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
© Copyright Reserved

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

Held at:

Outaouais Room
Conference Centre
140 Promenade du Portage
Gatineau, Quebec



Gatineau, Quebec
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.


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 --


1346   MR. DHILLON: -- outlining the understanding we have.

1347   COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Okay. And you'll make that available?

1348   MR. DHILLON: Yes, I will.


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.


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 --


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 --


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 --


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


1443   MR. DHILLON: Yes.

1444   COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Who prepares these?

1445   MR. DHILLON: 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.


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.


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?


1494   MR. DHILLON: That was 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.


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.


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.


1565   So annual returns, you understand that you have to file annual returns?

1566   MR. DHILLON: Yes.


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 --


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.


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.


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.


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 --


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?


1621   MR. DHILLON: Because Mr. Brooks provided me in an email a proof of $5,000 payable to the Commission.


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.


--- Pause

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.


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.


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 --


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."


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.


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 --


1703   MR. DHILLON: -- and which I started about two months -- no, in February and it's doing really well.


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 --


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.


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.



1731   MR. DHILLON: It's around $3,500, I believe.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

--- Pause

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 --


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.


1788   MR. DHILLON: Yes.


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.


1795   MR. DHILLON: The sole owner.

1796   COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: The owner and comptroller --

1797   MR. DHILLON: Yes.


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.


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.


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."


1822   MR. DHILLON: I said: "Well, I'm not sure."


1824   MR. DHILLON: And so he filled it out the way he thought was best.


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.


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 --


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 --


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?"


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.


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.


1873   MR. DHILLON: That's what it should have been --


1875   MR. DHILLON: -- instead of saying named. I know there's deficiencies in that application. When I was talking to Mr. Forsyth --


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" --


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.


1895   MR. DHILLON: It should have been "proposed."


1897   MR. DHILLON: This is, you know --


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 --


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.


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.


1935   MR. DHILLON: Yeah.

1936   COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: -- stating that Mr. Gill would be 50-percent owner?

1937   MR. DHILLON: Right.


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?


1949   MR. DHILLON: Yes.


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.


1961   MR. DHILLON: And I'd like to make another comment.


1963   MR. DHILLON: Mr. Gill, if the Commission allows, is proposing to buy 90 percent of South Spring Island.


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 --


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.


1975   MR. DHILLON: And if the Commission accepts it, I'm willing to divest.

1976   COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Oh! Well, that's interesting.

--- Pause

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?

--- Pause

1991   COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: Mr. Gill, can you hear me?

1992   MR. GILL: Yeah, I can hear you.


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.


2011   MR. GILL: Yeah.


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.


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.


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.


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 --


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.


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.


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 --


2074   MR. GILL: Yeah.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 --


2239   MR. DHILLON: It's normally seven years.


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.


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 --


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.


2308   MR. DHILLON: So well, you know, Radha is, you know, in Ganges, near Ganges --


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.


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.

--- Pause


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.

      Yours Truly,

      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:

      "Hi Andrew,

      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 --


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."


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.


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.


2585   MR. DHILLON: Artist, some of the categories were missing --


2587   MR. DHILLON: -- although they were coming in from the -- you know, what we were broadcasting from the same categories --


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?


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).


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 --


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.


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 --


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.


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.


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.


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 --


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.


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.


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 --


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.


2728   MR. DHILLON: We will abide by it.


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.


2747   MR. DHILLON: Right.


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?


2759   MR. DHILLON: The total is $2,000 --


2761   MR. DHILLON: -- that I have to submit?

2762   COMMISSIONER PENTEFOUNTAS: That you, sorry?

2763   MR. DHILLON: That's the total amount?


2765   MR. DHILLON: 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."


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.


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.


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.


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 --


2795   MR. DHILLON: -- and the licence renewal was August 2014, right?


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 --


2807   MR. DHILLON: -- and I'll make sure that these deadlines are met.


2809   MR. DHILLON: This time I was relying on him on both of these applications.


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.


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 --


2835   MR. DHILLON: -- in November 2006 --


2837   MR. DHILLON: -- and I asked the Commission what is the best way to proceed, with a share transfer agreement --


2839   MR. DHILLON: -- or a sale purchase agreement --


2841   MR. DHILLON: -- and they advised me that a sale purchase takes eight months --


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 --


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 --


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.


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?"


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.


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.


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 --


2928   MR. DHILLON: Every -- 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.


2951   MR. DHILLON: Yes.


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.


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 --


2974   MR. DHILLON: 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 --


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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