ARCHIVED - Transcript, Hearing 15 May 2014
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Volume 3, 15 May 2014
TRANSCRIPTION OF PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
To consider the broadcasting applications listed in Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2014-102, 2014-102-1 and 2014-102-2
Holiday Inn Toronto Yorkdale
3450 Dufferin Street
15 May 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 2014-102, 2014-102-1 and 2014-102-2
Joshua DoughertyLegal Counsel
Joe AguiarHearing Manager, English Radio Operations
Holiday Inn Toronto Yorkdale
3450 Dufferin Street
15 May 2014
- iv -
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE / PARA
9. Jenani Subramaniam 475 / 3013
8. Sivakumaran Sivagnanam 477 / 3022
11. Magdala Home Care 480 / 3046
12. Bangladeshi-Canadian Community Services 486 / 3079
13. Tyrone Fernando 490 / 3094
14. Sudharshan Durayappah 494 / 3115
15. Marvin Macaraig 498 / 3134
16. Bridge for Tamils 503 / 3159
18. Mohamed Hanseer 506 / 3177
19. National Ethnic Press & Media Council of Canada Inc.509 / 3193
20. Wakisan Mathieaiaparanam 517 / 3236
21. Wikneswaran Paramanathan 522 / 3269
22. Ontario Safety League 526 / 3288
24. Dr. Vadivelu Santhakumar 531 / 3309
25. Taibu Community Health Centre 537 / 3347
26. The National Campus and Community Radio Association542 / 3370
17. Canadian Tamil Women's Association 551 / 3430
1. WhiStle Community Radio 555 / 3452
2. Intercity Broadcasting Network Inc. 557 / 3464
3. WorldBand Media (OBCI) 569 / 3519
4. 8041393 Canada Inc. (OBCI) 578 / 3566
5. MBC - Multicultural Broadcasting Company Ltd. 589 / 3636
6. 105.9 FM Ltd. 594 / 3666
--- Upon commencing on Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 0907
3008 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, please.
3009 Madam Secretary...?
3010 THE SECRETARY: Good morning.
3011 We will now start this morning with the presentation by Jenani Subramanian.
3012 You have five minutes to make your presentation. Please open your microphone. Thank you.
3013 MS SUBRAMANIAN: Good morning. I am Jenani Subramanian.
3014 I am a regular listener of CJVF and I appreciate their programs so much because it gets our needs very well and it was very unfortunate that someone who wants to eliminate CJVF would be able to file information.
3015 I personally was there witnessing it and this happened at a banquet hall. And we were sitting down at a party when a man approached me saying, "Can you sign for listener support?" So I said, "I already signed it." He goes -- first I asked him for which FM was it. He said, "It's for Vanakkam FM." I said, "I already supported them." And then he's like -- I said, "No. I'm not going to sign it." And then he goes like, "No, it's -- please sign it." And then he goes like -- "But I already signed up for Vanakkam FM. Why you want me to sign it again?" And then he goes, "No, please sign this, because everyone is looking at me." And then I asked him, "First you tell me for which station this is for." He goes, "Oh, it's for CTBC." And I'm like, "No, I'm -- I already signed for Vanakkam FM and I'm not signing this."
3016 And he went to my brother-in-law. We were like around a table. He went to my brother-in-law and he's like, "Can you sign, because people are looking, they are making fun of me. If I go without this signed they will say something. Can you please sign this?"
3017 And we all refused it because we are a listener, a regular listener of CJVF.
3018 Thank you.
3019 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
3020 THE SECRETARY: I will now ask the next Intervener, Siva Sivakumaran, to come to the presentation table.
3021 You may open your microphone. You have five minutes.
3022 MR. SIVAKUMARAN: Good morning. I am a regular listener of CJVF Vanakkam FM. Vanakkam FM is one of the important radios for our community because they are giving the right news and the right things in the right time.
3023 And I heard about in the last couple of months it's going to be some problem. So I need Vanakkam FM for a long time because -- especially they are giving some announcements for our community and our people.
3024 For example, blood donations and the social events, that's important for -- definitely for seniors. They announce all the seniors programs, where it's going to be held and what is the importance of the programs. So most of the seniors participate in the event. So they are giving the good announcements all of the day -- I mean the future programs.
3025 And one more thing I'm going to tell, Vanakkam FM CJVF is a good media to transform the language skill of youngsters because our youngsters are following the mainstream education and the mainstream language, so most of the time they are speaking English. So Vanakkam FM CJVF is giving a lot of opportunities and programs to participate for youngsters and kids and to make their presence in our own language. So this is very important.
3026 So I request Vanakkam FM and CJVF is going to be continued and it's going to give them good and valuable program in the community.
3027 And also, they arrange a lot of community programs and that was very wonderful for our people. Also, they spend their valuable time to getting relaxed.
3028 So I am always supporting Vanakkam FM CJVF to giving a good program and good community announcement and good news on the right time. So I am strongly supportive of Vanakkam FM and CJVF.
3029 Thank you.
3030 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
3031 One question. Sorry, we have a question.
3032 MR. SIVAKUMARAN: Yes, sir.
3033 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: I'm sorry. Can I ask where you are normally resident? Do you live in Scarborough or Markham?
3034 MR. SIVAKUMARAN: Scarborough. Exactly I am living at Markham and Shepherd.
3035 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. And when you are travelling through the GTA --
3036 MR. SIVAKUMARAN: Yes.
3037 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: -- do you listen to Vanakkam FM?
3038 MR. SIVAKUMARAN: Yes, sir. In the Scarborough area it is completely almost okay, but if I pass the Markham area or if I come to the downtown -- I used to go to work in downtown. So if I passed through the downtown area I had a lot of problems to -- you know, the area, so yes.
3039 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: What about -- but you can get it in Markham?
3040 MR. SIVAKUMARAN: No, no. If I come to Markham I am unable to listen to the radio. It's a lot of interruptions when I listen to the radio and also if I go to downtown the same situation. Because sometimes I was listening to the news, so I had a lot of problems to continue to listen to the news sometimes when I go to downtown.
3041 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Thank you very much.
3042 MR. SIVAKUMARAN: Thank you, sir.
3043 THE SECRETARY: I would ask, is Ramana Sasikaran in the room?
3044 So we will go to the next Intervener, which is Magdala Home Care.
3045 THE SECRETARY: Please introduce yourself and you have five minutes. Thank you.
3046 MS PRABAHARAN: Good morning.
3047 My name is Sumathi Prabaharan. I am married and I have two children and my mom lives with us. I am a senior instructor at Computek College teaching Community Services Worker program to adult students and I am also the President of Magdala Home Care, providing staffing to elderly in the community. I have also held several senior positions at the CNIB, the YMCA of Greater Toronto and I continue to volunteer in several non-profit organizations in the community.
3048 I have known Mr. Kandiah Sivasothy for 20 years. I consider him to be a pioneer in broadcasting to the Tamil community, a humanitarian, a capacity builder, a facilitator for social change, mentor and a true friend. Over the years he empowered our Tamil community through CTBC.
3049 Today I'm here to speak on behalf of Mr. Kandiah's application for 102.7 FM. I believe the type of radio he is advocating will benefit all members of the multicultural communities in Scarborough, Pickering and Ajax.
3050 Let me explain the power of radio as it relates to the impact on immigrants.
3051 Twenty-five years ago, like many immigrants to this new land, the Sri Lankan Tamil community sought asylum in this beautiful country called Canada, which we now call our home. However, the early years of settlement were extremely challenging for all of us. We worked day and night, long hours, sacrificed family time, health and inner peace to survive and to give the best to our children today. In the process, we became lost, isolated, displaced, depressed and unhealthy, both emotionally and physically.
3052 Then one day, 20 years ago, Mr. Kandiah came into our lives with his radio station and started talking about all the issues we were experiencing.
3053 CTBC was not just an ordinary radio station. The station connected with all the lost Tamil souls, brought them together, spoke to us, listened to us, heard us, healed us, engaged us, empowered us and gave us a new meaning for life. CTBC became our safe haven.
3054 My mom, like many other elderly women, was completely lost in this country until she started listening to CTBC. That radio station rejuvenated her spirit.
3055 Today I am here to tell you why Mr. Kandiah is the best candidate for this 102.7 FM radio station.
3056 Having an FM licence will provide MBC the opportunity to reach out to the second and third generation of Tamil Canadians. He is the only media person who boldly spoke about the untouchable issues that were considered taboo or shame in the Tamil community. He not only spoke about them on the radio, he encouraged us to speak about them.
3057 We are a male-dominant society. Our women won't speak about abuse, discrimination and equal rights, but MBC does and will do so on 102.7 FM. We need this kind of programming on 102.7 FM radio. I know Mr. Kandiah will make it happen. Right now it is not happening on 102.7 FM. Please, Commissioners, make it happen.
3058 The different ethnic communities live in silos but they all seem to have the same needs as first-generation newcomers, they all seem to access similar services and they all seem to reinvent the wheel to survive. I see a tremendous need to build a bridge among these communities. We need to engage in a collective action and have a vision for change.
3059 I believe Mr. Kandiah will use his new FM radio station to bring about the change in the different cultural communities like he has done with his SCMO for more than 20 years and become this change agent who can help and will inspire, motivate, engage in many communities that make up Scarborough, Pickering and Ajax.
3060 Gandhi once said, "We must be the change we want to see in this world," dear Commissioners, and it is Mr. Kandiah who will bring this change that we all seek to see in our community with 102.7 FM.
3061 Thank you.
3062 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Simpson has a question for you.
3063 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you very much. It was a very articulate and effective presentation.
3064 I have a question for you that comes from an experience that we are seeing and having in Western Canada. We have a very high percentage of a Punjabi population in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia and my question is going to your point about talking about issues that are relevant, need to be broken open, examined and discussed.
3065 Now, the question I have is that we are experiencing a form of discussion on some radio stations that are directed to the Punjabi population and what seems to be happening is that instead of uniting the communities, it is actually dividing the communities.
3066 Where do you think that line gets drawn? Do you see that as a potential problem or is it really in the experience of the broadcaster to moderate the conversation so that there isn't division as a result of these conversations?
3067 MS PRABAHARAN: It's a great question, sir. Yes, it is, not just Punjabi communities. In many communities, as I said, we live in silos. It's a wonderful country and in the name of multiculturalism we have been given the rights or we have been given the opportunity to live with our values to maintain our culture, our heritage, our tradition.
3068 However, so what -- if you ask me, so what brings them together? I think after 20-25 years in this country I see the need to live together. We cannot live like this isolated. For example, the Punjabi community women, let's take an example, they need to be empowered to become independent, finally survived and settled. But we'll take one example. The same issue applies to Sri Lankan, to Pakistan, to Bangladeshi, all these communities.
3069 So how do we empower women? How do we empower them to do things so that they feel good about contributing to their family and to the community?
3070 Radio is the media. There is no question about it, sir, and you understand. So we will -- they will all come together, yes. So I have the change need, they have the need, so let's all work together. So what is out there for us to get help? How can we bring the change among ourselves? And I'm sure this is the way to go.
3071 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So you don't feel -- I gather from your answer you don't feel that this type of conversation is opening old wounds and old ways, it's actually a healing process, not a revisiting of the problems that a lot of people who immigrate to Canada are trying to get away from?
3072 MS PRABAHARAN: Mr. Simpson, I think we need to -- we need to first feel the pain before we get healed and this is exactly the way to do that. And CTBC has tried that in our community and it worked really well.
3073 I don't have the time to give you stories. I have beautiful stories to convince you and that we were successful through this media, especially in our Tamil community, especially in our women. If we can do that -- if he can do that through CTBC I'm sure he can do that in bringing the other cultures together and to find that healing, yes.
3074 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you very much.
3075 MS PRABAHARAN: Thank you for the opportunity.
3076 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I really appreciate that.
3077 THE SECRETARY: I will now ask Bangladeshi-Canadian Community Services to come to the presentation table.
3078 Please introduce yourself and you have five minutes. Thank you.
3079 MS AKTER: Good morning. My name is Nasima Akter. I am the Executive Director of Bangladeshi-Canadian Community Services. I thank the Commission for giving me the opportunity to speak here today on behalf of Bangladeshi community to support MBC's application for the licence to operate 102.7 FM.
3080 BCS is a non-profit charity organization that supports South Asian immigrants in the Toronto area since 2000. There are a variety of issues in our community that are not being addressed at the moment. I would like to take this opportunity to state my feelings on how MBC can meet these needs.
3081 Our community lives in a high priority neighbourhood of Toronto and most of the population is new immigrants. In this community, the level of poverty is high and access to services is low. The economic profile of the new immigrants presents a challenging scenario where 40 percent earn less than $20,000 and 17 percent earn less than $10,000 annually, making it one of the poorest parts of Canada.
3082 This community faces barriers in accessing jobs in mainstream organizations and has little choice but to look for opportunities within their communities. There is a need of capacity development and self-confidence building in this community. This community is underserved in terms of access to resources and services, which needs to be addressed.
3083 Apart from the basic needs, there are social and cultural issues making this community vulnerable. Language barrier is one of the top reasons making this community isolated from the mainstream. Most adult women and seniors are isolated and suffering from depression and mental illness. Intergenerational differences and cultural degradation is creating a division between immigrant parents and their children, which is leading to family tension, violence and breakups.
3084 BCS has worked closely with CTBC in many community projects and community services in the past few years. We are excited about the plan for MBC to broadcast 12 hours of Bengali programming in a week on 102.7 FM. This will make it possible to reach the community at large with various educational, recreational and cultural programs for the Bengali community.
3085 I believe there is a tremendous need for this kind of programming. At the moment, there is only one hour a week on the radio of culturally specific programs for Bangladeshi living in this community.
3086 Mainstream media never talks about ethnic community needs, lifestyle, success or good things. Most of the time, they only broadcast the bad incidents of our ethnic community.
3087 I believe 102.7 FM will have the programming to deal with those issues important to Bengali community, programs dealing with elder abuse, women's issues and next-generation issues, so too, Bengali cultural and educational programs that will help second-generation Bengalis to know and respect their roots and cultural diversity to make this ideal citizen for this country.
3088 Even the proposed French show on 102.7 FM will help the ethnic community to improve their proficiency in English and French. Giving MBC the licence for 102.7 FM will contribute to making this community more vibrant and active. The station can broadcast different social, cultural and sporting events, especially when it comes to cricket. On behalf of the Bangladeshi community, I strongly support this initiative.
3089 I know Mr. Kandiah. He has more than 20 years of experience serving this community. Therefore, I strongly support and believe Mr. Kandiah is worthy for this licence for 102.7 FM radio.
3090 Thank you very much.
3091 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
3092 THE SECRETARY: I would now ask Tyrone Fernando to come to the presentation table.
3093 THE SECRETARY: You have five minutes for your presentation. You may begin.
3094 MR. FERNANDO: Good morning. My name is Tyrone Fernando and I am a resident of Ajax for the last 13 years. I came to Canada 25 years ago as an independent immigrant along with my family from Sri Lanka.
3095 I am here this morning to speak in support of the Multicultural Broadcasting Company to be awarded the licence for 102.7 FM to serve first-, second- and third-generation immigrants living in Ajax and Pickering.
3096 I run my own business and I am the President and CEO of Geesha Foods International Inc. for the last 16 years. Twenty-five years ago I never thought I would be able to interact into the Canadian way of life but I was surprised because I achieved my Canadian dream.
3097 In this context, with the tremendous increase of immigrants to Canada, the need for MBC to operate on 102.7 FM is imperative. Ajax has seen an increase of 21 percent in its immigrant population between 2010 and 2014. Sri Lankans, Filipinos, East and West Indians are among the newcomers to the area.
3098 How will these immigrants achieve their Canadian dream? How will they start to prosper in their business? How will they join in the conversation of understanding the Canadian way of life? How will they interact in the diversity of ethnicity?
3099 One way for this to happen is for the CRTC to grant MBC the licence for 102.7 FM so that it can offer its programming to deal with all these issues I have raised.
3100 I believe a licence for broadcasting must also be viewed as a licence for an opportunity to promote local businesses. The radio station will help me and other business owners in Ajax reach new clients. More businesses create job opportunities in the community. I believe that this applicant has a revolution of ideas to make this work.
3101 MBC has more than 20 years of experience serving the Tamil community with CTBC. For more than 20 years Mr. Kandiah Sivasothy has been a great supporter of the many cultural communities in the area. He is a well-known and respected broadcaster who has helped so many immigrants adjust to the Canadian way of life.
3102 As a person involved in the political field during federal and provincial elections, including the current election campaign, I have had the opportunity and privilege of visiting more than 20,000 households in the Ajax/Pickering areas.
3103 A common cry that I encounter by the Sri Lankan Sinhalese, Filipinos and East Indians was the need to create and have such a medium to receive information in their own language about the Canadian way of life, its culture, its values and the role they can play in the growth of Canada by its interaction in ethnic diversity.
3104 They need a medium to disseminate information so that they will appreciate the Canadian way of life but still value their inherent way of life of their own countries.
3105 Let us not fail these immigrants who have come to Canada and who will continue to come in the future. Let us provide these people the opportunity and platform to participate in their own language and in the process learn and understand the meaning of Canada being a truly multicultural society. Let them be partners in progress through their ethnic diversity.
3106 Commissioners, you can play a role in making this happen by awarding the licence for 102.7 FM to MBC. In doing so, this Panel will be remembered for their bold and correct decision based on the facts and experience of this applicant. MBC is the only truly honest, genuine and capable applicant of achieving the objectives of the CRTC.
3107 Make me proud so that I can tell all my friends, Sinhalese, Tamils, Filipinos and East Indians that as an intervener I spoke on their behalf in obtaining a licence for a truly multicultural broadcasting station, MBC 102.7 FM.
3108 Thank you for your time and patience.
3109 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. I will get you to write my speeches for me some day.
3110 MR. FERNANDO: I'm sorry?
3111 THE CHAIRPERSON: I will get you to write my speeches for me some day.
3112 MR. FERNANDO: Good. I charge $100 an hour.
3113 THE SECRETARY: I would now ask Sudharshan Durayappah to come to the presentation table.
3114 THE SECRETARY: You have five minutes for your presentation. Thank you.
3115 MR. DURAYAPPAH: Thank you.
3116 Good morning. My name is Sudharshan Durayappah. Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to appear before you today to support the Multicultural Broadcasting Company's application for 102.7 FM.
3117 In my capacity as a Professor of Eastern Religions and Ancient History at the University of Toronto and a community member, I am keenly aware of Mr. Kandiah Sivasothy's radio service for the last 20 years.
3118 MBC will build on its 20-year legacy experience servicing the community with its weekly hour-long multi-faith programming on Sundays at 6:00 a.m. on 102.7 FM. Its creative Sunday morning show will use guest speakers, panel discussions and youth ambassadors to thoughtfully unpack the various philosophies and practices, bringing into focus the pluralistic nature of religious traditions.
3119 Each week the show deals with one of the religions of the seven communities targeted in this application. Most of the communities are newcomers to Canada. They bring their respective religious practices with them and begin to engage with the religious traditions of their neighbours. The basic understanding of various religious practices of each other's festivals and celebrations creates a deep feeling of tolerance and compassion.
3120 World religions, especially religions practiced by the listeners of 102.7 FM, follow various calendars such as the lunar-based calendar and different solar calendars. Hence, the different religious festivals, celebrations and special days of observance of many religions occur close to each other and even overlap.
3121 The different ethnic programs and its all-inclusive English morning show provide opportunities for organizers, religious leaders and listeners to discuss and promote their events on 102.7 FM.
3122 Many religions' practices have similarities, especially the idea of pilgrimage. The pilgrimage mirrors the idea of an individual's quest. The multi-faith programming on 102.7 FM radio translates this individual quest into the collective experience facilitating understanding and relevance to each other's religious practices.
3123 World religions have produced exquisite art and architecture which were meant to instruct, reinforce and inspire the faithful and the layperson alike. Art and culture civilize humanity in a myriad of ways.
3124 Artists are the forerunners and hold up a reflective mirror to our society. Music and dance are important cultural signifiers that maintain identity. On-air support for music and dance will create intercultural dialogue among many communities.
3125 The arts also create cross-cultural connections and strengthen humanity. Musicians, visual and performing artists make art that relate to the human condition of their audience. The on-air segments with artists, art creators, curators, even promoters, will provide a much-needed understanding of the artistic process and the challenges of this underrepresented group, providing an insider's perspective on the arts on 102.7 FM.
3126 I applaud MBC for including this in their programming. I look forward to listening to the interviews of the artists, dancers, musicians and the various leaders in the multicultural arts community. The multilanguage programming of 102.7 FM of religions and the arts reinforces the aspects of identity and empowers the younger generation.
3127 Significant airtime on 102.7 FM will be dedicated to programming in English. This is vital for the second and third generations living in Canada. The bicultural and sometimes tricultural realities of the second and third generations of immigrant communities will be reflected and better served by 102.7 FM's progressive programming in English.
3128 Many immigrant youths may understand various mother tongues. Yet, they are comfortable to communicate their thoughts in English. The English programming of 102.7 FM will bridge between the various generations and will forge a solid intercommunity connection.
3129 In conclusion, Mr. Kandiah Sivasothy's 20-year legacy of contributions will anchor the endeavours of the new 102.7 FM. Here is a veteran with a unique vision, a commitment to follow through and possesses the crucial experience in the field. His keen sense of generational needs and his interest, paired with his commitment to cross-cultural dialogue, has positioned MBC as a worthy recipient of this licence for 102.7 FM.
3130 I thank you all.
3131 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
3132 THE SECRETARY: I would now ask Marvin Macaraig to come to the presentation table.
3133 You have five minutes for your presentation. You may begin.
3134 MR. MACARAIG: Okay, thank you.
3135 Good morning. My name is Marvin Macaraig and before I begin I would like to acknowledge the Committee for giving me a chance to address them today.
3136 I am here to support Multicultural Broadcasting Company's application for 102.7 FM. The type of radio that Mr. Kandiah Sivasothy is advocating will benefit the multicultural communities in Scarborough, Pickering and Ajax. Let me explain why.
3137 I teach Urban Geography at the University of Toronto Scarborough and I have expertise in metropolitan governance and civil society engagement.
3138 Scarborough, my home, is an amazingly diverse part of Toronto. According to the 2006 Census, more than 65 percent of Scarborough's residents are visible minorities and South Asians represent 22 percent of the population. This area serves as a significant catchment area for newcomers to Canada.
3139 These basic metrics are a key signal and point to MBC's broader potential to aid Scarborough's multicultural communities. One problematic issue of politics and governance in Canada and one that is continuously raised by the public and academics alike is the severe underrepresentation of visible minorities in elected office and the chronic voter apathy exhibited by the electorate, especially young people.
3140 These issues are closely related and are particularly relevant since the identity of our political leaders and the civic enfranchisement of residents serve as a direct, tangible and visible measure of progress in our society. Both these issues play an important role in determining how and why communities are able to create stronger and more inclusive spaces and places for their respective residents.
3141 Simply put, visible minorities in federal, provincial and municipal elected offices in the GTA are severely underrepresented. This diversity gap has been highlighted by several studies. One study in 2011 from Ryerson University, the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance and Maytree Canada reported that visible minorities comprise 40 percent of the population but only 11 percent of elected officials.
3142 With respect to the level of government that I am most interested in, municipal politics, unfortunately, the figures are even worse. At the local level visible minorities represent a mere 7 percent of all 253 municipal council members in the GTA.
3143 Some visible minority sub-groups have achieved only slightly higher levels of relative success, but others, despite having large populations, have zero elected members from their communities. These groups include Arabs, Filipinos, Southeast Asians, non-white Latin Americans. This observation is also applicable to Scarborough.
3144 The bottom line here is that despite all of the upfront real and perceived benefits of having a culturally diverse population, visible minorities running for elected offices face notable and nuanced constraints.
3145 Addressing this diversity gap is important because our political leaders serve as the symbolic face and represent the shared values of our communities. Political leaders directly reflect a community's influence and future ambitions.
3146 One aspect of my research examines what strategies or tools can be utilized by residents and civil society groups that will help them gain political traction at all levels of government. I believe that a variety of factors can potentially influence a group's electoral participation. Some of these factors include the size and concentration of a population, the establishment of networks and identification of shared community values, and, perhaps most importantly, media access.
3147 So now, the question is: How can we begin to address this political underrepresentation and what is the role of local media?
3148 Firstly, I would argue that local media directly equates to local politics. I would further argue that confronting and addressing this diversity gap will require a committed long-term approach.
3149 One important intervention is the successful establishment of a South Asian ethnic commercial radio station in Scarborough, exactly like the one MBC is proposing. MBC would provide a direct channel into these communities for all potential political candidates.
3150 Having a well-run, accessible and affordable access to radio programming can play a significant role in educating and informing residents. In particular, targeted ethnic radio programming that tackles issues that are important to Scarborough's multicultural population and how these issues can be addressed both between and during election cycles is really important.
3151 Ethnic FM radio that enlightens and helps organize the collective strengths and abilities of Scarborough's Tamil, Bengali, Gujarati, Sinhala, Urdu, and Tagalog-speaking communities will play a substantial role to help better integrate new Canadians settling in the Eastern GTA.
3152 Programming that accommodates long-form interviews, that explore, investigate, educate, and ultimately empower residents will play a key function in increasing political awareness and social literacy in the most underrepresented visible minority groups of Scarborough. This is especially poignant for those newcomers who may have never previously had the opportunity to cast a ballot in democratic elections.
3153 In summary, I firmly believe that the establishment of local ethnic FM radio in Scarborough by MBC has great potential and plays an important role in helping to address the current diversity gap in political leadership in municipal politics.
3154 Thank you.
3155 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Well said.
3156 MR. MACARAIG: Thank you.
3157 THE SECRETARY: I would now ask Bridge for Tamils, Mr. David Thomas, if he is in the room.
3158 THE SECRETARY: You have five minutes for your presentation. Please open your microphone and you may begin.
3159 MR. DAVID: Thank you.
3160 THE SECRETARY: I'm sorry, please open your microphone. Yes, thank you.
3161 MR. DAVID. Thank you.
3162 Good morning, Mr. Chair, CRTC Commissioners and others in the room. I am Thomas David, President of Bridge for Tamils NGO, whose mission is to help newly arrived Tamils integrate in the Canadian society.
3163 I have also been involved in support awards to the Tamil community for some 25 years more and I am running in this fall's municipal elections to become Scarborough Town Centre Councillor, Ward 38. I am involved in Scarborough politics and community life through my volunteer activities, my political informant and my work as a paralegal.
3164 Scarborough has greatly changed over the years. What was newly developing subdivisions on Toronto's east side with access to Lake Ontario at the Scarborough Bluffs has become one of Canada's largest municipalities and over the years Scarborough has become home to wave after wave of new Canadians, including those from the Caribbean, Arabs, Koreans, Chinese, Tamils, Filipinos, Persians and many others.
3165 Most of the ethnic radio in the city is aimed at the longest established immigrants in Canada and, more particularly, the two largest segments, the Chinese population and the South Asian population, particularly Punjabi and Hindi speakers.
3166 There are similar amounts of programming for many other groups, but there are some groups with much lower, if any, amounts of programming. Yet, the population of a number of these groups is expected to be double or more over the next 15 to 20 years, and if the past can predict the future, Scarborough is likely to be where they will come in Canada.
3167 New Canadians and particularly those from visible minorities are generally younger than the Canadian average and a stroll through the Scarborough Town Centre or other large meeting places will tell you that Scarborough is a multiracial city with many younger people from the immigrant communities. These young people study and socialize together. A walk through one of the subdivisions is instructive with Tamil families living beside families from the Arabic, Persian or other communities.
3168 A station that reflects this diversity and not only provides styles of programming for different groups but also helps them understand each other's cultures through their international languages and music will be very welcome.
3169 I have known Mr. Nadarajah for many years and can tell you that he is a very good man, dedicated to saving his community with positive messaging, building on their strengths rather than their divisions.
3170 For all of these reasons, I strongly endorse Mr. Nadarajah's proposal.
3171 Thank you.
3172 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
3173 THE SECRETARY: I would now ask the next Intervener, Canadian Tamil Women's Association.
3174 THE SECRETARY: They are not in the room.
3175 I would ask Mohamed Hanseer to come to the presentation table.
3176 THE SECRETARY: You have five minutes to make your presentation. Please open your microphone and you may begin. Thank you.
3177 MR. HANSEER: Good morning, Mr. Chair, CRTC Commissioners and ladies and gentlemen in the audience.
3178 My name is Mohamed Hanseer and I am here to support the application by Mr. Kumar Nadarajah for a new multi-ethnic radio licence based in Scarborough to serve the eastern side of Toronto with programming for a diversity of underserved groups.
3179 First let me tell you a bit about me. I am of Sri Lankan origin educated at the University of Ceylon in Philosophy and Sociology. I was the Registrar of the University. I came to Canada in 1993. I am very interested in culture, particularly the written word as I am a poet and author.
3180 As I noted in my written intervention, Toronto has a multiplicity of ethnic radio stations with many of the major and long-established communities well served.
3181 The Latino community is well served by its own community station. Canadian Multicultural Radio serves the Tamil and the South Asian communities. A more recent arrival, CINA Mississauga, largely serves the South Asian communities in the rest of the GTA while Markham Radio in Scarborough seems to be exclusively dedicated to Tamil. There are a number of missing pieces to ensure complete service to new Canadians in the GTA.
3182 While the Arabic, Filipino, Farsi, West Asian and Korean communities are among the fastest growing in the city, and while there has been a strong presence here since the early 1980s, there is little service for them in their own language. Most of the service currently available and aimed at the most recently arrived older ethnic generation of ethnic Canadians with programming often more aimed at nostalgia for the old country than to living in Canada today.
3183 In my own Tamil community the newer generation, even those who speak with an accent, are more oriented to living here and now. They are well educated to a large extent and well integrated on an economic and social basis, but they are not hearing programming that deals with their heritage. Many speak among themselves a mixture of English and Tamil. While some in our community degrade that, it is a fact of life.
3184 Mr. Nadarajah's proposed station would be a breath of fresh air in Toronto. It will provide service to underserved communities while also bringing together on air the young people who see each other in school and work. They appreciate each other's culture and do not see themselves reflected on radio.
3185 I have known Mr. Nadarajah for a number of years and can attest to the quality of his programming and his dedication to the communities he serves.
3186 He has been recognized on many occasions, not only with the Tamil community, but in the broader community. He has been a strong supporter of emerging musical and other creative talent. Over the years he has helped new artists record, at least promote their music primarily in the Tamil language. He has also helped publish a number of books including his own book on broadcast journalism, a copy of which I am holding up.
3187 This is the book published by Mr. Nadarajah. This is his photograph. This is called, "Broadcasting Journalism".
3188 He is dedicated and generous and has a wonderful nucleic of friends and contacts in many ethnic groups and in both ethnic and mainstream media. In part, that is why he was able to recruit such a strong panel of young people.
3189 I am very confident that if you give him a licence to serve Scarborough and area, he will exceed his promises to you.
3190 Thank you for this opportunity to speak to you. Thank you, sir.
3191 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. No questions.
3192 THE SECRETARY: I will now ask National Ethnic Press & Media Council of Canada to come to the presentation table.
3193 MR. SARAS: Permission to use those glasses. I'm sorry, I forgot the other ones.
3194 MR. SARAS: Good day, Mr. Chair, Commissioners. My name is Thomas Saras and I'm the President and CEO of the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada.
3195 The Council is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and integrate economic, social and cultural interests of ethnic communities into the mainstream Canadian society.
3196 Our membership includes 700 of the ethnic publications from all over Canada, including weeklies, bi-weeklies and other newspapers serving more than 93 linguistic groups that are established in Canada and also another 160 radio and TV program producers.
3197 Most new arrivals in Canada look for connections both with their homelands and their cultures and with a new culture they are interested and immersed in. Ethnic newspapers and magazines can help bridge the two cultures, radio and television also play an important role in informing and educating the new arrivees.
3198 While there are ethnic newspapers and magazines for many different cultures, Toronto radio does not have the same degree of service. Large and growing communities, including the Filipinos, Persians, Arabs, Vietnamese, Koreans and Tamils have little or no radio service.
3199 But even as new immigrants arrive in increasing numbers, those who have been here longer have differing needs than when they first arrived and their children and grandchildren also have different needs as well. Many of these second and third generation residents, as well as younger new arrivals attend schools and work with people of many cultures.
3200 In some cases, they are required to be the bridge between their parents and the mainstream culture and they are helping in the integration into our society.
3201 Not only do they adjust to their own culture and mainstream culture, but also meet many from other new cultures. They make new friends and learn to like the music and cultures as they come to meet.
3202 Ethnic radio does a great job for the third generation and for the older members of the ethnic communities, but it has limits for the second and third generations.
3203 East FM's proposal to bring together multiple cultures, including some that have little or no radio service in their language will address the needs of these large and underserved groups. Toronto needs such a station.
3204 Mr. Kumar Nadarajah has provided excellent service to the Tamil community for some 25 years. Contrary to some in the ethnic radio community, he has looked for service and to bridge differences rather than to aggravate them.
3205 He is a member of my Council for the last decade and he's a well-respected professional amongst his colleagues and the community which he serves with dignity and integrity.
3206 This is the reason the Council is pleased to offer its support to the application for East FM.
3207 At this point, please allow me to add that I'm serving this community, I mean, the Canadian community for the last 45 years being myself an immigrant and publisher of a newspaper, it's called "Patrides North American View", which is in Greek and English.
3208 I am a professional in the field and over the years I had the honour to serve the community through radio and television. I served with CBC and also with CHIN Radio. I believe that I know very well the multicultural communities and their needs. I am not new immigrant anymore, but at the same time I dedicated my latest part of my life to help those communities to have better experiences than my generation when we first arrived in Canada.
3209 And in a period of time where we have an integration and we want to do that, and at the same time in our profession we've seen that media is going to some persons only, or some groups. I do believe it is for the freedom of the voice of expression and the press to have to offer the ability to these young people who want to serve their own community and Canada have this opportunity.
3210 Thank you.
3211 THE CHAIRPERSON: I believe Commissioner Simpson has a question for you.
3212 MR. SARAS: Oh, yes.
3213 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Mr. Saras, thank you very much. One of the joys of doing these hearings is that we get the chance from time to time to talk to individuals that we would like to have more exposure to. And because of your experience, I'd like to ask you two questions, please.
3214 MR. SARAS: Yes, sir.
3215 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Question No. 1 has to do with ethnic media and the issue of first, second and third generation. From your experience and that of your members, is it feasible in a commercial undertaking to, or possible to be able to retain first generation and serve their needs and still retain second and third generation as they integrate into an English-speaking environment?
3216 I ask this because we see in our statistics that if you go back to broadcasters, for example, that started serving European immigrants as they came over in the 1950s and 60s, those stations are losing a lot of their second, third and fourth generation as they integrate over to mainstream.
3217 Is this something that you're familiar with and can you share some insight on?
3218 MR. SARAS: Correct. I presiding this community over the last 25 years as President of the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada, I have been involved heavily with the various communities.
3219 As being myself an immigrant I have my own kids and now I have my grandkids, and although I'm the person who immigrated, the first generation of Canadian immigrants from my family, my kids, yes, they do speak, they do read my mother tongue which is Greek and my grandkids, of course, little bit more, but not as much as their own parents, which means the integration is a natural thing.
3220 When we are talking about media serving the communities, Commissioner, I want to remind you what happens in Europe where they try to use strict laws to control their immigrant population and from time to time you have riots and so on.
3221 Here in our country, and I'm proud of saying, "in our country", everyone is free, everyone feels like home. Integration is going to come, and it's going to come, it's a natural process. We have schools, we have culture, we created a new culture and, therefore, whatever we try to do right now is to give the impression to each one of them that they are at home, the first generation of immigrants.
3222 Eventually, and as the communities change, second or third or fourth generation, the stations and the newspapers are changing themselves.
3223 When I started my newspaper 44 years ago it was only in Greek; today 60 percent of the paper is in English, 40 percent is in Greek, trying to combine the old generation and the new generation.
3224 This is part of the community, this is part of the culture and this is part of the market, especially with the market.
3225 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: That's an excellent answer. Thank you. The other question has to do with that evolution you're speaking of.
3226 We are very starved for radio spectrum to be able to offer it up to new licence applications. In your opinion, and I would appreciate a short answer because we are time starved ourselves here this morning, is mainstream media doing enough to recognize that as much as 30, 40 percent of their population have ethnic interests and they are losing audience potential by not serving them?
3227 MR. SARAS: Unfortunately, my answer is no, sir, from my experience. I served, I worked for them and I've seen what exactly they do. Our media industry, either press or electronic media, they are looking for the dollar and only the dollar, nothing else.
3228 And these real people who are coming here in front of you and they are asking to be blessed with the licence, they are still thinking of serving the community and this is why I am for them and not for the organized members of the media because each one of them is looking how to get into something else within the rules and the regulations of the CRTC.
3229 Everyone who receives a licence, he has to know that also during his -- during the day he also has problems that related to Canadian culture, either political or cultural or anything else because the radio, either it is this radio or any other radio, it's the medium which is going to bring community into the Canadian media and this is exactly what -- how I feel it should be done.
3230 Thank you.
3231 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you very much.
3232 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. We will take a 10-minute break.
3233 MR. SARAS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
--- Upon recessing at 1006
--- Upon resuming at 1020
3234 THE SECRETARY: Please present yourself for the record, and you have five minutes for your presentation.
3235 Thank you.
3236 MR. MATHIEAIAPARANAM: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Greetings to all.
3237 Further to my letter submitted in the application by WorldBand, I am very excited to take part in this hearing in support of Mr. Selvadurai's application for Scarborough One.
3238 I came to Canada in 1988 as a refugee and joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1995. Currently, I serve in the Canadian Armed Forces as a Regular Force soldier in the last 17 plus years.
3239 Now, even recently, they renew my contract to CRA-60, so until age 60 I can serve for this great nation.
3240 I served in the country in Canada and abroad in the department of logistics, intelligence and administration and medical branches. I have experience working throughout the snowstorm in Toronto, tsunami and other Canadian military operations recently.
3241 I was part of National Day of Honour event held in Ottawa to honour Canadian fallen soldiers in Afghanistan. I am also the recipient of the best soldier of the year award 1997.
3242 I live in Ottawa, and I'm married with two kids, both of my kids born in British Columbia, Vancouver Island.
3243 I am also an entrepreneur. I own two restaurants and over 40 staffs working for me. However, my duty to this great nation comes first, and that stands above all my commitments.
3244 Why do I support Prabha and his application?
3245 I have known Prabha Selvadurai, Prabha, as a dear childhood friend and as a professional, and I have no doubt in my mind that Prabha will do everything within his moral and ethics in any situation.
3246 He was always straight A student, even in Sri Lanka under the British education system. I don't know how he does it, but he always gets As with distinctions.
3247 When he moved to Canada and went to Waterloo as an engineer student, and he did it again. He was the recipient of the prestigious National Science and Engineering Research Council scholarship.
3248 I have watched him over the years grow from a young boy into young man, an entrepreneur, a supportive husband, a great father of two and dedication to his community.
3249 I also admire his loyalty to this country. I remember he visited me in Ottawa for a Canada Day weekend with his children and wife. He said, "This country has done so much for us and I want my child to know how great this nation is".
3250 Leadership is about developing and training others. It is not about organization or structure. It is about the people achievement and acknowledgements.
3251 I learned this from my former Colonels and Generals in my profession. Working with the senior officers of various ranks and quality they possess in their leadership, I see similarities with Prabha. He is a leader with a vision.
3252 I have worked with Prabha side by side as an event director for South Asian Business Festival in 2005. I was in charge of 250 staff and volunteers between the ages of 14 to 70.
3253 The event was a huge success, attracting well over 40,000 people over the three days. We originally organized for a two-days festival, but people were lined up around the International Centre, tickets were sold out, so we extended the event the third day as well.
3254 I have learned a lot about Prabha during that time.
3255 On the third day when the event was coming to an end, all of us were very tired. I still remember Prabha still with his energy telling me to make sure that all the staff and volunteers, all 250 of them, should be called on the stage to be recognized and appreciated.
3256 It was very impressive. He knew everyone by their first name and made sure that no one is missed on this picture. That is leadership.
3257 There was another incident during the event. The International Centre received a bomb threat during the festival. Prabha remained calm, but took immediate action.
3258 When the RCMP and CSIS arrived, he put me in charge and made sure that any necessary action is taken. That is leadership.
3259 For the event, we had artists come from Europe and Asia to participate in the festival program. Prabha told me that these performers should leave Canada with a good impression of how great and beautiful this country, so he told me to take them on the tours to CNE, Niagara Falls, among other places to our own expenses.
3260 The purpose of these tour is to show off our country to our visitors. That is loyalty.
3261 It is very difficult for me to cover Prabha's contribution to our society in five minutes.
3262 In the letter, I talk about his involvement empower Tamil youth, preserving Tamil culture and heritage. Prabha is the right leader and has the right direction. He is a man with the passion.
3263 Commissioners, I have worked with officers from different ranks, people of different ethnic backgrounds and age groups. I assure you, Prabha Selvadurai will take the residents of Scarborough, Ajax and Pickering to new heights through Scarborough One.
3264 Prabha's motivation to do anything even as an entrepreneur comes from a selfless attitude to benefit the community at large. There is no one else in this room, in my opinion, that can do the job well like Prabha.
3265 And I thank you very much for everybody's listening to me.
3266 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your presentation.
3267 MR. MATHIEAIAPARANAM: Thank you, sir.
3268 THE SECRETARY: I will now ask the next intervenor, Wikneswaran Paramanthan, to come to the presentation table.
3269 MR. PARAMANTHAN: Good morning, Commissioners, the Commission staff and everybody in the room.
3270 I am Wikneswaran Paramathan, known as P. Wikneswaran professionally among the Tamil public. I am also known as "Wicky" among my friends and "Wicky Anna" to the juniors in the field of radio and television broadcasting. "Anna" means big brother or older brother in Tamil language.
3271 I joined the State Radio of Sri Lanka in the year 1970 as a production assistant. I made my way up in radio and television broadcasting through my hard work and dedication. In a few years, I was a very prominent news reader and was holding a very prestigious position as the main drama producer of the Tamil language service.
3272 In 1982, when television was introduced nationwide in Sri Lanka, I moved over to television station as an executive. Soon, I became the head of Tamil language program in the Sri Lankan State Television.
3273 In 1991, I migrated to Canada. Since I believed that it would be very difficult to get into broadcasting in Canada, I changed my profession to account. But to my surprise and joy, the young people of my community started to venture into field of broadcasting sooner than I expected.
3274 Although the efforts were in a small scale, I got engaged in training young and new people of various Tamil broadcasting services while working full-time in the accounting field.
3275 I am proud to mention here as my achievement in Canada that I have trained over 30 young people in the field of radio and television.
3276 In 2001, Mr. Prabha Selvadurai and a few other young people approached me with a plan of starting a 24-hour television channel in Tamil language. The purpose that Prabha mentioned was to foster Tamil language and culture in the land in which we have settled now.
3277 He said that while our young and future generation is able to easily integrate with Canadian society, they also should be aware of their own language and culture. Furthermore, our older generation who are still concerned about what is happening in Sri Lanka will be able to get the true news through our TV, thus, they will not get the feeling that they are forced to live in a foreign land and they will be more integrated into Canadian society.
3278 Though Prabha's motive and ambitions are impressive, I was sceptical as to how these young people who don't have any experience in the field are going to achieve this. But I was impressed by the way Prabha put forward his plans. After studying his proposal, I happily joined them.
3279 Although I have extensive experience in broadcasting, I wouldn't have ventured into this immense task without the courage that Prabha gave me. I was hesitant because I didn't want to jeopardize my hard-earned reputation in this field because of these young people. I was very sceptical. But there was no looking back.
3280 Under the leadership of Prabha, people like me who are concerned about their reputation were very well respected and encouraged, and we were able to work with full enthusiasm. And we all wanted to give our best.
3281 Although Prabha is much younger to me, it amazes me how he learned the field very quickly and able to lead people like me and the younger generation.
3282 I observed very closely how meticulously and tirelessly he worked to obtain a 24-hour FM radio station, Canadian Multicultural Radio, when he was the CEO of TVI.
3283 Prabha is an asset to our society. If he is able to get Scarborough One radio station, I am confident that he will take the community and the broadcasting field to new heights. Under his leadership, the new radio station will inspire and empower the residents of Scarborough, Ajax and Pickering.
3284 Thank you, Commissioners.
3285 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your presentation.
3286 THE SECRETARY: I will now ask the Ontario Safety League to come to presentation table.
3287 Please introduce yourself, and you have five minutes.
3288 MR. PATTERSON: Good morning, Mr. Chair, Commissioners and Commission staff. My name is Brian Patterson. I'm the President and CEO of the Ontario Safety League.
3289 Today, the League is recognized as one of North America's leading traffic safety organizations. It provides the general public with safety information and safety-related programs, including, among other things, Elmer the Safety Elephant for children, and a range of innovative safety courses and services for the transportation industry.
3290 I am here today to talk to you about the power radio has to communicate important safety messages that fall outside the realm of an emergency alert but are just as essential in keeping communities safe.
3291 I know that you are thinking any radio station could broadcast programs geared toward public safety messages, and you're right. But the truth is that, outside of public safety announcements, whether mandated or volunteered, public safety issues rarely get a lot of time on the airwaves.
3292 We want to change that, and we think that a new multilingual station is the best way to disseminate critical information about safety to existing and emerging ethnic communities. We fully endorse WorldBand's application for a multilingual format station and are anxious to partner with them. Here's why.
3293 I have to concur with the comments of Commissioner Simpson. Thirty (30) percent of the population does not get the safety messages that are simply issued in English or French, and a good number of the community have difficulty disseminating those messages when they are confused with talk radio or sarcastic references to the actual legislation, regulation or action. And it has been difficult for both police, safety organizations and even insurance companies or the public consumer protection agency to find a vehicle that can get those safe messages out across the board.
3294 WorldBand seeks to attract sustained listenership from 12 language groups and more than 20 cultural communities Many immigrants are unfamiliar with Canadian safety standards such as the important wearing a seatbelt, for example, or having a booster seat or a baby seat for children in their vehicle. We still see new mothers carrying babies in the front seat on their lap before they have been given the opportunity to understand the new regulations.
3295 The fact that we can provide information in English, for example, and then have it translated it into 12 different languages, reaching all 20 cultural groups, is the perfect approach to help reduce preventable deaths, injuries and destruction in Ontario.
3296 You can imagine that a change in legislation today with regard to traffic fines, speeding or related activities, the Ontario Safety League would only have to work with Scarborough One once and they would have their subject matter experts internally translate that information so that it can be properly understood and accurately conveyed to those communities.
3297 If Scarborough One is approved, which we hope they are, we expect to work very closely with them and their news team on public safety tips and stories and fitting these safety stories into their news programs, stories like the benefits of using winter tires or the dangers of teenage drinking or managing an elderly parent with regard to driving or in general or a loved one with Alzheimer's.
3298 Scarborough One FM will be a platform to inform and educate residents of Scarborough, Ajax and Pickering about important municipal, provincial and national legislation impacting on safety.
3299 This is just the beginning, but I think you get the picture. I am confident that with bright and innovative minds at WorldBand, we will manage to weave safety news and information into the facets of their programming on a daily basis in all languages.
3300 The 102.7 FM signal reaches the residents of Scarborough, Ajax and Pickering. Scarborough One has the opportunity to become a beacon, a lifeline for critical information between public -- including public safety information.
3301 We want to be innovative with the public by having conversations, discussions and debates that help inform and better educate the community. We are more than happy to come on different shows or have our message translated by the host of those programs.
3302 I think that you will agree with me when I say that we cannot have enough community awareness when it comes to public safety, but pre-recorded public service announcements drive home safety messages only to a point. People need to hear it in their language from people they trust.
3303 Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting they are not effect. However, our intent is to work with WorldBand to develop new programs that allow a safety topic to benefit from more -- from a more fulsome discussion, certainly one that is longer than the 15 or 20-second spot.
3304 The Ontario Safety League thinks the Commission should approve Scarborough One's proposal because it will result in the best use of the frequency, increase tuning, add a diversity of new voices and ownership diversity to the market and provide an important platform for important content such as safety or life messages.
3305 I thank the Commissioners and Commission staff, and I'm now prepared to answer any questions you may have.
3306 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your presentation.
3307 MR. PATTERSON: Thank you.
3308 THE SECRETARY: I would now ask Dr. Vadivelu Santhakumar to come to presentation table.
3309 DR. SANTHAKUMAR: Good morning, Commissioners. I am Dr. Vadivelu Santhakumar. I am a family physician for 25 years with a multi-ethnic practice and founder and currently a Board of Director at Canadian Tamil Medial Association.
3310 CTMA is a non-profit charitable organization of Canadian physicians and dentists and allied professionals of Sri Lankan descent. We advocate for preventive care, health awareness, community outreach and hold fundraising events and community health seminars and health-related international projects and medical humanitarian missions.
3311 I am also a recipient of Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Award for community service recognition recently.
3312 I am also sitting as the Vice-President of -- President of Canadian Tamil Congress. It is an advocacy organization for Tamil immigrants integrating them with the mainstream in Canada.
3313 I am here to support the WorldBand's application for Scarborough One. Since I work closely with immigrant communities in GTA, I find there are health concerns that are specific to different cultural groups.
3314 When people migrate to Canada, they need to understand the health system here. They too often maintain their old diet and lifestyle back from the home countries.
3315 For example, many Tamils, Gujaratis and Pakistanis use a lot of unhealthy ingredients in their cooking. This is a huge problem in the South Asian community because it makes them high risk for diabetes and heart disease. The risk for the diabetes is double in South Asian population.
3316 I am very active in educating the public about preventive health care, which is mostly lacking in the developing countries so people are not used to it when they migrate to a developed country where there's a lot of options for preventive health care which need to be utilized efficiently.
3317 So to communicate this message, we need to educate the public about the meaning of preventive health care since it's very much under-utilized and there's a pressing need for physicians like myself to promote that. This will help improve the efficiency of the Ontario public health system, which is spending millions of dollars for health care and prevention.
3318 Scarborough One will reach out to 20 different cultural groups. I'm always looking for ways to reach out to these communities.
3319 Many of my patients, who are from different ethnic backgrounds, don't exercise, as I told you before, unhealthy lifestyle during wintertime. They don't get out. They are indoors, eat and drink as they wish. But this education is very important. And the most benefit I have seen is in the seniors and elders.
3320 Unfortunately, most of them are not well versed with the English language and so when you do an education and seminar on their own language, it takes them two steps forward.
3321 Health professionals like myself want the opportunity to engaged the people in a discussion, inform them in the consequences and promote healthy living, mainly the preventive care aspect.
3322 I have worked with Prabha Selvadurai in the past many years. He's a community-oriented, intelligent, energetic smart young individual. He knows how to bring people -- key people together for change. A great team player with a unique leadership capacity.
3323 I am one of the few who trusted in his vision when we heard about the Tamil Vision forming in 2001. I'm one of the few people who trusted his vision when there were three youngsters came up with this proposal carrying the briefcase with the proposal.
3324 There weren't too many people interested in funding or helping them in bring up the TVI and CMR. And supported him financially and otherwise.
3325 It's a huge success story which became successful because of the team effort.
3326 I know a lot of the finance was a big issue at that time, and a lot of the people who work, it's like a family. It's a teamwork, and they have their own job during the day and they come in the evening.
3327 He was able to mobilize a force with little money to make this happen, and this became a success story as TVI and then, subsequently, the multicultural -- CMR, Canadian Multicultural Radio. And we got the licence at that time.
3328 So I took it to many other investment people. At that time, they were only interested in the -- what's the return I'm going to get. And I trusted in their vision, and I am happy that I did that.
3329 And so it has -- we were able to make a different through this media. And through Scarborough One, that level of success will extend to other communities as well, especially I told you about the seniors completely benefiting from health education and other news which I feel the mainstream English media is not doing their job effectively.
3330 Scarborough One is a much-needed platform for people in Scarborough, Ajax and Pickering to continue this ethnic health education and other interesting areas. I am very much looking forward to extending my work with the service of that media.
3331 And I thank you for this -- giving me this opportunity to share my views at this time.
3332 Thank you.
3333 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Shoan has a question for you.
3334 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Good morning, Mr. Santhakumar.
3335 DR. SANTHAKUMAR: Good morning.
3336 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: I think the message you're trying to get out is a very important one with respect to health-related issues.
3337 The question is, have you approached any of the existing incumbent radio stations to deliver your message, to find a way to spread this message amongst the Tamil community?
3338 Have you approached the recent Markham station that launched in February or have you approached the existing broadcaster at 102.7?
3339 DR. SANTHAKUMAR: I'm one of the few people who have been doing this from day one.
3340 I came to Ontario, moved to Ontario in 1997, I think, about 16 years. I have done with other medias. We are utilizing the other media, but some of the radios are band limited and doesn't reach out to all.
3341 But yes, we have not only done in TV, but we have done it in ethnic media otherwise also, like other Tamil medias, limited band medias and the other medias. We have done it.
3342 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Great. Thank you.
3343 DR. SANTHAKUMAR: Thank you.
3344 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your presentation.
3345 THE SECRETARY: I would now ask Taibu Community Health Centre to come to presentation table.
3346 Please introduce yourself, and you have five minutes.
3347 MR. GEBREMIKAEL: Good morning.
3348 THE SECRETARY: Please open your mic. Perfect.
3349 MR. GEBREMIKAEL: Good morning, esteemed Commissioners, officials and staff. I would like to start by thanking you for allowing me to speak before you today as a resident of Scarborough, but also as the representative of Taibu Community Health Centre and our community members.
3350 And I would also like to start with acknowledging the CRTC's commitment to ensure that Canadian citizens, creators and consumers, have access to a world-class communication system.
3351 My name is Liben Gebremikael. I'm the existing and first Executive Director of Taibu Community Health Centre, established about six years ago, the first of its kind in the Province of Ontario as a population-based and population-focused community health centre.
3352 I'm also the recipient of the Emerging Leaders Award by the Association of Ontario Health Centres, and I have over 25 years of experience of working with different community groups, immigrants and refugees in different settings of social work, primary health care, mental health, both here in Canada and in the UK.
3353 Several studies, research and reports on community development, community capacity-building, social integration and civic engagement have shown that independent media and, more specifically, community radio services act as a powerful source for empowerment, especially for disenfranchised and marginalized groups in society, examples like Centre for International Media Assistance and the like.
3354 I also read recently a report from Queen's University on social equity and inclusion and this report agrees that community radio services reach people who may feel isolated and alienated, and various aired programs on community needs and issues foster a sense of inclusion for newcomers and immigrant population.
3355 Within this crucial context, the population of visible minorities, including the Black community in Scarborough and West Durham regions have shown a rapid increase in recent years. Today, we all know that Scarborough boasts a significantly high number of immigrants and newcomers compared to other areas in the GTA. In Durham, the demographic change is even drastic. According to 2011 figures, the Black and the South Asian communities form the largest of visible minority.
3356 At Taibu Community Health Centre we are witnesses to the significant change in demographic profile on which the Canadian pride of being a welcoming and multicultural country rests. Taibu is established to provide primary health care services and health promotion, health education and community development programs to the Black community across the GTA and also all the residents of the Malvern neighbourhood in Scarborough.
3357 Of the close to 7,000 clients that we have right now registered at Taibu, 65 percent from the Black community, about 30 percent from the South Asian community who are receiving services, 49 percent or almost half of our client base are coming from the Ajax and Pickering area in Durham.
3358 The two main communities that we serve, the Black and the South Asian communities, are faced with several health and social barriers to accessing appropriate social and healthcare services, resulting in significant disparities in health outcomes, examples like high prevalence of diabetes and other chronic conditions, high mortality rates and significant social barriers as unemployment, education, discrimination and racism, community safety issues.
3359 These communities' strength is rooted in oral traditions and spoken narratives. Written information and education materials are not as effective as verbal communication in transferring knowledge, securing engagement and impacting change.
3360 Our role and our mandate is very well linked to the Intercity Broadcasting Inc. as we share common goals of targeting the Black community and other racialized groups in the GTA.
3361 In the collaborative partnership that we have engaged with G98.7, on repeated occasions we have proven how effective our messaging to the community has been in advertising events and programs, in airing health messages such as sickle cell screening and prevention, diabetes prevention, cancer screening and prevention, community health education for seniors and for youth and for adults.
3362 However, as much as the people beyond the west boundaries of Scarborough have been able to fully take advantage of this opportunity, the residents of Scarborough to the east and particularly in West Durham are missing out.
3363 Recently, we had advertised a community event for seniors on G98.7 where we launched a new transportation service for seniors with particular challenges in accessing public transportation. Many of the members of the community from East Scarborough and Durham were not able to participate because they didn't know this event was taking place and I have personally received several complaints.
3364 In my response to their complaints and mentioning that we had actually endeavoured to engage the community and inform the community through G98.7, several of the responses were, "I don't get that station where I live."
3365 It is the same thing on a personal level, the same for me and for my children, where we are not able to access the important information and cultural messages that we would be able to receive.
3366 It is in view of the above that we strongly support the application submitted for your kind consideration as this would only mean a more engaged community in issues that they relate to, in a format and culture that they are familiar with, a better informed community that leads to increased community and civic engagement as citizens, creators and consumers, and a healthier community that positively contributes to our richly diverse and proud society.
3367 Again, I thank you for this opportunity and for your attention.
3368 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your presentation.
3369 THE SECRETARY: I would now ask the National Campus and Community Radio Association to come to the presentation table.
3370 MS ROBINSON: So I wrote for nine-ish minutes because we are used to 10, so I have cut some paragraphs.
3371 Okay. Good morning. I appreciate the opportunity to speak with you today. My name is Shelley Robinson and I'm the Executive Director of the National Campus and Community Radio Association/ l'Association nationale des radios étudiantes et communautaires, also known as the NCRA/ANREC.
3372 The NCRA is a not-for-profit association committed to volunteer-driven, non-profit community-oriented radio across Canada. We were founded in 1986 and currently have more than 85 members, including CIWS-FM WhiStle Radio. Our goals are to ensure stability and support for individual stations and to promote the long-term growth and effectiveness of the sector.
3373 So I'm here today to affirm the unique role WhiStle Radio plays in their community and describe their commitments to high quality locally reflective community-access programming, regulatory compliance and implementing best practices for campus and community radio.
3374 Additionally, we at the NCRA believe that the Broadcasting Act, by enshrining all three pillars of the Canadian Broadcasting System, commercial, public, and community, suggests that all three types of broadcasters should have a chance to truly live up to their mandates, to thrive, to occupy a prominent position on the radio dial and to be heard by the majority of their community members, rather than just survive in the margins or be left to wither.
3375 In this case, given the success and preponderance of commercial broadcasters already available in the GTA/Markham/Whitchurch-Stouffville area compared with the paucity of local community broadcasters, we believe that CIWS-FM should be granted their proposed power increase as it will give them frequency protection, increase their listening range and solidify revenue from local advertising and fundraising so they can continue and expand their important work.
3376 Programming -- I'm not going to read that part.
3377 WhiStle Radio, despite their current funding and staff limitations, have developed a wide range of volunteer-produced programming and are particularly strong in local spoken word programming. This includes -- it's a big long list:
3378 - daily morning and noon news and current affairs shows, Stouffville Morning and Stouffville Daily;
3379 - new weekly broadcasts of town council meetings in their entirety;
3380 - local hockey games, including away games and a weekly hockey talk show;
3381 - a show about the local auto industry;
3382 - a book show hosted by the local librarian;
3383 - a local theatre program;
3384 - community event listings;
3385 - a business show hosted by the head of the local Chamber of Commerce;
3386 - a show about local women making a difference;
3387 - a local science and tech program; and
3388 - a show featuring interviews with the regional fire department, paramedics and police forces.
3389 So I'm a booster for community radio. I deal with stations all the time. Even I was impressed by this list of spoken word programming. I counted more than 17.5 hours of original local spoken word programming in their last week, not including rebroadcasts or music programs that feature additional spoken word content.
3390 WhiStle Radio is also committed to regulatory compliance. They have participated in internal NCRA listserv discussions about compliance issues, were one of the earliest of our members to file their annual returns this past year and frequently seek NCRA input on how to better meet the regulatory requirements.
3391 We are told that they have appointed two dedicated individuals, the Chair and the Treasurer, to fulfil the task of maintaining compliance while also ensuring that all board staff and volunteer members understand its importance.
3392 For these reasons, we believe WhiStle Radio is exemplifying its mandate as a community radio station and meeting its regulatory responsibilities.
3393 WhiStle Radio has also received three grants from the Community Radio Fund of Canada to develop their services and although this finding is extremely helpful to stations, including WhiStle Radio, a limitation is that CRFC funding explicitly does not cover core administration or technical costs.
3394 We note that WhiStle Radio is the only broadcaster participating in this hearing whose primary market is Whitchurch-Stouffville as opposed to broadcasters who would serve that community as part of a larger urban market. This speaks to the very local nature of campus and community radio.
3395 We also note that WhiStle Radio has made sure to address the Commission's previous concerns about reaching beyond their primary community by proposing a more modest power increase.
3396 Unfortunately, given its current unprotected status, the station is at risk, either now or in the future, of losing its frequency.
3397 And even if that doesn't happen, the station might not survive financially as it is almost impossible to consistently raise enough money to support a station when the signal reaches less than a quarter of the community.
3398 And that doesn't even account for the anticipated municipal growth that could leave them even further out of reach of the citizens they work so hard to reflect and engage.
3399 Without the Commission's help, Whitchurch-Stouffville could therefore lose its only local broadcaster.
3400 The station does do its best to offer online access to its programming but we note that online broadcasting is not as robust and reliable a mechanism for attracting local listeners as people suggest when offering it often to C&C stations as an alternate to a protected FM frequency. If it was, then presumably there would be less commercial pressure for the remaining terrestrial FM signals.
3401 Based on our research regarding the online listenership of C&C stations, we can verify that only a tiny number of listeners access stations' online content compared to the number of terrestrial listeners.
3402 As I have mentioned, we appreciate the diversity of the Canadian broadcasting system as enshrined in the Act. That said, we believe that C&C radio stations are at a disadvantage since they are largely volunteer-driven and tend to operate with shoestring budgets. This means that growth takes more time and spectrum opportunities are often seized by better-funded commercial stations in the meantime.
3403 We therefore believe the Commission must play an active role in protecting all three pillars of the Canadian broadcasting system, including now. This is a case where community could lose its sole local community broadcaster in favour of adding to the number or reach of regional commercial stations.
3404 Another important element of WhiStle Radio's application is the anticipated growth in local advertising revenue that will result from expanding their signal, which they have investigated with a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The 2013 CRTC annual Communications Monitoring Report reflects that advertising accounts for 49.1 percent of community stations' total revenue.
3405 THE SECRETARY: I'm sorry, you have to conclude.
3406 MS ROBINSON: Okay.
3407 Because of their diverse programming and other services that they offer their community, their commitment to regulatory compliance, their modest power increase proposal and their efforts to sustain themselves financially without negatively impacting other broadcasters in the market, we encourage the Commission to approve WhiStle Radio's application to change their authorized contours, increase the effective height of their antenna and relocate their transmitter.
3408 Thank you and I would be happy to answer any questions.
3409 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Good morning, Ms Robinson.
3410 With respect to your statement 19 regarding WhiStle's investigation of potentially expanding their signal, do you have any knowledge of what the outcome of that investigation was?
3411 MS ROBINSON: Well, I do know what they are projecting to make this year and what they are hoping based on some of that. I believe the grant is still in progress but what they are projecting if they are successful in the increase, yes.
3412 So they are currently projecting for this year 20,000 and they are projecting 40 to 50 in the next few years, and then there are similar stations that after a number of years have gotten into the early hundreds.
3413 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Oh, thank you.
3414 MS ROBINSON: Yes.
3415 THE CHAIRPERSON: What's the extent of the support that your organization provides for community stations?
3416 MS ROBINSON: It depends on the kind of support. So we provide a lot of regulatory support.
3417 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you provide things like -- you know, do you provide any administrative assistance sometimes if stations were going through a period of transition or anything like that?
3418 MS ROBINSON: So we are basically a one staff person plus project staff --
3419 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right, but --
3420 MS ROBINSON: -- so no, we tend not to. We provide assistance in terms of like submitting applications and that kind of support.
3421 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Okay. That's what I --
3422 MS ROBINSON: But with 85 members and bridging people, no, we don't.
3423 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Yes. I was just trying to remember and I was thinking sometimes you connect people to each other and that sort of stuff.
3424 MS ROBINSON: We can do that for sure. Yes.
3425 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, that's all I wanted to know.
3426 MS ROBINSON: Okay.
3427 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thanks very much for your presentation.
3428 THE SECRETARY: I would ask The Canadian Tamil Women's Association to come to the presentation table.
3429 THE SECRETARY: Please introduce yourself and you have five minutes. You can open your microphone, please.
3430 MS ARIKRISHNAN: I am Saraswathy Arikrishnan, the organizer of Canadian Tamil Women's Association, which was begun in 2005. Now, I am here just about Mr. Nadarajah's Geethavani Radio asking for FM. Thank you.
3431 Good day, Mr. Chairman and Commissioners. I am Saraswathy Arikrishnan, the organizer of the Canadian Tamil Women's Association.
3432 Actually, I came to Canada from Malaysia, which has a large Tamil population. The association was founded by a group of Tamil women who felt that the women in our community needed a voice to deal with their issues.
3433 Unfortunately, like women around the world in many communities, Tamil women face a lot of difficulties that begin from female and families and the world bring our family violence and abuse and discrimination in employment and others.
3434 These problems are aggravated by the fact that many Tamil women have limited English-language skills. We have focused on helping them deal with those problems with a strong focus on helping the victims on past abuse.
3435 Mr. Nadarajah's radio station, Geethavani Radio, has been a strong ally to us in our efforts. This station speaks out very strongly against violence against women and the favour of equal participation by women in Canadian society.
3436 Geethavani Radio has offered 82 shows dealing with women's issues. This strong support of human rights has been recognized not only in the Tamil community but also the Geethavani of Ontario and others.
3437 Our Association gave Mr. Nadarajah an award in recognition of his contribution to human rights. While the Tamil services in their program focus on newcomers that are older, a part of our community of young people find the program for the most part relevant to their lives.
3438 They speak Tamil at home with their parents and grandparents but speak a mixture of English and Tamil with their friends, employing English in their school work life. They still hold our -- they still hold to their Tamil roots with their ability to speak our language in dealings. The third generation, they may understand but they are shy to -- unable to speak.
3439 Our Association works with the other immigrant women organizations such as the South Asian Women and our group knows that their communities face similar challenges.
3440 The idea of a radio station that celebrates a large number of communities and makes their understanding seems wonderful to us. We strongly endorse Mr. Nadarajah's proposal. Thank you.
3441 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your presentation and for contributing today.
3442 MS ARIKRISHNAN: Thank you. Thank you, sir.
3443 THE SECRETARY: I would just like to know if Mr. Steve Watson is in the room.
3444 Okay. And for the record, Canadian Human Rights Voice have told us that they will not be appearing.
3445 This concludes Phase III for items 1 to 6.
3446 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
3447 We will take a 15-minute break and begin with Phase IV.
--- Upon recessing at 1108
--- Upon resuming at 1126
3448 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, please.
3449 Madam Secretary...?
3450 THE SECRETARY: We will now proceed to Phase IV, in which applicants can reply to all interventions submitted on their applications. Applicants appear in reverse order.
3451 We will start with WhiStle Community Radio. Please reintroduce yourself for the record and you then have 10 minutes for your presentation. Thank you.
3452 MR. DONALD: Thank you. Bob Donald representing WhiStle Community Radio.
3453 WhiStle Radio shares and appreciates the Commission's difficult position with this 102 situation in the GTA. WhiStle Radio has existed cooperatively without any issues with Georgina Island's native station on 102.7, with Pickering College's CHOP FM on 102.7 and with Vista Radio's Caledon station CFGM-FM 102.7. Unfortunately, as of CJVF's arrival in late 2013 temporarily and in 2014 permanently on 102.7, we have experienced continuing unresolved signal interference problems.
3454 We don't envy the Commission's situation but know that their experience and wisdom will prevail and a full review will take place, acknowledging the required balance between community and commercial interests, plus municipal community and ethnic, as well as existing and proposed new stations.
3455 In the event that another co-channel on 102.7 moves forward, WhiStle Radio's request is to have that new station or other station, after our application is approved, be a station that, one, recognizes and follows the various Acts and Regulations that exist, two, has a solid business plan and, three, any condition of licence includes prompt resolution of any signal interference issues with co-channel situations in stations.
3456 Our future plans are for a full-time station manager to supplement our cast of almost full-time volunteers and others who work in one capacity or another in the area.
3457 With some apprehension, as our station feels like it is at risk, we await your decision. There is a deluge of commercial applicants and their entourages and we are not in that number. WhiStle Radio has made no preliminary agreements in principle with any of the applications at this hearing.
3458 Thank you for listening to WhiStle Radio's concerns. We wish the Panel and CRTC staff a safe return to their home bases. Thank you.
3459 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. I don't really have any more questions for you.
3460 Thank you very much.
3461 MR. DONALD: Thank you.
3462 THE SECRETARY: I would now ask Intercity Broadcasting Network Inc. to come to the presentation table.
3463 THE SECRETARY: Please reintroduce yourself for the record and you have 10 minutes. Thank you.
3464 MR. GORDON: Good morning, Commissioners. Are you feeling good this morning? I am. I had a good night last night because the only Canadian team left in the NHL won, the Montréal Canadiens, and this morning we featured that on our radio station over and over, very proud Canadians. So congratulations to all of us.
3465 Commissioners, our presence here -- my name is Fitzroy Gordon and I am the President and founder, CEO of Intercity Broadcasting Network, operators of G98.7FM, "The Way We Groove."
3466 Now, our presence at these hearings is to ensure that we can serve all the Black and Caribbean audience, including those in the East Toronto area who are currently being deprived of our programming, particularly those in Scarborough.
3467 We have heard so much said about Scarborough. Well, Scarborough is a district and a former municipality within the eastern part of the City of Toronto. So, Scarborough is part of Toronto. There is no more Scarborough on its own, it is all Toronto. And on the -- Scarborough is bordered on the south by Lake Ontario, on the west by Victoria Park Avenue, on the north by Steeles Avenue East and on the east by the Rouge River. It was amalgamated into the City of Toronto in 1998.
3468 The Scarborough community comprises various cultural groups within its borders. The Black and Caribbean population amounts or counts about 20 percent of its population and we are the third largest and the only one unable to receive local programming and that is a problem that we are having right now.
3469 We are not an outsider, as others have suggested, trying to get into Scarborough. We have been in Scarborough for a very long time, in fact longer than most groups. Scarborough is our home, our businesses.
3470 The Ontario government reinforced community presence by investing in the only community health centre in the province focusing on the health and well-being of the Black population in the Malvern area of Scarborough. You heard the gentleman before who talked about the community centre. Not only are we serving the Black population but a lot of South Asians are now using the facilities and the problem we are having there, a lot of people cannot hear us.
3471 I would like to remind the Commission that in Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2011-369, which granted our licence, the Commission emphasized the following in its findings:
"The Commission is convinced that the proposed service will add cultural and racial diversity and will benefit the Caribbean and African communities of Toronto with its spoken word programming and musical format. In view of this distinct programming offering, the Commission considers it appropriate to impose conditions of licence to ensure that the programming orientation described in the application is maintained."
3472 Commissioners, Scarborough is Toronto, so is North York. The City of York, East York, Etobicoke, all are now Toronto. The Commission often cites the need for local programming. We have local programming. Unfortunately, the people in that area in the east end cannot hear us and we are asking the Commission to change that situation for us so that all our people and businesses in that area can finally hear radio station G98.7 FM.
3473 I now heed to Mr. Delford Blythe.
3474 MR. BLYTHE: Good morning, Commission. My name is Delford Blythe, I am the Vice President and CFO of Intercity, and to my right is our engineer Mr. Stuart Hahn.
3475 Commissioners, transmitters are a fundamental and integral part of the Canadian broadcasting systems and the Commission has on several occasions approved applications to establish transmitters of existing commercial radio stations. It is often approved by the Commission to enable an existing broadcaster to provide broadcasting services to a geographical area it is licensed to serve but might be limited by its existing frequency restriction.
3476 I can cite numerous approvals by the Commission where the circumstances are similar to ours. It is not an unheard-of occurrence, as others have suggested. Where it is needed it has been granted. In fact, it is because of the competitive nature of the Toronto radio market and the requirement to reach all of the geographical boundaries of Toronto to survive that there is no more clear third adjacent signal left.
3477 We had to create 98.7 and we had to prove to some in the established broadcast community that it can and has worked. We have documented technical evidence of the interference in Scarborough of a Peterborough-based signal which we have shared with the Commission in the past. It is not just anecdotal evidence, it is a public record.
3478 In most cases where the Commission authorizes the addition of a transmitter to broadcast the programming of an originating station, the Commission does so in order to either correct technical deficiencies in the signal of the originating station within its authorized service area or to extend the originating station signal into neighbouring communities where the programming broadcast by those transmitters provide local reflection of the communities served by airing local news and promoting local community activities.
3479 As stated in the Commission Broadcast Information Bulletin CRTC 2009-451:
"...the Department will protect FM radio stations..."
"...unequivocally demonstrate how the increased coverage will: - secure the financial viability of the station; and/or
- solve interference or reception issues affecting the community it is licensed to serve."
3481 CKFG provides local programming to all Blacks and Caribbean communities in Toronto. Those in Scarborough are demanding that the services be extended to them. They are not different from those in Mississauga, Brampton or North York who receive our local programming without interference. They take the same TTC, get stuck on the same 401 and can take Eglinton from Scarborough right across to Mississauga. We are not outsiders.
3482 The uniqueness of the CKFG frequency necessitates a creative solution to meet the programming demands of our listener base. IBN is a hybrid station. It is ethnic in programming but commercial in language. This duality of purpose has never been done anywhere in Canada before.
3483 Now, section 2 of the Regulation defines an ethnic program as a program in any language that is specifically directed toward any culturally or racially distinct group other than one whose heritage is Aboriginal Canadian from France or from the British Isles.
3484 MR. GORDON: Commissioners, we conclude.
3485 There have been statements made by some broadcasters that it's a waste of time to give repeaters, and in fact one broadcaster said yesterday that only one repeater, CHIN Radio, AM 1540 used in 91.9 in Toronto and is no longer working, not necessary.
3486 I would like to say that is false and misleading. There are several repeaters. In fact, CBC, they are the champions of repeaters. Mr. Stuart Hahn, our engineer, does have a few examples of repeaters that are in the Toronto area right now.
3487 Mr. Stuart Hahn.
3488 MR. HAHN: Thank you, Fitzroy.
3489 Yes, I know of four repeaters in the Toronto area and these include CJKX-FM-1 in Sunderland and CJKX-FM-2 in Toronto, which are repeaters of CJKX-FM in Ajax. There is of course CHIN-1-FM in Toronto, which is a repeater of CHIN-AM, and CKDO-FM-1 in Oshawa, which is a repeater of CKDO-AM, which is also in Oshawa.
3490 MR. GORDON: Yes.
3491 And finally, Commissioners, there are so many ethnic stations in Toronto reaching Scarborough, a lot of multicultural stations and everyone can get their message on a multicultural radio. There are so many of them today, so there is no need for a new one to get any new message. They are on AM and they are on FM and I'm quite sure the Commission would know of the many that exist now.
3492 This radio station, 98.7, we have a major problem in that we cannot be heard properly in the area, Scarborough. Scarborough, with over 20 percent of our population that is deprived and we are asking the Commission to fix it.
3493 And I am saying to the Commissioners, if one part of your house is leaking, it doesn't make sense if you try to build -- put a new room on your house before you fix the leaking part because a rainstorm is coming. So I am asking you to please take care of the baby that you have now before you try to get another baby.
3494 That is where we are right now, we are babies, we are only two years old and I'm asking you to take care of your baby. You are the one who gave birth to this baby, so please don't try to have another child while this one is starving.
3495 So I'm asking you, Commissioners, please don't do that. We need you to take care of us and we are pleading for you to do so.
3496 P.K. Subban playing for the Montréal Canadiens is a part of our community. His parents have been on our programs before. We have been given support right across the border and we are asking you today, Commissioners, to please consider all that I have said today when you sit down to make your decisions.
3497 I thank you very much.
3498 THE CHAIRPERSON: I kind of just have one question, given that none of us look like he's very likely to get pregnant anytime soon.
3499 THE CHAIRPERSON: And also just to make the point that at least one of us is kind of a huge Jarome Iginla fan and was a little sad for him last night in terms of the hockey game --
3500 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- but notwithstanding the congratulations otherwise.
3501 Just repeat to me, why is it a better use of frequency for you to extend into this area and serve the community you wish to serve than it is to have something more distinct for the Scarborough area?
3502 MR. GORDON: The reason, we have a lot of present stations that serve this area multiculturally. There is CHIN Radio, there is CINA Radio, there is Fairchild Radio, CMR, which is a Tamil station. There are so many of them already serving this area. Even the new Markham station that you licensed the other day, not long ago, 105.9, they are all there.
3503 The importance of this radio station, 98.7, reaching into this area is because our programming -- we have on this station African programming. There is no African programming on mainstream radio, commercial radio in the City of Toronto, none at all. We don't have any --
3504 For example, we also have a South Asian program that plays Bollywood music and provides information to them. We do that. We are the only station that really brings everybody together. We are in English, everyone can understand us.
3505 THE CHAIRPERSON: So none of the other ethnic programmers, existing ethnic programmers, are serving the Caribbean and African audience?
3506 MR. GORDON: No. No, sir, they don't. In fact, for example, you talked about cricket the other day. Every single day we have, for example, cricket news. That's Africans, Caribbean folks and South Asians, they listen to -- they listen to our station for cricket news every day.
3507 In the morning newscasts, four newscasts in the morning and three in the evenings, cricket news, soccer, track and field, that is very popular. When Usain Bolt won the 100-metre Olympic record, when a Canadian team performs at the Olympics, this is the only radio station that carries this live.
3508 In fact, we had the entire Canadian track and field team in our station when they returned from London, when they returned from the World Championships. They all come to our station because this is the only place that they know to come because the other stations, sports stations or other multicultural stations, they don't carry this news. We are the only ones that do this.
3509 And so, we provide this service and those living in Scarborough and area -- we have two great Canadian hurdlers who live in the area and they can't hear us. So what we have to do is bring them into the station to educate them on what we are doing so that we can participate in schools in Scarborough, Pickering and area, and that is the big importance of the station and it is very necessary that we reach out there, sir.
3510 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, thanks very much.
3511 MR. BLYTHE: If I might just add, Mr. Commissioner, we have no ill will towards the other communities that want to get programming but we are a bit mystified because they have so much programming available currently that is reaching Scarborough and even to the very, very far corners east of the GTA. So it is a bit of a puzzle for us to see why the need for our community in Scarborough who is the longest serving community in Scarborough, and also not just them, but because of the language we broadcast in and the programming, it's available to everyone in Scarborough.
3512 So we talk about best use of a very scarce resource, you know, rather than it being contained in a sense to a very limited group, it can be part of a much bigger, you know, group and this is what we are asking the Commission to consider.
3513 Our population is spread right across the Toronto area where we are licensed to serve and all we are saying is the interference, the limitation we have with our frequency, which is not uncommon, we're just asking for us to be able to provide a local programming to those of our listeners who cannot receive it in Toronto -- sorry, in Scarborough.
3514 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, understood.
3515 MR. BLYTHE: Thank you.
3516 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
3517 THE SECRETARY: I would now ask WorldBand Media to come to the presentation table.
3518 Please introduce yourself and you have 10 minutes. Thank you.
3519 MR. LEWIS: Yes, good morning. For the record, Chairman Menzies, Commission Members, I appear today on behalf of WorldBand Media and Scarborough One. Mr. Prabha Selvardurai is seated next to me.
3520 To begin, we wish to thank the appearing interveners who support this application, as well as the more than 1,300 interveners who are on file with the Commission supporting the application.
3521 We also wish to acknowledge many business owners, most of them in the retail sector, who support the application.
3522 Now we come to the matter of a handful of opposing interveners from members of the public and a handful of interventions from other broadcasters.
3523 Yesterday you heard from Rukshian Balasubramaniam who did not serve the Applicant within the timeframe set by the Commission. Yesterday, he uttered a number of new and false allegations. Frankly, in the time permitted it would not be productive to waste time rebutting his bizarre claims.
3524 Several weeks ago, we fully responded in writing to allegations relating to an inaccurate newspaper story, which he again appended to his intervention yesterday. The reply was sent out to interveners on April 17th.
3525 In our written response, we cited a letter that our client received from Karen E. Shepherd, the Commissioner of Lobbying. Ms. Shepherd determined no wrong-doing on the part of our client or WorldBand had taken place.
3526 If I were paranoid, I would suspect that the small group of interveners who filed serial interventions involving the same newspaper story was being manipulated by someone who has an ulterior motive to harm Mr. Selvadurai's reputation.
3527 Prabha has contributed to or participated in several fundraising events for various political parties at various levels of government. He is very active in his community. In the past he has raised funds for all parties and has encouraged others to become directly involved in civic affairs.
3528 It is a shame that the intervener yesterday just keeps raising the same issue, though he knows the results of the investigation.
3529 I now come to the appearance by Mr. Vadivelu. I happen to be old enough to remember and recall very vividly a U.S. politician by the name of Joseph P. McCarthy. Witnesses who had been subpoenaed by the House UnAmerican Activities Committee (HUAC) were asked:
"Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party of the United States?"
3530 Mr. Vadivelu's new allegations were reminiscent of McCarthy-ism. Vadivelu alleged that my client was some sort of agent-provocateur for the World Tamil Movement. He claimed that Prabha was, and I quote from the record yesterday, "a senior member of the World Tamil Movement (WTM)".
3531 That's false. My client is not and was not a member of the Communist Party and he certainly is not now and has never been a member of the WTM. In fact, our client has for a long time, a very long time been adverse to the WTM.
3532 The long, tragic geo-political conflict in Sri Lanka cannot be summed up in the time permitted for reply. Suffice it to say, the WTM at one time operated in Canada as a legitimate and useful organization providing social services within the Tamil community in Canada and humanitarian aid for Tamils living abroad. That organization's fall from grace was unfortunate. The war has ended. We think it's time for people like Mr. Vadivelu to move on.
3533 On April 17th, we filed a comprehensive response to that intervener's other allegations. Simply stated, his allegations regarding the collection and disbursal of Tsunami relief funds are false and libelous.
3534 Our written response also touched on the ongoing litigation involving CMR. As we stated on April 17th, and I will restate today:
"The litigation is in the discovery phase. Therefore the allegations have not been adjudicated by a judge. However the issues in dispute are significant, and it should be clear that Mr. Vadivelu, a former employee of CJSA, has provided the Commission with a biased and highly erroneous portrayal of the radio station."
3535 We then move on to CFMS. We are again confused by Mr. Bola having heard his presentation yesterday. He keeps inferring that he was licensed as an ethnic station and claims that his business plan was heavily weighted towards revenue from ethnic programming.
3536 On the one hand, he cited a list of languages and ethnic groups to which his English-language AAA station directs a portion of its weekly programming. On the other hand, Mr. Bola was in the room the other day during our appearance, but seemed to have been oblivious to the commitment that WorldBand made not to provide programming to the Chinese community, the Punjabi and Hindi communities whom we've stated are super served.
3537 That's not the first time we made that commitment. It's fully laid out at paragraphs 20 through 29 of our written reply to Mr. Bola's intervention which was filed with the Commission on April 17th.
3538 What we continue to find confusing is the reliance of CFMS for revenues earned from Scarborough and the fact that the Markham radio station operates from studios and offices at 1160 Tapscott Road in Scarborough.
3539 In summary, of all the ethnic applications we believe that WorldBand would pose the least threat to CFMS, an English language licensee that broadcasts some ethnic programming to groups who would not be targeted or served by WorldBand.
3540 Then there is the issue of CMR, licensee of CJSA. Mr. Antony has had a long and an adversarial relationship with Mr. Selvadurai. As I already noted, there's ongoing litigation. It is no surprise that he distorted the ownership structure of WorldBand in his oral statement yesterday.
3541 Mr. Selvadurai and other investors have risked their funds, and in Prabha's case, made significant personal investments by building WorldBand up as a significant media company. The ownership structure, including investor subscription agreements, have been filed with the Commission and WorldBand responded to all deficiency questions clearly and concisely regarding its ownership.
3542 Now, we do agree on one thing that Mr. Paranchothy of CMR said yesterday, that the WorldBand proposal regarding Tamil programming would have far less impact on CJSA than licensing 105.9 FM Ltd or MBC.
3543 In Phase II, we provided comments regarding the use of 102.7 by InterCity. Nothing we heard on Wednesday or today has changed our view that InterCity would make the best use of the frequency.
3544 And because of the personal attacks on my client's character by several interveners, I thought it would be fitting to give him the last word in reply this morning. Prabha..?
3545 MR. SELVARDURAI: Thank you, Mark. Thank you, Commissioners, Commissioner staff.
3546 Commissioners, I was one of the top engineering student at the University of Waterloo and granted the prestigious National Science and Engineering Research Council's scholarship to the graduate studies at the University of Toronto.
3547 I co-founded TVI/CMR as a leader to help the community at a time when we badly needed a positive media voice. My motivation was not to personally profit, instead I wanted my community and other communities in the GTA to profit by having a media voice.
3548 Commissioners, I strongly believe that electronic media can become a voice for the underserved and underprivileged. I participated in building TVI/CMR for that reason. I built InSpirate!, which means you are inspired, to serve the large and growing Hispanic market which count over 50 million in the U.S.
3549 I was recognized as a multicultural media entrepreneur by the prestigious Washington based organization Minority Media and Telecommunication Council.
3550 Commissioners, this hearing should not be over-shadowed by a few disaffected people attempting to settle old grievances. The outcome of this hearing should be about serving and empowering the underserved people of Scarborough, Ajax and Pickering.
3551 WorldBand Media and I have a wealth of experience and a sincere desire to do that. This application should be evaluated based on the quality of the application, the quality of the team assembled to execute it and the quality of the support we received.
3553 MR. LEWIS: Finally, I wish to put on the record the commitment that, if licensed, WorldBand will work with CIWS, WhiStle Radio, to find a solution that would allow CHOP, CIWS and Scarborough One to co-exist.
3554 We've asked Mr. Gauthier, our consulting engineer, to review the CIWS application and provide recommendations. We understand from our discussions with him, the preliminary and short answer is the use of directional antennas may be possible, but we don't have anything that we can file with you today. If permitted, there's a date for undertakings of the 23rd, we might be able to file something then, but we have nothing that we can provide today, other than his advice that a directional antenna may alleviate some of the interference. Prabha...?
3555 MR. SELVARDURAI: Finally, on behalf of our team, I thank you and the Commission staff for the hard work you have done. We are particularly grateful to the staff for their tireless efforts to process these applications and thousands of interventions.
3556 I know you have a difficult decision. Thank you.
3557 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Shoan has a question for you.
3558 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Just one question. Your commitment to deferring from providing programming to the Chinese community, the Punjabi communities and the Hindi communities, are you willing to accept that as a condition of licence?
3559 MR. SELVARDURAI: Yes, a condition of licence.
3560 MR. LEWIS: Absolutely.
3561 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Thank you very much.
3562 MR. SELVADURAI: Thank you.
3563 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
3564 THE SECRETARY: I would now ask 8041393 Canada Inc. to come to the presentation table.
3565 Please reintroduce yourselves for the record, and you have 10 minutes.
3566 MR. K. NADARAJAH: Good afternoon, Mr. Chair, Members of the Commission, Commission staff and colleagues in the audience. My name is Kumarakulasingam Nadarajah, known as Rajkumar. Joining me again is Suthamie Poologasingham.
3567 My remarks have been edited since we printed, so there is maybe some changes from what is printed.
3568 We are here to reply to the written and oral intervention both opposing and supporting our application. We also provided written replies to the interventions, and those replies still stand.
3569 First, I would like to thank all those who took the time to put pen to paper and write in support for our application. And most importantly, to thank the three intervenors who took time out of their -- sorry, four intervenors who took time out of their schedules to be here today.
3570 A number of the intervenors opposed all the ethnic applications on the grounds that the inclusion of more Tamil programming will overwhelm an already saturated market. When pressed, most of them indicated that the less Tamil programming, the less impact on the market.
3571 WorldBand Media's lawyer characterized our application as "the Tamil-centric East FM application". This is pretty ironic given that we propose less Tamil programming than his client.
3572 Mr. Lewis further stated:
"Any applicant who proposed a preponderance of Tamil-language programming, programmed in key time spots, does not address the current and future demographic makeup of immigration population of Scarborough."
3573 The schedule presented by WorldBand in its application shows five hours of Tamil programming each day programmed from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m., which includes the key time slot of afternoon drive.
3574 Our application shows Tamil running from 4:00 to 7:00 each day. It is difficult to understand how our application is, therefore, Tamil-centric while theirs is not.
3575 They indicate that to serve the Scarborough population well, a new station should reach a number of under-served groups. We propose significant programming hours each day for Korean, Urdu, Arabic speakers, Farsi speakers, Afghanis, Vietnamese and Filipinos.
3576 Now Suthamie.
3577 MS POOLOGASINGHAM: WorldBand also grossly mischaracterizes our proposal, stating that:
"East FM would primarily target second and third generation Tamil listeners focused on the 18 to 25 audience."
3578 Now, there is one tiny element of accuracy there, that we would target the second and third generation.
3579 What we really said on page 5 of our supplementary brief was that a primary target would be 12 to 24, with a secondary market of 24 to 49. And our focus is much wider than the Tamil audience.
3580 Electronic dance music and World Beat pop became population in the 1980s, and those who were teens then are now in their forties, just as those who grew up in the sixties, seventies and eighties are largely fans of rock.
3581 World Beat and EDM are the beat that moves people of my generation aged 12 to 49. In fact, our audience will be much wider than the Tamil community and deeper than the 18 to 25 segment.
3582 WorldBand also indicates that the second and third generation is little likely to listen to radio. In fact, if you build it right, they will come.
3583 In the world of retail 10 years ago, they said online will decimate brick and mortar shops. Today, industry experts talk about the Omni channel consumer who shops online and in store.
3584 Media is the same way. My generation consumes music from multiple sources, not just online.
3585 And sure, there's lots of music on the internet, but we will be providing a compelling mix of the top world music from around the world brought together in one place. As we put it on Tuesday, curated programming. We will also have a strong Omni channel strategy and dynamic radio personalities reflective of the second and third generation. And we will also be part of the local community through this radio station.
3586 Now, WorldBand further misunderstands our format by likening it to that of CKFG FM.
3587 The format of that station is a mix of music from the genres of R&B, soul music, reggae, soca, hiphop, world beat, gospel and smooth jazz that targets the 25 to 54 age demographic within the Caribbean and African communities. Our station will be an ethnic station targeting a minimum of nine languages, with a format based on international world beat music, largely from Asia.
3588 Another inaccuracy in WorldBand's comments is that our English-language programming will be competing with the English-language programming on mainstream stations.
3589 Our 14 hours per week of English-language programming will be aimed at a multicultural audience with topics that are of interest of them. This will be a major focus of our efforts, bringing the various groups we serve together to share common interests, experiences and concerns.
3590 We will not be a threat to CFB, 680 News or the sports stations, nor will they be a competitor to us.
3591 In his remarks this morning, Mr. Saras pointed out how second and third generation people communicate in a combination of English and their home language. I would like to point out that we propose that all of our language programs will be a mix of English and third language, but it will be 100 percent ethnic.
3592 This is not done to compete with the English-language stations, but for two different reasons, first, to ensure that those of the second and third generations whose home language skills have declined will listen, and secondly, to allow those from other cultures who like cross-cultural music to listen in.
3593 These two strategies will ensure a wide and larger audience for us both in the short term and as third and fourth generations come along. And of course, with Scarborough's large number of immigrants, given that immigration is what fuels our nation's population growth, there will be ongoing increases as well in second and third generations.
3594 Mr. Nadarajah:
3595 MR. K. NADARAJAH: As a final note on WorldBand's oral intervention, they indicate that it is a major jump to go from low budget SCMO to the highly competitive world of FM radio.
3596 This is ironic since I remember well a young named Prabha Selvadurai coming to see me in 2002 to ask advice how to launch a radio station.
3597 In fact, Tamil SCMO radio is highly competitive, with four services operating and then the arrival of CMR, CJVF FM, CFMS FM. The implication is that Mr. Selvadurai is ready for this highly competitive world. In fact, he was much less experienced than my 25 years of broadcast experience.
3598 And as I -- you saw Tuesday, I will be able to bring an energetic, experienced, young talent from a wide range of backgrounds.
3599 Mr. Bola discussed the impact of what he called new hours of Tamil programming on his floundering station.
3600 The fact is that if anyone other than CJVF FM is licensed in this proceeding, it is likely that over 100 hours of Tamil programming will disappear from the FM band. MBC would replace 70 hours of this. WorldBand would replace with a minimum of 35 hours, while we would only bring 21 hours. This will rebalance the market.
3601 It should be borne in mind what WorldBand has stated, that its programming will be aimed at the full range of Tamil population and, therefore, will directly target the programming of CMR, CFMS and the SCMO services. By contrast, we will seek out a younger audience and have less duplication of existing services.
3602 Part of the problem that CFMS and CMR discussed was the predatory pricing of a station with much more inventory. We will not have the same kind of inventory, and our history of radio sales has taught us how short-sighted rate slashing is. We know that if the product is under-valued, it will be bad for all players in the market, including the price slasher in the medium and longer term.
3603 We have the sympathy for the problem facing WhiStle Radio. However, we understand that, with cooperation, both WhiStle Radio and ourselves can engineer a solution that works for both. And we also understand that there may be other frequencies that could provide them the same reach they now enjoy.
3604 We pledge that if we are licensed, we will work to find a solution and help defray the engineering costs to do so. We will meet the concerns they just indicated here.
3605 Mr. Chairman and Commissioners, we would like thank you for a good hearing. You were fair to all.
3606 I wish a good trip home to you and your staff. They have been very professional and helpful.
3607 Thank you.
3608 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
3609 I just have a couple questions here to clear up.
3610 When we spoke the other day, you clarified that in terms of language that Korean would be replacing East Asian, that you'd --
3611 MR. K. NADARAJAH: Yes.
3612 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- written "East Asian" before.
3613 MR. K. NADARAJAH: Yes, Mr. Chair.
3614 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you committed that that would be Korean, and you -- as part of an undertaking, you undertook to give us the final list of languages and percentages by end of day May 23rd.
3615 So sort of within that, I just wanted to know if you would also, for the record, accept a condition of licence that -- stating that a minimum of 50 percent of all your ethnic programming broadcast each week would be in the primary languages you outlined, Korean, Persian and Tamil?
3616 MR. K. NADARAJAH: Yes, Mr. Chair.
3617 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you.
3618 Also, something I overlooked the other day, in terms of your pre-operational costs, you had just listed $50,000, which seemed low, that if you were successful. And so what I wanted to clarify on that was whether you'd -- to what extent you'd be using the facilities of your SCMO operation to get your start-up operation on this licence if you were granted it.
3619 MR. K. NADARAJAH: I'm very familiar with the cost of implementing a new FM transmitter. I talked to my engineer, François Cauthier, get a quote from him, and then he send me a quote, so that average quote I noted there.
3620 I have three studios and two production rooms that I can share with the new FM if approved by the Commission. And we have additional funds that we can use for our application of full spectrum of our operation.
3621 THE CHAIRPERSON: So that -- yeah, that was sort of -- so you'd be using the SCMO facilities.
3622 MR. K. NADARAJAH: To begin with, but I have --
3623 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. As your pre-operation, you --
3624 MR. K. NADARAJAH: Yeah, part of it. I have 5,000 square feet of big office and three studios and two production rooms.
3625 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, good.
3626 And could you just fill us in a little bit more on how deep your pockets are? In other words, your ability to sustain losses in the initial period of the operation of this station.
3627 MR. K. NADARAJAH: I do have enough money to operate it.
3628 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is this personal?
3629 MR. K. NADARAJAH: Personal, and I have -- I came from a big family. I have some brothers and five sisters. They are all well off, and they are ready to help me out. But I have my personal money, too.
3630 THE CHAIRPERSON: That sounds like a valuable resource.
3631 MR. K. NADARAJAH: Thank you.
3632 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. I don't really have any other questions.
3633 MR. K. NADARAJAH: Thank you, sir.
3634 THE SECRETARY: I would now ask Multicultural Broadcasting Company Limited to come to presentation table.
3635 Please reintroduce yourself for the record, and you have 10 minutes.
3636 MR. SIVASOTHY: Good morning Chairman Menzies, Commissioners Simpson and Shoan.
3637 My name is Vickrah Sivasothy, operations manager at the Multicultural Broadcasting Company, and to my right is Andrew Forsyth, MBC's broadcast consultant.
3638 First we want to thank all our supporters, including the intervenors who appeared this morning on our behalf from the Tamil, Bengali, Filipino and Sinhalese communities, our advisory panel members, the people in Scarborough, Pickering and Ajax who sent hundreds of letters of support and more than 8,000 people who put their signature on joint supporting submissions.
3639 Today we want to respond to interventions and correct the record.
3640 In response to WorldBand, who suggested that English programming was somehow a negative aspect, we strongly believe that our proposal, 19 hours of English, is crucial in bringing the community together.
3641 English is the common language among all the ethnic groups that we will serve. It makes the station inclusive by providing listeners and advertisers from all communities with the opportunity to connect. Moreover, our English block has been scheduled to be complementary to existing services.
3642 In response to CJVF, who stated that we should take our SCMO spoken word programming and place it on our FM station, this is just incorrect.
3643 As we stated in our appearance in response to Commissioner Simpson`s question, "It begs asking, are you going to do any simultaneous programing or delayed programing that might be produced by the SCMO and used on the FM?"
3644 My response is, in our application I think we mentioned that we'd only do one hour that's coming from the SCMO.
3645 This is going to be a different radio station targeting a different audience and complementing the other ethnic services.
3646 WorldBand suggested that in light of our 49 hour spoken word programming, our $300,000 programming budget was insufficient.
3647 In reply, we note WorldBand has ignored the fact that our programming budget does not include the cost of third party programming, which is borne by the associate producers.
3648 Despite what some of the appearing intervenors may have intimated that the Tamil population and businesses are stagnant, the Commission can take comfort in the fact that Stats Canada shows the Tamil population continues to grow at the rate of 31 per cent in the last census. And in the last three years, there have been continued increases in Tamil businesses and services such as renovators by 134 percent, lawyers 140 percent and air conditioning and heating services by 134 percent, just to mention a few.
3649 Relative to concerns about our 70 hours of programming to the Tamil community, we know this is the largest under-served community and we know that there is advertising support.
3650 Despite complaints from incumbent broadcasters, we meet the balance of linguistic programming required by CRTC`s ethnic policy.
3651 Contrary to WorldBand's contention, the Commission can take comfort that an SCMO applying to you for an FM licence is coming from a place of experience and decades of service in the community.
3652 We have no concern with direct competition from CFMS, the Markham English station. They have a commitment of licence to only four per cent of programming in Tamil compared to our 56 percent. This is a minor overlap.
3653 Several intervenors allege that the Tamil population is over-served in our proposed area. We have designed our application to serve a significant cultural group in the Scarborough area, yet these intervenors are asking the Commission to effectively disenfranchise this core cultural group.
3654 Several incumbent intervenors indicated that they would favour the frequency to be granted to Inter-City Broadcasting Network, leaving the impression that this could somehow be the path of least resistance. This would deprive the Scarborough, Pickering and Ajax area of a local first service, not to mention the loss of a valuable community radio station licensed to serve Whitchurch-Stouffville.
3655 Since we filed our application, we have made significant efforts to find ways to afford WhiStle Community Radio with an opportunity to continue operating on the 102.7 frequency. We have a technical solution that will permit both stations to co-channel, with minimal impact on CIWS.
3656 We would commit to accepting a minimal overlap on the outside contours, and any interference issues would be addressed as promptly as possible. We would be pleased to provide the Commission with copies of our correspondence with WhiStle Community Radio and the technical contours.
3657 If the Commission desires, we would be pleased to submit these documents to the Commission by May 23rd or sooner.
3658 Mr. Chairman, Members of the Commission, my dad has always stressed to me the importance of serving the community. He taught me that we have to look out for each other.
3659 I believe that we live up to that expectation with what we have presented to you this week.
3660 I thank the Commission and its staff for making my first experience at a CRTC hearing a pleasure and a memorable experience.
3661 Thank you.
3662 THE CHAIRPERSON: Question?
3663 I think you're good. Thank you very much.
3664 THE SECRETARY: I would now ask 105.9 FM to come to presentation table.
3665 Please reintroduce yourself for the record, and you have 10 minutes.
3666 MR. ROGERS: Good morning, Mr. Chairman and fellow Commissioners. My name is Frank Rogers, agent for CJVF, and to my left is Mr. Samy Appadurai and to my right is Mr. Stuart Hahn, the engineer.
3667 MR. APPADURAI: Mr. Chairman, the Members of the Panel, co-applicants and ladies and gentlemen, I am so pleased to hear this morning about retaining the heritage values while getting integrated with the Canadian mainstream.
3668 We are so concerned about that and we do have our programs based on that to cater simultaneously the first generation and people who have established themselves with us in this country. So therefore, we are highly concerned about how to address those issues in different languages.
3669 Once again, I thank all of you for accommodating us as a part of this hearing for the application for the power increase for 102.7 FM and reassure you that will diligently comply with the rules and regulations set by the CRTC.
3670 I have noticed that one of the main points of focus in the hearing intervention was on CJVF and the acknowledgment that it has made an impact in both the East and Southeast Asian communities in the GTA. We are grateful and appreciate the comments, remarks, suggestions and criticisms made by the participants and we will consider these points seriously and act accordingly.
3671 Our growth and the positive contribution made to the designated communities and our nation as a whole at a low-power station within the last 12 months, with the exclusion of two months' interruption, is very clear and we will be able to capitalize on our resources and make more contributions if we were granted permission to operate on a higher broadcasting signal.
3672 We have seriously committed to balancing our resources and time in both the commercial and community sectors without damaging the existence and growth of other radio stations.
3673 Our multiple projects will be addressing the issues that have been related to trigenerational groups in our four ethnic groups and no group will be underserved.
3674 Though we are already very careful in terms of not interfering in the overall operation of other radio stations, we will still continue to be vigilant in this regard.
3675 We are also aware of the growth of the Tamils and of the Asian ethnic communities both demographically and economically and we will get to their needs accordingly. Such growth will pave the way for other media. Hopefully, the recovery of the economy will bring us more resources so that we may conduct more research and improve the quality of our services both in broadcasting and community services.
3676 Our vision is clear that we will use all of our efforts and resources to support the designated ethnic groups while fully participating in Canadian affairs and thank the CRTC and all those who have extended their support in many ways.
3677 Thank you.
3678 MR. ROGERS: Let me make myself clear, we are currently operating on 102.7 and I would like to address several issues.
3679 Unlike the other 102.7, who said several times they own 102.7 frequency, well, we don't, we operate on 102.7 with the licence granted by the CRTC.
3680 One of the main issues I would like to put before the Commissioners is that we were on the air for 17 months before being forced off the air when CFMS was licensed. The station was, for many months, in turmoil and you can appreciate that when CFMS was licensed we had to do a lot of things.
3681 In that period of time we had to run a radio station and at the same time, knowing that we had to find a new frequency, get a technical brief done and put our application before the CRTC.
3682 We were off the air for two and a half months, and on January 30, 2014, under CRTC approval, 2014-29, we were approved to change the frequency from 105.9 FM to 102.7.
3683 During those months we were off the air we looked at our mistakes and starting February 1, 2014, we hit the airwaves again. A new team started correcting our mistakes, with three new staff members, as mentioned before at this hearing, the accountant, the compliance officer and the community liaison officer.
3684 We are well on our way to keep not only in compliance but we are on our way to add more hours of ethnic programming other than Tamil but within our licence conditions.
3685 Several new applicants say they have a better use of the frequency. Yet, all but two have the majority of their programming in Tamil.
3686 With regards to Whitchurch-Stouffville CIWS, there is a way that both can coexist if both stations accept some interference. We would accept their present LP operation and also accept the higher power using a directional antenna pushing north, which is what I believe they wanted, providing that they do not increase their interference to us on the south.
3687 Mr. Chairman and fellow Commissioners, all applicants are putting their best foot forward or are they trying to build a better mousetrap? Any new owner will make mistakes. I would question if they say they are not going to.
3688 With regard to price-cutting, the rate cards are virtually the same. Even if our clients buy a long-term package -- and I mean a long-term package -- and you include the bonuses, our rate is still a minimum of $12.50. Other than that, the individual spot rate is $28.
3689 Hearing us over Brampton or Ajax must be on the Internet -- and, by the way, we have over 12,000 listeners on the Internet in Canada and worldwide.
3690 For low-power FM we have been in the community broadcasting live, putting on concerts, supporting emerging artists more than some full stations. We have had concerts, including Megablast where 80,000 people attended. We currently have 13 emerging artists in concert who will be giving airtime. We are doing and will continue to exceed all expectations.
3691 We are trying to get protected status so we don't have to go through this changing frequencies again and higher power to ensure that all of Scarborough and surrounding is covered with reception available in their homes and cars.
3692 I would just like to, just before I close, take this opportunity. In your package you will see all the things that we did in Scarborough. Working with the police, the other youth program that we had over 60,000 people attend, working in the Scarborough General Hospital -- that is all in your package -- a photograph of the Megablast and also video clips from the video that was in our package, too.
3693 Also, it is important to look at the rate cards and you will see all the rate cards are almost identical.
3694 The map, there is no -- we have not included the technical brief yet because we wanted to see what the Commissioners felt. Mr. Menzies said "Do not change, this is about 102.7." So this map is about 102.7 and only 102.7.
3695 We thank you and for the thousands of Tamils who depend on the continuation of CJVF, thank you very much.
3696 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Shoan has a question for you.
3697 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Just a few questions, Mr. Rogers, and to your team.
3698 In terms of the incremental cost of implementing the power upgrade, how would that be borne? Do you have the finances capable of managing that?
3699 MR. ROGERS: Yes, we do, sir.
3700 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
3701 MR. ROGERS: And we also have, don't forget, Tamil-1, a television station that is doing fairly well, and so if we ever run into any problems -- and I would like to just capitalize on that point too.
3702 Everybody is saying that the Tamil community is so tight and so tight and the advertisers. Well, we were at $640,000-$650,000, we were off the air for two and a half months, and we are back up to $350,000.
3703 And you can't do that with price cutting. I've heard people here say, "Oh, they are doing it for $5.00 a spot." Well, boy oh boy, then we would be doing like 30 minutes of commercials and we don't. We are right under the guidelines. We have all our logs, audio and paper logs to prove how many minutes of advertising we have. So at $5.00 a spot we could never get to $650,000.
3704 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Thank you.
3705 Have you ever marketed yourself as "Toronto's only 24/7 Tamil service"?
3706 MR. ROGERS: I'm glad you brought that up. In the Tamil community before, years ago, they were not operating as 24/7 and maybe we should again -- through the Community Liaison Officer, we should explain to them we are on the air 24/7 but do not just think we are Tamil 24/7. But we are on the air 24/7.
3707 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. And I appreciate the distinction you are making, but my specific question is: Have you ever marketed yourself as a 24/7 station, Tamil station?
3708 MR. ROGERS: Well, I have never said that and if some of our announcers have said that I would have to go through all the audiotapes and everything else to check that. But as far as I'm concerned, we do say we are a 24/7 station. But unless the announcers say it, and if that is a problem, we will correct that.
3709 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay, thank you.
3710 Have you ever operated -- do you presently or have you ever operated at greater than 6.5W?
3711 MR. ROGERS: No. I'm going to let Stuart Hahn explain that. There has to be a certain amount going up the tower to get the output to get to the 6.5W.
3713 MR. HAHN: Yes. The ERP is 6.5W, which I assume is what you meant, but --
3714 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: That's correct.
3715 MR. HAHN: -- the transmitter power would be slightly higher because of line losses and the antenna gain factor.
3716 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Right. And I can appreciate that. I can understand that, Mr. Hahn. I'm just trying to understand -- and I understand from your oral remarks that in your view the people who say they are receiving your signal from Ajax are listening to the Internet, but we also had people come forward and say they receive your -- they listen to your station or they have heard your station in Vaughan and I believe there was someone else who referred to Mississauga.
3717 So I just wanted to ensure -- is it your position that these people or these individuals are hearing your station over the Internet?
3718 MR. ROGERS: Do you want to answer that? I can't see how even when we are 50W -- or 45W, correction, sorry. I live out in the west. I cannot see how that signal can get there. It's -- go ahead.
3719 MR. HAHN: No, I don't see how that could be possible with that power level. I don't know if they were mistaken about where they were or how they came to that conclusion but I don't see that as being technically possible.
3720 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. I don't see how it's technically possible either, which is why I was asking whether you had ever exceeded 6.5W, but thank you for your reply.
3721 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I'm just doing some math here. May I get a comment from you. In your oral closing arguments -- or presentation rather, you said that essentially, no matter how you look at the packages, your spot rate is still $12.50.
3722 MR. ROGERS: No, Mr. Simpson. What I said was if you buy a long-term package --
3723 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes...?
3724 MR. ROGERS: -- and I'm talking, you know, months of advertising --
3725 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes.
3726 MR. ROGERS: -- and they take that $28 --
3727 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes...?
3728 MR. ROGERS: -- and they then decrease it for that long-term package, but the minimum they will go is $12.50.
3729 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I see.
3730 MR. ROGERS: But if you want to walk in the studios and say, "I want to buy five spots" --
3731 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes.
3732 MR. ROGERS: -- it's $28.
3733 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And that's based on a 30, I gather --
3734 MR. ROGERS: Yes.
3735 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: -- a 30-second spot?
3736 MR. ROGERS: Yes.
3737 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So when I look at your diamond, gold and platinum packages, when you are offering -- in your gold package, 60 prime and 16 un-prime, a total of 120 spots for $750, that comes out to $5.80 a spot, but that is for a 15?
3738 MR. ROGERS: Yes, that's for 15 seconds, sir.
3739 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So you do have a spot rate of close to $5.00, but it's a --
3740 MR. ROGERS: Well, if it's 15 seconds, but you have to compare the others to, you know, apples and apples.
3741 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I understand. I'm just --
3742 MR. ROGERS: Yes.
3743 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I'm just trying to cut through the anecdotal and get to the facts.
3744 MR. ROGERS: Right. I can appreciate that.
3745 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. Thank you very much.
3746 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
3747 MR. ROGERS: Thank you, Commissioners.
3748 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary...?
3749 THE SECRETARY: This completes Phase IV and the consideration of items 1 to 6 on the agenda.
3750 Also, there are eight non-appearing items on the agenda of this public hearing. Interventions were received for some of these applications. The Panel will consider these interventions along with the applications, and decisions will be rendered at a later date.
3751 This completes the agenda of this public hearing. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
3752 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
3753 I would just like to conclude by thanking everyone, applicants and citizens and interveners from whatever point of view they had for their participation in this. We are aware that it has been time-consuming, expensive and nerve-racking and we appreciate all of that and I just want to thank you for your participation there.
3754 I would also like to thank the hearing team for their management of the process, support for you and in considerable support for this Panel. We are very grateful. Thanks.
3755 And special thanks as always to the interpreters and the hearing recorder for their often unsung efforts and my thanks to my colleagues on this Panel for being such a good team to work with.
3756 You have a wonderful city here filled with beautiful people. Try to be good to each other.
3757 The hearing is adjourned.
--- Whereupon the hearing concluded at 1238
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