraser Broadcasting Inc.1362 / 8800
14. Clear Sky Radio Inc. 1376 / 8910
15. Newcap Inc. 1455 / 9333
- vii -
PAGE / PARA
Undertaking1240 / 7861
Undertaking1279 / 8191
Undertaking1318 / 8438
Undertaking1325 / 8476
Surrey, British Columbia
--- Upon resuming on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 0901
7372 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning. I have 9:01 by my count, so we should get started.
7373 MS YARLOWE: Okay.
7374 THE SECRETARY: If you could please introduce yourself for the record and after which you'll have five minutes for your presentation.
7375 Introduce yourself for the record.
7376 MS YARLOWE: Yes.
7377 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
7378 MS YARLOWE: My name is Elka Yarlowe. I am the President and CEO of Access to Music Foundation.
7379 THE CHAIRPERSON: Go ahead.
7380 MS YARLOWE: Good morning.
7381 I am here to speak on behalf of Sky Radio Broadcasting Corporation's application for licence. I am speaking from the Foundation's perspective as leaders in supporting public school music education and community music programs for children and youth across British Columbia.
7382 Our mandate is to empower and inspire B.C.'s youth through access to music and our core values are to provide children and youth with the tools to develop critical skills, gain self-esteem, achieve academic excellence, instil community pride and create a lifelong relationship with music, and our goals, we feel, are closely aligned with those of Sky 107's vision to empower Lower Mainland communities by using music as a catalyst for change.
7383 We are a province-wide organization that provides instruments to schools, holds songwriting mentorships and engages youth with artists that are established and emerging.
7384 Although we are all over B.C., our focus over the next two years is to support music programs in Surrey, White Rock, Burnaby, Delta, Maple Ridge, Langley, Mission and the Tri-City area. All these communities share common socioeconomic challenges and growing concerns as to the future of their young citizens.
7385 The schools and the communities have great needs to support music programs and the potential for greatness is even more so, but for the remainder of this presentation, I want to address the particular needs of one school district and how we feel Sky 107 will provide the most positive impact on youth and where their contributions to our Foundation will significantly change the area from one of poverty, street crime and cultural divide to one of community pride and well-being for all its citizens.
7386 Surrey School District 36 is British Columbia's largest and fastest-growing school district. It is a cultural mosaic with the majority of students coming from East Asian, Asian and African countries, although these children and youth no longer share the languages of their parents and grandparents, preferring to be taught and speak in English. However, they are invested in their culture.
7387 Recently, Surrey School District made a bold move to offer music as part of their core curriculum for 101 elementary schools and 17 high schools. Music is known to bring communities together and bridge the cultural divide, and music education has the ability to build character.
7388 With all the genres that are explored, our songwriting program gives children the opportunity to create music. Most youth write the music that inspires them. That could be anywhere from classical to hip hop, reggae, electronica and Urban Dance, all of those genres prominently heard on Sky 107's rotation. Most importantly, these musical genres require musical mastery, something that we encourage in the schools.
7389 Parov Stelar, an electronica/Urban artist that is on Sky 107's rotation, are consummate musicians that play trombone, trumpet, baritone sax, all instruments that require great study and, by the way, are very expensive.
7390 Also on Sky 107's rotation is Kardinall Offishal, a Canadian hip hop/spoken word artist who emulates positive image and is a leading proponent of supporting youth accessing music as a way of getting out of gang-related activities, depression and isolation. As he was recently quoted in a Ted Talk:
"One of the most profound ways artists and community leaders can support youth in their creation of art and community is to enter into dialogue with them."
7391 I believe Sky 107's presence will do just that: open up a dialogue for youth, inspire them with visiting artists who are positive role models, engage community leaders and create educational and economic opportunities for Surrey's youth and for other communities.
7392 In closing, I'd like to make some personal remarks.
7393 I am very familiar with Sky's team. I supported them in a previous licence application because I believed then, as I do now, that their music format is representative of Canada's cultural mosaic and needs to be heard. And as an English-speaking station that brings world music to the public they are making music accessible and bridging a cultural gap that will open up dialogue for years to come.
7394 Thank you.
7395 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
7396 Commissioner Simpson.
7397 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you very much.
7398 I'd like to -- sorry, I'm ahead of myself. Your presentation is very clear. Your support for Sky is clear. So I'd like to try and learn a little more from what you know from your experiences in the school district.
7399 MS YARLOWE: M'hmm.
7400 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: My daughter went to school here in the Lower Mainland and she was in a very high percentage ESL English second-language school. She was at Prince of Wales. I think it's something like 84 percent ESL even though it's on the west side of Vancouver.
7401 MS YARLOWE: M'hmm.
7402 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Where I'm going with this questioning is to understand what's actually going on with the kids in the school system and your opinion as to their level of fluency in third language versus how much they use English as their operating language. This is where I'm going with this.
7403 She is trilingual. She is French, Spanish and English. English is her first language but she found herself immersed in a school system where the kids were -- there was a Greek community, there was a Punjabi community and so on.
7404 MS YARLOWE: Of course.
7405 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And the kids had a tendency, in her experience, to fall into their first language by cultural origin to define themselves and to separate themselves from the other kids in other cultural communities who were also in the school, and it was very difficult for her, outside of the classroom, to get an English conversation going. And this was not the fault of her lack of languages but lack of the right languages.
7406 So the question I have for you is we've heard that 90 plus percentage of the population in Surrey either have English as their first language or they're fluent enough to work in English and therefore to be communicated to in English, but what's happening in the school system? I'm thinking District 6 here. Are the kids using English predominantly or are they falling back to mother tongue?
7407 MS YARLOWE: Well, first of all, I understand the situation your daughter was in, but in the larger scope, in the mainstream of education, let's say, you know, of course we always want to bring kids together on the playground in extracurricular activities, but sometimes that's not possible and people revert back to either another language, the language of their parents, because there are issues, social changes, cultural changes.
7408 But in the classroom -- and mind you, I can only speak sort of in the broad sense and particularly to music education or specifically to music education.
7409 But what happens in Surrey and in the other districts in the Lower Mainland and pretty much throughout the province is that the education -- the core education is taught in English. English is spoken in the classroom. Certainly, English is the one language that is taught in the music curriculum and I'll give you an example of that.
7410 Several years ago we provided about 40 guitars to New Westminster Secondary School for their guitar program and none of the students had a common language between them. There just happened to be a class of a percentage of very new immigrants. There was no common language. The common language was music. If they related on music and they learned to play the instrument and they heard music, it changed them and slowly -- and of course music has its own language as well. It slowly changed and the instruction was in English.
7411 So in answer to your question, yes, even in our generation, our grandparents' generation, the German kids stuck with the German kids and the Italian kids stuck with the Italian, that's going to happen, but in the educational framework in this province, English is the predominant language.
7412 Also, youth are huge consumers of music and broadcasting. They access more in English. They text in English. They're not texting in another language. They're texting in English, they're downloading in English, they're listening to English, speaking English-language music, and despite what the cultural differences and cultural similarities are. So English is the predominant language.
7413 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So, this is the underpinning for your not only support for the music offering of Sky but for their choice to broadcast in English?
7414 MS YARLOWE: Yes. I'm very supportive of their choice to broadcast in English.
7415 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
7416 MS YARLOWE: Remember too that the landscape is changing. We see that. As someone who's been in the music industry and involved with music education, there was a time when I could rely on ethnic television and ethnic radio to get a point across, to promote a certain artist, to support a certain music project. Those days are gone. We're no longer going to OMNI. We're going to Citytv. We're going to CBC. We're no longer going to -- and I'll give you an Ontario reference -- to CHIN Radio.
7417 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm.
7418 MS YARLOWE: We're going somewhere else. And the radio that youth are listening to -- and I'm saying youth, let's define the parameters as age, say, 14 to 25 -- is English.
7419 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Excellent! That's exactly what I was looking for. Thank you very much.
7420 MS YARLOWE: Thank you very much.
7421 Am I done?
7422 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, you are. Thank you.
7423 MS YARLOWE: Thank you.
7424 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you so much.
7425 THE SECRETARY: Mr. Chairman, we've just been advised --
7426 LE PRÉSIDENT : Madame la Secrétaire.
7427 THE SECRETARY: We've just been advised that Mr. Manmohan Samra is unable to come.
7428 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
7429 THE SECRETARY: We will accept his presentation. It will be on the record.
7430 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, certainly.
7431 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
7432 THE CHAIRPERSON: Who's next?
7433 THE SECRETARY: We will now move on to the interveners in support of South Asian Broadcasting Corporation: Brij Mohan & Associates, Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation and Surrey RCMP Detachment.
7434 If they could please come forward to the presentation table.
7435 THE CHAIRPERSON: Who's starting? Who would like to start?
7436 MS ADAMS: I can start.
7437 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great! Just push the little button in front of your mike.
7438 And if I can ask you, sir, to turn off your mike.
7439 We're ready to go.
7440 MS ADAMS: Thank you.
7441 My name is Jane Adams and I'm the CEO of the Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation.
7442 Growing up in Atlantic Canada in the 1960s the radio played a central role in my home. It was my connection to the rest of the country during national events like the FLQ crisis. Views expressed by on-air guests and hosts influenced my sense of regional identity as well as my Pan-Canadian view.
7443 The radio shaped how I felt about the arts and politics and I attribute my appreciation for classical music to the many happy Sundays I spent with my mother listening to Gilmore's albums.
7444 I think radio even influenced my love of early morning activity as I seem to recall one of the radio announcers regularly encouraged us to march around the breakfast table on our way to school.
7445 Then, with the advent of cable and computers and the Internet, the radio receded in my life. It ceased to be a force that defined me. It became a source of passive entertainment.
7446 Then in 2007, I moved to Surrey B.C. after a career that spanned two decades in non-profit. During those decades I had rarely used radio as a means of communicating with the public or for raising funds. With RED FM as a partner that was all about to change.
7447 Surrey Memorial Hospital was undergoing the single largest renewal any hospital had ever received in British Columbia's history. And the South Asian community, and in particular the Punjabi-speaking community of Surrey, very much wanted to help. They wanted to stage a fundraiser to support the growth and expand the health services available to the entire population of Surrey.
7448 By way of background information, the City of Surrey had been struggling with an undersized hospital for more than a decade. With a population approaching 500,000 and another 1,000 people arriving monthly and just over 400 hospital beds, the congestion in our Emergency Department in the hospital had reached crisis proportions.
7449 Increasingly, during the early days of fundraising to support this expansion, the Foundation began hearing from South Asian community leaders that the massive community fundraiser should involve a partnership with RED FM, a locally owned CRTC-licensed radio station offering programming in 15 languages and with a large South Asian listenership.
7450 We were told that the leaders of the station had enormous the leaders of the station had enormous respect and had established a reputation for much community work during their history in Surrey.
7451 I cannot recall the exact details of the introduction but a partnership was formed and the station agreed to work with the community to raise $2 million for the Emergency Department.
7452 The Government, Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation, and the Fraser Health Authority, which operates the hospital, were excited about this bold and ambitious plan to improve healthcare in B.C.'s fastest-growing City and they wanted to commemorate the partnership with a public naming. After deliberations, they decided to name the Emergency Department front entrance for the community.
7453 RED FM, in consultation with their listenership and the broader community made the collective decision to recommend a naming of significance to the entire community. They chose the name Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism.
7454 This naming is noteworthy. Ordinarily, our experience is that people choose to honour with namings their business or a living individual. The Guru Nanak naming illustrated RED FM's respect for their listenership and the values of their listeners.
7455 And thus began planning for a series of annual radiothons. RED FM recommended holding the radiothons on Gurpurab, the anniversary of Guru Nanak's birthday.
7456 As mentioned previously, I had had little success with radio as a means of appealing to the kindness of donors. A previous radiothon with another English-language Vancouver-based station, for example, had netted us less than $10,000. And although I had been told that radio played a central role in the lives of new Canadians, not unlike my experience in Atlantic Canada 50 years previously, I approached the first radiothon with scepticism about the outcome. Happily, I can tell you I was entirely wrong.
7457 The day of the first radiothon in November 2007, I arrived at the station before 6:00 a.m., coffee in hand and rather bleary-eyed, only to find the staff of RED FM was present and ready to go and people were waiting outside, people on their way home from night shifts who had taken the time to stop personably at the station to deliver their cheques.
7458 I remember one woman in particular. She was about 30 years of age. She was dressed in the uniform of a security company. She had obviously worked all night, most likely for minimum wage. She had taken the bus out of her way to arrive at the station for opening and she handed us $1,000 in cash. She said it was important for her to give us the funds before she went home to bed.
7459 I reckon, even at a salary of $15 an hour, more than minimum wage at that time, without deductions, that young woman would have had to work 66 hours to make that much money to contribute to our hospital.
7460 What impressed me were the family groupings, families with teens and newborns who made the trip to the station with a sense of anticipation of delivering their gifts, meeting their favourite hosts and touring the station and helping their fellow residents by improving the hospital through their act of generosity.
7461 I remember one family vividly. They said they had arrived in Canada within the last year. They had a son. He was in Superman pyjamas. He had a sealed piggybank. It contained every cent of Canadian money he had received since arriving in our country. I remember thinking he could have bought a Nintendo or any number of well-marketed consumer items that appeal to young people, but instead he chose to break open that piggybank and give every cent to Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation. This is remarkable.
7462 Or the 92-year-old woman in an Indian suit. Her hands crippled with arthritis, her eyes shadowed with cataracts, her sight fading, she chose to pull herself up two flights of steps, one painful step at a time, because she wanted to personally deliver her $113 donation to her favourite daytime radio host.
7463 People of all ages made their way to the station that day, in total, more than a thousand. The excitement and sense of celebration among members of the community that visited the station was palatable. Volunteers of all ages manned the phones to donors who called in. Local restaurants and family members of RED FM staff made food for volunteers and visitors alike. I have never seen anything like it. Even Maritime Caileghs, which I'm familiar with, had never reached this scale or pitch of excitement.
7464 This scene was repeated over the subsequent six years. Since 2007, 17,529 people have donated $3,428,738.51 (the piggybank) to RED FM radiothons. This money has been invested in lifesaving equipment in our Emergency Department, in our Stroke Unit and in our Mata Tripta Birthing Unit.
7465 The Punjabi and the South Asian communities' goodwill and generosity is truly a Canadian success story. All Canadians should be proud that this relatively small community bound together by the sounds and beats of RED FM cares so greatly for the general well-being of their community.
7466 Reflecting on my own relationship with radio, I believe that it is a privilege to be granted licence to the homes, hearts and ears of Canadians. This panel has an important job. You must ensure that those granted access propagate positive values and wisdom.
7467 Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation's experience with RED FM has been overwhelmingly positive. They have used their station and all of its resources free and voluntarily given to create a bridge for our hospital to appeal directly to the South Asian community.
7468 Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation is grateful for this privilege. We are awed by the trust and enthusiasm that their audience has shown our hospital.
7469 Thank you for the opportunity to commend the Punjabi community for its generosity and RED FM for their partnership, friendship and generosity in providing us days of airtime to appeal to the South Asian community.
7470 If I may, my mother always said you are judged by the company you keep. Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation is proud to count RED-FM and their many listeners among our friends and partners in care.
7471 Thank you.
7472 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, you may, Ms Adams, and thank you very much. Very well said.
7473 Commissioner Simpson...?
7474 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you very much, Ms Adams. I have a few questions. One is to gain a better understanding of the nature of the community with respect to how Surrey is moving from a bedroom community to a city on its own. And I just say, I ask this question in context. I, too, was on a hospital foundation, Peace Arch Hospital, and we had found in that region of South Surrey 20 years ago that most of the heavy donations, because it was a bedroom community, that it was hard to get support because all of the constituents that we went after were all working in Vancouver and living in South Surrey and they made all their donations downtown and they used the facilities at home.
7475 That has obviously changed in Surrey. Is it unique to -- is your success directly the result of the South Asian community, or are you finding that you are getting broader support for the city as a whole as it becomes more self-contained and less of a bedroom community that commutes elsewhere?
7476 MS ADAMS: Our revenues overall are increasing and we have, as a Foundation, Surrey Memorial Hospital, in partnership with two other charities in fact, started a campaign about "Give Where You Live" for the very point you are making.
7477 We have looked at the statistics of giving in Surrey and working with Revenue Canada we have looked at the -- for instance, in Surrey three years ago the tax filer data shows that $120 million was donated by Surrey residents who, you know, that's what they put in their tax files, individuals.
7478 And, so, although it is difficult to see where that money is donated, people in Surrey are, as you point out, they are generous, they are contributing, but we think a lot of it is leaving our community and we feel that it is incumbent through education and through connecting with the entire community to illustrate how your dollars donated at home, whether that is in healthcare or literacy, make an enormous difference to the civil society and the quality of life.
7479 But in terms of the radiothon, obviously the success of the radiothon is due almost exclusively to the South Asian community, because although a very small percentage might be people from outside the community, it is almost entirely South Asians who are phoning in, coming in and contributing.
7480 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Just one more question, if I may. When you look at the population projections -- you know, I'm thinking how these impact you in service delivery and healthcare -- when you look at the population projections of Surrey, this is a massively exciting growth story and a very good chunk of that population growth is going to be coming from an increase in the percentage of the South Asian community.
7481 How is that impacting your service delivery with respect to your ability to deal with your clients in a variety of languages? Are you, like the school system at one point, under a little bit of stress with ESL, or are you finding that you are able to operate? I'm going back to that 90 percent fluency question which plagues us.
7482 MS ADAMS: Well, I should point out for the Panel that I run the Foundation, not the hospital.
7483 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I understand, but I know you know.
7484 MS ADAMS: So my comments are within that context. Certainly we have seen a growth in the number of patients from a variety of countries arriving in Surrey. Translation is an area that requires more and more budget.
7485 You know, when you show up in pain at an emergency or needing care, to do an accurate diagnosis you certainly need to understand what's going on with a patient. So certainly more resources are going into areas like translation, and Fraser Health has created a South Asian Health Institute and there are a variety of programs that have been created.
7486 I can think of one in particular that was supported by donors around cardiac health -- South Asian cardiac health, because statistics and research would indicate that people of South Asian descent are affected at a proportionately higher rate of certain chronic diseases, things related to the blood, vascular, heart and stroke, et cetera.
7487 And so, clearly as your population grows and ages you need to be able to respond in a timely and appropriate way to those health needs, and not just the patient, but the patient's family, because lifestyle has a lot -- diet, et cetera, has a lot to do with the onset and, you know, the progress of those type of diseases.
7488 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So third-language delivery is still and will continue to be an issue, is what I hear you saying.
7489 MS ADAMS: Yes. Sorry, a longwinded way of saying, yes, it will continue to be a need and a growing need.
7490 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. Thank you. Thank you.
7491 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Madam Adams. Mr. Begg you're next. Go ahead, sir.
7492 MR. BEGG: Thank you. Mr. Chairman and Members of the Commission, good morning.
7493 I am Garry Begg, an Inspector in the RCMP and the Operations Support Officer at Surrey Detachment. I have been in Surrey since 2006 when I was first posted here as the District Commander in Newton, which is a large ethnic and cultural enclave within the city and the home and business and shopping destination for many of the Indo Canadian citizens who call Surrey home.
7494 I am now assigned to duties at our Headquarters, which is also in Newton. I want to be clear from the outset that my appearance here today is not to express favour for any of the applicants in this process, indeed, I defer entirely to your independent judgment on all of the matters and applicants and interveners before you.
7495 I am here today to acknowledge the tremendous support that has been extended to the RCMP by RED-FM who, over the years, have stepped up on numerous occasions and provided that most valuable commodity, airtime, to us for crime prevention and public safety messaging.
7496 RED-FM has been unfailingly generous and accommodating in their provision of airtime so that important information can be shared with their listeners. We have regular open line shows on RED-FM in which citizens can have their questions answered and their issues addressed in Punjabi as well as English. This venue provides direct access to the police for citizens who might otherwise not have that opportunity.
7497 We at the Surrey RCMP value greatly the relationship that has been established with RED-FM, whose attitude is best represented by their President, Kulwinder Sanghera, who has said to me that I have a standing invitation from him to use his facilities whenever I wish to advance issues of crime prevention and community safety.
7498 When the Surrey RCMP recognized the need to establish a domestic violence unit, RED-FM donated $20,000 in seed money at the start of the project, and later another $20,000 to fund domestic violence prevention initiatives. That seed money, along with additional funds, contributed greatly to the establishment of the unit which is now seen as a best practice by other RCMP detachments and police departments across British Columbia.
7499 RED-FM stepped up again with a generous donation when the Surrey School District and the Surrey RCMP partnered together in the now award-winning program called the "Surrey Rap Project", a project designed to prevent youth from being recruited into gangs and the gang lifestyle.
7500 This innovative and unique program has helped many Surrey School District students who were being actively recruited by organized criminal gangs and deterred them from entering into that dangerous lifestyle. The "Surrey Rap Project" benefitted greatly from a generous donation of over $45,000 from RED-FM.
7501 From my vantage point, RED-FM are good corporate citizens who demonstrate, by their words and by their deeds, a commitment to making Surrey a better place for all of its citizens.
7502 In policing, as in almost all areas of life, relationships are important and the Surrey RCMP enjoys a tremendous relationship with RED-FM. Their support of us in airtime and through financial gifts has been tremendous and is ongoing.
7503 Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you. I am pleased to answer any questions that you may have.
7504 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Begg. Were you here in uniform yesterday?
7505 MR. BEGG: I was.
7506 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I thought so. Commissioner Simpson...?
7507 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you very much. Your testimony is extremely concise and documents well the actions and commitments of RED-FM. So, if I may, I would just like to go a little bit beyond, again tapping into not what you have said, but what you know that is beyond the testimony.
7508 In terms of -- the first question is an order of magnitude question. There are unique -- because of the population makeup of Surrey, there are unique issues that are coming from cultural, linguistic makeup of this city and the population is going to be growing significantly on an over/under basis.
7509 Are you winning, are you losing or are you holding your own with respect to the challenges that are before you now and what you see coming?
7510 MR. BEGG: There is, as the previous speaker alluded to, tremendous growth at the rate of probably 1,000 people a month move to this community, so we are experiencing all of the negative as well as the positive effects of that type of growth.
7511 The demand for police service is increasing with the population and that is not unexpected. What is significant and different in this particular case is that the age of the population who are moving here tends to be younger, and I suspect that you know that probably between the ages of 18 and 30 is the prime time for people to commit criminal offences.
7512 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes.
7513 MR. BEGG: We have the largest school district, for example, in the Province of British Columbia and it is growing at a high rate as well.
7514 So, my expectation as we move forward is that we are -- we will continually, for the next period of time, be entering increased criminal activity merely as a result of the tremendous growth.
7515 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you. I just have two more questions. The second question is the language question.
7516 We are seeing a lot of different proposals before us, some are traditional Punjabi language offerings, others are getting into abstracts or more Anglicized Punjabi, and then there is the issue of those that believe that English is the way to go with the programming option.
7517 From your standpoint operating in the city, again the question is, how much stress are you under to be able to deliver the kind of outreach services, I think more community policing than intervention or had policing, how much stress are you under to have to deliver third-language services to be able to get the kind of relationship you are looking for in a community?
7518 MR. BEGG: I think that I will speak as well to -- although you correctly say that it is most often in the community policing aspect, I think there is an element, too, of the immediate need to communicate in a language other than English.
7519 And I'm thinking of stressful situations when persons whose first language is not English, our ability to communicate with them quickly is, from a tactical point of view, tremendously important. So we certainly have that as an issue.
7520 From a community policing point of view they are an important segment of our community, so our ability to communicate to them in their language of choice, which in many cases will be Punjabi or Hindi or some other dialect, is tremendously important. It's just it helps them to ease their way into the broader community.
7521 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes. I can well understand that because it gets past the technical hurdle into the kind of solutions you are looking for.
7522 The last question I have, and I'm not looking for -- I'm just looking for anecdotal information because naming names doesn't help or hurt, but it could be problematic. With respect to your relationship with RED-FM, that is the product of a relationship that you have initiated between the two of you.
7523 Have you attempted similar relationships with other broadcasters in this market and what has been the response?
7524 MR. BEGG: Yes. RED-FM is, I think, the principal media -- medium through which we communicate with the public here in Surrey. We do have occasionally other programs through other radio stations.
7525 For example, we have a very large ethnic parade called the Vaisakhi Parade, which I think you have heard of earlier. We use other media outlets, for example, in that event to publicize the safety aspects of that event.
7526 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: But are you getting the same kind of rapport, other than through just using them as --
7527 MR. BEGG: No. The rapport is not the same with the other media outlets.
7528 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay, yes. Thank you very much for that.
7529 MR. BEGG: Thank you.
7530 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, sir.
7531 MR. BEGG: Thank you.
7532 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do we have a document for the third intervener? No?
7533 THE SECRETARY: No, we don't, but you can go ahead, Mr. Brij Mohan.
7534 MR. MOHAN: Yes.
7535 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
7536 MR. MOHAN: Good morning. My name is Brij Mohan, I am a lawyer. My law firm has multijurisdictional law firm offices in Alberta and British Columbia.
7537 I did not prepare anything like the last two speakers because I decided that whatever I'm going to say I'm going to speak from the heart and I'm going to answer any questions you may have.
7538 The reason why I'm here, first of all, I want to make it clear, I am not here to support anybody's application, I have no vested interest whatsoever. I am here for a simple purpose, I am here because I am a disgruntled advertiser and a disgruntled listener.
7539 I have been advertising on RED-FM for quite the last few years and for the last almost 12 months we have noticed, and I have noticed personally myself, that the quality of RED-FM's signal has deteriorated and it has been deteriorating every day.
7540 As I indicated, my office is in the heart of Surrey, 128th Street and 80th Avenue, and RED-FM is located on 84th Avenue and 128th Street, essentially four blocks north of my office and it is quite shameful that I cannot hear RED-FM clearly just on 72nd Avenue, which is 12 blocks away from where the programs originate.
7541 We do make money in our community, we do pump money into our community as well by way of advertising on these radio stations. It's not that I just advertise on RED-FM, I advertise on all other media as well, on Vision Television from coast-to-coast, OMNI television every night.
7542 I have been a lawyer for 23 years. For the last almost three years I have decided that this profession has given me tenfold than I ever deserved, so it was about time for us to give back to the profession.
7543 We started doing our legal tips and the purpose of those legal tips was so that we should try to educate the people so they shouldn't get into trouble. Part of my practice is criminal defence work.
7544 As Mr. Begg indicated, we try to educate people not to get into trouble in the first place. On the same token, we try to educate people what their constitutional rights are if they are dealt with by the police. We want to make sure that we control the police the way it should be controlled. They shouldn't over use their powers, they shouldn't overstep on the Charter rights granted by the Constitution of this country. So that is my job. And we do it by way of legal tips and we have been complemented over and over again.
7545 The reason I am here is not because RED-FM or other radio stations want me to be here, I'm here because I personally want to be here and want to let you know the concerns.
7546 Poor quality means we are throwing our money down the drain. I told Mr. Kulwinder Sanghera quite abundantly clear that we are not -- I will not be showing up to support his application, but I will be showing up to let everybody know that this community definitely needs a radio station, a radio station which is clear, concise and everybody can understand.
7547 If I go north -- sorry, south of 72nd Avenue we cannot listen, there is such a big problem with the reception of the radio RED-FM or other radio.
7548 So the City of Surrey has a huge and dense East Indian population, it deserves a clear signal.
7549 And I did not prepare anything, as I indicated to you, and I will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
7550 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, sir. Commissioner Simpson...?
7551 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you. I have never met a lawyer who likes to work from a script and so I'm not surprised at all that you wanted to go from the heart and the head this morning.
7552 A couple of questions. First off, in reference to your legal tips, are these airing on all stations or one station, how does that get out?
7553 MR. MOHAN: This is a very good question. These legal tips are airing on OMNI Television every night --
7554 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes.
7555 MR. MOHAN: -- and every now and then, you know, we come on RED-FM and we also go on other radio stations and we try to educate people so that they shouldn't get into trouble in the first place.
7556 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. Yes, I'm curious as to which methods you are using to get that information out. So, you are using multiple platforms, television and a couple of radio stations?
7557 MR. MOHAN: Yes. For example, prior to Christmas we spent an enormous amount of time and effort and money to educate people about repercussions of drinking and driving --
7558 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes.
7559 MR. MOHAN: -- and I take pride that we did our part.
7560 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So it is from that perspective that, because you are using multiple outlets, that you have a concern that, as you said, sort of categorically, that Surrey needs a radio station that it can hear and that you feel, I gather, that not only RED-FM's signal is compromised, but the signals of other offerings as well?
7561 MR. MOHAN: Yes. All I'm saying is that Surrey, you know, has got a huge population, East Indian population and they need a proper radio station.
7562 RED-FM used to be the name of the game, but for the last almost a year --
7563 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes.
7564 MR. MOHAN: -- their signal quality has gone quite poor.
7565 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I'm just trying to drill down to understand whether you are saying that the incumbents, or one of the incumbents needs a better signal or Surrey needs a new station. I was just trying to understand how your argument was splitting.
7566 MR. MOHAN: All I'm saying is that Surrey needs a radio station where people can listen without any problems.
7567 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. It could be argued that other stations that are serving this market, albeit not entirely Canadian, we have heard from RJ1200 that they have a signal problem because they are on AM, and we know from just our own experiences that the border stations coming from south of the border also are severely compromised at night.
7568 So that is essentially why you are saying that you don't really care how we fix it, a fix is necessary for at least one broadcaster to be able to be accessible and usable and hearable. That is what you're saying?
7569 MR. MOHAN: Yes.
7570 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. Thank you. That's it.
7571 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, thank you all very much. Mr. Mohan, merci. Thank you, Madam Adams, thank you so much, and Mr. Begg also, thank you so much. Especially Mr. Begg, it's good to hear 18 to 30, Simpson and I are almost out of the woods, we are almost no longer dangerous.
7572 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thanks so much. Have a good day. Madam la Secrétaire.
7573 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
7574 We will now proceed with the interveners in support of I.T. Productions Limited. I would invite Church's Chicken, Anita Lynette Dalakoti, and Sheetal Gupta to come forward.
7575 THE CHAIRPERSON: God morning.
7576 MS DALAKOTI: Good morning. Good morning, Mr. Chair.
7577 THE CHAIRPERSON: Please identify yourselves and we're all ears.
7578 MS DALAKOTI: Well, good morning, Mr. Chair and members of the Commission.
7579 For the record, my name is Anita Dalakoti and I am an independent financial advisor with Sun Life Financial. I also serve as a governor on the board of the Law Foundation of British Columbia, and I am a charter and board member of the Canada India Foundation, which is a non-partisan, non-governmental group dedicated to building closer ties between India and Canada.
7580 As a woman entrepreneur, I believe women bring a different perspective to the table and the world is recognizing that today. However, today I am here as a taxpaying Canadian citizens who hails from a visible ethnic minority. I am here to give you my perspective on what is in my interests and in the interests of people like myself.
7581 I immigrated to Canada almost 14 years ago from China, where I had spent 17 years. I did not know a soul in this country, not a single family member or friend, and for the first three years I did not have any meaningful interactions with anyone who hailed from the same ethnic background as I did.
7582 And then I was introduced to the Rotary Club of Vancouver Fraserview. Ninety-nine percent of the members hailed from the State of Punjab. They became my family, my home away from home, and basically people who hail from the same country of my birth. In my opinion, after being with them for almost a decade, I believe that the South Asian population and their particular demographics is very well served by Red FM, RJ 1200, and the other three South Asian radio stations.
7583 Shortly after that I met Shushma Datt. And as you mentioned, she is a legend. She became my role model and has been, you know, the role model for a lot of women entrepreneurs in B.C. like myself. It is through this radio station that I was introduced to my second family and that is the ethnic minority within the larger South Asian community. They are listeners of RJ 1200 and Rimjhim, and they have become my clients over the years. They hail from Rajasthan, from Bengal, from Maharashtra, from Delhi, also from Punjab, also from places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal and Fiji. Clearly RJ 1200 fills an important programming need for these communities within Greater Vancouver.
7584 I am very proud of my ethnicity and my heritage. I have -- I chose to adopt Canada as my country of choice. I believe in assimilating and integrating while maintaining my ethnic identity. Now, I.T. Production has allowed me to do that. I identify with their philosophy, I love their Bollywood music and trivia, but what interests me most about the talk shows is: how is the ethnic media educating the -- you know, the immigrant population to learn more about Canada, the country that they have chosen to live in; how is the ethnic media educating the immigrant population on areas of access to justice no matter what's happening in the community; will CPP exist when I am 65 years old; will the health care system be robust enough to cope with the aging, you know, Canadian population? That includes everybody. And I am quite satisfied that I.T. Production delivers such information in a noncontroversial, educational and meaningful manner. In my view this is an important, diverse, yet inclusive voice that the Commission should be sensitive to preserving.
7585 I am a successful financial advisor with a clientele base of close to a thousand families. Eight-five percent of my clientele is non-ethnic mainstream population; however, the 10 to 15 percent of my clientele who are belonging to an ethnic background, they're very close to my heart and my identity. I reach them through advertising on RJ 1200 and they are my monthly talk show. The question for me is will my advertising dollar get a bigger bang if Shushma's radio station has an FM repeater? Well, I think it will. I cross the Lions Gate Bridge daily and as soon as we enter Georgia Street the RJ 1200 music becomes a blend of noise and static. Now, downtown Vancouver is my business stomping ground. Will the repeater change my reach? I believe it will.
7586 Now, in conclusion, as a taxpaying citizen hailing from an ethnic minority, I would like to appeal to the Commission to give I.T. Production access to an FM platform to enable them to compete on an equal footing. I believe it is in the public interest to maintain this diverse, yet inclusive voice. Granting I.T. Production an FM repeater will further the reach of that voice and serve the minority within the larger ethnic South Asian community that exists and deserves to be served.
7587 This is my submission today and I am happy to answer any questions.
7588 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Dalakoti.
7589 Commissioner Shoan.
7590 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Good morning. Thank you for being here. I wanted to speak to you about your advertising habits. You mention that you advertise on RJ 1200. Do you advertise in other South Asian stations in the market?
7591 MS DALAKOTI: No, my advertising budget doesn't allow me to do that. And in the business I am in, it's very hard to spread the advertising dollars too much.
7592 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. So you are advertising on RJ 1200. Are there other non-broadcasting-related platforms that you advertise on?
7593 MS DALAKOTI: Not on print but certainly -- I am also a spokesperson for Sun Life on certain areas and that automatically brings me advertising.
7594 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Right.
7595 MS DALAKOTI: So I am trained as a Sun Life spokesperson as well.
7596 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay, great. And in terms of your monthly talk show, I presume it's in your capacity as a Sun Life representative regarding financial matters?
7597 MS DALAKOTI: That is correct.
7598 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay, great. I'm trying to get an idea of -- of whether licensing a new station in the market or giving the -- giving a frequency to -- an existing signal to strengthen it, what the dynamic would be in the marketplace in terms of bringing new advertisers to the market or convincing existing advertisers to increase their budget. If in this scenario RJ 1200 receives an FM frequency to strengthen its signal, would you be inclined to increase your advertising budget?
7599 MS DALAKOTI: Certainly I would be.
7600 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Those are my questions, Mr. Chair. Thank you.
7601 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner Shoan.
7602 Madame Gupta.
7603 MS GUPTA: Good morning.
7604 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning.
7605 MS GUPTA: My name is Sheetal Gupta and I am truly grateful to have this platform to express my support to Shushma Datt for her application for an FM rebroadcast frequency.
7606 THE CHAIRPERSON: Can you just close the mike? Thanks, great. Thank you.
7607 MS GUPTA: Being born and raised in Vancouver, as well as a first generation Indo-Canadian, both Shushma Datt and RJ 1200 have been instrumental in being the glue that binds me to my South Asian roots.
7608 I was 6 years old when I began learning a classical Indian dance form known as Bharatanatyam. Even as a young girl Shushma Datt's guidance and support towards the dance academy I belong to, as well as the arts and community in general truly stood out. And when I graduated from the dance program and wanted to teach this 3,000-year-old dance form, once again Shushma Datt generously stepped forward and donated her large studio space in her radio station for our weekly dance rehearsal, where I used to teach dance to girls between the ages of 6 and 18. And her support didn't end there. Whenever we had an upcoming dance performance at a cultural event, she would find every opportunity to promote us on air for free and would also play host and the emcee at several of our dance shows. Without her support I would not have had the resources to teach and spread awareness of this beautiful dance form. And as a result, my students and I have had the opportunity to perform in front of large audience -- audiences at various events which not only made us learn the art to perform but also helped instill confidence within us, which for me in particular has been in instrumental in my success as a businesswoman today.
7609 Growing up in Vancouver as an adolescent and now a young woman in the South Asian community, I have always looked at Shushma Datt as a role model and she has inspired many women in our community, as myself. I have always admired the fact that she has worked incredibly hard as a single mother and businessman and is also one of the only woman -- women to own and lead a media company.
7610 I remember, when I was going through a divorce after a brief one year marriage, how Shushma Datt was a pillar was strength for me. She urged me to follow my dream and passion, which for me was a passion for jewellery. Therefore, when I moved to New York and was only one of two or three other women to be working in the diamond trade alongside Orthodox Jewish men, I never felt intimidated or that I would fail because I had grown up watching Shushma Datt overcome and rise above the most difficult of challenges.
7611 And when I returned to Vancouver from years of working experience in education in New York and California and ready to begin my own jewellery venture as a young South Asian entrepreneur, Shushma Datt was incredibly encouraging and supportive yet again. I never had the opportunity to doubt or question my decision to start a business because Shushma Datt would remind me that business was what I was meant to do.
7612 And she also gave me the incredible honour of being on her television show, Women in Focus, in which she interviews prominent and outstanding South Asian women in the community. She has conducted over 600 such interviews thus far and I cannot express how wonderful it is that she highlights the work and success of such women, as it inspires women like me to pursue our dreams with dedication and confidence.
7613 And Shushma Datt's support continued on as she promoted the launch of my business for free on her radio station, by spreading the word of my business with her circle of influential people and also by being the host and emcee at my launch event.
7614 As a young South Asian woman, I absolutely love the programming on RJ 1200. It speaks to young people like myself. It is the station I prefer to listen to it; however, because of the signal quality I often have to switch channels during a program that I enjoy. I love that RJ 1200 is so diverse and inclusive, and how it allows many different voices from the community to be heard. I also love listening to new and upcoming artists that I haven't heard on any other station. And being Indo-Canadian, it is important to me to keep in touch with my culture, as it is a huge part of who I am.
7615 I urge the Commission to grant Shushma Datt an FM rebroadcast frequency so that the community can continue to benefit from all the great things that she and I.T. Productions have contributed. Shushma Datt is in this for the long run -- for the long haul because serving her community is not just her passion but it is a part of who she is. Thank you.
7616 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, thank you, Madame Gupta, for this -- for the personal plea. We appreciate it.
7617 Mr. -- Commissioner Shoan.
7618 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Good morning.
7619 MS GUPTA: Good morning.
7620 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Thank you for your story. It's clear that Ms Datt has been a big inspiration for you, as for quite a few people, so thank you.
7621 I wanted to speak to you about your media consumption habits. You mentioned that you were a regular listener of RJ 1200. Typically not -- AM frequencies aren't a platform that -- that younger people listen to, so can you explain to me, in terms of your -- generally speaking, your listening habits, how much they tend to the AM/FM dial and what other platforms you use to consume programming, and if, in fact, you actually consume RJ 1200 on other platforms, such as your PC, your laptop and iPod, if you have an app and things of that nature. I'd be curious about that as well.
7622 MS GUPTA: I think other than RJ 1200 I listen to The Beat, Sonic, kind of Western music --
7623 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
7624 MS GUPTA: -- but I am an equal listener of Western music and Eastern music. And what I like about RJ 1200 is that they -- it's not just, you know, the hardcore Indian music.
7625 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Right.
7626 MS GUPTA: I listen to Canadian artists. I listen to artists that appeal to both my Western and Eastern interests. So other than RJ 1200, it's pretty much the English -- English language radio stations that I listen to and primarily I listen to it in my car.
7627 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. And are you a resident of Surrey?
7628 MS GUPTA: No, Vancouver.
7629 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Vancouver. Okay.
7630 MS GUPTA: Yes. So --
7631 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: And would you -- okay.
7632 MS GUPTA: And I -- I live and work pretty much downtown, so I cannot hear RJ 1200 at all. And it's just like what she was saying earlier, as she goes over the Lions Gate Bridge and gets into downtown, that's my demographic, that's -- I mean, that's -- that's primarily the place that I listen to the radio, so it's -- it's unfortunate that I can't hear it.
7633 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. When you're in your office building, you're -- does the problem stem from being inside a building or outside a building or within your car? I'm just trying to ...
7634 MS GUPTA: Within my car.
7635 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Within your car. So when you're travelling?
7636 MS GUPTA: Driving -- driving around the city. I don't really commute much to Surrey, so it's pretty much Vancouver, the East and West side of Vancouver.
7637 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay, great.
7638 Those are my questions, thank you, Mr. Chair.
7639 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Shoan.
7640 And thank you very much. Enjoy the rest of your day.
7641 As for Church's Chicken, my understanding is that they will not be appearing. They're one of your clients? (laughs)
7642 So we will proceed. I think the next interveners are for Sher-E-Punjab. Sher-E-Punjab, Madame la secrétaire. I'm on it. (laughs) Is that correct? And I've already announced that Church's Chicken will not be appearing, for the record.
7643 THE SECRETARY: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
7644 THE CHAIRPERSON: Will you go.
7645 THE SECRETARY: We're having technical difficulties, but no worries.
7646 THE CHAIRPERSON: Don't worry about it. Don't worry about it.
7647 THE SECRETARY: So it's Dr. G.S. Cheema Inc. and Indira Prahst.
7648 Did you have presentations, paper, or just...? Just your own copies?
7649 Okay. Perfect. Thank you.
7650 Please introduce yourselves and you have five minutes to do your presentation.
7651 MS PRAHST: Thank you for taking the time to -- to listen. My name is Indira Prahst, and I am here to support and to have you seriously consider granting a licence to Sher-E-Punjab to operate on a 600 AM in the Lower Mainland.
7652 I am the chair in the Department of Sociology and I have been an instructor at Langara for over 10 years and in the field of academe and grassroots social issues pertaining to the South Asian community for over 15 years.
7653 My particular interests in my academic and community work are challenges involving intercultural and intergenerational issues within the South Asian community. We're seeing, as we have often also noted by different organizations and policy changes by governments, that there are changes in the demographics here in the Lower Mainland and there are certain needs that need to be tapered to diaspora communities, in particular struggles of identity formation and role changes, and that in particular occurs when there is a shift of that balance when children are now the interpreters for their parents. And so how do kids cope with that, as well as this feeling of being torn between two cultures, a sense of being neither here or there. This problem is underestimated in its impact and it affects many families as well as Canadian society as a whole.
7654 Many youth want to hold onto their cultures and I see that the Canadian population not only in Surrey but in Vancouver has recognized work that advocates for those kinds of issues within the South Asian community, and I would like to humbly say that that was reflected in my recently being awarded the Renate Shearer award by the United Nations in specifically tackling issues pertaining to the South Asian community.
7655 This is where Sher-E-Punjab plays an integral role in a lot of the work that I have done on an academic and community-based level. They have assisted in transmission of knowledge and also dealing with multiple generations. I manage a soccer team, primarily a South Asian soccer team in Vancouver. And when I am on air, I remember one young girl saying I heard you talking about the issue -- a political issue, actually, but they couldn't understand me because of the problem with -- with frequency but her father continues to listen to the station even though it's not very audible. There is a huge commitment. And I myself sometimes will tune in, though I don't understand Punjabi very well, but the fact is I can still get some -- some kind of sense of -- of what is spoken about.
7656 We've had a serious spate of violence against women in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver's Langara College organized several forums. Sher-E-Punjab was one of the leads in transmitting knowledge and taking caption bites to empower young kids, their parents, and translate that on -- and basically air that at different time -- in different time batches -- in sort of batches.
7657 Also, we forgot our elderly population, seniors, and what it means to look after yourself and where to access basic benefits for living, for life that we often forget about.
7658 The talk shows, I -- I do want to say I have been on many, many talk shows, and one thing that stands out for me is I trust the station. I feel that I am quite precarious and vulnerable when I deal with certain issues in Punjab, on violence against women, some issues that do not want to be aired, but I trust even the translation and the care taken. Sometimes one of the interviewers would meet me for an hour to carefully go over the content. There's real care in the dissemination of knowledge and also in -- in engaging on topics that I don't hear at other stations to the same extent, and providing alternative viewpoints.
7659 I have known the Badh family actually for 10 years and I have great respect for Mr. Ajit Singh Badh. He is a leader in the South Asian community and in many ways his own status speaks to his care and why there is a very large commitment to that particular station.
7660 And I also want to highlight something that's really humbling for me. That is a lot of young kids that wear articles of faith, like the patka or the turban, has resulted in bullying, and Sher-E-Punjab has organized the -- the Dastar competition and I see my own students participating in this. They have a choice to participate in many other stations. They have chosen this space and they support it.
7661 And I have seen Sher-E-Punjab give back to the community. I have also heard that they are wanting to provide scholarships for students with careers in broadcasting within the South Asian community. That is a real problematic gap today, to look at issues from their lens, which I remember having to actually have particular conferences on for judges in how to address some of these issues from that lens.
7662 So, I really would hope that you would seriously consider granting Sher-E-Punjab the space. The spottiness in -- in the audibility is a real shame. And I know there are other stations that are also bidding and I wish all of them well, but I have one question and that is why reinvent the wheel? There's already a lot of care put into a station of which a very, very large portion gets -- which is not very accessible, and so why not create that space for something that has actually done so well in the community? And even though they're airing from across the border, the commitment to still listen, even though it's very frustrating, I don't have the answer but it speaks to something that they're doing right.
7663 I really thank you and I am open to any questions.
7664 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Prahst. Am I pronouncing it correctly?
7665 MS PRAHST: Yes.
7666 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great. Thank you.
7667 Do you live in Surrey?
7668 MS PRAHST: No, I live in Vancouver.
7669 THE CHAIRPERSON: In Vancouver proper, okay. And the signal in Vancouver?
7670 MS PRAHST: The signal in Vancouver from my home, which is in Kerrisdale, is very poor and it actually also depends on the time. In fact, when -- when I'm on air my husband and my kids want to listen to me, but we -- we've given up on that, and you do lose it in frequency as well when you're driving.
7671 THE CHAIRPERSON: You're usually on air in the evenings or in the -- during the day or night?
7672 MS PRAHST: Actually, I have been on air mostly in the mornings and there are sometimes events later on in the evening, but mostly in the morning.
7673 THE CHAIRPERSON: And when you're on the road in Vancouver proper?
7674 MS PRAHST: When I'm driving to Surrey --
7675 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
7676 MS PRAHST: -- which is quite frequent, it's not very clear.
7677 THE CHAIRPERSON: Not clear. Okay.
7678 MS PRAHST: It's fuzzy. And -- and, you know, I want to highlight we're not talking about simple issues. I mean, Sher-E-Punjab deals with very serious newsworthy issues that require concentration and that's a huge lack. We're not talking about sort of pop culture news. We're talking serious engagement.
7679 THE CHAIRPERSON: You also -- yeah, you did mention that and my understanding from your presentation today is that Sher-E-Punjab does not shy away from the hard issues.
7680 MS PRAHST: Yeah, and I want to be very upfront about that. As an academic, there are issues that have had a hegemonic control --
7681 THE CHAIRPERSON: M'hmm.
7682 MS PRAHST: -- by certain governments and people in -- in advocating questions around women --
7683 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
7684 MS PRAHST: -- and some of their freedom. There are some serious silences still in a community and there is still a lot of saving of face, so people will say how can you say or address these issues. And I find that they have been able to provide a really good balance, issues that sometimes would never be aired, I think, on other stations. Other political issues deal with the current status in Punjab. We have to talk about it. We're in Canada. We have a law that provides freedom to articulate viewpoints. And that's what I think the South Asian community, in many ways, is lacking, the confidence because of their own reference points in Punjab and the enormous silencing that goes on there, be it about freedom, be it about even contesting identity issues, even contesting Westernization, which many young kids give up just so they can be accepted and not be beaten up in some cases.
7685 THE CHAIRPERSON: And those are all issues that have been raised on Sher-E-Punjab --
7686 MS PRAHST: Absolutely.
7687 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- thus far?
7688 MS PRAHST: For me, my relevance, I've dealt with issues of racism, white supremacy, Punjab issues, the Vysaki(ph) issues that some may call controversial which I actually feel need to be discussed to ask why is it controversial.
7689 Women's issues. I'm involved in a very large gang project that's actually housed here in Surrey. The alienation themes. And those all get addressed.
7690 And these are issues that are very important for not only, I would say, South Asian individuals. There are people that want to -- of European descent, if I can use that term, also want to access and learn more. This is a growing population.
7691 And for me, I wish that there would be more access and more funds to also have translations. But the incentive with their current wavelength is problematic.
7692 THE CHAIRPERSON: How do the Surrey residents or Vancouver residents of European descent understand while listening to Sher-E-Punjab?
7693 MS PRAHST: Well, often what does happen is there's a very strong close connection of the Punjabi population with people of different social cultural backgrounds, so you listen together. And that's what I've done on many fronts.
7694 There's a huge support, and I'm surprised at how many people actually listen to Sher-E-Punjab. That's a tool.
7695 THE CHAIRPERSON: You also mentioned that people sort of have a sense that they don't belong to this country or they don't belong to the home country, either.
7696 Is there a feeling of patride (sic) in the community?
7697 MS PRAHST: I think it's not a feeling of -- well, there are two points.
7698 The first that I was alluding to was this identity of being proud of being a Punjabi, however a Punjabi would identity that, be that a person that is Hindu, be that a person who's of Sikh origin.
7699 But within a mainstream western society, it's looked down upon, that Orientalist discourse has this perception that if you want to be seen as an equal, you become western.
7700 Some youth really value family traditions and showing articles of faith. That's one issue.
7701 The other feeling is neither home here or there is very political, and that is, some people feel that they are citizens outside of India and not citizens in Canada.
7702 But Sher-E-Punjab actually gives tools to engage in citizenship here, and I think that's really important because we want to have communities that -- I'm not going to use the word integrate, but that feel comfortable embracing the values in Canada and that can -- and that we cannot have segregation.
7703 And so those are really essential bridges, which is why I come on that radio station, to sort of provide that bridge, the academic non-political voice that's relatively neutral. I have no interest in political regimes. And -- yeah.
7704 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great. Thank you.
7705 Thank you very much.
7706 Dr. Cheema.
7707 DR. CHEEMA: Good morning.
7708 THE CHAIRPERSON: Am I pronouncing that correctly?
7709 DR. CHEEMA: No, you're doing well.
7710 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great. Okay.
7711 DR. CHEEMA: My name is Gulzar Singh Cheema, and I'm a family physician in BC. I'm also a clinical instructor at the UBC Faculty of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, and also the medical director of South Asian Division of ICON.
7712 In the past, I've been -- I have also served as a member of Legislative Assembly in Manitoba and in BC.
7713 In BC, I also served as Minister of Mental Health Services and then as Minister for Immigration for Multicultural Services. In fact, I'm the first Indian-born to be elected in Canada in any Legislative Assembly.
7714 I'm telling you my background to undermine the importance of why I attach myself to the outreach to this community.
7715 South Asian community is subject to a number of medical issues that are not common with other parts of the community. I will highlight a few of them; cardiovascular disease, diabetes and kidney problems.
7716 These are the specific areas of interest to the Punjabi community and the South Asian community. And of course, they are also susceptible to other forms of illness.
7717 My involvement with the station has been as of 2008. I'm a volunteer. I spend one hour per week. Part of my program is called "Your Health with Dr. Jasbir" morning show. We discuss issues varies from minor to a major depending upon -- for example, when the H1N1 flu outbreak was in BC and other parts of the country, this is the first station who dedicated two weeks of program on a regular basis.
7718 This program is I don't pay them anything, they don't pay me anything. But the outreach to the community not only in BC, but through the internet we reach to Calgary, we reach to Winnipeg, to Ontario.
7719 I think, in my views, this station has done consistently remarkable work to reach and teach and make sure the community who only speak Punjabi, they can understand why it's important to be healthy, how we can be more effective, how we can be more effective to prevent illness in the future. And I think what we have done, our audience is so high by the time we open our lines, the lines are full. They're packed.
7720 And in my views, that we have saved millions of dollars.
7721 I think if you look at the statistics in this country, about 800,000 Indo-Canadian. Out of that, the majority of them speak Punjabi language. And this station, I think, reaching to them, we are actually teaching many residents and also other parts of the community how to reach this community from a health perspective.
7722 I've been part of many stations. I've gone to many more stations. But this station made a commitment. In my view, I think they're doing a good job and I will highly recommend that we -- they should get a proper signal because they have done their primary work.
7723 They have gone through the process. They have spent the money. They have done everything possible.
7724 And I think one part of the -- there could be other issues involved in -- within the community, more health cuts across every part of the community. And I think that's very noble and I think it's commendable that this family and this station has done a great job, and I would like to support and I'd like to -- I would like you to ask me questions of that.
7725 For example, during month of October and November there are hundreds of Indo-Canadians that are visiting overseas. This is the only station which provides them health service, explains to them when you go to Punjab, where do you go, what do you do, how do you get -- how do you take care of your health, and at no cost.
7726 If you have to have a one-hour program for health across the country, I think it'll be very, very expensive.
7727 So I would like you to consider and I would like -- I would like to thank you for giving me this time and opportunity.
7728 And I have no issue with any other station, but I think this issue is so important for Indo-Canadian and the Punjabi community so they can understand because most of our community are very new.
7729 They don't understand the complex issues. We have to make sure they will know what is diabetes, what is cardiovascular diseases, how to take care of them, how to get the community involved. And this station has, I think, done more than what should be.
7730 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Doctor. You've clearly articulated your support for this applicant.
7731 Commissioner Simpson, do you have a question?
7732 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Doctor, I just have one question for you.
7733 In your experience and perspective, in looking at the growth of the immigration that we're going to experience in Surrey, could you give me your understanding of its composition.
7734 Is it going to be -- are we going to see a new influx of older generation, younger generation, a mix? You know, I'm looking for generational composition.
7735 DR. CHEEMA: I think if you look at the makeup of this community, we have, you know, the community which came in early seventies and those -- that part of the community has grown up. Now they're up to 50s and 60 year age.
7736 And the most common issues they are facing is cardiovascular health, diabetes, kidney problems. I think from that perspective, this station has done a good job.
7737 But if you -- if I have to address your question about the mix of the community, we are getting younger generation involved. They are coming. But we are also having the family class.
7738 But to take care of a diabetic patient, you need a family. You need the parents, you need the grandparents and also you need the younger generation.
7739 But I think it's also forcing the younger generation who are born here to learn Punjabi and go and talk to a Punjabi-speaking physician. I think we are saving tons of money.
7740 For example, if somebody has to come and see me and they have to bring somebody who's going to explain to them what is diabetes, how do you take care of your health, I think it's very, very expensive.
7741 So just for -- just to give you an example, that -- if one patient we are saving for them not to have kidney problems or not to have dialysis, we are saving $50,000 per year. That's a lot of money.
7742 For example, if some person is having cardiovascular problem and if we can help them by giving them consistent advice, I think we are also saving not only that person, but we are saving a family.
7743 And simple advice, for example, when to call 911, when to call 811, when to go and see your physician, why you need to go and see them. I think those are the important parts of actually learning and coaching and reaching out, and this station has done consistently.
7744 I think the issue for me is someone who's committed. Do we have a commitment? Is this just going to be part-time? After you get your licence, are you going to disappear?
7745 I think that's the point for me, that somebody has to be there, be part of the community and be seen there and be respectful but, at the same time, give back to the community.
7746 I think that's why I'm involved as a volunteer and making sure that I do my part, but I think we need a station which can be -- which can be heard properly.
7747 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And I understand that perspective you have.
7748 What I'm trying to broaden my understanding on from your input is whether the assimilation into the use of more English within the community is going to be going this way or that way. And why I ask the question the way I am is that, again, we've -- as -- in terms of our determination of the outcome of this hearing is -- has a big bearing is on the applicant's choice to serve the community in either Punjabi or English.
7749 And what is sticking in the back of my mind is the experience we've had in Richmond where we had a very long-term evolution of Chinese immigration to the extent that the Chinese community was quite comfortably assimilated into the fabric of this province and then a different problem occurred with the mainland opening up and we have now very large concentrations of Chinese population who are unilingual.
7750 DR. CHEEMA: I think what will happen that our kids are speaking both.
7751 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
7752 DR. CHEEMA: For example, my son speaks Punjabi, but he was born here. But at the same time, he has to communicate with his father, me, or my mother or my father.
7753 For him to have the language skills are so crucial to be a part of the community, but all -- say for example in 10 years' time, this may change slightly because immigration may change. But eventually, I think the Punjabi community which is at least more than 70 or 80 percent in this country, they are still connected back home. And I think the -- for young generation I think is essential to learn Punjabi because, for them, it's not only providing the care and being part of this community, which is their country, but they are going back.
7754 They are also going back for the business opportunity. They are visiting. They are taking their families back home.
7755 I think that kind of connection is very, very -- very, very helpful.
7756 But for us in this country to survive, to have a station which is going to be real and accommodating and not putting one community against the new versus old, I think we need to be very, very mindful of the fact that this community has been here for more than 100 years and they are going to be there for a long time.
7757 The language is so important for them. And I think from their perspective, I think the Punjabi will stay here for a long time to come. And that's why we need a Punjabi station which Punjabi station can reach not only to this part of the community, but across the country.
7758 And I have dealt with many stations. I don't know a single station across this country which has consistently given one-hour program once a week plus two hour over the weekend without charging any one of us a single cent.
7759 I think that speaks a lot. But I think the other -- what will happen that if you go to -- if you go to Surrey now today, walk to any street, you're going to see a mix. You're going to see young who are dressed like me, but you're going to see older person who are dressed like Punjab.
7760 So you -- they are going to be here for at least 20, 30 years. They are not going to go away.
7761 So how do we serve them? We need to have a station which can actually touch them in a simple way. And I think that's what I think CRTC would like, probably, to see if we are serving the community.
7762 This station is more in line with the psyche of the community and also -- also, they understand that youth issues are important, women issues are important, but politically I'm not going to say -- I have to be very careful. I'm a politician myself.
7763 But Punjabi language is here to stay. It's a very positive. It's culturally very diverse. It's not only from India.
7764 The Punjabi community is -- Punjabi language is part of the Pakistani community also. So they may write it in a different way, but they are still going to tune in either Sher-E-Punjab or 93.1 FM or 1600 or RJ station. They are still going -- every morning when I start from my home, I tune in. And who do I tune in first? Sher-E-Punjab or I have to see 93.1 FM or some other station.
7765 But that's the way as long as we live here. I've been here for 35 years, but still part of my mind always says, you know, what's happening in Punjab, what's happening in that part of the continent because whatever happens back home, it actually affects us. And if we have a station which is going to be real, I think this station has something very unique and very, very special. And I'm very --
7766 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I get that. I get that.
7767 I didn't mean to give you extra time for your support because I was really after the language issue.
7768 You know, again, the question that hangs in my mind is that ethnic applications have been traditionally designed to ensure that minority populations had that access and ability to get information that was important to them not only from here, but from homeland.
7769 And -- but when you look at the population projections and what's been happening in Richmond, you're getting such critical mass now that we might be finding ourselves, five or 10 years from now, looking at trying to inject English into the broadcasting culture here to protect a different minority.
7770 DR. CHEEMA: Absolutely.
7771 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And it's interesting. It's -- I guess that's why we get paid the big bucks, to figure that out.
7772 Thank you very much.
7773 DR. CHEEMA: Thank you so much.
7774 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Did you want to add in?
7775 MS PRAHST: Yes. I really appreciate that question because it's obviously relevant, being who you represent.
7776 I just want to add to that, when you look at the projections in terms of the demographics within the Chinese community and the multilingualism going on, it's a very different context.
7777 What we are seeing within the Punjabi community, and I think is really important to consider in the next 10 years, is that there is a new breed even of a younger generation that is now wanting to tune in to listen to Punjabi because there is a concern of too much of that sort of infiltration of western language.
7778 And I'm speaking as a mixed German. I'm half German and half Indian. And that's been a major concern within the German stations and, with the French resistance, they have refused to have the franglais.
7779 So I think we have to really think about those factors. And the elder population will continue to want to hear it in Punjabi, so I foresee, in fact, in the next 10 years a greater demand for pure, if I can use that word, Punjabi, not the mishmash, because that's actually what we're hearing. And that's problematic, too.
7780 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you very much.
7781 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
7782 Commissioner Shoan.
7783 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
7784 Dr. Cheema, are you a Surrey resident or a Vancouver resident?
7785 DR. CHEEMA: I live in Surrey. I practise in Surrey, and I'm part of Surrey.
7786 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. And I'm sure you addressed this in your presentation or in one of your answers. I just want to make sure I clearly understand.
7787 Are you advocating that we give Sher-E-Punjab the ability to -- essentially to improve its signal --
7788 DR. CHEEMA: Yes.
7789 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: -- through on of its options, or are you suggesting that we give the Surrey -- Punjabi-speaking community of Surrey access to a station that tailors to their needs?
7790 DR. CHEEMA: I'm just being very specific that I'm recommending that we should give a clear signal for Sher-E-Punjab so that we can listen to their -- that it can be very, very clear.
7791 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
7792 DR. CHEEMA: I'm only -- I'm only advocating for Sher-E-Punjab.
7793 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Have you read any of the other applications --
7794 DR. CHEEMA: No.
7795 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: -- to serve Surrey?
7796 DR. CHEEMA: No, I have not read.
7797 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Thank you very much.
7798 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner. And thank you all. We appreciate it. Thank you so much.
7799 We're at 10:32. We're going to be taking a 15-minute break. We'll be back at 10:45.
7800 We will be proceeding with Mr. Khela before moving on to Phase 4. Is that correct, Madame la secrétaire?
7801 THE SECRETARY: That's correct.
7802 THE CHAIRPERSON: There you go.
7803 Thank you all so much. See you in 15.
--- Upon recessing at 1033
--- Upon resuming at 1101
7804 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning.
7805 Mr. Buchan, how are you?
7806 MR. BUCHAN: Good morning, Mr. Chairman.
7807 Are we --
7808 THE CHAIRPERSON: We're ready to go, yeah.
7809 MR. BUCHAN: We're ready to proceed?
7810 THE CHAIRPERSON: The doors are closed, everyone is seated. We're ready to go.
7811 MR. BUCHAN: Mr. Chairman and Commissioners, I'm Robert Buchan, counsel to Sher-E-Punjab.
7812 With me today, and I'd like to introduce the Commission, Mr. Bhag S. Khela, President of BBC Broadcasting Inc., the licensee of KRPI 1550 AM of Ferndale, Washington.
7813 To Mr. Khela's left is Jasbir Badh, who will assist us if we run into any issue of translation, interpretation or clarification.
7814 At the request of the Commission, Mr. Khela has voluntarily come this morning from his home in Kent, Washington to answer questions the Commission may have about the operation of KRPI 1550 and its 10-year relationship with Sher-E-Punjab.
7815 Mr. Khela was an aeronautical engineer with the Boeing Aircraft company of Seattle. He is a graduate of California Polytech or known as Caltech to some. And in addition to being president of BBC Broadcasting Inc., he is involved in the hotel business and fruit farming in the state of Washington.
7816 He is -- Mr. Khela is also a leader of the sizeable Sikh community in Washington State and was responsible for the construction of three Sikh temples in Washington State.
7817 With your permission, Mr. Chair, Mr. Khela would like to say a few words by way of an opening statement.
7818 MR. KHELA: Thank you, Mr. Buchan, and Mr. Chair and Members of the Commission.
7819 My name is Bhag Sing Khela. I'm a citizen of the United States and I am controlling shareholder of BBC Broadcasting (indiscernible) licence of radio station KRPI 1550 AM in Ferndale, Washington.
7820 KRPI is licenced and distributed by the FCC Broadcasting Inc. and has been licenced since 2002. The station has been broadcasting from that location using the different call letters for more than 30 years.
7821 It was in 2002 that the company that they controlled what is KRPI from a broadcasting station under the call letters of KCCF from the broadcasting with the Christian Religious Broadcasting Company.
7822 From 2002 to 2004 was leased as Radio Punjab International on a broker broadcasting basis. The relationship entered -- going through some difficulty between the owner of the Radio Punjab and me. I knew Singh Lambal(ph) for a number of years due to the relationship in the community and because of the leadership at the same time of British Columbia.
7823 I asked Mr. Singh Lambal(ph) and his family would they be interested in responsibility for the available lease and broker between in KRP. Singh agreed and we worked with one family for a number of years very professionally and in a friendly manner. Had no problems for the last 12 years.
7824 I understand that Sher-E-Punjab has applied to the Commission for a licence to broadcast from the location in Canada on a frequency 600 AM.
7825 I have given the understanding to the Badh family that if Sher-E-Punjab is awarded a Canadian broadcasting licence that I will not enter into lease with another broadcasting (indiscernible) 1101@6:36 of the South Asian language.
7826 I am willing to answer any questions you have.
7827 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, sir. Thank you, Mr. Khela.
7828 And thank you, Mr. Buchan. We appreciate that Mr. Khela is here on a voluntary basis and we appreciate the efforts that have gone into your presence here today, sir.
7829 MR. BUCHAN: M'hmm.
7830 THE CHAIRPERSON: Our questions -- most of our questions revolve around what will happen to KRPI if Sher-E-Punjab is licenced to broadcast in Canada.
7831 MR. KHELA: We have not given any thought but I will handle, you know, brokerage to somebody else who knows other areas here if somebody is interested. We can raise some interest.
7832 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Is there a way of sort of approaching the microphone?
7833 Thank you, Mr. Buchan.
7834 And perhaps Mr. Buchan can turn off his mike temporarily? Thank you.
7835 And has anyone else shown any interest?
7836 MR. KHELA: Well, I've not started yet. I think there won't be any problem. There will be quite a number of people interested if I show any interest -- advertise. I haven't started any negotiations with anybody, you know.
7837 THE CHAIRPERSON: There was mention made a few days ago that there may be a Christian station that may be interested in using your facilities. Is that correct?
7838 MR. KHELA: I don't understand your question. Say it again.
7839 THE CHAIRPERSON: Your statement today is to the effect that no one has shown any interest and that you've not begun any discussions with anyone as to the future of KRPI should Sher-E-Punjab cease broadcasting from that site.
7840 MR. KHELA: Oh, there is some interest but I haven't negotiated directly with anybody else yet.
7841 THE CHAIRPERSON: Now, I understand your undertaking is that no other broadcaster programming services in a South Asian language --
7842 MR. KHELA: Yes.
7843 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- will be allowed to broadcast from that site. Is that correct?
7844 MR. KHELA: That's correct.
7845 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would you apply that to anyone else that may be interested in broadcasting in Canada from that site in English or in any other language?
7846 MR. KHELA: I --
7847 MR. BUCHAN: Mr. Chairman, could I just clarify?
7848 The station is currently located in Ferndale and it, you know, has approval to move to Point Roberts. It's on a frequency that's approved by Industry Canada and the FCC and the move to Point Roberts has been approved but it hasn't finished local approvals. But it also has a signal contour and power -- power maximum and whatever. And the contours cover upstate, Washington State and into Canada.
7849 So it can't turn the signal around and point it to Seattle, for instance, and to begin to serve Seattle. So the asset is there and if it's going to be used it's going to be -- the signal per force is going to come into Canada.
7850 THE CHAIRPERSON: So the undertaking is that it will not be leased to any other South Asian language and --
7851 MR. BUCHAN: No, sir. That's correct.
7852 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Has there been recent rezoning of that land, Mr. Khela?
7853 MR. KHELA: Pardon?
7854 THE CHAIRPERSON: Has that land been recently rezoned?
7855 MR. KHELA: Yeah, I think it's just a residential zone now. Yeah.
7856 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is it agricultural?
7857 MR. KHELA: No, it's not agricultural. Now there is a lot of building going on there.
7858 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, okay.
7859 Is the undertaking, Mr. Khela, whether you're transmitting from the current location or the -- is it Point Roberts, Mr. Buchan?
7860 MR. BUCHAN: Yes, it is, Mr. Chair.
7861 THE CHAIRPERSON: Or the Point Roberts location that you are agreeing to not lease those premises be it Point Roberts or the Ferndale location to a broadcaster in a South Asian language?
7862 MR. KHELA: Yes.
7863 THE CHAIRPERSON: You understand my question, whether it stays in Ferndale or moves to Point Roberts you will not lease that facility to a broadcaster in a South Asian language?
7864 MR. KHELA: Yes.
7865 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Prior to January 1, 2014, Mr. Khela, did you have a written brokerage agreement with BBC Holdings?
7866 MR. KHELA: 2000 and...?
7867 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah, three weeks ago -- four weeks ago.
7868 Prior to that, Mr. Buchan?
7869 MR. BUCHAN: I wasn't obviously involved with the station at that stage but when I made that inquiry yesterday --
7870 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
7871 MR. BUCHAN: -- I was told and I know know this to be the case because we were -- our law firm was indirectly involved with the application for the relocation of the station to Point Roberts because of the coordination with Industry Canada. And the law firm on the other side -- other side of the border but for the stations --
7872 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
7873 MR. BUCHAN: -- is a law firm in Washington called Wiley Rein.
7874 And I know Dick Wiley. If you want to indulge me, I know him because in 1977 I went down to Washington with Bob Rabinovitch and the Executive Director of the CRTC to negotiate with regard to Bill C-58 and commercial resolution and other aspects of border broadcasting. And on the other side of those negotiations was Dick Wiley. He was then the chair of the FCC.
7875 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
7876 MR. BUCHAN: So I was intrigued that they had this station, this lawyer who I called a "white shoe law firm", Wiley Rein in Washington doing the work.
7877 And I asked yesterday was the lease agreement and all of your -- this regulatory stuff with the FCC has it always been done through Wiley Rein? And apparently it has been done for the last 12 years.
7878 When I reviewed the documents and you'll be able to -- the Commission will have the opportunity to review them themselves -- you see that there is FCC requirements with regard to brokerage and whatever.
7879 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
7880 MR. BUCHAN: And so to use a term that lawyers sometimes use, all of this work has been papered through Wiley Rein and their lawyers in Washington. So there was --
7881 THE CHAIRPERSON: Was there any paper prior to January 1, 2014?
7882 MR. BUCHAN: I don't have those records. But we were asked for a copy of the lease until we got what was the current lease that was in place.
7883 And I think there is a -- I'm going a little beyond my depth here because I don't act for KRPI AM, but I think there is a licence renewal process at the FCC and all these filings have to be made, you know, to satisfy the -- check the boxes of the FCC.
7884 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. No, I understand that the lease is coming up -- the lease -- the licence is coming up February 3rd of this year.
7885 MR. BUCHAN: That's --
7886 THE CHAIRPERSON: With the FCC.
7887 MR. BUCHAN: I read that.
7888 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Khela is aware of that?
7889 MR. KHELA: Yes.
7890 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And you're aware of the fact that an agreement, a brokerage agreement was signed January 1, 2014. Are you aware of that, sir?
7891 MR. KHELA: Hmm?
7892 THE CHAIRPERSON: You don't remember signing that?
7893 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Badh, if you're going to be translating, maybe we will open up your mike and people can listen to your translating. No, no, I understand.
7894 MR. J. BADH: Sorry.
7895 THE CHAIRPERSON: I appreciate your help. I really do.
7896 MR. J. BADH: Yeah, he just wanted to basically --
7897 THE CHAIRPERSON: I know, I know, but just in terms of the process it gets difficult. If you want to translate to him I'd appreciate it but if you could do it on mike?
7898 MR. J. BADH: Sure.
7899 THE CHAIRPERSON: I gather Mr. Khela has no recollection of signing that document four weeks ago?
7900 MR. BUCHAN: Mr. Chairman, I'm just --
7901 THE CHAIRPERSON: Refreshing his memory by showing him the document?
7902 MR. BUCHAN: Yes.
7903 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes?
7904 MR. KHELA: Yes.
7905 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Buchan.
7906 THE CHAIRPERSON: Can you speak into the mike, Mr. Khela? You have to turn your mike --
7907 MR. J. BADH: Mr. Chairman, if you don't mind maybe you can repeat the question then? Maybe he forgot what the question was.
7908 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Well, Mr. Buchan has shown him the document, I understand. Is that correct, Mr. Khela? And you've taken cognizance of that document?
7909 MR. KHELA: No, my eyes aren't --
7910 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would you speak into the mike, Mr. Khela?
7911 MR. KHELA: Yeah, I signed it.
7912 THE CHAIRPERSON: You signed it, yeah.
7913 MR. KHELA: I remember.
7914 THE CHAIRPERSON: You remember that, great.
7915 Now, previous to that particular document in the years prior to that do you recall having a physical document signed?
7916 MR. KHELA: Yes.
7917 THE CHAIRPERSON: A previous brokerage agreement? Do you recall that?
7918 MR. KHELA: Yes.
7919 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And would Mr. Buchan perhaps help you find that document?
7920 MR. KHELA: Yes, this agreement.
7921 MR. BUCHAN: I just have to ask Mr. Badh if he might know where these documents are because it's not -- they are not Sher-E-Punjab's documents. This is KRPI in Ferndale.
7922 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understand that.
7923 MR. J. BADH: Yeah, those records might be in Ferndale or in Washington. We have to relocate them.
7924 THE CHAIRPERSON: But do you recall, Mr. Badh?
7925 MR. J. BADH: Yes.
7926 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you recall signing a brokerage agreement prior to January 1, 2014?
7927 MR. KHELA: I believe there was.
7928 THE CHAIRPERSON: There was one, okay. The FCC would require that, would they not?
7929 MR. KHELA: Yeah.
7930 MR. J. BADH: I understand they would, yeah.
7931 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
7932 Mr. Khela, do you have any staff? You are majority shareholder. Would you -- do you have any staff that runs the station that are employees of BBC Broadcasting?
7933 MR. KHELA: Yeah, there is. I think two.
7934 THE CHAIRPERSON: Two people?
7935 MR. J. BADH: Yeah.
7936 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you know who runs BBC Broadcasting?
7937 MR. KHELA: Sher-E-Punjab they are -- Badh, he takes care of all that.
7938 THE CHAIRPERSON: He takes care of that. So Mr. Badh runs the station?
7939 MR. KHELA: Yeah.
7940 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Badh next to you or Mr. Badh -- which of the Badhs?
7941 MR. KHELA: He's right there.
7942 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right there? Okay.
7943 MR. J. BADH: If you don't mind, Mr. Commissioner?
7944 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sure.
7945 MR. J. BADH: Maybe you can rephrase the question, if you want, and see what do I run the KRP and the Sher-E-Punjab but the KRP is under instructions. Not running it, but following what his instructions are, if you can put that that way.
7946 THE CHAIRPERSON: I think we're not going to get any further either way.
7947 MR. J. BADH: Okay, but that's fine. That's fine.
7948 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah, okay.
7949 Maybe I can ask Mr. Khela this question.
7950 If you move to Point Roberts, right --
7951 MR. KHELA: M'hmm.
7952 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- where will the station be located physically?
7953 Do you know where your station is located presently?
7954 MR. KHELA: I didn't understand that question.
7955 MR. BUCHAN: Mr. Chairman, just to clarify?
7956 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
7957 MR. BUCHAN: Are you referring to the studios because we know where the transmitter is and we know the transmitter will be in Point Roberts. And then the other component presumably --
7958 THE CHAIRPERSON: The studios.
7959 MR. BUCHAN: -- is the studios.
7960 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
7961 MR. BUCHAN: And there are studios. Well, okay.
7962 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you know where the studios are, Mr. Khela?
7963 MR. BADH: BBC, where BBC offices' studios are. Where are they?
7964 MR. KHELA: Ferndale and Washington.
7965 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And if the transmitter moves to Point Roberts will the studios still be in Ferndale?
7966 MR. KHELA: Yes.
7967 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
7968 My colleague may have a question for you.
7969 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Mr. Khela, with respect to your first line of questioning which had to do with the future of KRPI should Sher-E-Punjab move its operations and broadcast from Canada it will leave you without programming and you testified that you had not pursued any other programming interests to replace that programming.
7970 So my question is why are you moving the transmitter or proposing to move the transmitter to Point Roberts and spending money on a radio station that may be losing its sole source of income in the next year or so?
7971 MR. KHELA: Well, we have a lot of complaints from that. So that people were banding around that, residents. We have a lot of complaints. So I just want to have no complaints from anybody over there and make the people happy over there, you know, if we move to Point Roberts. But (indiscernible) paying the lease payment until I find another and whether (indiscernible) you know?
7972 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I'm sorry, I don't understand your answer. Perhaps I'll make the question simpler.
7973 You are proposing to spend money on a radio station's transmitter facilities and are presently looking at the possibility of not having a customer to broadcast using those facilities.
7974 Why are you spending money when there's the possibility of not having income?
7975 MR. KHELA: Well, that -- actually, that place will generate actually more area, you know, and one day people will be happy because they are complaining about it. That's why I don't want to see any --
7976 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Right. So, you will have a better signal --
7977 MR. KHELA: That's right.
7978 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: -- in Point Roberts? Okay. I understand that.
7979 Then the next question I have is, as I understand, the land that the transmitter is on in Ferndale is owned by the Badh family or by Suki Badh.
7980 MR. KHELA: M'hmm.
7981 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: My question is this: If you are no longer proposing to be on that land, will it be necessary to have Mr. Badh as a partner?
7982 MR. KHELA: We will actually be able to develop that land, develop that land into lots, you know, because a lot of building going on.
7983 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
7984 MR. KHELA: People will be building. Maybe it will be feasible to just start (indiscernible)
7985 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I understand that it would make sense to --
7986 MR. KHELA: Yeah.
7987 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: -- continue the partnership --
7988 MR. KHELA: Yeah.
7989 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: -- in BBC Holdings because of your plan for the land development, but would it be necessary to have Mr. Badh as a partner in the broadcasting company?
7990 MR. KHELA: Yes.
7991 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: It would be. For what reason would it be necessary to have him as a partner if Sher-E-Punjab is no longer involved, potentially involved?
7992 MR. KHELA: Well, I still have actually 20 percent interest in that land, you know.
7993 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I understand that. I'm talking about the radio station.
--- Off-record discussion
7994 MR. J. BADH: To continue the partnership in the radio station.
7995 MR. KHELA: Yeah. Right. We still have a partnership in the radio station, you know.
7996 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay, thank you.
7997 MR. KHELA: Since we have a longtime relation, we don't want to --
7998 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: It's a good relationship?
7999 MR. KHELA: Yeah.
8000 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: You'd like it to continue; is that correct?
8001 MR. J. BADH: Yeah.
8002 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I think those are my questions, sir.
8003 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Shoan.
8004 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Hello, Mr. Khela. Thank you for being here today.
8005 You indicated earlier that certain parties had expressed interest in using your facilities at Point Roberts once they're constructed; is that right?
8006 MR. KHELA: An interest in Point Roberts?
8007 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Once the tower has been constructed at the new location, you indicated that certain parties had expressed interest in using that location; is that correct?
8008 MR. KHELA: Yeah, I think so. Yeah.
8009 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Have parties contacted you to lease space on those facilities in Point Roberts?
8010 MR. KHELA: Point Roberts, no.
8011 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: No one has contacted you to use your facilities in Point Roberts?
8012 Perhaps, Mr. Badh, you could clarify.
8013 MR. J. BADH: I'm just trying to understand the question, Commissioner. Is it in regards to that somebody else other than Sher-E-Punjab had an interest in increasing the frequency or is it Sher-E-Punjab that asked him to increase the frequency?
8014 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: No. He had mentioned earlier that he had yet to find someone to replace the brokered programming on his tower.
8015 MR. J. BADH: Right.
8016 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: The towers obviously will be moving.
8017 MR. J. BADH: Right.
8018 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: But he expressed confidence that there was an interest there by other parties to use that brokered time. I just wanted to confirm that the brokered time to be leased would be on the Point Roberts tower, the KRPI once it moved to the Point Roberts tower.
8019 MR. J. BADH: If I may express what he said just not too long ago but I can say it because he --
8020 There was other parties that he expressed, that Christian parties or the Christian Church might be interested, but that -- knowing that, that interest was not devolved because of the move to Point Roberts but because Sher-E-Punjab has an existing lease. So that's how the original interest other than the complaints that Mr. Khela said in Ferndale.
8021 Am I answering the question or --
8022 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: No, I didn't --
8023 MR. J. BADH: Sorry.
8024 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: No, that's fine. So essentially, the land that BBC Holdings holds in Ferndale is going to be developed. The broadcasting facilities currently there are moving to Point Roberts; is that correct?
8025 MR. KHELA: No. We keep the station over there. You know, it has the property people already. One part is with the station. That will stay there.
8026 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: You mean the studios will stay in Ferndale?
8027 MR. J. BADH: The studio facilities.
8028 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Right. So the studios will stay in Ferndale. That's clear.
8029 MR. KHELA: Yeah.
8030 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: But you're building a new broadcasting tower in Point Roberts; is that correct?
8031 MR. KHELA: Yes.
8032 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. So, has anyone approached you to lease space on that tower to broadcast?
8033 MR. KHELA: No. I haven't advertised yet, you know.
8034 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: So, you haven't -- no one has discussed the possibility of leasing space or time on that tower?
8035 MR. KHELA: Actually, I think -- I haven't made any efforts yet. It will --
8036 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: So you haven't made any efforts to advertise that tower --
8037 MR. KHELA: Yeah.
8038 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: -- the availability on that tower?
8039 MR. KHELA: Yeah.
8040 MR. J. BADH: If I may, he expressed previously that there were parties interested but he hasn't progressed on that because he didn't know how this -- this is my understanding from him -- how this is going to progress. So he doesn't --
8041 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: In terms of the approvals.
8042 MR. J. BADH: He doesn't want to get into the negotiations with anybody or discuss even further with anybody.
8043 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Until the approvals for the towers are complete?
8044 MR. J. BADH: Until the towers' approval, until he knows the situation of Sher-E-Punjab, what Sher-E-Punjab is going to do.
8045 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
8046 And, Mr. Khela, you manage the day-to-day operations of BBC Broadcasting?
8047 MR. KHELA: I actually have given charge to Jasbir Singh Badh to take care of the day-to-day operations and I also --
8048 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. So the day-to-day operations are conducted by Mr. Badh here -- of the tower?
8049 MR. J. BADH: If I can clarify it. Maybe Mr. Khela didn't understand the question.
8050 Because there is an office manager there required by the FCC. That's there. There's an engineer there. That's there. They run the station.
8051 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. So there's a station manager and there's an engineer?
8052 MR. J. BADH: A station manager and an engineer is there.
8053 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: And who is the station manager?
8054 MR. J. BADH: It's Grace Phelan.
8055 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Are you in contact with these individuals fairly regularly?
8056 MR. J. BADH: On a kind of problem or situation basis if it needs to be, yes.
8057 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. And they're located at the transmission facilities or in the studio?
8058 MR. J. BADH: The office is located at present transmission facility and the studio in the same property.
8059 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. So, they're at the same property.
8060 MR. J. BADH: Same property.
8061 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: When the transmission facilities move to Point Roberts, are they staying in Ferndale or going to Point Roberts?
8062 MR. J. BADH: The transmission -- well, the office and the -- the office part will stay in Ferndale, yes, as far as I know.
8063 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Mr. Buchan, you mentioned earlier that the contour of the tower, the range of coverage of the tower -- of a transmission facility from the new tower at Point Roberts would encompass part of Lower B.C.
8064 Would it not be possible to install a directional antenna to ensure that the coverage was mainly pointed southwards?
8065 MR. BUCHAN: Well, to begin with --
8066 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: And I recognize you're not an engineer, you're a lawyer, but --
8067 MR. BUCHAN: Thank you. That's where I was going to being.
8068 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Yes.
8069 MR. BUCHAN: And I'm a communications lawyer with considerable experience but the person in our office who does all the work with Industry Canada on such matters is an ex-Industry Canada employee by the name of Stephen Acker. He's been with me for 20-25 years.
8070 But my understanding -- and I did have a few years in the Department of Communications in the mid-seventies -- is that when antenna patterns are approved and power is approved and height of the transmitter is approved, you end up with an approved signal contour, all of which is designed to ensure that there will be minimum interference to any other stations. And there's different -- I don't want to get involved with that -- but, you know --
8071 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: No, I understand.
8072 MR. BUCHAN: -- powers daytime and nighttime.
8073 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Right.
8074 MR. BUCHAN: And the AM towers such as this are directional typically and you can't just suppress the signal to the north if the signal -- if the coordinated transborder broadcasting signal has been coordinated to go north.
8075 Now, I do know -- and this is based on a discussion I had a long time ago with the President of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Jim Sword and I asked him: Why did they approve antennas so far north in the United States with signals that come into Canada, similar to these antennas that are on the Mexico-United States border to the south and they come in and reach communities like San Antonio and San Diego, where we've got them coming into Canada --
8076 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Right.
8077 MR. BUCHAN: -- from Washington State, from Sault Ste Marie, from Plattsburgh, New York, into Montreal? I said: Why do they do that?
8078 And he said: Well, this is what I was given but it makes sense to me in a way. The frequencies are allotted to Region 2, which is Canada-U.S.A.-Mexico under the ITU Regulations.
8079 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Right.
8080 MR. BUCHAN: And then, say 1550 was allotted to the United States, the United States FCC has the authority to assign that frequency to Ferndale or maybe reassign it over to Point Roberts and the direction, power and everything else have to coordinated between Canada and the U.S. And if there's interference into Canada, Industry Canada can complain to the FCC and, you know, it may have to be suppressed, and vice versa.
8081 But the point that he made with me -- because he was going to one of these negotiation meetings, Canada, U.S.A. and Mexico, which kind of intrigued me -- he said: Governments don't like to give up a frequency that's been assigned to them. They don't like to turn it off because they're afraid we, in this case Canada, may request that same frequency, because we could use it in Canada perhaps, but then there's the problem of the signal is going to be coming south from the north if it were reassigned to Canada.
8082 So he said: Usually, the governments will assign frequencies to be used and to cover to the last foot of land on their side of the border, but it all has to be obviously coordinated --
8083 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Coordinated between the two governments.
8084 MR. BUCHAN: -- between the two governments.
8085 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Right.
8086 MR. BUCHAN: So, you know, without -- I don't want to give engineering evidence but I've tried to understand this for a while.
8087 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Right.
8088 MR. BUCHAN: We have these stations in Washington State, and there are a few more in Washington State besides KRPI with signals that come into British Columbia. And I think there's two maybe in Blaine, Washington, and I forget where the other one is because I don't know the geography as well here.
8089 But they're all FCC-assigned frequencies and they're all coordinated with Industry Canada, and this KRPI relocation from Ferndale to Point Roberts was approved and signed off by both of them quite recently and it went through all the normal processes.
8090 And so now, Mr. Khela has an asset, if you will, a business, a stick, and it's going to be in Point Roberts and something is going to be on it. He wouldn't build the transmitting towers and turn it off. But my point and the only one, in plain language, you can't sort of turn it around like a flashlight and point it down south to Seattle.
8091 I hope that's helpful and that's a non-engineer.
8092 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: No, and I appreciate that. Thank you for your answer.
8093 Mr. Chair, those are my questions.
8094 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Buchan.
8095 Mr. Khela, thank you for coming up.
8096 MR. KHELA: Yeah, okay. Thank you.
8097 THE CHAIRPERSON: Have a safe trip back.
8098 MR. KHELA: Yeah.
8099 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
8100 Madame la Secrétaire, Phase IV.
8101 THE SECRETARY: May I approach?
8102 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
8103 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
8104 THE CHAIRPERSON: Given that there may be people that are interested in commenting on what has been presented this morning, I think it would be wise procedurally to maybe break for lunch now and start with Phase IV right after lunch.
8105 So let's give people a chance to prepare and have lunch and let's come back at 12:45 and we'll start our afternoon with Phase IV and we'll run as long as we can thereafter.
8106 Thank you all.
--- Upon recessing at 1140
--- Upon resuming at 1244
8107 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon.
8108 Madame la Secrétaire, ça va?
8109 LA SECRÉTAIRE : Oui, merci.
8110 THE CHAIRPERSON: Just before we move on to Phase IV, there's been -- are we on time? Are we ahead of time? We're right on time.
8111 There's been some discussion as to the Mayor's involvement in this hearing and for the record she has sent an email stating that she has not endorsed anyone, and for the record the email will be available in part of the public record shortly or a copy of it on the famous table where everything is to be found. So if anyone has any more concerns about that, the letter will be available and will be part of the public record.
8112 O.K. On y va.
8113 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
8114 We will now proceed to Phase 4, in which applicants can reply to all interventions submitted on their applications. Applicants appear in reverse order.
8115 I would ask, to assist the Court Reporter, that you put your seating plan on a piece of paper and hand it to her when you come up to present.
8116 For the record, I have been advised that 0971197 B.C. Ltd. will not be appearing in this phase.
8117 I would now invite Sher-E-Punjab Radio Broadcasting Inc. to come forward.
8118 THE SECRETARY: Please reintroduce yourselves for the record and you have 10 minutes for your presentation. Thank you.
8119 MR. D. BADH: Good afternoon, Mr. Chair, Commissioner Simpson, Commissioner Shoan. My name is Dale Badh.
8120 Just before starting our Phase IV comments I would like to briefly reintroduce our team.
8121 To my left is Jas Gill, to her left is Jasbir Badh, and beside Jasbir is Robert Buchan. To my right is Peter Fleming.
8122 I would like to begin by thanking the Commission for this opportunity to apply to become a full contributing member of the Canadian broadcasting system.
8123 Through this hearing process the Commission and interested members of the public have had an opportunity to learn how and why for the past decade Sher-E-Punjab has responded to the strong demand in the Lower Mainland for radio broadcasting service in the Punjabi language.
8124 We have responded to that strong demand in a highly responsible manner, using the only means available to us, and that is what is referred to by most people as "border broadcasting." We have to take offence at having been characterized on the record of these proceedings as a "rogue broadcaster."
8125 MR. BUCHAN: Mr. Chairman, as we had a bit of a discussion this morning, "border broadcasters" exist along the border between Canada and the U.S.A. and radio frequencies do not stop at borders. They flow both ways, south to north and vice versa.
8126 And some of the markets, and I think it was referenced this morning, where radio border broadcasting occurs cross-border, in addition to Vancouver, include notably Windsor/Detroit, Sault Ste Marie, Michigan and Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, Buffalo into Toronto/Toronto into Buffalo, and Plattsburg into Montreal.
8127 The Commission has on the record of this proceeding the details of the arrangements that exist between Sher-E-Punjab and the licensee of KRPI 1550 AM Ferndale for the lease of air time on that station.
8128 The FCC in Washington D.C., which licenses and regulates KRPI 1550, also has that same information. There is nothing illegal about the operations of KRPI or about its arrangement to lease airtime to Sher-E-Punjab.
8129 We explained in both our Supplementary Brief and our oral presentation the very significant contributions, financial and otherwise, that Sher-E-Punjab has made to charitable causes within the community and internationally. Those are not the actions of a "rogue."
8131 MR. J. BADH: Thank you, Commissioners. Thank you, Mr. Buchan.
8132 We would very much prefer to continue to serve the South Asian community in the Lower Mainland from an AM transmitter located in Canada and to be a fully contributing member of the Canadian broadcasting system.
8133 We would, if licensed, cease our transborder operations and undertake to use our best efforts to ensure that the Sher-E-Punjab service is not replaced on KRPI with another South Asian service. We would also honour all of the other regulatory obligations that go with being a Canadian licensee in the Canadian broadcasting system.
8134 We find it interesting that some applicants state we bring nothing new.
8135 In fact, our significant programming commitments include:
8136 - service to 14 groups in 13 languages;
8137 - a minimum of 75 hours per week in spoken word;
8138 - 98 newscasts per week;
8139 - $700,000 in CCD contributions, significantly higher than any other ethnic applicant.
8140 MS GILL: Mr. Chair, attending this hearing I had to wonder if a collective cloud of amnesia had dropped over applicants and interveners. New Vision, the Golden Girls and the Dalit representatives all mentioned that no existing South Asian broadcaster ever covers a number of issues dear to their hearts. For example, allegedly, no one covers issues like dowries, domestic violence, racism and others; no one helped the Golden Girls' Gunwant Bains in her fundraising and no one covers issues from the Dalit community.
8141 But in fact, Sher-E-Punjab does all of this. Let me explain.
8142 Both Kiran Aulahk and Tejinder Nijjer regularly cover difficult issues in our community, from gender selection to bullying and cyberbullying to domestic abuse.
8143 Our morning host Dr. Jasbir Romana deals with a wide range of issues, including racism, gang violence and many more.
8144 Sher-E-Punjab raised funds for the Golden Girls' campaign for 4 years on radio via a radiothon. Unfortunately, we had to stop because she could or would not give us a clear accounting of how the funds were used.
8145 We covered the Dalit parade and provided PSA time for announcements of their activities, also provided them 90 minutes one day to talk about their community with their representative Mr. Sito Clare. This was last year.
8146 Sher-E-Punjab does cover these issues regularly and in depth. I have printed out a list of all the topics we have covered over the past few weeks. I would be pleased to file them if you so wish.
8147 As we mentioned the other day, we have never had a complaint in our 10 years of operations. But let me explain a bit more.
8148 Mr. Chair you were surprised yesterday when we said that we had never had a complaint. And you were right to be. We were focused on the type of more formal complaint that would result in action by the regulatory authorities on either side of the border, by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council or in the courts. And it is true that we have never had such a complaint.
8149 After discussion, we realized that we had misunderstood you. In fact, of course we get feedback from our audience which is not always positive. Such feedback includes those who have disliked a song, those who may not like a certain host or a particular topic that was discussed, they don't want the news running in the middle of a show if it's a sportscast. These kind of things happen but we do discuss these issues right away. We always address such complaints straight on.
8150 Yesterday, Jasbir mentioned that we always meet with people to resolve any issues, and that is true too. In many cases it is my father-in-law that meets with groups or individuals to resolve concerns and this process has meant that concerns never get to the stage of a formal complaint. Please excuse our confusion.
8151 One last point of clarification. In questions to the Dalit group yesterday, it was mentioned that they should talk to us because we have now signed the CAB Code of Ethics. I am sorry if we miscommunicated our practices. Our hosts have been doing this for many years. They are required to read and sign the Code of Ethics for many years and we have one copy posted in the studio wall if they ever need to refer to it.
8152 MR. FLEMING: Yesterday in its intervention, the Business News applicants argued that they would serve more people than Sher-E-?Punjab on 600 with their proposal, based upon their estimate of the total Punjabi-speaking population in the Lower Mainland.
8153 First of all, it was the wrong measurement. Our service will cover many ethnic groups, 14 of them to be exact.
8154 Secondly, they stated the Punjabi population was in the neighbourhood, if my memory serves me well, of over 140,000, but the Statistics Canada data that was submitted in the report by Strategic Inc. and filed with our application indicates that there's more like 167,750 Punjabi speakers in the coverage area of 600 AM. When we add in the other groups we serve, the number of people touched by our programming is about 340,000. I've rounded up just a tad. And many here would argue that the Punjabi population alone is more than what census data provide.
8155 The Business News application estimates that they will get 1.2 percent of hours tuned in the coverage area. While we never found out how they got that in the research that they filed based on Toronto or in the further research filed this morning, we would guess that they might reach at the outside 5 percent of the listeners -- many fewer than those we will reach.
8156 Our service will reach many who do not now have much ethnic radio service available to them, Punjabis in Squamish, over 21,000 Farsi, Filipino and Korean people in the Tri-Cities, over 10,000 from those communities in West and North Van, and the nearly 20,000 Filipinos in the City of Vancouver. Most of these folks have no locally relevant service of consequence available to them.
8157 Meanwhile, business news is available from many sources locally, CKNW, 1130 News and the CBC, to mention but a few. Let's not fool ourselves, this is a very low reach service. The Business News Network Television Service in Vancouver only has a reach of about 1.159, rounded to 1.16 percent of the population and television almost always has a better reach than radio.
8158 MR. D. BADH: Thank you, Peter.
8159 We must also take exception to the many smears directed our way by many of the other applicants. Statements such as cross-border stations are irresponsible or divisive, or South Asian radio does this or that, use the smear technique of guilt by association.
8160 Sher-E-Punjab is lumped in with Radio India, Radio Punjab and RED FM as providing low-quality broadcasting. Let us be clear. Unlike any of these three, we have never been brought to court for libel or slander or sanctioned by the FCC for controversial programming.
8161 Those of our competitors who indicate that we should not be rewarded because our hands are not clean should look in the mirror. All of them have either tried to buy into our station, approached Mr. Khela to lease the time on his station or sought employment with us.
8162 Mr. Chairman, we are not asking to be rewarded for bad behaviour. Rather, we are asking to reward our listeners by helping a station that they hold dear to provide a better signal on a Canadian transmitter.
8163 Thank you for your attention.
8165 MR. BUCHAN: Just as a last order of business, in Phase I, Mr. Chairman, we were asked to think about the possible wording of a condition of approval for Sher?-E-Punjab and we might suggest the wording of the following. This is assuming that we'll be licensed for 600 AM.
"The licensee shall cease providing its programming for broadcast over the facilities of station KRPI 1550 AM or on any other broadcasting station with a transmitter in the United States of America on the day following the issuance by Industry Canada of the Broadcasting Certificate to permit the licensee to broadcast on frequency 600 AM."
8166 Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
8167 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
8168 If you can just give me a minute please.
8169 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Just a couple of things for the record before I hand it over to my colleagues.
8170 In terms of border broadcasting, I don't think anyone on the panel or staff has ever referred to the applicant by anything else but a border broadcaster, cross-border broadcaster or transporter broadcaster. I don't think we've ever referred to this applicant as a rogue broadcaster. If I have --
8171 MR. BUCHAN: No, but Mr. Chairman --
8172 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, I understand it was made -- that term was used by other applicants, certainly.
8173 MR. BUCHAN: Yes. We are here to reply to the --
8174 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understand.
8175 MR. BUCHAN: -- the applications of other applicants.
8176 THE CHAIRPERSON: Just for the record, in terms of the Commission --
8177 MR. BUCHAN: Okay, thank you.
8178 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- that was never the case. I'm happy to see the Code of Ethics reference. I won't touch the libel reference. I will say it is ironic that we raise other broadcasters and talk about libelous or slanderous conduct without having anything else attached to it by that, that is a personal observation and I will let you do what you wish with that.
8179 Commissioner Simpson...?
8180 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: No, I have no questions.
8181 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Shoan...?
8182 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Good afternoon. Just to continue on the discussion that the Chairman just had, Mr. Buchan, we certainly never alleged that Sher-E-Punjab is operating as a rogue broadcaster. However, as you know, in order to broadcast in this country you either need to be licensed or operating under an exemption order, so what is your perspective given that reality with respect to the operations of Sher-E-Punjab?
8183 MR. BUCHAN: I think -- I have given some consideration to that issue and it was raised in one of the interventions about if an undertaking -- and a Commission licence is undertakings and undertakings are arrangements by which physical things are used -- if it's operated in whole or in part in this country it would require a licence.
8184 Now, there is a studio here and there is a sales force here, and so it is certainly arguable that there is a requirement for a Canadian licence. But it as is the situation with all of the broadcasting stations, not just ethnic stations but English-language, French-language and ethnic stations that have signals across the border, and in some cases have sales forces that operate across the border, the CRTC has never attempted to require those who not in whole, but maybe in part operate in Canada when they are licensed on the other side of the border and, similarly, the same situation pertains in the United States.
8185 And I think the reason for that is that both governments and regulatory agencies on either side of the border realize that if they had a station double licensed, if you will, they could be subject to conflicting orders from the respective licensing authorities. So it has always been that where the transmitter is located is the licensing authority.
8186 We went through this, and I won't get into -- I don't think it would be helpful to get into big details of it, but when we looked at the licensing of the Canadian satellite radio undertakings because they had, coming off an American satellite, XM and Sirius were going to have studios in Canada, we're going to have sales forces in Canada and we had to work our way through and the record of that proceeding may be helpful on this issue.
8187 So I am not -- as a lawyer, I am not sitting here saying there isn't, in whole or in part, some kind of an undertaking in Canada, but there isn't -- it's never been a requirement to hold a separate broadcasting licence, separate and apart from that issued by the FCC, and that's the situation that pertains with all of the border broadcasters.
8188 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Right. So your position -- your legal position is that border stations have always operated in a grey area apart from the Broadcasting Act, or not necessarily contemplated by the Broadcasting Act in terms of its licensing exemption regime?
8189 MR. BUCHAN: I think that's quite well put, Mr. Commissioner. I would agree with that.
8190 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Thank you for the clarification. Ms Gill, if you would like to file the list of the topics that Sher-E-Punjab has covered for the record of proceeding, that would be great.
8191 MS GILL: Yes.
8192 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Mr. Fleming, you mentioned in the oral presentation the lengthy list of groups that Sher-E-Punjab would cover in its prospective service. You noted that the number of people touched by the programming would be approximately 340,000. As you know, the 600 kHz frequency is quite extensive, reaching approximately, depending on the number, 1.9-2 million people, so even if it does reach 340,000 people and it is targeted towards 340,000 people in total, it is still a fraction of the total amount of people that it reaches.
8193 So the question becomes, is granting the 600 kilohertz frequency the best use of the frequency in terms of giving it to Sher-E-Punjab?
8194 MR. FLEMING: Thank you for the question. Our comments first and foremost were addressed to the comments raised by the business news --
8195 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Right.
8196 MR. FLEMING: -- who said that we were going to reach an infinitesimal portion of the audience and that it would be a better use to provide it to them. So our comparison to their was to what the likely reach that they would get --
8197 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Right.
8198 MR. FLEMING: -- and we found -- so we think we reach many, many more people.
8199 AM radio, especially English-language radio, has seen a decline in its tuning that is kind of scary. If you look at, for example, even now, in the 55-plus category across Canada, there once was the home of AM radio, that group now listens more to FM radio than it does to AM.
8200 So one place that -- so the strategy for AM radio has been across the country to try and find niches that will -- they will be strong at. So you see the many news, talk, sports, sometimes religious and sometimes you see as well ethnic stations, and actually ethnic stations do pretty well in them, so you will also see ethnic stations in every market in this country that do well.
8201 And if you look at your own financials, you will find that actually they perform almost as well as FMs.
8202 So I think in the -- and given the circumstances in which you are facing, you have three who want to use AM 600, I would certainly argue that our proposal reaches more people than either of the other applications.
8203 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: So your argument is, in essence, that an ethnic service operating on AM is just as effective as a successful FM service?
8204 MR. FLEMING: I think the challenges are different for them and the kind of programming that they will do counts. If you look again, that's what I said in English-language broadcasting, what is successful on FM is news-talk radio.
8205 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Yes.
8206 MR. FLEMING: Our proposal is for a news-talk radio station which has already shown its ability to reach the public, and so we think that is successful.
8207 If I was going to be arguing to you that I was going to be doing a music service, or that my client would be doing a music service, I wouldn't give you the same answer.
8208 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Right. Okay. Thank you for the clarification. Just a further clarification. You stated in the opening presentation that the Business News Network Television Service in Vancouver has only a reach of 1.16 percent of the population. Where did you get that number or how did you come to that figure?
8209 MR. FLEMING: I called Debra McLaughlin who landed in Toronto last night around 11:30, scrambled onto her computer, went through her massive database of BBM statistics and she pulled that number out of that.
8210 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay, thank you. If Sher-E-Punjab isn't granted one of the requested frequencies, is it your intention to explore using a transmission site other than the one currently utilized in Ferndale?
8211 MR. D. BADH: Can you rephrase that question, please?
8212 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Our understanding is that the land upon which the transmission facilities you are currently using is going to be redeveloped at a certain point, or the intention is to redevelop the land, which would mean you have to find a new transmission site. Obviously Point Roberts is an option. Are you exploring the use of that site?
8213 MR. D. BADH: Yes. Yes. We have invested a significant amount of money in this station and it fills the need and draws local audience. And, so basically what we are saying is we have a loyal audience and we are filling a niche that is there and we have been established here in 10 years.
8214 MR. FLEMING: If I could supplement that answer? In fact right now they are operating on 1150 -- leasing the time from 1150 located in Ferndale. They have an application -- KRPI has an --
8215 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: I understood though. I understood what you meant, yes.
8216 MR. FLEMING: I'm sorry, 1550 has an application to -- has been approved to move to Point Roberts and it's just it's subject to the regulatory approvals at a local level.
8217 If this hadn't happened, if this process had not happened, they have an agreement with Mr. Khela, which they would just follow on there.
8218 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
8219 MR. FLEMING: They are not thinking about because the land is going to be redeveloped, the land only gets redeveloped if the station is eventually approved through all the other things they are going through -- Mr. Khela is going through -- is approved for a transfer there, that land is now available.
8220 And now I think the other Mr. Bahd indicated to you earlier on that it's land that he bought by the acre and sold by the foot, or something like that.
8221 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: M'hmm.
8222 MR. FLEMING: So that's when it would get redeveloped.
8223 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: I see.
8224 MR. FLEMING: It's not the redevelopment that's driving this.
8225 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Right, so it's -- the first domino is the tower approvals. Once that happens everything else follows?
8226 MR. FLEMING: Correct.
8227 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay, I understand. So my last question is with respect to an issue that was raised by someone yesterday -- it escapes me at the moment, I apologize -- with respect to the potential co-ordination between the advertising efforts of South Fraser and yourself in terms of combining inventory or jointly working together to gather revenues from the market.
8228 Can you tell me to what extent you work with South Fraser Broadcasting?
8229 MR. D. BADH: We will not be working together because we have a different market. We have our hands full with competing with the other ethnic stations and we are a different market.
8230 The South Fraser will be working in the Surrey market, they have a different clientele, different businesses that they need.
8231 Our objective is to provide the best service we can to our ethnic audience and that's what we are committed to.
8232 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. So in the potential eventuality where you are licensed and the theoretical possibility that South Fraser is also licensed, do you commit that you would not jointly sell advertising inventory with South Fraser?
8233 MS GILL: Yes, we will not jointly work together on sales and stuff like that. We just can't, we are -- most of our clients are ethnic and the majority -- like that's where the bread-and-butter is. We don't get a lot of national, we don't get a lot of regional. If we do, it's great. And we don't get a lot of it because we are leasing the American -- leasing on the American station that also causes an issue with that.
8234 So no, we won't be doing that. We don't. My sales team is super busy, they can't handle any more and they won't be able to.
8235 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
8236 MS GILL: Like yes, sometimes I can tell you we do give recommendations for other local ethnics that might help them, we have given recommendations to go advertise on RED and stuff like that because there is -- we have different markets, and if someone wants to reach a full South Asian market, you may want to go to another station and we have to be honest with our advertisers.
8237 MR. FLEMING: Just one caveat to that as well.
8238 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Yes?
8239 MR. FLEMING: As you know, there is a thing called national rep houses and they sell national spots. It's quite possible that they may end up with the same national rep house, they may end up with separate rep houses, but the national rep houses, most of them, have alignments to existing stations in the market.
8240 So there is one independent who might pick a couple of independent radio stations up.
8241 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Right.
8242 MR. FLEMING: But locally, you are right. You are right, yes.
8243 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: And I should have clarified, thank you for that, Mr. Fleming. I was referring strictly to local advertising; the national rep houses are a different matter, that's absolutely right.
8244 Thank you for those answers. Those are my questions, Mr. Chairman.
8245 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner Shoan. Commissioner Simpson...?
8246 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Mr. Badh, a question just popped into my head that might be clarifying with respect to all this. Right now arguably the 1550 spectrum that is being used by KPRI is significantly hampered in the evening and so at nightfall you lose a lot of audience.
8247 Now, the question I have is, I presume this is one of the principal drivers to looking at coming to Canada and going with AM 600; is that correct, because you will have a better signal more consistently throughout --
8248 MS GILL: We have always wanted to be Canadian; 2005 there was an application put forward by Suki Bahd and it got rejected. At that time we had only been on leasing for one year and that could have been a completely different story if we had been then.
8249 We have been a part of the Canadian -- we have been doing so much in the community for so long, why can't we just do more. We don't want to be leasing on 1550 and why should we go forward doing that when we can have a viable local option to do more for our community?
8250 1550 is going to have a power increase and if we have to, then obviously we will have a better option there too, but still that's not what we want.
8251 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: In looking at the contour -- again, there's nothing on the record with respect to the Point Roberts facility, but I'm sure you have seen some idea of what the contour might look like with the Point Roberts operation, should it get a go ahead.
8252 Would it be actually an even better contour than what you would be looking at?
8253 MS GILL: Not better than 600. If you saw what Joe had shown the other day, our engineer --
8254 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes.
8255 MS GILL: -- most of it covers the Strait of Georgia water.
8256 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes.
8257 MS GILL: So, no, it would not still serve the community that we are looking to serve, and especially adding the ethnic groups. I think that is even a better served -- we can be a better service provider being a Canadian than what we're doing right now.
8258 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. Thank you. Just, Mr. Buchan, I think to your point about, you know, border stations. You know, the Commission, at least from my perspective, doesn't look at any reference to a border station as being a pejorative, it is just descriptive, but it is interesting that border stations have been around for a long time.
8259 I grew up watching KVOS-TV, which was a TV station that broadcast into Canada and it not only did so, it had sales facilities in Canada and production facilities, and so it's not new, it's just that I think what is at stake here is that when there is lots of land there is no need for fences; and when there is not a lot of land left fences are needed and this is where we are at.
8260 MR. BUCHAN: If I can just add one thing and I am going to show my age again, but I spent a lot of time watching PBS on Friday evening from a border station in upstate New York that gets 80 percent of its funding from the Ottawa area where I live, so they have been around a long time.
8261 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: That's it, thank you.
8262 THE CHAIRPERSON: You don't have to educate Montrealers about that, colleague. Thank you all so much.
8263 MR. D. BADH: Thank you very much.
8264 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madame la Secrétaire...?
8265 THE SECRETARY: I would now invite 2308739 Ontario Inc. to come forward.
8266 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Fuoco, introduce yourselves and you can start.
8267 MR. FUOCO: Are we ready to begin?
8268 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, please.
8269 MR. FUOCO: Okay. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, Commissioners Simpson and Shoan and CRTC Staff.
8270 My name is Chris Fuoco and I am the Vice President, Sales and Marketing at Channel Zero. I am joined here today by my colleagues Cal Millar and Bryan Woodruff.
8271 We thank you for the opportunity to participate in Phase IV of this process. We will reply to the interventions made regarding BIZ600.
8272 Sher-E-Punjab has asserted that we have not conducted Vancouver-specific market research. We would like to confirm for the record that the Panel requested we submit our Vancouver research on undertaking prior to 4:00 p.m. January 29, 2014 and I confirm that we met this request.
8273 Sher-E-Punjab comments that our payroll expenses are understated. In fact, our year one average employee salary is $6,2,000 which is roughly $5,000 less than the national radio average. This illustrates that Channel Zero has both adequately budgeted for staffing costs and is committed to running an efficient operation.
8274 Sher-E-Punjab asserts that our operating expenditures are somehow "too low". We would suggest that spending "too much" is no guarantee of success.
8275 Sher-E-Punjab has commented that the CCD contribution proposed in our application is ineligible. Following examination by the Panel, we amended our CCD package and have satisfied all concerns raised. Our revised CCD package was submitted on undertaking.
8276 Sher-E-Punjab also asserts that the overall quantum of the BIZ600 CCD contribution is low, however, we would point out that our package of $350,000 is greater than the median contribution of the other applications heard at this proceeding.
8277 Sher-E-Punjab implies that radio listeners are already adequately served with business news on existing AM stations in Vancouver. Our research shows that less than five percent of the content on Vancouver talk radio is dedicated to business news, and what is available is superficial and lacks meaningful insight.
8278 They further claim that there is no evidence that Vancouver residents are unhappy with the current level of business news being provided.
8279 Our research shows that half, 47 percent, of those surveyed would listen to a business news radio station if one was available in the market.
8280 Sher-E-Punjab suggests that the licensing of BIZ600 would have a negative impact on existing AM stations. As already noted earlier in this hearing, none of the existing AM stations filed an intervention in opposition to our application, despite ample opportunity to do so and having full access to our revenue projections.
8281 Now we will respond to the comments raised by South Asian Link Directory.
8282 They have suggested that our business news format will not be successful in the Vancouver market simply because no other AM station in the market has previously tried it.
8283 Our application should not be faulted because we have uncovered a significant unserved audience that other broadcasters have not pursued.
8284 South Asian Link claims that Bloomberg Radio in New York suffers from low listenership and has underperforming revenues.
8285 This is simply not true. Bloomberg launched its first business radio station in 1993. Twenty years later it is successful and growing rapidly. They have launched a second radio station in Boston and soon a third station will go live on the U.S. west coast.
8286 In 2013 Bloomberg Radio enjoyed its highest level of advertising sales in its 20-year history. Business news radio, whether in New York or in the other 33 U.S. markets where it is available, is a viable format.
8287 South Asian Link points out that we were unsuccessful in our first attempt to secure a frequency to launch a business news network. There was an unprecedented level of competition for the final available FM frequency in Toronto. Twenty-three applicants went before the CRTC and only one, Indie 88, was awarded the licence, and we congratulate them on that accomplishment.
8288 But in no way is the outcome of that process an indication of the viability of our business news format. All we can surmise from that decision was that, after careful consideration of all the applicants, the Commission determined that Indie 88 and its focus on emerging Canadian talent was considered the best use of an available frequency at that particular point in time.
8289 South Asian Link asserts that BIZ600 is too specialized a format for this market. This is simply wrong. Again, our research shows that half of the listeners in the Vancouver radio market would listen to business news radio if it was available.
8290 South Asian Link and Sher-E-Punjab would both like to use the AM 600 frequency to broadcast in Punjabi. The AM 600 frequency has access to almost two-million people across the Vancouver CMA, using this signal to reach a single linguistic group of 140,000 people is far more specialized than what we are proposing.
8291 Considering the alternatives in front of the Commission at this time, we submit that the best use of this frequency, and that which will benefit the greatest number of people across all of Metro Vancouver, is business news radio and BIZ600.
8292 We appreciate the opportunity to reply to the interventions and wish you well in your deliberations. Thank you for your time today.
8293 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Very clear. I don't think the numbers on Bloomberg are common knowledge, but the advertising sales are going through the roof, I understand that, but is that a -- is the suggestion that it is a profitable business and has been?
8294 MR. FUOCO: Yes, it is. And we ask, I guess, a favour from Bloomberg, a news-sharing partner of ours --
8295 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
8296 MR. FUOCO: -- whether they would allow us to disclose those facts to the Commission and they gave us the advertising permission to tell you about advertising --
8297 THE CHAIRPERSON: Only the advertising revenue. And what about the bottom line?
8298 MR. FUOCO: Yes. And that it is profitable.
8299 THE CHAIRPERSON: And do you have the bottom line?
8300 MR. FUOCO: No, we don't.
8301 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
8302 MR. FUOCO: But we have their assurance.
8303 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
8304 MR. FUOCO: I believe Mr. Bloomberg is rated the 12th wealthiest person --
8305 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh no, I'm well aware of the growth in his personal wealth during his time as Mayor of New York. It didn't keep him from quadrupling his net worth.
8306 The other small issue on point 23 in terms of it being a single linguistic group of 140,000, there will be other groups served. I think they are in the 60 percent range of Punjabi and the other linguistic groups will also be served.
8307 So, that number may require some adjusting from the 140,000 on up.
8308 MR. MILLAR: I agree that the number may be higher. We saw earlier some additional analysis presented by Sher-E-Punjab that suggests it climbs to the approximately 300,000 range, if I'm not mistaken was the number.
8309 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
8310 MR. FUOCO: Our position would still be, though, that despite that it would not be the best use of the frequency considering --
8311 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understand that. In terms of getting the facts straight, I think their census numbers have it at 167 and globally at 340, or somewhere in that ballpark.
8312 Now, the principal language of broadcasting will be Punjabi and that's at 167, so just for the record.
8313 Mr. Millar...?
8314 MR. MILLAR: Thank you. One comment I would make in addition to that is just for clarification standpoint, that we are all doing this a little bit of mixing reach and listenership and there have been some listenership numbers given for BNN I suppose on the television side and assertions around radioship. So I'm sure you will, but it's just for the record, you know, I think it is important to compare reach to reach and listenership to listenership.
8315 THE CHAIRPERSON: I know, we get that.
8316 MR. MILLAR: I know. Thank you.
8317 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you so much. Enjoy the rest of the day. Madame la Secrétaire...?
8318 THE SECRETARY: I would now invite I.T. Productions Ltd. to come forward.
8319 THE CHAIRPERSON: Please go ahead.
8320 MS DATT: Thank you. Mr. Chairman, fellow Commissioners and Commission Staff, we would like to provide our reply comments.
8321 The first issue relates to technical matters raised by South Fraser Broadcasting as to whether or not the 106.9 or 107.7 FM frequency would provide a full coverage signal for the Greater Vancouver Area.
8322 The second issue was raised by Akash Broadcasting asking whether we would commit to return our CJRJ1200 AM frequency if the Commission granted us an FM frequency.
8323 I would like to ask Mr. Ray Carnovale to respond to the technical issues.
8324 MR. CARNOVALE: With respect to the comments made by South Fraser that for CJRJ serving Greater Vancouver FM is not an option, we fully recognize the interference limitations of both 107.7 and 106.9 as evidenced in our deficiency response maps filed with the Commission.
8325 While neither frequency replicates the coverage of CJRJ, both of them complement the existing AM coverage as a nested FM. As indicated during the presentation in-chief, the CJRJ format has a significant music component which would benefit from the higher fidelity stereo capabilities of FM. Our approach is fundamentally that for CJRJ some FM frequency, however limited, is better than no FM frequency. In particular, 106.9 would likely not be viable for a stand-alone station, as evidenced by the fact that no one else applied for it.
8326 With regard to the statement by Akash Broadcasting that existing broadcasters; i.e. CKYE-FM and CJRJ should vacate their existing frequencies, we would reiterate that the applications by I.T. Productions are for a nested FM to complement the existing AM coverage and, therefore, by definition there is no frequency to be returned.
8327 MS DATT: I would also like to deal with two other issues which came up in intervention comments.
8328 The first issue is with respect to English-language programming on RJ1200 raised by Sher-E-Punjab in apply to our intervention. I want to confirm that we are aware of and comply with our third- language condition of licence and monitor this on an ongoing basis to ensure that we meet those commitments.
8329 Mosaic Broadcasting and Akash Broadcasting critiqued our business model and indicated that if we are not profitable then that is not the Commission's problem. We agree that we need to work to find creative ways to improve our profitability as a Canadian broadcast licensee. We submit that our application for a nested FM repeater is the creative answer to help solve our profitability issue and ensure the continuation of what the community has indicated is a distinct, unique voice in Greater Vancouver.
8330 We would like to take this opportunity to thank our supporters who either wrote positive letters or appeared on our behalf to support the programming service we provide.
8331 Before I go into the summary, I would like our legal counsel, Chris Weafer, to answer the question of Sher-E-Punjab.
8332 MR. WEAFER: Mr. Chairman, I think you invited this morning, after the presentation this morning if there were any comments from applicants on the evidence that was led this morning.
8333 THE CHAIRPERSON: If you feel that your application was in any way touched or tarnished by what you heard this morning.
8334 MR. WEAFER: Sir, I think we are all learning a great deal in terms of the dialogue that has been had with respect to how 600 AM can be brought into the Canadian jurisdiction, and so I would just highlight, in our intervention letter we asked the Commission to pay attention not just to South Asian language applicants, but applicants who were targeting the South Asian community for the base of their advertising.
8335 And as we understood from the discussion this morning, there does not appear to be at this point an ability for the Commission to prevent the station in Point Roberts.
8336 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
8337 MR. WEAFER: Sorry, if I could finish, because it directly affects our application. The issue which arises from the discussion is the Commission's inability apparently to prevent the broadcast of that tower and the concern I would simply like to have on the record is that if an English-language program -- programming service was put on that tower targeted at the South Asian community of the Lower Mainland, that would have a material impact on our application and on this licensee. That is the point I wish to make.
8338 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's fine. It's still not really in the scope of Phase IV part of the hearing.
8339 MR. WEAFER: Sir, I think you invited yesterday --
8340 THE CHAIRPERSON: Reply.
8341 MR. WEAFER: I think you invited yesterday if anybody had comments on the new evidence that was being brought in late in the day and after the intervention phase, that it was available to comment. So if that is out of line, I apologize --
8342 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's fine. No problem.
8343 MR. WEAFER: -- but that was my understanding of the order.
8344 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
8345 MR. WEAFER: Thank you.
8346 MS DATT: In summary, Mr. Chairman and Members of the Commission, we believe sustaining an existing long-standing voice in the community is the best use of 107.7 FM or, alternatively, 106.7 FM.
8347 We filed a high-quality application for each frequency. We will, if approved, sustain a strong, diverse programming and news voice in the community. We will impact the market by providing the technically high-quality of FM service which will enable us to compete with U.S.-based AM stations.
8348 We would highlight the broad community support for our service, the market survey report we filed which reinforced the support and note that competitive applications in this proceeding do not propose us being awarded 106.9 FM, being the only applicant for that frequency.
8349 Mr. Chairman, Members of the Commission and Commission Staff, we thank you for running a very fair and efficient hearing and we wish you well with your deliberations.
8350 Thank you.
8351 THE CHAIRPERSON: We thank you.
8352 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I just had one question. Going back to your position on nested FM, and this is just for clarity of the existing record.
8353 In your previous testimony, it was at least my understanding, if not the whole Commission, that you were -- the principal argument was that the AM band and its quality was impeding your ability to do the type of programming you do, so a nested FM would improve the reception; but how does it substantially improve the quality of the remainder of the AM signal that you have to the point where it would have a material effect?
8354 MS DATT: I understand. The AM will continue the way it is; FM, wherever it would reach, would improve the signal and that's exactly what we are saying.
8355 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So it would offset your problems, but not --
8356 MS DATT: It would.
8357 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: -- necessarily remedy them.
8358 MS DATT: It would offset, yes, certainly.
8359 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thanks. Thank you.
8360 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Enjoy the rest of your day.
8361 MS DATT: You, too.
8362 THE SECRETARY: I would now invite South Asian Broadcasting Inc. to come forward.
8363 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon. Welcome.
8364 MR. SAMUEL: Good afternoon.
8365 THE CHAIRPERSON: Whenever you are ready.
8366 MR. SAMUEL: Thank you. Good afternoon, Chairman and Commission Members. For the record, my name is Bijoy Samuel, Vice President and General Manager of CKYE-FM and I am joined by Kulwinder Sanghera, President RED-FM, and on my left is Mark Lewis, our legal counsel.
8367 We have two more people today with us who were previously not part of the panel earlier and they are here to respond to serious allegations that have been made yesterday by Mr. Bob Mann and Ms Bhayana in a video shown by Mr. Mann.
8368 Nick Chowlia is in charge of Talent Co-ordination and manages music that is added to RED-FM's server and playback system. He is also an on-air host who has direct knowledge of the airplay and promotion according to Mr. Mann.
8369 Baljinder Sanghera was the former owner of Ravi Video store. He has direct knowledge of the operations of the store and can respond to any claims made yesterday.
8370 We also have Michael Peterson with us who is responsible for production at RED-FM and he also has direct knowledge relative to the airplay and promotion according to Mr. Mann and his music.
8371 MR. LEWIS: Although, it's late in the hearing I'm going to make a very brief procedural request. When Mr. Mann intervened months ago, he indicated that he intended to introduce additional documents and a video at the hearing and we filed an objection procedurally to the Commission, according to the Commission's rules, because neither we nor the Commission was properly served with that material within the time limits.
8372 He introduced new material yesterday and I'm asking for just a few additional minutes to respond to the allegations in the video that we had never seen before and new allegations made by Mr. Mann.
8373 The reason I'm asking for this is, the new allegations are very serious and allege some form of criminality and that was --
8374 THE CHAIRPERSON: We agree.
8375 MR. LEWIS: Thank you.
8376 MR. SAMUEL: Now, we will start our presentation. Thank you.
8377 We wish to acknowledge that more than 3,200 individuals who took time to write to the Commission, those people, they who include listeners and advertisers and we thank them. There were also over 8,000 individuals who signed petitions. You have thousands of e-mails, letters and names on petitions of RED-FM listeners who are experiencing interference and, therefore, difficulty receiving RED-FM.
8378 We also have filed within the technical reports multiple reception reports which provide the geographical locations where real people experience real reception problems.
8379 We also conducted focus groups, research with real individuals who complained of the reception problems.
8380 THE CHAIRPERSON: All that is part of the file.
8381 MR. SAMUEL: Yes, thank you.
8382 THE CHAIRPERSON: Phase IV.
8383 MR. SAMUEL: Sure. Thank you. We thank all our supporters.
8384 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's fine. It is not a problem with thanking the supporters, as long as you sort of don't abuse the re-pitching of the original pitch.
8385 MR. SAMUEL: I understand.
8386 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's all there, it's fine and Mr. Lewis can help you with that. Mr. Lewis.
8387 MR. LEWIS: So getting to the heart of the matter, Mr. Chair.
8388 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, please.
8389 MR. LEWIS: Several interveners questioned the severity of the interference and whether we have investigated all remedies other than the use of rebroadcast transmitters at Surrey and Abbotsford, and I will address the matter of the 93.1 signal in a moment.
8390 We have provided in the written replies, and I'm not going to go over that at all, analysis of the alternatives that D.E.M. Allen and Teknyx carried out. Those detailed replies were provided with maps, technical reports and correspondence to I.T. Productions, South Fraser and Surdel and are part of this proceeding, so I am not going to go over that and I want to provide an additional comment in that regard.
8391 THE CHAIRPERSON: And we have taken cognizance of that documentation.
8392 MR. LEWIS: Yes, it's all on the file --
8393 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
8394 MR. LEWIS: -- provided in November.
8395 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
8396 MR. LEWIS: This application and our appearance here this week is a collaborative effort of two of the pre-eminent engineering firms in this country and it has been a collaborative effort from the first day of IBOC interference to investigate the cause and examine any and all feasible remedies.
8397 Some interveners suggested that RED-FM accepted a flawed signal a decade ago when Mr. Moltner identified 93.1 as a viable frequency for an ethnic radio service for Vancouver/Surrey and assisted us in filing the application in 2005 for that frequency. We remind the Commission that in 2004, HD IBOC was in development, had not been approved by the FCC for use by the U.S. broadcast industry and, further, not a single broadcasting station or broadcast engineer had any experience or could even anticipate problems with and HD IBOC technology, a technology that wasn't even finalized, let alone deployed. And that's the crux of the problem.
8398 The 93.1 frequency was never impaired in Surrey or Vancouver, not for a minute by severe IBOC interference from KISM between December 2005 and the fall of 2012. If there had been severe impairment to the frequency, how then could RED-FM have built a listening audience in Surrey and Greater Vancouver where over 75 percent of listeners tuned to RED-FM weekly and have done so for many years?
8399 In our application there is BBM data, and it is on file, which confirms the reach. As recently as December 2013, BBM conducted audience measurement research. Several applicants suggested there was no ratings data for ethnic radio. There is if you pay BBM to conduct the audience research and RED-FM has done so for many years.
8400 It has been alleged that we have not investigated all possible problems. That is simply not true. Yesterday Mr. Suki Badh suggested that there were other alternatives other than repeaters to restore the service in this area. When asked for specifics, he punted over to his engineer, Mr. Sadoun, who was completely unable to provide any specific solution other than to suggest that if a broadcaster wants to serve Surrey, which is within our 3 mV contour, the 93.1 3 mV contour, the transmitter should be located in Surrey.
8401 It appears that Mr. Sadoun did not read our written replies to interveners. He could provide no definitive answer to the Commission's questions. The issue of relocation of our transmitter site is fully explored and reasons why it's not feasible is on the record.
8402 It also appears that Mr. Sadoun is not aware of the reasons why RED-FM and other broadcasters located on Mount Seymour at the transmitting facility, which is equidistant between Surrey and downtown Vancouver. and hereto for provided excellent service to residents of Greater Vancouver and the Surrey area. In fact, Mr. Badh was one of five applicants in 2004 who applied for the same 93.1 frequency broadcasting from Mount Seymour.
8403 So above all, he should know the real facts. He and other applicants are simply trying to rewrite history. Service to South Asians living in Surrey/Vancouver and the Lower Mainland was the focal point of the 2005 Vancouver public hearing and the topics, particularly controversial topics such as domestic violence that other applicants and interveners have suggested, are not being covered on radio are covered on RED-FM.
8404 Now to allegations regarding -- or relating to business practices of RED-FM. We have no knowledge of business practices of other radio stations, particularly unlicensed operators, but with respect to allegations pertaining to CRTC licence fees that were raised yesterday, we were shocked to hear allegations made by interveners, including Ms Bains, the Director of the Golden Girls Group.
8405 For the record, RED-FM management has not told people that they had to pay us some sort of kickback or tithe in order to have records played on the station or have our station participate in a community event in order to offset some sort of CRTC licence fee.
8406 We will now respond to Mr. Mann, who made some very serious allegations of criminality, something that described -- and I am going to quote from his presentation -- "payola".
8407 He claimed that Canadian artists must pay to get airplay on RED-FM. So as I indicated at the outset, I am going to be brief, but we brought today with us programming and production staff from RED-FM who can completely clarify station practices, policies, should you need more clarification.
8408 We have evidence of airplay, texts, website promotion of Mr. Mann and his music, which fully contradicts his false allegations made at the hearing yesterday and we are prepared to refute each and every allegation that he made yesterday, but time will not permit in this phase.
8409 But let's start with the allegation that Mr. Sanghera, in 2006, sought to have Mr. Mann pay for the airplay of a recording. Mr. Mann alleges that he did not pay so he received no airplay, no promotion or co-operation from the station thereafter. That is totally false. Mr. Sanghera has never told anyone, including Mr. Mann, that RED-FM charges artists or record producers for airplay in order to defray some sort of CRTC surcharge or just to put the money in its own pocket.
8410 But with respect to the incident involving Ravi Video, we have a different recollection of the facts. Ravi Video offered sound recordings, CDs for sale on a consignment basis from time to time on behalf of local Canadian artists. Our recollection is that Mr. Mann's wife dropped off 25, not 100 CDs on a consignment basis. There was a handmade invoice for the CDs. Eventually unsold CDs were returned. But, to be clear, those were consignment sales where the artist received proceeds of the sale. This was not a payola scheme as alleged yesterday.
8411 And in the short time since the hearing yesterday, we have not been able to find those sales records, but we have found other documentation which we think is going to be helpful to the Commission.
8412 So let's move to the recent past. According to Mr. Mann, RED-FM staff, acting under a directive from Mr. Sanghera, banned him from the station, banned him from interacting with the station personnel and RED-FM does not provide airplay or promotion of his music. He painted a picture of a vendetta based on some sort of criminality on the part of RED-FM's management.
8413 All of that is simply untrue. In an age where social media and technology is very hard -- it is very hard for someone to present false evidence, particularly when the truth is preserved electronically on servers, on websites, on computer files or cell phones.
8414 So let me explain. On October 28th, 2013, not very long ago, Mr. Mann released a single called "White Jeans", but before the release of the single he sought and obtained promotion, significant promotion, free of charge of course from RED-FM, and he also obtained airplay.
8415 Here is what occurred. Two days before the release of the single, on Monday, August 26th of last year, at 4:32 p.m., Mr. Mann texted Nick Chowlia, who is here with us, and asked whether the recording would be played on Mr. Chowlia's program that night. Mr. Mann's text -- and we have it attached here, a series of texts taken from a cell phone -- Mr. Mann's texts are in white, Mr. Chowlia's texts are in blue.
8416 I draw your attention to the text from Mr. Mann. "Will you be playing the track tonight?" Chowlia's response: "Yes. Yep, D." Mann's response: A thumbs up icon. Chowlia's response, "I'll ask Atwal, too." What does that mean? Well, Mr. Chowlia was going to recommend the song to another RED-FM host, Mr. Atwal.
8417 Then we went back last night to the RED-FM server and we have reproduced a series of airplays from the server of that song and you will see on this side an airplay on the 26th August at 2347 hours, that's on Mr. Chowlia's show that evening, and subsequent days and that's what we were able to pull last night in the short time available to us.
8418 The other thing that we had -- so just to be clear, he texted Mr. Chowlia, he provided the recording and it was played multiple times on the radio station and promoted.
8419 But that's not all. RED-FM has an extensive website for promotion of local Surrey artists. Given what you heard yesterday, it will probably shock you to learn that a micro website for Mr. Bob Mann's "White Jeans" was created and posted on RED-FM's website, including promotion of the release of the song.
8420 In your materials -- and I'm sorry, it may not have reproduced that well, we had some printer problems today -- there is --
8421 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's legible.
8422 MR. LEWIS: Yes.
8423 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
8424 MR. LEWIS: There is a statement that says, "Releasing August 23rd, 2013". There is a link to the video, there is a link to the music, all the --
8425 THE CHAIRPERSON: August 28th.
8426 MR. LEWIS: Yes, August 28th, 2013.
8427 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
8428 MR. LEWIS: Link to the video, link to the music and all the information on the artist, the record company, the record label, et cetera, all there on the website; still on the website, for that matter.
8429 I'm fired up, sorry. So that is not all. Mr. Mann has been interviewed on RED-FM and, in fact, recorded promotional sound clips frequently played on RED-FM. And I'm just going to take a second, it will take two seconds to play the sound clip.
--- Audio clip
8430 MR. LEWIS: So that is Mr. Chowlia and that is Mr. Bob Mann and he was in our studio to be recorded for this promotional announcement. This runs when a record is played, it is often played in concert with the sound recording.
8431 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you have the date and time of that, Mr. Lewis?
8432 MR. LEWIS: I'm sorry?
8433 THE CHAIRPERSON: What we just heard, do you have the date and time of that?
8434 MR. LEWIS: I don't. We -- we're working to find that --
8435 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
8436 MR. LEWIS: -- but it's contemporaneous with the --
8437 THE CHAIRPERSON: August 28th release?
8438 MR. LEWIS: Yeah, and other airplay. There's been a lot of other airplay. We could -- we could provide reams of it.
8439 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
8440 MR. LEWIS: But that's not all. Mr. Mann's cohort, who appeared on the video, Ms Bhayana is also featured on Red FM's website and we're providing that today with her biography. In fact, there's a lot more biographical information for Mr. Mann on the website and it's updated frequently. So, we just have a lot of difficulty with those statements.
8441 What does this all mean? Well, certainly Mr. Mann receives airplay on Red FM. Mr. Pederson can comment on how many tracks of Mr. Mann's music are available for broadcast in the Red FM music server. What it also means is Red FM, contrary to the statements made at the hearing yesterday or in social media comments by Mr. Mann last night, receives promotion and airplay on Red FM and there are no fees or charges for that airplay or promotion.
8442 And with respect to Ms Bhayana, she also receives a promotion as a musical artist at Red FM now, six years after her four month part-time stint at the radio station.
8443 There's one more allegation or series of allegations we want to refute this afternoon and that's the allegation by Mr. Mann, and in the video Ms Bhayana, that Red FM is somehow engaged in spiking airplay for Music Waves' artists in order to inflate copyright royalties received from SOCAN.
8444 So I have been involved in copyright collectives for a long time and I currently act for -- as counsel to a copyright collective. The allegation is not only false but absurd and underscores the lack of understanding of the interveners vis-à-vis how copyright collectives function and render payments to rights holders. So we're prepared to file confidentially with the Commission -- and you have this information, by the way, the SOCAN payments that Red FM makes, but I'll just skip to the --
8445 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah, it may -- it may not be common knowledge, but it certainly is Commission knowledge and we're not talking about millions, right?
8446 MR. LEWIS: No. No.
8447 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
8448 MR. LEWIS: Well, we're talking about a large number for -- for a successful radio station, but I just want to skip to the chase on the amount of money that Music Waves receives --
8449 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah, okay.
8450 MR. LEWIS: -- for airplay. So in this particular situation we went back and we -- we determined that Music Waves has a public performance catalogue of music that spans two decades because the company was along -- around long before CKY FM. Last year the company received worldwide copyright royalties from SOCAN in the amount of $1,466, which is consistent with the payments for many, many years. The 1466 represent a total worldwide royalty payments for Canada on all South Asian stations, including those that serve Toronto, ethnic radio stations in the U.S., and throughout other territories in the world. In other words, copyright royalties resulting from airplay of songs on Red FM amounts to a few pennies a song, if that. So the allegation that Red FM could manipulate airplay in order to increase a small percentage of 1400 dollar royalty that accrues annually is simply without foundation.
8451 Finally on this issue, we note that we went back to the company's records last night and with respect to Ms Bhayana's short-time employment six years ago, we verified that she did not have any responsibility for music programming. So again, we -- we just don't understand how she could have any knowledge of this spiking of -- of SOCAN logs.
8452 Furthermore, and this is perhaps our last and very important point, the on-air music in use at Red FM does not identify the program hosts who choose the music for airplay, any songs published or controlled in any way by Music Waves. So it begs the question how could program hosts spike the music rotation on the radio station to manipulate a fraction of a 1400 dollar annual SOCAN royalty? It just speaks to the credibility of the interveners.
8453 So to conclude, we believe that the 107.7 and 107.9 frequency in combination together will constitute the best use of this frequency. We're not prepared to surrender 93.1 and the reason is very simple. It covers a large part and many ethnic communities, including South Asians in the Greater Vancouver Area, New Westminster, Burnaby, who would not be reached by 107.7 and certainly not reached by 91.5. But as Ms -- as our program host indicated the other day, Russian and many other language -- language groups live outside of Surrey and in Greater Vancouver where the signal is still very good.
8454 With respect to Mr. Khela's(ph) appearance, we would simply concur with the remarks made by Mr. Weafer. We have a very great concern about that station, 1550, being targeted for South Asians and English or any other language.
8455 Thank you.
8456 THE CHAIRPERSON: Noted. Thank you very much.
8457 Do you have a question? No?
8458 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: No, I -- I don't. I just -- but I was furiously comparing Mr. Lewis' rebuttals to Mr. Mann's statement and I find them consistent with your point of view in terms of what he uttered in his testimony. I was a little confused initially with the 2006 versus 2013 dates, but your testimony toward the end of that clarified it for me, so (indiscernible).
8459 MR. LEWIS: Yes, and Commissioner Simpson, a lot of his -- his material that came up yesterday were e-mails from 2009. So if you read through them, his allegation is that's when all cooperation may have ended with the radio station. And that -- and we have program logs that -- well after that, that series of e-mails, for the last four or five years there's been great cooperation in airplay.
8460 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. Thank you.
8461 THE CHAIRPERSON: I think in terms of the -- the pennies at best, in terms of royalties and stuff, if you're on the boards, I think SOCAN just got tired of sending out 12 cent cheques. I think you've got to reach 25 or something before they start sending it out. But -- but that's -- that's the nature of the business right now.
8462 I don't know if you want to deposit anything else and what the delays may be in response to Mr. Mann's allegations. You've said that you may have other --
8463 MR. LEWIS: We're -- we're --
8464 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- other tape material or anything else. Is there a limit, Maître Pinsky?
8465 MR. LEWIS: We're -- we're simply looking to see if there's any sales receipt from Ravi Video for the -- for the recordings that were put -- provided on a consignment basis. That business is not functioning in that -- in that -- you know --
8466 THE CHAIRPERSON: And in the interests -- in the interests of fairness, the clip you just played, if you can give us the date and time.
8467 MR. LEWIS: Absolutely. We'll search the server for that.
8468 THE CHAIRPERSON: I think that minimally we need to have.
8469 MR. LEWIS: Absolutely.
8470 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madame Pinsky for?
8471 MS PINSKY: Well, at the very latest the end of the hearing.
8472 MR. LEWIS: Yes. We're looking --
8473 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah. Okay.
8474 MR. LEWIS: -- we're currently looking --
8475 MS PINSKY: Of the oral phase of the hearing.
8476 MR. LEWIS: We're looking for the recording date. I ...
8477 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great. Thank you very much.
8478 MR. LEWIS: Thank you.
8479 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
8480 MR. SAMUEL: Thank you.
8481 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
8482 MR. SAMUEL: Thank you.
8483 THE SECRETARY: I would now invite Akash Broadcasting Inc. to come forward.
8484 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Nice to have you here. Whenever you are ready, and please restrict your comments to what you heard from other applicants that you feel need to be addressed or inexact, inappropriate and so on and so forth. That will save our time for those issues and not making great the case all the applicants made for the various licences at play. Okay?
8485 MR. SAINI: Sir, you will get exactly that.
8486 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great. Thank you so much.
8487 MS KAUR: Thank you, sir.
8488 THE CHAIRPERSON: Let's go.
8489 MS KAUR: My name is Herkiranjeet Kaur. I am an entrepreneur and I am the majority shareholder and president of Akash Broadcasting Inc.
8490 Mr. Chairman, commissioners, CRTC staff, I will quickly introduce my hands-on colleagues. To my left is Mr. Bram [sic], outside counsel. To my right is Mr. Rahul Chopra, director of finance. To his right, Mr. Tejinderpaul Singh Saini, director of programming. To his right, Ms Lina [sic], who will coordinate news and sports. To her right, Mr. Narinder Sangha, our amateur sports and health specialist.
8491 MR. CHOPRA: Mr. Chairman, Commissioners, CRTC staff, we would like to quickly address two comments made with respect to Akash's Broad-- financial projections.
8492 First, in Phase 1 we were asked to explain why our revenue projections were higher for the weaker of the two frequencies we have proposed to use. We went back and took a look. We think there was a disconnect somewhere. For every year of the projection license term our gross revenue and net income projections are higher for 107.7 FM than for 91.5 FM.
8493 MR. SAINI: In their Phase 2 intervention, the licensee of Red FM made reference to "inexperienced" applicants. We would simply note this: When Red FM was licensed few years ago, they were a newcomer. They started with a single station. Now they run two stations. They were ask-- they were asking you for further frequencies.
8494 Well, we are newcomers too, but we have experience as entrepreneurs, as accountants, as buyers and sellers of broadcasting advertisement in this community, as broadcaster [sic] journalists in Surrey, Canada, and internationally.
8495 Commissioners, on behalf of our team, we really appreciate the opportunity to appear before you in this hearing. It would be an honour to come onto the airwaves and begin connecting with our city's South Asian language audio composition [sic] to the local community. And it has been an honour to appear alongside with all other high-quality applicants that you have to consider so carefully.
8496 MS KAUR: We are very proud of Surrey today. You have seen what we are as a city and what our city will become. Thank you for hearing all of us. We wish you safe travels.
8497 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
8498 Raj, anything?
8499 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I just want to... I just want to be clear that in -- in your position on the financials, you very delicately said there may have been an inconsistency. I gather then you're saying that we may have misinterpreted your data in our analysis, is that correct?
8500 MR. CHOPRA: No, I think it was... No, I think it was just -- I think just a small error on that, but -- yeah. It was just the other way around --
8501 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
8502 MR. CHOPRA: -- at that point. I -- but I -- at that time I assumed that it was, 107.7 was higher and 91.5 was lower. But we again checked it back home again and we saw -- we thought -- we saw that it was the same. Like, it was higher on 107.7 FM.
8503 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I'm not as concerned whether or not we misinterpreted because, you know, I would always just blame them, but -- but I was more concerned as to whether or not you had in your most recent analysis felt it was necessary to resubmit any numbers under an undertaking.
8504 MR. CHOPRA: No, no, no, no, no.
8505 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: You're fine with everything?
8506 MR. CHOPRA: Oh, yes, yes.
8507 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
8508 MR. CHOPRA: That was perfectly fine.
8509 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Good.
8510 MR. CHOPRA: Yeah.
8511 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: That was my question. Thank you.
8512 MR. CHOPRA: Thank you, sir.
8513 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Enjoy the rest of your day. Thank you.
8514 MR. SAINI: Thank you, Commissioner.
8515 MR. CHOPRA: Thank you, sir.
8516 THE SECRETARY: I would now ask South Asian Link Directory Limited to come forward.
8517 THE CHAIRPERSON: Whenever you're ready please go ahead.
8518 MS SAHOTA: Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman --
8519 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon.
8520 MS SAHOTA: -- Commissioners and Commission staff. My name is Pardeep Sahota. To my right is Mr. Munish Katyal and to his right Gerry Wall. To my left is Pierre Louis Smith, and to his left is Jaswant Johal.
8521 The point has been raised that the 600 AM signal should not be awarded to LINK Radio because the signal will only serve as a local Punjabi population of 100- to 140,000 people, whereas the reach of the signal covers 1.9 million people.
8522 To this claim we would note the following:
8523 The large coverage area of the AM signal is extremely important for LINK to serve the highly mobile target audience. While it is true that most of our target audience have a base in Surrey, they commute back and forth between Surrey and Vancouver and also to adjacent regions.
8524 Our signal will reach not only Punjabi speakers, those who live, work commute, and are mobile throughout the wider Vancouver region, but also the 12 ethnic populations we will also serve. The total ethnic population to be served by LINK is 377,000 people within the 1.1 million person Vancouver CMA, or about one-third of the total populations.
8525 Other cities have relatively small ethnic populations (compared to total population) that are served by an inherently large footprint AM signal. In fact, half of all ethnic licenses are on the AM band. All these ethnic AM licenses were deemed to be the best use of the frequency.
8526 The 600 AM signal has been idle for at least five years, yet not one application has come forward until now, let alone an application for a service to serve the 1.9 million population within the signal contour. When the current call was issued, three applications came forward. The Commission will now decide which of those three applications will best serve the market using the tool that is available, that tool being 600 AM.
8527 We were also criticized on the grounds that an AM signal wouldn't attract a youth demographic because they only listen to FM. We would generally agree as it pertains to music programming. For spoken word, however, the signal quality of AM does not create the same barrier for youth or any other demographic.
8528 Finally, one intervener claimed that there is no such thing as Canadian Punjabi. We would disagree, but, in any event, the descriptive term used for the language spoken by most of our audience can be called whatever you want. At the end of the day our listeners speak it, we program it, and no other station is broadcasting it.
8529 On a final note, we would like to thank and acknowledge the writers of the more 1200 -- more than 1200 letters of support that were received by the Commission. They provide a grass roots demonstration of support four our station and we hope the Commission will agree.
8530 Thank you.
8531 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, and thank you for the last minute editing. Appreciate it.
8532 No? Great.
8533 Thank you very much.
8534 MS SAHOTA: Thank you.
8535 THE SECRETARY: I would now invite New Vision Broadcasting Inc. to come forward.
8536 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Whenever you're ready.
8537 MS KHAN: Good afternoon, Commissioners.
8538 THE CHAIRPERSON: The court -- just a moment. The court reporter is not ready, I'm sorry.
8539 If somebody would start inviting me to the rehearsals, I might be able to do things properly here. Ready to go? Great. Thank you.
8540 Now I think we're ready. Please proceed.
8541 MS KHAN: Good afternoon, Commissioners, staff, applicants and interveners. I'm Ashiana Khan, and with me on my left is New Vision's counsel, Honourable Wally Oppal. On my right is New Vision's Broadcast consultants Stephen Armstrong.
8542 First to tidy up an outstanding matter from the presentation of our application, I would like to respond to a question by Commissioner Shoan, who noted that we had committed to 76 percent spoken word programing and asked how much of the remaining 24 percent will consist of music.
8543 The remaining 24 percent will consist entirely of musical programming, acknowledging that there will be -- there will be some spoken word when introducing the musical content.
8544 As our second and fine clean-up point, we would like to confirm that, as indicated in our Supplementary Brief, our three supporting interveners, Mr. Mota Singh Jheeta, Ms Gunwant Gunni Bains, and Mr. Avtar Bains will comprise part of our advisory board.
8545 One of the applicants has suggested that our programming budget is low. From my experience, I know that we can provide a high quality radio service based on the business plan that we filed. To be clear, we are not proposing a Punjabi language all-news station with our own traffic helicopter. What we are proposing is a high quality predominantly spoken word ethnic radio service, offering professionally produced news and information. At maturity our programming expenditures will be comparable to those of other ethnic radio stations in Canada that offer similar programming and to the ethnic radio industry average as a whole.
8546 I'd like to thank our over 1200 supporting interveners, which include local businesses, advertisers, families, and community leaders.
8547 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Madame Kahn.
8548 MS KHAN: As the Commission knows from the record, over 110 of these letters are from businesses, saying they will advertise on our proposed new radio service.
8549 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madame Kahn, is there anything else you wish to say that was mentioned by interveners that you feel the record needs to be corrected on?
8550 MS KHAN: I am just getting there.
8551 THE CHAIRPERSON: Because we already know that you think we should be granting you the license. If I read your presentation, that's what you're getting at in the last part.
8552 MS KHAN: We have heard from the interveners that our proposed new radio station represents an important opportunity.
8553 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
8554 MS KHAN: We thank you, Commissioners, for your considerate and thoughtful treatment of our application.
8555 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
8556 Mr. Shoan. Stephen.
8557 Thank you very much. We have noted. Thank you.
8558 THE SECRETARY: I would now invite Surdel Broadcasting Inc. To come forward.
8559 THE CHAIRPERSON: Court reporter ready to go?
8560 THE CHAIRPERSON: We're going to take a five minute break; okay? You can stay in your seats or come back. We'll just ...
--- Upon recessing at 1410
--- Upon resuming at 1417
8561 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon. Madam Hothi.
8562 MS HOTHI: Thank you, Commissioners, and sorry for the last-minuteness.
8563 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah, we had -- you gave us a little last-minute document here.
8564 MS HOTHI: Yes. And I'll --
8565 THE CHAIRPERSON: Go ahead.
8566 MS HOTHI: -- I'll speak to that.
8567 So good afternoon, and along with me today are Mr. Combow, Mr. Gupta, Ms Brar and Mr. Sandhu.
8568 Further to the intervention by Mosaic Media stating that our station format will have a limited reach, we've clarified our target audience in an undertaking filed yesterday with the Commission. And for the record, we'll speak to it again.
8569 We are targeting the 2.0 and 3.0 generations of all backgrounds and makeups in the Surrey Delta geographic region.
8570 Based on Statistic Canada's 2011 census, 60.3 percent of the total population of the Surrey and Delta areas combined are of the 2.0 and 3.0 generations, a percentile that will only continue to grow.
8571 If we use that same percentage as a base against our population reach of 442,539 as laid out in our application based on the 3mV contours, we would reach an audience of approximately 266,851 people, and our audience is growing at 1,000 per month as spoken to earlier in Phase 3. Please see Appendix 1 of our undertaking for further clarity on these numbers.
8572 We've also spoken to nodding towards the cultural breakdown of the community within our musical selections and note that the community has 48 percent representation of visible minorities, of which 58 --
8573 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you want to address claims or allegations made by other applicants?
8574 MS HOTHI: Yes, South Asian Broadcasting.
8575 THE CHAIRPERSON: Where are we here?
8576 MS HOTHI: That's next, point 5.
8577 THE CHAIRPERSON: You're on point 4.
8578 MS HOTHI: Yes.
8579 THE CHAIRPERSON: And point 4?
8580 MS HOTHI: So of which the breakouts, as you can see, 58 percent South Asian, 12 percent Chinese, 10 Filipino.
8581 So Surrey's first free FM frequency should reflect the community in a balanced way, but with the flexibility to continue to reflect --
8582 THE CHAIRPERSON: No. Please go to point 5.
8583 MS HOTHI: Sure.
8584 Further to the intervention by South Asian Broadcasting, if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it is a duck, as we've heard, implying that we are an ethnic station disguised.
8585 To clarify, we are not applying for an ethnic licence, but a commercially specialty station. As recognized by the Commission, a specialty station will be a complementary offering to over-the-air radio services and, as such, may include some programming offerings that are innovative and experimental in nature.
8586 They've also set precedent in decisions such as CRTC 2005-135 for a 50 percent World Beat station with a focus to the African and Caribbean markets and decision CRTC 2002-203 for an urban format station.
8587 We challenge the notion that we're an ethnic station disguised or targeting a distinct group. We are targeting the community at large. As Mr. Durity spoke to yesterday:
"Surreyites are exposed and listening to a broad range of musical styles across cultures."
8588 Our format supports that we all consume a variety of music from various genres and worldly influences blended with popular music without segregation or categorization. We provide a new voice.
8589 As stated by my colleague who I've worked alongside with as co-chair for almost years, Mo Dhaliwal, spoke yesterday:
"A broadcast format that uses English in the best way possible as the connective tissue, while third-language content provides access to a multitude of ethnic communities..."
8590 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would you please go on to point -- I don't see anything in point 8, I don't see anything in point 9.
8591 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Also remember you're being translated into French, and they may be burning up back there.
8592 MS HOTHI: I feel the --
8593 THE CHAIRPERSON: Actually, go on to point 9.
8594 MS HOTHI: No, I understand the notion of we need to get through this.
8595 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, the notion is you have to reply. It's a reply phase.
8596 MS HOTHI: Yes.
8597 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you have to reply to what other applicants may have said about your application.
8598 MS HOTHI: Absolutely. And I --
8599 THE CHAIRPERSON: And not restate your case about your application.
8600 MS HOTHI: Absolutely.
8601 THE CHAIRPERSON: So --
8602 MS HOTHI: South Asian Broadcasting spoke to the scarcity of FM frequencies, to which we are stating that it's important that if there's going to be an FM frequency within the Surrey and Delta area, it needs to reflect that community. And a fluid fusion format coming to the airwaves would do just that.
8603 We also take the moment to note that we have already discussed ethnic labelling of our station during deficiencies and our presentation Q and A. We've made compelling arguments that our audience is not culturally -- a culturally distinct group.
8604 We find South Asian Broadcasting's request to dismiss our application based on ethnic premise as unfounded.
8605 I will move on to speak to a -- the conversation that was had during interventions, our Surdel application's interventions.
8606 It was spoken to that -- Jasmeet Lamba was spoken to about the FM versus online, and he spoke to how radio bridges generation gaps.
8607 We would further state that radio offers the following advantages.
8608 As Commissioner Simpson spoke to, within the next two years, portable devices will have radio receivers and it's going to change the makeup of broadcasting.
8609 Secondly, the Radio Marketing Bureau's web site states almost -- multiple reasons, but primarily that radio is important because it continues to be the most popular medium during the workday. The most -- more time spent in the car and the ability to listen are primary reasons for increased radio listening.
8610 Radio and streaming adds versatility for advertising. They're complementary media, and their simultaneous usage is high.
8611 As Darren Butler for Profound Sound spoke to yesterday, people are listening to these -- them on -- the music, he's referring, on their own on You Tube, on their iPods, but there's no sense of community. It's all in isolation.
8612 If you play that music -- if you play the music people are searching for on the radio, you start to build a sense of community. Radio gives voice to and connects, whereas iPods isolate. We want to be an engaged part of that community and be able to promote local talent, events and contribute to the geographic area with their local news and information.
8613 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. I'm going to cut you off.
8614 MS HOTHI: Sounds good.
8615 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm literally going to cut you off.
8616 MS HOTHI: No, that's fine. We're almost there anyways.
8617 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Well, because you're not respecting the process.
8618 MS HOTHI: I'm -- okay.
8619 THE CHAIRPERSON: You're re-making the case for your application, and it's not the stage or the phase in which to do that.
8620 You did a great job the first time.
8621 MS HOTHI: I was attempting --
8622 THE CHAIRPERSON: Let it rest.
8623 MS HOTHI: -- to respond to the intervention -- the intervention that our -- the in support intervention, the conversation in support.
8624 THE CHAIRPERSON: They're already in support. They're already supporting you.
8625 MS HOTHI: Fair enough.
8626 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right?
8627 MS HOTHI: Fair enough.
8628 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'd like you -- if you want to respond to someone that did not support you or that criticized you, we're all ears.
8629 MS HOTHI: No, no.
8630 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you agree with me?
8631 MS HOTHI: Absolutely, with respect.
8632 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great. Thank you so much.
8633 I don't see any question from the panel. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon.
8634 Thanks again, guys.
8635 THE SECRETARY: I would now invite Mosaic Media Inc. to come forward.
8636 THE CHAIRPERSON: I think we're ready to go. Whenever you're ready. Thank you.
8637 MS DEOL: Good afternoon, Chairman Pentefountas, Commissioners Simpson and Shoan, and Commission staff.
8638 Please allow me to once again introduce our panel. On my right is Tom Plasteras, to his right, Neil Gallagher, and on my left, Andrew Forsyth.
8639 I am Baljit Kaur Deol, and this is our intervention for Phase 4 of the hearing. We thank you for the opportunity to South Fraser Broadcasting.
8640 The essence of the intervention from South Fraser is that they do not understand how we, the applicant Mosaic Media, made the programming choice that we did given that our research shows the case for an English-only station is compelling.
8641 We, too, are pleased that our research demonstrates similar responses from Surrey residents as shown in the two studies conducted by Strategic Inc. While South Fraser has accurately summarized the results of the research study conducted by Hendershot, based on the results of the study, "mainly English" is indeed a promising option.
8642 When younger age groups were asked, those 25 to 34 were more interested in mainly English, 80 percent, than for English only, 73 percent. Also, the age group of 35 to 44 was more likely to be interested in mainly English, 66 percent, versus English only, 63 percent.
8643 This was an important finding in the research results to indicate that the mainly English station had strong potential for future growth.
8644 THE CHAIRPERSON: Ms Deol, this is all data that we already have.
8645 MS DEOL: Actually, they really had one fundamental question, which was why we had not gone with only English, and I think to actually properly answer it we kind of have to go into a little bit of depth, if that's okay.
8646 THE CHAIRPERSON: Depth that's already on the record.
8647 Is there anything else you wish to add?
8648 MR. FORSYTH: We thought --
8649 THE CHAIRPERSON: I mean, you can briefly make your case as to the -- remake your case, if you will, but we're not going to sort of go through all the numbers over again as to who would listen to what and --
8650 MS DEOL: Sure.
8651 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay?
8652 MS DEOL: Okay.
8653 MR. FORSYTH: Mr. Chairman, if we may -- in continuing, we looked at two factors. One were the numbers, which I can appreciate were on the record, but they did talk to the numbers, and so we responded to that.
8654 And further, there's obviously something beyond the numbers and we're trying to give you background on that information as well.
8655 THE CHAIRPERSON: Briefly. I think we're really getting into the depth of -- this is -- we're reaching dissertation level here.
8656 I understand, but I think you've answered that particular critique that another applicant made of your application.
8657 MR. FORSYTH: Would we be permitted, then, to summarize that --
8658 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah, sure.
8659 MR. FORSYTH: -- with this --
8660 THE CHAIRPERSON: Absolutely.
8661 MR. FORSYTH: -- with this statement.
8662 And the statement is that over and above the numbers we saw, there were various other components that we've perhaps already discussed with you which we feel made us come to the conclusion that an English only application was not correct and that goes counter to their claim relative to us in their intervention.
8663 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah. No, I understand that. But then you go on in paragraph 5 in what you thought about when you first applied and what would be the best first service and so on and so forth, and that's all first phase content.
8664 You'd agree with me?
8665 MR. FORSYTH: It was background to first phase.
8666 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
8667 MS DEOL: Is there a point that you like that you'd like us to get to?
8668 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, we just get this when you guys come up, so we haven't had a chance to read it, to go through it.
8669 MS DEOL: Okay.
8670 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's not a question of liking or disliking. It's a question of addressing critiques, if you will, of your application --
8671 MS DEOL: I understand.
8672 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- if you will, by the other -- by the other applicants, okay.
8673 MS DEOL: I understand.
8674 I think the question that they put forward was a pretty complicated one. It's one that we can't really kind of answer in just a few lines because it really does have a lot of depth.
8675 There was a lot of decision-making, a lot of conversations, a lot of research that we -- a lot of people, a lot of groups that we spoke to before making that decision. It wasn't one that was taken lightly.
8676 THE CHAIRPERSON: That all should be part of Phase 1 as to why you think you should get English language station or some other kind of language station.
8677 MS DEOL: So then, therefore, I think we've answered their question.
8678 THE CHAIRPERSON: I think so. Right?
8679 Is there anything else that you heard during interventions that you'd like to address?
8680 MR. FORSYTH: No, I think that's all.
8681 THE CHAIRPERSON: That you feel was unfair, inexact?
8682 MR. FORSYTH: No. We're very good with that, but we do want to thank you very much for the time and, in particular, thank the staff for their help during this hearing.
8683 MS DEOL: Yeah. Actually, I'd just like to add on a personal note that it was my first CRTC hearing and, hopefully, of course --
8684 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you're never going to do it again.
8685 MS DEOL: -- I'm hoping -- no, no. I'm hoping I don't have to do it again and that you agree to license us.
8686 But your particular brand of humour was much appreciated.
8687 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
8688 Well, you know, just we could save this for the end of the hearing, but there's a lot of tension and anxiety in the room, so if we can have some levity once in a while, I find it helps.
8689 MS DEOL: Absolutely. Thank you.
8690 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great. Thank you so much.
8691 And again, I'm sorry to sort of cut you off there.
8693 THE SECRETARY: I would now invite Sky Radio Broadcasting Corp to come forward.
8694 MS del VAL: Vice-Chair, I would just like to reassure you that what we're going to deliver is highly edited from what you have just received.
8695 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, great.
8696 MS RAI: Thank you.
8697 Hi. My name is Kal Rai, and I will just introduce my team.
8698 THE CHAIRPERSON: Take your time. Take a breath. You're good.
8699 MS RAI: To my right is Helen del Val. To my left is Aaron Rota, and to his left is James Morris. And behind me is Dalbir Rai on my left and Michael Sunner on my right.
8700 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
8701 MS RAI: Okay. Commissioner Raj Shoan asked me on Monday my business experience would benefit the operation of a radio station, and I was really, really nervous on Monday, so I feel that I didn't give a clear picture, so I'm going to tell you a little bit of history.
8702 The grocery store business that I was relating to was not a convenience store, as one may have imagined from my response on Monday. It was two small chains with a total of store stores, each store equivalent in size to an IGA Foods or Sobeys. I managed a staff of 50. Human resources, accounting, finance and inventory control were my responsibilities.
8703 Through my experience working in my family's business, I have developed the business skills to be successful in management, finance and operations. Having already once launched successful businesses in Surrey, a clothing store and grocery store both in Surrey, I've proven that I have what it takes, and I'm ready to do it again.
8704 No, grocery and clothing stores are not radio stations. But regardless of the nature of the business, some things never change about how to run a good business. I know how to empower staff, how to make sure that the business becomes an integral of the community it serves. I know the importance of complying with regulations and rules, of living up to commitments.
8705 Another important lesson I learned is that no business is a one-person show. We have already lined up a strong support staff with over 100 years of management experience in the radio field. They include respected radio veterans like John Saboe, Sales Manager, and John Oliver Operations Manager, and Susan Einarsson, News and Sales.
8706 MR. ROTA: Good afternoon, Commissioners. I'd like to briefly touch on the issue of broadcast experience.
8707 Having been through the construction of an online station and terrestrial station before, I have the network and experience to put Sky 107 in a position to succeed. With the written supports of operations managers, marketing directors and sales professionals, we have many bright experienced candidates that are willing to join the 107 team.
8708 MR. MORRIS: Good afternoon, Commissioners.
8709 There have been suggestions that the projections and audience Sky will draw are too small, and we will reply to that.
8710 Sky estimates of audience market share are conservative. This does not include audience from other demographics such as the younger population, who also listen to our music genres, and the older population, who will seek a local Surrey station to tune in to.
8711 We believe we are the strongest applicant to attract new listenership to radio of 47 percent of projected audience would be new listenership. This is the opportunity to add a new generation to radio listening, an audience that is significantly under served today.
8712 Furthermore, with the increasing popularity of dance, electronic and world beat music, this is an audience that is growing and bottom line is no Vancouver radio station has the dance format, so this will be a new found.
8713 THE CHAIRPERSON: Heard that in your initial intervention.
8714 MR. MORRIS: All right.
8715 MR. ROTA: One more quick point on market size that was --
8716 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
8717 MR. ROTA: -- brought up.
8718 I own and operate --
8719 THE CHAIRPERSON: The market size business --
8720 MR. ROTA: Yeah, market size.
8721 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- and business case, if you want to speak to those issues that were raised, fine.
8722 MR. ROTA: Yeah. As far as market size, TheHouse.FM is the online radio station that I own and operate in Vancouver. It has thousands of listeners in Surrey and, in fact, Surrey is its third-largest listener base behind Vancouver and Richmond.
8723 And as of yesterday, the organizers of a large music festival have expressed interest in building up to three dance stations -- or dance stages at that festival.
8724 THE CHAIRPERSON: Physical stages, you mean.
8725 MR. ROTA: Yes.
8726 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, great.
8727 MR. ROTA: To promote local emerging artists.
8728 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
8729 MS del VAL: Commissioners, there have been suggestions that our station is not the best use of spectrum, and of course, that is the acid test that an applicant must pass in order to win a licence.
8730 We all knew that, year over year, more and more music listeners are moving away from radio to non-radio sources. This trend disturbs those who believe that there must always remain a prominent home on our FM airwaves for our increasingly diverse music and Canadian emerging artists.
8731 My client taught me a lot in this application, and one of the key lessons that I learned is how we think about mainstream. What those of us who belong to the more mature demographics with more buying and decision-making powers, what we typically think of mainstream music and radio station can be too narrow. It does not include those whom we have to take care of whose music taste is more diverse, and that is exactly the group of listeners who are most receptive to the music of our Canadian emerging artists.
8732 And if mainstream is always thought of that way, then they are actually being driven away rather than just leaving the radio airwaves.
8733 So you asked whether this is the best use of the spectrum. We say yes, if it is important to bring listeners back to radio.
8734 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
8735 MS del VAL: And Ms -- and Commissioner Shoan, you said that this is not a typical argument. You're right. It is not. But maybe not doing the typical thing is the best.
8736 And I would let Kal conclude, please.
8737 MS RAI: On behalf of the Sky team, thank you very much for your time and your patience and your humour.
8738 Thank you.
8739 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
8740 Anything else that you'd like to address that you heard over the last couple of days?
8741 MS del VAL: Yes, if I may?
8742 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
8743 MS del VAL: Kal feels very badly about how nervous she was about answering the question.
8744 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, no, I mean in terms of interventions that you heard?
8745 MS del VAL: No, no.
8746 THE CHAIRPERSON: I know it's tough. I know people are stressed and I get it.
8747 Thanks so much. Thank you.
8748 Next, please.
8749 THE SECRETARY: I would now invite IDEA Broadcasting Corporation to come forward.
8750 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Ready to go?
8751 MR. A. KANG: Yes, Mr. Chair.
8752 THE CHAIRPERSON: Whenever you are ready, go ahead.
8753 MR. A. KANG: Good afternoon, Chairman Pentefountas, Commissioner Simpson and Commission Shoan.
8754 I was planning to make a presentation, even this one-page presentation, a one-page reply using some visual elements but my laptop seeing the energy in the room my laptop is just not ready to come out of my laptop bag.
8755 So we are very pleased that there are no distinct interventions against our proposal. Having said that, we would still like to take this final opportunity to address some of the indirect comments that were made during the intervention phase.
8756 But before that if I may have the permission from the Commission I would like to briefly address three points for the record. Those three points were actually some questions that were --
8757 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, start it and we'll see where we go with this.
8758 MR. A. KANG: Pardon?
8759 THE CHAIRPERSON: Go ahead and we'll see where we go with this.
8760 MR. A. KANG: Okay.
8761 We have submitted the requested undertaking request by the Commission verifying Mr. Pannu's financial resources, to provide $3 million in support of the station if needed.
8762 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, yes.
8763 MR. A. KANG: To address any ambiguity that may exist, we are taking a proactive decision in this place on one of the questions that came up, to state that IDEA FM will not pass any in-kind or administrative expenses to any of the non-profit organizations during their fundraising efforts, especially since the 2 percent revenues can be easily attained from interactive advertisements.
8764 If the Commission deems it appropriate, we would be willing to accept this as a condition on the licence.
8765 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's good, m'hmm.
8766 MR. A. KANG: And third is similarly to address another ambiguity that Mr. Chairman talked about that may exist during the programming budget.
8767 We have proactively re-submitted the updated document.
8768 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So you have -- those were undertakings that you have submitted all those and they will be part of the record?
8769 MR. A. KANG: Yes.
8770 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right?
8771 MR. A. KANG: The third one was not exactly a requested undertaking but we have either way submitted it.
8772 It was just pointing it out. It was just pointing out which of those items were -- which of the people -- which of the hosts on the programming budget were part time and which are full time. We clarified it during the questions and answers but we have resubmitted it.
8773 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Pinsky?
8774 MS PINSKY: Yes, it's on the record on the transcript. The clarification was made in response to the question.
8775 THE CHAIRPERSON: No new documentation can, I think, be deposited at this point on that front.
8776 MR. A. KANG: That'll be fine, yes, sir.
8777 MS PINSKY: From my understanding, the clarification was made on the record of the transcript.
8778 THE CHAIRPERSON: Exactly, yeah. Okay.
8779 MS PINSKY: There is no need to update.
8780 THE CHAIRPERSON: So with respect to the savings made by RED FM.
8781 MR. A. KANG: Okay.
8782 MR. A. KANG: About the programming budgets of some of the applicants, we would respond that our programming and technology budgets are highly intertwined and do not reflect a one to one correlation with Red FM's startup budget.
8783 Furthermore, these expenses do not include the numeric value of the contributions that are four individuals on the management and advisory team at IDEA FM, who have more than 35 years of combined on-air experience in radio programming, will bring to the table.
8784 In addition, there are a number of volunteers from various ethnic groups who have expressed their interest and are eager to showcase their talents to their respective communities.
8785 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's in response to RED FM's claims?
8786 MR. A. KANG: Yes. And regarding another small comment regarding the experience we comment that we have a proven recipe to attract younger listeners. For example, there are 110,000 followers on just one of the social media networks that our general manager was able to garner in just three years while at Punjabi Radio USA.
8787 That's in our presentation. If given the opportunity we are confident IDEA FM's programming and interactive strategy will bring in a new era in radio broadcasting
8788 Thank you.
8789 THE CHAIRPERSON: That was fine.
8790 Anything else you wish to address that was stated that you take some kind of umbrage or disagreement with from the other applicants?
8791 MR. A. KANG: No, I think we are just the best and that's it.
8792 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great, thank you very much. Appreciate it.
8793 MR. KANG: Thank you.
8794 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thanks so much. Hope you enjoyed your experience.
8796 THE CHAIRPERSON: I was being serious.
8798 THE SECRETARY: I would now invite South Fraser Broadcasting Inc. to come forward.
8799 THE CHAIRPERSON: South Fraser Broadcasting, whenever you're ready.
8800 MR. S. BADH: Thank you, Mr. Chair, Members of the Commission.
8801 J.J. Johnson, General Manager of 107.7, My Surrey FM News, Views and Variety are here to reply to the interventions both in written and oral to South Fraser Broadcasting's application for a new English station to serve Surrey.
8802 And this is an edited version -- so when you're following along.
8803 The intervenors have raised a number of issues in their interventions:
8804 Ethnic broadcasters have claimed that the most important need is to serve the ethnic community and by this they almost all mean the Punjabi community.
8805 Mosaic, the hybrid broadcaster, tries to have it both ways, agreeing with us on the need for a Surrey English-language station but agreeing with the ethnic broadcasters that there should be more ethnic programming.
8806 The same broadcaster, Mosaic, also made misleading claims about our Canadian content levels.
8807 The dance-oriented proposals by Sky and Surdel argue that a younger skewed format was the best use to reflect what one called Generation 2.0 and 3.0.
8808 RED FM demanded that I be required to accept a condition of licence that 107.7 My Surrey FM not use the 15 percent permitted by the Radio Regulations for ethnic programs. RED also reiterated its argument that if licensed, Surrey FM would be selling in conjunction with Sher-E-Punjab.
8809 Some of the applicants questioned my suitability to hold this licence for a number of reasons: Because I have never run an English language radio station; because I don't live in Surrey or because my name is Badh and my family are so-called rogue broadcasters.
8810 Mr. Chair, with respect to the submissions that ethnic broadcasting is the most appropriate use for this frequency; in fact, this flies in the face of all the research of substance submitted at this hearing. When I started this process in 2010, after identifying the availability of a frequency, I had to look at the most appropriate use.
8811 I commissioned five studies from Strategic Inc. and the conclusion that we drew was a no-brainer. An English-language station that served the unfulfilled information needs was the most in demand. As Ms McLaughlin noted the other day, research that can be replicated is the most reliable.
8812 Our two data points, 2010 and 2013 brought very similar results.
8813 Many of the ethnic broadcasters attached other proposals. Some had too much spoken word, some had too much music. But in fact, what the majority of the research provided was that there was satisfaction with the amount and variety of ethnic programming available in the market.
8814 RED is a younger-skewed music-based station. CJRJ also a music-based station with a slightly greater skew to Hindi-speakers; Sher-E-Punjab attracting an older audience with its news and talk programming. All provide high quality programming that their audiences appreciate. Just to be clear, we support the rebroadcaster at 106.9 for CJRJ.
8815 However, using 107.7 signal in Surrey to serve a minority audience which already has lots of service, largely focused on Surrey, does not seem the best use of the frequency.
8816 One other broadcaster, Mosaic, did the same analysis of the needs and came to more or less the same conclusion we did. Their research tested four models and the results showed clearly that the greatest demand was for a purely English model. And then they chose a partially English model, despite the fact that they tested this and it came in second to the purely English model.
8817 Mosaic also provided a misleading description of our application saying we proposed 35 percent Canadian content 6a to 6p Monday to Friday. And this is true of the periods with high spoken word and lower amounts of music. But in the overall week we proposed 40 percent Canadian content and indicated that we would set a condition of licence.
8818 The dance-based formats focus on younger groups, some calling it Generation 2.0 and 3.0 ethnics. So even a narrower target group than the ethnic stations in a way.
8819 Looking at this differently, of the English-based formats, our proposal for a widely based format would reach 28 percent of the listeners in Surrey with a 12.8 percent share.
8820 Mosaic indicated that it would draw a 7.8 percent share of Surrey hours tuned.
8821 Sky indicated 0.75 percent of Vancouver hours. With Surrey being about one-quarter of the total Vancouver BBM CMA, this would mean three to four percent of hours tuned in Surrey.
8822 And Surdel projected a one share of Vancouver hours tuned, so about four to five percent of all hours tuned.
8823 These are not our figures but based upon their own research. Ours is based upon the methodology that Debra described in Phase I.
8824 We would draw significantly more hours tuned. Why? Because we will serve a broad base of Surrey residents and draw more of their interest.
8825 The other three narrow their choices by reducing the target group to Generation 2.0 and 3.0 by diluting the service to the broad Surrey audience by adding ethnic programs.
8826 Turning to RED FM's intervention and their statements in their application they have raised this each time an English-language station is proposed in Vancouver.
8827 In the last English round, I applied for a Triple AAA station and one other applicant did so for Port Moody. There, RED warned about the backdoor entry of a part-time ethnic station.
8828 So once again let me be clear, Red needs to realize that there are people in Surrey other than Punjabis. Why would we want to be the sixth provider of South Asian programming to one-quarter of the population when we can be the only Surrey-focused English station?
8829 I have no intention of using the 15 percent available to any applicant to run after a smaller market. If you wish to impose that is a condition of licence, be it.
8830 RED also reiterated its written comments that I have no experience in English-language radio and therefore cannot be successful. Ironically, in 2005, RED FM was licensed for a new FM station. The principals had no experience. Yes, they had started videotaping weddings but they had on hands-on experience. And here they are today doing so well that a 5 percent increase in revenues feels like a 13 percent decline in revenues because they are used to an 18 percent increase.
8831 What they had in -- I'm sorry.
8832 Mr. Chair, you saw the team that I assembled for 107.7, My Surrey FM News, Views and Variety. They are experienced, focused professionals and beyond them, in these radio days, there are plenty of additional experienced professionals available.
8833 Commissioners, if I am not eligible to hold a licence because of my family's station, so be it. I am proud of my family and the record they have accumulated. But guilt by association is no reason to turn down a licence.
8834 In two weeks, Commissioners, the Department of Justice, CSIS, RCMP, Border Security and Emergency Preparedness is once again holding a youth outreach at the largest Sikh temple in Surrey. The temple and I organize this annual event. This temple also holds a one-hour daily service in English for everyone.
8835 Thank you for your attention. We would be pleased to answer your questions.
8836 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
8837 Commissioner Shoan.
8838 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: So Mr. Badh, I just wanted to clarify in terms of your presentation, you stated you have no intention of using the 15 percent available to any commercial applicant or commercial licence to do ethnic programming.
8839 The sentence on the page actually got cut off and I don't know if it's only my page, but it says:
"If you wish to impose a condition of licence to this effect..."
8840 MR. S. BADH: No.
8841 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: And so you're prepared to accept a condition of licence prohibiting your access to the 15 percent ethnic programming?
8842 MR. S. BADH: Yes.
8843 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay, thank you.
8844 THE CHAIRPERSON: Just -- oh, I'm sorry.
8845 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: No, I've just got --
8846 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
8847 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: -- one more question.
8848 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
8849 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: In your introduction where you were naming the arguments listed by competing applicants you noted that RED had stated that if licenced you would be selling in conjunction with Sher-E-Punjab.
8850 I already questioned Sher-E-Punjab about this. They indicated that they would not be selling with you. Do you make the same commitment that you will not share advertising and material or share resources in terms of advertising?
8851 MR. S. BADH: Absolutely, Commissioner.
8852 And I think it violates some sort of -- I have to check the Competition Act and the CRTC legislation. I think it would be violating some sort of an agreement unless it's sanctioned by the CRTC.
8853 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay?
8854 MR. S. BADH: Yes, I do.
8855 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Great, thank you very much.
8856 MR. S. BADH: Thank you.
8857 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thanks, Mr. Badh.
8858 Just for the record, on the text on the second page on our document, "I commissioned three studies" is what it reads and when you read the document you indicated five studies.
8859 MR. S. BADH: Yes, Commissioner. What happened was between 2010 and 2013 there was three in 2010 and two in 2013, five altogether.
8860 THE CHAIRPERSON: Five altogether.
8861 MR. S. BADH: Yes.
8862 THE CHAIRPERSON: So we should change the text to read five?
8863 MR. S. BADH: Thank you.
8864 THE CHAIRPERSON: And we should also, as my colleague mentioned earlier, if you wish to impose a condition of licence to this effect, when you vetted you said "so be it". Would you wish to add that to the text?
8865 MR. S. BADH: I'm sorry, which?
8866 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah, on the -- when you were talking about the 15 percent available --
8867 MR. S. BADH: Yes.
8868 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- the applicants.
8869 MR. S. BADH: Yes.
8870 THE CHAIRPERSON: So that final statement reads on my copy -- I don't know if it's different on yours, but anyway the Commission's copy reads:
"If you wish to impose a condition of licence to this effect."
8871 MR. S. BADH: I will accept.
8872 THE CHAIRPERSON: And it stops there.
8873 MR. S. BADH: I will accept it.
8874 THE CHAIRPERSON: So we would add on, "I will accept"?
8875 MR. S. BADH: Yes.
8876 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
8877 MR. S. BADH: Or "South Fraser Broadcasting will accept."
8878 THE CHAIRPERSON: "South Fraser will accept."
8879 So we'll take note of that just on -- I let you make the statement in terms of that because I wanted on a personal level to understand it's important to you, but obviously you must understand that your first; last name, middle name, 15th name has nothing to do with --
8880 MR. S. BADH: Guilty as charged.
8881 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- what will be considered by this Commission in granting any licence or anything else that has to do with this organization, right? Okay.
8882 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's fine. Thank you very much.
8883 MR. S. BADH: Thank you.
8884 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
8885 Madame le Secrétaire.
8886 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This completes Phase IV and the consideration of Items 1 to 13 on the Agenda.
8887 Thank you.
8888 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great. So we will take a 10-minute break and come back with...?
8889 THE SECRETARY: Clear Sky Radio Inc. and the second portion of the hearing.
8890 THE CHAIRPERSON: Are most people going to be here tomorrow? I guess not.
8891 If not, I would like to thank everyone for participating. We appreciate it. They were all excellent proposals. I think everyone conducted themselves. There was an awful lot of camaraderie.
8892 I know that there are a lot of competing interests and, as I said earlier, there is a lot of tension and anxiety that may have been in the air during the first few days. But I think everyone conducted themselves with a great deal of professionalism. Everyone was highly respectful and I think the conduct was quite honourable on everyone's part.
8893 So thank you once again for your presentations. You know it's never easy. It doesn't get easier. Everyone's presentation was interesting. Everything will be looked at over and over again. You have had your sleepless nights and now we're going to have our sleepless nights.
8894 But at the end of the day, as was mentioned earlier with -- Mr. Millar mentioned that there were 23 applicants in Toronto for one licence. So here we'll see what the final results are.
8895 But thank you again. We appreciate the time and effort you put into it and rest assured we'll put the necessary time and effort to try and find and come at the best decision to best serve this neighbourhood, this market and this part of this great country of ours.
8896 Thank you so much. Enjoy the rest of the day.
8897 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Thank you very much.
--- Upon recessing at 1455
--- Upon resuming at 1508
8898 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon. How are you?
8899 MR. LARSEN: Fine, thank you.
8900 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's nice to have you here. I hope you think it's good to be here.
8901 MR. LARSEN: We do.
8902 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, good.
8903 MR. LARSEN: The room kind of cleared out on us but we're good. Yeah, it's nice and quiet.
8904 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good. So whenever you're ready.
8905 Madame la secrétaire?
8906 THE SECRETARY: We will now begin with the Cranbrook Market portion of the hearing. We will begin Phase I, and item 14 on the agenda, which is an application by Clear Sky Radio Inc. for a broadcasting license to operate an English language commercial FM radio station in Cranbrook.
8907 The applicant also proposes to add Fm transmitters in Fernie, Sparwood and Invermere to rebroadcast the programming of the proposed Cranbrook station.
8908 Please introduce yourself and your colleagues, and you will have twenty minutes for your presentation.
8909 Thank you.
8910 MR. LARSEN: Thank you, Madam Secretary.
8911 Mr. Chairman, Commissioners and CRTC Staff, good afternoon.
8912 We are excited to be before you today to present our application for a new FM service in Cranbrook, BC, with repeaters in Fernie, Sparwood and Invermere which would extend our proposed service throughout the Regional District of East Kootenay.
8913 Before beginning our presentation, I'd like to take that moment to introduce you to our panel. My name is Paul Larsen, I'm the President, Co-owner and Operating Partner of Clear Sky Radio.
8914 The four individuals seated with me on our panel are members of our senior management team who I work with on a daily basis and who are responsible for the day-to-day operation of our two radio stations.
8915 To my far left is Ross Jacobs, he's Director of Operations for both CJOC AND CJCY. He's responsible for the creative side of our station's programming, promotions, production and creative services.
8916 Next to Ross, is Pat Siedlecki. Pat is our News Director at CJOC Lethbridge, and play-by-play voice of the Western Hockey League Lethbridge Hurricanes. Pat oversees a team of four news journalists in our two-time RTDNA award-winning CJOC newsroom.
8917 To my immediate right is Michelle Steele, she is our Sales Manager at CJOC overseeing a team of four radio and two internet marketing consultants. And assists us with sales, procedures, and policies for our two stations.
8918 And next to Michelle is Lorene Halseth, our Director of Administration, responsible for the business functions, including accounting, traffic, HR and client services.
8919 So, Members of the Commission, this is our team.
8920 We will now begin.
8921 I wanted to open our presentation today by expressing to you as passionately as I could the reasons that we chose to apply to bring a new radio station to Cranbrook. As you are aware, and as we detailed in our application, Cranbrook and the East Kootenay has a much stronger geographical tie to Alberta than it does to the rest of British Columbia. And many people travel regularly from the East Kootenay communities into southern Alberta, including Lethbridge, where we operate CJOC.
8922 And, soon after we launched CJOC in the summer of 2007 we started getting a few phone calls and emails from Cranbrook and area residents asking if we would ever consider opening a radio station in their community because they liked what they heard on our station. And, then we got a few calls from business owners in the East Kootenay asking us the same question. So, we started to wonder if there was a need, and if there was room perhaps for a third radio station in Cranbrook.
8923 And, after several trips into the area we concluded that it was evident that there was a need and desire, and we felt that the community and region was of sufficient size to support another radio station, so we started formulating our plan.
8924 When you walk around Cranbrook and ask people in the streets and in the mall and in coffee shops about the possibility of a new radio station coming to town they do get quite excited. There's a pent-up demand, unlike any that I've experienced in other applications.
8925 You got a bit of a taste of the public's excitement about the possibility of a new radio station in the 359 comments that were filed in support of our application by everyday citizens throughout the East Kootenay.
8926 I wish this hearing could have been in Cranbrook so you could have got a sense of the public excitement yourselves and see firsthand just how much local citizens want to see our radio station become a reality.
8927 It's fascinating when you get perspective at this grassroots level. When you ask people on the street if a new radio station came to town what type of music should it play, you get really honest and simple answers. And what we heard over and over again was, "Anything other than Country and Rock", and it just really does make sense. The community has a really good Rock station and a really good Country station, but they leave a gigantic hole for Mainstream Pop Adult Contemporary Music that is simply not heard on local radio today.
8928 We hope to change that with Summit 107, our proposed radio station for Cranbrook and the East Kootenay.
8929 MR. JACOBS: The music choice for our proposed station was immediately clear to us. While the Rock station serves a significant blue-collar male audience and Country serves a very loyal audience that loves that music niche, Straight-up Pop music, or what we generally classify as Adult Contemporary is missing. And with that void, a significant local audience, particularly women, is not being served.
8930 As we conducted deeper research the opportunity and demand for an Adult Pop station became even clearer. We found that nearly 25% of the local population tuned to radio sources outside of the market such as Sirius XM Satellite Radio, and the reason is simple, that 25% of the population cannot hear the Mainstream Pop music they love on local radio.
8931 The music we are talking about is some of the most popular best-selling music on the planet with artists like Katy Perry, Adele, Bruno Mars, One Direction, Maroon 5, Beyonce, and many of our Canadian superstars like Bryan Adams, Carly Rae Jepsen, Avril Lavigne and Michael Bublé. And, more importantly, emerging Canadian artists like JRDN, Alyssa Reid, Craig Smart, Eleven Past One, and others.
8932 It's almost incomprehensible that music that is this popular has no outlet on local radio. So, you start to see quickly why there is such excitement in the communities about our potential new station. The music we propose is unduplicated on the two incumbent stations. If ever there was a scenario where a new station would completely compliment what already exists, this is it.
8933 But our proposal brings more than just a new music format to the table. Our commitment to spoken words, specifically local news will further enhance what Clear Sky Radio will bring to Cranbrook and the East Kootenay, if licensed.
8934 In Clear Sky the Commission has an operator with a proven longstanding record of delivering live local news on a daily basis as well as breaking news and special reports as events warrant.
8935 MR. SIEDLECKI: As Ross mentioned, our commitment to local news is significant and proven at CJOC and CJCY. And for Cranbrook we propose another full service local radio station which not only plays the audience's favourite music, but which also keeps them informed of the day's events.
8936 In Cranbrook in the East Kootenay there is currently no diversity of news voice on radio. We are in no way suggesting that the current stations do a poor job of covering local news. What we are simply saying is that there was only one company delivering the news and reporting on the issues. This significantly reduces the opportunity for varied opinion, the competitive drive to break news and dig for local stories, and to present balance and fair coverage of local news and events.
8937 Licensing our station will add significantly to the quantity and quality of local news in the region. We will air locally produced newscasts between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday to Friday and 8:00 a.m. to noon on weekends, if licensed. That's 87 additional newscasts weekly in the market, totaling five hours and thirty-three minutes of new diverse news content each week.
8938 In addition to news, we will feature other spoken word, including sports and weather, highway reports, community updates, outdoor lifestyle reports, and more.
8939 We will also launch a website branded as Clearly Cranbrook, expanding our news content beyond radio, exposing it to area residents who may not listen to our station. We operate similar websites in existing markets.
8940 Another important commitment that we put on the table is the creation of a brand new Regional Public Alert System that will be tied into the National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination System, the NAAD System. At our Alberta stations we have significant experience with the Public Warning System operated by the Province of Alberta, and are proud of our commitment in this application to be an industry leader in helping make national public alerting a reality over time.
8941 MS STEELE: Much has been said about the state of the local economy. From our observations and dialogue with stakeholders over the past year or two, the economy is rebounding strongly, after a couple of very difficult years following the world-wide recession that began in 2008.
8942 2009 and 2010 were, without question, challenging for many local businesses. But the corner was turned in 2011 and for the past three years. And, heading into a brand new 2014 the economy has regained much of the steam it lost five years ago and is forecast to continue growing over the coming years.
8943 One of the strongest indications that Cranbrook can sustain another radio station is the continued growth of retail sales. Cranbrook's retail sales per capita are almost double the national average and will grow between 3.5% and 5.5% over the next four years.
8944 The Cranbrook and East Kootenay economy is well diversified and efforts are ongoing to continue that trend. Traditional resource-based drivers like forestry and mining, are still core to the economy but tourism, transportation, manufacturing and regional services have become far more significant components of the overall economy over the past decade. Household income is strong at just over $70,000 and average family income is just over $82,000.
8945 In 2012 the city reported an 8% increase in new business licenses issued; a 33% increase in the total value of building permits; a 6% increase in passenger traffic at the Canadian Rockies International Airport -- all significant signs of a strong and grown local economy.
8946 With nearly 25% out-of-market tuning providing a third radio station and a new Pop Music format will bring much of that audience to local radio, opening up an entirely new market for local businesses to target.
8947 There is a strong demand for an additional radio service among advertisers and we believe our proposed station's impact on the market and incumbent stations will be minimal for a number of reasons. First, we believe many local businesses will specifically wish to target the new audience our station will provide. Many will increase their overall radio span, keeping their current buys in place with the Country and Rock stations and adding our station to increase their overall market research.
8948 Further, rather than fragmenting the Rock and Country audience, the addition of our station will add diversity to the market, bringing an entirely new format and audience to the local airwaves.
8949 MS HALSETH: Public service, community involvement and live local radio are additional key elements that our radio station would bring to Cranbrook and area. Clear Sky Radio has an exceptional reputation in each of these areas.
8950 In terms of public service and community involvement, our two current radio stations have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars in air time and volunteer hours to promote awareness and raise funds for many worthy charities and community non-profits. A few examples include raising $15,000 in one day to support a pet refuge that burned down. Raising $10,000 in one day to buy a replacement wheelchair for a local special needs citizen who had their chair stolen. Our staff donating their time to volunteer at the local food banks, soup kitchens and Operation Red Nose over the holiday season. And, working together with Rogers, Pattison and Golden West, our competitors, to present the Care From The Heart Radiothon in support of the Chinook Regional Hospital Foundation, an event heard on every radio station in Lethbridge on the same day each year.
8951 Another benefit of licensing, our proposal would be the local employment and subsequent support of the local economy our station would provide. Our business plan calls for the creation of twelve new locally based jobs in year one. These twelve individuals will rent or purchase homes, buy groceries, gas, entertainment and other living essentials which will significantly contribute to the local economy.
8952 Further, Clear Sky Radio will lease commercial office space, pay municipal taxes, join the Chamber and other local organizations.
8953 Clearly, the licensing of our radio station will be a net gain to the local economy, not impact it negatively.
8954 Licensing our proposed station will also benefit the Canadian Radio Industry both by strengthening a long-term small regional broadcaster and by providing employment for twelve new positions. We offer very competitive compensation, a company RRSP matching program to help our employees save for the future. And, often promote from within.
8955 If we are granted this license, our current and future employees will have greater opportunities to follow their career goals with a company they love working for, and one that has shown it is here for the long-run.
8956 MR. JACOBS: The other key stakeholders that will benefit significantly from the licensing of our station are the Canadian performers within the broad Adult Contemporary format we propose.
8957 A significant number of emerging Canadian singers and bands, as well as many established performers in the format will receive air play and exposure that does not exist today. We propose the most significant Canadian Content Development initiatives of the two applications before you by far, both in terms of actual air play and cash dollars contributed to CCD.
8958 With a commitment to 40% Canadian content and 15% minimum air play of emerging Canadian artists, our proposed station will open up an entirely new market for a significant number of Canadian artists who have never received air play in the region.
8959 Beyond air play and promotion, we are also excited about the $210,000 in cash CCD initiatives we will fund over the first licence term, including not only the mandatory funding to FACTOR, but support of many local initiatives that will significantly benefit the community and local music development. These include the East Kootenay Performing Arts Festival, the Symphony of the Kootenays, a program to fund musical instruments and help keep music part of the curriculum in public schools, funding of music performances, the Key City Theatre and Cranbrook Community Theatre, and the creation of unique all-Canadian on-line music store that will feature every emerging Canadian artist that our station will introduce to the market. All of these CCD initiatives will meet CRTC criteria for qualification.
8960 MR. LARSEN: In closing, I'd like to turn to why Clear Sky Radio is the ideal choice to be licensed to serve Cranbrook and the East Kootenay. We know Cranbrook and the region extremely well. We have done our homework and spent considerable time in the communities talking with key stakeholders, businesses and local citizens to get a comprehensive understanding of what they want and what they need in a new radio service.
8961 Our application is the only one before you that received support interventions, and that support is a direct result of the time and effort that we spent dialoguing with the community over the past couple of years.
8962 First and foremost, addressing the consumer demand, it is undeniable that the citizens of Cranbrook and the entire East Kootenay region desire an additional radio choice. They honestly feel a little like second-class citizens. And it's not because the current stations do a poor job, it is simply that they can only pick up two music stations at this time. And when these people travel to other communities like Lethbridge they can't understand why those communities have more choice. It's an isolated region, and it is mountainous terrain, so they are quite cut off.
8963 It's not like other small cities that may be able to pick up distant signals from later centers, places like Vernon, for example, which has two local radio stations, but where residents have the opportunity to pick up stations from nearby Kelowna and even the Regional Penticton Country station.
8964 The fact that over 350 local citizens from Cranbrook, Kimberley, Fernie, Sparwood, Invermere and other towns throughout the East Kootenay took time to send in their comments in support of our proposed station and music format is a very clear indication of the level of desire that exists.
8965 I know that you have had the opportunity to review those comments. They give a strong indication of the many reasons local citizens desire a local radio station -- music choice and having an additional news voice being the primary reasons stated.
8966 Since the intervention filing deadline we have received dozens more emails in support.
8967 Further support comes from the interaction on the Facebook page that we created. To date 2070 people like our proposed station on Facebook. And we know from Facebook statistics that these are almost entirely local citizens. So, to give you an idea of how this translates into local interest in our station, the Facebook page for our proposed radio station has more likes or connections than the two existing local radio stations combined.
8968 Another indication of consumer demand is the on-line streaming sample that we set up. In the months of November and December over 4000 local citizens tuned into our audio stream for over 2500 hours of listening.
8969 Support of our application from the local business community is further evidence that the time is right to approve a third local radio station. That support is significant and comes from a variety of sources, including:
8970 The Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce which represents over 450 local businesses;
8971 The Tamarack Centre. It's the largest mall located between Lethbridge and Kelowna;
8972 The owner of the Kootenay Import Auto Group representing four major auto dealerships in Cranbrook including Nissan, Hyundai, Subaru, and Volkswagen; and,
8973 Smaller businesses such as Cranbrook Auto Repair, Bumble Tree, The Fireplace, and Painted Crate.
8974 These business organizations recognize the benefit of being able to direct marketing to the new audience that our station will deliver, as well as having a competitive choice in electronic media.
8975 Further support comes from Cranbrook Mayor Wayne Stetski and City Council, the St. Mary's Indian Band, and Member of Parliament David Wilks, Scott Manjak, former Mayor of Cranbrook and currently Chief Operating Officer of St. Mary's Indian Band perhaps said it best in his letter of support, and we quote from it:
"St. Mary's Council believes that in a market economy competition breeds innovation and better service delivery to the consumer and to the area of operation. In this case, we believe that an additional radio station would not only provide a new voice to the area, but would help create a competitive market for the business community and the listening audience."
8976 MR. LARSEN: Community and non-profit organizations including the Key City Theatre, the Symphony of the Kootenays and the local school district are also in support. These major community stakeholders see a huge public benefit should our application be approved.
8977 We are extremely proud of the level and depth of support that we have been entrusted with by this community.
8978 To summarize, our Adult Contemporary format will compliment the Rock and Country stations and increase overall tuning of local radio. Many of the nearly 25% of local listeners who currently turn to their iPod or satellite for Pop music will listen to local radio instead because they will finally have it available to them.
8979 Our station will enhance and diversity local news content significantly with over five and a half hours of news content weekly, plus an additional four hours fifty minutes of scheduled spoken word, including sports, weather, outdoor lifestyle reports, community calendars and more. Our total spoken word will exceed 16 2 hours, 10% of the broadcast week.
8980 Our application will bring to the region a significant public benefit in the Emergency Warning System that we propose. In broadcasting decision 2011-438 the Commission reiterated that the broadcasting system has a vital role to play in the provision of emergency alerts to Canadians. It continues to expect all television and radio undertakings as well as BDU's to voluntarily participate in the National Public Alert System. And, further, that the Commission will continue to monitor the participation of broadcasters in the National Public Alerting System.
8981 We are proud to be among if not the first private broadcaster in Canada to implement such as system if we're licensed, outside of the two provinces that operate their own established systems.
8982 With the mandated deadline of December 31st of this year, for CBC to implement a National Public Warning using the NAAD feed we are confident that the technical aspects of implementing a reliable system will be in place by the time our station and repeaters would launch.
8983 Our Canadian Content Development package is the most significant of the applications before you, injecting $210,000 into enhancing the careers and opportunities of emerging Canadian talent as well as 40% Canadian content air play, and 15% emerging Canadian artist air play.
8984 Our business plan is well researched and we've spent considerable time in the region allowing us to draw an informed conclusion that Cranbrook and the East Kootenay can sustain another commercial station at this time.
8985 In Clear Sky Radio you have a proven operator now beginning our second licensed terms in Lethbridge and Medicine Hat -- it's hard for me to believe we're now entering our seventh year of operation. We hope this longevity gives you assurance that we are here for the long term and that we will deliver on the commitments that we put forth in this application, just as we have delivered on the commitments we made when we won our first two licenses.
8986 We are a well-qualified broadcasting company with over 30 staff, a strong balance sheet, a positive cash flow, strong ratings, accomplishments that have been reached in very competitive markets where we're up against Pattison and Rogers, two of Canada's best broadcasters.
8987 We do know how to do good local radio and we're excited about the possibility of bringing a fresh FM product to Cranbrook and the East Kootenays.
8988 Mr. Chairman and Commissioners, we respectfully ask you to approve our application. We know the citizens of Cranbrook and the East Kootenay will be extremely appreciative if you do. And you have our word that we will deliver a local product that will serve this region extremely well without negatively impacting the incumbent stations.
8989 We compete with Pattison in Lethbridge and Medicine Hat today and we respect them as an operator. And, just as we do in our two current markets, we will compliment the service that they provide to the East Kootenays, which will benefit local citizens and businesses.
8990 Thank you for your attention, and we do look forward to your questions.
8991 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Commissioner Simpson?
8992 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Mr. Larsen, how are you?
8993 MR. LARSEN: Commissioner Simpson, good to see you, thank you.
8994 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Great.
8995 Gentlemen, ladies, welcome.
8996 At the outset, I find it really interesting that the very first premise that you draw on for demonstrating the need for the station is the response or the questions you were getting about, `When are you going to open up a station in Cranbrook?' but getting if from an Alberta audience. Why did you reference an audience from Alberta right off, right from the get-go.
8997 MR. LARSEN: So, it's in reference to the citizens of Cranbrook that come into Lethbridge for long weekends to shop and then go back to Cranbrook where they live. So the references were actually coming from British Columbia residents.
8998 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I was think you mean that the other way around. I think you mean that the other way around. You were saying the residents of Cranbrook who go to Lethbridge to shop?
8999 MR. LARSEN: Right. Right.
9000 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Got it. Okay. So they're not Alberta residents coming to Cranbrook for tourists, right?
9001 MR. LARSEN: Sorry, and that as misleading. It's Cranbrook residents that come to Lethbridge, which is a bigger centre. So they come quite often for -- to save provincial sales tax primarily, for long-weekend shopping trips and whatnot, so --
9002 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay, good. That helps me understand a lot.
9003 I guess the first line of questioning I want to go into is the research. Normally, I like to fall right to the programming, it's more fun. But, in your research the number you drew out of 25% who are not tuning in, according to your research, to broadcast, but going elsewhere, Sirius, you know, whatever other offerings there are. How accurate is that statistic? You know, I guess what I'm saying is the methodology of your research, right. Is there a statistical accuracy of 3, 4, 5% based on sample size, or what?
9004 MR. LARSEN: I believe it's between plus or minus 5.5.% on a survey of 309 people in the Cranbrook market.
9005 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Uh-huh.
9006 MR. LARSEN: And we had done research back in 2011, and then when the call was issued did fresh research in 2013, and it corroborated -- the numbers were quite similar.
9007 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm.
9008 MR. LARSEN: But the margin of error, I believe is plus or minus roughly 5 2 to 6%.
9009 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And the research panel -- you know, the panel you were drawing from was weighted demographically, and that, so --
9010 MR. LARSEN: Yeah. It was an adult 18 to 64. No weighting was required. In the percentages that broke out, the research firm thought there would be no statistical reason to do weighting because the numbers were solid.
9011 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah. But in spite of the fact that, you know, you weren't weighting the panel to have them balanced, you were still getting out of this research that there was a -- an older demographic that wasn't being served by the program offerings?
9012 MR. LARSEN: I think it is a pretty broad demographic that feels that they're not being served. And it is primarily music choice that drives it. So if you're not a fan of relatively Hard Rock music and you don't care for Country music, you really don't have any other choice but to either listen to your own music or satellite radio or source that Pop, of Tempo Top 40, get, you know, Contemporary music elsewhere, and so that's what we uncovered quickly, was just that. The satellite radio tuning was higher than we've seen in most markets. And that usually comes with lack of service. So, the last time we saw a number that high was Medicine Hat when we applied there which, again, was a two station market with format voids, several years ago.
9013 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm.
9014 MR. LARSEN: So it all made sense when we saw it and then was sort of corroborated as the public comments started to come in, in the intervention phase where many referenced, "Finally, we may have the ability to stop paying for the music that we want to hear on radio."
9015 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah. Okay.
9016 You know, the way research is designed, the questions are really the basis on which the information that you get in answers are -- it tells you the dependency of the research because of question design, is what I'm trying to say. And as an old research hack I was trying to understand that if you had a very broad-based demographic you were talking to, give the labels we put to programming how -- assuming that, you know, you were talking to a lot of twenty-year-olds, twenty-five-year-olds, thirty-year-olds, how through your question design you were able to deduce that they were saying, `I want more Adult Contemporary Music?' I can't envisage twenty-year-olds saying that.
9017 MR. LARSEN: Right. So music is hard to put labels on because we tend to label music. We'll call it Pop Music, Top 40, AC, and really it's all an incarnation of the same music.
9018 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Sure.
9019 MR. LARSEN: Some may be newer or older, that type of thing.
9020 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Sure.
9021 MR. LARSEN: So, you know, when we got into the research, what we did was we asked the panel about specific music genres that were in the AC realm. So, we asked about Top 40 artists for example, such as Katy Perry and Ricky Iglesias, Pink, and Rihanna, so the younger audience would skew a little bit more in favour of that music.
9022 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm.
9023 MR. LARSEN: And then when we asked about, you know, more older AC music, Doobie Brothers, Fleetwood Mac, Eagles, that type of music, then that will skew a little more, naturally, with the older audience.
9024 What we find in these small, small markets is that you can program much broader because you don't have four incarnations of AC in the market. So when we say we propose a wide Adult Contemporary station it's simply for that reason, that none of that music exists today. So, therefore, you know, we have the opportunity to be much broader, much as the Country station and the Rock station in the market are much broader musically than you would hear on a Rock or Country station in Vancouver or Calgary or Edmonton. And it really gives us some latitude in terms of flexibility with the depth that we can go with, with the artists.
9025 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And because it isn't a market that's like a out-station market where five of the stations are in some form of Rock, Pop, Adult Contemporary, where you have exact -- tighten that play list to go after a specific demographic. You've got to -- you know, you've got more wiggle room with respect to building your play list.
9026 MR. LARSEN: Precisely.
9027 MR. JACOBS: Commissioner Simpson, if I may add one piece.
9028 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
9029 MR. JACOBS: In the feedback we received from the potential listeners, we saw a broad brush in their interest as well. So we have clear Facebook data on who was speaking to us and their interests are broad-brushed as well, 18-year-olds expressing interest in what we would conditionally call older AC music and vice versa.
9030 So, you know, it's definitely, even in the feedback we received from the listeners themselves, a very positive indication that we can paint the AC format with a broad brush in this market.
9031 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. Now, I'm not going to ask you to do a Kreskin act for me by trying to guess why Pattison program their stations the way they do, but given that you're in the business and programming is a specialty of some or all of you, if you were the first in, as Pattison was, into this market and given what you're telling me about the demographics, would you have gone with a rock format that seems to be weighted to you?
9032 MR. LARSEN: Well, I think what the East Kootenay region has is a very heavily skewed male blue collar audience due to the mining operation. So, rock makes sense in terms of serving that blue collar worker demographic that is in the region.
9033 The country format, I believe they inherited when they purchased the stations, and if the stations are profitable and doing well, there's no reason to change and find another niche to serve. So I would assume that that would be the mentality.
9034 There is logic in the two formats that are there and there's logic that there's a big missing piece of the puzzle just due to the lack of number of physical stations.
9035 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So what you're saying is that they can be tighter in the rock format also too because their country offsets -- what they're not capturing in one, they're getting in the other. So it's sort of AC/DC meets Dwight Yoakam and between the two, they've pretty much got their bases covered.
9036 MR. LARSEN: Right. And again, I think in a small community when you have two local radio stations, regardless of what the music choice is, you do pick up listenership even if that's not the individual's favourite style of music because they want to get their local news and their weather and community information and whatnot.
9037 So, you know, there can be stronger listenership with a fewer number of stations. Even though music preference may not be there, I want to know, you know, what happened in City Council and what's the weather going to be like and are the snowmobile trails open yet and when is the golf course opening and all that type of information. So to get that, I will sit through music that may not be my preference.
9038 But if I'm presented the opportunity to get all that information plus hear the music that I like, that's where that passion and excitement seems to be coming from from the public that we've spoken to and that have submitted the support and dialogue with us.
9039 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. So, after you do your research and you tear it apart and it gives you the clues you need to start building a methodology for a format -- I'm looking at page 5 here where you say you propose a music format that's unduplicated on the two incumbent stations.
9040 Now, are you able to say that with certainty because you're able -- did you monitor these stations sufficiently to see that you didn't have overlap or are you able to dive into programming services that perhaps Pattison are using so that you can be as categorical about that statement as you were?
9041 MR. JACOBS: Sure.
9042 MR. LARSEN: I'll let Ross speak to it first and then --
9043 MR. JACOBS: I would only add the fact that the crossover artists that you do see between the two formats are going to be crossover whether we were adult contemporary or any other chosen format. So there's always going to be some crossover, but I think the uniqueness of our ability to play modern AC at the young end at the adult end without truly offending any real demographic significantly gives us a bit of the opportunity to complement more than take away.
9044 So, you know, a Carrie Underwood listener who would be listening to country may also listen to an AC format and feel comforted in the fact of knowing she may hear some of his or her interested artists on either station.
9045 So I think the opportunity for choice was part of the main sort of programming decision we sort of went after in terms of picking this format, less worrying about those few bleed artists on either end of the --
9046 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: But when you're referencing, you know -- going back to the word "unduplicated," are you talking then unduplicated format or unduplicated in artists?
9047 MR. JACOBS: I think a bit of both. I think, you know, the Clear Sky delivery method in both of the markets we're in right now is unique. It's one of our competitive advantages as an organization.
9048 The way we broadcast, I think, in terms of the way we schedule and program music, you know, we believe is definitely going to give us a competitive advantage.
9049 I think music is a significant portion of this type of broadcasting. So we have to say it is an element but it is not the sole element that gives us a competitive advantage in that demographic.
9050 MR. LARSEN: I think, to just follow up on your specific question too, services such as BDSradio don't monitor the Cranbrook market, it's just too small. So there's no electronic ability to pull the playlist and do a wall-to-wall comparison in Excel and with 100 percent certainty say that there's zero artist duplication.
9051 But from listening to a country station over a weekend and listening to a rock station over a weekend, I can tell you that there's no Adele and no Beyoncé and no One Direction.
9052 And further, people that are fans of harder rock music would not tolerate those artists being played in that format.
9053 And likewise, in country, where there is a slight bit of country crossover, it is the superstar artists that deliberately cross over to the pop world to sell more records, so the Carrie Underwoods and the Taylor Swifts of the world. And that is driven by their record company. They want to expose those artists as much as possible.
9054 So there may be that odd artist that you technically would hear on our station and the country station but they're going to be likely pop remixes, maybe different songs entirely, and that duplication would be extremely small, if any, based on, again, listening in the marketplace.
9055 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm. Why I'm beating this to death is that as a market goes from a single service market to something bigger, whether it's three, five, seven stations, it's been my experience in this gig that the problem gets worse as the services increase, instead of getting better, in terms of a differentiation of programming.
9056 And I remember in my first year -- not to editorialize too much, but in my first year I did a radio hearing and I was looking at an eight-station market, and five of those eight stations were all doing some form of adult contemporary, rock/pop, and it was just largely because -- it wasn't so much the mastery of how they program their station but, you know, they're obviously after 18-49, you know, skewed 18-34, slightly weighted to female and all that.
9057 And then I would start getting the programming message that, ah, but what makes us different is that we don't play Elton John four times an hour, we play it six times an hour, and that is essentially the depth of our strategy.
9058 And it frustrates me because as a station comes into a market, particularly a market with a single operator right now, I'm looking for differences rather than subtle parallels and, you know, I'm going to continue to want you to convince me that you're doing something that really is unduplicated, really is needed and really does add to the diversity in the marketplace.
9059 MR. LARSEN: Yeah. I mean, I can absolutely, with 100 percent assurance, assure you that the music we play will be different than the music played on the two existing stations, and it's simply -- I think when -- the key point to me that you reference when you talk about looking at a market that has five or six or seven stations --
9060 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
9061 MR. LARSEN: -- there is a point when you run out of sort of unique formats and then they start to overlap.
9062 So you've got AC and Hot AC, and then you have classic rock and classic hits, and then you have modern country and old country, and that number is probably somewhere around five or six stations because your main formats are AC, country, rock, and then you start to go, okay, maybe it's modern rock. And, you know, so it does start to fragment more stations.
9063 We're talking about two radio stations and one that -- this is a market, if you stream and listen to these radio stations, The Drive is without any question of a doubt a rock station and the B is absolutely 100 percent a country station.
9064 You know, in other small markets, more so years ago but it still exists in some markets where you would hear a station that says they're a rock station but they would blend a whole lot of other music because they're the only game in town and they could get away with it.
9065 But in the case of at least our listening experience in Cranbrook, there is a rock station and a country station, and this adult contemporary pop music will be drastically different from what you hear on the two stations today.
9066 MR. JACOBS: Commissioner, I also think that this format allows us to re-engage people back to terrestrial radio that have been missing. You know, being terrestrial broadcasters, we're pretty proud of what we do but sometimes, you know, our satellite competitors have a tendency to take an audience that's underserved.
9067 And I think the exciting part for us is to be able to not only partner with the community to engage youth in unique ways in this format but at the same time to actually be able to talk to them as well as their adult -- you know, the parents and the people in the community.
9068 So, to have a format that gives you the freedom -- you know, I just was writing some notes, thinking about your thoughts, and one of the things that really was appealing to me from a broadcast standpoint is to have an AC format that isn't pigeon-holed. It's been proven that it can work and it's working in Canadian markets across the country.
9069 So the traditional AC has to be Elton John or it has to be the youth demo, you know, we've proven that we can be very successful being applicable in a market this size to both sides of that demographic. So, you know, it's exciting to me from a programming standpoint to have that opportunity in this market.
9070 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Good. I'm glad you're excited. You're supposed to be excited. This is big stuff.
9071 On to other differentiators in your programming. Let's talk about news for a couple of minutes.
9072 By your own admission and I think everyone's understanding, this is a market that is a little cut off, a lot cut off sometimes depending upon snowfall and what happens, but it's a hard market to get distant signals from and therefore it makes the responsibility of the incumbent broadcaster even more significant.
9073 It's also a market that hasn't reached critical mass. You know -- I'm showing my age -- I was actually involved in the launch of the Tamarac Shopping Centre about three and a half millennia ago and even back then the basis of the economic rationale of that centre was that it had to be a regional shopping centre.
9074 MR. LARSEN: Right.
9075 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: It couldn't survive on Cranbrook alone. It had to, you know, go as far afield as Fernie and Nelson and everywhere.
9076 And those communities -- I was looking at some research that I thought was really interesting -- those communities have come to understand that they have to collaborate. They have to have a joint look at their economic situation.
9077 And there was an article that I read coming out of some work that was done in 2012-2013 by the Economic Development people in Cranbrook and I think Kimberley and I think even the St. Mary's Band, who realized that, you know, they all had the same issues and if they work on the province collectively, then there's going to be probably more and better results.
9078 So with respect to news, you're talking -- and I'm happy to see that you're looking at a more robust news package, more news on an aggregate basis throughout the broadcast week, but talk to me a bit about staffing and talk to me a bit about how you're going to be able to have your thumb on the pulse of the other markets, particularly the ones you want repeaters or rebroads in.
9079 MR. LARSEN: Right. I'll let Pat speak to the news in a moment, but if I can address just quickly what you were talking about with some of the studies that you've read about the collaborative efforts of the region.
9080 And I've read much of those same studies and reports through the research of this application and it really is a big part of the reason that we proposed the repeaters in Fernie and Sparwood and Invermere, and we're really looking at the Regional District of East Kootenay as the market, and Cranbrook without question is the centre of that market.
9081 And as you've pointed out, you know, from the smaller communities, people inflow for important things like medical services and legal services and to get passports but also to shop for their commerce. And so, Cranbrook is a hub but we've recognized and realized that these small communities on the outside in the RDEK are important.
9082 So it's not unlike what we do in Lethbridge, but in Lethbridge we're able to put up a 100kW FM on a 600-foot tower and cover Lethbridge but also cover Coaldale and Fort Macleod and Claresholm and Cardston and all the surrounding small communities.
9083 So the rationale of what we're trying to do with the repeaters is much the same, but because of terrain you have to do it with repeaters in this case.
9084 So we're quite adept -- and I'll let Pat speak to this -- about collecting news from those smaller communities and a lot through relationship-building because we cover news from the Cardstons and the Claresholms and the Fort Macleods and the surrounding area around Lethbridge, and we envision doing the same through our relationship-building in the East Kootenay.
9085 MR. SIEDLECKI: Yeah. When we first, I guess, got going with CJOC, what we did is we started to put those feelers out there. We contacted the mayors in all the communities that are within our listening area and we touched based with them, you know, to hook up getting news releases from police departments and all this other stuff so that we can show that we do care about you and what happens in Taber is important to us.
9086 And the same thing will happen in Cranbrook, where we will put out the feelers. We will touch base with the mayor of Fernie or the mayor of Kimberley, Invermere, to make sure that we do on a weekly basis, as we do right now on our existing stations that are around some of the smaller communities around our existing stations, where we do cover their local news and events. And if there's a major story we will send a reporter there, and the same thing will happen in a case like this.
9087 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So, you're telling me that your news-gathering in a place like Kimberley would be to call the mayor?
9088 MR. SIEDLECKI: Well, not necessarily. It depends on what the story is.
9089 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
9090 MR. SIEDLECKI: If it's a City Council story, it could be the mayor, it could be the City Manager. If it's a police issue, then it could be the RCMP. It all depends on what the story is.
9091 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: No stringers or boots on the ground in --
9092 MR. SIEDLECKI: We'll have three full staff members.
9093 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: That's what I'm asking.
9094 MR. SIEDLECKI: Yeah. Absolutely.
9095 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I'm trying to understand from an operational standpoint -- you know, identifying issues is good.
9096 MR. SIEDLECKI: Yeah.
9097 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Having community relations in these other communities is good.
9098 MR. SIEDLECKI: Yeah.
9099 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: It's expected. But I'm trying to understand what you're doing to penetrate into markets where, if we were to allow you a rebroad --
9100 MR. SIEDLECKI: Yes.
9101 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: -- you would be doing more than just getting a net benefit financially out of it.
9102 MR. SIEDLECKI: Absolutely. Like I said, we'll have three full-time staffers and they will be on foot and going to these communities and covering stuff. Absolutely.
9103 MR. JACOBS: Commissioner Simpson, I'll add one pure operational piece because that's sort of my purview on a day-to-day basis.
9104 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
9105 MR. JACOBS: One of our competitive advantages in both Medicine Hat and Lethbridge currently is our use of technology to transmit stories from the location. So we could be in Fort Macleod working on a presser there and have that back to our station in Lethbridge before the reporters from our competitors are even back in the market to report the story.
9106 And we're going to utilize that same technological advantage in Cranbrook and the East Kootenay because of the pure fact that it makes for better news in terms of a better product. So overall, operationally we're going to leverage as much our technology base as well as our people to service those communities fairly and equally.
9107 MR. SIEDLECKI: Just to give you an example, for instance, about a month or so ago there was a press conference that was about an hour west of Lethbridge on a Native reserve. We have the technology. We used our iPhones, recorders that connect up to it, and we were able to have that story -- the audio was simply recorded, edited and emailed instantly to our newsroom and we had that on the radio at the top of the hour before any other reporter even came close to getting back to Lethbridge.
9108 So we are able to advance the technology that we use and I think for a small company we do pretty well when it comes to technology and how we try to get our product out there.
9109 MR. LARSEN: Sure. Just quickly.
9110 One of the things that has impressed me -- you know, as my role has evolved and our company has grown and we've got more staff, I don't get as deeply involved in day-to-day news coverage for an example, but something as simple as the relationship-building, that continues to impress me, with a mayor in a small place like Cardston or Claresholm that would have the personal cell phone numbers of a couple of our news staff and they don't hesitate to phone and say, look, we've got this issue coming up at Council, could you run a reporter out for this particular Council meeting because we'd like some coverage and exposure.
9111 And in these small cities and towns of 3,500, 4,000, 5,000 people, it's not like there's breaking news happening around the clock, 24 hours a day. It's quite often planned news events that, you know, you're invited to come and cover.
9112 Now, of course, there are accidents and car crashes and those types of things that we find out, again, mostly through relationships with a police service and whatnot, but our local reporters would be covering the District, the Regional District of East Kootenay, not just specifically Cranbrook, in order to provide that news to the repeater markets.
9113 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So these markets would be on their beat, as it were?
9114 MR. LARSEN: Correct.
9115 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah. I was up in Castlegar last year and I was very impressed with the operator in Castlegar. They put a lot of miles on those leased vehicles but they do cover the markets and they get into the markets. They just don't expect the markets to come to them.
9116 Just touching -- while we're on staffing structure and so on.
9117 The station itself, how are you going to staff the station? Are you going to seek local talent or are you going to have to go for designated imports? How is that going to work?
9118 MR. LARSEN: We've been approached by people that are past employees in the broadcast industry that happen to live in Cranbrook that have interest if we get the licence. We first and foremost try to seek local people with experience because it gives us an instant connection with the community, the knowledge, how to pronounce all the town names and the road names and the neighbourhoods and the name of the mayor, et cetera, et cetera. So I mean, first and foremost --
9119 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Don't get that wrong.
9120 MR. LARSEN: No. It happens.
9121 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
9122 MR. LARSEN: We work hard to try and see if there are qualified people in the local area and then beyond that, you know, seek to find qualified individuals for the particular jobs.
9123 I think most importantly is that, you know, we're talking about a fully staffed complement of 12 locally based people in this radio station, which will fully cover a well-serviced newsroom and programming and news and sales administration, et cetera.
9124 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Right.
9125 So, as a single stick operator in this market, how are you going to provide the additional resources managerially, administratively? How is all that going to work in relationship to your existing operations?
9126 MR. LARSEN: Well, we have the advantage of being a single stick operator in our two markets. So we've become quite adept at how we are able to operate in that capability.
9127 I think we have resources. Lethbridge has by and large, because it's our largest market, become our head office.
9128 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm.
9129 MR. LARSEN: The individuals that are on the panel with me, their positions have evolved over time and will continue to evolve, if we're fortunate enough to win more stations, to be, you know, directors of Clear Sky as opposed to single stations.
9130 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm.
9131 MR. LARSEN: So we have expertise that we've been growing over the last seven years, you know, and then we have synergies that we're able to use. So, you know, backend accounting, producing logs and sending out billing and invoices, that type of stuff, we're able to leverage a bit of that infrastructure that we have.
9132 But really, it's the expertise of our people and then making sure that -- you know, Ross is Director of Operations but he has a local Program Director under him in Lethbridge and we have a local Music Director or Program Director in Medicine Hat and so on and so forth so that we're able to bring sort of senior management levels of expertise to the smaller communities.
9133 And, you know, the other benefit that we've got seven years in is we have established sales policies and procedures and company policies and whatnot. You know, we're no longer winging it like we were when we won Lethbridge and inventing these things as we went along. We can walk in with sales training and things that we know that work.
9134 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Well, at the beginning of this exercise we're in, you had mentioned that there's a pretty well-beaten trail between Cranbrook and Lethbridge. What's the drive time?
9135 MR. LARSEN: It's just three hours give or take a few minutes on either side.
9136 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
9137 MR. LARSEN: Roughly three hours.
9138 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
9139 Just a couple more programming questions that I missed earlier.
9140 I read this but I don't remember it. Are you committing to what percentage of live programming throughout the broadcast week?
9141 I'm trying to get an idea because I've been really grossly disappointed this last year -- and it's economic, it isn't a desire -- that a lot of operators have had to rely on voice-track and programming coming out of other operations and it's disappointed me because it just goes to not serving the market as appropriately as you can.
9142 So would you walk me through what you're planning at the outset?
9143 MR. LARSEN: Sure. It would be basically identical in terms of the live hours to our other two stations.
9144 So we're live, technically live from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on a Monday through Friday basis.
9145 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
9146 MR. LARSEN: And we have a live five-hour air shift on Saturdays and Sundays. So we do engage voice-tracking in the evenings and some off-peak hours on the weekends, but the prime time, 6a to 7p Monday to Friday and again five- or six-hour shift on weekends we're live on the two stations.
9147 So we envision that same degree of live programming in Cranbrook and have proposed an appropriate number of staff to accomplish that goal.
9148 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
9149 MR. JACOBS: Commissioner, one of the reasons that that's a priority is -- and it's kind of a roundabout way of answering your question -- but we not only promote from within but as an organization we promote the graduates coming out of the programs for talent development.
9150 So without places for them to go in our partnerships, whether that's through internships with a college in Lethbridge and across Western Canada, one of the things that we found is if we're going to take these students in and train them, oftentimes we want to keep them.
9151 So fully staffed radio stations are the easiest way to keep great people and, you know, especially in Pat's News Department, an underserviced News Department becomes quite a stressful place quite often and quite quickly.
9152 So, maintaining staffing levels both from an on-air programming standpoint as well as news allows our product to be what I feel is, you know, extremely more serviceable and enjoyable to the listener base.
9153 So that development of new talent and finding -- you know, realizing the size of our markets that we're in, that we're going to be in talent development for the bulk of our operation, you know, we embrace that and kind of utilize that as one of our advantages.
9154 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Just out of curiosity, NAIT and SAIT have broadcast faculties?
9155 MR. LEWIS: Yes, as well as Lethbridge College.
9156 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. And you're working with any, all of them?
9157 MR. LEWIS: In depth, yeah. We've got, is it SAIT or -- we've got a SAIT student, as well as many students from Lethbridge College actually. A good portion of my current operation staff in Lethbridge are either former gra-- you know, graduates of the program in -- in recent years, but also programs, students that we've taken to the program through internship --
9158 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
9159 MR. LARSEN: -- as well as a few that won our scholarship. So we have -- our current creative director was actually a winner of our -- of our scholarship program, partnership with the college.
9160 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Oh, good for you. That's great. Glad to hear that.
9161 On -- on page 11 of your presentation today -- sorry, my mind is getting a little fuzzy here and everything that I read last week I'm scrambling to -- to find the recall button, but you had made mention to your commitment to 40 percent Canadian content and 15 percent minimum airplay. Have you committed already to that being a condition of license? Or if you haven't, would you be prepared to commit?
9162 MR. LARSEN: We have and we will, yes.
9163 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Perfect.
9164 Okay. Let's talk about money. You've done an economic analysis. And I find it interesting that, again, at the beginning of your presentation you were telling me that there's a pretty well beaten trail between Cranbrook and Lethbridge for major shops. You know, I see that in Trail and other markets when they go rocketing down to Spokane, but in the same breath you're saying that -- that you're seeing -- where is it now -- retail sales per capita are almost double that of the national average and will grow between 3.5 and 5.5 percent over the next four years. Wow. How does that happen? How do they -- how are they doing out-of-town shopping and supporting the local team at the same time?
9165 MR. LARSEN: Well, I think the -- the Cranbrook numbers get inflated to some degree because it is the regional in-flow.
9166 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So that's what's coming in.
9167 MR. LARSEN: So --
9168 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: That's the regional stuff.
9169 MR. LARSEN: So let's say Fernie, Kimberley, Invermere, Sparwood flows into Cranbrook to do their shopping.
9170 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
9171 MR. LARSEN: Some Cranbrook residents may go south of the border or to Alberta to do some weekend shopping. A lot of that is just the -- the desire to escape for a week and just get out of town.
9172 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
9173 MR. LARSEN: When you look at major purchases, like a vehicle, you can't go to Alberta and buy a car and bring it back. I mean, you can, but you don't save the tax because as soon as you have to plate and register it, (indiscernible/overlapping speakers).
9174 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: You can't do that (indiscernible) either, can you?
9175 MR. LARSEN: And you're not suppo-- I mean, it's not -- you know, the B.C.-Alberta border is not a manned border, so it's -- I'm sure there's some of that that goes on with -- with, you know, beer and wine, that type of thing.
9176 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: We've had talks about doing that, but ...
9177 MR. LARSEN: But, you know, Cranbrook benefits from being the regional hub. So --
9178 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
9179 MR. LARSEN: -- you know, for example, Target --
9180 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
9181 MR. LARSEN: -- the big U.S. department store, came to Canada. Well, they came to Cranbrook despite the small size of the market.
9182 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm.
9183 MR. LARSEN: As an example of comparison, they did not come to Lethbridge, which is a much larger market and would seem to be a more robust retail environment. So I think Cranbrook does benefit from being that regional hub and that's why you see the higher retail sales there.
9184 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: That's great.
9185 I'm sort of in clean-up mode now, so I'm going to be bouncing around a bit. I'll try and -- oh, do you have something you wanted to say? Your mike's on.
9186 MS STEELE: If I needed to jump in, I just had my -- I was ready to go.
9187 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
9188 Going back to the research you did on that 25 percent, you know, that's a big chunk of the market that's, you know, not tuned in. And I've heard your explanation of what you think is going to be the satisfier to that, but did your research give you any clue as to what they were going out of broadcasting to go get? Do you have any idea?
9189 MR. LARSEN: In terms of --
9190 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Aside from what you're going to satisfy them with in your format.
9191 MR. LARSEN: Right. So where are they currently going?
9192 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
9193 MR. LARSEN: I mean, specifically satellite radio was -- was the big one.
9194 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
9195 MR. LARSEN: And then when you drill down to what we call "other" --
9196 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
9197 MR. LARSEN: -- so they're allowed to name sources, a lot of it was stations that can pick up on either cable, so Shaw and -- and Telus Optik TV still carry radio stations, so --
9198 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Sure.
9199 MR. LARSEN: -- you'd get varied answers from Edge 102 in Toronto to CFMI in Vancouver and -- and all over the map.
9200 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
9201 MR. LARSEN: There are some unregulated repeaters in the mining areas that -- that are low-power FMs that the mines put up so you can actually listen to, you know, a Calgary rock station as you come through Sparwood because -- because the mine threw up a -- an unregulated 50 watt repeater to rebroadcast CJ. So that other and -- and satellite combined was roughly 23.6 percent and that's where we came up with our -- our 25 percent number.
9202 MR. JACOBS: And -- and -- sorry to interrupt you, Commissioner --
9203 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: No. No, no.
9204 MR. JACOBS: -- but one of the things that we found, generally speaking, with -- with those listeners who listen to satellite radio is that they hop as much there in terms of the various offerings that they would offer in terms of the adult contemporary format. So that's why we went to a broad base. Because if they're going to hop within very specific niches that satellite can provide, we want to make sure that we're just as appealing to them as -- as hopping around on -- on non-terrestrial radio.
9205 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: On revenues you have been fairly conservative in terms of when you think this operation is going to turn the corner. You know, you -- you're in negative numbers, I think, until what, about halfway into year three, is that correct, Mr. Larsen?
9206 MR. LARSEN: It's -- it's interesting when we look at these numbers here. We would lose year one and two, make about $15,000 in year three, but we tend to look at it a little bit differently because we don't really factor depreciation, it's an accounting, so take it out, add it back. So if you do that, we lose roughly $30,000 in year one, which a company our size can sustain; year two is about a break even, we start making money; year three. Because depreciation, interest, provision for income taxes are all really accounting that -- that happen behind the scenes that are not an operating expense. We look at, you know, gross top line expenses and a -- and a bottom line before we apply all that accounting at the -- at the back pack.
9207 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: The percentage of national to retail out of local grows to the extent that you're -- let's say by year seven you're talking two-fifths of your revs coming from national but you're fairly modest in year one, saying it's about one-sixth. Have you sampled the -- the rep houses and -- and gotten any idea on the leading indicators that back up these numbers?
9208 MR. LARSEN: Yeah. Both sampling the rep houses and both experience from our first two markets. And what happens is the year that you launch, the agencies in Toronto don't even know you exist. And then you tell them that you exist and they want proof that you're going to be there for a few years. So it's lean in the beginning years and then it starts to grow as you prove your longevity and your format and ... You know, and we -- we start to go talk to local franchisee owners and -- and ask them to speak to their agency to let them know that we're doing good radio and this type of thing. So those relationship-building and getting on the radar of Toronto and Vancouver agencies is really what happens. It does take that two or three years, but by year three, four, it sort of hits its peak and -- and it's fairly consistent in that zone once -- once you hit that peak, but it does take that first couple years to get there.
9209 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. And on local, you're -- you're saying in your written application that by and large you're -- you're pretty confident that you're going to be generating new revenues coming out of this market. Now, you know, you haven't quantified how much cannibalisation or how much of the lunch you're going to be eating from Pattison, but I'm just curious as to where you're getting that figure from. You know, why you're fairly -- fairly confident.
9210 MR. LARSEN: I mean, I'll let Michelle speak to it in -- in a moment, but, you know, as I was doing the research and looking at the market and talking to business owners and -- and whatnot, and, again, our experience in Lethbridge and Medicine Hat, so we're estimating in the chart, revenue from existing stations at 10 percent, the rest is going to come from other sources.
9211 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Really?
9212 MR. LARSEN: New radio advertisers, 40 percent; incremental spend of existing radio advertisers, 35 percent; and other media, newspaper, magazines, roughly 15 percent. So when --
9213 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
9214 MR. LARSEN: -- an advertiser has a -- say, a women's clothing store and want to target a female audience, they're not really inclined to do radio and buy the rock station. They probably are doing the country station and maybe a local newspaper ad, that -- that type of thing. So when a station comes to town that obviously targets that audience --
9215 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
9216 MR. LARSEN: -- and that the shop owner themselves as a 40-something woman is excited about, she knows she's going to direct some advertising to our station. And so that's partly based on feedback from talking to local businesses, partly based on our experience in Lethbridge and Medicine Hat, and partly -- there is -- there is a void there. There is -- there is -- you know, with 25 percent out-of- market tuning -- and we -- we saw a huge out-of-market tuning Medicine Hat when we won that license too.
9217 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm.
9218 MR. LARSEN: And when we brought local radio stations to town, advertising dollars were in many, many cases increased to add our station and it didn't really -- you know, it came at -- to some degree to the detriment of incumbents, but the overall market lift in the total amount spent on radio did increase and we anticipate that happening as well.
9219 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: But still, just before you jump in, because I -- I do want to drill down on -- on this local issue, but it's -- it's argued often that when -- when a competitive entrant comes into the market things get better rather than worse because of regression analysis and which usually spills. It just creates more tension. And I'm just wondering, did you do any regression analysis that kind of tells you that -- that the more radio offerings there are the more you get advertisers to think radio and -- and then you collectively start eating a lunch of print and other mediums instead of each other's revenues?
9220 MR. LARSEN: I think, again, we -- we sort of draw on our experience over the last seven years and what happened to us as we started our two stations.
9221 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes.
9222 MR. LARSEN: We saw without question and our national rep house and I think the CRTC market data, which is no longer published but I know that you have access to, showed a significant lift in radio advertising that was sustained over a period of time in the markets when new stations came to town. And -- and we really do truly -- because we're going to fill this void that's missing, that advertisers are going to be inclined to want to reach that additional audience, plus what they're already targeting. So we really do believe that we'll see a -- a lift in -- in advertising.
9223 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
9224 MR. LARSEN: You know, the other -- the other thing that -- that we see sometimes is -- is the competitive pressure on -- on rates. And, you know, quite often the -- the new station gets blamed for a reduction in -- in market rates and it's simply not been our experience. I mean, we have the most to lose if we come in and -- and undercut the rate. So --
9225 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
9226 MR. LARSEN: -- it's -- it's typically us trying to keep the rate at least where the market has been and -- and hopefully grow it from there because it's hard for -- we want to try and make money --
9227 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Sure.
9228 MR. LARSEN: -- fairly soon out of the gate and -- and not have a black hole to dig out of.
9229 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah. Well, nobody makes money when the whole store is on sale and I understand that.
9230 Now, Ms Steele, just to restate the question, on the other half of -- of retail local sales projections, you're probably pretty familiar by talking to these guys what the format is going to -- going to look like --
9231 MS STEELE: Yes.
9232 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: -- and you've got this psychographic, wonderful 3D profile of your advertising in your head. Talk to me a bit more about how you're going to be able to offer a different offering to a different client than what Pattison is -- is doing now. How your programming is going to be the lever for a different kind of revenue for sales.
9233 MS STEELE: We do things differently. Through Sky Radio we do offer different ideas, different ways. Our format will definitely be popular with advertisers because it will bring a lot more females, I believe, (indiscernible) to speak to females with what they already have there.
9234 At the same time our local news, that's what we really shine with. I think we'll bring a real public service to that area with our news. That's -- that's our pride and joy, the news that we do.
9235 I really believe, especially in communities that size, though, that the community -- communities that size support each other and they support each other's businesses.
9236 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm.
9237 MS STEELE: They're not going to take all their money from one station and give it all to us, they still won't do that, but, you know what, they'll add us in.
9238 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm. So --
9239 MS STEELE: They'll add us in.
9240 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: -- if you're boots on the ground with respect to sales, how much are you going to be expecting the ... How much of your pro forma is based on your successful ability to get those rebroads? What happens if you don't for some reason?
9241 MR. LARSEN: Sure.
9242 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Does the whole thing fall apart, crash and burn?
9243 MS STEELE: No.
9244 MR. LARSEN: Our revenue projections are based a hundred percent entirely on Cranbrook and the reason being that we're going for rebroadcasters, not separate individual licenses --
9245 MS STEELE: Right.
9246 MR. LARSEN: -- for those markets. So we'd be prohibited from selling additional radio stat-- you know, spli-- what we used to call split carting on our industry and be able to peel off -- Invermere is a separate market and up-charged at that market and that type of thing. We're -- it's a straight up rebroadcast. So the revenue projections -- and in fact, there's not enough data that we could find to even kind of quantify what a market like --
9247 MS STEELE: M'hmm.
9248 MR. LARSEN: -- Kimberley by itself could do in terms of revenue. So our projection is based solely on -- on serving Cranbrook.
9249 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. Just a few left and then I'm done, sir.
9250 Your pro forma has been very conservative, I appreciate that. We are appreciative of the full disclosure on the financing ability of the station, but if things go horribly bad for some reason, you know, are you capable of sustaining unexpected losses to the extent that assuage my fears?
9251 MR. LARSEN: Absolutely. I mean, first off, if you examine the pro formas of Clear Sky as it exists with two stations today, you'll see we have healthy cash flow and -- and reserves, and we're quite profitable in our two markets. So any difficulty or challenges in Cranbrook would be funded by and large through our profitability in -- in our two markets. So as shareholders, we just take less at the dividend year end and we -- we don't get to pay ourselves as well.
9252 The other thing, and I have stressed this at other hearings and I know you've heard it from me before, but when -- when I formed Clear Sky Radio --
9253 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm.
9254 MR. LARSEN: -- in 2005, I specifically sought a partnership with Hugh McKinnon and Mary Mills, who are my two business partners, so that I had a strong financial partner as an independent company and we could sustain those types of things. So we're -- we're well-funded as shareholders beyond the strength of -- of our current company. So we have a very strong operating company with the two stations today that I feel can easily sustain a more challenging pro forma than -- than we're hoping for in Cranbrook.
9255 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. The Pattison organization will have a chance to respond to this question later, but my -- my concern is that they have indicated in their intervention that they believe that the addition of another station into the market could actually have a negative impact in terms of the affordability of radio. You know, it's been my experience that -- that usually competition brings down rates, but I don't think anyone wants that to happen universally. But how do you respond to their assertion that -- that this could cause the radio market to -- you know, to inflate the cost of radio?
9256 MR. LARSEN: I mean, I couldn't understand the logic as I was presented with the intervention only from the point of view that you're exactly right, supply increases, price usually comes down. And what we want to avoid is where the price comes down so far that the radio stations are no longer able to make a profit. And so that's where you've heard a lot about over-licensing and -- and the reduction in -- in market capacity and this type of thing. We think -- you know, we compete with Pattison and Rogers in both of our two markets, so -- so we know our competitors very well.
9257 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm.
9258 MR. LARSEN: You know, I know that they've said to us privately pers-- you know, publicly on the street, whatever, I mean, we're -- we're a good operator. We're not an undercutter. We didn't come in and offer 5 dollar unit rates when we launched either of our stations and -- and I think Pattison and Rogers both respected the fact that -- that we wanted to come in and at least maintain the rate integrity. If we could come in and somehow drive the -- the overall rate of radio up 25 percent and have benefited both companies --
9259 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm.
9260 MR. LARSEN: -- it's not going to happen. You know, I -- I just can't see how radio becomes cost prohibitive as you add more product into a market, but that's, again, my point of view.
9261 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Last question. You have considerable experience in going head to head with the Pattison organization. This is an organization that because of its multifaceted nature has a pretty good track record knowing how to get its toes into the marketplace, and this question is related to not just the revenue side but the relationship side to community leaders and decision makers and advertisers. Has it been your experience in your working relationship in other markets that -- that this nature of competition is healthy, good-spirited competition to the extent that it doesn't upset community relations that can have a negative effect on the community you're entering into?
9262 MR. LARSEN: I mean, I would ask everyone --
9263 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Sorry, that's a mouthful, but (indiscernible)
9264 MR. LARSEN: I would every one of my colleagues to chime in, but what happens in these small communities, and I'd lump Lethbridge and Medicine Hat into small communities --
9265 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
9266 MR. LARSEN: -- we're under a hundred thousand people, Cranbrook certainly the same --
9267 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Right.
9268 MR. LARSEN: -- the broadcasting community does what's good for the overall community. It's -- it's amazing. I mean, we gave the example in our -- our presentation this afternoon about the Care from the Heart radiothon in -- in Lethbridge. This is literally where the Rogers stations, the Pattison stations, the Golden West Christian station, and our station all broadcast on the same day from the hospital --
9269 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm.
9270 MR. LARSEN: -- to benefit that foundation and raise funds. And that -- we're competitors but we're friendly and we're collaborative. And what's -- what's good for the community is good for us, and -- and I'm sure Pattison and -- and Rogers and Golden West would tell you the exact same thing in -- in terms of how we interact with each other to benefit the -- the markets that we serve, and I think it's particularly evident in small towns. There's just such a connection. I mean, you're -- you're the general manager of a radio station and, you know, you go to supper at a restaurant and you're bound to bump into the mayor or a business owner and it's just -- there's such a community connection that you may not get in a -- in a bigger sized city. You know, you get into a Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, you're -- you're not bumping into friends and family and associates quite as often as you do in -- in Lethbridge and -- and certainly Cranbrook.
9271 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: It hasn't felt like that this week.
9272 MR. LARSEN: No, I don't imagine.
9273 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah, well, thank you very much. Those are my questions, Mr. Chair.
9274 THE CHAIRPERSON: You can bump into friends and family, but you've got try a lot harder --
9275 MR. LARSEN: Yes.
9276 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- in the big cities.
9277 Mr. Shoan.
9278 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Good afternoon. Can you comment -- or presumably you've read it. Can you provide your perspective on Pattison's KPMG report with respect to market saturation?
9279 MR. LARSEN: We were obviously served the opposing the intervention and -- and took opportunity to respond in writing, so I have some of the details --
9280 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: M'hmm.
9281 MR. LARSEN: -- sort of top of mind. And the KPMG study in a lot of ways was -- was sort of hard for me to absorb because, you know, KPMG right off the beginning in their -- in their opening introduction to the report said there's not really enough market data in Cranbrook specifically to -- to draw conclusions, so we have to extrapolate from larger markets to -- to sort of formulate conclusions. And I'm not saying that -- I mean, it's a huge firm, they obviously know what they're doing and -- and it's -- it's reliable in that fact, but it's -- there's data outside of Cranbrook that's been extrapolated into that report.
9282 The one that jumped out at me as -- as the most important thing I took out of that report was, you know, they referenced Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Red Deer, Kelowna and Grande Prairie, where the Commission had licensed new competitors, and what impact did that have on the Pattison incumbent stations the year that the new radio stations launched. And in every single market, with the exception of Lethbridge, two or more competitors were licensed. And in -- and the profitability and -- and revenue of the Pattison stations declined and in some cases substantially in the year following. In Lethbridge the Commission took a more cautious approach and licensed one news station and the revenue on the two Pattison stations actually increased the year that our station came to market. And we know from the market data that the overall market lifted in Lethbridge too.
9283 So, you know, I think -- that was the one sort of thing that I gleaned out of the KPMG report that -- because it coincided with what we've always said about Cranbrook, it's a small market, we think there's room for one more radio station there to fill this middle ground of pop music. And -- and where the Commission fills a void and does it conservatively with one station, the net result can be what we predict in Cranbrook, which is a lift in local market tuning to radio and a local revenue lift overall.
9284 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Thank you for that -- that response. Can you tell me what the population is in Lethbridge?
9285 MR. LARSEN: So the Lethbridge population, I believe is ...
9286 FEMALE SPEAKER: 90,000.
9287 MR. SIEDLECKI: 90,000.
9288 MR. LARSEN: So -- but that would be the -- the Lethbridge region, is that -- or is that the city population?
9289 MR. SIEDLECKI: The City of Lethbridge is just over 90,000 in the census, city census that came out last year.
9290 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. So it's about three times the size of Cranbrook.
9291 MR. LARSEN: Right. And Medicine Hat is roughly 60,000.
9292 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Medicine Hat is roughly 60,000. Okay, fair enough.
9293 I think you covered both of these topics. I have a couple more questions for you with my colleague, Commissioner Simpson, but I just wanted to follow up to make sure I -- I understood your perspective. Audience tuning share, you hit the market running 24 percent immediately and growing to 26 percent. Typically when applicants make applications you see a growth, a ramp up over several years, but you seem to be expecting that once you hit the market there'll be immediate tuning, presumably because your format is geared towards women and your argument is there's nothing serving women, so they'll immediately turn to -- tune to your station. But has that been your experience in your other markets in which you operate, once you came to market there was an immediate tuning of that degree, of that significance?
9294 MR. LARSEN: The -- the best example -- Medicine Hat would be a better example than Lethbridge because there were fewer stations when we came. So in Medicine Hat when -- in 2008 there were two Pattison stations and -- and that was the market, and Rogers and us won second stations, so the market went from two to four. And we saw that market really level out, where -- in these small markets where there's -- there's three or four radio stations, the split almost does -- it's almost like an even split. It's, like, 20 percent, 20, 20, 20, and the CBC gets their 10, and satellite gets back down to 3 or 4 percent, where it should be, you know, relative to how it performs in other competitive markets. So the -- the reason in a -- in a small market like Cranbrook we would be bold enough to say we're going to come out of the gate with 24 percent, it's because we don't have to build an audience against three or four, five existing stations.
9295 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: M'hmm.
9296 MR. LARSEN: There's just a giant hole there. And that pent up demand, it's -- it is undeniable. And when -- when we came to Medicine Hat, the flood of phone calls and e-mails and -- and just people on the street saying thank goodness we don't have to pay Sirius anymore to get this music. You know, Sirius Satellite Radio had disclosed that Medicine Hat was the highest market per capita for satellite radio subscriptions and Grande Prairie was another market. And as the Commission licensed, you know, new competitors of -- of over-the-air FM stations in those markets, satellite did come back down to where you normally see it in -- in other competitive markets where there is choice on FM.
9297 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. That's very interesting.
9298 A question about national advertising. As I said, you did discuss it with my colleague, Commissioner Simpson. I found -- and I have queried quite a few people this week, and I'm speaking about the Vancouver-Surrey applications too about national advertising because it's fascinating to me the different approaches and predictions people make with respect to national ad agencies. In some cases this week applications for Surrey, which is a pop-- you know, a population of half a million people, targeting populations or demographics within that city of a hundred-some-odd thousand, eighty to a hundred thousand were predicting virtually zero national ad buys, and yet here we have a city or a population of around 30,000 and your projected revenues from national ad agencies are quite significant, substantially more than, for example, Vancouver-Surrey. And you touched a bit about it in terms of the approach, the relationship building in Vancouver and Toronto, but can you just expand a bit on that further? Do you expect to get national ad buys from Toronto more than Vancouver, Vancouver more than Toronto, are there other national ad hubs that you expect to touch base with?
9299 MR. LARSEN: Sure. So in -- in our two existing stations, Canadian Broadcast Sales is our national rep house.
9300 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: M'hmm.
9301 MR. LARSEN: And they have offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto. And usually your home province -- Montréal, sorry, excuse me, Mr. Vice-Chair, and your home province tends to generate the highest percentage of the national business. So --
9302 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
9303 MR. LARSEN: -- being in Lethbridge and Medicine Hat, the Calgary office and Edmonton office put -- is more money than Vancouver. Toronto handles the really big accounts, like the Home Depots and the Lowe's and the -- the Nissan Canadas, those types of things.
9304 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
9305 MR. LARSEN: The key difference, though, in this case and why we can see significantly more national revenue than, say, the Vancouver-Surrey applications that you've been reviewing earlier in the week is we're not going to be a rated market, so there's no BBM ratings. Their agencies are buying format now. So they're buying demographic and format, and they're going to basically -- what happened in -- in Lethbridge and Medicine Hat is they looked at it and said, okay, country serves this audience, rock serves this one, this news station serves this one and -- and the national average -- or sorry, the national revenue lifted significantly when another station came to town because in a non-rated market, where they have no other intel, national agencies tend to just add that third station onto the buy.
9306 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: M'hmm.
9307 MR. LARSEN: So Tim Hortons buys two stations today and next year they buy three, and they don't cut their advertising back. Where in Surrey, which is going to be looked at as a Vancouver station, the agencies are used to apply PPM data. And if you're not in ratings, you're not going to get any revenue. So in -- in Lethbridge I'm in a rated market.
9308 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Yeah.
9309 MR. LARSEN: If we rescinded our a-- or our membership in BBM and didn't participate, our national revenue would go to zero virtually overnight despite the fact that they would know we still had audience. They would have no way to prove it out. So Medicine Hat is a non-rated market and we see buys come in where all four stations typically get bought and they're bought on a -- on a -- on a per occasion basis, so there's more units sold at a higher rate and more stations get on the buy because they don't have a -- a computer program in BBM to say, you know, we can get 70 percent of the audience with only these three stations, therefore, we can exclude those guys. So, you know, in -- in a market like Cranbrook, which is another small market, CBS, you know, it almost assures us that they will get our station added to the buy and we have evidence to that fact because that's exactly what happened with us at our -- our two current stations.
9310 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Well, that's intriguing. Almost having the lack of targeting information almost works to the -- to the benefit --
9311 MR. LARSEN: Absolutely.
9312 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: -- in that market. That's very interesting.
9313 MR. LARSEN: Absolutely.
9314 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: One final question. The -- sorry, I just want to make sure I had it right. The Canadian Online Music Store, I'm not sure who can address that, but I'm very curious about that.
9315 MR. LARSEN: Sure. So it's a company named Mega Music Canada.
9316 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Oh, I'm very familiar with Mega Music, yes.
9317 MR. LARSEN: And so you would be familiar with Mega Music.
9318 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Yes.
9319 MR. LARSEN: So it's Terry and -- and Tim and ...
9320 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay, great. So if it's the Mega Music model, I'm very familiar with that.
9321 MR. LARSEN: Absolutely.
9322 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: That's great. Those are my questions, Mr. Chair.
9323 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Shoan.
9324 I think we've done the tour of the garden, as we say. I don't know if there's anything else you wish to add?
9325 MR. LARSEN: No. We appreciate the opportunity and it's been a pleasure to appear before you and have a great day.
9326 THE CHAIRPERSON: Pleasure having you here.
9327 So we're going to take a 10 minute break. I suggest we get back at 4:40 with the next applicant. Thank you.
--- Upon recessing at 1628
--- Upon resuming at 1641
9328 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good late afternoon. Thanks for waiting around, we appreciate it and we are ready to hear your presentation.
9329 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We will now proceed with item 15 on the agenda, which is an application by Newcap Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate an English-language commercial FM radio station in Cranbrook.
9330 The applicant also proposes to add an FM transmitter in Fernie to rebroadcast the programming of the proposed Cranbrook station.
9331 Please introduce yourself and your colleagues and you will then have 20 minutes for your presentation.
9332 Thank you.
9333 MR. MURRAY: Good afternoon, Mr. Chair, Members of the Commission and Commission Staff.
9334 I am David Murray, Chief Operating Officer of Newcap Radio. Before we begin our presentation I would like to introduce our team. To my left is Glenda Spenrath, our Vice President of Operations and Regulatory Affairs; beside Glenda is Hilary Montbourquette, Director of our Western Operations; and to my right is Steve Jones, our Vice President of Programming; and to his right is Roo Phelps, who is a newsperson at our Okanagan operation in B.C.
9335 I would like to ask Glenda Spenrath to lead our presentation for a new, modern AC FM station to serve East Kootenay.
9336 MS SPENRATH: When the Commission publishes a Call for Applications in any market, we always look at the call to determine if we should apply. We usually ask ourselves a number of questions: Is there a frequency that can provide good technical service? Is the market one that can sustain a new station, and can we succeed in it? Is there a clear format opportunity? Do we have any potential synergies in the market?
9337 If the answer to any of the questions is no, we usually don't apply. And as the applications have identified, there are clearly several frequencies available to serve the area.
9338 The second question is probably the most difficult one and has attracted a strong opposing intervention from the incumbent. And a first glance at Cranbrook made us wonder if the city of under 20,000 people could sustain additional service and whether we could make any headway with an entrenched incumbent with two FM services in place.
9339 Closer examination made us realize that there is a large regional market in the area. If one adds the regional district of East Kootenay, the population of the market is approximately 60,000 people, and that does not include the large part-time and tourist population that comes to ski and snowboard in the winter and to boat, fish and golf in the summer.
9340 The economic numbers for the region are very promising for radio. The Regional District of East Kootenay has posted per capita retail sales one and a half times the B.C. and Canadian averages, while the City of Cranbrook posts double the provincial and national averages. The district's average household income is about the provincial average, while Cranbrook is lower.
9341 How do we explain these discrepancies? First, the household income numbers do not capture the amount of money brought into the area by tourists. They spend on food, lodging, attractions, as well as sporting supplies and services.
9342 Secondly, Cranbrook is the centre of a large trading area of some 60,000 permanent residents and is the shopping centre for the region. Thirdly, the official economic numbers do not capture what may be the biggest industry in the area. In April, Health Canada regulations regarding the production and sale of medical marijuana will change and the potential economic benefits to the region are substantial.
9343 Cranbrook is already making zoning changes to accommodate these legislative changes. In addition, there is the open secret, marijuana grow ops. The Kootenays are one of two areas in B.C. which include both organized and unorganized grow ops of marijuana. While we cannot quantify the amount of this "off the books" industry, estimates of the overall value of B.C.'s exports of the illegal bud are in the area of $6 billion annually. And while this is across B.C., the two largest centres of activity are the Islands and the Kootenays. This industry might not be legal yet, but it has a very real economic impact.
9344 Now to speak about the format opportunity, here is Steve Jones.
9345 MR. JONES: Newcap always thoroughly researches the market for listener behaviour, satisfaction, interest in formats and association of the formats with existing stations. To assess these factors in Cranbrook, we commissioned Mark Kassof & Co. to conduct extensive research and a few things leaped out at us. First, the use of Sirius/XM by local residents is amongst the highest we have seen in all of our research across Canada. Twenty-eight percent of our sample of 18-54 year olds listen to Sirius satellite radio each week and 22 percent of them indicate they listen most to the satellite service. That makes Sirius/XM tied for the second most-listened to radio service in the market. These numbers are only seen in severely underserved markets.
9346 Second, we saw weak levels of satisfaction with existing radio choices. Only eight percent reported total satisfaction and 23 percent claimed to be somewhat satisfied. This isn't due to a lack of performance on behalf of the existing broadcaster, but rather a lack of choice in the community. Fans of Classic Rock and Country, the two formats currently in the market, show high degrees of satisfaction. But fans of CHR, Hot AC and Alternative/AAA show lower degrees of satisfaction. Meanwhile, Pattison's Rock station "The Drive" is most closely associated with Classic Rock, Classic Hits and Mainstream Rock, and their Country station, B104 is clearly identified with Country Music.
9347 Mark Kassof tested eight formats for interest and also to determine if there was a station that could be associated with the format. From that he develops a figure called "Format Void", that is the percentage of people expressing strong interest in a format that do not associate an existing station with the format. The highest Format Voids are Alternative/AAA at 14 percent, Hot AC at 12 percent, Mainstream AC at 11 percent and CHR at 10 percent.
9348 Mr. Kassof's conclusion was that the best option for Cranbrook is a combination of Alternative/AAA and Hot AC. We are calling this combination "Modern AC".
9349 Why this format? Mr. Kassof's research notes that it combines the first and second format voids. The projected core listeners, which he calls P1s, are even less satisfied with radio than listeners as a whole; they presently listen to radio less than average. That is what the research led us to.
9350 Then we need to put the flesh on the bones. Modern AC is not an unknown format to us. In the fall of 2013 we reformatted our radio station CKUL-FM in Halifax to this format and re-launched it as Radio 96-5. The format prominently features artists like Mumford & Sons, Serena Ryder, Metric, Matt Mays, the Lumineers and Imagine Dragons, to name but a few, who are crossing from AAA to Alternative to Hot AC and other mainstream formats. It is a new music format, with only 25 percent of its music from the past and the Gold is mainly from the '90s and 2000s. The format is very friendly to emerging Canadian artists such as Hey Ocean from Vancouver, Royal Wood from Ontario, and Montreal's Half Moon Run, all who now have a home in the Maritimes at Radio 96-5.
9351 We would like to bring the same exposure to the East Kootenay region and, therefore, we have committed to 10 percent new and emerging Canadian artists.
9352 There is a wealth of British Columbia talent to draw upon, including Hannah Georges, Yukon Blonde, Said The Whale, and Dan Mangan. Artists like these are profiled every day on Radio 96-5 in Halifax with some music-focused specialty programs that we will replicate in Cranbrook.
9353 The daily "Discover Music Session" invites listeners to hear a new song that has never been played in the market before and then to express their opinion using our mobile app. Our regular "Acoustic Coffee Breaks" profile our artists unplugged and quite often we record these performances in our own studio when the artists come by and we will share these across the Newcap stations. Both of these features will help give presence to emerging British Columbian and Canadian artists.
9354 Beyond airplay, we have devoted $175,000 over the seven-year term to develop Canadian talent. Twenty percent will go to FACTOR and we will request that they direct this toward new and emerging AAA and Hot AC artists; 52,500 will go to purchase instruments for local high school bands to nurture a love and passion for music in future generations.
9355 Finally, 87,500 will create a local talent program to develop new local talent, the way we have in Ottawa with our Big Money Shot and in Calgary with our Big Rock Star. Both of these programs have successfully nurtured careers, including bands like Makeshift Innocence, Hollerado and The Balconies.
9356 The core of our audience will be aged 25-44, with more women than men. Our typical core listener will be a 35-year-old woman. This is an active and highly engaged audience, and we will connect with them beyond the on-air signal.
9357 Our cutting-edge mobile Smartphone app allows listeners to not only hear us online, but to have an ongoing interactive dialogue with the radio station.
9358 Our texting program provides another level of interaction and our use of social media platforms completes the picture.
9359 To serve this audience, of course, we need to provide more than just great music and social media, and to speak to this I would like to call upon Roo Phelps.
9360 MS PHELPS: Good afternoon, Commissioners. To serve that key listener you need to provide concise information that they need to get through their day, between dropping the kids off for school, hockey practice or ballet classes, going to work and then coming home and getting dinner on the table.
9361 News will be broadcast primarily during the busy drive times, with short, concise newscasts through morning and afternoon. Our newsroom of two full-time and part-time and street crew will keep our listeners in touch with what is going on in the area. Seventy-five percent of the news will be local and, when covering provincial, national or international stories, we will always look for local relevance.
9362 All over Canada this winter we have been experiencing extreme weather conditions with great swings in temperature and precipitation. Accurate, up-to-date weather is a demanded feature and we will meet that need rather than lose our audience to cable or online reports, even more so in that area which is surrounded by mountainous passes that experience severe and quick weather changing patterns.
9363 We will add weather to each newscast and provide a separate weather report each hour. We also propose to provide regularly scheduled features, including a one-minute environmental feature broadcast twice a day, a similarly scheduled technology feature, a 15-second feature on the events of non-for-profit groups which would be aired eight times per day, seven days per week. A feature that we feel is a good way to reflect our audience is our daily listener poll, which asks for audience reaction on a number of issues and then reflects that back throughout the day.
9364 In a smaller community high school sports, and particularly those including the children of our listeners, are very important. We plan a one-minute feature eight times a day, seven days a week.
9365 Our drive periods will include interviews with local newsmakers, service clubs and community groups, aiming at keeping our audience up-to-date with the activities in their communities. Our announcers will provide interesting information on the music we are playing and the artists. Of course, we will provide in-depth coverage of local, B.C. and Canadian artists' upcoming performances and releases.
9366 And now here to talk about synergies and to wrap up is Hilary Montbourquette.
9367 MR. MONTBOURQUETTE: Our stations benefit from expertise and some services from our corporate centres. For example, Steve is always available to help out with programming advice, best practices and new ideas. Glenda manages the corporate budget process, cultural diversity, regulatory activities and CCD commitments, among the many other things that she does. Our Vice President of engineering, Mike Fawcett, directs our engineering efforts. And our regional headquarters help out with back office functions from payroll to billing.
9368 This kind of back office help allows us to focus on local service, local programming and local news and sales.
9369 We have two regional markets that can help support our activities in the East Kootenay, our stations in the Okanagan and our Southern Alberta group. Newcap is present in many different kinds of markets across Canada, from large and medium markets to single-station markets and other small markets. We have learned how to enter a market with a strong incumbent and we have known success in such markets, including most recently in Kentville, Sydney and Charlottetown.
9370 We know that Pattison Broadcasting is a well-established broadcaster providing good local service, but we are confident that we will complement their programming and help bring local listeners back to local radio from their iPods, from Sirius/XM, from online music sources.
9371 We thank you for your time and attention and we would be pleased to answer any questions you may have about our proposals.
9372 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, thank you very much for that presentation. Commissioner Shoan will have some questions for you.
9373 But just in the interest of perspective, do you know what the national average is on Sirius consumption? Because you said you were 20 percent in that market, but you didn't indicate the national average.
9374 MR. JONES: I don't have the statistics on national average for Sirius/XM --
9375 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
9376 MR. JONES: -- but in markets that we exist in where we researched tuning, it generally is in the five to eight percent range.
9377 THE CHAIRPERSON: I thought it was in the 4-5, okay.
9378 MR. JONES: Yes.
9379 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you.
9380 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Thank you very much. It's interesting because you are the second broadcaster that has come before us this week and argued that their particular format in a particular market will bring people back from the digital online platforms and satellite radio. It's sort of like radio is fighting back at last against all these new options. It's interesting to see.
9381 I take your point about the off-the-books in history in the Kootenays with the grow ops, but I would assume the grow ops will not be advertising with you?
9382 MR. MURRAY: I hope so.
9383 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: All right. Can you tell me a little bit more about your social media applications? You referred to your interactive application, you referred to your texting program. I'm always interested to know what measures radio broadcasters are taking with respect to social media, given that going to the digital platform in the future is really what I think is going to keep radio alive.
9384 So, if you can expand the bit upon that that would be great.
9385 MR. JONES: Absolutely. We have recently begun to deploy across our country, across the company a new social media app and what it does essentially is aggregates the conversation. So one of the disconnects we have had in the past is that we may say something on the air and we may ask our listeners to visit our Facebook page for more and comment there.
9386 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
9387 MR. JONES: The problem with that is that the conversation doesn't come back to the radio station, it doesn't go on Twitter, it doesn't appear on our website, it exists on Facebook and I'm sure Mark Zuckerberg is wealthy enough without our assistance.
9388 What the app does is it aggregates the conversation into one online app. So people who use Twitter, people using Instagram, people using Facebook or people commenting online or people using the actual app are all seeing the conversation as it happens. If we ask people to say, what is -- there's a big storm hitting, what is the weather like where you are right now, using our app they can take a picture and share it and people on different platforms all using the app can all at the same time see that information.
9389 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: So it's like a chat program?
9390 MR. JONES: It is like a chat program, but it is advanced on the level that it draws on Twitter and draws on Facebook --
9391 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
9392 MR. JONES: -- and brings it into one platform.
9393 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. I understand. Great. Ms Phelps, can you tell me a bit about these environmental features, technology features, what kind of information is going to be contained in them? I'm sorry, or should I --
9394 MS PHELPS: I would like to defer to Steve Jones on this one.
9395 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Sure, yes.
9396 MR. JONES: Happy to address that. Those are the kinds of features we run at many of our radio stations. A great example would be Ottawa at Live 88.5 where we run both a daily environmental and a tech feature. They are produced in-house by our own staff. Each member of the staff takes a sort of pride of ownership approach to one thing.
9397 So in Ottawa at Live 88.5 we have taken a hard stance on environmental responsibility, we have become Canada's first and only carbon neutral radio station and Jen Traplin, our afternoon host at Live 88.5, personally adopted the idea of environmental tips and she produces one each day and it airs throughout the day and seven days a week.
9398 Dave Schellenberg from our morning show is very much into technology and has a similar approach with a technology feature that updates people on new apps, new developments with Smartphones and mobile applications, and so on.
9399 We would apply that same approach in Cranbrook using our own local staff here. Although we may be able to share the information across our stations, we would ask our local staff to take that same pride in the work they do and produce that locally.
9400 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. And how many local positions will be created with this if your application is approved?
9401 MS SPENRATH: Okay, sure. We are budgeting for a complement of 14 full-time and the equivalent of four part-time people, so we are looking at a staff of 18 across all of the disciplines for the areas, the programming, the news, technical, admin, sales.
9402 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. And how many of those 18 will be sales?
9403 MS SPENRATH: We are budgeting for four sales.
9404 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Okay, great. Thank you very much.
9405 MS SPENRATH: Yes.
9406 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: I'm just going to combine a few questions here that really go to the heart of the challenges with operating as a sole operator coming into a new market.
9407 Newcap has quite a few small to midsize market stations so you have some expertise in that area, but gaining traction in Cranbrook as a stand-alone station, particularly when you are trying to repatriate listeners who have gone to satellite radio, who have gone to Internet sources, will be challenging in and of itself, but much like the application we just saw before us, I notice in your tuning you predict 15 percent audience share in your first year and that holds steady for the entire seven-year projected term.
9408 So it's a challenging situation to go into, but you seem to be quite confident that you can hit the ground running, much like the previous applicant, and gain audience share fairly quickly. Can you explain that a little bit further?
9409 MR. MURRAY: Yes.
9410 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Go ahead.
9411 MR. JONES: As was noted earlier, when you provide a service that is currently not in the market, we find in our experience you immediately attract the listeners who are seeking out that service.
9412 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Has that ever happened to you before when you have launched a previous station where you have had a significant uptake of that amount?
9413 MR. JONES: Sure.
9414 MR. MURRAY: We mentioned in our presentation that we have launched stations against incumbents where we weren't -- for example, in Sydney we launched a Hot AC station, there were two stations launched at the same time, but there were three incumbents and our Hot AC actually -- the very first -- we launched in June and the very first BBM was in December and we had a 54 share of that market, which was crazy.
9415 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Yes. That's significant.
9416 MR. MURRAY: Like we didn't hold onto it, but we still had a 38 share I believe. So, you know, our research, Mark Kassof predicted that we would have a 15 share, I think that is very conservative.
9417 Another example, we launched in Kentville, Nova Scotia with a classic rock station against three incumbent stations and we had a 40 share with our first book.
9418 So we are not expecting that, we didn't build our financials based on the fact that we are going to do that, we built it on the 15 percent.
9419 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Right.
9420 MR. MURRAY: But, you know, another example, in Charlottetown we were granted to FMs at the same time, we had an AM, we launched the two FMs against two incumbent FMs and we had a 70 share the very first book.
9421 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: So the trend seems to be when you launch there is an initial splash and then it levels out at a --
9422 MR. MURRAY: Well, you know, we still have a 60-some share in Charlottetown, we still have a 38 share in Sydney and our share in Kentville is...?
9423 MR. JONES: It's about a 25 share.
9424 MR. MURRAY: About a 25 share.
9425 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. To continue the conversation in that vein, can you talk a little bit about the capacity of the market to sustain additional service and can you specifically reference the KPMG study put on the record by Pattison in terms of the market saturation arguments made there?
9426 MR. MURRAY: Sure. I think I will get Glenda to add some details about the KPMG survey --
9427 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Sure.
9428 MR. MURRAY: -- because she did analyze that extensively and provided us some comments on that. But our ability to -- you know, I think the market is very likely underserved right now in terms of revenue; it is clearly is underserved in terms of choice, and when we enter a new market with a new product that's not there, which we always try to do, the market revenue almost always goes up quite significantly.
9429 So Glenda, if you want to add some specifics about KPMG.
9430 MS SPENRATH: Sure. I did spend an extensive amount of time going through the KPMG study, and while the data is correct, really I think some of the conclusions that were drawn from the information weren't particularly relevant to this proceeding and I will give you a couple of examples to give you an idea of what I mean.
9431 In the study it talked about the market growth and it said how the market hadn't really progressed or rebounded from the recession in 2008-2009, and it also talked about how the incumbents hadn't recovered from the recession either.
9432 So I went back to the 2008 data in the FP markets and I compared it to 2012 to see what had happened in the market. I can't speak for the incumbent, but I can look at the market.
9433 And what I found there was when I looked at Cranbrook the retail sales had actually increased 36 percent from 2008 to 2012. The East Kootenays, it had increased 11 percent. When I looked at disposable and household income, it had increased nine percent in Cranbrook and it had increased 14 to 15 percent in the East Kootenays. And then when I looked at population, it had increased 1.8 percent in Cranbrook and 3.1 percent in the East Kootenays.
9434 So I guess all this to say that it may be that the incumbent hasn't recovered from the recession of 2008 and '09, but if that is the case it would be in spite of, not because of the strength of the market.
9435 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
9436 MS SPENRATH: Another area that I looked at when I was looking at this study is the population growth and the data that they had used for that was the B.C. Stats, the government site and where it breaks down the population in five-year increments, and the age groups that they looked at were 20 to 54, which really isn't a normal broadcast demo that we would use as currency when we are looking at our targets.
9437 So I went and I looked at all of the population and what I found was that in total population and in the adults 18-plus, females 18-plus, in the adults 25-44, which is the core demo we are looking at, and in the females 25-44, all of those showed positive population growth projected over the next 10 years.
9438 So, I mean, the specific window that they looked at was negative, but when you take a step back there is positives in the region.
9439 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: So in that vein, I was going to ask you as my follow-up essentially to address Pattison's arguments that the introduction of a new station would have a negative financial impact and would affect its ability to provide the continuing valuable contributions that it makes.
9440 But the argument you seem to be making is that the region is in fact growing, just Pattison hasn't been able to capitalize on it.
9441 MS SPENRATH: Yes. And that's the other thing that the study had said, too, is that the revenues were flat to inflation. Well, flat to inflation doesn't mean flat, it means that you have paced with inflation and that's I think something that you would normally see in a monopoly situation where, you know, they are keeping pace with inflation, if it is two percent they have been growing, but when you bring a competitor into the market and, you know, you sort of sharpen your pencils and you become a little more aggressive and you are working harder at getting the sales, you are going to -- as you had talked about in the previous application, you are going to see growth in the whole market.
9442 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. And as we discussed with Clear Sky, the impact on advertising rates; do you envision that there would be undercutting of rates, that rates would significantly dip with the introduction of a new --
9443 MS SPENRATH: Yes, I think I will defer to Dave for that.
9444 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Sure.
9445 MR. MURRAY: Sure, I will make something up. No, I mean, we sort of pride ourselves in trying to lead the market in rates. We don't cut rates, we provide solutions to clients, and typically you will find that the responsible broadcaster -- with responsible broadcasters the leader will be the -- you know, will lead in rate and they won't cut rates, they won't -- if somebody comes in and offers a $10 rate, you know, your sales reps are trained to say, well, you know, if you don't want liver at $5, you don't want it at -- you know, you don't want it at $20, right.
9446 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Yes.
9447 MR. MURRAY: You know, and they don't -- you know, if you pay $10 for that, that's what it's worth, but we are going to provide solutions, we are going to continue to provide the solutions that we have provided for you year after year. So, there definitely won't be rate cutting.
9448 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. So how much of your perspective on financial impact on the incumbent in your potential financial growth or benefit is based on your submission that we should be looking at the regional district of East Kootenay as actually the market and the market isn't Cranbrook/Fernie?
9449 Would that change your analysis if we were just to look at Fernie and Cranbrook alone, or do you feel like we have to look at the entire region as a whole when assessing the market impact?
9450 MS SPENRATH: Yes, I really think you do have to look at the entire market. I know, like I live in an area where there is a large regional component in Lloydminster and the city population there is 30,000, but the trading area is more like 70,000 or 80,000.
9451 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: M'hmm.
9452 MS SPENRATH: So, I mean, that has a very big impact and it can't be ignored, and that is part of your business plan.
9453 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. And I can't remember if it was in your opening remarks, the East, the actual region, the population would be upwards of 70...?
9454 MS SPENRATH: It's close to 60,000.
9455 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay, 60,000. Can you talk about how the spoken word programming on your proposed service would reflect Fernie, if at all?
9456 MR. JONES: Oh, it would be done in a similar way to how we do that at a variety of radio stations.
9457 For example, a good comparison might be Charlottetown where we have two FM stations who each have two re-broadcasters at each end of Prince Edward Island.
9458 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
9459 MR. JONES: So we are licensed to Charlottetown, we serve Charlottetown, but we serve the entire island and we recognize that.
9460 There are two really two ways we do that; one is through electronic means where we develop relationships with all of the newsmakers and we make sure that we are electronically in touch with them, we develop a following amongst social media users to make sure that we are up to date on what's happening through Twitter and Facebook.
9461 The other avenue is through our boots on the ground and we will send street teamers and events people to all of the events in all of the regions. So in Charlottetown there might be something happening in Surrey, which is a fairly -- not this Surrey, but their Surrey in Prince Edward Island --
9462 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Right.
9463 MR. JONES: --- that's a fairly long distance from Charlottetown, but it is part of our listening area and we send our street team there, we cover events there and as they happen there we report them in real time on the radio station.
9464 So it is one broadcast area and we do our very best to reflect the happenings in every community within it.
9465 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. So remind me again, this one broadcast area would encompass Cranbrook and the surrounding communities in that region in your view are Fernie; would that include Invermere and Kimberley and all those other --
9466 MS SPENRATH: When you look at our contour maps, our 3 mV and .5 mV, the Invermere and Sparwood are outside of both of those contours, but Kimberley and Fernie clearly are in.
9467 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay, great.
9468 That's great. Those are my questions, Mr. Chair.
9469 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. I just wanted to make -- just a precision before -- I think Commissioner Simpson may have some questions.
9470 Certainly population doesn't have to grow for local economies to grow, there's transient economic activity, there's tourist dollars that come in. In your projections for this region over the next year, you are projecting what kind of growth?
9471 MS SPENRATH: In our revenues?
9472 THE CHAIRPERSON: In the growth of the region, the local GDP, if you will.
9473 MS SPENRATH: As far as through the retail sales goes at the market you're talking?
9474 THE CHAIRPERSON: Not necessarily the retail sales, I saw those numbers and I saw them earlier with the other applicant.
9475 MS SPENRATH: Okay.
9476 THE CHAIRPERSON: But do you have growth projections for the region?
9477 MR. MONTBOURQUETTE: The government of British Columbia is projecting 31,000 more jobs will be created in that region between now and 2020.
9478 MS SPENRATH: And I think, like I said, when we go into a market, you know, generally the first couple of years you will see some rapid growth because we are getting up to speed, our revenues are catching up to our audience and so you will see probably, you know, maybe 10 percent in the first couple of years, but then you will drop down to a more stable amount, like a three percent increase overall.
9479 MR. MURRAY: Retail sales are probably the most relevant statistics for radio measurement.
9480 THE CHAIRPERSON: Measurement, yes.
9481 MR. MURRAY: And we have shown exact correlations to it in many, many markets. So retail sales increase in the next 10 years in Cranbrook is slated for 36 percent and in the region of 11 percent, so it's vibrant.
9482 THE CHAIRPERSON: And just briefly on how you would deal with rate cutters, you spoke on the subject briefly. Would you maybe like to expand on that, Mr. Murray? You are not the rate cutter, but what if you have rate cutters in a market?
9483 MR. MURRAY: We create relationships with clients. Our product is going to be completely different than the two incumbents, it is going to be 25-44-year-old females, which is absolutely the sweet spot in advertising.
9484 We are going to provide solutions for clients and by filling their stores with customers they are going to come back and buy us. They don't even ask what the rate is, they just say, you know, we will give you this remote on Saturday and all this lead up to it, but we really focus on long-term campaigns, six-month, 12-month campaigns and provide solutions to clients. So, the rate becomes a much smaller issue.
9485 So I don't think we will be necessarily competing as significantly with Pattison's radio properties as you might think because of the different demographic.
9486 THE CHAIRPERSON: How many stations do you have now in Alberta, between Alberta and B.C., the total number of stations for Newcap between these two provinces?
9487 MR. MONTBOURQUETTE: Forty-two.
9488 THE CHAIRPERSON: Forty-two out of like 87 or whatever the total is?
9489 MR. MURRAY: If I may add, you know --
9490 MS SPENRATH: I think it's rebroads, the 90-something. The 90-something is a combination of originating licences and rebroads.
9491 THE CHAIRPERSON: And rebroads, okay.
9492 MR. MONTBOURQUETTE: One thing we know, if you establish a value you never get a rate objection. So, you know, rate cutters just haven't established value.
9493 THE CHAIRPERSON: Very well. Commissioner Simpson...?
9494 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Ms Spenrath, we know each other well. Do your kids know that their mom is working on a business plan that contemplates marijuana industries?
9495 MS SPENRATH: Not in the least and I'm not going to direct them to the transcript.
9496 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Wow! I have heard it said that that industry is larger than the forest products industry. It's scary.
9497 Anyway, I just have a couple of questions. I wanted to zoom in on a couple of things. First off, you are proposing a different frequency than Clear Sky; is that correct?
9498 MR. MURRAY: Yes, that's right.
9499 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. I'm just curious why.
9500 MR. MURRAY: We don't know what frequency that they have applied for and we just asked our engineers, go get the best frequency you can. We assume it is the best. We have no idea.
9501 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. And I was just curious if there was something deeply strategic because, you know, you're just asking for one rebroad, which made me curious.
9502 MR. MURRAY: I was going to comment on that. I think our two FMs with, you know, 2600 W on the Cranbrook and 360 W on the Fernie is fairly similar to the four that Clear Sky is proposing. Our coverage, our total population coverage is fairly similar.
9503 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm. That could account for why your revenue projections are pretty similar, particularly as you get toward year-end.
9504 But I was curious as to -- just two points and I'm just getting my paperwork in order. I was just curious as to why your revenue projections were as strong as they are in year one, given what we have seen from the competitive applicant.
9505 MR. MONTBOURQUETTE: We took a look at the retail sales and we saw that in 2012 that Cranbrook is at about 700 million, East Kootenay at 1,200,000, in round numbers, projected to grow by at least five percent in the next five years.
9506 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm.
9507 MR. MONTBOURQUETTE: And when we do the formula on radio share of that at .3, .4 percent, we figured that the Cranbrook market's probably, you know, a little over two million, East Kootenay at around four. Our estimate -- and for our projections we did it at .5 percent. So, we figured the Cranbrook market is probably about 3.5, East Kootenay in general probably 5.5 to six. And we have a very conservative projection coming in at 15 percent share.
9508 So, we estimated in round numbers that if we used a .3, .4 percent formula we would generate -- I'm sorry, the .5 percent formula we would generate about $800,000, you know, in year one, which we thought was a very modest number to project that we could --
9509 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Well, you start higher but your increments are tighter as you go from year to year which, you know, I think goes to your point about being conservative.
9510 MS SPENRATH: Yes.
9511 MR. MONTBOURQUETTE: Yes. And that's because we realize it takes time to develop relationships and, you know, to develop the trust that goes along with and having clients invest their advertising marketing dollars with you. So, we're taking a very conservative approach in our growth in terms of our projections.
9512 You know, we obviously expect to exceed those expectations, but --
9513 MS SPENRATH: Sorry. And if I just might add that, back to your original point about, you know, the projections being strong in year one, we are dealing with a very clear format void, you know, so there is a greater opportunity there than if there were other more stations in the market where it's a little tighter.
9514 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I can see Clear Sky right now going back and recasting their numbers and looking for what you are seeing, which is interesting. But, you know, it's to the point, though, because, you know, you are coming out of the gate stronger and I appreciate that and I appreciate the increments being more conservative, it was just I was wondering if there was anything else with respect to your sales, your method of sales approach or that you were into two markets, which gave you an opportunity to be more concentrated rather than the four proposed by Clear Sky.
9515 MR. MONTBOURQUETTE: Well, we think there are at least 3,483 businesses that are not using radio.
9516 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
9517 MR. MONTBOURQUETTE: And we say that based on the 2012 projections on per capita retail sales growth.
9518 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes.
9519 MR. MONTBOURQUETTE: We feel that the radio market is underserving and it is underperforming in a variety of female friendly businesses, such as women's clothing, grocery stores, shoe stores, family-focused businesses, lingerie stores, and we feel that there are many businesses in the Kootenays that could be on the air that aren't.
9520 And in the fall of 2013 Selkirk Community College, with the Columbia World Development Institute, did an economic study in the Kootenay development area and found that it was evenly split between Central and East Kootenay and together they comprised 80 percent of the businesses in Kootenay.
9521 There is a total of 11,707 businesses in that area. East Kootenay makes up 40 percent or half of that 80 percent, which would translate to 4,683 businesses, or 40 percent of the 11,707.
9522 Now, where I'm going with this on is that Pattison has two originating stations in Cranbrook, one in Fernie, and any successful radio station would have about 400 active accounts on the air. So, that would suggest that Pattison has 1,200 accounts in the 4,683, so that leaves 3,483 business opportunities.
9523 So we are pretty optimistic that we can tap into that and deliver the number that you referenced.
9524 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I know you are open to the page that I also want some other information on, so I will go right back and ask.
9525 On your national to local ratios, you know, you are incredibly conservative. I think, you know, by year seven you are looking at a 10:1 ratio where Clear Sky was talking more like a 1:3 ratio national.
9526 Have they got a better rep house or what's --
9527 MR. MONTBOURQUETTE: We share the same rep house.
9528 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Oh.
9529 MR. MONTBOURQUETTE: Canadian Broadcast Sales. You know, we have a great relationship with them, as does Clear Sky.
9530 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Sure.
9531 MR. MONTBOURQUETTE: And, you know, our --
9532 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I was being a little lighthearted there. I am not anywhere near the talent of this guy, but I was just trying to be a little lighthearted in asking about the rep house.
9533 MR. MONTBOURQUETTE: Okay.
9534 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: But the analysis of national to local stands out and I'm just curious as to why.
9535 MR. MONTBOURQUETTE: Well, we focus local. You know, when you have the relationship locally you tend to foster better relationships and you tend to grow business collaterally.
9536 And, you know, while we recognize national business is very important, you know, in radio markets of course it's numbers driven, but in areas like Cranbrook and some of the other markets similar to that Newcap serves, you know, when you develop good local relationships you tend to -- you have control over influencing those decisions.
9537 So, you know, we would rather be in a situation where we can influence and motivate our advertisers to do reciprocal business with us.
9538 MR. MURRAY: Another probable difference between ourselves and Clear Sky is where the agency business goes. We have an employee in Calgary who handles all of the agencies, and for us it goes into local. The only national is what CBS actually sells, so --
9539 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Ah!
9540 MR. MURRAY: -- regardless of where it comes from.
9541 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Great answer. That makes perfect sense to me. Thank you very much. Those are my questions.
9542 THE CHAIRPERSON: Maître Pinsky, anything else you want to...? No?
9543 Thank you very much. Thank you very much.
9544 Madame la Secrétaire, announcements?
9545 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This completes Phase I for items 14 and 15 on the agenda. We have now reached Phase II in which applicants appear in the same order to intervene on competing applications if they wish.
9546 For the record, Clear Sky Radio Inc. and Newcap Inc. have indicated that they would not appear in Phase II. This completes Phase II for items 14 and 15 on the agenda.
9547 Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
9548 THE CHAIRPERSON: I thought about pushing my luck and continuing, but we will come back tomorrow. Thank you all so much. We will see you tomorrow morning, 9:00 a.m.
9549 THE SECRETARY: Nine a.m.
9550 THE CHAIRPERSON: Merci, Madame la Secrétaire.
9551 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1724, to resume on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 0900
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