ARCHIVED - Transcript of broadcasting applications listed in Broadcasting Notice of Consultation 2015-84 and 2015-84-1
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Volume: 2 of 2
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Date: 14 May 2015
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Providing Content in Canada's Official Languages
Please note that the Official Languages Act requires that government publications be available in both official languages.
In order to meet some of the requirements under this Act, the Commission's transcripts will therefore be bilingual as to their covers, the listing of CRTC members and staff attending the hearings, and the table of contents.
However, the aforementioned publication is the recorded verbatim transcript and, as such, is transcribed in either of the official languages, depending on the language spoken by the participant at the hearing.
Attendees and Location
140 Promenade du Portage
- Chairperson: Jean-Pierre Blais
- Commissioner: Peter Menzies
- Commissioner: Tom Pentefountas
- Secretary: Jade Roy
- Legal Counsel: Crystal Hulley
- Legal Counsel: Adam Balkovec
- Hearing Manager: Joe Aguiar
14 May 2015
Opening of Hearing at 1000
1291 LE PRÉSIDENT : À l'ordre, s'il vous plaît.
1292 Madame la Secrétaire, je vous demanderais de... I would ask you to swear in the witness, please.
1293 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
1294 You have asked to make a solemn affirmation. So, do you solemnly affirm that the evidence to be given by you to the Commission shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
1295 MR. DHILLON: I affirm.
1296 THE CHAIRPERSON: Use your microphone please so we can hear you. Turn on your microphone.
1297 MR. DHILLON: I affirm.
1298 THE SECRETARY: Please state your name for the record.
1299 MR. DHILLON: Sukhdev Singh Dhillon.
1300 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
1301 For the record, the witness has been sworn in.
AFFIRMED: SUKHDEV SINGH DHILLON
1302 THE SECRETARY: Mr. Chairman, we will now proceed with Phase 1 for item 2 on the Agenda, which is the presentation by Salt Spring Island Radio Corp.
1303 Mr. Dhillon, you may begin your presentation and you have 20 minutes. Thank you.
1304 MR. DHILLON: Thank you.
1305 Good Morning, Mr. Chairman, Vice-Chairman Tom Pentefountas, Peter Menzies, Vice-Chairman of Telecommunications and the Commission staff.
1306 I am Sukhdev Singh Dhillon, owner of Salt Spring Island Radio Corporation and Satnam Media Group and the licensee of CFSI-FM. I am here at your request to respond to the Commission's concerns with compliances for CFSI-FM.
1307 The Commission approved the acquisition of the licence by my company Satnam Media Group on January 21, 2013. I knew going into this venture that there would be difficulties. The station was not operating in a positive manner on several fronts.
1308 As the Commission noted in its approval of the transfer, CFSI-FM had been operating in a negative financial situation for some time. This is one of the reasons the former owner wished to relinquish the licence.
1309 One of the other issues mentioned in the approval was non-compliance with regards to CCD payments and financial returns for several years. This speaks to a self-admitted "lack of oversight." It is this point of "mis-" or perhaps better described as under-management that has caused much of the problem we are facing today.
1310 Due diligence told me about the financial problems, which I accepted and believed that implementing more professional operating and sales standards would improve that situation. That said, I did underestimate the chaos that existed at the operational level.
1311 Over the course of several years, technical upgrades for the signal and ultimately the addition of a repeater on Mount Bruce were granted to improve coverage for the entire population of the Island but it did not. I am requesting that I be allowed to replace the 102.1 FM with an AM repeater.
1312 Again, in acquiring the station, I did not think that the all staff, clients and audience would embrace a new owner, let alone one from off the Island, with open arms and great enthusiasm. What I did not anticipate was the immensity of the blowback from the original core of the station.
1313 Given the change in ownership, there is bound to be some resentment and a feeling of exclusion by those close to the former owner of the station, especially as they were not financially invested.
1314 Their attitude appears to be that I have stolen their station away through a closed door process. As you know, the transaction took place following the Commission's public rules and procedures.
1315 The station staff's disappointment over the sale of CFSI-FM appears to have been transferred to the new ownership. This has created an air of bad will based on old relationships. At a point I did suggest to this group that if they felt they had a manifest destiny to own and operate the station I would consider an offer.
1316 That said, I am requesting that the share transfer to Harman Gill be approved. The station can benefit from the much needed funds.
1317 A new operations team will be introduced in June. The management team is revitalized and I can say that I feel confident that the day-to-day management of the station has the goals of the community and the station prioritized. This team will be headed by Bob Simpson.
1318 I trust this addresses your concerns and ask the Commission to exclude the suspension or revocation of the licence for CFSI-FM in your decision and renew the licence and approve the share transfer application.
1319 I am glad to answer any questions you may have.
1320 And I would also like to mention that on the phone we have Harman Gill and Dave Gordon, the ex-manager of CFSI.
1321 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
1322 The Vice-Chair of Broadcasting will start us off.
1323 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Good morning, Mr. Dhillon. Nice to see you again, although it would have been nicer under different circumstances. We saw each other about 15 months ago.
1324 MR. DHILLON: Very true.
1325 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: It was a rather disagreeable experience for me. I'm sure it was for you as well. Unfortunately, we're back.
1326 Just to begin with your presentation of the day, sir, as regards the AM repeater, have you applied for that?
1327 MR. DHILLON: We are planning to. We have been discussing with the engineers and we are sourcing the land and we have the frequency in mind.
1328 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. So that application, you know you can't just present it today?
1329 MR. DHILLON: Exactly.
1330 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: There's a process --
1331 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1332 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: -- and we'll deal with that in good time.
1333 As regards Mr. Simpson, do you have an employment contract with Mr. Simpson?
1334 MR. DHILLON: We are working on that right now.
1335 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. So he has not as yet been hired?
1336 MR. DHILLON: Not right now. He was supposed to be here but he's working at another radio station right now and his programming director had designs, so he could not make it today.
1337 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. Do you have some kind of formal commitment on behalf of Mr. Simpson that he will undertake to run your station?
1338 MR. DHILLON: I have, yes.
1339 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: What do you have, sir?
1340 MR. DHILLON: I have that he's willing to consider running the radio station and working out a contract.
1341 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And you have that in writing?
1342 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1343 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Is that an affidavit? Is that something that --
1344 MR. DHILLON: It's an email from him --
1345 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
1346 MR. DHILLON: -- outlining the understanding we have.
1347 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And you'll make that available?
1348 MR. DHILLON: Yes, I will.
1349 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Thank you, sir.
1350 So, Mr. Gill, let's begin with apparent non-compliance issues that date back to the mandatory order you signed 15 months -- well, almost a year ago.
1351 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1352 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Do you recall?
1353 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1354 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And do you recall a lot of those issues? And a lot of those issues you reiterated them this morning --
1355 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1356 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: -- as regards the staff that was there at the time and the bad blood that existed between you and the staff members.
1357 And you had assured this Commission at the time that that would be settled and that was no longer an issue and that you had taken the necessary measures, and yet, here you are 15 months later with the exact same excuse to justify the non-compliance, sir.
1358 MR. DHILLON: Well, as we will go through Phase 3, I will prove that this has -- it did not end, it continued on. The same with the person that I hired to manage my radio station, Radha --
1359 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yeah.
1360 MR. DHILLON: -- her name is Leslie Fournier, and I will prove through emails that, you know, a year back and until today this has continued.
1361 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: No, I understand, but you assured the Commission at the time -- this is 15 months ago and I can go back. I don't want to go through the transcripts from that.
1362 MR. DHILLON: Right.
1363 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: As I said, it wasn't fun and there's no sense in going back and doing things that weren't fun in the past, but if you will, we can. But that was to no longer be an issue going forward. You had settled that issue after taking possession of the station in January 2013.
1364 MR. DHILLON: Well, the issue, I thought it was settled. It was not --
1365 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
1366 MR. DHILLON: -- and I have documents to prove that.
1367 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. So let's start with program logs.
1368 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1369 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Now, the mandatory order required you to keep a program log. That log should contain very basic information: the date, the call letters, the location, the frequency of licensee station, the time at which each station identification announcement is made, as regards each program broadcast the title and brief description, the number of the relevant content categories, the time of the beginning and end of each program, the scheduling as it regards Canadian and non-Canadian programming -- very basic fundamental issues and conditions that were agreed to during our last show cause hearing 15 months ago.
1370 And again, in your response to these issues by writing, you talk about limited resources and poor staffing and it seems that -- there seems to be a tendency to blame others.
1371 Would you please explain to the Commission what went wrong as regards these issues of non-compliance?
1372 MR. DHILLON: We did file a quarterly report with all the things that you have mentioned --
1373 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes.
1374 MR. DHILLON: -- and we got a letter back from the Commission that they were satisfied with the content and the logs.
1375 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. We're going to get to the quarterly reports in just a moment, sir.
1376 Do you currently have a manager of the station?
1377 MR. DHILLON: At this time, no. They all quit in the last month.
1378 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: They all quit.
1379 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1380 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: How many of them were there?
1381 MR. DHILLON: There were four people there.
1382 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Four people, okay. Who is managing the station now?
1383 MR. DHILLON: Anita Mehta.
1384 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Anita Mehta.
1385 MR. DHILLON: She is temporary until Mr. Simpson and his team take over.
1386 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Does she have any broadcasting experience or regulatory experience?
1387 MR. DHILLON: No. Regarding the programming logs and everything, I have Tony Vieria, who manages the logs and everything. He has broadcasting experience.
1388 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: What is the responsibility of the announcing staff?
1389 MR. DHILLON: Pardon me?
1390 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: The responsibility of the announcing staff, the on-air staff, what is their responsibility as it regards these commitments that you have made, and most broadcasters have made?
1391 MR. DHILLON: During the last one year?
1392 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Let's look at the last 15 months.
1393 MR. DHILLON: Yes, we had live programming in the morning, afternoon and in the evenings.
1394 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: No, but has anyone trained the on-air staff and explained to them -- I think that is your responsibility.
1395 MR. DHILLON: Yes, I did. Yes, we did, and they were --
1396 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Did you explain to them that they had to respect all of these conditions as regards program logs and maintaining the logs?
1397 MR. DHILLON: Yes, we did, and Radha was supposed to look after it to make sure that everything was in compliance. That was her duty to do that.
1398 And on a regular basis I was informed that she was doing that.
1399 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Who reviewed the submission of the program logs that were submitted to the Commission?
1400 MR. DHILLON: Andrew Forsyth was supposed to be doing that. He did it for a couple of months, and then, you know, even for this hearing, I paid him over $17,000 to file my application, and he was all fully paid. I don't know why he decided not to represent me today.
1401 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Was he also paid to review the submission of the program logs?
1402 MR. DHILLON: Yes, I paid him $1,500 per submission.
1403 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Do you have receipts to that effect, sir?
1404 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1405 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: You do?
1406 MR. DHILLON: Yes, I paid him $3,000 for two submissions.
1407 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Would you be in a position to deposit any receipts you have to that effect --
1408 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1409 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: -- today?
1410 Do you have them with you?
1411 MR. DHILLON: I don't have them with me, but within the next 24 hours I could provide them.
1412 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's an undertaking.
1413 MR. DHILLON: An undertaking, yes.
1414 THE CHAIRPERSON: So by 10:30 tomorrow morning?
1415 MR. DHILLON: I will be flying back. By the end of tomorrow's day I will provide.
1416 THE CHAIRPERSON: So by five o'clock Ottawa time tomorrow?
1417 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1418 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
1419 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Sir, there is also the question of the certification of the program logs. You undertook, by virtue of this mandatory order, to make sure that the program logs are a machine-readable record of all the days of broadcasting, with a certificate by or on behalf of the licensee, attesting to the accuracy of its contents.
1420 The Commission has not received that Certificate of Accuracy. Is that certificate anywhere to be found?
1421 And, why have we not, as yet, received it?
1422 MR. DHILLON: When was that due? Excuse me, please.
1423 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: I guess that was Mr. Forsyth's responsibility?
1424 Or, you don't know?
1425 MR. DHILLON: Yes, we had forwarded him the last logs that were supposed to be sent to the Commission, and I will consult with him tomorrow and find out what happened to them.
1426 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: So you do not know -- you cannot tell us today why you did not include a document attesting to the accuracy of the program logs?
1427 MR. DHILLON: Well, like I said, you know, we did submit our quarterly reports, handed those to the Commission, and we have acknowledgement that they have received them.
1428 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: There is also a question of station self-assessment reports. Does that ring any bells?
1429 MR. DHILLON: Yes, we did file those.
1430 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: You did file those.
1431 Would it be possible that there were huge errors in the filing of those self-assessment reports?
1432 MR. DHILLON: I believe the assessment that we got back from the Commission, they were quite satisfied with it, and we have a copy of that.
1433 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Let me refresh your memory. The Commission asks that you provide a list of musical selections in the order in which they are broadcast by the licensee during the period, and it includes the title and the performer for each musical selection, and a legend that identifies the following: (1) any Canadian musical selections, any hits, any instrumental selections, any Cat 3 musical selections, the language of the musical selections, save for the instrumentals.
1434 And it is clear in our documentation, sir, that many musical selections were not properly identified as Canadian, no hits were identified in the program logs, or music lists submitted.
1435 Some instrumental pieces were not properly identified.
1436 Some musical selections were not properly categorized.
1437 And the list goes on and on.
1438 Does that help you better understand what the requirements were, and would you be in a position to explain to us why they weren't met?
1439 MR. DHILLON: Okay, there are a couple of ---
1440 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Let me ask you a simple question. What are your current procedures regarding self-assessment reports and music lists?
1441 MR. DHILLON: We check to make sure that we are playing enough Canadian content, and in all of the musical logs, artist categories are logged, and they are being logged right now.
1442 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: They are?
1443 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1444 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Who prepares these?
1445 MR. DHILLON: Tony Vieria.
1446 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Tony Vieria?
1447 MR. DHILLON: Yes, V-i-e-r-i-a.
1448 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Do you have a contract of employment with Mr. Vieria?
1449 MR. DHILLON: Yes. What happened is, since Radha left the station, we have changed the automation system to make sure -- because I wanted to change the automation system for the last almost eight months, and I asked Radha, I said, you know, this is a new automation system, which has all of the categories established that we need to provide to the CRTC, so it's easier to take out the reports and hand them over.
1450 But she said, no, that it's very hard for her to operate that system, and she continued on using the old system.
1451 So, then, when she left, we changed over to the new system. Now it's very easy to provide the logs as they are required, right away.
1452 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And the self-assessment reports, as well?
1453 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1454 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: When did you switch over to this new system, sir?
1455 MR. DHILLON: We switched over the first week of April.
1456 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: 2015?
1457 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1458 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: These self-assessment reports, sir, did you oversee the process?
1459 MR. DHILLON: Yes, they always e-mailed me first, and I went through them before we sent them to the Commission.
1460 And I had Andrew look over them first, and he made sure that everything was good, and then he sent them.
1461 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: In your billing system with Mr. Forsyth, did you have an itemized billing as to what he did or did not do for you, sir?
1462 MR. DHILLON: Well, for two annual reports he charged me $15,000, plus taxes.
1463 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Would you have some kind of details as to what was included in that $15,000 bill?
1464 Was it his responsibility -- let's get back to the self-assessment reports. Was it his responsibility to conduct the final review?
1465 MR. DHILLON: Yes. He was charging me $1,500 for that, yes.
1466 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Do you have some kind of mandate that you offered him?
1467 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1468 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Is there something in writing?
1469 MR. DHILLON: Yes, there is something in writing, an e-mail that I can forward.
1470 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: What is that?
1471 MR. DHILLON: It's an e-mail that --
1472 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Do you have a copy of that, sir?
1473 MR. DHILLON: I can provide you by tomorrow, yes.
1474 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Notwithstanding all of that, sir, you understand that the ultimate responsibility rests with you?
1475 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1476 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: There was also an issue 15 months prior, and before that, with getting in touch with you, sir, and you had agreed to set up a phone line. You had agreed to be more present at the radio station.
1477 First of all, as regards to the phone line, to make it easier for the Commission and others to contact you, have you put in place a phone line on Salt Spring Island for yourself?
1478 MR. DHILLON: Yes, we have two lines there, one studio line and one office line.
1479 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: When were those installed?
1480 MR. DHILLON: Right after we had discussed that, a year and a half ago.
1481 And if somebody leaves a voice message, I get an e-mail right away.
1482 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. Equally, you must have bills for those installations?
1483 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1484 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Did you come with those bills today?
1485 MR. DHILLON: It is a regular phone bill from Shaw.
1486 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: I understand that, but do you have access to those bills?
1487 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1488 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Would you be able to provide us with those before the end of the day tomorrow?
1489 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1490 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: In terms of hiring a new station manager -- that was another one of your undertakings -- you had hired --
1491 Who had you hired at the time, sir? I don't want to put words in your mouth.
1492 MR. DHILLON: A year ago?
1493 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes.
1494 MR. DHILLON: That was Dan Miller.
1495 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Dan Miller?
1496 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1497 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And he was hired when?
1498 MR. DHILLON: He was hired in February of last year.
1499 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: February of 2014?
1500 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1501 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And how long was he employed at the station for you?
1502 MR. DHILLON: Approximately three months.
1503 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Three months.
1504 Why is he no longer employed there, sir?
1505 MR. DHILLON: I checked his three months' progress, and I did not like the way everything was being handled. So then Radha said, "I could step in and make sure everything is properly done," and she said, "I will manage that position."
1506 So I hired Radha.
1507 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And she is still employed by you, sir?
1508 MR. DHILLON: She was, until the end of March.
1509 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Until March. So from June until March, roughly?
1510 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1511 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: June 2014 to March 2015?
1512 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1513 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And she is no longer employed by you at the station?
1514 MR. DHILLON: No.
1515 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Is there a reason why?
1516 MR. DHILLON: Well, every time we had a report to do, she would come out with an e-mail to me saying, "I'm resigning."
1517 That was in June, and then in July I said, "Okay, I am going to talk to Bob Simpson and bring him on board."
1518 And then she said, "I'm also going to resign if you are bringing Bob in. I am not going to work with him."
1519 I have e-mails to prove that.
1520 And, then, I was talking to some of my staff, and she got very upset. She goes -- and I have e-mails to prove that also -- "Why did you talk to Bill Nash?"
1521 I said, "Well, he's a salesperson. He is the only one who does any sales on this station."
1522 She goes, "Well, we are going to tell Bill not to talk to you, if he wants to work at the station."
1523 And then she fired him.
1524 And I have e-mails to prove all of that.
1525 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. Did you fire her in March 2015 or did she leave?
1526 MR. DHILLON: I was going to, but then she said, "I'm resigning."
1527 I said, "That's fine, I accept your resignation."
1528 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And before that when she first started threatening to resign almost from day one, did you think about relieving her of her functions or duties at that time?
1529 MR. DHILLON: Yes. I have been looking for bringing in someone who is capable of manning the station and I have been talking to Bob since July and June last year and then finally Bob, you know, agreed to come on on a full-time basis and work out a contract with him and he will start then.
1530 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: You had also committed to spend a lot more time at the station yourself, sir.
1531 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1532 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Because prior to January 2014 you insisted that it was the fault of others and you weren't there often enough and you understood that and you would be spending more time there and taking more responsibilities on your shoulders yourself.
1533 MR. DHILLON: Right.
1534 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. Can you speak to the Commission as to what kind of time and how often you were at the station physically?
1535 MR. DHILLON: As it was required I would go there since, you know, Radha and all the people who are programming in the morning, afternoon and evening, they were doing a good job programming and, you know, I didn't see a need to go there every week. Then I tried to go there once a month.
1536 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: You did not see a need to go there every week?
1537 MR. DHILLON: Because everything was going fine.
1538 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Right. You had committed to being involved in the day-to-day operations, sir.
1539 MR. DHILLON: Yes. I have an audio feed coming to my office in Surrey where I was monitoring it and listening to it and recording it on a regular basis to make sure that everything is up and running.
1540 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And you had also committed --
1541 MR. DHILLON: And there was an incident when the computer went off. I was the first person to find out because I got an alarm on that feed and then I called Radha. I said, "Radha, this station is off the air, please fix it right away." And it was handled.
1542 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And you had also committed to personally ensure that the logger tapes would be in good order, the program logs, the music lists and all other information that I mentioned earlier, that you would be personally responsible to make sure that that would run -- that you would be respectful of the conditions that were imposed yourself.
1543 MR. DHILLON: Yes. When we did the first report and we got back the results and they were good results from the CRTC Commission and then I thought, okay, Radha is doing a good job to continue on.
1544 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: When did you receive that, sir? What report are you referring to?
1545 MR. DHILLON: That was in -- I believe in March last year.
1546 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: March of 2014?
1547 MR. DHILLON: I have a copy I can present, you know.
1548 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Do you have that with you?
1549 MR. DHILLON: Not right now, but I do have it. I can email it or forwarded to the Commission tomorrow.
1550 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: But to your recollection in March 2014 you received a document from the Commission that you were doing a great job and everything was in order?
1551 MR. DHILLON: I could be wrong on the month, but I did receive it and I would review it and we were in compliance on every direction.
1552 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. So if it wasn't March it was April of 2014?
1553 MR. DHILLON: Could be.
1554 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And have you received any other documentation from the Commission since then?
1555 MR. DHILLON: Not regarding that report.
1556 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Have you received anything else from the Commission as it regards logger tapes, certification, categorization of programming, any of the commitments you made during the mandatory order?
1557 MR. DHILLON: I don't recall right now.
1558 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: You haven't received anything else to your recollection?
1559 MR. DHILLON: No.
1560 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. To move on, you have the mandatory order, sir. You understand the importance of annual returns?
1561 MR. DHILLON: Yes, we filed them on time.
1562 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes. I know I asked you this question a year and a half ago, but how long have you been in the radio business, sir?
1563 MR. DHILLON: Since 2007, because that's my first purchase in Wetaskiwin, Alberta.
1564 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. Okay. Great.
1565 So annual returns, you understand that you have to file annual returns?
1566 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1567 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
1568 MR. DHILLON: Since I took over this radio station I have filed all my returns on time.
1569 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. Do you understand when you took over the station that you are also responsible for any responsibilities and obligations prior to your acquiring of the station? Did you understand that at the time?
1570 MR. DHILLON: Yes. He did not file on time --
1571 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes.
1572 MR. DHILLON: -- and when I took over and I asked him for the copies of the annual returns, then he provided me.
1573 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And did you file those returns, sir?
1574 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1575 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: For 2010-2011?
1576 MR. DHILLON: 2010, he filed them. I took over in 2013 and I have filed --
1577 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: I understand you took over in 2013, but you also when you took over you were made aware of the fact that the 2010-2011, 2011-2012 annual reports had not been submitted. Did you not realize that?
1578 MR. DHILLON: Yes. He submitted them after I bought the station. He filed it.
1579 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And do you have some kind of evidence of that filing, sir?
1580 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1581 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: You do?
1582 MR. DHILLON: He did provide me copies that he filed.
1583 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And you will provide that --
1584 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1585 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: -- before midday tomorrow?
1586 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Now, as for the transfer of ownership, you also understand that there was a shortfall in CCD contributions --
1587 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1588 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: -- when you bought the station?
1589 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1590 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And you had committed to pay that shortfall?
1591 MR. DHILLON: There was -- the Commission said there was $5,500 and he showed me a proof of $500 plus $5,000, adding up to $5,500, that shortfall.
1592 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And the Commission has not expressed to you the fact that those payments have not been received, that there was a shortfall of $500 on that $5,500 payment? You are not aware of the fact that you still owe $500 on that?
1593 MR. DHILLON: No. If there is $500 that's do, I will make sure it's paid. Because I do have proof of the $5,000 that he paid that the Commission asked.
1594 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Did you have a chance prior to today to show that to the Commission staff, sir, that the $5,000 were paid?
1595 MR. DHILLON: Yes, I emailed it to them a couple of years back.
1596 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: You emailed it to them?
1597 MR. DHILLON: To the Commission.
1598 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: When was that, sir?
1599 MR. DHILLON: That was during the purchase, 2013.
1600 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
1601 MR. DHILLON: I sent them a bank draft copy that Mr. Brooks paid.
1602 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Who made that payment?
1603 MR. DHILLON: Mr. Brooks.
1604 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: The previous owner.
1605 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1606 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. Now, Mr. Dhillon, there was also a question of CCD contributions above and beyond.
1607 MR. DHILLON: Yes, there were.
1608 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: I'm not sure if you are familiar with that. And that was $2,500 for the year 2011-12, $2,500 for the year 2012-13 and $2,500 for the year 2013-14.
1609 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1610 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: It makes a total of $7,500.
1611 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1612 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Have you made those payments?
1613 MR. DHILLON: Not yet. We will pay within the next 90 days because, you know, as I said earlier, the station hasn't made any money in the last two and a half, three years. It was a difficult situation, but we will pay.
1614 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And you were aware of these payments that were required when you bought the station?
1615 MR. DHILLON: Okay, excuse me. There is a -- regarding 2011-12 --
1616 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes...?
1617 MR. DHILLON: -- those payments were made. That's the $5,000.
1618 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Sir, no, they have not been made.
1619 MR. DHILLON: They have not been made?
1620 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: No, no.
1621 MR. DHILLON: Because Mr. Brooks provided me in an email a proof of $5,000 payable to the Commission.
1622 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And that --
1623 MR. DHILLON: I can forward that tomorrow.
1624 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And that includes 2013-14?
1625 MR. DHILLON: Yes, $2,500 each month -- each year.
1626 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes. But you were the proprietor. You took possession in January 2013.
1627 MR. DHILLON: Right.
1628 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Right. So Mr. Brooks paid for 2012-13 and he also paid for 2013-14?
1629 MR. DHILLON: No, 2011 and '12 he paid.
1630 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And 2013 and '14 you paid?
1631 MR. DHILLON: No, I have not paid that.
1632 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Why not, sir?
1633 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. There is also a basic CCD contribution that has not been paid for '11-'12 and '12-'13.
1634 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1635 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: There is another $1,000 there.
1636 MR. DHILLON: How much?
1637 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: $1,000 in total.
1638 MR. DHILLON: Okay. Whatever amount is outstanding, within the next 30 days I will pay the whole amount. That's no problem.
1639 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes.
1640 MR. DHILLON: Because I wasn't aware that $1,000 was still overdue.
1641 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: You are not aware of those payments that are outstanding, that there is a total of $9,000 outstanding?
1642 MR. DHILLON: I will undertake to pay that within the next 30 days.
1643 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Who is responsible for making CCD payments, sir?
1644 MR. DHILLON: I am.
1645 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. So there's no accountant or anyone else that is responsible for those payments?
1646 MR. DHILLON: Well, now I will be forwarding everything to the accountant so that way every year when he will be filing the annual reports on or before the 30th and doing the CCD payments.
1647 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes.
1648 Do you recall offering to pay this $9,000 shortfall in 90 days to staff, sir? Do you recall that? Do you recall any correspondence with staff as regards outstanding payments?
1649 MR. DHILLON: That was during the renewal period that we will pay within 90 days. There was a discussion regarding the deficiencies report --
1650 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes. Yes, yes.
1651 MR. DHILLON: -- and, you know, after the renewal within 90 days you will pay the whole amount.
1652 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And you will not commit to paying the amount before the renewal?
1653 MR. DHILLON: Not now. I said I will pay within 30 days, no matter renewal or not.
1654 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: So now you are willing to pay it within 30 days of today?
1655 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1656 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Is that correct?
1657 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1658 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. So it's not 90 days after the renewal as you mentioned to staff?
1659 MR. DHILLON: That's what I was recommended by Andrew Forsyth and that's what I put in. But I can make it to pay within 30 days. That's no problem.
1660 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And that recommendation from Mr. Forsyth came when, sir?
1661 MR. DHILLON: During -- we were in the question-and-answer period regarding the deficiencies.
1662 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: So that would be prior to April 2015 when he was no longer employed by you?
1663 MR. DHILLON: No, it was this year sometime that the deficiencies came.
1664 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Right. So you are aware of the $9,000 outstanding?
1665 MR. DHILLON: I will check my records. If this is the amount -- whatever the amount is, if it's 10,000 or 9,000 or 7,500 --
1666 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: It's a total of $9,000.
1667 MR. DHILLON: I will make sure it's paid within 30 days.
1668 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: But do you agree that you owe this amount?
1669 MR. DHILLON: I have to check my records, because there is a dispute of $5,000, like you said, that has never been paid by Mr. Brooks.
1670 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Would you agree that you mentioned to staff that you will be paying the $9,000 within 90 days?
1671 MR. DHILLON: Yes, I do remember that.
1672 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: You do remember that, okay.
1673 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1674 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: So now you agree that you owe $9,000 and you are going to pay it within 30 days of today --
1675 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1676 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: -- not 90 days of your renewal?
1677 MR. DHILLON: If that's --
1678 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Is that correct?
1679 MR. DHILLON: Sure, no problem.
1680 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: No, I don't want to be putting words in your mouth. I'm just repeating what you are saying, sir.
1681 MR. DHILLON: My consultant said, you know, "You have to pay this amount and we will pay it within 90 days." I said, "That's fine."
1682 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
1683 MR. DHILLON: But if the Commission said, "No, you pay this in 30 days." I will pay it in 30 days. That's no problem.
1684 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Who is your new consultant?
1685 MR. DHILLON: Mr. Forsyth was.
1686 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Oh, okay.
1687 MR. DHILLON: When we were filing those papers.
1688 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. Okay. So you do recall filing some papers and deficiencies --
1689 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1690 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: -- and exchanges with staff?
1691 MR. DHILLON: Yes. Yes.
1692 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And you do remember offering to pay the $9,000 within 90 days?
1693 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1694 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And today you are in a position to offer to pay that $9,000 within 30 days of today?
1695 MR. DHILLON: Right now I'm in the position.
1696 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: May 15th, so by June 15th?
1697 MR. DHILLON: Right now I am in the position, yes.
1698 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. Has anything fundamentally changed in the last month that would allow you to be in that position?
1699 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1700 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: What is that, sir?
1701 MR. DHILLON: I am a part owner in a radio station in California --
1702 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
1703 MR. DHILLON: -- and which I started about two months -- no, in February and it's doing really well.
1704 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
1705 MR. DHILLON: That is the reason for the change in my financial situation.
1706 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: In your financial status, okay. Very good, sir.
1707 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1708 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Speaking of financing, there were some tangible benefits that flowed from the purchase of the Salt Spring stations.
1709 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1710 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Are you aware of those --
1711 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1712 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: -- tangible benefits? And are you aware of the commitment --
1713 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1714 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: -- that you made at the time?
1715 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1716 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Do you know how much that was for?
1717 MR. DHILLON: I think it was around $18,000 approximately, total.
1718 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes, the total. If you want to give us a total, that's fine.
1719 MR. DHILLON: No, no, that's what the total was.
1720 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes. I think it was $20,112.
1721 MR. DHILLON: $21,000 --
1722 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: $20,112.
1723 MR. DHILLON: -- and payable over seven years.
1724 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Exactly. Exactly. And that would make payments on a yearly basis, right?
1725 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1726 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
1727 MR. DHILLON: And for the yearly basis, whatever the amount is overdue, I will pay within 30 days.
1728 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Do you know what that amount is?
1729 MR. DHILLON: It is in my letter stating how much it is. I can total it up and submit that.
1730 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
1731 MR. DHILLON: It's around $3,500, I believe.
1732 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes. It's $2,873.
1733 MR. DHILLON: Twenty-eight (28), yes.
1734 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And we have received no payment for 2012-2013.
1735 MR. DHILLON: Like I said, I was going through some financial difficulties, but my situation has changed and those payments will be done within 30 days.
1736 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes. Had you thought about making those payments prior to arriving here this morning in a show of goodwill?
1737 MR. DHILLON: No, I did not -- thought of that.
1738 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. So there is $5,746 outstanding as regards tangible benefits. Does that make sense to you?
1739 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1740 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And you agree with that?
1741 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1742 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And you are undertaking today to pay that within 30 days?
1743 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1744 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. As regards quarterly reports, sir, you made a commitment at the hearing to provide quarterly reports.
1745 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1746 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: You even stated, if I recall, that quarterly reports would be a good way to ensure that you would be compliant going forward.
1747 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1748 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. Great.
1749 Would it surprise you to know that you did not file quarterly reports for the quarter between July 2014 and September 2014, October 2014 to December 2014 and January 2015 until March 2015? The only quarterly report that was provided was the one between March and July, right, right after the hearing and right after that, once you got the mandatory order in June allowing you to continue broadcasting, those quarterly reports stopped.
1750 Does that make sense to you? Is that correct?
1751 MR. DHILLON: That is correct.
1752 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
1753 MR. DHILLON: But I had -- like I said, every time we were working on the quarterly reports there was some issues that came up with the staff and everything. I think it's an oversight on my part. I should have looked at it more detailed, you know.
1754 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: But you had committed to be involved with the details and the minutia of the operation last January before this Commission.
1755 MR. DHILLON: I did.
1756 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Because there were other instances prior to that when your conditions of licence were far from being fully respected, sir. So how do we know, going forward, that you will be able to respect those conditions?
1757 MR. DHILLON: Like I said, you know, every time the report was due, Radha always come up with some excuse to -- first she was getting some payment. Then I doubled her payment. She goes, "Now I need help, extra help." I hired Shadi. And then even in July I said, "Well, let's hire Anita to help you out with paperwork." I have emails to prove that, that, you know, I recommended everything to her.
1758 Even Bob Simpson -- you know, there were some issues at the station until March, which now I've changed the total format of the logs that we are going to be generating and with automatic -- saying how much percentage we played, what we played and all the audio logs being saved and checked twice a day to make sure everything is running smoothly. And that is why I'm hiring Bob Simpson to make sure. He is an experienced broadcaster to manage this whole operation and he is willing to join the firm to look into this.
1759 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes.
1760 Mr. Dhillon, would it surprise you to know that on February 23 you sent a letter to the Commission assuring them that the quarterly reports would be filed within 30 days, February 23, 2015? And we are today May 15, 2015 and those reports have still yet to be filed.
1761 MR. DHILLON: I rely on my staff too much and the things weren't being done.
1762 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: I know, but this is your letter, sir. This is your letter. You signed the letter. You are responsible for sending the letter. You undertook. You have made many, many undertakings, none of which have been respected.
1763 We don't even have to go back to last year or years prior. This is 2015, February 23. You are assuring the Commission that within 30 days the quarterly reports will be deposited and here we are three months later and we still don't have quarterly reports. Any thoughts on that? Any explanation of that, besides blaming staff?
1764 MR. DHILLON: I think I should have hired in June when I was planning to hire Bob Simpson to look after all my quarterly reports and overlooking the day to day operation of the radio station.
1765 You know, when Radha was threatening to resign, I should have let her resign and just brought in Bob Simpson. I should've done it at that time.
1766 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes.
1767 MR. DHILLON: Then I wouldn't be here.
1768 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: I know, sir, but ultimately you are responsible.
1769 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1770 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: You are the licensee. You hire and fire these people. No one else does and your track record of hiring and firing is not very impressive thus far.
1771 Is there anything else you can provide the Commission? Any assurances? Because even as late as February 13th that assurance was not respected either.
1772 MR. DHILLON: Well, I relied on too many people and things weren't being done. Now I really have to pay more attention and make sure it's all done.
1773 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: That's exactly what you told us 15 months ago. Is that correct? Isn't that what you told us 15 months ago?
1774 MR. DHILLON: Yes, but then I did hire Andrew Forsyth to look into all this and to make sure everything was filed on time and Radha was supposed to provide him all the material --
1775 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Right.
1776 MR. DHILLON: -- so he can work on it. And now that I changed my automation system which will give me more information than what the other system was giving me and it will be easier for --
1777 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: More than the system you put back in March?
1778 MR. DHILLON: Yes, it's a better system.
1779 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Where everything was being fed and brought to your home or office in Surrey?
1780 MR. DHILLON: Pardon me?
1781 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: You had a system installed in March 2014?
1782 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1783 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Do you recall that?
1784 MR. DHILLON: No, that wasn't the automation system. I'm talking about the automation system now.
1785 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: That wasn't automated back then?
1786 MR. DHILLON: It was automated, it was a different automation system.
1787 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
1788 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1789 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
1790 Let's briefly discuss this change of ownership situation.
1791 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1792 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Now, currently Salt Spring is solely and -- wholly owned, sorry, by Satnam Media Group?
1793 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1794 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And you are...?
1795 MR. DHILLON: The sole owner.
1796 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: The owner and comptroller --
1797 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1798 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: -- of Satnam?
1799 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1800 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And you are aware that in a cover letter for your renewal application dated August 29, 2014 you informed the Commission that the ownership structure would be changing?
1801 MR. DHILLON: Once we got the approval from the Commission, then it would be changing, yes.
1802 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes. Would it surprise you to know that you mentioned in your letter that, and I quote:
"The ownership structure of the station had been amended to include Mr. Harman Gill as a participant owning 49 percent of the company shares." (As read)
1803 MR. DHILLON: No, that was on Mr. Forsyth's mistake.
1804 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Oh, okay.
1805 MR. DHILLON: And I told him, I said, you know, it should be saying that, you know, once the approval from the Commission is granted then we do it. He says, "No, no, you can do 49 percent without." He checked.
1806 Then I said, "No, I don't want to do anything" and Mr. Gill said, "We want 50-50." So I said, "Amend everything. Make it to 50-50 once we get the approval from the Commission."
1807 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: You asked for that after you had sent the letter to the Commission?
1808 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1809 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And after staff had advised you that an ownership application would be required seeking authority to modify the ownership?
1810 MR. DHILLON: Right. Well, before I relied on Mr. Andrews'(sic) submission that, you know, you can change up to 49 percent.
1811 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: You relied on Mr. Forsyth's?
1812 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1813 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
1814 MR. DHILLON: Okay.
1815 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: But you told them at the time that that was improper?
1816 MR. DHILLON: Because that's what I understood, that, you know --
1817 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: That that's what you -- sorry?
1818 MR. DHILLON: That's what I understood, that you cannot sell any shares --
1819 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: When did you understand that, sir?
1820 MR. DHILLON: I said: "You cannot sell any shares without the Commission's approval." He goes: "No. You can do up to 49."
1821 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
1822 MR. DHILLON: I said: "Well, I'm not sure."
1823 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: M'hmm.
1824 MR. DHILLON: And so he filled it out the way he thought was best.
1825 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: M'hmm.
1826 MR. DHILLON: And that's why I hired him, because he had more knowledge than me on this and --
1827 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And how did you know that that was improper?
1828 MR. DHILLON: Because, you know, it's 20 percent, I think, you can transfer or 10 percent but not --
1829 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: But based on what? What is the source of that? Had you read --
1830 MR. DHILLON: I read somewhere.
1831 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Somewhere?
1832 MR. DHILLON: Yes. I don't remember where but I did read somewhere that you can only transfer 10 or 20 percent but you cannot do more than that. Then Mr. Gill said: "Okay, I want to do 50:50."
1833 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Where did you recall reading that, sir?
1834 MR. DHILLON: I can't remember right now but I --
1835 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
1836 MR. DHILLON: Somewhere I read it.
1837 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. So that's August 2014, and notwithstanding that you knew this, that you had read it somewhere, you trusted Mr. Forsyth and you sent the letter anyways?
1838 MR. DHILLON: Yes, because he had more --
1839 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Is that what I'm --
1840 MR. DHILLON: -- experience than me.
1841 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Right. And when did you -- do you recall receiving correspondence from the Commission subsequent to the filing of that letter in August 2014?
1842 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1843 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes. When did you receive that?
1844 MR. DHILLON: It was a month later and they wanted a Shareholders Agreement lining out the -- outlining the responsibilities. Then Mr. Gill said: "Okay, I will do 50 percent, not 49."
1845 And I talked to Mr. Andrew again. I said: "Is that okay or somebody has to have 51 percent?" And he said: "No. As long as you have a contract, sales agreement, that should be okay."
1846 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And when did that happen?
1847 MR. DHILLON: That's end of last year sometime. So we signed a Shareholders Agreement --
1848 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: M'hmm.
1849 MR. DHILLON: -- and submitted it to the Commission. And Mr. Gill --
1850 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: When did that happen, sir? I'm curious.
1851 MR. DHILLON: There's a date on the Shareholders Agreement that it --
1852 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Do you have a copy of that Agreement with you, sir?
1853 MR. DHILLON: I can provide it but it was provided to the Commission.
1854 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. So in August you sent out the -- and I'll give you the exact date -- dated 29 August 2014; that's when it was filed, your initial letter?
1855 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1856 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: At 49 percent for Mr. Gill?
1857 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1858 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And would it surprise you to know that you also nominated him as Vice-President of the Board?
1859 MR. DHILLON: But this was not -- we were still going to wait until the Commission approved it.
1860 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. You were waiting for the Commission, I know.
1861 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1862 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: But did you not name him Vice-President of the Board on 30 July 2014, a month before sending the letter to the Commission?
1863 MR. DHILLON: I think this was all done in done in -- like Mr. Forsyth said: "Okay, what would his position be?"
1864 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes.
1865 MR. DHILLON: He asked me the question. I said: "He will be a Vice-President of the Corporation."
1866 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Right, of the Board.
1867 MR. DHILLON: So that's how it came about.
1868 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Of the Board.
1869 MR. DHILLON: But he's not appointed right now. Right now, still, I'm the sole Shareholder/Director of both corporations.
1870 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yeah. So was that changed because it seems to me that on the 13th of July 2014 he was named Vice-President of the Board, Mr. Gill was?
1871 MR. DHILLON: He actually should have been -- say he's proposed.
1872 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
1873 MR. DHILLON: That's what it should have been --
1874 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
1875 MR. DHILLON: -- instead of saying named. I know there's deficiencies in that application. When I was talking to Mr. Forsyth --
1876 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes.
1877 MR. DHILLON: -- I said: "You know, it doesn't make any sense. You're saying a couple of things here and, you know, the way the Commission looks at it, it's not me holding the licence, it's the company Satnam Media" --
1878 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yeah.
1879 MR. DHILLON: -- and so forth.
1880 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: When did that discussion happen, sir?
1881 MR. DHILLON: During filing of the deficiencies and stuff.
1882 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Give us a date, a quarter.
1883 MR. DHILLON: The last quarter of last year, sometime in September.
1884 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Exactly. September...?
1885 MR. DHILLON: Last year.
1886 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Between September and December 2014; would you agree with that?
1887 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1888 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yeah. But on 30 July he was named Vice-President. On 30 July 2014 Mr. Gill was named Vice-President.
1889 MR. DHILLON: That's when he -- I think that's when he sent the initial application.
1890 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And in the application you mentioned that the ownership structure had been amended already.
1891 MR. DHILLON: That is wrong.
1892 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: That's wrong, okay.
1893 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1894 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
1895 MR. DHILLON: It should have been "proposed."
1896 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Right.
1897 MR. DHILLON: This is, you know --
1898 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
1899 MR. DHILLON: -- how it's going to look once the application was approved for the share transfer.
1900 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: So then you get a letter from the Commission explaining to you that you need to seek authority to modify ownership?
1901 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1902 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And that came to you in late September 2014?
1903 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1904 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Is that correct?
1905 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1906 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And then you had further discussions with Mr. Forsyth and your partner Mr. Gill?
1907 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1908 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. and then you decided to resubmit to 50:50?
1909 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1910 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And when did that happen?
1911 MR. DHILLON: That is when we signed the Shareholders Agreement --
1912 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Sir, when? I mean you're handing over half of your company to someone else.
1913 MR. DHILLON: No, no. I'm not handing it over until the Commission approves it.
1914 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: No, I understand. I understand. Eventually.
1915 MR. DHILLON: Yeah.
1916 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: But when did that happen? The Shareholders Agreement, when was that signed?
1917 MR. DHILLON: That was signed sometime in September, October. I have to check the Shareholders Agreement and there's --
1918 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yeah. Do we --
1919 MR. DHILLON: Do we have a copy?
1920 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Have you filed a copy of that? Has that been filed? Not yet, eh? Staff, do we have a copy of that?
--- Off-record Discussion
1921 CONSEILLER PENTEFOUNTAS : On a une copie. Merci.
1922 So that Shareholders Agreement was executed on the 20th of October 2014.
1923 MR. DHILLON: October, yes.
1924 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. Had you received approval from the Commission for the change of ownership?
1925 MR. DHILLON: No.
1926 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: No?
1927 MR. DHILLON: No.
1928 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And would it surprise you to know that on 22nd of September 2014, three weeks after your initial letter to the Commission, well before receiving a response from the Commission that it was inappropriate, that you refiled under these new terms whereby Mr. Gill has a 50-percent voting interest in the Salt Spring Station?
1929 MR. DHILLON: Please say it again.
1930 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yeah. On 22 September --
1931 MR. DHILLON: Twenty-two September.
1932 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: -- 2014 you refiled with the Commission a new proposal --
1933 MR. DHILLON: Right.
1934 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: -- right --
1935 MR. DHILLON: Yeah.
1936 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: -- stating that Mr. Gill would be 50-percent owner?
1937 MR. DHILLON: Right.
1938 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay?
1939 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1940 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Is that correct?
1941 MR. DHILLON: That is correct.
1942 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And on the 29th of September you filed the initial document with the Commission stating that the ownership structure had been amended and Mr. Gill now had 49 percent of the company shares and that he was Vice-President of the Board?
1943 MR. DHILLON: I don't recall that.
1944 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. No problem. Okay. So you did deposit a Share Purchase Agreement dated 20 October 2014?
1945 MR. DHILLON: Yeah.
1946 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: You recall that?
1947 MR. DHILLON: October?
1948 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes, October --
1949 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1950 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: -- 2014.
1951 MR. DHILLON: 2014.
1952 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. Very well. And that the closing of the purchase would only happen 30 days after the Commission's approval?
1953 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1954 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Is that correct?
1955 MR. DHILLON: That is correct.
1956 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. Therefore, CFSI is still wholly owned and controlled by Satnam Media?
1957 MR. DHILLON: That is right.
1958 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And you control 100 percent of that company?
1959 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1960 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
1961 MR. DHILLON: And I'd like to make another comment.
1962 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Sure.
1963 MR. DHILLON: Mr. Gill, if the Commission allows, is proposing to buy 90 percent of South Spring Island.
1964 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Nine-zero?
1965 MR. DHILLON: Nine-zero.
1966 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. When did that happen?
1967 MR. DHILLON: No, no. I mean if the Commission allows, he can refile the application. If the Commission says okay, we will look into this -- if he's allowed to refile the purchase application, Share Transfer Agreement --
1968 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
1969 MR. DHILLON: -- he's willing to go at 90 percent.
1970 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: So, do you wish to withdraw the filing and refile at 90 percent?
1971 MR. DHILLON: If the Commission allows.
1972 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Well, you'll only know after you file.
1973 MR. DHILLON: If we're allowed to file, then we will file within a week.
1974 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
1975 MR. DHILLON: And if the Commission accepts it, I'm willing to divest.
1976 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Oh! Well, that's interesting.
1977 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And therefore you would no longer be responsible for running the station?
1978 MR. DHILLON: I will be his partner. I will be running it with him. There will be more people managing it than one person.
1979 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And you mentioned in your letter as regards the change in control, or lack thereof, that Mr. Gill would be injecting operational cash flow --
1980 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1981 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: -- to allow you to meet your commitments?
1982 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
1983 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. Given that you are now in a healthier financial situation after your investment in California, do you still need that cash flow from Mr. Gill?
1984 MR. DHILLON: Yes. Well, for the last two years what we have discovered in Salt Spring, Salt Spring is very -- terrain. You know, there's no way you can have one AM -- sorry, the FM 107.9 cannot cover the whole Island. And we tried having different tower sites so we can cover the whole Island on one frequency and it wasn't possible.
1985 So then we decided with talking to the engineers about putting an AM tower instead of the FM and that's going to require land and a lot of capital to get the AM tower in. And that's why we can now invest and get that AM tower if the Commission will allow after that.
1986 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: We're mixing up an awful lot of issues here, Mr. Dhillon.
1987 I know we have Mr. Gill on the line.
1988 Do we have Mr. Gill on the line?
1989 MR. DHILLON: We did, yeah.
1990 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. Can we just maybe get Mr. Gill's perspective if that's possible?
1991 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Mr. Gill, can you hear me?
1992 MR. GILL: Yeah, I can hear you.
1993 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay, great!
1994 So we've had a couple of surprises this morning. Where are you at as regards the purchase of this property?
1995 MR. GILL: Right now -- do you have all the details? Right now I'm just involved in the funding, but right now on the purchase of the property --
1996 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. Now, are you in the process of purchasing the property?
1997 MR. GILL: The property or the frequency?
1998 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: The frequency. I'm sorry, when I speak of property, I'm talking about the frequency.
1999 MR. GILL: Okay, yeah. Well, yeah, I am.
2000 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: You are. And you would purchase 90 percent?
2001 MR. GILL: Fifty percent right now and 90 if it's allowed.
2002 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. So have you already purchased 50 percent?
2003 MR. GILL: No. Well, my funding is ready but I haven't actually completed the sale yet, no.
2004 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: When you say you're involved in the funding of the station, how are you involved in the funding of the station?
2005 MR. GILL: Well, I have funds ready to purchase 50 percent of the station if it's allowed.
2006 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And have you -- none of those funds have been injected in the station thus far?
2007 MR. GILL: Well, I'm not sure if they have but I -- Dev would know about that.
2008 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Who would know about that, sir?
2009 MR. GILL: Dev.
2010 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Dev?
2011 MR. GILL: Yeah.
2012 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Mr. Dhillon?
2013 MR. GILL: Yeah, Mr. Dhillon.
2014 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: But isn't it your money, sir? Don't you know if that money is --
2015 MR. GILL: Well, I'm investing.
2016 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. Have you already invested some money?
2017 MR. GILL: Well, yes, I have.
2018 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: You have. And how much money have you invested, sir?
2019 MR. GILL: A hundred and fifty thousand.
2020 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: One hundred and fifty thousand dollars?
2021 MR. GILL: Yeah.
2022 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And when did that happen, sir?
2023 MR. GILL: November 2014.
2024 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: November 2014?
2025 MR. GILL: Yeah. Well, late last year, early this year.
2026 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. So somewhere between November and February. November 2014 and February 2015; is that correct?
2027 MR. GILL: Yeah.
2028 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. So you transferred $150,000 to Mr. Dhillon, and in exchange for that, you got what, sir?
2029 MR. GILL: Well, I've got a verbal agreement. Well, I've known Mr. Dhillon for over 15-20 years, almost 20 years now.
2030 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes.
2031 MR. GILL: So if -- I don't have any trust issues with him. So --
2032 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: You don't have any what with him, sorry?
2033 MR. GILL: I don't have -- I don't have any reason to doubt him.
2034 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes.
2035 MR. GILL: So when he needed investment, he came to me with the opportunity. I asked to donate because I was out of a job at that moment as well.
2036 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yeah. But speak to us of the nature of that opportunity, sir. How do you see that opportunity?
2037 MR. GILL: Well, it's an investment. I used to work at Radio India Broadcasting for -- from when I was 14 up until I was 25, 24.
2038 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Right. But do you understand that you're --
2039 MR. GILL: got cut down, so --
2040 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yeah.
2041 MR. GILL: Well, I'm looking to invest, so Mr. Dhillon contacted me and we went up from there.
2042 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And what's the nature of that agreement? You're investing $150,000 for what, for 50 percent?
2043 MR. GILL: Fifty percent.
2044 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Fifty percent of the company?
2045 MR. GILL: Yeah.
2046 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And you did your due diligence on the company, I'm sure, on the broadcasting entity?
2047 MR. GILL: Yeah. Well, yes.
2048 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yeah. And you realize there are almost no revenues?
2049 MR. GILL: Well, yes. There's not usually with start-up businesses. I understand the risk I'm taking.
2050 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And is there a plan to -- for that investment to bear some fruit? Is there some kind of business plan behind that investment?
2051 MR. GILL: Well, once I get more involved into this, I will be -- you know, I'll hire a professional team.
2052 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: I see.
2053 MR. GILL: Right now I'm relying on Mr. Dhillon.
2054 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. Okay. And is that a downpayment, that $150,000, or is that the complete payment for 50 percent of the company?
2055 MR. GILL: The complete payment.
2056 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: The complete payment, okay.
2057 And it's also come to our attention that you may be interested in buying 90 percent of the company?
2058 MR. GILL: Yes.
2059 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And have you as yet paid for that additional 40 percent?
2060 MR. GILL: No. No. No.
2061 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: No?
2062 MR. GILL: Just discussing.
2063 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Just discussing, okay.
2064 MR. GILL: Yeah.
2065 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. Are you a Canadian citizen, sir?
2066 MR. GILL: Yes, I am.
2067 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And do you have any other radio interests currently?
2068 MR. GILL: Currently, no.
2069 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: In Canada or the U.S.?
2070 MR. GILL: Well, no, I don't. My family might.
2071 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. Your family has radio properties in the U.S.?
2072 MR. GILL: Yeah. Well, my dad used to run a radio station, 1600 AM. So I'm not sure --
2073 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: 1600 AM?
2074 MR. GILL: Yeah.
2075 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Is that KRPI?
2076 MR. GILL: I'm not really sure. They just recently shut down.
2077 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Where is that station broadcasting from, sir?
2078 MR. GILL: I don't know. He doesn't own it. We used to lease.
2079 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. Do you have any guarantees subsequent to your $150,000 payment?
2080 MR. GILL: Pardon me?
2081 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Do you have anything to guarantee, guaranteeing the $150,000 you gave Mr. Dhillon? Is there a loan agreement? Is there a Shareholders Agreement? Is there something?
2082 MR. GILL: Yeah, I can prove it if I have to.
2083 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Well, how would you be able to prove that, sir?
2084 MR. GILL: Well, I transferred the funds but I can get paperwork.
2085 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: I understand you've transferred the funds --
2086 MR. GILL: Yeah.
2087 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: -- but have you also got a document, a Shareholders Agreement?
2088 MR. GILL: Yes, I do.
2089 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: You do. And that has been duly signed by yourself and Mr. Dhillon?
2090 MR. GILL: Yeah.
2091 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. Transferring 50 percent of the shares to you?
2092 MR. GILL: Upon approval, yes.
2093 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Upon approval?
2094 MR. GILL: Yeah.
2095 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yeah. Is there a copy of that? Do you have a copy of that document, sir?
2096 MR. DHILLON: He's talking about the Shareholders Agreement.
2097 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Oh, that's the Shareholders Agreement?
2098 MR. GILL: Yeah.
2099 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. All right.
2100 Well, thank you, Mr. Gill. Stay on the line.
--- Off-record Discussion
2101 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: So let's take a couple of minutes, Mr. Dhillon.
2102 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. We'll take a break till 11:15.
2103 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Sure. Thank you.
2104 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you.
2105 MR. DHILLON: Thank you.
--- Upon recessing at 1107
--- Upon resuming at 1117
2106 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, please.
2107 Mr. Vice-President...
2108 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
2109 Mr. Gill, are you still on the line?
2110 MR. GILL: Yes.
2111 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: I have your shareholders' agreement here. Would you be surprised to know that, upon payment of $100,000, the shares would be transferred to you?
2112 MR. GILL: Yes.
2113 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Does that sound like your agreement?
2114 MR. GILL: Yes.
2115 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Would it be correct to say that just a few moments ago you told us that the purchase price was $150,000?
2116 MR. GILL: Yes.
2117 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And in the agreement we have $100,000.
2118 MR. GILL: Yes.
2119 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Can you explain the discrepancy?
2120 MR. GILL: Well, it was between me and Mr. Dhillon that we agreed on a price.
2121 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Is that like a cash payment on the side?
2122 MR. GILL: Yes.
2123 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Is that correct?
2124 MR. GILL: Yes.
2125 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: The $50,000, where is that, sir?
2126 MR. GILL: Well, I still have to make some type of payment, but -- I will have funds, as soon as they become available to me.
2127 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Is there someone else by the phone with you, Mr. Gill?
2128 MR. GILL: No. No, I'm at home, though.
2129 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: You are not conversing with someone between questions?
2130 MR. GILL: No.
2131 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: I thought I heard a voice there.
2132 MR. GILL: Oh, that's probably my mom.
2133 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Your family, or your father, is the owner of Radio India. Is that correct, sir?
2134 MR. GILL: Yes, he was.
2135 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: He was? He no longer is?
2136 MR. GILL: Well, the CRTC shut it down about five months ago.
2137 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Oh, okay.
2138 So, as we speak, you do have the shares, do you not, sir?
2139 MR. GILL: Yes, I have $100,000 worth of shares.
2140 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And what is that, 50 percent of the shares?
2141 MR. GILL: Yes, 50 percent.
2142 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay, sir.
2143 MR. GILL: I've got $150,000, maybe, for extra shares, I guess. That was the conversation that I had with Mr. Dhillon a few months ago.
2144 The number in my head was $150,000.
2145 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: I'm sorry, you were going to pay $150,000 for the shares?
2146 MR. GILL: In my head, the number was $150,000.
2147 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay, but on paper it was $100,000.
2148 MR. GILL: To increase shares, we were talking about it the other day.
2149 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay, sir.
2150 Thank you, sir. I just want to finish up with Mr. Dhillon. You can stay on the line, Mr. Gill, if you would, please.
2151 MR. GILL: Okay.
2152 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Great, thank you.
2153 Mr. Dhillon, it seems that you have sold 50 percent of your shares to Mr. Gill, and you have received $100,000 for those shares?
2154 MR. DHILLON: Well, whenever I needed some funds, he would transfer some funds.
2155 It was not like, at one time, he just transferred $150,000.
2156 And what we had discussed was, originally, that 50 shares would be transferred, once the approval was granted, for $100,000, and then we had a discussion that he was willing to take 90 percent, and we have not figured out the exact price on it, but, in this sense, then, until last month, he had transferred more funds to me.
2157 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes, but your shareholders' agreement states that once the funds are transferred, he would acquire 50 percent of the shares.
2158 MR. DHILLON: Well, these funds will be used toward the shareholder agreement, once it is approved by the Commission.
2159 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay, I understand.
2160 And the total that you have received thus far is how much, Mr. Dhillon?
2161 MR. DHILLON: It is close to 150.
2162 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Close to 150, okay.
2163 And that all came in the form of a cheque?
2164 MR. DHILLON: Yes, mostly with cheques from Mr. Gill's account.
2165 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And in exchange for that, he is going to get 50 percent of the Class A voting shares?
2166 MR. DHILLON: He will, yes.
2167 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: But that hasn't happened yet.
2168 MR. DHILLON: No, it hasn't happened yet.
2169 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Notwithstanding the agreement that you signed with Mr. Gill.
2170 MR. DHILLON: Well, this agreement was conditional upon approval from the Commission.
2171 Say, for example, the Commission does not approve this transfer; I will owe him $150,000.
2172 Even, you know, when I bought this radio station, I had to go out and get a $250,000 loan, at 10 percent, against my dad's house, to buy this radio station.
2173 And I've got documents, I can prove that.
2174 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Just briefly, Mr. Dhillon -- just to close, actually, you mentioned that you were experiencing a difficult financial situation for Salt Spring.
2175 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2176 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And that was part of the reasoning for your noncompliance?
2177 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2178 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And you mentioned that if you were going forward, that would no longer be an issue, because, somehow, Salt Spring's revenues would increase exponentially over the next few months?
2179 MR. DHILLON: When I am saying going forward, I have another source of income now, also, from my California stations, which I can inject the money from there into the station, that pays on a regular basis, which also I did last month.
2180 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: But the California -- those are new moneys, though, that we didn't have under the initial deficiencies.
2181 Going forward, is there a plan? Because you seem to be having a hard time with Salt Spring, the revenues aren't there. You are losing money constantly.
2182 Is that correct?
2183 MR. DHILLON: That is correct.
2184 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Notwithstanding that, you still want to maintain the station and keep on feeding it?
2185 Is there a plan going forward for Salt Spring?
2186 MR. DHILLON: The plan is this. We have to change the repeater from FM 102.1 to AM. That way we will get bigger coverage. We will cover the whole island and we will cover, most likely, all of the ferry terminals, and people will advertise with us.
2187 I have spoken to different clients, and we had advertising people come from Duncan, from Nanaimo, from Victoria, who used to advertise with us, but --
2188 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: From Nanaimo and Victoria?
2189 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2190 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: They are willing to advertise on Salt Spring?
2191 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2192 There is no car dealership on Salt Spring Island. We have a car dealership advertising from Victoria.
2193 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Do you have some kind of documentation to that effect?
2194 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2195 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Have they committed?
2196 MR. DHILLON: They were on the station.
2197 You see, when a new radio station starts, everybody wants to support it. After one year, two years, they realize, you know, we are not getting any revenue from them.
2198 And when they realized, well, the coverage isn't very good, they stopped.
2199 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Are you telling us, sir, that your coverage, as it is right now, does not cover the island?
2200 MR. DHILLON: Not at all properly. There are a lot of dead spots that it does not cover.
2201 If you are driving, say, from Ganges to the Fulford Ferry, and you are listening to 107.9, just five minutes out of town your frequency stops, you cannot hear it.
2202 And, then, you have to remember: Oh, 102.1, I have to turn it on.
2203 And, then, other frequencies also bombard with that.
2204 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Right.
2205 How many people live on Salt Spring, Mr. Dhillon?
2206 MR. DHILLON: Approximately 10,000.
2207 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes, that's what I recall from last year.
2208 That number hasn't changed?
2209 MR. DHILLON: No.
2210 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: You seem to have interesting revenue projections for those 10,000.
2211 MR. DHILLON: Well, you know, if I looked at Mr. Brooks' sales in the second year, he was doing $100,000.
2212 And, you know, when new businesses start, radio stations start, people want to advertise, and they come on board right away.
2213 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Because they don't know that the signal is not very good?
2214 MR. DHILLON: Exactly, then they start pulling back.
2215 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay, they pull back.
2216 But your service area is the island, sir. Do you agree with us?
2217 MR. DHILLON: It is the island, yes.
2218 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Your service area is not the mainland?
2219 MR. DHILLON: It's not the mainland, no.
2220 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And with this new AM signal, would you be able to serve the mainland?
2221 MR. DHILLON: I would be able to serve the island better than what I am serving right now.
2222 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And people from Victoria and Nanaimo would advertise to the people on the island?
2223 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2224 Like I said, you know, before, when Mr. Brooks ran it, a lot of people from that area used to advertise with us, with that station.
2225 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. Maybe we could close up, sir. Would you please explain to the Commission -- you are asking for a short-term renewal on Salt Spring.
2226 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2227 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Given all of the noncompliance that we have gone through over the last hour and a half?
2228 MR. DHILLON: I would appreciate it. That would give me a chance to prove again -- because, you know, originally, when I got the information and everything, I did put a lot of stuff in place.
2229 Then I thought, okay, Radha will do this, Mr. Andrew Forsyth will do this, and I just took a backseat. Okay, they are handling it, I will let them handle it.
2230 But now I put a new automation system in, which is much better, it sounds much better, and the quality of the signal is much better.
2231 Mr. Dave Gordon is on the line, you can ask him. He lives on the island.
2232 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Can you tell the Commission why the Commission should not order a mandatory order requiring you, the licensee, to comply with the regulations?
2233 MR. DHILLON: The Commission can order, and I will abide by them.
2234 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: So you would not object to a mandatory order?
2235 MR. DHILLON: No.
2236 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: You think that is the appropriate response from the Commission?
2237 MR. DHILLON: If the Commission gives me a seven-year renewal licence, then --
2238 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: How many years?
2239 MR. DHILLON: It's normally seven years.
2240 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
2241 MR. DHILLON: And if they put mandatory orders in place for, say, a certain period of time -- and I will need that AM transmitter in order to be successful.
2242 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Can you explain to us, Mr. Dhillon, why the Commission would not consider the suspension of your licence, the non-renewal of your licence, or a vacation of your licence?
2243 MR. DHILLON: Well, I have spent a lot of money on this island, and I took loans from everywhere to keep this radio station running for the last two years, and I am not running away from my obligations. I will put more money into it. Even if I have to put $200,000, $300,000, I will put that money in, get that AM, cover the island, show the island that we can still be a successful radio station.
2244 I will not run away from my obligations.
2245 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Do you have any intervenors here with you today, sir, in support of your application?
2246 MR. DHILLON: Mr. Gordon is on the line. He was my previous manager, but he can tell you exactly how much of a hard time he had from people who were working there, trying to bring me down.
2247 You see, the island never accepted my buying the radio station, from Day 1.
2248 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes, and they won't going forward either.
2249 MR. DHILLON: Well, I think if I stick with it long enough, they will. They will know that I am not going to run away.
2250 I'm sorry, I have been running CIHS for seven years, at a loss, and not one complaint came from CIHS, except Radha.
2251 That shows something, that I must be doing something good, that nobody complained.
2252 And when I wanted to get the power increase, I brought in a lot of positive interventions.
2253 Unfortunately, Industry Canada approved my 15,000 watt power, but somehow the Commission didn't feel that there was a need for that much power for the radio station.
2254 We can discuss that at CIHS.
2255 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
2256 I think my colleagues may have some questions for you, sir.
2257 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Dhillon, I can't help but be struck by the level of your preparation for this hearing, to conclude that I don't get the impression that you understand how serious the situation is.
2258 This is a show cause hearing that could result in the revocation of your licence. The burden is on you to prove that the various remedies available to the Commission aren't put into place, including revocation, which would be the ultimate penalty in this case.
2259 On a number of questions asked by the Vice-Chair, you have answered, oh, you have documents to that effect, but you have brought none of them with you at the hearing, and now you have agreed to send them by 5:00 p.m. tomorrow.
2260 I repeat, the burden is on you. We won't be running after those documents. If you do not send them, we will not consider anything sent after 5:00 p.m. Ottawa time tomorrow.
2261 Do you understand that?
2262 MR. DHILLON: I understand.
2263 THE CHAIRPERSON: I don't think I have any further questions at this stage.
2264 Mr. Vice-Chair...
2265 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: You mentioned Bob Simpson earlier. I am not familiar with him, so what are his credentials?
2266 MR. DHILLON: He has worked with quite a few different radio stations for the last 25 years, and he was one of the first persons to work with the radio station as the general manager, for three years.
2267 He is working on the island at a different radio station right now, and he has worked with the Fraser Valley radio station in Abbotsford.
2268 So he is quite familiar with the system and the obligations.
2269 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I am just going to kind of put it to you. You talked about wanting your AM repeater, and then you would be getting revenue from Nanaimo and Duncan.
2270 I am not sure how well that would go over with operators in Nanaimo and Duncan, for starters.
2271 But have you considered -- very often, with radio stations adjacent to other communities that might have a larger commercial base than that which is necessarily available on Salt Spring, at Ganges, when you take advertising from outside the community, it actually erodes your advertising inside the community, because you are not actually supporting the local business community, right? You are getting people from Duncan to advertise, which would have more of -- Duncan would have more of the discount stores and that sort of stuff, and so would Nanaimo, to tell people to leave Ganges and take their money out of that little micro-economy and take it elsewhere.
2272 Typically, operators avoid doing that, because it makes them unpopular, and people want a local radio station that supports local listeners and businesses.
2273 What are your thoughts on that?
2274 MR. DHILLON: I agree with you, but there are some businesses that are not on the island.
2275 For example, there is no car dealership on the island, and there is no, like, Money Mart. People have to go to Duncan to get their cheques cashed.
2276 So these kinds of businesses, that are not on the island, want to advertise because a lot of people go out and buy cars, and sometimes they bring in cars to the island to display, so they can attract more customers.
2277 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: How far would an AM repeater reach to the east?
2278 Wouldn't it make your signal much more accessible to the Lower Mainland?
2279 MR. DHILLON: We are not asking for 10,000 watts or anything, we are just asking for 1,000 watts. That would cover the immediate areas.
2280 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Would you be able to listen to the station at your office in Surrey?
2281 MR. DHILLON: I would have to do testing to find out, but the engineering shows that if we go with 1,000 watts, we don't need that much land, which would be less expensive to build.
2282 So, you know, our main target is being one of the island's stations, not a mainland station.
2283 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: How much of the island -- I mean, as far as I can recall, there are about 10,000 people that live on Salt Spring.
2284 MR. DHILLON: Right.
2285 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And most of them, I think -- and you can inform me more fully -- live around the Ganges area.
2286 I mean, it's fairly spread out, I know that, but how much of the population aren't you reaching right now?
2287 And, I mean, I would be aware that part of the population that you are not reaching certainly has access to radio services.
2288 So what percentage of the population are you not reaching right now?
2289 MR. DHILLON: Well, in the last application, regarding the repeater, if we look at that, there was a considerable amount of people that were living outside of Ganges that were not getting --
2290 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Yes, a considerable amount, but bigger than a breadbox, smaller than a house?
2291 Give me some idea. Is it, like, 10 percent of the population, 5, 20?
2292 MR. DHILLON: Actually, it's more like 30 or 40 percent.
2293 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thirty or 40 percent of the Island?
2294 MR. DHILLON: Percent. People who are living near Vesuvius area --
2295 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Yes.
2296 MR. DHILLON: -- the north side and the south end they are not receiving it.
2297 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So which side of the --
2298 MR. DHILLON: Like 3 -- even 2 km --
2299 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Which side of the mountain?
2300 MR. DHILLON: North of the mountain and the south of the mountain. Even Radha cannot pick the 107.9 at her house. She lives in Ganges.
2301 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Thank you.
2302 MR. DHILLON: Because the FM only, you know, travels straight and all the people who are living in Ganges below the mountain are not getting it.
2303 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Where is your transmitter located?
2304 MR. DHILLON: It's on a mountain, Mount Bruce -- sorry, Mount Vulture. Vulture.
2305 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Bruce is the biggest one, isn't it?
2306 MR. DHILLON: Mount Vulture.
2307 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay.
2308 MR. DHILLON: So well, you know, Radha is, you know, in Ganges, near Ganges --
2309 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Yes...?
2310 THE SECRETARY: -- but she cannot -- she says she cannot pick up the signal there.
2311 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, thank you.
2312 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So I think that ends Phase I. I will ask you to step away from the table while we do Phase II.
2313 Madam Secretary, do we have to take a break before doing Phase II?
2314 THE SECRETARY: No, they are ready.
2315 THE CHAIRPERSON: They are ready to go, okay. Good.
2316 THE SECRETARY: They are ready. We will just connect them. Perfect.
2317 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Dhillon.
2318 THE SECRETARY: We will now proceed to Phase II, in which interveners appear in the order set out in the Agenda.
2319 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, sorry. You can step away from the table and turn off your microphone, please, as well.
2320 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
2321 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
2322 THE SECRETARY: We will now proceed to Phase II in which interveners appear in the order set out in the agenda to present their interventions.
2323 We will now hear the presentation of Ms Radha Fournier, who is appearing by videoconference from Victoria, B.C. Ms Fournier is accompanied by Mr. Richard Moses.
2324 Ms Fournier, you have 10 minutes for your presentation. You may begin.
2325 MS FOURNIER: Thank you.
2326 Good morning, Chairman Jean-Pierre Blais, Vice Chairman Tom Pentefountas, Vice Chairman Peter Menzies and the CRTC staff. My name is Radha Fournier.
2327 I would like take this opportunity to thank the CRTC for allowing me to present this intervention and especially to the CRTC staff for all their support and help. I wanted to be here today to give an overview of my experience of working for the Licensee, Mr. Sukhdev Dhillon, and answer any questions you may have.
2328 I have filed two interventions prior to today's hearing, one for Wetaskiwin and one for Salt Spring Island. Those interventions are on file with the Commission. In those interventions, I have provided background information with many details.
2329 I understand the CRTC regulates radio stations based on broadcasting rules and does not necessarily concern itself with how a radio station is operated or managed. I also understand that your decisions have to be based on points of regulatory law, but part of the failure of this station has to do with the business practices which ultimately created the non-compliances in many instances.
2330 I will tell you that I alone was responsible for assuming the compliance of the radio station in the absence of any understanding or direction from the Licensee.
2331 It was through the information provided by our broadcast consultant that I was able to manage the compliance end of the business. If attention was not paid, it was due to the failure of communication by the Licensee. Much that I will be sharing today will have to do with the day-to-day business operations.
2332 In opening, I would like to say that from my viewpoint, there is no doubt that the CRTC should revoke the licence from Mr. Dhillon on the basis of many non-compliances, including off-air time, as well as his failure to provide a viable radio station to the community of Salt Spring Island.
2333 I was Interim Station Manager at CFSI from May 2014 through March 2015; Office Manager from November 2013 through April 2014 and I have been a Programmer since November 2009.
2334 I also was the one-person show in running CFSI from May 2014 through March 2015, with the help of a team of three to four paid programming staff. Richard Moses was Program Director and my right-hand man. I basically performed all the function that a radio station requires to run.
2335 Mr. Dhillon was an absentee owner and provided little to no directions. Meetings were far and few between with no more than four to five face-to-face meetings with Mr. Dhillon this past year.
2336 When I would need direction or a response to an issue, I was more often than not met with a lack of response to phone calls and e-mails. Mr. Dhillon treated us as inconsequential.
2337 We had a series of equipment failures and I would repeatedly ask for replacement equipment. Mr. Dhillon would say he would bring a replacement next time he was on the Island. Then he would show up without equipment. Coming to the island appeared to be a burden to Mr. Dhillon.
2338 Mr. Dhillon had absolutely no vision nor foresight for the station. He could not provide a "mission statement" nor provide any idea of how he perceived the station's role in the community. He has a licence, but he doesn't know what to do with the licence.
2339 Mr. Dhillon could not answer this question when asked repeatedly: Why did he buy the station? Mr. Dhillon did not appear to have any kind of sincere interest in the station nor in the community.
2340 Mr. Dhillon's way of operating his business is to simply not pay the bills until the services are disconnected, an example being CFSI-FM1 being off-air for twice for a total of six months over the course of my being a paid employee. To the best of my knowledge, there were no reports submitted to the CRTC nor Industry Canada to notify them of this lack of service.
2341 In my original intervention there is a well-documented sampling of disconnected services due to non-payment of bills, including the Internet streaming service which provided service to many parts of the Island where there was no signal. These disconnected services in turn took the radio station off-air.
2342 Non-payment of vendors and bounced cheques further tarnished CFSI's reputation within the Island community, as well as the broadcast community.
2343 The payroll cheques were consistently late, at times up to three months late. Further, the payroll cheques would often bounce, especially if we didn't deposit them immediately.
2344 Mr. Dhillon was unconcerned about the state of the equipment. When we had equipment failures, Mr. Dhillon would always find the cheapest replacements. Case in point were the headsets. Mr. Dhillon would buy the cheapest headsets, which would fail within a couple months, so that we were always using compromised headsets until I bought two high-quality headsets which lasted the duration of my tenure as station manager.
2345 Another case in point was a failed logger machine which prompted the last CRTC call-to-hearing last year. Mr. Dhillon neglected the warnings of then Station Manager Dave Gordon about the failed computer. Then Mr. Dhillon took the equipment, without replacing it in a timely manner.
2346 During my time as Station Manager the logger machine also failed. Mr. Dhillon took the machine to Surrey in Vancouver and a replacement was never provided at the station. I was therefore unable to reconcile the logger with the paper/electronic records or logs.
2347 Mr. Dhillon has a reputation, and I have experienced first-hand, his perpetual telling of non-truths. Of key interest to the Commission is Mr. Dhillon's bold-faced lie at the Radio India hearing on October 15, 2014 held in Gatineau, quote:
"COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you, Mr. Dhillon.
Could you just confirm for us, please, that you do not have a business association with Radio India at this time?
MR. DHILLON: I do not. I do not have any business relationship with Radio India."
2348 I was instructed repeatedly by Mr. Dhillon to supply a monthly accounting of bills and payroll to Mr. Maninder Gill's office at Radio India in order for Mr. Dhillon to obtain a cheque from Mr. Gill to pay bills and payroll.
2349 To update the Commission, since the closing of interventions I was approached by Radio India to run CFSI, with no need to interface with Mr. Dhillon and Radio India would pay all bills and payroll. I turned this down as I believe it would not be a CRTC-approved business deal, nor would it fly on the Island as Mr. Dhillon would still be owner.
2350 At this point, I would like to ask the Commission's permission to introduce new evidence to the hearing, which is a Driftwood article from the local paper published on the 1st of April.
2351 Do I have permission?
2352 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, it was published on the 1st of April and, if I'm not mistaken, the intervention period was the 3rd of April or something. Why didn't you include it in your original intervention?
2353 MS FOURNIER: What was the -- was it the 3rd of April? What was the cut-off date?
2354 THE CHAIRPERSON: I believe so. Sorry, even later, it was the 10th of April.
2355 MS FOURNIER: Oh, you know, my apologies, it was after I had submitted my intervention, which I believe I did on the 31st of March.
2356 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. Okay. Well, we will take it under advisement. But go ahead and we will consider whether in the end we accept it or not.
2357 MS FOURNIER: Okay.
2358 So the local newspaper published an article about the complete walk-out of staff from the radio station. Mr. Dhillon says:
"If the CRTC rules we must make payments, we will make them at that time."
2359 The irony of this statement is that he is being called by the Commission because he did not make payments as mandated. It seems to me it is not a matter of "if".
2360 The second part I would like to call out is:
"...he has hired Anita Mehta as the new station manager and that she will have full signing authority."
2361 This is a falsehood. Ms Mehta has no background in radio and was only going into the station to help a friend. Ms Mehta was not paid for her time.
2362 Mr. Dhillon was unwilling to give the local management control to run the station independent of him. It was apparent if the station were to succeed we needed to have revenue.
2363 In November 2014, Mr. Richard Moses found a strong candidate for Sales Manager willing to work solely on commission. The gentleman has a good reputation in the local business community, and a solid history of media sales in film in a similar sized and demographic community, and he is a small business owner. Richard and I interviewed him and then Mr. Dhillon and I interviewed him. A contract was drawn up, but Mr. Dhillon never moved on the contract nor negotiated. I could not and would not hire him without the ability to have signature authority to pay his commissions in a timely manner.
2364 With the news of this impending CRTC hearing, the March BC Hydro service disconnection which took down both towers and my resignation, there was a complete walk-out at the radio station at the end of March 2015.
2365 In summary, it's very clear to me, based on the number of interventions on Salt Spring Island Radio Corporation's CRTC applications, that there is indeed a passion to have radio here on Salt Spring Island. It's also clear to me the community is unwilling to embrace Mr. Dhillon as the owner.
2366 In summary, it is my humble opinion that the Commission should revoke the radio licence from Mr. Dhillon on the basis of non-compliance and failure to operate a licence with basic business practices that ensure the sustainability of the operation. I would like to suggest the Commission allow the frequency to be available to others on Salt Spring Island to provide a truly local service.
2367 Thank you very much to the Commission for allowing me the opportunity to present this intervention and I am prepared to take any questions.
2368 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Fournier. So I will have a few questions for you.
2369 First of all, you mentioned a bit of your history in the radio business, so could you elaborate a little bit more of how long you have been in the radio business?
2370 MS FOURNIER: I have been in the radio business really starting in November 2009 as a broadcaster, as a DJ. Prior to that I had no radio experience.
2371 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. And you were mostly an on-air personality or were you also --
2372 MS FOURNIER: Yes.
2373 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- at that time involved in the regulatory side?
2374 MS FOURNIER: No. I was --
2375 THE CHAIRPERSON: Not the regulatory side in the sense that -- with regulatory obligations or the inputs into regulatory obligations?
2376 MS FOURNIER: Yes.
2377 THE CHAIRPERSON: So when did you get --
2378 MS FOURNIER: So when I was originally volunteered as a programmer we did have to maintain logs that tracked whether it was Category 2, what the category was in the music and all of that. So at that length that was my involvement, but not until when I was hired November -- was it -- 2013 that I actually got involved in helping out with the audits and the more regulatory side of things.
2379 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. So I think it could be said that you did not leave on very good terms with Mr. Dhillon; is that correct?
2380 MS FOURNIER: That is correct.
2381 THE CHAIRPERSON: It could be argued that your evidence here might be motivated -- and forgive me for the words, but more of a personal vendetta. What do you say to that?
2382 MS FOURNIER: Yes. You could view it that way, but in reality I think the 14 interventions speak to how the Island feels and I feel like I am the voice for the Island.
2383 THE CHAIRPERSON: So your perspective here is from a former employee or from somebody who wants other outcomes?
2384 MS FOURNIER: As a former employee, I guess. I'm not sure what you're asking.
2385 THE CHAIRPERSON: You obviously live on the Island?
2386 MS FOURNIER: Yes, I do.
2387 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you benefit from the service that this station could offer, do you not?
2388 MS FOURNIER: Yes. Yes.
2389 THE CHAIRPERSON: So don't you also have a perspective as somebody who would be a listener to the station?
2390 MS FOURNIER: Oh, without a doubt, yes. Without a doubt.
2391 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So the Commission issued a mandatory order on the 20th of June 2015 -- sorry, not '15, '14 --
2392 MS FOURNIER: Yes.
2393 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- and you left on the 22nd of March 2015. So you are there for a period of time when the mandatory order was in place; is that correct?
2394 MS FOURNIER: Yes, I was. Yes, I was.
2395 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you were able to observe the day-to-day operations of the station; is that correct?
2396 MS FOURNIER: That is correct.
2397 THE CHAIRPERSON: So from your observations, what systems were in place beyond which you have detailed in your presentation today to ensure that logs and locker tapes were properly maintained?
2398 MS FOURNIER: Maintained. So the logs for the live programmers, they were required -- and they were trained as well by myself and required to maintain paper logs of what they broadcast. And then the computer system that we had that ran the auto DJ basically had, it was a SQL database system and so it kept an electronic log of what we were airing.
2399 So between those two when we ran the quarterly reports I would integrate those into a single spreadsheet, taking what the programmers had created and weaving them in and then actually if there were questions I would have to follow up with the programmers and organize this into a format that would meet the CRTC requirements.
2400 THE CHAIRPERSON: So from your perspective, from your responsibilities all the work was being done, is that correct?
2401 MS FOURNIER: From my perspective it was.
2402 THE CHAIRPERSON: So how do you explain --
2403 MS FOURNIER: To the best of my knowledge.
2404 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. And so how do you explain the fact that we may not have been receiving the information at our end?
2405 MS FOURNIER: That I don't know, because when I finished my assembly of the reports I would forward those to Mr. Dhillon and to Mr. Forsyth and so once they left my care they were taken at that point and submitted.
2406 And I also did not receive the communications from the Commission that were sent to Mr. Dhillon. They were never forwarded to me so I was never brought up to speed on a lot of stuff that was happening between him and the CRTC.
2407 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So again during that period of time, what did you observe with respect to the preparation of self-assessment reports or musical lists?
2408 MS FOURNIER: I'm not sure I under -- sorry, I'm not sure I understand the question.
2409 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, Mr. Dhillon was under obligations to provide self-assessment reports and musical lists as well during that period and I was wondering what, if anything, you observed in the preparation of those documents.
2410 MS FOURNIER: I don't think I observed anything, unless I'm misunderstanding.
2411 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, that's possible that you weren't involved in that at all, just --
2412 MS FOURNIER: Yes.
2413 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- if you don't recall being involved in them, that's probably because you weren't involved.
2414 MS FOURNIER: No. No, I don't.
2415 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
2416 MS FOURNIER: Yes. Thank you.
2417 THE CHAIRPERSON: And nor were you involved, I take it, with the preparation of annual returns?
2418 MS FOURNIER: No.
2419 THE CHAIRPERSON: And how about CCD payments?
2420 MS FOURNIER: No.
2421 THE CHAIRPERSON: Now, you mentioned the fact that Mr. Dhillon was physically absent. How often, in your view, was Mr. Dhillon physically present at the station when you were --
2422 MS FOURNIER: He was -- oh, he was -- I would say, and I put it in the intervention I just did, he was -- face-to-face meetings where he and I actually sat down and we discussed was probably four to five times in the past 12 months.
2423 When it came to payroll he would come on the ferry. I would -- the last two times I had to go down to the ferry terminal and meet him to get the cheques and then he would get on the same ferry that he came in on.
2424 And as far as phone meetings, it was -- all I can say extremely frustrating because often I couldn't even reach him.
2425 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you were obviously not having daily meetings; is that correct?
2426 MS FOURNIER: No, no, no.
2427 THE CHAIRPERSON: Whether in person or by phone or email or anything like that?
2428 MS FOURNIER: No.
2429 THE CHAIRPERSON: Weekly?
2430 MS FOURNIER: Via email I would say weekly, yes. Email exchanges saying, you know, just asking for guidance or explaining an issue that had come up or, you know, just general correspondence.
2431 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. And you were initiating those contacts? Is that the case?
2432 MS FOURNIER: Yes. Yes.
2433 THE CHAIRPERSON: But would Mr. Dhillon contact you by phone from time to time to get a status report of what was happening at the station?
2434 MS FOURNIER: No.
2435 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you mentioned in your presentation that some folks on the island listen to the station not so much over the air, but through Internet streaming. Is there a significant number of the members of the population on the Island that listen to the station through Internet streaming? What would be your assessment?
2436 MS FOURNIER: I can't give you a percentage. I did go online and get some statistics, online statistics of listenership and in that we would -- in the daytime we would average from two to maybe 10 online streaming listeners. I would say average four to five.
2437 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. So despite the signal issue you think that the Internet streaming wasn't an adequate way to add to the listenership?
2438 MS FOURNIER: I think it -- I think it was extremely important to add to it, because what we have found is that we have people who would tune into specific programs and when the Internet would go down or the stream was disconnected -- more often than not for non-payment -- or actually it's not even true, it was always for non-payment -- we would get emails from listeners asking, when is the stream going to come back? Can we get the stream back up?
2439 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. Now, you are recommending that we revoke this licence. The Commission always has seen radio as a public service so I would like to have your perspective as a listener and as a resident of the island, and with knowledge of how people might react to that. That would mean the loss of a service.
2440 Do you have anything to add to the commission's evaluation of that impact on the community were we to revoke the licence?
2441 MS FOURNIER: Yes. Yes, I do.
2442 I have been -- just being in the role of station manager I have had a lot of contact with community business members and service members and many of them are very keen on the radio station. A very key person in the community wants to embrace the station, but he doesn't -- he feels he cannot do it while Mr. Dhillon owns the station because of past business practices. I feel very strongly that if the license was revoked and then somebody could reapply, I believe the community would embrace it.
2443 THE CHAIRPERSON: Even though they may have a temporary loss of a service?
2444 MS FOURNIER: Yes. Yeah. And the station does indeed provide a service to the Island and again that is very clear to me with being in the community and talking with members of the community, as well as listeners, that it definitely provides a service to the community.
2445 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. I believe those are my questions.
2446 Do you have anything to add just as a final thought before we move on?
2447 MS FOURNIER: I don't know. Can I make a comment about the Bob Simpson thing, because Bob is an acquaintance to Richard Moses and Richard has been in contact with Bob about the discussions?
2448 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, it's your intervention, please, if you wanted to add something on the record this is your occasion.
2449 MS FOURNIER: The time. Yes.
2450 So to my knowledge, I just got an email from Bob Simpson and he says -- he says that -- let me read it here. He says:
"There has been no follow up by Dave Dhillon to discuss said conditions or response to a verbal -- verbally or in writing that I have." (As read)
2451 And he said:
"To this fact I do not feel that I have been hired." (As read)
2452 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. I understood.
2453 MS FOURNIER: And I can forward that to the Commission.
2454 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, except that is a little distant from the person who actually has direct knowledge of it. So we will have to put that into -- weight that in the balance going forward when we consider this matter.
2455 So thank you very much.
2456 MS FOURNIER: Yes. Thank you.
2457 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thanks for having intervened in the hearing. Thank you.
2458 Madame la Secrétaire, we will now go to the third and last phase of the hearing of this item.
2459 THE SECRETARY: Perfect. I would ask Mr. Dhillon to come back to the table.
2460 Mr Dhillon, you can reply to all interventions submitted on your item. You have 10 minutes to do so.
2461 MR. DHILLON: Thank you. Thank you, Chairman and Vice Chairman Tom Pentefountas, and Peter Menzies, Vice Chairman of Telecommunications and Commission Staff for this opportunity to respond to the interventions posted on the public file with regard to CFSI FM.
2462 I will begin by responding to the comments put forward by the interventions who oppose the manner in which the station is being run, specifically the interventions of Radha Fournier and Mr. Richard Moses, Intervention Nos. 221658 and 221713.
2463 These interveners have all been with the station in one role or another; all as volunteer programmers and one as a co-founder and program director at the inception of CFSI FM.
2464 Collectively, they are a disgruntled bunch who paints a picture of a wonderful concept that was taken away from them by a "hostile takeover".
2465 That said, there does not seem to be much love for the former licensee either who is described as "a hapless owner". In fact, the previous management team is given short praise and I quote:
"The first owner after first hiring then firing one of the most competent radio men in the business and ridding himself of his co-founder/program director, to run the station single-handedly and so ineptly as to bring us to your attention." (As read)
2466 The intervener speaks of himself as the victim in this.
2467 This intervention raises several issues: There was not a hostile takeover. The Commission approved a corporate agreement between two broadcasters in a public process. The previous licensee made a business decision to sell to my company as was his right. He did have the opportunity to offer the station to his staff, co-founders and volunteers. This was not his choice.
2468 It appears this group of interveners have been upset about the management of CFSI since very near the beginning of its existence. They are frustrated that the control of the station rests with someone other than themselves. They did not raise the funds to initiate or acquire the station and they feel shut out.
2469 One the interveners claimed to speak on behalf of all of the volunteers and former staff members. His inclusive "we" is used in the intervention. It could be construed to mean there is a unanimous desire to see Satnam Broadcasting ousted from Salt Spring Island.
2470 Another intervener who has all along with a co-founder of the station created a coalition with the intent to operate the station asked the Commission to choose the best candidate to run CFSI. The Commission did do this in the competitive hearing in 2007 and granted a licence to the previous owner. He in turn through the auspices of the Commission's public process gave me the mandate to carry the licence forward.
2471 I would like to quote from Dave Gordon's letter:
"Recently, in the aftermath of the walk out I was delighted to hear CFSI back up and running at full strength and honouring its licensing commitments.
I also think that Suhkdev Dhillon was not dealt with honestly by the former owner, who quickly took the money from the deal, and then quickly disappeared from the Island. No support or guidance was given to Satnam Media and they were left with a depleted and inexperienced staff.
In my own experience, while I was at CFSI, the well-entrenched and self-entitled hosts were of little help, thinking mostly of themselves and their shows. They gave us little help toward the economic reality of the station, even when I was running things.
I urge the members of the CRTC responsible for reviewing CFSI's licence to note the many improvements that Mr. Dhillon has put in place over the last couple of weeks. The station sounds better that it has since 2013 in my opinion. CFSI is viable, commercially speaking, with the right people in place. I believe that Salt Spring Island would embrace a professional sounding station that they could be proud of, not an elitist clique of wannabes. This could be easily accomplished by gathering the right team and improving the signal strength.
David Gordon" (As read)
2472 I would like to quote from Radha's e mail which she wrote:
"Station equipment was being ..."
2473 THE CHAIRPERSON: Excuse me, Mr. Dhillon, did you file these previously?
2474 MR. DHILLON: No, I just did right now.
2475 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
2476 MR. DHILLON: This is the interventions, the replies.
2477 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. So you are putting new information on the record at this point. It's not just a reply. You are adding evidence on the record.
2478 Could you please advise us as to why you were doing it at this stage, at the third phase of the hearing?
2479 MR. DHILLON: I'm sorry, I was just replying to her interventions.
2480 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but you are adding new evidence to the record by emails that are not currently on the record.
2481 MR. DHILLON: May I be allowed to put new evidence?
2482 THE CHAIRPERSON: You have to convince us that is the appropriate thing to do.
2483 MR. DHILLON: Okay.
2484 THE CHAIRPERSON: Tell Us Why.
2485 MR. DHILLON: Because after talking to Dave Gordon and the other people, I have come to find out through my emails that since I took over the station every now and then someone from the station would pull the plug out, take the wire out,
2486 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm not looking for an argument as to your -- I am asking you why you were not able to add this evidence on the record in the written process earlier, that you choose to add this evidence on the record of the proceeding at the very last moment in the proceeding. Why weren't you able to do that earlier?
2487 MR. DHILLON: Because I did not believe that Radha would be saying all these things here today and when I found out that this is what she is going to be accusing me of I said, okay, these are the things that she told me herself, that the staff is trying to wreck the station up so that way you have to come here every day. I tried to put the cameras there so I can find out who is doing it.
2488 Somebody is trying to put the loggers off. I took the logger, the second logger to somewhere else so I can have backups.
2489 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So I hear you. We will take it under advisement and you can continue, but we haven't yet accepted these new documents.
2490 MR. DHILLON: Thank you.
"Station equipment was being impacted negatively by existing programmers..."
2491 This is Radha writing to me.
"Station equipment was being impacted negatively by existing programmers both intentionally and unintentionally through normal wear and tear. There were/are specific programmers on staff -- as well as Mr. Gordon's..." (As read)
2492 Here she is accusing Mr. Gordon of himself wrecking up the station.
"...who intentionally sabotaged equipment to try and get management to purchase new equipment. Suspects are the mixing board, the old SAM Broadcast computer, the computer network, the door lock among others."
"Volunteer Meeting held with volunteer staff at beginning of November. The biggest issue with coordinating any volunteer staff meetings was the former station manager, Mr. Dave Gordon, was "possessive" of who had contact with Mr. Dhillon. Mr. Dhillon had asked for meetings and informal gatherings with staff. Mr. Dave Gordon would only invite a select group to gatherings, and he would not invite all programming staff."
"Again, it was the station manager's role to communicate intentions to volunteer staff, not the owner's role. The owner had asked, but results were not delivered.
Lock Malfunction: The station manager made a very big deal out of the electronic lock to the station malfunctioning. He complained very loudly to volunteer staff that the owner wouldn't buy a new lock as the old one was starting to malfunction. The owner, Mr. Dhillon, had asked Mr. Gordon if Mr. Gordon had checked the battery. Mr. Gordon said he did -- he had. When Mr. Dhillon came onto the premises and checked the lock himself, he found the problem was the battery needed replacement. Much negative image was created about Mr. Dhillon by Mr. Gordon about his problem -- about this problem. In the end, it was the former station manager who demonstrated an inability to solve problems." (As read)
2493 When the CRTC Quarterly report were due Radha would want more money or she would threaten to quit. Here is the email written to Andrew in July of 2014:
I want to let you know I have resigned from Salt Spring Island Radio Corporation. You will need to follow up with Sukhdev [Dhillon] on the ... Quarterly Report requirements.
It's been great working with you. You are indeed exceptionally knowledgeable and a true pleasure to work with. I wish you luck working with ... Salt Spring Island Radio....
2494 She did exactly the same, contacting the other host. She did exactly the same. Here is another quote regarding Bill Nash talking to me directly in August 2014:
What the ... [and she used the "F" word] is going on? I just heard that Bill is in phone contact and even had a meeting scheduled with Bob Simpson? Bob as ... [general manager] and Bill as assistant ... [general manager]?"
2495 All these things you have heard. A new operations team will -- and you can see the words she used here.
"A new operations team will be introduced in June. The management team is revitalised and I can say that I feel confident that the day to day management of the station has the goals of the community and the station prioritized. This team will be headed by Bob Simpson.
I am requesting that I be allowed to replace the repeater 102.1 FM with an AM repeater.
I trust this addresses your concerns and ask the Commission to exclude suspension or revocation of the licence for CFSI FM in your decision and renew the licence and approve the Share Transfer.
I am glad to answer any questions you may have." (As read)
2496 And in regards to Radha Fournier, regarding the email, that I haven't contacted Mr. Simpson. I have text messages and I have emails in the last four days that we have been going back and forth.
2497 That's all.
2498 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
2499 I just wanted to understand what relevance is it that your employees, even taking your arguments at face value, that your employees weren't doing the work? Ultimately you are the owner/operator and it is your responsibility, is it not?
2500 MR. DHILLON: What the intention was, to somehow frustrate me from this business so I would just leave the station and ask the CRTC -- I'm giving up. That was their goal from day one. And I tried to hire people locally from the Island. They were not experienced. Then finally in June, as you can see, I was trying to hire Bob Simpson and she got very upset about that either.
2501 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
2502 MR. DHILLON: So I was trying to replace people, replace the equipment, tried to put cameras they are so I can see who is wrecking up who. I was not even being allowed to do that. So now I have to run this business in a way that within a year you will see the difference in the programming, in the quality of the program, the quality of the sound and the logs and the requirements, the boards and everything. I'm hopeful that Mr. Simpson is the person that I should have hired a long time and he will handle all this.
2503 THE CHAIRPERSON: What do you say to the allegations that you were rarely, if ever, physically on the Island and that you rarely, if ever, initiated contacts to find out how your business was being run?
2504 MR. DHILLON: Well, I tried to talk to other hosts who she did not get along to find out exactly what was happening. She would either fire them or she would tell them that if you talk to me then I'm leaving or I'm quitting or we are all going to walk out.
2505 Say for example this little email right here, it's regarding Mr. Cassidy. She wrote:
"I am letting you go from the radio station because you are taking equipment from the station." (As read)
2506 So I mean --
2507 THE CHAIRPERSON: She stated in her evidence that you rarely if ever showed up at the radio station. Do you dispute that? I remind you you are under oath.
2508 MR. DHILLON: Yes, I dispute that. I have the ferry tickets I can show you how many times I have gone. I have gone more than what she said.
2509 THE CHAIRPERSON: I see. And you didn't think that that would be relevant since this has been her argument all along, to actually bring the evidence here today? You are still using that technique you've used in previous hearings and here today, making statements but showing up without any evidence.
2510 MR. DHILLON: No, I do have the ferry tickets. I collected them all for tax purposes and I can photocopy and scan them and send them on.
2511 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you not agree with me that just the fact that you have travelled there doesn't mean you spent a tremendous time there, that you, as she says, take the ferry right back.
2512 MR. DHILLON: A lot of times she was not even at the station and when I try to meet other hosts directly she would get offended. Because I wanted to know -- I know how she was dealing, but I wanted to know what other -- like a lot of the hosts right now want to come back.
2513 THE CHAIRPERSON: I put it to you that it was your responsibility to run the station, not hers.
2514 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2515 THE CHAIRPERSON: And this mandatory order was directed to you, not anyone else, you and your company.
2516 MR. DHILLON: I will make sure that this doesn't happen again.
2517 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, do you have anything to add, Mr. Dhillon, because I think we may be at the end of this.
2518 MR. DHILLON: Mr. Gordon is online if you would like to speak to him or anything.
2519 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, this is a reply phase. It's no longer the part of the hearing where you make your case.
2520 MR. DHILLON: Okay.
2521 THE CHAIRPERSON: We were giving you an opportunity to respond to interveners.
2522 MR. DHILLON: That's all.
2523 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Aren't you struck that there aren't a lot of listeners from the Island that came to your defence?
2524 MR. DHILLON: All the people -- the only people who intervened are the ex-hosts or Radha asked personally, "Please intervene". I have proof of that.
2525 THE CHAIRPERSON: But you made no efforts to have the people that support your position to intervene? Where are they?
2526 MR. DHILLON: Pardon me.
2527 THE CHAIRPERSON: Where are they, those that support you?
2528 MR. DHILLON: They are all this Island community who listen and enjoy the program. You know, they are not people -- I mean if you look at all the people on the island only 10 people who were all the hosts, are ex-hosts -- that's all they are, you know -- complaining.
2529 Well, how about the members of the community at large? How about the Island Trust or some other big corporations? Nobody complained.
2530 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you. We have no further questions.
2531 I remind you that the burden is entirely on you to deliver those additional documents we talked about in Phase I by 5 o'clock tomorrow and we won't be chasing after them. The burden is on you.
2532 MR. DHILLON: Can I be provided with a list at the end of the hearing?
2533 THE CHAIRPERSON: You can speak to legal counsel once we have adjourned to make sure that you have a complete list of what you --
2534 MR. DHILLON: Thank you.
2535 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- promised to deliver.
2536 So we will adjourn until 1:30 to hear the third item on this oral hearing.
2537 Thank you very much.
--- Upon recessing at 1218
--- Upon resuming at 1330
2538 LE PRÉSIDENT : À l'ordre, s'il vous pla�t. Order, please.
2539 Madame la Secrétaire, s'il vous pla�t.
2540 LA SECRÉTAIRE : Merci.
2541 We will now proceed with Phase I for Item 3 on the agenda, which is the presentation by 902890 Alberta Ltd. Please reintroduce yourself for the record and you have 20 minutes to make your presentation.
2542 MR. DHILLON: Thank you.
2543 THE CHAIRPERSON: And, Mr. Dhillon, I remind you, you are still under oath.
2544 MR. DHILLON: Yes. Thank you.
2545 MR. DHILLON: Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Vice Chairman Tom Pentefountas and Peter Menzies, Vice Chairman of Telecommunications, and Commission staff.
2546 I am Sukhdev Singh Dhillon, owner of 902890 Alberta Ltd. the licensee of CIHS-FM. I am here at your request to respond to the Commission's concerns with Compliance for CIHS-FM.
2547 The Commission approved the acquisition of the licence in January 2007. The station was not operating in a positive manner on several fronts. As the Commission noted in its approval of the transfer, CIHS-FM had been operating in a negative financial situation for some time. This is one of the reasons the former owner wished to relinquish his license.
2548 One of the other issues mentioned in the approval was non-compliance with regards to CCD payments and financial returns for several years. This speaks to self-admitted "lack of oversight".
2549 It is this point of mis- or perhaps under-management that has caused much of the problems we are facing today. Due diligence told me about the financial problems which I accepted and believe that implementing more professional operating and sales standards would improve that situation.
2550 The programming that we were broadcasting was not attracting any advertisers and for eight years I have financed the operation. I requested the power increase and change in format. They both were denied by the Commission.
2551 The logger tapes and the logs for the requested period were not reconciled in a manner that would be acceptable to the Commission. Since that time a new logger system has been implemented and an automated system has been implemented.
2552 Any matters of compliance with the CCD commitments and correct payments will be handled by the Chartered Accountant during the next term of licence. Any shortfalls will be allocated and paid up within 90 days of the renewal.
2553 A short term renewal would be difficult, but an opportunity to demonstrate compliance.
2554 I trust this addresses your concerns and I ask the Commission to exclude suspension or revocation of the licence for CFSI-FM in your decision and renew the licence and approve the change in programming as requested in the application.
2555 I am glad to answer any questions you may have.
2556 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. The Vice Chair Broadcasting will start us off.
2557 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Thank you, Mr. Dhillon -- I understand you have -- and good afternoon.
2558 MR. DHILLON: Sorry.
2559 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: I understand that you have addressed one of the issues as regards the logger tapes.
2560 Just for the record, there was a failure to provide logger tapes, music lists and program logs for the broadcast week 19 October to 25 October 2014?
2561 MR. DHILLON: Yes. What happened was I --
2562 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
2563 And as such you understand that you have failed to comply with sections 8(1) and 8(4) as regards the respect to the filing of program logs, sections 8(5), 8(6) and 9(3) with respect to the filing of logger tapes and music lists and section 9(4) with respect to the requirement to provide information when requested by Commission staff. Is that correct?
2564 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2565 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. I'm sorry, proceed. You wanted to explain why and how?
2566 MR. DHILLON: What happened was this automated system was being used since 2000 by the person who was running the station and when I got the logs from Lorelei to send it to Andrew Forsyth for reconciliation and submit to the Commission, he goes, "Dave, there is no way we can submit this, this is not proper."
2567 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
2568 MR. DHILLON: So than right away I went to Edmonton and we changed the automation system. And the radio station is much better, but now the new automated system is totally different than what we had before and the sound quality with the new automation system has also improved considerably.
2569 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Right. Was that your response to the Commission at the time? Did you explain to the Commission why you could not provide the logger tapes for the week?
2570 MR. DHILLON: I had asked Andrew to reply to the Commission about this.
2571 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: You had asked Andrew to reply?
2572 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2573 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Oh, okay. Okay.
2574 Then would you know if Andrew replied or not?
2575 MR. DHILLON: I'm not sure, I will have to find out.
2576 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And do you recollect when this discussion happened with Mr. Forsyth?
2577 MR. DHILLON: This happened around October or the first week of November.
2578 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: October or first week of November, okay. And that's what you mean by the fact that the program logs, music lists and logger tapes were not reconciled in a manner that would be acceptable to the Commission? Is that --
2579 MR. DHILLON: Yes. Yes.
2580 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: -- you mean by that in your statement here?
2581 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2582 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. Can you explain to us in what manner it was reconciled?
2583 MR. DHILLON: Well, they were missing a lot of the information that was supposed to go on the logs.
2584 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: M'hmm.
2585 MR. DHILLON: Artist, some of the categories were missing --
2586 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Right.
2587 MR. DHILLON: -- although they were coming in from the -- you know, what we were broadcasting from the same categories --
2588 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Right.
2589 MR. DHILLON: -- and the people have been enjoying the programming for the last seven years.
2590 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And you've been the owner of Wetaskiwin since 2007, Mr. Dhillon?
2591 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2592 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And when did you discover this?
2593 MR. DHILLON: This was the first time that CRTC asked us for these logger tapes and then I found out that, you know, the system that we're using is not compatible with today's requirements.
2594 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: So between 2007 and the summer of 2014 you had not realized that you had an issue with your logger tapes?
2595 MR. DHILLON: Not logger tapes. I'm talking about the automated system printing out the logs, the paper logs.
2596 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: The program logs, the logger tapes and the musical lists, this is the issue we're discussing?
2597 MR. DHILLON: Right.
2598 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And you expressed to the Commission that they were not reconciled and I quote "were not reconciled in a manner that would be acceptable to the Commission"?
2599 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2600 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And then you went on to tell us what some of the problems were?
2601 MR. DHILLON: Right.
2602 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And I'm asking you when you discovered that you had an issue.
2603 MR. DHILLON: When I asked Lorelei to provide me with the logger tapes and --
2604 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And you've been the owner of Wetaskiwin since 2007?
2605 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2606 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And between 2007 and 2014 you never noticed you had a problem?
2607 MR. DHILLON: Well, we have been sending these same loggers to SOCAN and other agencies and never had any problem.
2608 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And you started discussing the new logging system that had been recently implanted?
2609 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2610 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And when was that?
2611 MR. DHILLON: That was in November sometime.
2612 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And have you verified to see that the logging requirements have been met since then?
2613 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2614 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. So you do in fact have logger tapes for that week?
2615 MR. DHILLON: Excuse me?
2616 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: You have logger tapes now for that week?
2617 MR. DHILLON: For which?
2618 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: October 19-25.
2619 MR. DHILLON: I do have the logger -- the paper logs but they're not in the proper sequence they're supposed to be.
2620 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. They still have not been properly sequenced?
2621 MR. DHILLON: No.
2622 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And the request still has not been fulfilled? You've not furnished to the Commission the information requested; is that correct?
2623 MR. DHILLON: We could provide any week after that. You know, because of the problem we had, it would take a lot of time to reconcile that. But if you say, okay, the last two weeks, provide us with the documents, with loggers and the reconciled paper logs, we can provide it right away or in the future, next month, we can provide also.
2624 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. Do you have any contingency plans in case there is a mechanical failure --
2625 MR. DHILLON: Yeah. We have --
2626 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: -- or software failure?
2627 MR. DHILLON: Yeah. We have -- three times a day we go into the logging machine and the automated system check to make sure it's all good and also we have silent alarms and we check it every day.
2628 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Who's responsible for those verifications, Mr. Dhillon?
2629 MR. DHILLON: Tony Vieira(ph).
2630 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Tony Vieira.
2631 MR. DHILLON: He's looking at both of the stations right now to make sure they're both in compliance.
2632 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. Mr. Vieira resides where?
2633 MR. DHILLON: Right now he's in California. He's also looking after my California station.
2634 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: So from California he will be ensuring that things are working properly in Wetaskiwin and Salt Spring?
2635 MR. DHILLON: We have a system in place where he can log in, listen to the audio quality and also listen to the on-air system. And then we have a person in the office. If there's ever a problem, she can handle that. But she doesn't know too much right now. She's learning the new system for the automation.
2636 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: So you're not ultimately responsible, someone else is responsible?
2637 MR. DHILLON: If there's ever a problem, I'm responsible for it --
2638 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
2639 MR. DHILLON: -- if there's any issue.
2640 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And you're comfortable with having Mr. Vieira in California and making sure that you are in compliance in Wetaskiwin and Salt Spring?
2641 MR. DHILLON: Lorelei is already there. Anita is looking after the office in Salt Spring and Lorelei is in Wetaskiwin.
2642 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
2643 MR. DHILLON: Lorelei has been there for almost 15 years.
2644 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: The Salt Spring Island system, is that the same system you're putting in place in Wetaskiwin?
2645 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2646 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And you're comfortable with that, given Salt Spring's track record?
2647 MR. DHILLON: We are comfortable in regards to the audio quality but we are talking to Digital Jukebox out of Winnipeg --
2648 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: M'hmm.
2649 MR. DHILLON: -- and replacing all of our automated systems to Digital Jukebox in coming weeks because that is more with the Canadian content rules and regulation. And also we are adding a new library with proper coding and everything.
2650 So we've been talking to them since April at Enderby. Now, we are getting quotations from then and hopefully within a week or so we're going to buy about five licences for different stations from them.
2651 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: So that will be a different system than the system you have in place now?
2652 MR. DHILLON: Pardon me?
2653 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: That will be a different system than the system you recently put in place?
2654 MR. DHILLON: It will be a different system and it will be more robust.
2655 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: How so, sir?
2656 MR. DHILLON: Pardon me?
2657 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: How so? How will it be more robust?
2658 MR. DHILLON: Well, this one is more compatible with providing better reports and it has more, for logging purposes, contents, you know, how many percentage we are doing, which percentage and is it Canadian content, how many percentage we are doing. It will just calculate it right away for you, in one hour how many percentage we have done.
2659 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And you don't have a system to calculate that currently, sir?
2660 MR. DHILLON: At this time we are doing it manually, calculating okay, these are Canadian content. Percentage-wise, we have to manually calculate it.
2661 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And who's doing that right now?
2662 MR. DHILLON: Tony is.
2663 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Tony is from California.
2664 MR. DHILLON: We print out the logs, he looks at it. See, right now, we are doing more than --
2665 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: How often does he look at the logs, sir?
2666 MR. DHILLON: Every day.
2667 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Every day?
2668 MR. DHILLON: Every day.
2669 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And they're shipped to him electronically?
2670 MR. DHILLON: Yes. What happens is these logs, you know, we have a percentage that we are playing and we're going over that, not less than that. That's the instructions I've given to him.
2671 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
2672 MR. DHILLON: And we do the news, PSAs, weather, everything.
2673 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Everything, great!
2674 MR. DHILLON: Yeah.
2675 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: I want to address your attention to annual returns.
2676 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2677 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: As you know, licensees are required no later than 30 November of each year --
2678 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2679 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Say, for exception, there was a notable exception in 2010, I believe, when it was delayed to 15 December. And the obligation is to provide annual returns of the year ending 31 August. Failure to file these returns in whole or in part may certainly result in a case of non-compliance by virtue of 9(2).
2680 Would you agree with me that in the year 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 you did not fulfil your obligation under article 9(2) to submit the annual returns by the date required? Is that correct?
2681 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2682 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And as an example, 2008-2009 was filed on March 1st, 2010, more than a three-month delay. And 2009-2010, the due date was 15 December and you filed on 13 May 2011; that was more than a five-month delay.
2683 Would you explain to us -- can you justify that delay, sir?
2684 MR. DHILLON: Well, I took over in 2007 --
2685 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes.
2686 MR. DHILLON: -- and this was my first Canadian licensed radio station.
2687 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: M'hmm. Prior to that, you had been an owner of a U.S. station, I believe?
2688 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2689 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. Where would that be, sir?
2690 MR. DHILLON: In -- not owner. I mean first we had part owner.
2691 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: M'hmm.
2692 MR. DHILLON: Ferndale, Washington.
2693 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: M'hmm. And you sold that station in 2007?
2694 MR. DHILLON: No, before that.
2695 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. So you were more familiar with FCC Regulations at the time; is that correct?
2696 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2697 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: I think that came forth in your appearance last year before us?
2698 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2699 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: So in 2007 you purchased this property and now we're talking about 2010-2011 delays in annual returns. What's the link? How do you explain your delays in 2010 and 2011 by referring us back to your purchase date of 2007?
2700 MR. DHILLON: I cannot recall why, what was the reason behind it.
2701 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And have any measures been put in place to ensure that that no longer happens?
2702 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2703 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. What are those measures?
2704 MR. DHILLON: That right now, going forward, I'm going to get my CA to do all this.
2705 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: M'hmm.
2706 MR. DHILLON: But before, I was doing it. And before, Lorelei was doing it for 2007, 2008 and 2009. And then after, I think 2011 or 2012, I started doing it myself.
2707 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Doing it yourself. Okay. So you oversaw the process of the annual returns?
2708 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2709 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And someone else will be doing that going forward?
2710 MR. DHILLON: Yes. I'm going to get my CA to do both of the stations.
2711 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And do you have an agreement in place with your CA to that effect?
2712 MR. DHILLON: He's doing my bookkeeping for Salt Spring Island and he's in Surrey, B.C. I don't have any official agreement. However, I can provide -- he's already working on my company records and stuff.
2713 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And when did he start? When did his responsibilities as regards the annual returns begin? What is his starting date, if you will?
2714 MR. DHILLON: Well, this year, he will be filling in both of the returns.
2715 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And does he have experience in that field?
2716 MR. DHILLON: No. I will be advising him, you know, because I've been doing it for the last three, four years --
2717 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yeah.
2718 MR. DHILLON: -- and I will tell him exactly it has to be done before --
2719 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And you'll oversee his work?
2720 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2721 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And you feel qualified, notwithstanding the fact that you've been in non-compliance for many years and your returns are late?
2722 MR. DHILLON: I will make sure, first of all, returns are on time. Secondly, I will even have someone else look through it. So that we don't have to file it right at the end of the date, we'll do it ahead of time to make sure.
2723 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: I'd like your opinion, sir, on the possible imposition of a mandatory order as it regards the annual returns.
2724 MR. DHILLON: Pardon me?
2725 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: What would be your position on the possible imposition by the Commission of a mandatory order relating to compliance at it regards annual returns?
2726 MR. DHILLON: That is fine.
2727 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: That's fine.
2728 MR. DHILLON: We will abide by it.
2729 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
2730 You've been a broadcaster in Canada since 2007. You understand something about CCD contributions?
2731 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2732 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And would it surprise you to know that there is a $2,000 shortfall in your CCD contributions for Wetaskiwin?
2733 MR. DHILLON: Yeah. We will cover that exactly, like I said before. Within the 30 next days I will make sure it's done, not in 90 days.
2734 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Not 90 days, 30 days --
2735 MR. DHILLON: Yeah.
2736 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: -- as of today?
2737 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2738 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. For the year 2007-2008, 2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2011-2012 and 2012-2013?
2739 MR. DHILLON: Right.
2740 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. The only problem is that there are no contributions for 2012-2013 because we've changed --
2741 MR. DHILLON: Changed it, yes.
2742 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yeah. So that's not a concern anymore.
2743 MR. DHILLON: All right.
2744 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. But there's still an outstanding amount dating back to 2007, sir.
2745 MR. DHILLON: Right.
2746 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: We're in 2015.
2747 MR. DHILLON: Right.
2748 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: You've owed --
2749 MR. DHILLON: But no --
2750 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: This has been outstanding since 2007-2008.
2751 MR. DHILLON: We did file -- I have to check with Lorelei because she used to do that. You know, we spend so much money on local talent where we, you know, give them free air time, produce CDs for them or, you know, concerning the promotions for the new emerging artists, we used to do that and that's how she used to calculate our CCD commitment.
2752 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Right. Wrongfully so. You understand that that was a mistake in means by which to calculate your CCD contribution at the time?
2753 MR. DHILLON: Or -- okay, I'm sorry, maybe I'm mistaken.
2754 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. So the overall $2,000 shortfall for CCD will be spent and proof will be submitted to the Commission within 30 days?
2755 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2756 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Is that your answer?
2757 MR. DHILLON: How much -- did we calculate how much is it total?
2758 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Two thousand.
2759 MR. DHILLON: The total is $2,000 --
2760 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: M'hmm.
2761 MR. DHILLON: -- that I have to submit?
2762 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: That you, sorry?
2763 MR. DHILLON: That's the total amount?
2764 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yeah.
2765 MR. DHILLON: Okay.
2766 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
2767 The renewal application also demands that the renewal be filed by a certain date. That date was 8 November 2013.
2768 Would it be correct to say that you were not in a position and did not file by that date?
2769 MR. DHILLON: Yes. And I was talking to Andrew about that. I said: "We should file this." He goes: "No. Let's do it together, both of them."
2770 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yeah.
2771 MR. DHILLON: And that's -- because I remember, you know, filing the annual -- not annual return -- the renewal licence in 2007. I did that myself.
2772 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. But for the record, you were supposed to have filed by November 2013 and you filed on July 9th, 2014, eight months late, and that would put you in apparent non-compliance with section 9(4) --
2773 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2774 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: -- of the Radio Regs; is that correct, sir?
2775 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2776 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And you said that someone else is responsible for the renewal application filing, that it wasn't you?
2777 MR. DHILLON: I was talking to Andrew at that time.
2778 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Andrew Forsyth?
2779 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2780 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And he told you it wasn't necessary?
2781 MR. DHILLON: He said that we can do it three-four months before.
2782 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Later?
2783 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2784 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Not before, later, after the due date?
2785 MR. DHILLON: Well, he didn't mention to me the due date. He said: "Well, the renewal is happening in August and we can file it in May, June or something, a couple of months ahead of time."
2786 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Ahead of time but not eight months later?
2787 MR. DHILLON: The renewal was due --
2788 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Eight November 2013.
2789 MR. DHILLON: Two thousand thirteen.
2790 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Eight November.
2791 MR. DHILLON: Eight --
2792 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And it was filed on 9 July 2014, eight months late. So Mr. Forsyth was right, you certainly would be well advised to file before the due date but not thereafter.
2793 MR. DHILLON: No, but I'm saying that he said August 31st, 2013 --
2794 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: M'hmm.
2795 MR. DHILLON: -- and the licence renewal was August 2014, right?
2796 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Well, it's --
2797 MR. DHILLON: August --
2798 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: It's fine, sir. You're already on record as having filed late and you explained to us that Mr. Forsyth ill advised you and that was what caused the late filing.
2799 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2800 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Is that what I've understood?
2801 MR. DHILLON: Yeah.
2802 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And have any measures been put in place to make sure that that does not repeat itself?
2803 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2804 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: What are those measures, sir?
2805 MR. DHILLON: I am fully aware of when the deadlines are --
2806 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: M'hmm.
2807 MR. DHILLON: -- and I'll make sure that these deadlines are met.
2808 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And --
2809 MR. DHILLON: This time I was relying on him on both of these applications.
2810 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes.
2811 MR. DHILLON: And next time, now I know that. You know, even the whole screw-up on CFSI regarding share issues are not being issued, you know, there's a lot of confusion.
2812 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yeah.
2813 MR. DHILLON: And I brought that to his attention and now, I think I have to better put my foot down and say this is the way it's going to be.
2814 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Because you have a better understanding --
2815 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2816 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: -- better knowledge than Mr. Forsyth in terms of your obligations and your dates?
2817 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2818 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Is that my understanding?
2819 MR. DHILLON: No, I'm going to have more understanding now.
2820 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: You are, okay. And you're hiring someone else to help you with these issues; is that correct?
2821 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2822 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And who is that person?
2823 MR. DHILLON: No, I will find somebody else.
2824 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Oh, you'll find somebody?
2825 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2826 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: You haven't found anyone else. And what if that person is incapable of doing the job?
2827 MR. DHILLON: Regarding licence renewals?
2828 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: As an example, appropriate filing dates for renewal.
2829 MR. DHILLON: Well, I will check with the Commission. I think it's better for me to go just right straight to the Commission and find out, get their guidance, say we are doing this and I'm being suggested by my consultant this is the way it's supposed to be.
2830 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yeah. So we're 15 May 2015. How often have you consulted with the Commission personally, Mr. Dhillon? How often have you called staff for support?
2831 MR. DHILLON: I used to do it and I never had any problem but since I started relying on consultants or taking advice from other people --
2832 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. When you speak of "used to do it," what are you referring to? What does "used to do it" mean?
2833 MR. DHILLON: Well, when I bought the station CIHS, I had the deal done in December --
2834 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: M'hmm.
2835 MR. DHILLON: -- in November 2006 --
2836 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
2837 MR. DHILLON: -- and I asked the Commission what is the best way to proceed, with a share transfer agreement --
2838 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes.
2839 MR. DHILLON: -- or a sale purchase agreement --
2840 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: M'hmm.
2841 MR. DHILLON: -- and they advised me that a sale purchase takes eight months --
2842 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yeah.
2843 MR. DHILLON: -- and share transfer, you know --
2844 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yeah. But on your obligations, sir, when have you contacted -- that's for your personal benefit.
2845 MR. DHILLON: Right.
2846 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Be it a share or an asset transfer, you're asking a question as regards your personal benefit.
2847 As regards your obligations as a broadcaster, when have you contacted Commission staff for help to make sure that you are in compliance?
2848 MR. DHILLON: I don't recall right now.
2849 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: You don't recall. So when you say you used to, you were referring to a question that regarded your own personal benefit, that is to say how could you more quickly acquire the licence, through an asset or some other means of transferring; is that correct?
2850 MR. DHILLON: Right.
2851 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And have you ever contacted the Commission as regards CCD contributions, logger tapes, filings, on your own to better inform yourself?
2852 MR. DHILLON: No, I haven't, but now I will.
2853 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. Did you ever communicate with the FCC when you were a U.S. broadcaster to help you with their regulatory structures?
2854 MR. DHILLON: Excuse me?
2855 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: When you were a broadcaster in the U.S., you had an FCC licence, did you not?
2856 MR. DHILLON: The company did, yes. The company had the FCC licence.
2857 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes. And you were the principal shareholder of that licence?
2858 MR. DHILLON: No. I recommended the purchase of the station --
2859 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yeah.
2860 MR. DHILLON: -- but I was not the --
2861 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. That's not an issue, sir. So it is correct to say that going forward your answer is that you'll be communicating with staff?
2862 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2863 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: But up until this point -- you've been a holder of a Canadian broadcasting licence since 2007 -- you have not communicated with staff to help you meet your regulatory obligations?
2864 MR. DHILLON: I did on a couple of occasions but I don't remember on what occasions.
2865 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. Besides the question as regards share or asset transfers, since then?
2866 MR. DHILLON: I don't recall a specific --
2867 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. Okay.
2868 You have also asked that your condition of licence be changed in that you have currently an obligation that 50 percent of your musical selections are derived from subcategory 35, which is non-classic religious?
2869 MR. DHILLON: Right.
2870 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Right. And you had asked that that be amended so that you would be able to play 25 percent folk and folk-oriented --
2871 MR. DHILLON: Right.
2872 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: -- under subcategory 32 and 25 percent world beat and international --
2873 MR. DHILLON: Right.
2874 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: -- under subcategory 33; is that correct?
2875 MR. DHILLON: Yes, that is correct.
2876 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And how would that help you meet your financial obligations, sir?
2877 MR. DHILLON: Well, I went to quite a few businesses in the area and I asked them to advertise on the radio station.
2878 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: M'hmm.
2879 MR. DHILLON: And when I told them the format, they said, "Well, you know, that's mostly seniors, you know, listening to the station in the hospitals and in other areas. We know your radio station but we don't want to advertise."
2880 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And these seniors would like to hear some world beat?
2881 MR. DHILLON: Well, no. I'd like to -- I mean the original application was like 15 years ago.
2882 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: No, no. But this is today, right? This is not --
2883 MR. DHILLON: Oh, yes. I talked to them: "What kind of format would you like to see?"
2884 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Right.
2885 MR. DHILLON: And I told them about the world beat and also the folk and folk-oriented, and there aren't that many stations in that area that broadcast that.
2886 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: So these are the advertisers that are interested in this kind of music or the people in the hospital, as you mentioned?
2887 MR. DHILLON: The advertisers.
2888 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: The advertisers, okay. So the people in the hospital, you wouldn't attract them by switching to world beat, you would attract advertisers; is that correct?
2889 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2890 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay.
2891 MR. DHILLON: We would attract --
2892 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And these advertisers, would you happen to give us some idea of who you spoke to and what kind of commitments you have from them?
2893 MR. DHILLON: Yes. I spoke to a couple of realtors, I spoke to hotel owners, I spoke to Boston Pizza, and I submitted those in my last application, the letter.
2894 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Do you have some idea of what the demographics of Wetaskiwin look like?
2895 MR. DHILLON: Well, it is changing.
2896 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes.
2897 MR. DHILLON: Right now, most of them are over 50, 45 demographic. A very young population is not there, but it's changing.
2898 And a lot of new businesses are coming in, and I spoke to the City Mayor, I spoke to the Development Manager, and they want to change the whole look of the city.
2899 And they have done a lot of new construction.
2900 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Did they put something down in writing to that effect, the Mayor or --
2901 MR. DHILLON: No, I had a meeting one-to-one with them.
2902 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Oh, one-to-one with them.
2903 MR. DHILLON: Yes, before I made my last application.
2904 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes, but now, this is a new -- we can get to your last application. That was 40 percent Worldbeat and 10 percent Pop Rock Dance.
2905 MR. DHILLON: Right.
2906 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: That was your previous application, and you have adjusted that today.
2907 But recently -- that dates to 2012, and you were denied, but more recently, do you have anything from any City officials, advertisers potentially, that this would be the game-breaker, that this changing of the musical selection would change your potential revenues?
2908 MR. DHILLON: Well, I lived in Edmonton for five years, so I know exactly how that radio station grew, and how the community -- the growth that is happening, and how many different businesses are coming in. Different communities are moving into the area.
2909 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: What would the remaining 50 percent of the airtime look like?
2910 MR. DHILLON: It would be the same as approved before. There is no change in that.
2911 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: So the community is clamouring for Folk and Worldbeat.
2912 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2913 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And that simple change would allow you -- and I am not going to get into the details of your financial performance and projections, but that would allow you to increase your revenue 15 to 25-fold, that change alone.
2914 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2915 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Is that correct?
2916 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2917 There are hardly any advertisers right now, so even a 20 percent increase would be better than nothing.
2918 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: You had also asked for a power change in 2012.
2919 MR. DHILLON: Yes, and Industry Canada approved it, but somehow the Commission decided to go --
2920 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: When you talk about Worldbeat, what kind of music are you thinking about?
2921 MR. DHILLON: All different -- like, we have a lot of Worldbeat here, also, on Salt Spring Island. Very similar.
2922 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: In your previous application you spoke about Southeast Asian music for Worldbeat --
2923 MR. DHILLON: No, that won't be the case.
2924 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: So this will be a different kind of Worldbeat?
2925 What is your definition of Worldbeat?
2926 MR. DHILLON: It will be a mixture of Mexican --
2927 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Mexican?
2928 MR. DHILLON: Every -- Italian --
2929 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Italian?
2930 MR. DHILLON: You see, right now in Wetaskiwin there is an AM station, AM 1440. They have been doing four hours of Southeast Asian programming for the last seven years, and the CRTC said that there are not enough people --
2931 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: But how does that relate to your ask for a change in musical categories?
2932 MR. DHILLON: No, I am asking -- you know, that's what I compared before, when I applied last time.
2933 And they are still making good money. It has been seven years.
2934 They are owned by Newcap, that radio station, 1440.
2935 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: How is Mexican and Italian music going to help you increase your revenues 20 or 30-fold?
2936 MR. DHILLON: There is also an Italian community there, and also 1440 broadcasts a couple of hours every weekend of Italian programming.
2937 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Right. So how would 1440 feel about you playing in their sandbox?
2938 MR. DHILLON: Well, they are an AM station, and we are an FM, and they have been there for a long, long time, and our format is going to be new, and we are going to do a lot of hard work.
2939 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Is there enough of an advertising base to allow you to compete for that --
2940 MR. DHILLON: Yes, there is a lot of advertising --
2941 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: -- Italian audience and revenues that are derived --
2942 MR. DHILLON: Well, there is a guy named Tony, he has been doing a radio program on 1440 for the last 20 years.
2943 And, you see, sometimes we go with stats, right? I don't go with stats.
2944 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: No? What do you go with?
2945 MR. DHILLON: Because I know exactly how --
2946 For example, Vancouver. I knew when the community really wanted to have an AM station there, right?
2947 And, you know, we tried renting airtime from other stations, but nobody listened. So then we rented airtime on 1600, and I was paying $100,000 U.S. per month.
2948 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: That's Mr. Gill's station, right?
2949 MR. DHILLON: Before that, I'm the one who launched it.
2950 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: 1600?
2951 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2952 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Out of Ferndale?
2953 MR. DHILLON: No, out of Blaine.
2954 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Blaine, in the U.S., Washington State.
2955 MR. DHILLON: Yes. I didn't own it, but I was renting airtime on it.
2956 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Right, and you were paying $100,000 a year?
2957 MR. DHILLON: I was paying $100,000 a year.
2958 Sorry, a $100,000 not per year, per month.
2959 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Per month?
2960 MR. DHILLON: Because I knew our community.
2961 And the second month I was doing $250,000 in sales, because we knew the community, exactly how vibrant it was becoming.
2962 And then 1550 came in, right?
2963 And now there are two other AM stations there -- sorry, FM and AM.
2964 So, you know, now I launched a new AM station in California. There wasn't any radio station there 24 hours.
2965 And 20 years ago I started an SCMO there.
2966 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: You are not an American citizen, I gather?
2967 MR. DHILLON: No, but a Canadian citizen can own 20 percent shares in --
2968 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Right, so you have 20 percent shares.
2969 When you say that you launched your station in California --
2970 MR. DHILLON: I launched -- when we were talking to people there, I said that we should have an AM station, and I am willing to become a partner, and that's what I mean to say.
2971 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. With Wetaskiwin, your feeling is that Mexican and Italian music would help increase your sales.
2972 MR. DHILLON: And Filipino. There are a lot of communities --
2973 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: What else?
2974 MR. DHILLON: Filipino.
2975 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Filipino.
2976 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2977 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. So that's your definition of Worldbeat.
2978 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2979 I remember growing up listening to FM 94.5, "The Beat", in Vancouver. They used to play Banjo music, and we kids loved it.
2980 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: What about the non-classic religious community that you are abandoning by switching to Worldbeat and Folk?
2981 What about those listeners?
2982 MR. DHILLON: We have another 15 percent which is Country, and we will be playing that. They also enjoy that.
2983 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And the non-classic religious, what about that?
2984 MR. DHILLON: Well, you know, the percentage is very less now.
2985 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: It was higher before.
2986 MR. DHILLON: Yes, 15 years ago.
2987 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Fifteen years ago, okay.
2988 MR. DHILLON: In 2000, when we got the licence.
2989 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: But when you bought the station in 2007, you knew the kind of music that was required to be played?
2990 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
2991 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And that is your plan to allow your station to become financially viable in the future.
2992 MR. DHILLON: Definitely it will be viable.
2993 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Would it be correct to say that it hasn't been viable since you bought the station?
2994 MR. DHILLON: What happened was, when I bought the station, I took over in January. My engineer came in, Al Pippin, Pippin Technical, and said, "Sukdhev, there is another station for sale, AM 580. Why don't you buy that?"
2995 I said, "Let's go see them."
2996 So the next day we went to see them, and I had a deal with them to purchase that, and we made the deal in less than 24 hours.
2997 And here are all the documents to prove that.
2998 And, then, two months later, Rogers came in. They said, "We would like to acquire your contract with AM 580."
2999 So, you know, then I started working with Rogers on their ethnic station, for five years.
3000 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: What about Wetaskiwin?
3001 MR. DHILLON: I was there, too. I was in Edmonton.
3002 They have a station in Edmonton, the ethnic station.
3003 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes, but why has your Wetaskiwin station not been profitable all these years?
3004 MR. DHILLON: Because of the format. I go to the clients and tell them what format it is and everything.
3005 There are a lot of stations from Edmonton that also beam into Wetaskiwin, so, you know, your market share isn't there.
3006 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Does Wetaskiwin reach the Southeast Asian community in Edmonton?
3007 MR. DHILLON: Not the Southwest --
3008 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Southeast Asian, sorry, yes.
3009 MR. DHILLON: The Southeast Asian community has grown so much. Before it was only in the Edmonton Mill Woods area. Now there are more people in Beaumont, Leduc, in those areas.
3010 And that's what I was trying to ask the Commission, that's why I was asking the Commissioners: Please, let me allow that so I can serve that community.
3011 But, somehow, the stats didn't prove what I was saying.
3012 Because I know personally how many people have moved there, and people do listen to it. But because of --
3013 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Are they going to be listening to Italian, Folk and Mexican music?
3014 MR. DHILLON: Pardon me?
3015 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Will they be inclined to listen to Italian, Folk and Mexican music?
3016 MR. DHILLON: There will be some Worldbeat, which will include --
3017 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Oh, there will be, yes?
3018 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
3019 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: So there will be some Southeast Asian music in Worldbeat?
3020 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
3021 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: How much of a percentage of that Worldbeat do you think will be Southeast Asian?
3022 MR. DHILLON: Probably about 5 percent, 10 percent.
3023 You see, right now, currently, I am allowed to do 15 percent.
3024 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Yes, 15 percent other language.
3025 MR. DHILLON: Other language.
3026 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Did you take advantage of that, sir?
3027 MR. DHILLON: I did, and I got a lot of calls, people saying, okay, you know, keep this up.
3028 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And that 15 percent, is that a talk format or a musical format?
3029 MR. DHILLON: A musical format.
3030 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And are you playing Mexican music on that, Spanish music?
3031 MR. DHILLON: No, no, I only played it for a little while, because I was, you know, checking out what response was coming from the community and so forth, and it was a good response.
3032 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: For Southeast Asian music, right?
3033 MR. DHILLON: For Southeast Asian, yes.
3034 But if I mix that with Worldbeat, it will be much better, so that way there will be more audience.
3035 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: So that's part of the plan, is to tap into that Southeast Asian community, is it not?
3036 MR. DHILLON: Pardon me?
3037 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: That is your plan, to tap into the Southeast Asian community.
3038 MR. DHILLON: They will be listening to it, if I have a proper programming format.
3039 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. But they won't be listening to Folk music, I don't think.
3040 MR. DHILLON: Some people will.
3041 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: The Southeast Asian community will?
3042 MR. DHILLON: Yes.
3043 You see, that is the reason -- you asked me: Why did you buy Salt Spring?
3044 I loved their music format. It's so variety. The people, you know --
3045 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Do you see any impact on incumbent stations with any of these potential changes?
3046 MR. DHILLON: There won't be any, because --
3047 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: There won't be any? Based on what? What makes you say that, sir?
3048 MR. DHILLON: Because nobody else has the same variety of format in a 24-hour cycle.
3049 Like, you know, Newcap has been running Southeast Asian for four years. Also, Rogers is there.
3050 And, you know, when I started working with Rogers, they asked me for a five-year business plan, and I said: The first year is going to be difficult.
3051 They said: Why?
3052 I said: When people find out from Vancouver that I am here working with you, they are going to apply for a radio station licence in Edmonton.
3053 That's exactly what happened.
3054 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: I just want to maybe close on this, and close that issue.
3055 Your targeted demographic would be what going forward for Wetaskiwin?
3056 MR. DHILLON: It's all variety. You know, there is some percentage of people that would like to listen to Folk, Folk-oriented.
3057 I have been discussing this format with Tom Bonner(ph). He worked with Rogers for a long, long time, 25 years. And he said: This is an excellent format, people will tune in from everywhere, via the Internet too.
3058 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Who thinks it's excellent?
3059 MR. DHILLON: Tom -- he used to work at Rogers.
3060 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. So you don't know, you don't have his full name, and you don't have any testimonial on his behalf in support of this idea?
3061 MR. DHILLON: I don't have a testimonial, but on the last application, him and I worked on it together.
3062 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: And you have no evidence, financial or otherwise, of the impact that this change might have on incumbent stations or some of the competitors?
3063 MR. DHILLON: There would be no changes, because, you know, right now we don't make any impact. And, let's say, even with a 20 percent increase, there are too many stations coming in from --
3064 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Edmonton.
3065 MR. DHILLON: -- Edmonton.
3066 And there's a new station licensed there now, in Leduc, Blackgold Broadcasting.
3067 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Are they going to be playing --
3068 MR. DHILLON: No, I talked to him. My last application made mention of that. He goes, "Sukhdev, that's okay, I have no problem with it."
3069 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. You spoke to him and --
3070 MR. DHILLON: And that's why, you know, no one intervened.
3071 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Did you ask him for something in writing to the effect that he would have no problem with the change --
3072 MR. DHILLON: Well, if he had a problem, he would have intervened.
3073 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: He would have brought it forth. Okay.
3074 Sir, just in closing, why would the renewal -- if renewal were the decision of the Commission, why would that not be for a shorter term, given the evidence of noncompliance?
3075 And we have that on record from earlier this afternoon, multiple cases of noncompliance.
3076 MR. DHILLON: Well, I don't mind, because I would like to prove myself, that, you know -- I might be given a short term, that's fine. Two years --
3077 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: In terms of proving yourself, you have had this licence since 2007. You don't think that eight years is a sufficient amount of time for you to prove yourself as a broadcaster?
3078 MR. DHILLON: No, because I have applied for a change of programming, and it took one and a half years to get an answer back from the Commission.
3079 For one and a half years I just waited for it.
3080 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Right. So now you are going to try again for a change?
3081 MR. DHILLON: No, if this is approved, I will start marketing the station professionally, the way it's supposed to be marketed in the market, and we will garner the audience and the revenue.
3082 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Again, the targeted demographic -- it's everybody. There is no specific demographic that you would be targeting?
3083 MR. DHILLON: No.
3084 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Would you also accept possible sanctions, given that we have a show cause hearing -- and you know this from this morning and from last year. There is a range of possible sanctions, including additional measures, such as the suspension of your licence, such as non-renewal or the revocation of the licence in question.
3085 What comments would you have as per the possible outcomes of this hearing?
3086 MR. DHILLON: Well, I would request that they not be considered during the decision-making process, and that I be given a short-term licence to prove compliance on all aspects.
3087 COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Thank you, Mr. Dhillon.
3088 MR. DHILLON: Thank you.
3089 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. I believe those are our questions for Phase 1.
3090 It is my understanding that there are no appearing intervenors in Phase 2, and it is also my understanding that you do not have reply comments for Phase 3.
3091 Is that correct?
3092 MR. DHILLON: I don't want to reply, because she has already been through it, and it will be a waste of the Commission's time, I think.
3093 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, it's your decision.
3094 MR. DHILLON: Yes, no problem.
3095 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, thank you.
3096 Donc, Madame la Secrétaire, pour conclure.
3097 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
3098 This completes Phase 3 and the consideration of Item 3 on the agenda.
3099 I would like to indicate for the record that the intervenors who did not appear and were listed on the agenda as appearing intervenors will remain on the public file as non-appearing interventions.
3100 Finally, please note that there is one non-appearing item on the agenda of this public hearing. This item will be considered by the panel, and the decision will be rendered at a later date.
3101 This completes the agenda of this public hearing. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
3102 LE PRÉSIDENT : Merci à tous. We are adjourned. Thank you.
Close of Hearing at 1417
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