ARCHIVED - Transcript, Hearing May 17, 2016
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Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Date: May 17, 2016
© Copyright Reserved
Attendees and Location
Vancouver Convention Centre
1055 Canada Place
West Meeting Rooms 205-207
Vancouver, British Columbia
- Chairman: Jean-Pierre Blais
- Chairman: Jean-Pierre Blais
- Vice-Chairman: Peter Menzies
- Member: Christopher MacDonald
- Legal Counsel: Shari Fisher
- Secretaries: Cindy Ventura, Sonia Gravelle
- Hearing Manager:
Vancouver, British Columbia
--- Upon resuming on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 9:03 a.m.
1752 LE PRÉSIDENT: Donc à l’ordre, s’il vous plait. Order, please.
1753 Madame la Secrétaire.
1754 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
1755 We will now proceed with item 5 on the agenda which are applications by Radio India Ltd. for a broadcasting licence to operate an ethnic commercial FM specialty radio station in Surrey. Please introduce yourself and your colleagues and you will then have 20 minutes to make your presentation.
1756 Thank you.
1757 MS. SHARON GILL: Good morning, Mr. Chair, Mr. Vice-Chair, Members of the Commission, and the Commission staff. My Name is Sharon Gill, and I’m the president of Radio India Ltd.
1758 Before we start our presentation, I would like to introduce my team. Just one note before starting, you will find that the same family name comes up more than once. There is no family relationship between Ms. Mandeep Gill, Balwant Gill and myself. So on to the introductions.
1759 To my immediate right is our broadcast consultant, he has worked closely with me in the preparation of these applications. He’s quite seasoned in the field of broadcasting and is celebrating 53 years in the broadcast business. He started off as a radio announcer, a producer, and worked his way up as a chief engineer, as a manager and has also owned two radio stations in the Montreal area. To Mike’s right is Mr. Pelser, Kerry Pelser. Mr. Pelser is the chief engineer of D.E.M.A. Limited of Winnipeg, and he worked closely with our broadcast consultant, Mike Mathieu, to prepare all the technical aspects of our application. He is here today to inform the commission on the situation that happened with our preferred frequency of 89.3 Megahertz.
1760 To Mr.Pelser’s right is Nandini Aggarwal. She has a Masters in Mass Communication and Journalism and has done a Bachelor of Sciences in Medical and also a Bachelor in Education too. She has more than eight years of experience with one of the best Indian English newspapers, the Indian Express, and a vernacular newspaper too. Not only this, she had been an international poetry winner. Being from a Forces background she is highly disciplined and possesses a strong ability to conduct systematic and thorough research of talk shows and related facts and issues.
1761 To Nandini’s right is Mr. Vijay Shakamuri. Vijay is a certified general accountant and the CFO of Shakamuri & Co Inc. He was responsible for the preparation of our financial statements and the business plan, and was instrumental in guiding us through our financial decision, including the Canadian Content Development initiative.
1762 To my left is Ms. Sukhjit Mangat. After obtaining her Bachelors of Journalism she started her career as a news announcer and she quickly learned the ropes of the broadcasting field. Her duties included hosting live shows, designing and preparing ads, selecting and scheduling radio hosts and dealing with clients. To Sukhjit’s left is Mr. Devinder Benipal. Devinder holds a Masters in political science and has a career spanning over a decade. He’s worked as a songwriter, a radio host, an MC, and a well-known media personality. His presentation style has captivated audiences all around and his popularity within the community is beyond par.
1763 To Devinder’s left is Ms. Mandeep Gill. Mandeep’s a talk show host and a news announcer at Radio India. She completed her Masters in Journalism from India. Since the onset of her career she has been passionate about reporting news to the masses. She believes that a well-informed community is a better community. Her talk show discusses political and social issues in and around the south Asian diaspora of the lower mainland.
1764 We are here today hoping to move on to the next stage in our development. Our team has worked hard and is ready. Radio India’s years of operation have taught us what the community needs, wants, and how to deliver it.
1765 We look forward to maintaining our existing level of service while improving and expanding it. Strong of experience acquired when my father, Mr. Maninder Gill, was operating Radio India 2003 and broadcasting to the Surrey/Vancouver area via a U.S. transmitter.
1766 I’m proud to be here today with this team of dedicated and experienced broadcasters. We have the experience, we have the passion, and we have the plans to provide a high-quality stereo FM service to the Surrey/Vancouver Market.
1767 To that, Radio India Ltd. pledges to substantially encourage and support Canadian content development. To this end, we are seeking two stations, one in Surrey, British Columbia and one in Vancouver, B.C. We are proposing an alternate frequency for Surrey, and that although we hope the Commission will grant us both, our preferred frequencies in Surrey 89.3 Megahertz as well as our Vancouver frequency of 106.9 Megahertz.
1768 The Commission will note that should we be successful in obtaining both our 89.3 Megahertz preferred frequency and our 106.9 Megahertz Vancouver frequency, our over and above CCD commitment over the first seven years of operation will be $1.2 million, to which we are accepting a condition of licence. Given our financial projections, our basic contribution should be in the order of 441,000 for a possible contribution of 1,641,000 over the first seven years of licence.
1769 Over and above, Radio India Ltd. pledges to offer free concerts as well as organizing talent shows to which Radio India Ltd. will directly pay the performers the expenses, rental of halls, sound systems, et cetera. This is to expose the talent of emerging and well-known South Asian artists.
1770 Radio India Ltd. also pledges that all organizations and events that it will finance as CCD contributions will be acceptable to the CRTC guidelines as set out in the broadcasting public notice 2006-158.
1771 Furthermore, Radio India Ltd. pledges by condition of licence to contribute a minimum of 30 percent of our over and above CCD commitments to FACTOR.
1772 Lastly, we are also providing scholarships and bursaries for the purpose of providing one or more bursaries for deserving students of the Music Program or Journalism program of the selected institutes. Individuals that demonstrate good performance potential and academic achievement will benefit from these scholarships.
1773 Consistent with the CRTC’s ethnic policy, we pledge to set up an advisory board of which some the members will be of different communities, and a limited number of members will be independent producers and also one or two members of the staff.
1774 On to you, Mike.
1775 MR. MATHIEU: Today Radio India Ltd. is pleased to present to the Commission three applications. Two applications on different frequencies and a third that will be dealt with later at this hearing.
1776 These applications are meant to be only one, which means that we are applying for the use of our preferred frequency of 89.3 Megahertz channel 207 A with a maximum effective radiated power of a kilowatt, and an average effective radiated power of 302 watts at an effective height of above average terrain of 123 metres. Or, should the Commission so choose, our alternate frequency 91.5 Megahertz channel 218A with a maximum ERP of a kilowatt and an average ERP of 290 watts at a EHAAT of 104.3 metres.
1777 Why two frequencies? Well, simply because Radio India Ltd. wishes to provide a reliable service to the Greater Vancouver/Surrey South Asian population in full high quality FM stereo. The Commission is well aware that today all major markets -- in all major markets should I say, the FM frequency congestion is such that we feel very lucky that the greater Vancouver/surrey market three FM frequencies are usable, 89.3, 91.5 and 106.9 Megahertz. But these coverage are somewhat limited, and to that end Radio India Ltd. had no choice but to apply on two frequencies, one in Surrey and obviously, one later in Vancouver.
1778 However, it is respectfully our pretention that our service will fill a void by catering not only to the important South-Asian populations of Vancouver/Surrey, but the beauty of broadcasting on two separate frequencies is providing us with the possibility to offer an alternate service to smaller groups and languages that are not presently well served by radio. We’re thinking that smaller groups like Greek, Arabs, Dutch, German, et cetera.
1779 Our Surrey station will cater to a maximum of 25 groups and 15 languages. Should the Commission grant us both licences in Surrey and Vancouver, then both stations together will cater to a maximum of 35 groups and 22 languages by condition of licence.
1780 Just to explain to the Commission in respects to the use of the 89.3 megahertz as it was originally filed as our preferred frequency, a technical problem was raised by ISED, formally Industry Canada, on the technical certification of 89.3 frequency in time for this hearing. Because of that, we had to review our frequency plan so that our alternate frequency, 91.5 megahertz, became our preferred frequency. And both our CCD initiative and our business plan had to be reviewed and switched from one frequency to the other.
1781 Fortunately, as of late last week, we were informed that ISED, Innovation, Science, Economic Development had just approved the technical parameters of our 89.3 frequency as per our original application of a kilowatt maximum ERP and 302 watts average ERP at the height of 123 metres. This now allows us to return to our original application of having 89.3 as a preferred frequency and 91.5 at a kilowatt maximum and 290 watts average ERP as our alternate frequency.
1782 As for our CCD initiative and our business plan, these will be the same on both frequencies so that should the Commission approve Radio India application on either frequency, 89.3 or 91.5, our minimum contribution to CCD over the first 7 years of operation will be $801,000 minimum. But if you consider the projection in our business plan, the total basic and above contribution will be $894,000.
1783 However, should the Commission approve Radio India Limited’s application in Surrey and Vancouver as well, in either frequencies, then for the first 7 years of operation the minimum contribution will be $1.2 million. But considering, of course, the projection in our business plan, the basic and over and above contribution will be $1,641,000 total and, of course, we would be accepting a condition of licence.
1784 We wish to explain to the Commission that although our CCD initiative and commitment as well as our business plan are now the same for both frequencies, it’s important for us that the Commission considers the important to have 89.3 as our preferred frequency. Because now that the technical problem that was involving a U.S. station has been resolved, we are much more confident that a future agreement can be obtained with the U.S. station and the U.S. FCC so that the 89.3 frequency can be made more technical, more -- with a better coverage and would maximize the use of an FM frequency in Canada.
1785 To further enhance the situation in regards to the problems on 89.3 and Innovation, Science and Economic Development, I would ask Mr. Kerry Pelser on my right of our engineering firm D.E.M.A. to better explain and also answers eventually any question you may want to address. Mr. Pelser.
1786 MR. PELSER: Thank you, Mike.
1787 In our search for frequencies for Surrey, one of the frequencies that D.E.M. Allen and Associates found was 89.3. We submitted technical briefs in September of 2015 using 89.3 at a maximum E.R.P. of 1,000 watts. On March 8, 2016, D.E.M.A. was advised by ISED engineers that the proposed operation would not be acceptable to the FCC because the proposed station at 1,000 watt ERP would not protect KUGS FM in Bellingham, Washington according to the International Rules in the Canada/U.S.A. FM agreement. We reviewed the situation and agreed with ISED’s assessment.
1788 In consultation with ISED, it was determined that in order for the 89.3 applicants to appear at this hearing with a technically acceptable frequency, the best solution at the time was to reduce the ERP to 210 watts. Revised technical briefs on 89.3 with -- at a 210 watt ERP were submitted to ISED and technical acceptance was approved -- was obtained from ISED.
1789 In looking closer at the protection to KUGS in the U.S., we determined that even though we did not protect KUGS to the extent required by the Canada/U.S.A. FM agreement, at 1,000 watts we exceeded the protection that they would be entitled to receive from U.S. based stations. We approached KUGS and provided them with the technical details. After their own review, KUGS provided a letter that they would not object to the 1,000 watt ERP operation on 89.3. With this letter of acceptance, ISED was able to provide on May 9th technical acceptance for the 1,000 watt operation on 89.3.
1790 MS. AGGARWAL: Thank you, Mr. Pelser. I’m Nandini Aggarwal and I’m a journalist with over 10 years of newspaper, as well as broadcasting experience. At Radio India Limited I have place to provide clear, informative and good entertaining information to our listeners.
1791 I am anxious to resume full-time broadcasting and I know that Ms. Gill, through the experience she acquired, will steer Radio India Limited to success.
1792 MR. SHAKAMURI: Thank you, Nandini. And good morning, everyone.
1793 I am Vijay Shakamuri. I’m a certified general accountant and the CFO of Shakamuri and Co Inc. I was involved in the past and as an accountant for Radio India 2003 Limited.
1794 When Mr. Maninder Gill was running it, to that end I have provided financial information pertaining to the revenues of Radio India 2003 Limited, until it is closed down in late 2014 and was later sold to Ms. Sharon Gill and became Radio India Limited.
1795 I was also involved and collaborated with Mr. Mike Mathieu, the broadcast consultant that prepared Radio India Limited applications. With Ms. Gill and Mr. Mathieu input I prepared the business plan and the financial projections in support of Radio India’s Limited application.
1796 In preparing the business plan we made use of the revenues that Radio India 2003 was obtaining when they were broadcasting via a U.S. station.
1797 I have also examined Ms. Sharon Gill’s financial situation and I am comfortable that she has the means not only to implement the stations she applied for, but she is able to support them should the financial projections not materialize.
1798 So I’m here to address like if any questions on -- some of the questions you have on this application. And thank you for giving me this opportunity. And I will pass on to Ms. Sukhjit Mangat.
1799 MS. MANGAT: Thank you, Vijay. Good morning, everyone.
1800 I’m Sukhjit Mangat and I did work at Radio India 2003 when it was broadcasting over the airwaves. Now I am working part-time with Gill, Ms. Gill, at Radio India Limited. But I am interested to resume my full-time employment.
1801 I am a news announcer. I will host a live talk show and I will assist Ms. Gill in the day-to-day operations of the radio station. My title is operations manager, as well on air work.
1802 MR. BENIPAL: Thank you, Sukhjit. Good morning, everyone.
1803 Hi, my name is Devinder Benipal. I am a songwriter and I used to work and perform at Radio India when it was very popular on Radio AM 1600. I miss my job as it was providing for my family and I, a comfortable lifestyle. But unfortunately, since the demise of Radio India 2003 Limited, over the radio I am restricted to freelance work and as an artist I have lost my interesting contract.
1804 Should you allow Ms. Gill and Radio India Limited to broadcast again over the airwaves this would be fantastic. Not only for me, but also for the South Asian artists and also other artists.
1805 In the name of artists and in my name, I thank you.
1806 MS. MANDEEP GILL: Thank you, Devinder. Good morning, everyone.
1807 I am Mandeep Gill and I was working at Radio India 2003 until it shut down in late 2014. During my stay I was involved in delivering the news, as well as hosting talk shows that I am proud to say were a platform for open dialogue as well as addressing the concerns of community.
1808 Radio India’s news were, and to a degree on the Internet still are the way to keep our community well informed on various situations of interest, whether it is the local news from the Surrey/Vancouver area, elsewhere in the province, or in Canada as well as news from India or other countries of origins.
1809 I am looking forward to be able to serve our population again at last via the airwaves.
1810 MS. SHARON GILL: Concluding remarks: The Values of Radio India.
1811 Radio India 2003 Ltd. started broadcasting in 2002 via a U.S. AM radio station and gained quite a momentum with the South Asian population of the Lower Mainland. But in 2014 the CRTC obtained a mandatory order against three entities, including Radio India 2003 Ltd., that were providing ethnic programming by leasing U.S.-based AM radio stations. Given that mandatory order, Radio India 2003 ceased broadcasting via U.S. AM Radio Station and restricted itself to the Internet.
1812 During the broadcast period via over the air Radio India 2003 has built quite a momentum and its legacy left a huge void within the south Asian community as Radio India 2003 was providing a very local community radio service to Vancouver and Surrey.
1813 Radio India has been appreciated by over more -- by more than 200 businesses that provided letters in support of Radio India’s return to the airwaves.
1814 As the station ceased AM broadcasting activities, Mr. Maninder Gill sold the business to me, his daughter, and Radio India Ltd. was born.
1815 Radio India Ltd., like its predecessor Radio India 2003 Ltd., pledges to uphold the values of community building and be the bridge between the South Asian community and the mainstream society.
1816 We are experienced and are a serious radio broadcaster, here for the long haul. I am ready to be entrusted with this license. My existing team and the new colleagues that I will hire will make you proud of what we can accomplish as a Canadian licensee.
1817 I, Sharon Gill, pledge to support Radio India Ltd. should our financial projections not materialize. I have the means to guarantee our operations for the first period of license.
1818 Thank you. We are ready to answer your questions.
1819 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. I'll put you in the hands of Vice Chair Menzies.
1820 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Thank you.
1821 First of all, can we clarify the CCD proposals?
1822 MS. SHARON GILL: Okay.
1823 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: So what is your proposal for Surrey alone for CCD?
1824 MR. MATHIEU: Okay. If you allow, I will answer that. I have got some questions here and I've got the whole table that I recently sent to the Commission that is here.
1825 Like I mentioned in the presentation, and I can get it back to you, the original CCD if you -- just a second here. I have to go back to this presentation because we have so many numbers in this.
1826 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Sorry. Let me rephrase my question.
1827 MR. MATHIEU: I understand.
1828 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Just sort of if we accept your May 11th proposal ---
1829 MR. MATHIEU: M'hm.
1830 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: -- what are your CCD proposals and then there is sort of three questions that follow from that.
1831 MR. MATHIEU: Yes, our base is ---
1832 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Number one is for Surrey alone.
1833 MR. MATHIEU: Okay. For Surrey alone, if the Commission approves radio only in Surrey, the over and above will be $801,000 minimum and, according to our business plan, the total over and above and the regulatory will be $894,000.
1834 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: All right. So ---
1835 MR. MATHIEU: On the other hand ---
1836 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: --- the over and above -- the over and above is $801,000 for Surrey alone?
1837 MR. MATHIEU: Yes, sir. If it's Surrey and Vancouver, the over and above is $1.2 million.
1838 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right. If so, how much? So if it's $1.2 million how much of that would be Surrey and how much would be Vancouver?
1839 MR. MATHIEU: Well, we didn't separate the two. If we get Surrey ---
1840 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: You need to.
1841 MR. MATHIEU: --- and Vancouver, then we bona fide Surrey. So I guess if we're going from $800,000 to $1.2 million because we're getting Vancouver, we're increasing by $400,000.
1842 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: So if Surrey and Vancouver were -- then is Surrey over and above is $801,000?
1843 MR. MATHIEU: Correct.
1844 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: And the Vancouver over and above is $399,000?
1845 MR. MATHIEU: Correct.
1846 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay.
1847 MR. MATHIEU: For a total of $1.2 million.
1848 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. And you would be willing to accept those as ---
1849 MR. MATHIEU: A condition of licence.
1850 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: --- conditions?
1851 MR. MATHIEU: Absolutely, sir; absolutely.
1852 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. Thanks.
1853 I want to next touch on the frequency saga, I guess, is the best word for it. The station in the U.S. is KUGS?
1854 MR. MATHIEU: Correct.
1855 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: And you mentioned that you had discussions with them?
1856 MR. PELSER: That is correct; yes.
1857 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: And what were the nature of those discussions?
1858 MR. PELSER: We told them that there was a hearing in Canada for Vancouver. We explained that the frequencies are very limited. We said we have identified a particular frequency that we have applied for and 1,000 watt ERP, and it's been opposed by Industry Canada based on the rules in the Canada-U.S. agreement. We provided them with the parameters of the 1,000 watts we are proposing and asked if that would be acceptable to them.
1859 I was advised that they had the FCC consultant review it. They had their FCC lawyer review it and they got back to us that they -- with a letter -- that they would not oppose the 1,000 watt operation on 89.3.
1860 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: So ---
1861 MR. PELSER: We subsequently provided that letter to Industry Canada, the letter from KUGS.
1862 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. Was there a commercial arrangement there?
1863 MR. PELSER: There was not. They did not ask for any compensation in return.
1864 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: So go ahead, sir.
1865 MR. MATHIEU: I believe in the end -- Mr. Pelser could confirm -- that we do have approval by ISED of the use of 89.3 at a maximum of -- well, am I right?
1866 MR. PELSER: That is correct.
1867 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: So we have the approval from ---
1868 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay, the reason I ask is because others have pointed out that they have had difficulty in discussions with American operators and it seemed to go very smoothly for you.
1869 MR. PELSER: We were fortunate; yes, indeed. In the past we have tried to approach American operators and, in most instances they will -- they are not interested in discussing any kind of a mutual agreement or proposal such as this.
1870 We have had some success, but it's more that this is not the norm. That's for sure.
1871 MR. MATHIEU: I would like to state if you will allow me that 89.3, given this deal we made on this agreement, we strongly feel that we can further -- should we get a licence on that frequency, we plan to do all the necessary steps to try to improve that frequency further to maximize its use.
1872 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. I am not familiar with KUGS. What sort of programming do they do?
1873 MR. PELSER: I'm not familiar with their program. They are licensed to Western Washington University. They are a student radio station.
1874 MR. MATHIEU: A campus community station according to our standards.
1875 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: And they were the only ones impacted by this?
1876 MR. MATHIEU: Correct.
1877 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: I see.
1878 Just dealing with remarks right now made in your oral presentation, Ms. Gill, when you refer to having the means to support this proposal, and others remarked on this too, what is the source of your prosperity?
1879 MS. GILL: I would like to get Vijay to answer this for me.
1880 MR. SHAKAMURI: For this one I think however I'd like -- she has ---
1881 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Could you put the mike a little closer so we can hear you?
1882 And by the way, we'll get back to you because I find it odd that you're unable to answer the Vice Chair's question without referring to somebody. So keep going.
1883 MR. SHAKAMURI: Yeah. Actually, I will refer her financial position and she had liquid assets in the bank.
1884 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, I still can't quite hear you.
1885 MR. SHAKAMURI: I will refer to her for like financial position and she had liquid assets and deposits in the bank. We estimated that like 200, like around $210,000 is going to be the initial cost for this radio station. I believe even she had like the cash deposits to run like the station at least another year.
1886 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Sorry, could you repeat that; cash deposits of?
1887 MR. SHAKAMURI: She has the cash deposits like at a financial institution to support the station like initial like ---
1888 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: How much?
1889 MR. SHAKAMURI: She has around $600,000.
1890 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Six hundred thousand ($600,000)?
1891 MR. SHAKAMURI: Yes.
1892 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: And then there is $200,000 you referenced earlier?
1893 MR. SHAKAMURI: Sixty (60) -- around $65,000 she paid for the old radio station. She acquired some assets. And she has like further around $600,000 in her financial institution.
1894 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. So, Ms. Gill, how did -- tell me about your career. I mean, how did you manage to acquire $600,000 in cash deposits to be able to do this?
1895 MS. SHARON GILL: Well, prior to Radio India 2003 ceasing its broadcasting I was working there and I was making about $100,000 -- actually, over $100,000, and with that money I would invest it in real estate and flip properties and that’s how I made the money, and I’ve just been doing that and investing.
1896 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: So you made your money in the real estate business?
1897 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
1898 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. And how did you acquire the company? Sorry -- and you said you worked -- you worked at Radio India 2003?
1899 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
1900 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. For how long?
1901 MS. SHARON GILL: Well, on and off since I was a teenager, because my father, as you know, was operating it. So part-time during high school and eventually kind of moved my way up, and I was making logs, and answering phone calls and just handling the day-to-day business, like the day-to-day running’s of the radio station.
1902 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. And what was the most senior position you held there?
1903 MS. SHARON GILL: Just managerial.
1904 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: What was your title?
1905 MS. SHARON GILL: Operations Manager. Like just ---
1906 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Operations Manager?
1907 MS. SHARON GILL: Yeah.
1908 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Were you on the board?
1909 MS. SHARON GILL: No.
1910 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: No?
1911 MS. SHARON GILL: No.
1912 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: And did you have any ownership position at all?
1913 MS. SHARON GILL: No.
1914 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: You had no shares in the company at all?
1915 MS. SHARON GILL: No.
1916 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: And you bought the entire operation in 2015?
1917 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
1918 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: About a year and a half -- September 2015, was it?
1919 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
1920 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: And you paid $65,000 for it?
1921 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
1922 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: How could you buy a company that used to pay you over $100,000 a year as Operations Manager -- and I assume had many other employees -- for $65,000?
1923 MS. SHARON GILL: It ceased broadcasting. There was no use for the equipment. My aunt owns the building so it was easy to lease every -- like to lease the space. And in regards to the equipment, she sold it to me for $65,000. Well, there’s a price breakdown provided.
1924 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: So you purchased the -- you didn’t actually purchase the company you purchased the equipment?
1925 MS. SHARON GILL: Well, the company ceased operation and so I created a new company. It’s just the same name, Radio India Limited.
1926 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right. It’s a new company but -- I just kind of want to get into it that that company is -- okay, you created the new company in order to create what?
1927 MS. SHARON GILL: Broadcast over the internet.
1928 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right. And you purchased what type of equipment; was it like studio equipment ---
1929 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
1930 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: --- and that sort of stuff so you could create a studio so you could broadcast over the internet with the current ---
1931 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
1932 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: --- company radio
1934 MS. SHARON GILL: And should the opportunity present itself, apply for a Canadian licence.
1935 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right. Okay.
1936 MR. MATHIEU: Sir, I’ve got a list of equipment here. She bought assets. I think that was the word she was looking for.
1937 And Mr. Shakamuri ---
1938 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right. I was just trying -- that’s what I was trying to clarify.
1939 MR. MATHIEU: Ah.
1940 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: The Radio India 2003 Inc. still exists, I assume.
1941 MS. SHARON GILL: No.
1942 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: No?
1943 MR. MATHIEU: No.
1944 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: So it’s been shut down?
1945 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
1946 MR. MATHIEU: Yeah.
1947 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. So you never bought that company ---
1948 MS. SHARON GILL: No.
1949 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: You just bought ---
1950 MS. SHARON GILL: It’s the ---
1951 MR. MATHIEU: --- the assets.
1952 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: --- from the company?
1953 MS. SHARON GILL: Yeah.
1954 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay.
1955 MR. MATHIEU: Sir, if you would like, this has been given to the Commission, and we’re quite willing to give it again, some documentation from the Khalsa Credit Union, a documentation from Mr. Shakamuri.
1956 And I’m looking for this document that I’m alluding to in respect to buying the assets of the radio -- of the old Radio India.
1957 So I’m looking for these things. We’re quite willing to provide them to the Commission, if you so desire.
1958 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Sure.
1959 Okay, just to clarify again, when you purchased the assets, the equipment from Radio India 2003, who did you purchase them from? Did you purchase them from ---
1960 MS. SHARON GILL: I purchased them from my aunt, Ms. Baljit Bains.
1961 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: And she was an owner of that ---
1962 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
1963 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Of that company. Okay.
1964 Just to clarify there, so the final -- the finalized sale for that was what date? We have sort of conflicting information. Sort of August 2015 a letter of sale I think confirms that Radio India purchased the assets at the end of December. So was it August or December?
1965 MR. MATHIEU: If I can find that letter, sir, I will produce it to you. The date and everything is there. And there is my letter.
1966 So August 24th, 2015, and I’ve got the letter right here. If you wish, we can make copies and provide these things to the Commission.
1967 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Thank you.
1968 MR. MATHIEU: You’re welcome, sir.
1969 THE CHAIRPERSON: You’ll provide that to the secretary immediately after your appearance?
1970 Sorry, for the record you have to say it.
1971 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
1972 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
1973 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Thanks.
1974 Okay. So what changes -- first of all, when I looked at your -- the radioindia.ca website it says that it has 400,000 listeners worldwide and 178,000 to this station. I’m not quite sure what that means. So that seems like a pretty robust number. REDFM I think referred yesterday to a listenership of 100,000.
1975 So tell me how that operation works, because you can’t possibly have -- well, you can have 400,000 listeners worldwide, but I’m trying to get a sense of how many listeners you have locally to your online station.
1976 MR. MATHIEU: If you allow me, sir, I would like to answer that, because we had discussions about that. It’s the click on the internet. The numbers you’re getting is a yearly click on people coming to the internet. You can get a report on the amount of clicks. There is no official broadcast way to measure listenership on the internet.
1977 And an ethnic radio station I think -- I believe there’s only one in Canada that subscribes to the Numerus. So it’s not possible to really come out with let’s call them credible answers to who will listen to your station from an acceptable broadcast. In other words, BBM or Numerus is the bible of the sponsors in, you know, the agencies. So any other situation you can do will give you an idea but it doesn’t compare your station to others.
1978 So, that being said, when we’re talking about that -- and I think I know what you’re talking about where it is in the document. It’s basically that it’s the click on the internet over a year that Radio India was getting.
1979 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: So when you said on your -- when your website says you have 178,000 listeners, you have 178,000 clicks?
1980 MR. MATHIEU: Clicks.
1981 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: One hundred and seventy-eight thousand (178,000) individual -- are those individual accesses?
1982 MR. MATHIEU: I must confess myself I’m not familiar with the internet.
1983 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: I mean, if I go on it four times a day do I count four times?
1984 MR. MATHIEU: I would say --
1985 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
1986 MR. MATHIEU: --- so, yes.
1987 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay.
1988 MR. MATHIEU: I think we all agree on that one.
1989 MS. SHARON GILL: Yeah.
1990 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: So saying that there are 178,000 listeners is ---
1991 MR. MATHIEU: Divide by four and it gives you, you know, 40,000 or 45,000 or something.
1992 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: But they aren’t actually listeners?
1993 MR. MATHIEU: Well, the thing is I doubt it that you can have 45,000 people listening to one internet radio station at the same time. They all have limits, and it depends on the speed and the bandwidth. So to be honest with you, sir, I've not researched anything like that.
1994 What we're trying to do is get Radio India Ltd. on the air, so that 1,000 -- 100,000 listeners can listen at the same time.
1995 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right. But you sell advertising on that station, so you must have something that you tell people when you sell them ads.
1996 MR. MATHIEU: Well, we use the clicks, like I said. Use the clicks.
1997 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: But you say listeners; right? Do you tell them clicks or do you tell them listeners?
1998 MR. MATHIEU: Well, we tell -- we say -- I believe you say listeners. Many people do that on the internet. Anybody who's buying air time on the internet knows very well when they see numbers like that that it's mostly clicks.
1999 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. So how is the programming -- the programming you create for radioindia.ca, is it distributed elsewhere?
2000 I mean, are there other over-the-air or online entities where you have a particular program that you might sell to people? Like in the States, there might be -- if you have a particular program, is there somebody that you're able to sell that programming to?
2001 MS. SHARON GILL: No, we don't sell our programming.
2002 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. So what is the business model for radio.ca? Is it ---
2003 MR. MATHIEU: If I could mention something, Sharon. I'm sorry.
2004 When I got hired to be a consultant, at that time, there was a deal with a station, I believe, in Edmonton, CFMG FM. Somebody's programming South Asian on their sub-carrier, and we were providing -- Radio India was providing some program to these people.
2005 That contract or that agreement ceased now, so at the moment, Radio India Ltd. is limited to the internet, but we are open where they're willing and able to offer programming to any South Asian program producers or station that is willing to acquire.
2006 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right. Because I'm aware of the fact that, I mean, people will do various programming and then make it available for purchase or partnership or some other commercial arrangement with other operators aiming at a similar audience, whether it's in Los Angeles or New York or wherever and that.
2007 But you have no export of your product. Your product is contained entirely on that web site?
2008 Okay. So what's the -- the business model, then, it sustains itself entirely by advertising?
2009 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2010 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. And how's it going?
2011 MS. SHARON GILL: It's okay. It's not what we would -- like what we would be getting if we were on the airwaves, but we're surviving making -- running the costs of operation, like paying the bills and all that stuff.
2012 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: How many staff do you have?
2013 MS. SHARON GILL: Part-time. A lot of people volunteer because they worked for Radio India 2003, and because I'm applying, they want to work with me and we want to still keep our listeners that were listening to us on the airwaves. So this is our way of still providing that programming, but -- sorry. What was your question again?
2014 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: What was my question again? You lost me.
2015 How many staff do you have?
2016 MS. SHARON GILL: Right now, about five. Five.
2017 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Five?
2018 MS. SHARON GILL: Yeah.
2019 MR. MATHIEU: If you'll allow me, sir, as you know, we have automation and computers today.
2020 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Yeah.
2021 MR. MATHIEU: When Radio India ---
2022 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: I've seen radio stations that run with three, so ---
2023 MR. MATHIEU: Yes, I know. And I know of radio station that run with just one owner, but anyway.
2024 Radio India Ltd. -- Radio India 2003 Ltd. had a full staff, and it was live. And it was doing well. Unfortunately, things change and we're here today. And Ms. Gill is quite willing and able to recover, rebuild that.
2025 In the meantime, there's a lot of voice track and people come in and they volunteer, and they do voice track. And they keep the momentum.
2026 Obviously, it's never the same as being on the air and, in a way, fortunately, because to this date, internet has not replaced radio. So in that spirit, Ms. Gill is very aggressive in trying to get back on the air, get Radio India Ltd. back to snuff, like we would say, with a full team and humming along.
2027 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Sure. So what changes would your current listeners expect to see if this application was approved?
2028 MR. MATHIEU: You will allow everybody in the Greater Vancouver Surrey area, should you give us the two frequencies, to hear, have access to Radio India Ltd.'s ---
2029 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right. What I was getting at was how would the programming change.
2030 MR. MATHIEU: Well ---
2031 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: I mean, if I go on and listen, which ---
2032 MR. MATHIEU: Because we've set up ---
2033 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: --- I couldn't do probably because of my iPad, but if I go on -- if people are listening now, will the programming be the same?
2034 MR. MATHIEU: Not quite. It's going to be a lot better because then we're going to have news people. We're going to -- you know, the station is going to be more better equipped because then the revenues are going to go sky up and we're going to be able to have a staff, dedicated staff. These nice people are going to be full-time and, of course, more people will be added as it goes along given a couple of months after on air time.
2035 So there's going to be a full local service there for the South Asian people.
2036 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Sure. What impact would the regulatory requirements have on the operation?
2037 MR. MATHIEU: Well, the normal regulatory impact plus the condition of licence in this application. We're pledging certain things like languages and groups and CCD in our commitments. We're pledging that as a condition of licence.
2038 So the plan is -- to make it work, the plan is to respect those conditions of licence.
2039 Over and above that, obviously ---
2040 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right. I mean, what I was getting at more was, I mean, I understand the condition of licence, but there are -- there are more than a couple of regulatory requirements when you're functioning with a CRTC licence and ---
2041 MR. MATHIEU: I do understand that.
2042 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: --- what I was getting at was, would that be an onerous transition or do you have the internal capacity to be able to manage a transition like that?
2043 MR. MATHIEU: I am convinced and I've seen Ms. Gill work, and I'm impressed with what's going on now because there's very little, how can I say, reach with the internet as opposed to being on the air, so she manages the business, she manages to keep it up aboveboard.
2044 When she gets on the air, the plan is there. There's people there waiting at the door to come in, step in and get the programming together and provide the service.
2045 One thing I learned -- and I'm a broadcast consultant. I've been doing this for quite a while.
2046 One thing I learned -- and I'm of French origin in Quebec and I own two French station at one time. The mainstream people and the ethnic people are quite different. The lifestyle and whatever is different, so their needs in broadcasting is different.
2047 I have a gentleman in Toronto that I'm working with. When we talked to him about being automated, he said, "Mike, I don't want that. I want to be live".
2048 I said, "Yes, sir. That's a good idea. But the regulatory situation is there. You've got have a framework of having your Canadian content, this content and that thing so, at the end of the day, you get your report printed from your automation system and you can send it to CRTC, SOCAN and all these situation".
2049 So the point I'm trying to make is Radio India Ltd. plans to go live as much as humanly possible and provide a viable service, but with the automation system -- and Ms. Gill quite understands that, that she's going to be able to know where she stands via, for instance, the Canadian content on the air and all these things.
2050 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. Good.
2051 So your -- you said you plan to do 54 hours of spoken word and 33.5 hours of music every week. Is that what you're -- roughly what you're doing now online?
2052 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2053 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. And you can confirm, then, that these would be your minimum levels ---
2054 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2055 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: --- 54 and 33.5?
2056 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2057 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: And you'd be comfortable with those as conditions of licence?
2058 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2059 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: And you also indicated your intention to broadcast 100 percent ethnic programming and at least 95 percent third language.
2060 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2061 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: You're prepared to accept those as conditions of licence?
2062 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2063 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: And would you accept that a minimum 50 percent of programming each week will be in the Punjabi and Indi languages?
2064 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2065 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. So I understand how putting Radio India on the air would improve life for Radio India, but I’m unclear yet what the benefit is to people in Surrey and I guess in particular in the Punjabi and Indi South Asian communities. There are two operators serving now and I’ve lost track of how many people in the States are doing it.
2066 So how many -- how would putting you on the air -- how would it -- what would the benefit to the average citizen be? How would it make their lives better? In other words, what can you do that isn't already being done?
2067 MS. SHARON GILL: Well, I want to serve my community and other ethnic communities like mine because I understand their needs. Being of a younger generation I find that there's a lack of programming with -- like the current entities in our broadcasting which -- like that I can relate to in regards to social issues.
2068 Like I can give an example of that, I mean during my undergrad I had a friend who’s also South Asian and he was -- he’s a homosexual and he didn’t know how to tell his parents that he was gay. So he -- he was actually outed by his friends and his parents didn’t really react like in a positive way. They actually took him to the doctors and were like “Can you fix him?” And there was like a lack of awareness for his situation like within -- like the older South Asian community, and he felt like his parents couldn’t really relate to him or even understand what he was going through. So he actually -- the -- even the doctor was South Asian and he told him that “You need to change your ways and -- because they're not right”, and that’s not even ethical. So he had no other choice but to lie to his parents and tell them that he was straight.
2069 So he’s kind of underserved and I want to help those kind of people, and that was like a cause that was close to my heart and I felt for him. And I just felt like something -- that if there was talk shows regarding that we could address those issues and make people more aware. That’s just one example.
2070 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. My understanding of what you just said was that the -- issues like that aren’t being addressed ---
2071 MS. SHARON GILL: M'hm.
2072 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: --- by -- and I mean folks can -- I know they’ll reply -- but that issues like that aren’t being addressed. I mean we had an applicant yesterday that spoke of a number of issues, whether they’be 39 shootings so far this year in Surrey, whether they’d be domestic abuse or things like that, that they felt weren’t being addressed.
2073 So what I -- and this -- what I understood you to say was that there are issues of cultural transition and issues of generations caught between two cultures or more that from your point of view require a more progressive approach than the one that’s taking place currently? Is that what you were trying to tell me?
2074 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes. Mandeep would like to add on to what I’m saying.
2075 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay.
2076 MS. MANDEEP GILL: Yeah, thank you so much. Yeah, I know that the two operators they are working very excellently, jammed packed with ads. Many advertisers do sometimes say that they get less slot time, ad times, because -- like I was working before with Radio India 2003, so at times they do say ---
2077 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Excuse me, can you just speak a little slower, please?
2078 MS. MANDEEP GILL: Yeah, sure. So the two operators they're working very excellently. They are jammed pack with ads and that's something very nice, everyone should be jammed pack with ads, so I really appreciate that.
2079 You asked about the information about the programs that we will be doing. So first we’ll prefer like the positive information, the good information that will cover every age criteria, every age group, not just adults, not just seniors, but will cover the youngsters too.
2080 Like for example, suppose there's a program going on internet, so internet is a thing, it’s not just biased for some particular age group, it's for the whole age group. Youngsters are involved, adults are involved, seniors too are involved, like just some things are different, but internet is like it's a topic in which each age group is involved. So we’ll prefer doing programs in which each group is involved, each age group, positive programs, community strength is involved.
2081 Then we’ll cover many programs like -- because when a new person comes in to a new place, a person has to start from scratch, we all did. So we know what are their problems basically, like they know information regard community banks, the schools, what are the community centres up to for them, how can they help them, and so all that stuff. That is the best for the community.
2082 Thank you.
2083 MR. MATHIEU: If you allow me, please, sir, I’d like to complement that in the vein that I was talking before. If you look at the Vancouver/Surrey market and the situation with cross border programming, I think the Commission realizes by sending this call that there's a need. And the need I think we need to precise that there's one operator in this market, and that operator is doing fairly well I would like to say, but you need different voices.
2084 You need -- the South Asian people they need to be served with different voices, different opinion, different point of views. And if you license Radio India Ltd. you will achieve that because Ms. Gill will provide an alternative, a different viewpoint, different things, so that they're not stuck with like always the same opinion, they're going to have another different voice, and I think that’s what they're seeking.
2085 And those three operators in the States seem to have been doing very well because I went in depth before I took on this mandate, I worked with Mr. Shakamuri. We looked at the Radio India 2003 Ltd., they were making money. So if you're making money ---
2086 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Thanks ---
2087 MR. MATHIEU: --- from the States ---
2088 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Thanks. I'm familiar with that.
2089 MR. MATHIEU: Okay.
2090 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: I’m just trying to get a sense of where Ms. Gill was at.
2091 MR. MATHIEU: Okay.
2092 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Because I'm assuming it’s -- she’s in charge. So in terms -- go ahead.
2093 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2094 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Oh, sorry, I thought you were going -- in terms of the Advisory Committee, the -- can you just give us a little bit of detail on PAC, how that would work? And I’ll give you sort of a series of questions so you can answer them all at once and it doesn’t have to take long.
2095 Who will select the members? How will they be selected? How often will the committee meet? Who will be represented, which groups on that committee and what will be their role? And how would you measure the success of that committee?
2096 MS. SHARON GILL: Well, I would get feedback from social organizations and community groups on -- such as the Janta Sewack Society, the Khalsa Diwan Society, and the Hindu Cultural Society and the Fijian Community and -- well Radio India would -- actually in the past it informally had talks with them and that’s how we came up with our programming.
2097 They would suggest topics that they felt that needed to be addressed and we would actually do that -- we would actually continue that legacy and -- oh, and the Pakistan Community as well. We would ask them to suggest people that would help us form this committee, and we would meet whenever there would be an important issue that needed to be addressed. It doesn’t -- not like in -- not yearly or every six months, not like a set time, but whenever we’d feel that there's an issue that needs to be addressed.
2098 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: So how many people would be on that committee?
2099 MS. SHARON GILL: Well there -- one member from each community.
2100 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay, I lost track of all the communities you mentioned, is it ---
2101 MS. SHARON GILL: The Pakistan Community ---
2102 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: No, just ---
2103 MS. SHARON GILL: Oh.
2104 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: --- five, six?
2105 MS. SHARON GILL: Five.
2106 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Five?
2107 MS. SHARON GILL: Five to six.
2108 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Five.
2109 Okay. And they would not -- they would meet on an as-needed basis?
2110 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2111 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Can you give me a for instance of as needed, like would it be that their, I don't know, advertising tips? Would that be a reason they would come up? Would something come up regarding ---
2112 MS. SHARON GILL: Social issues.
2113 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Social issues?
2114 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2115 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: So take the example you gave, if that became controversial with your audience and there was discussion what would trigger -- what would happen for you to say, "I need to go speak with the advisory committee" or could the advisory committee come to you and say, "We need a meeting"?
2116 MS. SHARON GILL: Both scenarios would work, like they could approach us any time and we could ask for their help case by case, like let's say there is an issue concerning domestic violence which is an issue that's in the South Asian community, we would address the Punjabis, the Fijian community and just ask the Pakistani community and ask them what their input is, how do people feel and what topics we should address in our talk shows or what we need to do in order to address whatever issue it is that's concerning the community.
2117 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. But they could come to you and it would be -- would it be structured in a way so that they could come to you and say, "Look, I'm getting a lot of feedback from my community about what your talk show host is saying about this issue"?
2118 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2119 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: And, "We want a meeting"?
2120 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2121 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: And you will -- it will be structured in a way where you have to say yes?
2122 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2123 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay, thanks.
2124 MS. SHARON GILL: Because we focus on providing a service to the community and the needs of the community.
2125 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: You won't be able to say, "I'm too busy. Go away"?
2126 MS. SHARON GILL: No.
2127 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: "I disagree."
2128 MS. SHARON GILL: Because our focus is community.
2129 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: So speaking of talk shows, how would you -- apart from using the delay to manage inappropriate comments, what other steps do you currently use or do you plan to make sure the station would be operating within our policies regarding open line programming?
2130 MS. SHARON GILL: On call screening, the seven second delay.
2131 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: You pre-screen the call?
2132 MS. SHARON GILL: Yeah.
2133 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. And you're familiar with our ---
2134 MS. SHARON GILL: The switch.
2135 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: --- you're familiar with our policies? It's 1988-130 -- can't remember.
2136 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes, to some degree.
2137 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right. And you would obviously have to comply with those.
2138 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes. Yes.
2139 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: How do you manage it when you get -- how do you manage complaints because all media people get complaints and somebody must phone up and say, "What that person just said is outrageous. I'm angry and I want to do something about it and I want to complain". How do you manage?
2140 MS. SHARON GILL: We would -- well, they could call in, call in the office and ask who -- we actually have -- well, even myself or anyone could take -- write down these complaints and we could have a weekly panel, well, within our staff and discuss what our complaints are. We will listen to the complaint and then listen to the program that they have complaints with.
2141 We will resolve it on a priority basis and management will listen to the program if they complain.
2142 If the complaint still isn't satisfied with the advisory committee, we'll solve it with our legal team.
2143 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. Do you plan on becoming a member of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council?
2144 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2145 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. How do you ensure balance in your programming?
2146 I mean there is all kinds of different perspectives. Some are -- I mean you have articulated some tensions, I mean, between say Gen One, Gen Two, Gen Three in terms of that. You had a perspective on the issue you raised. Others might have another perspective and they would want more balance. They would say you're doing -- you're being too progressive. We need to be -- we need to preserve more traditional values and approaches to life. And they would want to have their point of view put forward in a balanced way.
2147 How do you ensure there is a balance of views on your ---
2148 MS. SHARON GILL: Well, we have -- we are open for dialogue. Like, having discussions and listening to the issues, well, we'll listen to whatever issues that they have and we'll try to address them in whatever way that we ---
2149 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: But I'm thinking of it in terms of your programming. Would you have a variety of programs that speak, some speak from one perspective and some speak from another perspective? Is that the way you are structured now?
2150 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2151 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Or I mean I understand that each talk show host generally tries to be fair.
2152 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2153 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: But each is probably distinguished by having a particular perspective because the whole point of being a talk show host is to have personality.
2154 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2155 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: You can't have a personality without having a perspective.
2156 MS. SHARON GILL: Yeah.
2157 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: So would there be a variety of those? I mean you talked about having another voice vis-à-vis the current operators. Would you have multiple voices inside your own operation?
2158 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes. It's freedom of speech. Everyone can offer their ---
2159 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Sorry?
2160 MS. SHARON GILL: It's freedom of speech. Everyone can offer their opinions.
2161 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right.
2162 MS. SHARON GILL: Yeah.
2163 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Within CRTC guidelines.
2164 MS. SHARON GILL: Within CRTC guidelines.
2165 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: All right. Thank you.
2166 So generally how did you come to decide on your format? Did you have any specific research or was it primarily your past experience with Radio India 2003?
2167 MS. SHARON GILL: It was past experience that we used to come up with the format. It was something that we felt worked and was effective and that's how we came -- that's how we used to generate revenue and a lot of people like talk shows within the South Asian community it's actually something that's very popular and something that people turn to, to gain information and be well informed.
2168 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay.
2169 Now, this is probably difficult but I did attempt to listen and due to some disconnect I wasn't able to listen online. But so can you just -- how would you describe to somebody what the sound and feel of your radio station is like?
2170 MS. SHARON GILL: At the moment?
2171 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Yeah. And what would it be like?
2172 MS. SHARON GILL: Oh, like ---
2173 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: So if it's different, you know like -- yes?
2174 MS. SHARON GILL: --- on the Internet or are you talking about ---
2175 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Well, the one -- yeah, it's the one on the Internet because I mean you don't have another one. So that was the only one I was trying to listen to, to get a sense of what the ---
2176 MS. SHARON GILL: Well, I guess it varies based on your Internet -- well, your laptop ---
2177 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Is it laidback? Is it high temp? Is it energetic? I mean is it -- it Howard Stern? Is it CBC? Is it PBS? Can you give me some sort of sense for the feel of it?
2178 MS. SHARON GILL: Well, it's all over the place depending on what type of programming -- what program you are listening to.
2179 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. So it's a mix of all those different types of approaches?
2180 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2181 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: And musically?
2182 MS. SHARON GILL: Well, we have news. We have -- well, in regards to music we play Punjabi music. We play Bollywood. Yeah, like pop culture.
2183 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right.
2184 MS. SHARON GILL: Yeah.
2185 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. I don't know a lot about Punjabi music as you might guess. But I am thinking that in any form of music there is newer music and older music and fresher music.
2186 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2187 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: I mean we have that songwriter here in terms of that. And there is music for younger people and music for older people and that sort of stuff.
2188 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2189 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: So what's your -- what's your blend in terms of that and to what extent? Because I am thinking about this in the sense of this hearing. There are many more Canadian-born and raised Punjabi artists and other ethnic communities too than there were. To what extent do they have an opportunity to participate with radio stations online or otherwise such as yours?
2190 MS. SHARON GILL: Well, Davinder handles the music aspect. I'll invite him to answer this question.
2191 MR. MANGAT: Of course.
2192 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: There are more?
2193 MR. MANGAT: Yes.
2194 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: So what does this radio station plan to do to give them a chance? I mean in previous hearings I have heard stories about young artists who leave Canada and go to England and become popular there because they don't -- they have difficulty getting on the airwaves in Canada.
2195 MS. MANDEEP GILL: Can I answer that question, please? Because when I was working with this -- before with Maninder Gill, Radio India 2003, I used to do a musical program, a Punjabi program and because I myself at times, sometimes sing, so I used to invite people, callers to come and participate. I used to keep one Punjabi cultural topic, traditional topic related to culture. And then I used to invite them, like you come up, call me and participate in this program. And there were three to four people, if I’m not wrong, if I remember correctly, there were three to four people whom I recommended to Devinder Singh Benipal because he himself is a playwright and he -- like he sing -- he writes songs for many albums, Punjabi albums. So he gave their name to those artists. So it’s a platform for youngsters, for newcomers for local singers too.
2196 MR. GILL: Note they are a singer.
2197 VICE-CHAIR MENZIES: Sorry?
2198 MR. GILL: Note they are a singer.
2199 VICE-CHAIR MENZIES: Okay. Okay. So in terms of the musical field, what sort of demographic group is it aimed at primarily or do you mix it up? I mean, are you looking for the old folks who want the --
2200 MR. BENIPAL: It’s mixed up.
2201 VICE-CHAIR MENZIES: -- best stuff from the old country?
2202 MR. BENIPAL: It’s mixed up.
2203 VICE-CHAIR MENZIES: It’s mixed up?
2204 MR. BENIPAL: Yeah.
2205 VICE-CHAIR MENZIES: So but is it mixed into -- is there like a program that’s for older folks and --
2206 MR. BENIPAL: No.
2207 VICE-CHAIR MENZIES: -- there’s a program ---
2208 MR. BENIPAL: We have a radio programs. We have airport music, older music, old school music. And our latest music --
2209 MS. SHARON GILL: Classical.
2210 MR. BENIPAL: -- classical music.
2211 VICE-CHAIR MENZIES: And but then there’s some programs that are more aimed at younger people; is that correct?
2212 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2213 MR. BENIPAL: Correct.
2214 VICE-CHAIR MENZIES: Okay. In terms of your business plan, can you help me understand a little bit the differences and the financial projections you have between the 89.3 and 91.5? 91.5 has a higher revenue total, the one that I looked at, unless we’ve got revised things now, but 89.3 had a higher percentage PBIT. What was ---
2215 MR. MATHIEU: I guess Mr. Shakamuri has the business plan. I’m surprised to see that 91.5 has a higher revenue. What I would like to say at this point in time due to all the frequency situation is the business plan is now the same, the original 89.3 is now the same for both frequencies.
2216 VICE-CHAIR MENZIES: Okay. So there’s just one business plan now for Surrey?
2217 MR. MATHIEU: Correct.
2218 VICE-CHAIR MENZIES: And sorry, so that we have the record straight, which one should we be referring to?
2219 MR. MATHIEU: The original one that was sent to the Commission on this application on 89.3 is now the business plan and the same thing for the CCD plan for both frequencies in Surrey.
2220 VICE-CHAIR MENZIES: That’s assuming we accept your March -- or your May 11th proposal?
2221 MR. MATHIEU: Yes.
2222 VICE-CHAIR MENZIES: Okay. And if we don’t the other ones apply?
2223 MR. MATHIEU: Okay. To be clear, at the moment -- the original business plan that was sent to the Commission in September 2015 with our application, the business plan on 89.3 --
2224 VICE-CHAIR MENZIES: Okay.
2225 MR. MATHIEU: -- applies to both frequencies in Surrey now, 89.3 and 91.5.
2226 VICE-CHAIR MENZIES: Okay. Thank you.
2227 Overall, your revenue forecasts, they’re kind of at the high end. They’re not as aggressive of some -- as some, obviously, but I’d kind of like to know what work you did to determine the amounts that you thought were possible. Did you -- yes, what research did you conduct in order to come to those estimates?
2228 MR. MATHIEU: Okay. We did not conduct per se. It’s really difficult to assess when you’ve got three operations that are out of the country that are not regulated in the country or nor do report any report to the country. Mr. Shakamuri and myself got together with Ms. Gill. We basically -- because, you know, Ms. Gill has been involved for around 12 years. And she knows what went on during her father’s years. And we used the revenue, yes, that Radio India 2003 Limited were getting from the States. Now there’s still some broadcasters in the States, but there’s not three anymore. I believe ---
2229 VICE-CHAIR MENZIES: Okay. So just to clarify there, Ms. Gill, you were operations manager at --
2230 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2231 VICE-CHAIR MENZIES: -- 2003? How much money was coming through there that you used to come to these estimates? You would know that as operations manager; right?
2232 MS. SHARON GILL: Well, Vijay did all the accounting.
2233 VICE-CHAIR MENZIES: But I’m asking you how much money was coming through there.
2234 MS. SHARON GILL: Off the top of my head I don’t know.
2235 VICE-CHAIR MENZIES: You were --
2236 MS. SHARON GILL: About half of ---
2237 VICE-CHAIR MENZIES: -- operations manager and you don’t know how much money was coming through?
2238 MS. SHARON GILL: Well, Vijay handled the accounts, but it was around half a million.
2239 VICE-CHAIR MENZIES: About half a million a year was coming in?
2240 MR. SHAKAMURI: And it was like -- I started doing this accounting for Radio India 2003 Limited from 2010. It was like around 1.7 in 2010, then slowly got -- looked like a decline. And in ---
2241 VICE-CHAIR MENZIES: Sorry, you’re going to have to speak up a little bit for me.
2242 MR. SHAKAMURI: Yeah, like Radio India 2003 Limited I was doing accounting from 2010 year. And in 2010 it was around 1.5 to 1.6 million revenue. And when it was like closed in 2014, it was around like 700,000 revenue.
2243 VICE-CHAIR MENZIES: So it peaked at about 1.6 million and in --
2244 MR. SHAKAMURI: Yeah.
2245 VICE-CHAIR MENZIES: -- its last year there was about 700,000 a year in revenue?
2246 MR. SHAKAMURI: That’s right.
2247 VICE-CHAIR MENZIES: Okay.
2248 So people are guessing how much is going -- it’s not going to the States anyway. I mean, it’s going through the States. So how much -- I’ll use that phrase, how much money is -- what makes you think you could get any of it back; right? I mean this is a little bit like playing Whack-a-mole; right? There’s always another one that is popping up someplace.
2249 So what makes you think that you can retrieve the revenue that is going through U.S. stations that companies like Radio India 2003 used to get somewhere between 1.6 million to 700,000 and that sort of stuff. And now that, from what we’ve heard from others, there seems to be an idea that roughly that same kind of money is still visiting the States. Why do you think you could get that money?
2250 I mean, why would people stop advertising with whoever they’re advertising with now and they would advertise with you? What’s the value proposition that you bring that -- because -- and everybody says that, has said this so far, we’re going to get that money; right? So if people could get that money I think they’d be getting it. So how are you going to get it?
2251 MS. SHARON GILL: Well, Radio India left a legacy within the South Asian community and a lot of people looked up to Radio India and had -- has good will that people trust. And a lot of our advertisers have said that they would advertise with us rather than our -- the U.S. transmitter that Radio India 2003 was transmitting from. And I believe that they still operate with someone else. Well, someone else is currently operating it. And since our -- those advertisers were looking for a service that -- or an outlet where they could advertise, so they had to still stick with 1600. But we would be repatriating those two as a Canadian licensee to Canada.
2252 MR. MATHIEU: If I could please, sir, complement that is because the U.S. stations are like a temporary fix because they were using channels that are on the high part of the band and I must say that the signal wasn’t -- and is still not very good here. We plan to make good use of FM frequencies. They may not be the best FM frequencies. They’re the only ones we have. But we’re going to be an FM stereo. And we’re going to have a much better signal because we’re going to be closer to our listeners. So that’s going to bring the listeners. If you bring the listeners, you’re going to bring the sponsors.
2253 See, the reason they work in the U.S. is there was nobody in Canada. There’s only one entity here. Only one entity. And when you’re dealing with people like that -- I dealt with some people in Montreal, Asians to say, they’re kind of upset that they have only one station because they have only one voice. So the American station leasing their air time to the Canadian producers created more voices. So the listeners went there as well and followed the sponsors. But if Radio India gets on the air tomorrow morning on 89.3 and 106.9 or be it just on 91.5, it's still going to be better than what we had in the States because we're not trying to cover the States. We're trying to cover Vancouver and Surrey. And with an FM frequency, and as you know today, people like to listen to FM because of the sound, the sound quality much better than AM.
2254 The competition here, the main station here, RED FM, who's doing a decent job, is on an FM frequency. So we can better compete that if we're on the FM.
2255 And that's where Mr. Shakamuri and myself work with these numbers and to -- because I've got experience. I used to own radio stations, and I manage a few stations in my day, so you know, the experience is there.
2256 And we're confident and -- that Ms. Gill will make this work and those revenues will be there for us. And from what I can hear now from the U.S. station, the one station stopped out, so I think the picture is there.
2257 And you would like to see, I'm sure, these cross-border things ceased. And I think if you license one or two more stations here, I think the South Asian will -- the cross-border will cease on its own and the Canadian service will work.
2258 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. I'm a little surprised, to be honest, that as an advertiser, the opportunity to be able to legitimately write off my advertising expenses with a Canadian company wouldn't be attractive as opposed to having it broadcast through the United States and feeling much more comfortable in my relationship with the authorities who manage such things because if I was spending 50 or 100,000 dollars a year in advertising, which is probably more than a lot of them spend, if it was a deduction with a Canadian licensed media, it would be an appropriate deduction, which it doesn't qualify for if it is -- goes to outside the country which, you know, a deduction is a deduction, and it's real money.
2259 I would have thought that financial incentive would have had some allure, but there you go. I guess it doesn't.
2260 MR. MATHIEU: That statement, sir, I agree with you because I think the South Asian people have a pride. And if they can work with a Canadian entity rather than a U.S., yes.
2261 But I think the problem is they didn't quite understand that they were sort of sending money to the U.S. and the Canadian operator had to pay top dollars to rent the U.S. signal, which is not going to happen now. That money is going to go to -- in our case, anyway, to Canadian talent.
2262 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. So I just want to go back to this -- the separation of ownership here, again, issue, which we started with, and then I'll -- I've got a few questions there, and then I'll let my colleagues follow up if they have any.
2263 So everybody's trying to make clear that there's no relationship with Radio India 2003 in terms of the corporate structure of this, but there are some close personal relationships, and there's past histories of employment and that sort of stuff.
2264 So what I'm looking for is some confirmation that this is a completely independent operation from Radio India 2003 Ltd. and that there are not outside parties who are not apparent to us in the structure influencing the direction and this application.
2265 How can you clarify that for me?
2266 MS. SHARON GILL: Well, to begin -- well, I'm the sole owner. And yes, Maninder Gill is my father, but now -- he's now retired and he -- well, I can't end my relationship with him. He's my father, so he'll always be there in my life, but in terms -- from like a business perspective, he's not involved at all, whatsoever, and isn't operating anything or guiding anything or doesn't have any influence or any sphere of influence on this application or ---
2267 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Do you have any partners in this? You're sole owner; right?
2268 MS. SHARON GILL: I'm sole owner, yes.
2269 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: You're the sole owner. And your aunt?
2270 MS. SHARON GILL: She's also retired.
2271 They're not involved.
2272 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: They're not involved with any other ---
2273 MS. SHARON GILL: To any degree.
2274 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: --- any other media broadcasting enterprises?
2275 MS. SHARON GILL: Not -- no. No.
2276 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: And there are no other family members connected with that?
2277 MS. SHARON GILL: No. No.
2278 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay.
2279 MR. MATHIEU: If you allow me, sir, I was hired on my birthday last year by Ms. Sharon Gill. My dealings are with her.
2280 I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Gill once, but honestly, I'm working with Ms. Sharon Gill.
2281 Mr. Shakamuri and myself, we had meetings with Ms. Gill to the business plan and the CCD and all these things, but all the things I did in this application, I did with Ms. Gill. And I can -- I'm satisfied myself she's going to run that radio station herself.
2282 And she wants to have some dealings with me as a consultant with experience, to which I'm kind of honoured.
2283 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. So how do we know that these parties don't un-retire if you get a licence and decide to buy back in?
2284 What sort of confirmation or undertakings could you give us that would assure us that the structure you were proposing would be -- I mean, obviously, if there's an ownership structure change, you would have to make an application to the CRTC in terms of that you have anything that contemplates that.
2285 And I'll put it more formally. So can you confirm that Radio India Ltd. and the service proposed is not and would not be related in any way to any persons or entities broadcasting in Canada without a licence or a valid exemption?
2286 MS. SHARON GILL: I can sign a document to that effect.
2287 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: I'm not sure if we'd require that, but -- I don't believe so. But you can affirm ---
2288 MS. SHARON GILL: Maybe a condition of licence to say that ownership -- no one can buy into it and it would just be solely owned by me.
2289 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. Thank you.
2290 So I had one other question. When you purchased the assets of Radio India 2003, at that time, I think it's August 2015, we're talking about -- if I have the date right. Yes.
2291 MS. SHARON GILL: August 24th.
2292 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: August 24th. Was it still broadcasting then?
2293 MS. SHARON GILL: On the air, like through the ---
2294 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Yeah.
2295 MS. SHARON GILL: --- U.S. transmitter? No.
2296 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: No. It had stopped by then.
2297 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2298 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. Thanks.
2299 So if this application or these applications are unsuccessful, what would be the next step for your company?
2300 MS. SHARON GILL: I would still continue to operate over the internet until another viable opportunity presented itself.
2301 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. Thank you. Those are my questions.
2302 THE CHAIRPERSON: I just wanted to do a few follow-up questions concerning your relationship at the time at first, as I take it, as an employee of Radio India 2003. Is that correct?
2303 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2304 THE CHAIRPERSON: So when did you start -- you said earlier that you were a teenager, and I guess you were doing it part-time?
2305 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2306 THE CHAIRPERSON: When was this?
2307 MS. SHARON GILL: Back in like 2005.
2308 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. In 2005, how many hours per week would you be involved in ---
2309 MS. SHARON GILL: I didn't really measure my hours or -- I wasn't paid on an hourly basis because it was a family business. I would just go there whenever I was free or had down time.
2310 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you were studying at the time as well?
2311 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2312 THE CHAIRPERSON: What were you studying?
2313 MS. SHARON GILL: I was in high school.
2314 THE CHAIRPERSON: Just in high school.
2315 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2316 THE CHAIRPERSON: And after high school, did you continue to go study?
2317 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2318 THE CHAIRPERSON: In which area?
2319 MS. SHARON GILL: Political science.
2320 THE CHAIRPERSON: Political science.
2321 And during your studies in political science, I guess it was in the area, and you continued to work as a volunteer in the radio station?
2322 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2323 THE CHAIRPERSON: Volunteer, but you were paid.
2324 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2325 THE CHAIRPERSON: But on an hourly basis or on a ---
2326 MS. SHARON GILL: A monthly.
2327 THE CHAIRPERSON: Monthly.
2328 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2329 THE CHAIRPERSON: And then at one point, you became the operation manager. When was this?
2330 MS. SHARON GILL: This is a term that I just loosely use to kind of define my -- well, I didn't really have a specific role. I was -- it was miscellaneous. I was all over the place, but it was ---
2331 THE CHAIRPERSON: So tell me, what were you doing?
2332 MS. SHARON GILL: Well, I was -- I would work the desk, I would ---
2333 THE CHAIRPERSON: And I'll tell you why it's important, is because you're asking us for a licence and you're the sole operator, in your view.
2334 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2335 THE CHAIRPERSON: And we want to know if you're able to run a radio station on your own ---
2336 MS. SHARON GILL: Okay.
2337 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- with the help of people you're hiring.
2338 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2339 THE CHAIRPERSON: So tell us what you were doing at the time.
2340 MS. SHARON GILL: Well, to begin with, first, I started off as answering phone calls or helping with live on location, kind of like -- it was just -- it was all over the place.
2341 And I would do invoices and meet with clients and ---
2342 THE CHAIRPERSON: What kind of clients?
2343 MS. SHARON GILL: Advertisers.
2344 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sorry?
2345 MS. SHARON GILL: Advertisers.
2346 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you were -- were you doing actual sale of advertising?
2347 MS. SHARON GILL: Not commission based, but I would talk to them and kind of explain what, like, our packages were and they obviously varied from time to time, and our rates were varied from time to time as well.
2348 THE CHAIRPERSON: Were you involved in business planning?
2349 MS. SHARON GILL: Well, not really, no.
2350 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. So that may explain earlier when you were unable to provide any details about the revenues.
2351 MS. SHARON GILL: That's because our accountant used to deal with that, so ---
2352 THE CHAIRPERSON: Accountants are agents. Business owners know what's happening in their books.
2353 MS. SHARON GILL: I wasn't the business owner.
2354 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's right. Right? And so you were far and distant from the actual operation. So calling yourself an operation manager may have been an overstatement. Would you agree with that?
2355 MS. SHARON GILL: Not -- no.
2356 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, what you've described so far sounded to me like a little bit of back office and some support, some telephone work, some filing, some outreach, but a far cry from actually operating a radio station.
2357 MS. SHARON GILL: But I was observing everything that was done and I was there, like, informally.
2358 THE CHAIRPERSON: I can observe a surgeon. It doesn't make me a surgeon.
2359 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes, I agree, but it's still -- I'm still aware of how everything works and what to do and what works and what doesn't because it was a family business and I -- yes, I wasn't involved in the business plans or anything, but I know what works and what -- by trial and error what my father was doing and what he wasn't doing, so I can apply his experience that I've also learnt from him. And he's influenced me in how to deal with people, and I would apply to that my own business should you grant me a licence.
2360 THE CHAIRPERSON: But you didn't study business. You studied political science. So your only knowledge of business comes from observing your family.
2361 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes, but you don't have to study business to be a businessperson.
2362 THE CHAIRPERSON: Were you involved with any other businesses with your family or your father, specifically, other than the radio station?
2363 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes. I build homes with my brother, and my father also helps out in regards to managing the properties and whatnot.
2364 THE CHAIRPERSON: So is this what you were saying earlier about being involved in real estate?
2365 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2366 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you're not a real estate agent. You were doing construction, investing in properties and reselling them.
2367 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2368 THE CHAIRPERSON: Residential or commercial?
2369 MS. SHARON GILL: Residential.
2370 THE CHAIRPERSON: And were you involved personally in purchasing the properties?
2371 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2372 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you were financing them from your money?
2373 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes. And I can provide you with ---
2374 THE CHAIRPERSON: How did you finance the first property? How much money was involved in the first purchase?
2375 MS. SHARON GILL: It was a down payment. I flipped it.
2376 THE CHAIRPERSON: How much involved?
2377 MS. SHARON GILL: About like around 40,000.
2378 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you purchased a $40,000 property and ---
2379 MS. SHARON GILL: No, that was the down payment.
2380 THE CHAIRPERSON: The down payment.
2381 MS. SHARON GILL: Yeah, along with my ---
2382 THE CHAIRPERSON: What was the total -- but in the end, if you couldn't flip it, you had to -- what was the value, the wholesale value, the complete value of the property?
2383 MS. SHARON GILL: Well, I was just a part owner, and ---
2384 THE CHAIRPERSON: With whom?
2385 MS. SHARON GILL: With my brother.
2386 THE CHAIRPERSON: With your brother.
2387 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2388 THE CHAIRPERSON: And what was your brother's financing? Where did that come from?
2389 MS. SHARON GILL: He was also in construction, and he's a real estate agent.
2390 THE CHAIRPERSON: He's a real estate agent.
2391 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2392 THE CHAIRPERSON: So the money being put into these flip activities ---
2393 MS. SHARON GILL: He would actually decide what we were investing in. I was just giving him money that I was making.
2394 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you ---
2395 MS. SHARON GILL: And he would make the investments for me.
2396 THE CHAIRPERSON: He would do the investment for you.
2397 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2398 THE CHAIRPERSON: Your brother.
2399 And in that circumstance, you were putting down a down payment, so you weren't actually requiring the cash, but you were at risk for a larger amount of money. What were the properties worth?
2400 MS. SHARON GILL: Around -- roughly around 400,000.
2401 THE CHAIRPERSON: Four hundred thousand (400,000).
2402 And on a typical flip, how much would you be able to net? Because I take it you -- from what I understand is you would have had to invest in ---
2403 MS. SHARON GILL: Well, it depends.
2404 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- the upgrade. And so what would you net from that flip operation, you and your brother?
2405 MS. SHARON GILL: Around 35,000.
2406 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you'd take a $40,000 risk and come out of it with 35,000.
2407 MS. SHARON GILL: No, a total of 75.
2408 THE CHAIRPERSON: For your total ---
2409 MS. SHARON GILL: Well, with -- yeah. That would -- well, we would divide it, the profit.
2410 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. And in every case, you were able to have a positive turnaround of your flips?
2411 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
2412 THE CHAIRPERSON: And how many did you do of these?
2413 MS. SHARON GILL: Many. I don't really have an exact number. I can go -- I can provide you with that information.
2414 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, it seems to me that for somebody who was involved in the business of flipping, you didn't seem to know -- you don't know seem to know a lot about the financing ---
2415 MS. SHARON GILL: Well, my brother was making ---
2416 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- associated with it, and yet you're saying to us that it's through these real estate activities that you were able to -- you're able to finance the operation ongoing of these undertakings that you're ---
2417 MS. SHARON GILL: Well, I can provide you with my income statements, if that's something that you need.
2418 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's -- the point is that as we hear you in an oral hearing, you have to persuade us that you're the businesswoman. And I have no problem -- there's very bright businesswomen who -- and young businesswomen there. But I put it to you that what I’m hearing today in your testimony, I'm not persuaded you were actually the directing mind behind businesses in the past, and whether it's the flip or this, and that, on top of that, I'm not persuaded you were able to liberate enough cash to justify your answers earlier that you actually are the financial arm behind this business.
2419 Because it's one thing, Ms. Gill, to be owners of a company. It's another thing to be de facto owner of the company.
2420 So where does the money come from?
2421 MS. SHARON GILL: It comes from me. I can provide ---
2422 THE CHAIRPERSON: Entirely from you.
2423 MS. SHARON GILL: Entirely from me, and I can provide you ---
2424 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you're never -- you don't have any written or unwritten financial arrangement with your father.
2425 MS. SHARON GILL: No.
2426 THE CHAIRPERSON: So there is never money that was invested in your financial past association in real estate that came from your parents.
2427 MS. SHARON GILL: No.
2428 THE CHAIRPERSON: So this money that you invested, the 40,000, was just miraculously appearing.
2429 MS. SHARON GILL: No, it was coming from my income -- well, my job at the radio station, my income that I would make. I would invest it. And my ---
2430 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And how much money were you making when you were working part-time as a student at the radio station on a monthly basis?
2431 MS. SHARON GILL: About 3,000 to 4,000.
2432 THE CHAIRPERSON: Per month.
2433 MS. SHARON GILL: Per month, yes.
2434 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's well paid, indeed.
2435 MS. SHARON GILL: Well, my dad was the owner, so.
2436 THE CHAIRPERSON: Exactly. That's the point, isn't it, that you're being paid over the level that a normal third party would have received in that circumstance, so it wasn't actually employment. It was other consideration.
2437 MS. SHARON GILL: No, it was employment because I have financial statements to back that up.
2438 THE CHAIRPERSON: On a completely different subject -- and by the way, it's up to you to persuade us that there is no previous links. The burden's on you, not on us.
2439 We've been asking other parties, one of the potential in this hearing is, as you know, some of the applications are not mutually exclusive. We could license more than one in the various financial hypotheticals coming out of this.
2440 What impact would licensing additional radio services be on your business plan?
2441 MS. SHARON GILL: There wouldn't be that big of an impact.
2442 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, what if we licensed, in addition to the incumbents that are already in the market, an additional two or perhaps three or one additional ---
2443 MS. SHARON GILL: Well, you can license six radio stations if you want, but because there is three -- what do they call this?
2444 Yeah, three lower power broadcasters and two across border, and if they can produce revenue then why can't Canadian licenses do that and make a profit?
2445 THE CHAIRPERSON: So if there were legal operations, licensed legal operations licensed by the CRTC and additional ones that are in the market ---
2446 MS. GILL: Yes.
2447 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- what impact would it have on your business plan?
2448 MS. GILL: Nothing because ---
2449 THE CHAIRPERSON: Are advertising revenues that infinite in this market?
2450 MS. GILL: Yes, the South Asian community is very wealthy. It's booming. People -- like this is the one -- well, this is the medium that they use to advertise to get their name out there because everyone relies on radio stations and broadcasting to get their name out there, to advertise, to sell whatever that they -- or send their message out and people are advertising and they are spending a lot of money.
2451 And we have 200 businesses that are willing to advertise with us the moment we get licensed and they have also provided us support letters.
2452 THE CHAIRPERSON: But they may very well also want to do business with your competitors or future competitors?
2453 MS. GILL: No. Well, they can but they will be advertising with us because they told us so and they have done so in the past. They were loyal to Radio India 2003 and they had been advertising for 10-plus years, and they are willing to do that.
2454 THE CHAIRPERSON: And these are Canadian companies?
2455 MS. GILL: These are Canadian companies; yes.
2456 THE CHAIRPERSON: That were investing in advertising in an offshore station?
2457 MS. GILL: Yes.
2458 THE CHAIRPERSON: And deducting those amounts from their Canadian income tax illegally?
2459 MS. GILL: I don't know how they were deducting it or how they were going about that but they were advertising.
2460 MR. SHAKAMURI: I can answer that question. Actually they were paying to a Canadian corporation which is Radio India 2003 Ltd.
2461 THE CHAIRPERSON: The deductibility of advertising expenses by advertisers on a radio station is only deductible on Canada pursuant to section 19 of the Income Tax Act if it is paid to a licensed Canadian broadcaster. So those advertisers that were providing money to a foreign entity were not allowed to deduct those amounts from their income tax; those advertisers.
2462 I'm not talking about 2003 here. I'm talking about the clients of 2003.
2463 MR. SHAKAMURI: Okay, but clients are paying to a Canadian company which is Radio India 2003 Ltd. That's not a foreign entity.
2464 THE CHAIRPERSON: It did not own a broadcasting licence within section 19 ---
2465 MR. SHAKAMURI: Okay.
2466 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- of the Broadcasting Act. Would you agree with that?
2467 MR. SHAKAMURI: Yes.
2468 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm glad because we did have a mandatory order hearing.
2469 I'll pass it to Legal. I believe Legal has some questions for you.
2470 MS. FISHER: Just a couple of follow-up questions on some questioning that Commissioner Menzies had had.
2471 He had asked you to clarify your CCD proposals and specifically your proposals under a scenario where we approved your May 11th request. So I just wanted to clarify with you, your proposals, under a scenario where we would deny your May 11th request; specifically, your proposal regarding the amounts under a scenario where we would approve both a Surrey and a Vancouver frequency.
2472 So to start with, if we were to deny your May 11th request to change your frequency then can you just confirm that your existing proposal that the Commission would consider would be for 89.3 at $399 and 91.5 at $801?
2473 MR. MATHIEU: Actually, you have to understand that our proposal, if we want to be honest with everybody, we had bona fide the 91.5 because that's where we were moving.
2474 So you seem to be asking us now to downgrade it. If we have to do it, we will do it, but we are quite prepared to keep our contribution to Canadian content because we feel it's important that we re-evaluated our business plan with the option of going on 91.5 because that's where we thought we would have had to go.
2475 If you look at the power level, those frequencies are almost the same. But, honestly, the reason why we want to make 89.3 our alternate frequency and it was in the beginning, is that we know that we can improve it. At least there is a very good chance that we can improve it.
2476 So we are quite willing to stay with our total plan but if, for legal reasons, because you had awarded us to change, then we will keep it that way if we have to do that.
2477 MS. FISHER: Yes.
2478 MR. MATHIEU: But we are quite prepared to keep our commitments.
2479 MS. FISHER: I understand what you would like to do.
2480 MR. MATHIEU: It's hard to say to Canadian talent, we're giving you $400,000, and now because of a frequency thing we are taking it out of your hands. We want to have a good relationship and we do want to develop Canadian talent. It is important.
2481 I know there is questions about Ms. Gill's thing to run a radio station. I would like to have the opportunity later on but ---
2482 THE CHAIRPERSON: We didn't ask that question. We are just trying to clarify ---
2483 MR. MATHIEU: Yes.
2484 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- what you're actually committing to.
2485 MR. MATHIEU: Yes.
2486 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's the only question right here.
2487 MR. MATHIEU: Right now ---
2488 THE CHAIRPERSON: And it's not us directing or one way. We just want to have your answer in those two instances.
2489 MR. MATHIEU: Well, then our answer is simple. If you reject our May we are prepared to accept that.
2490 MS. FRASER: Okay. And then in terms of if we were to approve both the frequency in Surrey and Vancouver, I just want to clarify how that breakdown is made. So you have proposed under the latest proposal that was 1.2 million for 91.5 and 1 million for 89.3.
2491 Is that an amount that is for the combined Surrey and Vancouver, or would it be the 1.2 or 1 plus the 399 for Vancouver?
2493 MR. MATHIEU: In real life we had five scenarios. So will you please understand I can't memorize them?
2494 But if you wish, give me a few minutes after this intervention and I am going to get the documents out and make copies and give them to your secretary. But it's all there. We can -- we will ---
2495 MS. FISHER: To provide ---
2496 MR. MATHIEU: Yes.
2497 MS. FISHER: Just I need a clear breakdown of which station the money would be allocated to in terms of a COL. So would the 1.2 be solely from a Surrey station or would it be 801 and 399?
2498 MR. MATHIEU: Yes. The way I understand ---
2499 MS. FISHER: How would it be split between the two?
2500 MR. MATHIEU: Okay. The way I understand by our presentation here, okay, it's clear that the 1.2 million if you give us -- okay, here if you give us -- the Commission will note that you give us Surrey and Vancouver it's 1.2 million, over and above.
2501 So if you give us only Surrey it's 800, I believe. Where did I go? Pardon?
2502 No, okay. Sorry, thank you.
2503 So if you give us only -- I just want to make sure. I'm sorry, but I just want to make sure.
2504 Only for Surrey it would be $801,000 over and above; if it's only Surrey.
2505 MS. FISHER: Okay.
2506 MR. MATHIEU: If you give us both, it goes up to $1.2 million.
2507 MS. FISHER: And is the 1.2 a COL for Surrey alone or is that 1.2 split over the Surrey and the Vancouver?
2508 MR. MATHIEU: Well, the way we are presenting it to the Commission so that we thought that it would be easier for you to assess is together. When we do the accounting, Mr. Shakamuri will do an accounting for Vancouver and then an accounting for Surrey.
2509 So we could say, okay, fine; we'll divide it and we need to have the amount that we are going to do only in Surrey. It's 801,000 and it would be 399,000 for Vancouver.
2510 MS. FISHER: But this -- what I am trying to get at, the COL is imposed on the specific station.
2511 MR. MATHIEU: Yes.
2512 MS. FISHER: It's not imposed on the combined stations.
2513 MR. MATHIEU: Yes. Okay.
2514 MS. FISHER: So I need to know what COL would be imposed on Surrey and what COL would be imposed on ---
2515 MR. MATHIEU: Okay, 801,000 over and above in Surrey.
2516 MS. FISHER: Okay.
2517 MR. MATHIEU: And 399 -- and I'm sure -- can we make it 400,000 ---
2518 MS. GILL: Sure.
2519 MR. MATHIEU: --- 400,000 for -- let's make it an even number. You know, we don't have a problem with that.
2520 MS. FISHER: Okay, thank you for that.
2521 My next question is can you explain why the Commission shouldn't consider that your proposal to amend your CCD constitutes an attempt to improve your application, recognizing that this is a competitive hearing and parties should not be attempting to improve their applications at this stage?
2522 MR. MATHIEU: We were not attempting to do that. The unforeseen thing of the frequency was not something that we could have prevented or we were expecting. The only reason why we decided to keep our commitment on both frequencies is only because we honestly feel like I just said that it's important for Canadian talent and we felt that it was a good thing to do.
2523 Should the Commission feel otherwise, then you have our -- and I can provide them with you again, our tables of each frequency. We are quite prepared to go by that.
2524 MS. FISHER: Okay, thank you. I’m just trying to ---
2525 MR. MATHIEU: No, no, I understand.
2526 MS. FISHER: --- create the record on which ---
2527 MR. MATHIEU: Sure.
2528 MS. FISHER: --- the Commission is considering your application just to ---
2529 MR. MATHIEU: I must say -- and we apologize, it creates a chaos in this situation. I’ve never prepared an application like that, it’s just we had two frequencies because the Commission now -- and rightfully so -- when you have a competitive hearing you try to have an alternate frequency for your applicant, we did that.
2530 Unfortunately, we could not find an alternate frequency in Vancouver, okay. So we filed five different scenarios, they're all in there. Anything you need I will dig it up, we’ll make copies and we’ll -- we’ll give them to you by the end of this day.
2531 MS. FISHER: Okay, thank you.
2532 Those are my questions, Mr. Chair.
2533 MR. MATHIEU: You’re welcome.
2534 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Those are all our questions.
2535 So we’re adjourned till 11:05. Thank you.
--- Upon recessing at 10:52 a.m.
--- Upon resuming at 11:12 a.m.
2536 LE PRÉSIDENT: À l’ordre, s’il vous plaît. Order, please.
2537 Madame la Secrétaire.
2538 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
2539 Before we begin I have one announcement. The Commission received a procedural request from South Asian Broadcasting Corporation Inc. dated May 16, 2016 concerning letters filed by Radio India Ltd. on May 11th, 2016 and Akash Broadcasting May 12th, 2016 regarding their preferred frequency.
2540 In respect of the request for further information, legal counsel has confirmed that all documents received from Radio India and Akash in respect of their request to change their preferred frequency back to 89.3 Megahertz, as well as the technical approvals from the Department of Industry, have been in place on the public record.
2541 The Commission also clearly laid out the process for addressing the requests by Radio India and Akash at the outset of this hearing. As a result, the Commission considers that no further process is required. As indicated, parties will have an opportunity to comment on these requests as part of Phase II or III as appropriate.
2542 And now we will process with Item 6 on the agenda, which is an application by Akash Broadcasting Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate an ethnic commercial FM specialty radio station in Surrey. Please introduce yourself and your colleagues and you will then have 20 minutes for your presentation.
2543 Thank you.
2544 MS. MANN: Good day, Chairman, Commissioners and CRTC staff. I am Herkiranjeet Kaur Mann the President of Akash Broadcasting. I am involved in the Surrey community as a business owner, entrepreneur, resident and parent. My many connections with businesses here in Surrey encourage and give me the support to give back to our community via the Connect Surrey FM concept.
2545 It is my great pleasure to be here today with my colleagues from Akash Broadcasting and our associates. I would like to introduce the members of our team. Starting from my far right, Ms. Roop Rai, a well-known ethnic broadcaster and community organizer. Next to her, Ms. Simrat Cheema, a broadcaster with extensive experience focused on social issues. Mr. Rahul Chopra, our financial director, his keen interest -- his keen understanding of commerce in this community is the key to our projections and revenue plans.
2546 On my left, Ms. Nikki Bachu who has helped fashion our Canadian Content Development initiatives. To her left, Mr. Sanjay Gulabani, our resident fusion music expert will select and program the music that best reflects the growing ethnic music scene in Surrey. Ms. Terri Downton, Chair of Surrey Outdoor Sports Advisory Committee and a member of our advisory Board.
2547 On my left in the back, Mr. Brian Owen, CEO of ENRG Research Group. Next to him, Mr. Baldeep Singh Jhand, a seasoned broadcast journalist in Surrey and area. Mr. Andrew Forsyth, our broadcast consultant. Mr. Jagtaran Singh, our legal counsel and associate at McCarthy Tetrault. And Mr. Kerry Pelser, our consulting engineer from D.E.M. Allen and Associates.
2548 With that, I will turn the presentation over to my business partner and Surrey Connect FM Program Manager, Tejinder Singh Saini, who has been living and breathing this project for over four years now. He will be quarterbacking our appearance and presentation today.
2549 MR. SAINI: Thank you, Ms. Mann.
2550 Akash Broadcasting is pleased to have the opportunity to present our vision of Surrey Connect FM to the Commission. We last had an occasion to do that thing in 2014, and many things have changed over the past year while some are constant.
2551 The need for an alternate ethnic service for Surrey is greater than ever, not only as witnessed by our research, but also from our day-to-day contact with fellow Surreyites. Radio listeners feel it is time to invest in an alternate to the incumbent service. Diversity is after all what this community is all about. One English and one ethnic station do not offer the growing City of Surrey a sufficiently wide choice.
2552 It is the vision we have for Surrey Connect FM that we would like to present and hope to discuss with you today.
2553 Akash brings diversity of ownership and news voices and a commitment to socially progressive programming; local ownership where the principals and program facilitators are well-known and are respected members of the community; a strong business plan built upon pent-up demand for a locally owned and operated station licensed to serve Surrey; a spoken word commitment that addresses the moods, needs and desires of Surrey through news and information, interactive talk segments and dramas to capture the spirit of the community; a commitment to cover local amateur sports, a frequently overlooked aspect of both social and physical well-being; a substantial Canadian Content Development package involved at the grass root level with active involvement based on first-hand experience; an Advisory Committee that will have real input to management and the ownership group; an up-to-date research study which guides us in both understanding and perception of the Surrey community and implementing programming that responds; a track record of providing a leading edge internet-based radio and social media contact with Surrey, British Columbia, Canada and beyond.
2554 We have so many exciting programs and projects to implement if granted this licence, it is difficult to know where to start. I can tell you as a person who has made my living immersed in media, arts and music, there is one thing that I am excited about and that is Surrey Connect FM Spoken Word proposal.
2555 Ms. Roop Rai will be in charge of these programs ensuring the objectives of the Broadcasting Act and the standards of the Radio Regulations will be upheld.
2556 MS. RAI: With over 11 hours of locally produced news programming during the week, Surrey Connect FM will also reach out to Surrey's South Asian communities with talk programming during the morning and the afternoon. These programs will engage listeners with balanced content in programs like My Family My Home, Voice and Health is Best.
2557 On weekends, we connect more of Surrey's communities, adding programming in nine languages: Dutch, German, Spanish, Arabic, Filipino, Korean, Tamil, Telugu and Sinhalese. These Weekend Connect programs will provide a link for these underserved communities.
2558 Ms. Simrat Cheema has years of broadcasting experience and brings that asset to Surrey’s Connect FM's Youth programming and also will tackle the challenging programming on Women's Issues.
2559 MS. CHEEMA: While we are witnessing an active approach to gender parity at all levels of government and in daily life, diverse areas like Surrey can be steeped in old traditions making them slower to accept this reality.
2560 Domestic responsibilities, cultural biases and paternalistic attitudes are difficult obstacles that all women face to one degree or another. These barriers are even more overwhelming for new immigrants who must also deal with linguistic, geographic and environmental hurdles. Our plan is to help society in Surrey to adapt and become even more inclusive through socially progressive programming devoted to these topics and more.
2561 MR. GULABANI: Music is central to all cultures and this is certainly the case in Surrey. Ethnic musical diversity via Surrey radio is a difficult goal given the limitations of music that can be played on just one incumbent station. Surrey Connect FM intends to add to the amount of local independent music exposed in the market.
2562 Our arm's length relationship with Surrey artists allows us to draw music from a larger pool of talent. We are unencumbered by any confines set by vertical integration. We will play new music on merit, not contractual obligation.
2563 The depth of talent is not limited to just performers but also composers and producers.
2564 The evening Souled Out show will feature Fusion music from producers and artists from all the communities that make up our Surrey.
2565 While speaking of music, we are very proud of our proposals to help grow and nurture emerging Canadian artists and content providers. Ms. Nikki Bachu will speak about our CCD initiatives.
2566 MS. BACHU: Canadian content development initiatives are an important part of Surrey Connect FM’s plan to invest in the support, promotion, training and development of Surrey’s musical and spoken word talent, including journalists. Surrey Connect FM’s basic CCD contributions, as well as over and above contributions totaling 700,000 over 7 years will be directed to 10 eligible initiatives.
2567 These include five scholarships and training opportunities benefitting students of music and journalism, four funding initiatives for the production and promotion of Canadian local music and spoken word artists, and support for the audio related portion of the NAAD Festival, and important musical and performing art festivals that play a key role in developing of local area talent.
2568 These initiatives are to be undertaken in partnership with three local Surrey institutions: Kwantlen Polytechnic University, the NAAD Foundation and the Surrey India Arts Club, a non-for-profit local institution. Since 1975 it has promoted Indian art forums to Canadian of all ages with a special focus on Bhangra dancing and singing across many different communities.
2569 MR. CHOPRA: These are all ambitious commitments, whether it is our spoken word and music programming or our CCD proposal. They all require resilient financial support system.
2570 As a certified professional accountant in private practice here in Surrey, I work with dozens of our community’s small businesses daily. It is these businesses that will drive the revenue for Surrey Connect FM. The present compliant radio market is typically off limits to many businesses that could and would profit from advertising their goods and services to Surrey consumers.
2571 The reason is simple. There’s limited amount of advertising inventory available on the incumbent ethnic station. Presently, potential radio advertisers are shut out by the situation whereby radio availability is limited by long-term commitments from a select group of businesses whose analyzed contracts give them frequent long-term placement at preferred rates.
2572 This latent demand for commercial air time has given rise to and fuels the success of the Canadian targeted cross-border stations, and most recently, the non-compliant low power FM operators.
2573 As the Commission noted in its call for these applications, it is of the view that the existence of these cross-border stations indicates that there’s a demand in the market for additional ethnic radio programming services. Upon restitution of compliant broadcasting in the Lower Mainland, the advertising dollars will flow back to the regulated market.
2574 We submit that listening Surrey Connect FM -- licensing Surrey Connect FM, a new, locally based operator with close ties to the community and with a vision to benefit the economic, cultural and social aspects of Surrey would repatriate revenue to the market.
2575 I’m sure, Commissioners, you have noted our proposal -- proposed projections demonstrate tight, but by the end of the term, manageable operating margins. In designing the situation -- in designing the station it was paramount that it benefits the community, particularly in terms of support for Canadian content development. To ensure we meet the needs of the community in our mandate to serve we have instituted a community advisory panel. Ms. Terri Downton is one of the members.
2576 MS. DOWNTON: The purpose of this advisory board is to create a mechanism by which Surrey Connect FM and its licencee, Akash Broadcasting, will further enhance its ability to fulfil its responsibility to serve and mirror its local community and to reflect local issues and concerns during the term of its licence. This process will operate through an active, involved and engaged group of local citizens that play a meaningful role in facilitating communication between Surrey Connect FM’s and their respective local communities to give ongoing feedback on Surrey Connect FM’s positioning and programming.
2577 Within Surrey there are two unique attributes. Firstly, a representative of the advisory board will sit on the Akash Broadcasting board of directors. Secondly, young advisors will make up a third of the board membership and will represent youth from the various ethnic minority groups addressed by Surrey Connect FM’s programming. Of the remaining members, at least two shall represent members of Surrey amateur sports community, and the remainder shall represent ethnic minority groups addressed by Surrey Connect’s programming.
2578 MR. SAINI: Mr. Chairman, at this point, we would like to address our choice of frequency. We understand that this may be a point of confusion and, as such, would like to provide a very brief history in this matter for the sake of clarity.
2579 The Commission will recall that in our original application, Akash has selected 89.3 FM as its primary frequency and 91.5 FM as its secondary frequency. Both frequencies were filed with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.
2580 In early March 2016, Akash received correspondence from ISED which noted that there were some technical issues that need to be addressed with respect to 89.3 FM with regard to cross-border interference. As a result, on March 21st, 2016, Akash filed a revised application making 91.5 FM its primary frequency and 89.3 FM with power reduced to 200 watt became the second choice while we continued to address the issues raised by ISED. We are pleased to report that on May 9th, 2016, ISED confirmed approval of original technical plan for 89.3 FM at 1,000 watts after Akash Broadcast had invested a significant resources to negotiate a resolution to the issues addressed.
2581 Akash is pleased that our efforts have come to fulfillment with ISED, Western Washington University and FCC agreeing to 1,000 ERP parameters proposed in our application for 89.3 FM in Surrey.
2582 Given these developments, Akash Broadcasting wishes to revert to its original application where we have proposed the use of 89.3 FM as our first choice and 91.5 FM as our alternate.
2583 As a result of collaborative discussion, 89.3 FM at 1,000 watt is affirmed as a viable Canadian signal with a usable contour that can serve Surrey. By definition, 89.3 FM is considered neutrally exclusive with 89.1 FM. But 89.3 FM will provide a greater coverage, thus benefitting a large segment of Canadian population and will be the better use of spectrum.
2584 The use of the ultra-red frequency 91.5 FM would impact our business plan and the delay -- and delay our ability to break even on year-to-year basis because this frequency covers a smaller footprint. Notwithstanding the smaller footprint, we have estimated the overall likely negative impact on the Surrey Connect model at approximately 10 percent. We are advised that an alternate antennae location on the one noted in our application is possible and might provide a larger coverage. In both cases, by providing a complementary service to the Surrey community, either 89.3 or 91.5 would be the best use of either FM frequency.
2585 If there are any questions, Kerri Pelser from D.E.M. Allen and Associate is on our panel to respond to these points.
2586 Over and above FM broadcasting that we are anxious to begin, we have attained a greater level of comfort and experience communicating with our community and far beyond where our Internet steam and full complement of social media platforms.
2587 In conclusion, we believe our application fulfills the criteria for licensing as prescribed by the Commission. Akash is a new broadcaster with fresh ideas, respect for regulatory process and a desire to expand our track record of socially progressive service to Surrey.
2588 We have submitted a quality application, a solid business plan that will connect 21 different cultural groups through 14 languages, over 50 hours of locally produced spoken word programming over and above minimum requirements for Canadian content, over 700,000 in Canadian content development initiative, an advisory board that will have a seat at the company’s board of director, repatriate millions of advisory -- advertisement dollars and add to the musical diversity of the market.
2589 Licensing Akash Broadcasting will benefit not only listeners, but also the economic condition of the market.
2590 Our impact on the market would be positive, and a benefit to the Canadian system.
2591 MS. KAUR MANN: Mr. Chairman, licensing Akash Broadcasting, a new independent operator, will also contribute to diversity of ownership and new voices in Surrey as well as adding to gender parity in terms of control of ownership in the Canadian broadcasting industry.
2592 Akash Broadcasting has the resources, insight and experience to launch Surrey Connect FM with a team that will promote, reflect, foster, engage and strengthen all aspects of the Surrey community.
2593 We look forward to your questions after the video presentation that I believe captures the essence of our proposal. Tejinder will be our quarterback.
2594 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your presentation, and so I'll be start us off on the questions.
2595 Oh, you have a video. I wasn't told about this. Okay.
2596 --- (VIDEO PRESENTATION)
2597 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great. Sorry. Somebody had told me, but I must have had a missing synapse in my brain because I don't associate videos with radio. But that was a very good radio presentation because it really made it very live to us. So thank you for that.
2598 MR. SAINI: Thank you, sir.
2599 THE CHAIRPERSON: So I'll be starting off the questions.
2600 And let me start off where it's the most important; that's programming in all this.
2601 You made the point, and the video picked up on it, on the need for a new editorial voice. Could you unpack that for me?
2602 I mean, what's the problem, what's the gap you're trying to -- you think your application is attempting to fill?
2603 MR. SAINI: Thank you, sir, for that question.
2604 With the growing diversity and the city itself growing, there is definitely a gap that is in editorial and the programming section of it.
2605 What we are actually looking for is all the community that's actually building up, not just comprised of immigrants that are coming in. They are also second and third generation who are actually involved in day-to-day life.
2606 We actually are trying to build up some common platforms where we see the communities engaged with each other, where people engagement with each other starts. And that's why one of the reasons for us to bring amateur sports, health and fitness, was we're -- we can see that different communities are actually meeting up on ground in gyms out there and the interaction is actually beginning.
2607 Right now, there is a certain perception when it comes to, say, field hockey, kabaddi, cricket or, say, football or soccer. It's all like South Asian games. But South Asian kids are less exposed to lacrosse, slow pitch and other games, baseball.
2608 So there is that other gap that we thought like if we actually bring this thing to radio, maybe, as my kid may not be very good soccer player, but he may excel in baseball, but because I didn't know that the game even exist out there. And that's where we want to actually bring that connection in.
2609 So -- and it's such a larger footprint. It's about over 30,000 people that are involved in community in amateur sports, health and fitness on weekly basis, and 96 percent of those people, they are volunteers. And there are no stories of them.
2610 And I think even -- you may have heard this thing in -- with other applicants and over news, also, is that, given Surrey gang violence and how the challenges are, those are our local heroes.
2611 Those stories have to be brought on where you can actually have them as the role models for the kids.
2612 The second thing I want to touch upon, and I think, on amateur sports, health and fitness, we have Terri Downton with us. She is also Chair of City of Surrey's Outdoor Sports Advisory Committee, and she can actually fill up more on for that.
2613 The second thing that we actually found the common denominator where the gap is, but also where the communities are actually interacting with each other is the youth because when they go out to school, universities, colleges, that's where the interaction actually is happening. But right now, on ethnic radio station, there is really not much of an involvement.
2614 Yes, we can talk. Yes, there is music. But what we actually look out for, these are also young people who are also playing sport. They are also young people who have their stories, their celebration, their challenges, which are never discussed.
2615 And that's -- in our programming schedule, towards the end of the week -- of the evening, we actually have a whole block where we have health, sports and fitness program in English, talk shows that are for youth-based programming and also fusion music part.
2616 And also, for talk shows and youth programming, we have Roop Rai:a. She'll actually fill you more if you have further questions on that.
2617 The other thing that we found was the common denominator that, again, connect community with each other is literature.
2618 I'll give you a quick story. A friend of mine, he says like, "Have you read Alchemist"? I said, "Like I haven't read it". And he says, "Oh, that's a wonderful book. It's written by -- actually from Brazil but a Spanish writer, Paulo Coelho". And he said, "Like it's translated in English". I said, "Yeah, sure, I'll read that thing".
2619 So I read that book and it was so immersing that I completed it and then for the next seven days every evening I actually sat with my daughters on the bedtime and read the book to them. That's again like not just me connecting with my kids but also bringing them a literacy piece that we probably would have never exposed to them.
2620 And there are very good word literature translations that are done, audio books, radio dramas that we thought we will actually bring it onto the radio station and see if we can expose the South Asian community to those wonderful pieces.
2621 The other thing that we found actually connecting the community and that again builds up into our application is local arts and music. That's why we planned or worked with local institutions as to how and what are their challenges?
2622 How the whole pipeline of artists that can be actually nurtured over a period of time can actually grow and have us Canadians made proud of actually solid Canadian content. That's where our initiatives for CCD are also placed.
2623 So these were some of the things that we identified as gaps and it actually accumulated to about five, five and a half hours of programming daily basis which is currently missing.
2624 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So you are obviously passionate and my short question resulted in a very long answer. We will have time to discuss all those and unpack those.
2625 You did mention some of your colleagues that might want to add to what you were saying. Do you want to do that now?
2626 MR. SAINI: Sure.
2627 Terri, if you want to actually bring anything up from sports in your experience working with the community?
2628 MS. DOWNTON: Sure.
2629 Surrey has over -- I am just going to check my notes there. There is over 200 outdoor athletic facilities. Fourteen of those are athletic turfs which are multi-use with our football, soccer, very young baseball, softball children and cricket.
2630 We also have eight outdoor pools, six indoor pools, five ice arenas and there is over 62 sports lakes And as Tejinder said, let's introduce those sports to all the cultures.
2631 My experience has been as a coach and a manager for over 18 years with a variety of different sports teams. I also led and was president of a sports association and now I'm on the outdoor sports advisory committee,
2632 This committee is a group of volunteers and each volunteer represents an outdoor sport. We get together on a monthly basis to discuss any issues that are arising and they are -- they are people that we can turn to that can talk to -- bring their information towards the radio station and be able to speak to Surrey Connect, bring their questions, bring their experience, bring their interviews and their athletes to be interviewed.
2633 MR. SAINI: Sir, I just want to take this a step further because when -- we are actually talking about amateur sports health and fitness. We are not talking about just kids. I think health and fitness is as important to me as it is for you. If, in family, people are not healthy and active the whole routine, the schedule actually goes off.
2634 I will actually give you a quick scenario where, not apart from like building their muscles and keeping themselves fit; I'm talking about like anger management skills and stress. The scenario is I have my son. He is playing soccer and the other team is good that day and they lost six-one. So the team members are actually blaming him. The kid is depressed. Now, I'm actually driving back home with my kid.
2635 What kind of conversation I'll actually initiate with him, because that actually is -- if I am not educated with that and I don't know what the resources are and we don't actually speak about those, I may have a conversation that actually may take his morale totally onto the other level or it may actually turn out to be like our coming budding champion.
2636 So it's not just from kids. It's also from the youth. It's also from people of middle ages or I will say like my age and your age.
2637 THE CHAIRPERSON: Very generous.
2638 MR. SAINI: And others.
2639 THE CHAIRPERSON: Look, you don't have to persuade me. In another life I used to be in charge of Sports Canada and our policy that was from "Playground to Podium"; right, and we realized that it's not always that high level competitive sports that's important, but also enjoying the game and it teaches life skills even to somebody who may not be going further.
2640 And, certainly, later on in life in terms of health and wellness as well, you need to do that. So you don't have to convince me on that, on that score.
2641 And on top of that we know that community-based sports is also a vector to ensure social cohesion and accessibility, particularly in the community of New Canadians.
2642 MR. SAINI: Yes.
2643 THE CHAIRPERSON: All that. But help me understand the link you are making -- and I will talk about other types of programming in a moment -- the link you are making between that and the sort of -- your vision for the programming of your station. How do you bring that forward into a radio context?
2644 MR. SAINI: Sure. I will have Roop actually answer that.
2645 MS. RAI: Yeah.
2646 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
2647 MS. RAI: Well, in my experience as a radio broadcaster, I have experienced that radio empowers people. Radio can inform people. It can educate people. But we need to get people engaged with the radio in order for that to happen.
2648 And what we have discovered in our research is that youth is not connected to the ethnic radio. Youth does not engage because it's not just the language. It's the challenges that are faced by the youth will be distinct from the first generation immigrant. Although their challenges are still distinctly different from the mainstream, they still have very culture-specific, I would say, challenges because they are at home. They are dealing with a different culture than their counterparts at school would but their challenges are still different than their parents.
2649 So language is not the only -- in my experience as a radio host with an ethnic channel, language is not the only distinction. It's also the narrative.
2650 You need to engage people. In order to engage people you need to understand or you need to know what they want to hear about. The content has to be relatable. The choice of topics have to be relatable to the youth.
2651 And, secondly, your approach; how you address that content, you could always give dry -- state the facts. Let's say we were talking about cancer. We could talk about how cancer is diagnosed or how it is treated but then you can bring a storytelling aspect into, like Tejinder mentioned, dramas, documentaries. You bring the stories. When you bring storytelling into your content it engages the audience. It encourages to have a two-way communication.
2652 That's the beauty of radio. That's the power of radio as opposed to some other mediums. We can have that two-way communication. We can open a dialogue.
2653 So we intend to do that with our youth. We intend to go out to the campuses. We intend to have youth on the advisory board as well which I believe we'll discuss going further. We intend to involve them firsthand. There will be some youth who will be working as radio hosts as well ---
2654 MR. SAINI: Yes.
2655 MS. RAI: --- in the plans as well. So we need to bring youth onboard in many different ways, go to them in the campuses, talk to them about the issues that matter to them, speak to them in their language, speak to them in what interests them and enthuses them and get them to give us the feedback and open these channels. Open these two-way communications. It's much needed right now in ethnic broadcasting.
2656 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So help me understand what you mean by youth. What's your definition of youth because -- so from your perspective when you talk about youth and they are going to be on advisory committees.
2657 MS. RAI: Right.
2658 THE CHAIRPERSON: So they are not young kids; right?
2659 MS. RAI: No, absolutely. I mean of course if we can involve someone as young as 15 years old that would be excellent.
2660 But our target group is around that age and going -- for me, youth is anyone even including myself who has -- is starting a young family. We are still part of that demographic where we are still trying to -- we have sets of challenges that are different from our parents. My parents raised us. They had their different cultural background. They had their own limitations and, I guess, stressors in the day.
2661 For me, it's completely different. I am a fulltime mom, working mom. So it's different than my mother. So the challenges that I am facing as a mother or as a wife and as a fulltime working person, as a fulltime working parent, they are much different than what my mom faced. So the content that's on the radio right now, that doesn't relate to me as much as it would to my mom.
2662 So there is that gap. There is that missing piece that we need to fill in.
2663 THE CHAIRPERSON: Help me understand though, because you know we did a discoverability summit last week and the week before we did a youth discoverability summit and, granted, they were millennials. But the growing trend for young people, young adults is not necessarily listening to the radio. They are on Snapchat. They are on Instagram. They are on a different planet.
2664 How do you go and get them? How do you get them back to radio?
2665 I understand what you are trying to do but it's not a medium that naturally comes to them. If they are interested in music they tend to go and find it elsewhere through streaming services or YouTube. How do you get them to listen to your station?
2666 MS. RAI: In that respect we have -- our strength is that we already have a social media platform and Tejinder can talk about that.
2667 MR. SAINI: Yes. As you said the challenge is how to reach out to youth. But at this point is that what we see is youth just as music, because we don't have on social medial Snapchat. Snapchat is like a small blip. You just go in and you just do it. But there -- it's not a collective platform where they can actually come in and they can discuss and they can talk about that.
2668 We have extensive online presence with our radio station, but that's music based. And that's where I can understand completely where your question is.
2669 What we are actually looking for is having youth involved in our programming, they doing programs for themselves. We take radio out to where they are rather than they actually connecting back to us.
2670 Say, for example, in our CCD initiatives, we have scholarships for journalists from Kwantlen Polytechnical University, but that's not just a write-off of a cheque.
2671 What we'd like to see is those students, they actually come on to the radio station. They get their training there. And they come up with those ideas of how we can actually further enhance those.
2672 And I think, given another component of youth on our advisory committee is also where they actually go out within their groups and get that presence actually felt that yes, apart from music, on this station, you have a platform. You can talk about your stories.
2673 You have a platform where you can actually understand and get yourself updated on sports that is actually happening in our community and it's not like in Asia or some other continent.
2674 MS. CHEEMA: Can I, sir, add something to this?
2675 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, please. Please do.
2676 MS. CHEEMA: In addition to what Teijinder just shared, yes, we can get them listen to us. It's through their involvement by having their talent, their success stories showcased on radio, having them participate in the plays that we're going to be doing.
2677 There are a lot of things that we can do. We can have their participation.
2678 Once they are involved, their interest will develop, and that is why we have a different vision and we want to make it work.
2679 Thank you.
2680 MR. SAINI: And I think what Simrat is actually coming from is that she actually produced two TV shows for Shaw multi-cultural channel, and one is called "Close Look". Another one is "Stacy Close Look".
2681 So "Close Look" is generation second, third, young Canadians who actually want their stories to be told. And the other one is for the youth that's actually coming from other countries into our society.
2682 And based on that experience -- because she has this like where this kid was superb artistic person, but parents didn't even know about that.
2683 MS. CHEEMA: Yes, that's true. And one child we interviewed, and I was so proud of him.
2684 I asked him, I said, "So your mom and dad are going to be so happy to see you on TV". And he goes, "My mom can't hear and my dad is never home".
2685 So he had no one to listen to him or to appreciate, to boost his confidence, to give him that, you know, sort of like confidence that he needed or to support.
2686 So we want to be that platform where these youngsters come and, through their stories, other kids are inspired.
2687 Thank you.
2688 THE CHAIRPERSON: So to my first question, you had a very fulsome answer about the gap you've identified. But my question was actually trying to get at your point you're making here that there's a new editorial voice because, in a sense, all those things you're proposing as something to serve the community, some of the incumbent broadcasters could very well do that.
2689 So why do you believe that you, through your new editorial voice -- and I notice you make even reference at page 9 of socially progressive service.
2690 Unpack that for me. What do you bring that's unique? Because anybody could address the gaps.
2691 What's so special about your approach, your ownership?
2692 MR. SAINI: Sir, I'll have Roop and Simrat to jump in for unpacking the socially progressive one.
2693 But what incumbent station is doing is absolutely fabulous. And as you are quite aware, with the level that they have actually taken radio station, it's superb.
2694 But given the broadcasting clock, they have that much amount that they can actually put into a certain dedicated programming.
2695 If they have to provide this, they have to take something else out that is, again, something wonderful, and that particular listener base will start missing it.
2696 So I think like the idea is that there has to be a service that actually fills in the gap as a complementary service because the city is growing, the needs are growing, the challenges and stories are growing. And that's where the whole idea is that what we are proposing anyone else can also do, but in order to do that, they have to take something out just because of the time constraints.
2697 THE CHAIRPERSON: So your point is that you need -- collectively, the radio services need more shelf space to tell those progressive views.
2698 MR. SAINI: Yes, sir.
2699 THE CHAIRPERSON: But why are you the ones that should be doing that, controlling that additional shelf space?
2700 MR. SAINI: Yeah. I think it's a vision that comes from what we are actually living on a daily basis. It's something that -- I, myself, I'm a dancer. I've been dancing since 1986. Had a unique opportunity to work with Jewish Cultural Centre, and I'm a bhangra dancer.
2701 So Debbie calls me in and says, like, "Well, we want to have this connection that has to happen, and how can we build this thing?"
2702 I said, like, "Okay. So why don't we actually have a dance piece that is to be created and we perform within our community and with all our community"?
2703 So we actually used the Israeli music and bhangra music, blended it together, have Israeli dancers coming into our studios in Surrey, we going out to Vancouver to actually meet them and practise with them.
2704 That accumulated not just into dance performance, but also in us introduced to another culture, to another language, to another set of people who are great people, but we were never exposed to that.
2705 Now, taking that thing back, again, as I said, like we are actually living and we have this thing. We thought like so this initiative kind of like stopped with Surrey India because we didn't have money to put together the audio track recording expenses.
2706 So we said, okay, so if we are actually given a radio station, let's have $10,000 that can actually sit for the audio portions of that and that actually starts bringing the whole idea of yes, this can be done if there is a platform.
2707 Similarly, as I said, I'll go back to radio dramas and documentaries.
2708 And I'll just elaborate. Radio drama is just, I say, umbrella. We would like to have audio books. We'll have dramas and documentaries also.
2709 The whole idea came in is like I started few years back IGEAN, an online service, audio related, just to see is there a potential to get this increased. The response was quite overwhelming. And response was overwhelming because of three reasons.
2710 First thing is the language that we are doing. Our kids speak that thing in home, but reading it, the script itself, is a challenge.
2711 So if you actually present that thing, that kind of like brings the things together.
2712 We have so fast of a life, don't have times to read book. We just have a service that actually provides you that while you're driving.
2713 There are like 10,000 truck drivers in Surrey, 7,000 drivers of taxi. They are in their vehicles all day.
2714 And that's where I thought like maybe is that what if we actually take it out there. People will start loving it.
2715 And the response from IGEAN actually started building up this next level of programming that we thought we should need it. And when we talked about it other community members and in other writers, they were amazingly onto this one.
2716 Again, I'll actually go back to the idea of amateur sports, health and fitness. Usually is when coaches, they go out to different community members and they have -- Narvinder Sangha, he told me this stories.
2717 Like I went to one of my friend's houses, like why don't you bring your kid to the ground. He says, "Oh, he's there. He's watching TV. There's nothing wrong in it".
2718 And well, he says, "Yeah, but what happen a few years down the road is that when he actually got up, he was done with TV. Because he never knew where the ground is, he ended up on a corner store".
2719 And that's where the whole life did a different turn, right.
2720 So those were the ideas that we and our team have been working with, living with we know that's quite progressive in nature, that will actually make a positive contribution, that will actually connect other communities and other people and different age groups.
2721 And that's where the whole -- sorry. I forgot the line that you were asking.
2722 THE CHAIRPERSON: I was wondering why you were in the position to do that, and ---
2723 MR. SAINI: Yes. We are in the best position because we are actually unique and going and understanding ---
2724 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
2725 MR. SAINI: --- and living, and we have that insight.
2726 THE CHAIRPERSON: And look, what you're saying is all very laudable, but here's the pragmatic question is, connecting with all those sports fields and other sports venues, connecting with cultural expression, theatre, poetry, all that, and bringing that into the -- into what your project wants to be, a more progressive social inclusion voice, I get all that. But that requires a great deal of time and therefore, resource. So I’m struggling with how -- what seems to be a very laudable goal -- how you’ll be able to deliver on it from a programming perspective.
2727 Look, the CBC used to have orchestras, like full symphony orchestras and they had to get rid of them. So when I hear about radio drama and that sort of thing, I'm sort of having flashbacks to that era that others have not been able to deliver on. So why do you think with your ownership and your vision you're able to -- and your business plan you think you’ll be able to deliver?
2728 MR. SAINI: I’ll have, sir, Rahul talk about the business plan. But there is immense talent within Surrey, like people who have come in and their first priority being settling in, raising kids, and they are actually being quite active and involved in different organizations that are in arts and literature.
2729 I understand that there are local writers who are there with short stories, with dramas that are written. There are teams with us, we have been doing this thing earlier also. And we know that from our radio drama documentary perspective, we will be able to pull that thing in because given my cultural and artistic background, I have a very large pool of talent within Surrey to actually execute it.
2730 And in order to make that thing a substantially viable project, we have put some dollars amount together also, which I’d like Rahul to just jump into.
2731 MR. CHOPRA: Yeah, we have already considered this question while we were having brainstorming sessions going on, and we did put a lot of amount in our programming cost which is half a million -- more than half a million dollars in the very first year where we will be putting in money. We know there's a challenge ahead, but then you know, we have a vision, we want to connect the communities.
2732 That’s why, you know, at the time of even putting up a team to form the Advisory Committee, we had Ms. Downton who is already into this, who has already have connections in the community, she already is into this Advisory Committee and then she has a vast knowledge and vast experience behind. So that’s what -- the reason was that, you know, we want to have people who already are in the community, only we needed the platform, so this is the platform we want.
2733 Thank you.
2734 MS. RAI: Yeah, I just wanted to add it’s the -- I think it’s the right team of people with their different backgrounds and different experiences and different networks in the community. And like Rahul mentioned, on the Advisory Board we have Ms. Terri and we -- our goal is to connect with people who are already connecting -- connected within the community. And of course, having social progressive programming is one part of the programming, there is music as well, there is news, there’s other aspects to the entire ---
2735 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
2736 MS. RAI: --- day schedule.
2737 THE CHAIRPERSON: Which will get me to my question. So if you were successful on one or the other of the frequencies, tell me what your sound would be like. How would I be able -- without knowing which -- what your tune -- what channel I’m tuned to -- that I know that I'm listening to Surrey Connect?
2738 MR. SAINI: How will the station sound like? The station will sound like full of energy. The station will sound like balanced. The station will sound like progressive. The station will sound like educating, entertaining and also engaging. Engaging and educating and entertaining.
2739 MS. RAI: I’ll add on to that. We are aiming for our station to celebrate our community, that's the goal. It’s through developing, encouraging arts and music, it's through encouraging the young local talent who are interested in arts and music.
2740 For example me, I was interested in arts and music but my parents -- that’s not the cultural background that they come to this country with. They want their kids to go into medicine, law school, that’s the -- that’s the focus. So I needed an outlet, I didn’t have that when I was younger. So when I got older I got into broadcasting, so that was a huge journey for me and that drives my passion as well, it fuels my passion to do what I do.
2741 It’s through recognition of local heroes. It’s through celebrating their success stories, celebrating our sports heroes, celebrating our youth through education that brings communities together to open that dialogue with people that strengthens people at individual level, builds up their self-confidence, builds up their self-esteem that strengthens the communities and strengthens us as a nation. So that's the goal, that’s the aim and that's the vision.
2742 MR. FORSYTH: And Mr. Chairman, if I may. I think what you hear -- and you’ve reflected this -- a lot of passion and a lot of -- large understanding. I think to answer your question directly as to what will this radio station sound like, I have to go back to the video because I think it captures -- while it’s visual, I think it captures the essence of the energy, the people and the things that are going to be happening on the radio station.
2743 I know that -- I believe it was Commissioner Menzies asked the question yesterday to one of the other applicants, what is your station going to sound like, is it going to sound like the beach or is it going to sound like CBC, is it going to sound like -- what is it going to sound like?
2744 In many respects the way they’ve laid this programming out is going to be in a sense that old school of block programming we used to talk about, where it will be aimed at parents at one end and at the youth at another end, and a blend across many levels in the other.
2745 So in that sense it’s going to have a bit of that. Some of it is going to be very progressive music that Sanjay will be talking about, the fusion mix, that’s going to be interesting. But the talk element, I think it’s that energy we saw on the screen.
2746 THE CHAIRPERSON: So ---
2747 MR. FORSYTH: Thank you, sir.
2748 THE CHAIRPERSON: Precisely, okay. So that’s the sort of thing I wanted to hear. How you're going to do the blend of talk and music, how you're going to address the various demographics you're trying to get. It's great to get younger folks engaged, but most advertisers are looking for slightly older folks because they have the spending power.
2749 So how -- how do you turn -- and we’ll get to the business case in a while -- just -- I'm trying to get your vision on the programming side, so what would it look like and how do you create cohesion between all those various blocs? And your vision full of energy, all very positive, but you're still running a radio station that still has to have a sound.
2750 MR. SAINI: That’s actually a very true and a valid point. There are overlaps of people who are actually listening too, because as Andrew has pointed out, like the segments that are targeted toward different market groups. And in just having like a youth segment is not -- as Roop has pointed -- it’s not just having a kid that’s coming out of a college. Yes, he has his needs and there are businesses in our community that are actually targeting those particular youth. But it’s also youth who have families, just raising kids, and they have their needs which market in Surrey is actually fulfilling it, like from an advertiser point of view.
2751 Let’s just -- if we take a step down in sports where young people, 12-14-15 are playing, it’s not them, they don’t have the spending power, it’s actually their parents. When they actually get their kids engaged in it, they are listening to radio station, they are following, and I think that’s where advertisers are quite interested as to who is following. And we can actually go back to them, this is our listener base for these particular segments, and out of our understanding of our community we can go back and target those particular advertisers accordingly and generate the revenue.
2752 MS. DOWNTON: If I can also add that the 12 and 14-year olds, although they are not the spenders, they are strong advocates to their parents as to how they should be spending their money. So focusing on them helps a little bit.
2753 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you need the young -- young ambassadors in every household ---
2754 MR. SAINI: Exactly.
2755 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- getting control over the dial.
2756 Some would argue that stations like CJRJ and REDFM are already offering programming that’s of interest to the South Asian population. So what do you add?
2757 MR. SAINI: As I said ---
2758 THE CHAIRPERSON: More shelf space, I get that, but your specific project.
2759 MR. SAINI: We have very focused approach on different segments that are not catered by any of other two incumbents’ stations. RJ 1200 is very music oriented, very youth, but that’s -- that’s their major audience base. And the name itself actually reflects it, it’s Spice 1200. REDFM has quite a wide variety of listeners. And as I said earlier, what they're actually doing is their programming -- just as we are proposing -- very segmented, very focused on that. But we’re actually bringing in new groups, new footprint that is not yet addressed by any of other two stations.
2760 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Tell me more about your diversity of music that you hope to bring.
2761 MR. SAINI: Yes, sir. I think the whole idea of -- and playing with music online for four years, that kind of like give us a very good insight of what we can actually bring in.
2762 We have with us Sanjay. He has been helping us with different kind of ideas for our online service that we should be playing this and this. We experimented in a lot of stuff like this.
2763 I’ll have Sanjay just give the details and I’ll fill in the rest.
2764 MR. GULABANI: It would be approximately 50 hours of talk show and the balance is all music. We’ll be playing Category 2 and Category 3 music. Category 2 will be 25 percent of which 50 percent will still have the Canadian content. Category 3 will be 75 percent of which 90 percent will be subcategory 33. That is the world music. It will have 12 percent Canadian content. This is what the status is for -- that we have.
2765 THE CHAIRPERSON: But as Vice-Chair pointed out, like in every category of music there is, you know, oldies and tried and true sounds that are there but then there’s also emerging music which is sometimes a little bit more difficult to help people discover because it’s not a sound they’re used to but they may be interested, so tell me about that mix.
2766 MR. TEJINDERPAUL: Sir, I’ll just answer that. It’s based on if we look at our programming schedule the diversity comes in how and where the music is actually placed.
2767 And yes, as you said, given the way our community is actually building up, we have focus on youth music more towards the end in the evening. During the drive time we have young contemporary music which is acceptable in adults. And also during the afternoons we have music programs that are also targeting older generation. And certain type of those music formats are also played on the weekends.
2768 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. So your plan is to segment parts of your day to various separate audiences?
2769 MR. TEJINDERPAUL: Yes.
2770 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Okay, some more regulatory type questions. So I take it you’re ready to commit -- we’re asking these of others -- to a condition of licence that 100 percent of your programming would be ethnic?
2771 MR. TEJINDERPAUL: Yes, sir, it will be.
2772 THE CHAIRPERSON: And would you be ready to commit as well that -- in terms of languages, you’ve indicated that they would be predominately Punjabi, Hindu, and Urdu. So that at a minimum that’s 67 percent of your programming would be in those languages?
2773 MR. TEJINDERPAUL: Yes, sir.
2774 THE CHAIRPERSON: So a variation on the theme of programming, which we’ve been discussing for a little while, is the advisory committee. And I’ve noted that you described your advisory committee as having real input to management.
2775 You maybe were thinking that there’s some advisory committees that don’t have real input to management, so I’m wondering what do you actually mean when you say real input. It’s still an advisory committee, it’s not binding, is it on management?
2776 MR. TEJINDERPAUL: No, sir, there is no binding by the advisory committee. It’s acting more of a nomenclature that we use advisory committee. But for us those are our ambassadors. And it’s actually not our ambassadors for the community but it’s from them to us. So it’s a two-way process that actually builds up in.
2777 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
2778 MR. TEJINDERPAUL: Based on our online service, as we were actually putting out new programs we get feedback from our online listeners yeah this is better.
2779 So from that perspective, when we started four years back we saw like it’s actually not us who can really come up with unique ideas and it actually -- we may actually have an overview of the pulse of what listener actually needs. It’s actually the listener who has to get back to in a way where we know what’s happening and what is liked and what is being disliked.
2780 And that’s where we thought like we should have this advisory committee not just bringing in ideas and have some giant samosas but also is that they understand that what they’re actually bringing on table is actually taken on to a further level.
2781 And that’s why we put that thing as a proposal is that we will have one of the members from the advisory committee also on the board of directors for Akash Broadcasting that will be there when the programming related matters are actually discussed and so that they know and they can take this message back to us that whatever they’re bringing on table is really taken seriously, really being considered, and then actually being put into plan or say it’s been shelved.
2782 THE CHAIRPERSON: What if as a result of the feedback you get, and despite your vision of wanting to connect with kids on sports fields and other playing arenas and playing music that is a bit more new and doesn’t necessarily fit the taste of the people in the audience, so how far do you go with this advisory committee that might actually, through the feedback, question the vision you’re trying to propose today?
2783 I mean, at one point an advisory committee could be telling you well frankly that’s not what people -- your vision is not what they want to hear. So what do you do in that circumstance?
2784 MR. TEJINDERPAUL: Sir, there is that mechanism. There are two factors into it. The first one is that we have to really take feedback objectively. If someone is actually coming on table and saying that this is not people want we have to take that thing on.
2785 And I think the whole purpose is fulfilled where we know is that this is something that the community’s not looking for and that starts a next exercise so what is exactly it’s looking for.
2786 Based on our interaction and with our local understanding of the community, we know that this is something that they’re looking for.
2787 But just for a hypothetical situation is that they say “Okay, your sports programming have shattered talk shows” or “We don’t even like talk shows on sports related programming” or “the topics are off” right, well, yes, if it’s repeatedly coming on the table that topics are off of what people in that particular segment are actually looking for we will have an exercise as to what are the topics then. We have to go and find that.
2788 And I think that’s again the two-way process where they will actually come back also with us, because they are also bringing the feedback, they will come up with what are the topics, but we’ll also actually be going out to different institutions that are actually dealing with sports related programming -- sorry -- activities.
2789 And that kind of like narrows it down to okay so now these are the institutions and organizations who are actually working with sports, this is what the advisory committee is bringing in, this is our vision, we actually bring that thing together and see how we can actually change our programming to adapt to what listeners have to need.
2790 THE CHAIRPERSON: M’hm.
2791 MR. TEJINDERPAUL: Because that actually works in two ways. Not just it brings us loyal customer base it also helps us in going back to our advertisers from a revenue perspective. It’s kind of like a balance that’s being built.
2792 THE CHAIRPERSON: How will members of the community know that your -- there is this advisory committee? Do you plan to make it known somehow?
2793 MR. TEJINDERPAUL: Yes, sir. We have with us -- say, for example, we have with us on our advisory committee proposal that we have two individuals who are from sports background.
2794 THE CHAIRPERSON: M’hm.
2795 MR. TEJINDERPAUL: So we are actually going out to all those different clubs and institutions that are involved and have that message passed on further that we are actually looking for those individuals.
2796 As we have with us Terri Downton here with us, she herself is on advisory committee, and with her network we will have people coming on from there.
2797 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
2798 MR. TEJINDERPAUL: Similarly, we will have individuals that are from arts and literature background. The institutions we will be going back with them. We will have -- that advisory committee is being constituted. Online presence will also be there. And also on the station we will actually be going out and calling that this is what we are actually looking for and these are the candidates that we have.
2799 THE CHAIRPERSON: If I’m not mistaken you’re about eight to 10 members on the advisory committee?
2800 MR. TEJINDERPAUL: Yes, sir.
2801 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yet you have to service or hear from and get feedback and interact with 21 different cultural groups in 14 languages. How do you mediate that?
2802 MR. TEJINDERPAUL: So I think the way that the composition is actually done is 10 actually covers quite a lot substantial chunk of that. So we are not having a one-to-one representation on it. Where we know is there are individuals and the communities if they’re members are not on advisory committee we will actually be going out and reaching them through our local producers who will be doing programming in other languages. That there is a mechanism where they can actually come in even if they’re not represented on the board and provide that feedback.
2803 THE CHAIRPERSON: And so how will these members be selected, and by whom, and how long will they be on the committee? Have you thought about refreshing the committee?
2804 MR. TEJINDERPAUL: Yes.
2805 Terri, can you quickly jump in?
2806 MS. DOWNTON: So the members will be selected by the radio station management. And the length of time that we have in our constitution is for two years. However, it’s not mandatory that someone has to leave after two years. So that’s what we’re looking at for timeframe.
2807 THE CHAIRPERSON: So how will they be identified? I realize it’s the station that will appoint them, but how will they -- how will you find them?
2808 MS. DOWNTON: I think through our -- we’ll find them through putting the word out for nominations. I know on the sports side of things that I can go to my networking group. But I also have personal -- I know you were talking about the 21 languages and only 8 to 10 people. I live in a complex of 79 units and there’s 5 Caucasian full-time English speaking units there. Everybody else is made up of a variety of different cultures. And I’m neighbourly with every single one of them. So to be able to talk with them and spread the word, as any of us on this board can do. So that’s how we will be getting the word out. We also have the social media aspect.
2809 THE CHAIRPERSON: And have you given some thought to evaluating the effectiveness of the committee after a period of time?
2810 MS. DOWNTON: Evaluating the effectiveness is definitely something looking forward.
2811 THE CHAIRPERSON: M’hm.
2812 MS. DOWNTON: Envisioning how the feedback we get from the community will be one definite disclosure, discovery on how we are doing, but also, I believe that having the management take a look and ensure that we are having our three meetings. In the first three years we’re definitely going to have three scheduled meetings. After that we have two. And unless something comes up where we need to meet sooner, we’ll have constant communication with each other electronically as well.
2813 So evaluating the effectiveness is going to take I think the first year to two years to really evaluate it. And it can be done, like I say, looking at how many people respond to the advisory committee, looking at the excitement and energy upon the advisory committee. If someone comes on very excited and then six months later they’re not so excited, then we have an issue on that advisory committee that --
2814 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
2815 MS. DOWNTON: -- we have to deal with.
2816 THE CHAIRPERSON: And but even though there’ll be formal meetings, tell me --
2817 MS. DOWNTON: M’hm.
2818 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- what happens between the formal meetings?
2819 MS. DOWNTON: We -- well, in this day and age with technology, communicating with each other through technology as far as emails and Twitter and dare I say Facebook, but through many other mediums that we’ll be able to do, as well as meeting together in the community.
2820 One of the things I envision is that members of this advisory committee will be in a physical presence at some of our larger sporting events. When we’ve had some very -- quite a few international sporting events. There’s a big one coming up this July. That’s where I envision having members of this advisory committee there and being able to talk to people at those events as well.
2821 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Just sporting events?
2822 MS. DOWNTON: No, not just sporting events. Fusion festival ---
2823 THE CHAIRPERSON: So where else do you engage?
2824 MS. DOWNTON: Well, I’ll let Tejinder.
2825 MR. SAINI: Yeah. We have lots of other events that actually happen. We recently have a Vesākha. All the people are there out on festive mood. But that’s where the discussion happen. That’s where the casual feedback comes in from community. Because sometime is that if you actually go and meet someone who I need your feedback, the person actually gets it back. And I think it’s under from those casual conversations and meetings where the feedback actually comes in.
2826 Rahul, you want to try?
2827 MR. CHOPRA: I want to add a practical example here actually. When we had our discussions going on for drama and we had this a very good idea because he was already into it. He was breathing it for so many years. So he said, you know, let’s come up with this idea. And that was a very excellent idea.
2828 As a committee, as a members, you know, we discussed this and it was so exciting. But then you know, one of the committee member they said, “What -- how will you engage people with this drama? Why don’t we have some talk show after -- immediately after this drama so that people engage them so they get to feel what it is?”
2829 THE CHAIRPERSON: M’hm.
2830 MR. CHOPRA: So that was an excellent idea and we will definitely want to add on -- add to it so that, you know, after the drama we will have a one-to-one or maybe talk show on that so that we can have feedback from the people and that’s where we can connect people with that. So that was the idea actually.
2831 MR. SAINI: But the idea actually came up from other people who are actually on board who are --
2832 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
2833 MR. SAINI: -- who understand I look at the thing from one perspective, but other people are actually looking at from a different perspective. And that’s where the collective strength of an advisory committee and their contacts within the community comes in. And that actually in long-term accumulates to a programming that benefits the community.
2834 MS. RAI: I just want to add one more thing. Sorry. How you ask -- how do you identify these people? We draw it from our networks and we bring on people on board on the advisory committee, people who have their own personal networks. So I call them nerve centres. So nerve centres who have their little nerves --
2835 THE CHAIRPERSON: M’hm.
2836 MS. RAI: -- going out. So they have their own networks within those communities and they have their way to get feedback and get their information. Those are the people we’re targeting. Those are the people that will come on this advisory board.
2837 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So inspired from designs of webs and the networks.
2838 MS. RAI: Yeah.
2839 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah. Okay. I understand.
2840 Speaking of feedback, you know, I believe you are providing potentially some rather significant amount of time, perhaps two and a half hours a day, five days a week for open line programming, if I’m not mistaken?
2841 MR. SAINI: Yes, sir, we are proposing open line programming.
2842 THE CHAIRPERSON: And so you obviously are aware because we’ve asked, and if you weren’t aware before the hearing you’ve probably looked it up since then, of the Commission’s public notice 1998 policy concerning open line programming? You’re familiar with that?
2843 MR. SAINI: We are familiar with that. Yes, sir.
2844 THE CHAIRPERSON: And how do you intend to ensure in light of that policy that when you do open line programming that you’re ensuring balance and high standard in very practical terms?
2845 MR. SAINI: I’ll have Roop jump onto this later on. But, sir, I just want to let you know that in our previous hearing the question was asked and at that time also we had our own open line policy guidelines that would draft on the policy guidelines that the Commission have in place.
2846 We have a four level mechanism that we think we’ll actually be building into --
2847 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
2848 MR. SAINI: -- for open line policies.
2849 Do you want to jump onto this or should I?
2850 Okay. So the first one is actually training the employees. And training the employees not in just that we have an open line policies, like how do you choose the topic, how you prepare yourself for it, how you are actually going to have a balance point of view that will be articulated on there.
2851 The other one is screening the calls that are actually coming in, letting the individuals know that what they’re actually going to speaking is actually going to be broadcasted. And we also have then a technology piece that comes in which will have a delay on there. But overall, any new programmer, host that’s coming in, educating him on that, annually actually educating on that. And if there is any change, even in the policy that the Commission has put together, we have to go back and re-educate everyone on there.
2852 THE CHAIRPERSON: So your operationalizing it through your own four level, in-house guidelines on how that will be and you’ll do training and updates depending on ---
2853 MR. SAINI: Yes, sir. And those guidelines are actually drawn from --
2854 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
2855 MR. SAINI: -- the policy that the Commission has in place.
2856 THE CHAIRPERSON: Have you given some thoughts about the particular challenge in electoral periods of open line programming? There’s always an election going on, whether federally, provincially or municipally, and how you will stick handle that particular issue.
2857 MR. SAINI: Sir, I’ll have Roop actually take care of that.
2858 MS. RAI: I personally have experienced that. And, of course, there is always biased opinions that will come on air.
2859 THE CHAIRPERSON: All opinions are biased by definition.
2860 MS. RAI: Yeah. Well, opinions are biased.
2861 So you do have people come on air. So there’s always -- as a broadcaster myself, we always kept announcing on air that we encourage listeners to call in. However, please be careful about the language that you use. Do not malign anyone. And if it does -- we did screen calls as well.
2862 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
2863 MS. RAI: And in -- there are cases where people will not tell you all the truth when you’re screening the calls. They do come on air. So immediately you delay what they said. You press that button and the caller is dumped and the conversation goes away. But then you do come on air saying that whatever the listener said was not our policy. This is not what we broadcast. This is not our broadcasting policy. We do not stand by it.
2864 So you clarify your point immediately. You rebut that -- you give them a rebuttal on air.
2865 So I think we will be utilizing the same strategy here as well and we will be training our on air hosts to do the same.
2866 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. The problem will be though if somebody misrepresents their opinion, get to the on air portion and it’s one day or two days before the election. It’s hard then to ensure balance and high standards in a short period of time; is it not?
2867 MR. SAINI: Sir, I think what Roop was more thinking, I think -- and correct me if I’m wrong here, I think you were thinking about the person or community people who are calling in. But if it's a matter of policy that can actually change the public opinion, I think at that point is that we will have the candidates who are actually in those have a balanced discussion happening on the station because if one is given an opportunity and misstates it, that can definitely change an opinion. But if we're actually planning and strategizing our talk shows in a way we are a balanced opinion from all the potential candidate can come in, that will be the one that -- the direction we'll actually go in.
2868 MR. FORSYTH: If I may add to this just to clarify again.
2869 Having seen the policy that they have put together, even though they don't have a licence yet, they're cognizant of the policy. And the electoral portion of that is in the policy and is -- if the Commission requires, we can file that with you.
2870 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's a competitive hearing, so it's a bit late to file, but I take note of your comment.
2871 I'd like to turn now to the evidence of demand.
2872 If I understand it correctly -- we talked about this earlier, right. You've got a vision, a plan. It's been -- it's based on your group's vision, but also some research, as I understand it.
2873 Could you explain how ENRG Research Group conducted its focus groups and its methodology, specifically?
2874 MR. SAINI: So yes, thank you.
2875 We have with us Dr. Brian Owen representing the group on panel. I'll actually direct that question to him.
2876 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sure. Thanks.
2877 DR. OWEN: I'm actually a good person to speak to this because I conducted the groups.
2878 We recruited two groups, a group of first generation Canadians who were born outside the country. They were older. And a second group that was essentially under 35.
2879 And we -- now, how did we conduct them?
2880 We did them at the ---
2881 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, first of all, how did you choose these -- I mean, I understand they're two groups.
2882 How did you go about identifying these people? Was it randomly, or otherwise?
2883 DR. OWEN: They were selected as members -- we selected members of the South Asian community in Surrey and surrounding areas. And they had to qualify by listening to at least an hour of radio per day.
2884 So they were people who were familiar with radio, and they were people who were essentially part of the target audience.
2885 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. And how many -- did you have more people than you had room in your focus group ---
2886 DR. OWEN: No.
2887 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- to choose from?
2888 DR. OWEN: No. We recruited -- generally, we recruit 10 people for our groups for at least eight people to show.
2889 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you had about 10 in each of these groups.
2890 DR. OWEN: So we had 10 in the under 35 group and we had eight in the older group.
2891 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you -- they -- to qualify, they would have had to have been familiar with at least one hour of radio per ---
2892 DR. OWEN: Yes, listen to one hour of radio.
2893 They were -- I mean, they -- and I mean, this is an observation. They were quite familiar with radio in Surrey, and they -- and they were -- I mean, they were involved members of the community, very thoughtful, and provided a lot of excellent -- provided a lot of excellent information to us.
2894 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would it be your view that they were truly representative of the proposed target audience?
2895 DR. OWEN: They were as representative of the target audience as it was possible to be.
2896 If what you're asking was, were they -- did we have any ringers in the group, we did not. They were -- there was truly a random recruit in the -- I mean, random digit dialing recruiting in the area.
2897 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
2898 DR. OWEN: In Surrey and surrounding areas.
2899 There was no one in the group -- we would have disqualified anyone who knew of any of the management group or whatever.
2900 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. But the way you describe it is you had an older group. That's not a -- just older demographics, first generation folks ---
2901 DR. OWEN: Yeah.
2902 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- and a younger group. But is that truly what the station is trying to target as an audience?
2903 It's not so much the ringer issue. That wasn't -- I assumed you'd done it, you know, using the appropriate ---
2904 DR. OWEN: Right.
2905 THE CHAIRPERSON: But was that -- were those two focus groups the appropriate groups to define the target audience?
2906 DR. OWEN: They were the groups -- they were the groups we were -- you'd have to speak to the -- you'd have to ask that question of the group management because these were the groups we were asked to recruit.
2907 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
2908 DR. OWEN: And it's not -- I mean, it's not unusual. Having a group of older respondents, a group of younger respondents, I think, makes eminent sense in this particular case.
2909 We got quite -- we got different opinions from the two groups.
2910 And the older group, for example, thought that a radio station -- thought -- essentially thought a radio station like this would be a wonderful idea because it would broadcast their opinions and younger people would hear them and learn from them.
2911 And the younger people thought it was -- I mean, the younger people started -- I related very much to your comment earlier on about the youth groups that you ran last week, or the youth forum or whatever it was you called it ---
2912 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
2913 DR. OWEN: --- because they started up -- and they were a little sceptical and a little cynical about radio. "I get all my music from podcasts" and -- but we -- you know, we talked with them more and, as the group went on, they totally bought into the idea of a local radio station.
2914 And it was extremely important to them that it be local and that it be high quality and -- yeah, I would say local and high quality.
2915 I mean, they didn't want on-air people that they thought were inferior. They wanted very good people.
2916 Where I was going with this, though, was that they thought that -- ultimately, they thought the radio station was a great idea because their parents might learn more about what their thoughts were, and so ---
2917 THE CHAIRPERSON: Hence, potentially, your challenge of mediating those two generations.
2918 DR. OWEN: We didn't have them in the same group.
2919 THE CHAIRPERSON: But ---
2920 DR. OWEN: But it provides -- but I mean, my observation as a researcher is that it provides a wonderful sort of bubbling sort of situation for proper programming and for involving people in discussions.
2921 I was -- you know, I was surprised at some of the topics that were raised as appropriate for talk show discussions and ---
2922 THE CHAIRPERSON: Could you help me better understand as well -- I've noticed that in the report, you use terms like positive, neutral, negative as subjective qualifiers on certain issues, so maybe you can define those, what was positive, because surveys, as you know, usually you have a range of five or more and it's, you know, highly this, highly that, partially this, partially that.
2923 So what was a positive in your terms?
2924 DR. OWEN: That's kind of a mean question to ask a qualitative researcher.
2925 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, I apologize, but you still have to answer it.
2926 DR. OWEN: Yes.
2927 If I can refer you to page 7 in the executive summary, we've got -- yeah. We talk about positive -- well, I mean, you're looking at it, I guess, positive feedback, mixed feedback, negative feedback.
2928 You -- as the moderator, you take the comments that people make, and as the analyst, the person who observed the group and ultimately helped with the report, you look at the comments that are made and -- on topics.
2929 Let me just use as an example. The -- oh, well, I'll use sports, health and fitness. I've got three green square -- or three green rectangles there.
2930 That meant that, if born outside Canada, people generally said positive -- almost totally said positive things about the notion of programming that related to sports and physical fitness activity. And the younger group did the same.
2931 So you're taking -- essentially, you're listening to the comments, you're making a judgment about, well, were they -- is there more negative than positive commentary here. Is there a small amount of, "No, I don't think that's a good idea", but generally, most people are positive about it?
2932 And essentially, you're making a judgment.
2933 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
2934 DR. OWEN: You make a judgment.
2935 THE CHAIRPERSON: I appreciate that.
2936 DR. OWEN: You can't get around that.
2937 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. But for instance, if somebody showed in a survey a slight preference to something, X, would you, using your judgment, have put that in the neutral or in the positive or negative?
2938 In other words, how clear had the opinion to be to get out of the neutral zone?
2939 DR. OWEN: It had to be -- it had to be definite.
2940 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So if it was slightly wishy-washy, you would not have ---
2941 DR. OWEN: It's more neutral.
2942 THE CHAIRPERSON: More neutral.
2943 DR. OWEN: More neutral, yeah.
2944 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So that's helpful. Thank you.
2945 DR. OWEN: Yeah. It's a challenging question, I would submit.
2946 THE CHAIRPERSON: I appreciate that, as all our questions are.
2947 DR. OWEN: Of course.
2948 THE CHAIRPERSON: Let me turn to your presentation today and understand a little bit more what you're saying about the frequency and the impact. And you invited us to ask questions, so I will.
2949 So on the 10 percent on page 9, the top of page 9, and the impact of various choices there in terms of coverage.
2950 MR. SAINI: Yes. Thank you very much.
2951 As you are aware of, 89.3 was our -- is our primary.
2952 In March when we received the letter -- and for the technical question, I'll still have Kerry Pelser to come up with us.
2953 So when we actually get this letter of -- that we -- this signal is going to affect KUGS Birmingham, we thought, okay, so what is the solution.
2954 The solution is to fall back on 91.5, which is 1,000 watt, and have this thing as a 200. That will be our secondary frequency, which we did.
2955 But I think that was a partial solution because we thought, like, how about if we actually go out and really find a solution. And it is always, I think, as a best interest that if we can find resolution to this. It's 1,000 watt frequency that will be coming back to Canada.
2956 And in that regard, we started coordinating with DEM Allen and first start identifying what are the possible parties which will actually be cumulated to this decision or approval, so FCC, KUGS and Industry Canada. And that's where we started following up with them as to how this is affecting. And they were quite recipient of what we were actually trying to ask them.
2957 Follow up with that. They sent it back to their legals to take a look at it. And once it got back to us, we have that thing sent to FCC and Industry Canada.
2958 And the whole timeline Kerry can explain, but I think we are actually very glad to see that we have a strong signal that is now available that can serve Canadians and the community.
2959 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. But I'm asking more specifically -- you seem to be suggesting that -- and this won't because it's not before us, but that there's a possibility of improving the propagation should you be successful for one or the other of those frequencies by a change of location. Is that correct?
2960 MR. SAINI: I think that one is for 91.5.
2961 THE CHAIRPERSON: Just for 91.5.
2962 MR. SAINI: Yes.
2963 THE CHAIRPERSON: Because it says in both cases.
2964 MR. SAINI: Kerry, can you?
2965 MR. PELSER: The situation around 91.5 was, when I said Industry Canada evaluates an application, they look not only to the engineers in Ottawa and Moncton evaluate as far as protections, they also ask for input from the district offices.
2966 District office of Industry Canada had some concerns of the site we had selected for 91.5.
2967 My understanding was it may be a monitoring site and maybe some other things in place there, so they gave us a conditional approval on the basis that we -- if we can't fulfil all the technical requirements to obtaining use of that site that we would look for another site.
2968 But it's -- I think it's instrumental in all these, whether it be 91.5 or 89.3, if awarded the frequency, sometimes in the haste to prepare an application in time for the deadline, we have to do the best we can in that time, but we also often think, well, if we had more time, maybe we could find a site a little this way or a little that way that may help the frequency slightly.
2969 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. So you're not suggesting you're changing your proposal here. You're just saying that in the -- should you be successful for one or the other, but perhaps more likely in 91.5 in that scenario, of approval, that we might see you again for some course adjustments.
2970 MR. PELSER: That's right. For some tweaks.
2971 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. I appreciate that.
2972 When we look at applicants, we look at their business plans, obviously, but track record and experience is also important.
2973 So can you tell me more about your group's current experience in providing an audio service currently?
2974 MR. SAINI: Sir, apart from us being doing an online service ---
2975 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's what I mean.
2976 MR. SAINI: --- I have been in television production business since 2002. I have been producing TV shows for Shaw multi-cultural channel.
2977 I have done, from 2005 to 2014, daily Punjabi news back from India on television.
2978 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
2979 MR. SAINI: Apart from that, I have with me Mr. Baldeep Jhand. He has eight years of experience as news reporter and gatherer on OMNI TV.
2980 We have with us Roop Rai:a. She has ---
2981 THE CHAIRPERSON: But your online service right now is operating in how many languages?
2982 MR. SAINI: It's Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu.
2983 THE CHAIRPERSON: So have you given some thought about the additional challenge of having to serve in, well, up to 14 languages additionally when your experience is based on a more limited number of languages?
2984 Again, the mediation of diversity of languages is something you may not have experience with.
2985 MR. SAINI: Yes, sir. For online service, we had altogether different model. We never actually thought of as you are actually saying because our target listeners on that level were just South Asians across the globe.
2986 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. So could you describe me your current online service?
2987 MR. SAINI: Yes, sir.
2988 Currently, we have -- Radio Akash is what online service is. And we are running that thing successfully for last four years.
2989 Most of our programming actually originates back in India because that's where our teams are, and we are doing programming that is definitely on very younger audience.
2990 We also have some old music that is being played on. About, say, five different programs that we produce on a daily basis.
2991 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. But on this new -- on your proposed service, you would not -- you'd only be committing, if I’m not mistaken, to 77 percent third language. Is that correct?
2992 MR. SAINI: Yes, sir.
2993 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. That would be a condition of licence you could live with.
2994 MR. SAINI: Yes, sir.
2995 THE CHAIRPERSON: But that's a -- that suggests that the balance of it would not be in third languages, so that's a very different type of service than the one you're operating now, is it not?
2996 MR. SAINI: It is. It is, sir, because the balance for us is mostly in English. That's the balance part of it.
2997 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you believe that that is essential.
2998 I know I'm going back to a programming aspect, but it's essential to have that level of non-third language in order to deliver your vision of this station?
2999 MR. SAINI: Given what the dynamics of Surrey are, yes, that is essential.
3000 THE CHAIRPERSON: And the generational mediation; correct?
3001 MR. SAINI: Also. Yes, sir.
3002 THE CHAIRPERSON: Your business plan -- look, you'll be -- if you were successful, your launch -- you would be launching in a very competitive radio market in this area of the country, on a stand-alone basis, at least from the perspective of the licensed spectrum.
3003 How do you plan to overcome that challenge?
3004 MR. SAINI: I'll actually Rahul to fill in to this.
3005 MR. CHOPRA: Well, we are very confident, and we envisage no problem at all considering that fact that, you know, Surrey is growing and there have been -- since the last application, even, there are so many businesses coming up, so many new immigrants coming in to Canada, and there is a time constraint in the already existing incumbent stations. And I don't think that -- even I think that there is not one. Maybe we can have two stations which can still have a viable radio station in Surrey area.
3006 THE CHAIRPERSON: So the advantage of coming later in the hearing you are already second-guessing the questions we are about to ask.
3007 So I take it from your perspective you could live with a scenario with a situation more than yourselves that we might be able to licence an additional one station that might have an impact on Surrey or two stations in addition to your own?
3008 MR. CHOPRA: Well, at least one for sure. But then even if there is another station, we will not have a surprise because there is enough market to tap. You know there is a very time constraint in the already existing incumbent station and I don't envisage any problems where the other station comes up, or maybe second option, but then that is up to ---
3009 THE CHAIRPERSON: Optimism is great and being bullish on the market is great, but what if it doesn't pan out?
3010 MR. CHOPRA: Well, sir --
3011 THE CHAIRPERSON: We have had recessions.
3012 MR. CHOPRA: Exactly. That's where the businesses are. You know, business is taking a risk.
3013 But then I have been -- I am a certified public accountant, professional accountant, and also I have been dealing with businesses almost on a daily basis. I have people coming out from different backgrounds, different businesses; different communities coming up. You know what we see, is practically what we see.
3014 THE CHAIRPERSON: M'hm.
3015 MR. CHOPRA: There is a demand. There is a time lag, you know.
3016 On the existing stations if you have to have a certain event, let's say the event is in May and there is a time constraint, you can only have so many time slots in an existing station. So if they go they have to find another platform where they can, you know, advertise for that particular event. That's a time constraint.
3017 So those other things, you know, we are practically dealing every day.
3018 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you're obviously bullish on revenue. If you were going to describe what -- how much of the additional revenue comes from the growing pie versus repatriation? How would you describe it? Is it mostly repatriation?
3019 MR. CHOPRA: So we have about 5 percent from the existing station and repatriation is 75 percent. So if I want to quantify it, on the second year of our projections we are very conservative on there. So out of 1.2 million we have half a million coming out from cross-border stations and then new advertisers will be 375,000.
3020 And from the existing stations we are only taking a small pie of $60,000 and then there is another 10 percent on increasing advertisement from the existing advertisers which is about 125,000 and from the other media like social media or whatever, 125,000.
3021 THE CHAIRPERSON: So how did you come to the conclusion of your number there for repatriating? It's not quite repatriating. It's monies that shouldn't be spent abroad but is being spent abroad.
3022 How did you -- what was your estimate? Why did you come to that particularly? What was the rationale, the thinking behind it?
3023 MR. CHOPRA: Yes. We have done extensive study on that as well. If you can -- if you see the revenues coming out from even the low-power stations which are not even regulatory, one of the stations they had about $600,000 of revenue coming out from there.
3024 And we are regulated. We will be regulated and we will be bringing the revenue out from the cross-border as alleged from the low-power stations.
3025 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
3026 MR. CHOPRA: So these are very conservative numbers what we have.
3027 THE CHAIRPERSON: But Vice-Chairman Menzies referred to -- and sometimes I think he is absolutely right on this one. It's a bit like regulatory whack-a-mole. Somebody comes up with a new idea that's not quite legal perhaps and that we have to go after that. They may even undersell your -- from a rate card perspective.
3028 And so why do you feel so confident that you can go and get that much revenue out of that offshore spending?
3029 MR. CHOPRA: A very good question, sir. Actually, we have kept our -- if you see our rate card we have kept our rate card at a very conservative number and this is all the numbers which are very, very conservative.
3030 And you know I am not bullish on that but even if we maintain this level we will still be breaking even in almost our third or fourth year, but even if there is any shortfall we still have resources to fill those up in.
3031 THE CHAIRPERSON: So how long can you go -- what is your capacity and willingness to absorb losses over a longer period of time?
3032 MR. CHOPRA: Well, you know if there is a longer period of losses the business is not a business. We are into a business and we want to make profits but, yes, we can for sure, we can go until six years for sustaining the station because we have a passion. The team has a passion. We have been sitting days and nights just to get into it. It's not like, you know, we are just coming up with a new idea. That's why we had that online station for the last four years.
3033 So that we -- let's have a feel of it and then only enter the market.
3034 THE CHAIRPERSON: And this would be my last area before I turn to my colleagues.
3035 You know the Commission doesn't look favourably when applicants who become successful find the road not as rosy as they had hoped and then come up and ask for, you know, "Oh, could we do less third language? Can we do less ethnic?" In other words, the deal they got -- the contract they came to this hearing in a sense didn't quite work out.
3036 What assurance can you give us that, you know, you are in this for the long term and that you are not going to ask for assouplissements? It's late in the day so my brain now is working only in French.
3037 Loosening of the rules going forward?
3038 MR. CHOPRA: Well, it's a very good question and I want to address it in a sense. If you see our projections they are seven year projections. Whatever we project it is just on the basis of what we can have. But I can put it on this hearing that history will be there and you will see these numbers will not even near to what we will achieve. That's my confidence.
3039 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, you be careful when you say those things because sometimes the regulators are tempted to ask for more on Canadian content and talent development.
3040 MR. CHOPRA: Sir, we have already put $700,000 on that and we are very happy to do that.
3041 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
3042 MR. CHOPRA: Thank you.
3043 THE CHAIRPERSON: We'll see you -- if you are the successful applicant we will get to see you later on, and if it's been that successful maybe we'll want a little bit more in five years' time. So that's good for me.
3044 Vice-Chair Menzies, please.
3045 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Thank you.
3046 I am aware that the history of Indo-Canadians in British Columbia is lengthy but it's most voluminous in about the last 40 years. And what I am trying to get a sense of because many people have talked about dealing with cross-generational issues and heard terms like 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 and we should be well into 3.0 by now, is what are the current trends in terms of that?
3047 How much new immigration is taking place even from India but also from England and Africa and, I mean, Fiji, all over the place is happening?
3048 How much interprovincial migration is happening as people move from these communities, pushed to the Lower Mainland area?
3049 Birth rates, so what -- when we look at Surrey how much is 1.0, how much is 2.0, how much is 3.0 if we are trying to get a mix?
3050 And I don't need statistics. I just need your general sense of it.
3051 MR. SAINI: Yes, sir. Apart from about 10,000 people who are actually moving to the city on an annual basis the families, they are actually going. So as I say, there are kids who are out there. From a Snapshot perspective, the City of Surrey had -- or Surrey School Board has about 70,000 kids that are actually going to school. We have a substantial chunk of workforce that the city is actually generating and that's why probably it's going to be the next technical industrial hub invested in Canada.
3052 And I really don't have such figures for birth rate but, as I said earlier, the families are actually growing and new people are actually coming in every week, every month.
3053 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: So are young people arriving faster than old people? Let me put it that way.
3054 MR. CHOPRA: And also, sir, real estate market has proven that B.C. -- how many immigration is coming into B.C. The prices of real estate have grown so much during the last six months that there is a lot of immigration which is coming into Surrey and also the money is also pumping in. So many South Asians, Chinese, everybody is willing to -- is coming into B.C.
3055 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Oh, I have no doubt that lots of people are coming. Don't get me wrong. I am just trying to get a sense of how many people are immigrants; how many people are native-born and in terms of the sort of market that you are trying to serve in terms of that.
3056 MR. CHOPRA: Yes, sir. Like not have like a real snapshot, tight snapshot as I mentioned earlier. It’s the largest school board within British Columbia, 70,000 kids that are actually going out there. So that actually can give us an idea as to how the community is growing from the -- they will be our third generation and that’s where the whole -- I’ll say snap from a broader perspective where the community is actually growing.
3057 Immigration is actually still happening. And there are people who are not just immigrating as themself, [sic] they are actually coming with their families because there are provisions for them. And they’re also -- and interestingly is there are lots of students. They’re actually coming into Surrey. I’ll say Kwantlen Polytechnical and other colleges have those students actually also coming in.
3058 VICE-CHAIR MENZIES: Okay. Thank you.
3059 THE CHAIRPERSON: Apparently those are our final questions for you so thank you very much for your presentation.
3060 Did you want to say anything?
3061 MR. SAINI: No, sir. I want to thank you very much for your ---
3062 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
3063 So excellent. So we’ll take a break until 2:10 to continue the hearing at 10 past 2:00. Thank you very much.
--- Upon recessing at 1:02 p.m.
--- Upon resuming at 2:13 p.m.
3064 THE CHAIRPERSON: A l’odre s’il vous plaît.
3065 Madame la secrétaire.
3066 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have one announcement before we begin. For the record, South Asian Broadcasting Corporation Inc. has filed in response to undertakings the four following. One, the name of the individual recorded audio clips played during their oral presentation, as well as the date of the recording. Two, copies of audio files played during their hearing presentation. Three, copies of the report entitled “CKYE KISM files measurement and subjective listening tests in Vancouver, British Columbia.” And four, confirmation of which audio files were filed with their February 2015 application, as well as copies of other audio files recorded and mentioned in the report.
3067 These documents have been added to the public record and copies are available in the public examination room.
3068 We will now proceed with item seven on the agenda, which is an application by Ravinder Singh Pannu on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated for a broadcasting licence to operate an ethnic commercial FM specialty radio station in Surrey.
3069 Please introduce yourself and your colleagues and you will have 20 minutes for your presentation. Thank you.
3070 MS. MANJOT PANNU: Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, Members of the Commission.
3071 Before starting our presentation in-chief, I would like to introduce our team. I am Manjot Kaur Pannu. I’m the daughter of Ravinder Singh Pannu and I handle the human resources department at Sur Sagar Radio and TV in Toronto.
3072 To my immediate right is Preet Pannu. Preet is also a daughter of Ravinder Singh Pannu and a partner at KPA lawyers based in Toronto, Ontario. Preet has extensive experience in personal injury litigation and family law.
3073 On Preet’s right is Preeti Preeti. Preeti is our charter accountant with 12 years of experience in financial analysis and reporting and will be advising on financial matters.
3074 On my left is Sanjiv Kumar. Mr. Sanjiv is the principal of Guru Tegh Bahadur International School, which is from kindergarten to Grade 12. He has made many presentations at Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration in an attempt to bring about various immigration reforms. He also made presentations at various international organizations, including the World Trade Organization. Sanjiv was involved in human rights advocacy as the President of Human Rights Action Committee.
3075 Next to Sanjiv's we have Ravinder Singh Pannu. Mr. Ravinder has over 30 years’ experience in radio and television communication industry. Mr. Ravinder is the first to start Sur Sagar Radio on SCMO side band of CIUT FM radio station. In 2001, he successfully launched a 24-hour TV station called SSTV which still remains 24/7 in Toronto targeting the South Asian market.
3076 With the help of the local community in Toronto, Mr. Ravinder and the team of Sur Sagar Radio and Television raised over $1 million in remembrances of Guru Nanak Dev Ji for the Brampton Civic Hospital and other fund raising events.
3077 Beside Mr. Ravinder is retired Brigadier Nawab Singh Heer. He has served in the Indian army for 36 years. Brigadier has also been a Commandant of one of the major Army training establishments and managed Mechanized Infantry Regimental Centre. He has been the Chairman of a number of Army schools. Brigadier also writes for magazines and newspapers. He’s a powerful speaker and motivator.
3078 On retired Brigadier Nawab Singh Heer’s left we have Harpreet Kaur. Mrs. Harpreet has successfully completed her Masters in Journalism. She has 4 years’ experience as a host.
3079 On Harpreet's left we have Mr. Sarbjit Saroya. Mr. Saroya is a music content provider who is a founder of Planet Recordz. Mr. Saroya has been in the business since 2002. He has released over 300 albums of local and worldwide singers. Mr. Saroya has organized and promoted many concerts within Canada and promoted our Canadian and Indian artists.
3080 In the back row to my right we have Chhavi Disawar. Ms. Chhavi has graduated in Communications from Centennial College in Toronto, Ontario. She has experience in traffic and weather report along with other various travel issues and updates. She has interviewed local community members in events that help spread the word in the local area.
3081 Beside Ms. Chhavi is Shubdeep Singh. Mr. Shubdeep has a degree in Indian classical music from India and he is the next upcoming singer in Surrey.
3082 On Mr. Shubdeep’s left we have Mr. Azadwinder Singh Sidhu. Mr. Azadwinder has been heavily involved in giving back to the community by joining the Surrey Newton Rotary Club and served as a president in 2013 to 2014. Through the rotary, he was involved in many projects such as food drives for the food banks and raised funds to cater to local community needs.
3083 Next to Mr. Azadwinder Singh Sidhu is Mr. Prateek Sandhu. Mr. Prateek has graduated with Masters in Business Administration and Human Resources. Mr. Prateek has 16 years of experience in Media and Entertainment industry and will be specializing in Marketing.
3084 Next to Mr. Prateek we have Captain Hardeep Sandhu. Mrs. Hardeep has graduated with a Masters in Business Administration and Journalism in Mass Communication. She has 18 years of experience in various fields of communication.
3085 Apart from the members I have introduced, we have other team members who are present today. We have hosts Balwinder Agarwal and Salman Abedin, potential -- sorry, potential marketing team is Vinay Sharma and Jatinder Singh, and we have another member that joined us today, Harvinder Singh.
3086 MS. PREET PANNU: Good afternoon, honourable members of the Canadian Radio-television Commission. It is a great honour to have this opportunity to present before you today.
3087 To begin, our team is requesting the Commission to amend the programming of one of the two exempted stations in Surrey, B.C. to a protected licence.
3088 The first, the tourist information radio running on frequency 106.9 FM, alternatively, the house of worship running on frequency 91.5 FM.
3089 In the ultimate alternative to grant a licence to use 1650 AM frequency.
3090 I respectfully submit to the Commission to approve my team a licence which will allow our team to serve the increasing demand of the local population. I can say with confidence that approving my team's application for one of the above mentioned frequencies will result in a very quick benefit to the local economy, very minimal impact on Vancouver's existing radio market, and an immediate input into the Canadian Content Development.
3091 CAPTAIN SANDHU: The approval of the licence will allow our team to provide programming which will consist of local talks, news and world music as an ethnic radio station.
3092 The new proposed radio station will serve individuals of all age groups over the age of 12. This will include all genders and the elderly of Surrey.
3093 The programming focus will be 100 percent towards the ethnic community. To be more specific, the ethnic community which will be served will include the South Asian population who speak English, Farsi, Gujrati, Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil, Urdu. The other groups who will also have benefit from new radio's programming are Arabic communities, Korean communities and groups from the Philippines.
3094 Our new radio station will provide an approach that is different from the current ethnic radio services who are providing old and traditional format of programming in only third languages.
3095 However, speaking about Canada as a whole, we have seen it undergoing huge demographic changes, on a smaller scale same is reflective in Lower Mainland area. Immigrants have come from -- coming to Canada, settling and starting families. This migration of various cultural groups has resulted in first, second and third generation of English speaking families who do not wish to lose their heritage.
3096 The mixture of programming of new radio station will allow these groups to build bonds for life by imbibing the cultural diversity with the cultural fabric of the conclusive community which will also create a sustainable value for all stakeholders.
3097 The programming in a way for first, second and third generation of English speaking families on one hand integrate with their new home while maintaining their relationship with their old home.
3098 To sum up programming, the new station will provide programs to the cities of Surrey, Delta, New Westminster, Burnaby, Vancouver, Richmond and White Rock. The new radio will provide a platform to discuss current events, become aware of the news, the weather, public discussions and listen to musical selections enjoyed by various groups.
3099 MS. PANNU: The imperative research was commissioned by the applicant to carry on a study on radio interests among the Lower Mainland residents and businesses.
3100 The overall result indicated the shortage of ethnic programming, and further, the result indicated that the ethnic programming for the English speaking ethnic communities of the first, second and third generation immigrants was also lacking.
3101 When the respondents of the study were questioned about the need for a dedicated radio station in order to serve the English speaking ethnic communities of the first, second and third generation immigrants, there was an overwhelming affirmative response.
3102 Moving onto a brief introduction of the synergies that we have access to, the new radio station will have access to the already operating exempted tourist radio. The interaction between the existing operation will result in sharing of the administrative staff, sharing of the office space and sharing of many of the expenses that come with a day-to-day business. The synergy will guarantee excellent services to the market.
3103 MS. KAUR: Lower Mainland demographics show that it has its own specific cultural makeup and local radio service need to reflect and respond to the cultural makeup in the integrated fashion. If licensed, the applicant is committed to serve various cultural communities. This area is one of the fastest growing cities in Canada.
3104 To provide some statistics; the City of Surrey had a population change of 18.6 percent from 2006 to 2011 providing a national average growth of 5.9 percent. This confirms the need for a new radio station to reach to the increase in the population.
3105 MR. SANDHU: The business plan is very stable and our projections are very reasonable given our teams extensive expertise in the broadcasting industry.
3106 To begin, I will speak about the numerical on our financial projections. The revenue forecast at the onset year would be six percent from national sales, 82 percent from local retail sales and finally 12 percent from the brokerage of programming.
3107 To further break it down into numbers; in the first year the revenue from the national sales would be $40,000, from local retail sales would be $750,000 and from the brokerage programming we project a revenue of $73,000.
3108 Our team is confident that by the end of year seven we will be able to reach our financial projections. The year seven revenue from the national sales would be $70,000, from local retail sales would be $1.3 million and revenue from the brokerage would be $95,000.
3109 We have used a constructive -- we have used a conservative approach in a bottom-up style. To arrive at these conservative assertions a number of factors have been taken into account. To specify, historical data of currently running radio stations, number of confirmed advertisers willing to do business with our radio station, viability of our business plan in order to approach existing and upcoming small business owners.
3110 Our rates are very attractive, economically viable, and inexpensive and we also have a team with innovative ideas for advertisement on our radio station.
3111 Our valuable 30 years of experience in the small and medium market of radio and television assists us in providing the expertise required in order to assess the local market who need media attention in order to increase their business growth. Provided our long standing experience in the market, we will be able to use our long established network of contacts. We have taken into account all these relevant synergies to our existing business.
3112 MS. PANNU: As for marketing aspect of the new radio, we will also provide a medium for the local business to sell their product to the listeners. The new radio will also provide the services to young populations to experiment with their career at an early age. This will be provided through volunteer programs and apprenticeship programs. Moreover, if licensed, the new radio station will also allow the local residents to have a voice that will reach its leaders who represent them among various governmental bodies.
3113 Currently we have served 75 clients on our exempted tourist radio and we need another 35 to reach our projection. We have a further 14,546 plus businesses in Surrey to tap into. For ease of Commissions reference, a list is attached to the application at Exhibit 6.
3114 MR. SANDHU: BC’s economy and the retail market is on the rise. The economy has been steady at a 2.4 percent growth and looks -- and is very promising.
3115 Furthermore, BC’s labour market output projects that one million jobs will open by 2022 and approximately two thirds of these will be replacing the retiring workforce. Furthermore, one third of the job opening will fill new positions opened by the economic growth.
3116 The labour market outlook envisages that the demand in occupation is going to be out of major 140 occupations during the period of 2012 to 2022, largely in the service industry, related to retail sales, cleaners, administrative, regulatory occupations, motor vehicles, transit and general office workers.
3117 This given, the market SWOT clearly indicates that there exists a scope for innovation in programming and marketing, innovative, penetrative and focused marketing.
3118 The market presently is fragmented and so is the audience. The percentage of listeners tuned to any one station is likely to be very small at any given point of time, thus exists a huge void that can be covered by a radio like ours.
3119 There’s a scope for differentiation in the programs that are aired today. Most of the stations play popular music and therefore it is difficult to differentiate between the programs of different channels.
3120 Listener habits changing considerably, not only are they tuning in more often but also sticking to radio for longer hours.
3121 Exponential growth in the population leading to proportionate growth in the B2C, B2B and B2B2C market.
3122 MR. DHAWAN: In order to address the local issues and concerns during the term of the license, we will have a two tier system including an assessment and evaluation stage and advisory committee. In the assessment evaluation stage, the station will start by gathering research data.
3123 If the application for the licence is approved, a council will be selected to ensure that the progress of a new radio is evaluated periodically. The council will be a team of individuals consisting of senior members of community, two professionals, maybe a lawyer or doctors, a woman, and a student, who are residents of the Lower Mainland. The council will be responsible for making sure that the evaluation results are implemented in the programming of the new radio to satisfy the residents of the city.
3124 Information gathering will be done via survey type questioning posed to the participants of the new radio. These questions will be created by the members of the council and posted to the listeners via programming. A survey will be conducted at least once a year.
3125 And for all these things to make operational, Brigadier Nawab he will be the core person on behalf of the management.
3126 MS. PANNU: To speak about the advisory committee, this will exist in order to ensure that the radio station remains in touch with the ever-changing needs of the community. An advisory board will be formed to provide ongoing feedback and direction to the station’s programming.
3127 Members of the advisory board will include local listeners, performers, promoters and key members from all the unique communities that we will serve.
3128 For each language programming, we will have an advisory board from three to five members who will provide regular feedback from the community to show, host and the management.
3129 MR. PANNU: If we are granted the licence of 106.9 megahertz, we will contribute a total of $80,000 over seven broadcast years to Canadian Content Development. If we are granted 91.5 Megahertz, we will be contributing to a total of 142,000 over a seven-year broadcast period. And if we are granted 1650 Megahertz, we will be contributing 145,000 over a seven-year broadcast period.
3130 Furthermore, a percentage of CCD will go towards the factor and music action. The University of British Columbia's Journalism and Music Departments will be the recipients of the CCD.
3131 If licensed for 106.9, the new radio will schedule free five commercials daily to promote local artists; estimated value of the campaign for 106.9 is $36,500; for 91.5 it will be 69,350; and for 1650 will be 54,750. In the following years, these numbers will change proportionately as the contribution to the CCD will change.
3132 MS. PREET PANNU: To continue, I will now address the potential for market entry into the over-the-air radio market. The entry is determined by three factors.
3133 Firstly, the trends in the growth of the population and the resulting changes in demand for radio programming. In 2011, the population of Metro Vancouver census metropolitan area has increased by 9.3 percent from 2006. This compares to the national growth of 5.9 percent, and to the average growth among all census metropolitan areas of 7.4 percent. The demographic trends suggest that the demand for ethnic radio programming will continue to increase, are complemented by positive economic forecasts for British Columbia as a whole and for the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.
3134 Secondly, the economic capacity of the market to support financially viable entry, and the impact of such entry on the existing ethnic radio stations in the market. At present, there are five licensed Canadian ethnic radio stations in Vancouver, notwithstanding the significant competitive presence of cross-border stations, but the Canadian ethnic radio stations in Vancouver as a group are financially strong and stable.
3135 The secure economic performance of Vancouver's ethnic radio stations reflects an increasing demand in this market for ethnic radio programming and advertising. Taken together, demographics and economic data suggests significant potential in the Lower Mainland of B.C. radio market for entry by a new ethnic radio station. The BMO Blue Book, which uses the expertise of BMO economists and information given to commercial bankers from local businesspeople, projected B.C.'s real gross domestic product would expand.
3136 Lastly, as per Hahn Broadcaster Engineer, the Lower Mainland area has vacant AM and FM frequencies. The FM frequencies available are capable and able to bring a new platform with new programming that will tap into the community that is not served or underserved, for example 106.9 and 91.5. On the AM dial, there's 1650, 540, 600, 800, and 850 frequencies which are also available.
3137 MS. MARJOT PANNU: The available frequency are 106.9 FM, 91.5 FM and 1650 AM. I will now briefly provide an explanation of our hierarchy of choice.
3138 To begin, our first choice is 106.9 FM. We are currently on air with our exempted Tourist Information radio, which means that our existing listener base will enjoy programming and the business will benefit very quickly from the 106.9 FM's already existing infrastructure, which will allow our new radio station to set up very quickly through the use of this synergy.
3139 Our second choice of licence will be for 91.5 FM. This frequency currently airs programs under the our team’s umbrella with less power. Our team makes this their second choice as the coverage area is large, and therefore it will benefit a larger surrounding area. Given the opportunity, our team is excited to use it at its best utilization scale, and ultimately will benefit from the higher power.
3140 Finally, our third choice, 1650 AM. Being respectful of CRTC's decision, I’m referencing the Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2014-412, Use of the AM Frequency 600 Kilohertz, the Commission stated that it is mindful of the scarcity of spectrum in the Vancouver market.
3141 For this reason, and in the case of 600 Kilohertz, given its extensive coverage, the Commission considers in the circumstances of this proceeding, that the applications submitted proposing the use of 600 Kilohertz does not represent the best use of the frequencies. The Commission will therefore not be approving applications proposing the use of this frequencies.
3142 This brings me to the end of our presentation. And now I revert back to the Commission for any questions.
3143 Thank you.
3144 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
3145 Vice-Chair Menzies will start us off.
3146 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Thank you, that was very detailed. I’m a little confused where to start. So thank you, ladies, it was nice of you to give the gentlemen an opportunity to speak later in part of your presentation. And Mr. Pannu, you must be very proud of your daughters.
3147 MR. PANNU: Thank you.
3148 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: They spoke very well on your behalf. That’s a personal aside.
3149 So now to the hard part.
3150 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Can you clarify when we go -- still with the CCD and the over and above, there was a bit of back and forth with staff in clarifying that. And really what I’m trying to get to -- and there's another point that you raised in your oral presentation -- okay, 106.9, a total of $80,000 over seven years ---
3151 MR. DHAWAN: Yes.
3152 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: --- you say to Canadian content development.
3153 MR. DHAWAN: That’s right.
3154 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: This is -- is that the basic or the over and above?
3155 MR. DHAWAN: This is total.
3156 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Both of them?
3157 MR. DHAWAN: Yes.
3158 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay, so -- and that’s based on your revenue projections?
3159 MR. DHAWAN: Yeah, it's -- no, it’s not. Basically it's over and above. It’s over and above, which is ---
3160 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: It’s over and above?
3161 MR. DHAWAN: Yes. It’s 8,000 ---
3162 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right.
3163 MR. DHAWAN: --- for the first year; 8,000 for the second year; 11,000 for the third year; 11,000 for the fourth year and so on. It becomes 80,000 total.
3164 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right, and then 91.5 is 142 ---
3165 MR. DHAWAN: It's 142,000.
3166 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Yeah. Okay, really what I -- all I need is -- there is -- in the -- as you were exchanging it -- in your exchanges with staff leading up to this process, what we need to get is we have a -- you’ve got your three recipients named factor and ---
3167 MR. DHAWAN: And the music action.
3168 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: --- UBC Journalism, and then the third one being UBC Music Department?
3169 MR. DHAWAN: Yes, that’s right.
3170 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: What we need is a breakdown of how much of that money goes to each one.
3171 MR. DHAWAN: Yes, I can -- I can do that. UBC Music Department will received $2,000 in the first year, that is 25 percent of 8,000. Scholarships to the Canadian Students of Journalism in UBC will receive 4,400, which is 55 percent. And the factor and music action, which will be 20 percent, will be 1,600 for the first year and this will change proportionately in the other years.
3172 So the percentage will be 10 percent factor; 10 percent music action; 25 percent Music Department, UBC; and 55 percent Journalism Department, UBC.
3173 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: And that will apply to all three of the possible scenarios?
3174 MR. DHAWAN: Yes.
3175 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay, those same percentages?
3176 MR. DHAWAN: The same percentage.
3177 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: So 25, 10 percent to factor ---
3178 MR. DHAWAN: Ten (10), 10, 25, 55.
3179 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay.
3180 MR. DHAWAN: So 10 percent ---
3181 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Let’s just do that -- let’s just do that again and identify them.
3182 MR. DHAWAN: Okay, 10 percent to factor ---
3183 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Ten (10) percent to factor.
3184 MR. DHAWAN: --- 10 percent music action; 25 percent Music Department, University of British Columbia; and 55 percent Journalism Department, University of British Columbia.
3185 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay, good, thank you, that was helpful.
3186 Now, when you added here in your oral remarks if licensed for 106.9 you will schedule five free commercials daily to promote local artists and you give the value.
3187 MR. DHAWAN: M'hm.
3188 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: You're not thinking about that as qualifying over and above contribution; are you?
3189 MR. PANNU: Well ---
3190 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Because I don’t think that works.
3191 MR. PANNU: Yeah, it is, but we are not putting the money from pocket, so ---
3192 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay, this is in addition to ---
3193 MR. PANNU: Addition to what we -- yeah, hard cash money what we are spending.
3194 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: So this is not necessarily condition of licence material?
3195 MR. PANNU: If the Commission want to put the condition of licence, we will be happy to accept.
3196 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right, but it wouldn’t qualify as a CCD initiative.
3197 MR. PANNU: Yes, we understand that.
3198 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay, good, good. I just wanted to make sure that that was clear.
3199 Now, I guess the first thing that was striking was that the -- you wanted to do so much programming in English, which is a little different. And I’d just like you to -- and you talked about with a primary target of generations 1, 2 and 3 of South Asian, particularly Punjabi. And it was striking -- I mean, I understand that Punjabi has a higher rate of language retention, two or three generations deep, than pretty much any other language for reasons that don't really matter.
3200 But -- so I can understand that Punjabi might still be an attractive language to do ethnic broadcasting in for second and third generation because of the language retention. I'm just trying to get around the -- get my head around the marketing, the business plan behind using as much English as you are using.
3201 I mean, it's not like it's a problem. I'm just trying to understand how it fits in with the overall business plan.
3202 MR. PANNU: Yeah. If you take a look our Appendix 8A, the page 10, it is the -- all the languages what we have accounted in our proposal. Those are 10 languages, and the Punjabi is 30.16 percent and the English, which is targeted for second and third language -- generation, is 41.27.
3203 Even Punjabi is highest among other languages, still is less than English-speaking ethnic group.
3204 So we have to keep this conservative approach so we serve all the community, ethnic community which we are targeting, first, second and third generation, on the one level.
3205 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right. So it's more like picking a -- I'm just looking at it. It's Appendix 5 are the English, 52 hours.
3206 MR. PANNU: English with second -- other languages, third languages, which is Type D programming.
3207 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Yeah, Punjabi is 38 hours and English is 52; right?
3208 MR. PANNU: Yes. But it is included third language.
3209 English is not only English. It has some word from Punjabi.
3210 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Oh, okay. So it's ---
3211 MR. PANNU: It's a mix.
3212 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Engabi.
3213 MR. PANNU: We can say.
3214 It's Type D. If you go at the beginning of the application, I have already mentioned it. Type D, a program using bilingual mix, French or English, plus a third language Type A.
3215 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right. But it's going to be categorized for the purpose of licensing as English.
3216 MR. PANNU: Yes.
3217 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. I understand. I understand better now.
3218 MR. PANNU: So we will be mixing some word from Punjabi so the second and third generation, they understand.
3219 We are trying to make a bridge in between older and the new generation through the programming.
3220 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: That's very interesting. That's actually very interesting. So it would kind of go back and forth in the course of the conversation so people who maybe don't speak Punjabi can still access it, and people who maybe don't speak English don't get lost.
3221 MS. PREET PANNU: Yes. So if I may interrupt, for example ---
3222 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: You may.
3223 MS. PREET PANNU: --- myself -- thank you.
3224 I use numerous Punjabi dialects while I speak in English at home, so it helps to bridge that gap between my parents, my grandparents and my generation where we're able to understand each other by using English and Punjabi at the same time because my grandma has come to understand some terms that are -- that I use in English, and not solely Punjabi.
3225 So we -- it's a way of bridging the gap between the first, second and third generations.
3226 MR. PANNU: May I add on something, sir, if you -- with your permission?
3227 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Absolutely.
3228 MR. PANNU: This is the main point of my application, one I would like to spend a little more time. I'll give one or two example.
3229 My son, who also lives in Canada, he's 30 years old and he does come from India for study there. He's been living here for last 10 years.
3230 Whenever he borrows my car, he switches on to an English talk show. And when I go, I switch it on to a Punjabi talk show.
3231 So he also wants to hear so he want to bridge the gap. We want to give our program for these children also, first, second and third generation.
3232 It is more so for Punjabi, but even other communities like Gujarati, Tamil and other community, they also now have a second generation. So this gap need to be broken into.
3233 It may not be a typical English, but it may be English, it may be a mix of that. But this program, only then we'll be able to get the younger generation onto -- on board to listen to these talk shows.
3234 Only then will we be able to bridge the gap because a large number of things which are happening in our community, ethnic community, in our -- under the same roof there are two types of cultures are coming up.
3235 Our childrens are getting westernized, rightly so. They are -- their peers are westernized. They're picking up. Their elders are still following the older culture.
3236 And who's going to bridge the gap?
3237 So this radio media is one of the media. That's why we intentionally put it and you may like to consider that it is a -- you know, as for our research, long research that we come to a conclusion that we need a radio station which can fulfil the requirement of bridging the gap and fulfil the requirement of youngsters who want to listen into English but maybe the common topics which are to the seniors and the younger generation.
3238 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. What I understood from this, and you can correct me, is that this segment of the programming is -- this bilingual language is basically a reflection of your experience of what it would be like being in a household with three generations of -- with Punjabi history.
3239 That's the sort of -- that would be what the conversation. Ms. Pannu, you said that, that that would be the conversation -- that's what I'm drawing it from -- with your grandparents ---
3240 MS. PREET PANNU: Yes.
3241 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: --- your parents and yourself.
3242 MS. PREET PANNU: It would be easier to learn how to communicate within the three languages, again, the term bridging the gap.
3243 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay.
3244 MR. DHAWAN: And there are many issues which separate the junior generation with the senior generation. And if those issues can be taken on the radio where everyone can participate so that will how to bring everyone on board.
3245 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay.
3246 MS. PREETI: I would like to add something.
3247 To give an example, like I have a five year old at my home who speaks only English. And my mother joined us just two months back, who speaks only Punjabi. So we are having a very tough time. They are not able to interact with each other.
3248 So from last one month, what we are doing, my mother-in-law is taking a English-speaking classes and my boy is taking a Punjabi-speaking classes.
3249 So I think it's a very good idea to have a radio station where some words are speaking in English and Punjabi so both can -- both can have a vocabulary of two different language.
3250 Thank you.
3251 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Thanks.
3252 So this is primarily the content that you're going to have on during your morning and afternoon drive shows; right?
3253 MR. PANNU: Drive, yes. Punjabi.
3254 Let me get that program which we will be playing.
3255 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Your mic, please, just so we ---
3256 MR. PANNU: Sorry.
3257 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: --- get a transcript.
3258 MR. PANNU: Okay, 6:00 to 8:00 and then 12:00 to 2:00, and then again 2:00 to 4:00. And then evening, it will be, I would say, night, 10:00 to midnight. That will -- program will be in English, which will be in mixed languages.
3259 MR. DHAWAN: And this will have many different types of programming if we look at the table.
3260 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Yeah.
3261 MR. DHAWAN: There's also like good morning music. Midday music. Oldies gold. So it can have a very diversified programming using two different languages, English and ethnic language.
3262 MR. PANNU: And also, we are not ignoring the third languages, which we will be having at least 74 hour, which is 58.73 percent which we have to meet the ethnic definition of the station.
3263 MR. DHAWAN: And even these days, a lot of music is created which to say Punjabi music with some English syntaxes, some English, you know, rhythm.
3264 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right. But your primary -- I mean, your peak periods, the 8:00 till 10:00 in the morning and the 4:00 till 6:00 in the afternoon, that's Punjabi.
3265 MR. PANNU: You're right.
3266 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right?
3267 MR. PANNU: Yes.
3268 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: I may have misspoken and said English before, I think.
3269 MR. PANNU: Yeah.
3270 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: I think that was my mistake.
3271 MR. PANNU: Yeah. It’s 8:00 to 10:00 and evening is 18, which is 6:00 to 8:00. And even in the middle of 16, you're right, back to home is also ---
3272 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right.
3273 MR. PANNU: --- Punjabi.
3274 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. I was just trying to get at the --
3275 MR. PANNU: Yeah.
3276 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: -- more hybrid -- what we will term English programming because that’s the way it’s -- has to be categorized. That occurs at non-peak times; right? Okay. Thanks.
3277 MR. HEER: Some of them are on peak time like morning 6:00 to 8:00 when youngsters are driving to their work. English talk shows which can be understood by the, you know, second generation, third generation, youngsters, new immigrants who will come under, you know, different category for both visa and they’re educated. And also, most of our people who are driving to the work, they are educated. They love to listen to our English talk shows and all this thing. We considered that also, sir.
3278 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. Thanks.
3279 So let’s get the -- some technical business done here first. So are you willing to accept conditions of licence regarding your proposal which is that the programming will be 100 percent ethnic with at least -- I think the numbers added up to 58.73 percent third language weekly?
3280 MR. PANNU: Yes.
3281 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: That’s under the original and the first alternative proposals; correct?
3282 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
3283 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: And 100 percent ethnic and 77 percent third language each week under the second alternative proposal?
3284 MR. PANNU: Seventy-seven (77) is ---
3285 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Seventy-seven (77)?
3286 MR. PANNU: Seventy-seven (77) is a 1650 AM for that.
3287 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Sorry.
3288 MR. PANNU: 106.9 --
3289 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right.
3290 MR. PANNU: -- frequency and 91.5, this was similar schedule.
3291 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right.
3292 MR. PANNU: For AM is a different.
3293 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right.
3294 MR. PANNU: AM is 77, I believe 77 percent.
3295 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right. I think that’s what I said. Maybe I misspoke. One hundred -- because the program would be 100 percent ethnic and 77 percent would be third language.
3296 MR. PANNU: Yes, yes.
3297 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right.
3298 MR. PANNU: Sorry.
3299 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. And you’re comfortable with that as a COL -- condition of licence as well?
3300 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
3301 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: And would you be comfortable observing conditions of licence on the third language breakdowns in your application? Primarily a minimum 60 percent would be Punjabi and Hindi languages?
3302 MR. PANNU: I believe Punjabi is 30.16 percent.
3303 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right. Plus the Hindi.
3304 MR. PANNU: Plus the Hindi is 11.11. Yes. And the Urdu. I believe you have counted three of them.
3305 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right. But does that --
3306 MR. PANNU: Punjabi, Hindi ---
3307 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: -- add up to 60 percent?
3308 MR. PANNU: Yes.
3309 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right. Okay. Because I’ve kind of bundled them all in.
3310 MR. PANNU: Okay. Because I --
3311 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Because they’re ---
3312 MR. PANNU: -- have calculated separately.
3313 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right. They’re compatible though --
3314 MR. PANNU: Yeah.
3315 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: -- right? So --
3316 MR. PANNU: Yeah.
3317 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: -- so that’s 60 percent in the terminology is Punjabi and Hindi languages and we will say including Urdu.
3318 MR. PANNU: Right. That’s right. Yes.
3319 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay.
3320 MR. PANNU: Yes.
3321 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: So another sort of technical one, I was curious to know -- this is sort of back to the Canadian content development, why the total the 80,000 was significantly different. I mean, options 2 and 3, 140 to 145,000 --
3322 MR. PANNU: Yeah. Yes.
3323 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: -- are pretty similar. But why is it smaller for option one?
3324 MR. DHAWAN: The coverage area for the first one that is 106.9 is lesser, and coverage area for 91.5 was bigger and revenue -- if we go the business plan, the revenue will be more for that. And similarly, if we go to 1650 it will be still more. So since the revenue projections they are bigger for these --
3325 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay.
3326 MR. DHAWAN: -- so we believe that we should pay or we should spend more if we get a ---
3327 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. It’s just in proportion to the revenue you --
3328 MR. DHAWAN: Yes.
3329 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: -- anticipate from each of those operations.
3330 MR. DHAWAN: That’s right.
3331 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: In terms of -- you mentioned it here in your -- I think it was a little clearer to me in your oral presentation here when you reference the committee and the council in terms of the advisory committee. Can you just take me through that again? Because it was -- I was confused as to whether they were one and the same from the first one. But in your oral presentation you seem to indicate that the creation of a council will be a preliminary step towards the establishment of an advisory committee; is that correct?
3332 MR. DHAWAN: Okay. Well, we understand that there are -- these are two different bodies. The first one we are talking about is about the council. So basically, if we look at the application, question number 8.1, so where we talked about the plan, how we will reflect on local issues and concerns during the term of the licence. So the goal of the new radio station is to increase the awareness of different issues like health, education, social responsibility and so on. So we have a plan of action which talk about that the local station will invite different groups, community leaders, foundations, different organizations to get information and feedback.
3333 And in this I would put in the most important thing here will be that if we are granted the licence, we’ll set up a council which will include five people. One a senior community person who’s a distinguished person in the society; two professional peoples, maybe a doctor, maybe a lawyer, someone who really accomplished and who’s going to be valuable to us; and similarly, a woman and a student.
3334 So we will choose five distinguished people, maybe celebrities, maybe those who can add value and bring -- and involve different segments of the society or connect them with the radio. So these people will be there to help us to build up questionnaires to evaluate the radio station.
3335 So then we will conduct a survey. So we will authorize that survey about our programming, about how we are doing, to have information or feedback from the common people. And that survey will be given to people who can analyze and give us the resource. And then those five members will be going through those resource and will connect with the different members of the society to give us ideas, what kind of new programs we should have, what type of topics we should choose in our programs. So those will be in advisory chair.
3336 But the second committee is advisory committee, which is basically what we are going to have. Say we have -- we are serving many languages, more than 10 languages. Now to connect with Tamil community or to connect with Hindi community or to connect with Punjabi community. So we want people who can give us feedback and input and who can connect us with those different communities.
3337 So that committee will be a broader committee, in a sense a loose committee where three to five members will be from each section, each language. Say three to five members from Punjabi, three to five members from Hindi, three to five members -- so we can organize their meetings.
3338 And we have Brigadier Nawab. He will be communicating with those groups. And in some situations, if there’s a problem with some programming, some people have some complaints, so Brigadier Nawab, along with those three to five members of community which is related to a particular language. So they can basically connect with the host and get the issues resolved if there are any.
3339 So that will help us to get connected with the community in a bigger way and we will be in a position to get much better feedback and we can resolve any concerns and issues in the community regarding programming, regarding a host.
3340 So the management, Brigadier Nawab, and those members will work together to develop this radio station into a wonderful radio station.
3341 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. That all made sense. The thing I’m not clear on is are they both -- would they both -- if your application was successful, would they both be starting at the same time?
3342 MR. DHAWAN: Yes.
3343 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: And the boundary between them would be that the council is more of a research council in --
3344 MR. DHARWAN: Council is ---
3345 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: -- charge of this survey?
3346 MR. DHARWAN: No. Council is more of bringing in celebrities who can -- once they are part of it so they can advise it. But the survey is not to be conducted by the council. Survey is to be conducted by the radio station.
3347 Yes, those people with their expertise, with their qualifications, their skills and the name they bring, so they will give us ideas. But ultimately, it is the radio station who will organize or assign a third party to do the survey but once those are there, so those people, say a student, a professional, a woman, they will look into and then they will say, okay, what we need to change in our program related to women. Or how we should have ---
3348 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: And so there what separates them from the advisory committee ---
3349 MR. PANNU: Exactly.
3350 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: -- is their sphere of influences' programming.
3351 MR. PANNU: Exactly.
3352 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. So I get that.
3353 Now, the advisory committee then if the council is dealing with programming issues, the advisory committee then would be dealing more with community relations, business development?
3354 MR. DHAWAN: Community relations and individual programs and community relations.
3355 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Sorry?
3356 MR. DHAWAN: Individual -- for example, there is a Punjabi program.
3357 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right.
3358 MR. DHAWAN: And people have complained about a Punjabi host, the way he is presenting. So now that's an individual. So those three, four members from Punjabi community were part of this advisory committee. They will sit with the complainant; listen to him, along with Mr. Nawab Heer.
3359 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. So the council won't be doing that?
3360 MR. DHAWAN: No.
3361 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: The council will be taking the feedback from the survey and ---
3362 MR. DHAWAN: And advice.
3363 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: --- working with you internally?
3364 MR. DHAWAN: Yes.
3365 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: To work on that and then the committee would be dealing with community relations from that point forward and they would not be the same people?
3366 MR. DHAWAN: That's right.
3367 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: And the council would be dealing with this survey on a once a year basis?
3368 MR. DHAWAN: That's right.
3369 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. And the committee then would be meeting how frequently?
3370 MR. DHAWAN: Quarterly.
3371 MR. HEER: Sir, I will answer that he allowed me to do this job. Like any other business, more so in the radio business it's the people and the dynamic it's changing. People's views change, the requirements changes, everything changes.
3372 So for that what we decided, we have about five, six main communities out of 10 whose leaders will have contact with the larger people in that community. They will be members of this advisory committee with me. And we will informally meet. I meet them once a month but formally once a quarter.
3373 And the end of the year whenever we have our main function for the radio, so they will be all invited there.
3374 So interaction with them will be of various types to give any feedback, to give any suggestions, to give -- to keep our radio station's views onto the public and then to the management. That will be sort of our role, what we have discussed and we will be doing it.
3375 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: And you would be the man who is selecting those people?
3376 MR. DHAWAN: Yes.
3377 MR. HEER: Yes, with the consultation with the CEO, I will be the person.
3378 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. And as far as the council is concerned who would be -- and sorry, finish with the committee. You said three to five people?
3379 MR. DHAWAN: That's right, for the committee.
3380 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: The committee.
3381 MR. DHAWAN: Yes. And it is far -- those three to five will be for Punjabi also, for Hindi also, for other languages also.
3382 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. And who selects the council?
3383 MR. DHAWAN: Again, both are selected by the management in consultation with the ---
3384 MR. HEER: Brigadier Heer.
3385 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. The Brigadier will be giving the orders.
3386 MR. HEER: I used to, sir.
3387 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: I expect so.
3388 Just going back to the English shows, what is the balance between the spoken word and music during those shows?
3389 MR. PANNU: Okay. It's the 25 percent will be third language and 75 percent will be English.
3390 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Seventy-five percent will be spoken and 25 percent music?
3391 MR. PANNU: In the English language when we are talking and unless the host wanted to introduce the song and he will -- when he will be singing he will be picking up 75 percent of the English words and 25 percent third language.
3392 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Oh, okay. Yeah. No, ---
3393 MR. PANNU: Yeah.
3394 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: --- I sort of got that. What I was doing was -- let's just forget about which language it is for a second in terms of what we call spoken word which is just talking.
3395 MR. PANNU: Yes.
3396 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: What percentage would be that and what percentage would be music?
3397 MS. SANDHU: Okay. So if I may give that answer?
3398 So spoken word is 57.14 percent and music will be 42.86 percent oral.
3399 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Sorry, could you repeat that?
3400 MS. SANDHU: Spoken word 57.14 percent.
3401 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay, 57, okay, I get it now. I thought you said 67.
3402 MS. SANDHU: Fifty-seven.
3403 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay, thank you.
3404 So how much open line programming do you expect, because I am assuming that with your advisory committee there might be some adjustments within these percentages in terms of the nature of your programming.
3405 MR. PANNU: We have -- were mentioning program summary where we have indicated what program will be open line. And I suppose you want me to go through some ---
3406 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: I just wanted to know what your plans are to manage it.
3407 MR. PANNU: I've got to find out that --
3408 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Because one of the technical questions I have to ask is that you -- preliminary to that is that you're familiar with the CRTC requirements regarding open line programming, Public Notice 1988-213?
3409 MR. PANNU: Can you get those programs to me?
3410 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: And you will be operating ---
3411 MS. SANDHU: Yeah, back to home show which will be from four to six, that two hours will be open line show to discuss current events.
3412 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right. And you're familiar with the CRTC requirements?
3413 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
3414 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Regarding management of open line programming?
3415 MR. PANNU: Yes, we indicated in our application how we will be handling those calls.
3416 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right. And how do you -- and it will be then the role of your advisory committee to manage complaints that may come from that or will that -- will it be management managing those, the first line?
3417 MR. DHAWAN: See the managing committee, when we say three to five people for each -- so if there are individual complaints about individual programs, so those three to five members along with Mr. Brigadier Heer and with a show host they will be dealing. And if that matter is not resolved to the full satisfaction of the complainant then the management council to picture to take action if it is required.
3418 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. So the first point of contact for somebody with a complaint is the Brigadier?
3419 MR. DHAWAN: Yes.
3420 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. And then if it's not resolved there then it goes to management.
3421 MR. DHAWAN: And then it goes to Mr. Pannu.
3422 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: And then do you plan on being a member of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council?
3423 MR. DHAWAN: Too.
3424 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: So it could go there if it wasn't resolved there?
3425 MR. DHAWAN: Yes.
3426 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. Thanks.
3427 We were kind of struck by the high level of international news that you planned and it seemed to me that, you know, in the age of the Internet -- I mean I understood when -- I understand when multicultural and ethnic broadcasting first started it was a little bit of a lifeline to news from home, your country, that sort of stuff.
3428 But in the age of the Internet when you can go online and get news from the old countries if you want, why would -- what's the rationale for having such a high level of international news?
3429 MR. PANNU: I would like to have Brigadier Heer to answer because he listens to more India news.
3430 MR. HEER: Sorry.
3431 MR. PANNU: Yes.
3432 MR. HEER: It's like this today. Everyone is aware of every event. Even now with the cellphone we are connected to the whole world. We get to know. I mean the news is no big deal today.
3433 But what is a big deal is the analysis of all the news whatever is happening in the world, what is happening in America, what are the candidates who are running for election. They are saying people want to have analysis. And that's a strong point of our team. We have good research because we have quite big experience in this vein.
3434 And then we have a very qualified analyst who analyzes the news for people back from currently -- that is back from, I mean, my state of Punjab. People want to -- because they get the news, what has happened, but what -- how do we analyze that news and what is going to have an impact?
3435 So it's that whatever international news is today people want to know what are the impacts? Because the whole world is connected through the Internet. I agree with you, but then they want analysis also. That's what we would do.
3436 MR. DHAWAN: I would like to add to the Brigadier. For example, these days I watch a lot of American news, what's going on in presidential elections. So we all can read what is said by this -- what is said by Mr. Trump or what is said by Hilary Clinton or anyone but I still go and watch three channels, one is CNN, another is Fox News and third is RT, the Russian television. Why? Because I want to see how different experts -- they’re looking at this issue with different perspectives. As Brigadier also said that it’s basically the discussion which is a very important part of it.
3437 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. I mean, I certainly understand the need for analysis, but the analysis -- let me put it this way. If I want American -- as you indicated, if I want American analysis of an American issue I will watch CNN, or Fox, or whatever -- there’s a variety of those that are available and they’re licensed for distribution in Canada or be to use their licence -- have licence to carry them.
3438 But I -- but this is Canadian spectrum, right. So is the analysis of those international events, which is, you know, a public -- it’s in the -- a public entity in that sense. I don’t quite have the right word. But the -- wouldn’t the analysis for your audience be I’m going to analyse this event, this international event through the lens of a person with a Punjabi history who’s a Canadian and who’s living in Canada as opposed to some guy in Punjab who I can get online, right?
3439 So are you giving -- when you’re doing that analysis -- which is how you explained to me that’s the extra emphasis on international news -- is that analysis coming from India or is that analysis coming from a Canadian with ---
3440 MR. DHAWAN: I think it’s both.
3441 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: --- an Indo-Canadian perspective?
3442 MR. DHAWAN: It’s both. It’s both. We put together -- in a program, say, if there is talk show or open line show, so you can have Canadian Punjabis asking questions about an event in Indian Punjab from a Punjab -- some minister. So they are sharing -- today we are living in a world where we should think globally and act locally and we should connect with everyone so that we can have opinion, views and everything from different perspectives. Only then we can have a balanced understanding of the situation.
3443 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. I’ll just -- I’ll do one more question on that. Because you’re looking -- your audience is trying to build is pan-generational.
3444 MR. DHAWAN: All right.
3445 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: It’s been commented on by others and its nature, as a 3.0 myself, that after a while I care a lot less about what happens in Scotland or Ireland ---
3446 MR. DHAWAN: That’s true.
3447 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: --- right, then my grandmother did, right. So how is that international portion then apportioned, right, because I ---
3448 MR. PANNU: If I may answer ---
3449 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: I understand the first wave immigrant but I’m not quite sure ---
3450 MR. DHAWAN: Basically I would like to reflect to that. See, there are two things; one is how we have to integrate in Canadian society. So that’s also some of the applicants they have raised those questions and we fully understand and that’s why we have a part of English programming where people can get together.
3451 So we are -- one of the lines we used -- connecting the new home with the old home. So that means we want to be integrating ourselves into this community, we’ve been a part of this, on the other hand, staying connected with other -- the previous.
3452 MR. SANDHU: If I may add to ---
3453 MR. DHAWAN: Yeah.
3454 MR. SANDHU: So today as we’re talking about if we travel in a car the family of -- I think you’re in love with the 3.0 concept. So 3.0 or 2.1, 1.0 and probably the 0.0, which is still to come, if there are four folks travelling in the car we need a channel today which can be comprehended to and related to by all those four all generations.
3455 Talking about the news concept, today we’re in a digital world. The world is flat. It’s no longer round when you talk digitally. However, when you talk about the immigrants and whether they come from three generations or they have recently immigrated like a family of ours, they still spend on travel a lot to their homelands. Then when somebody’s grandparents’ travel or stay two months back home in Pakistan or in India their grandchildren seriously want to know why they’re going there, what’s happening there, and it’s a way of them to get related to it.
3456 The idea is not about -- purely about the news. The idea is also for them to understand what’s happening in the place that they come from. That’s the idea.
3457 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. I understand that.
3458 MR. HEER: Just one more point, if you don’t mind.
3459 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Sure.
3460 MR. HEER: Just to make myself clear, when I say analysis, it doesn’t mean that we’ll be playing politics or something. When we say analysis it doesn’t mean we’ll be advocating some viewpoint which is our only viewpoint. Analysis will be very unbiased and are very -- and different viewpoints could become and let’s make their own conclusion.
3461 But you rightly said yes, Punjabi is sitting here for him the way he understand about the impacts of the event when we’re explaining. I mean, that’s what I mean.
3462 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. No, I understand. I mean, almost all of us come from a history where you were going to something but there were also some things you wanted to leave behind when you left.
3463 The -- you’ve talked a bit -- in your oral remarks you address some of this. But how are you going to transition? You have the low power travel information station, and if you get your preferred frequency you will basically put that to bed and use the existing synergies you have there as a foundation for your ---
3464 MR. PANNU: Yes.
3465 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: --- new operation, ---
3466 MR. PANNU: That is ---
3467 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: --- and if it’s your alternative frequencies you will continue to operate then ---
3468 MR. PANNU: Yes.
3469 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: --- but nevertheless take advantage of some of the synergies you’ve had there?
3470 MR. PANNU: Okay. If we get it, 106.9, eventually it’s going to shut down and transfer the programming on 106.9.
3471 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right.
3472 MR. PANNU: And that’s the alternative ---
3473 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: At a higher power level?
3474 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
3475 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Yes.
3476 MR. PANNU: Also programming --higher power and programming.
3477 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Yes. Yes.
3478 MR. PANNU: And if we get the alternative then we will shut down 106.9, or if we get 1650 for sure we will shut down 106.9.
3479 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: And do you think that will -- that gives you the -- because there’s a lot of -- as you pointed out, there are a lot of pretty sophisticated players already in this market ---
3480 MR. PANNU: Yeah.
3481 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: --- in this game. And you think that would give you the strength as a standalone basically new entry to be able to compete efficiently against the others?
3482 MR. PANNU: Based on our programming, I will say -- we will have a competition, but based on programming, we will be not competing and they will not be competing based on programming. We -- our programming is totally different than ---
3483 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right.
3484 MR. PANNU: --- the people already in the market.
3485 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right. And would you be comfortable if we -- would your business plan stand up if we licensed more than one competitor coming through this?
3486 MR. PANNU: Yeah, we don’t have any objection, because our calculation is based on our experience and in the market already running low power tourist radio. So we have our own plan, we don’t depend upon someone else.
3487 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. A couple of things have struck me over the last couple of days is that -- I mean, it’s not unusual for everybody to say look you could licence six and we’d still compete in terms of that or one and we’d still be fine, and then there’s the American services coming in and everybody says they’re going to get that money. But it seems to me there’s some risk with additional licence or licenses.
3488 Whoever is getting that American money isn’t just going to let it go, right, they will fight to keep it. And there’s some risk with multiple players that we get into a rate war where advertising just gets less and less expensive. And it’s always of concern to us in scenarios that might be over licensing that instead of having five, six, whatever, strong competitors we have eight or nine weak ones.
3489 And it’s not so much the commercial viability that’s the issue it’s the service to the community that becomes the issue, because when people struggle for revenue they tend to cut back on their news or their information or their programming. Do you see that as a risk --
3490 MR. PANNU: I do.
3491 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: -- in this market?
3492 MR. PANNU: I would ask Prateek if you can elaborate and Sanjiv also.
3493 MR. SANDHU: Yeah.
3494 MR. DHAWAN: Well, first of all, if we look at pricing of different players here, we have a very well established station FM. Their pricing and the pricing of those who are from cross the borders, their pricing is much lesser. And we have seen the thousands and thousands of people, the businessmen, they’re not advertising on any radio. The reason, it does not fit to their budget. So there’s a large number of people who can advertise or who want to advertise but their budget is small so they don’t fit. So we don’t need to have the price. There’s a -- they’re different of businessman. They’re big, national companies. They’re original organizations.
3495 Or then there are lawyers, restaurants -- not -- a restaurant, a small restaurant may not be in a position to advertise on CBC or -- I’m just mentioning any big station. But they have a budget of 500 to $1,000. So they can actually come to a radio station which is brand new which has a smaller size and that restaurant itself has a small boundary from where he will get his customers. Say someone -- a small restaurant in Surrey, a person is not coming from downtown Toronto to go eat there. So if their advertisement, a small budget advertisement is there on a small size radio, so it will bring into many new advertisers into the field.
3496 MR. SANDHU: Sir, if I may add, I’m handling the marketing perspective for this organization right now. Presently, if we are looking at an FM radio station, we would need to reach the projected numbers approximately 110 clients or at people running advertisements without radio. We already have 75 confirmed clients who are there with us. A list is already there attached in the application.
3497 Surrey Lower Mainland market itself has got more than 14,546 potential businesses untapped by any other radio. I’m not talking about the radio clients which have gone across the border. Apart from that, today, if we run an analysis of the market which is existing there, one house has got five different listeners. All five do not tune in to the same radio. The youth, when we look at the age that we’re following, is largely disconnected with respect to the English speaking ethnic. Their purchasing power may be not be very high, but they do hold a huge purchasing power in terms of various consumable that we’re looking at which are the larger business livelihoods of people in the Lower Mainland.
3498 When we look at the potential proximity to purchase which the radio gives to any listener, the potential proximity to purchase in the Lower Mainland has been very successful vis-à-vis an expanded brand ratio.
3499 Thirdly, any consumer doesn’t rely on one particular brand or dealership to purchase. Our purchasing habits are very segregated. So the type of advertisements or the business cash inflow imports that we’re looking at vary not only from the geographical point of view or community point of view, but from where I’m going to, it is more linguistic point of view. That’s -- this is something which the existing radios are not practicing right now.
3500 I’ll give you a small example, if I may. Today an English speaking lumber producing company advertises on an ethnic radio. The ad is run on a Punjabi show listened by a Punjabi house construction company and that house is sold during the English -- during the Chinese two-hour slot because the purchasing power right now is with that community. So that is how we’re looking at branding and placing our product with respect to the advertising capability.
3501 So we’re not purely relying on the dollar which is -- which may or which may not come back, which is purely dependent on the will of the people who have invested across the border on the other side.
3502 Secondly, I’ll give an example today. The existing radios, there’s one ethnic radio which is quite dominant in the Lower Mainland, especially in Surrey, the Arab Gujarati show for two hours. I speak five languages. I understand Gujarati so I listen to that show. But the commercial which is played during that Gujarati show is in Punjabi, which doesn’t make sense to the listener. Looking at that and the hours of third language that we’re talking about, it is 10 hours of air time which is not being tapped with respect to potential. I mean, if I convert it into a day, I’m looking at almost 45 days in the calendar year which has got a market potential which is not being used by any other ethnic radio as of date. They may take this as a learning today.
3503 So we are not just relying on that, sir.
3504 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. And this is all stemming from the research that you’ve done?
3505 MR. SANDHU: This is all coming because we have done extensive -- we already have a footprint in the market with respect to the tourist radio, and also we have a team who’s been working in the Lower Mainland for the last 17 to 20 years. And they understand the dynamics of the market today.
3506 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. Maybe you can help me with one thing.
3507 MR. SANDHU: Sure.
3508 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: I was thinking about the growth projections that you outlined in your presentation today about how population is going to grow in the Surrey area and that sort of stuff, and actually overall in the Lower Mainland area. And I don’t understand with the shifting demographics of this community and without the large number of what we shall call mainstream commercial radio stations in Vancouver, why people from the Punjabi community feel that they aren’t -- I mean, I can understand that they’d like to be more directly served, but I don’t understand how they could be ignored and not served by what you -- what we have traditionally known as mainstream; right? When -- I mean, the population of downtown Vancouver, less than 50 percent of people in downtown Vancouver claim English as a mother tongue.
3509 MR. SANDHU: Absolutely, sir.
3510 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Right?
3511 MR. SANDHU: Absolutely.
3512 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: I mean, so if you’re a commercial operator --
3513 MR. SANDHU: Sure.
3514 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: -- and that’s what your audience looks like, why would you still just be serving the 50 percent who claim English as a mother tongue? It makes no sense to me.
3515 MR. SANDHU: I’ll explain that in a simple language, sir. I am an immigrant from India. My education throughout has been in English. My mother tongue is Punjabi. The area that I was born and brought up, the mother tongue or the common language in that area was Urdu and Hindi. My daughter was born in a place wherein the common language was Hindi. She has grown in an area where she spoke only English. As an immigrant she has been learning French for the last five years. So the demographic of people that are immigrating has changed and there’s been a paradigm shift.
3516 Today, as you also know, that even the immigration policy needs that the people who are immigrating and landing to the -- to Canada need to have certain basic minimum level of comprehension of English. That is something which is the market that we’re looking at.
3517 Today, my daughter speaks French at school and English at school. She speaks Punjabi with me at home or her mother -- or my mother-in-law and she speaks English and a mix of Punjabi with both of us. So that’s the generation which is moving down.
3518 I agree with you there’s going to be a change. Mr. Pannu will help me out on that. There is going to be a change in this generation as well, but probably 10 years down the road, sir.
3519 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Thank you. I feel very unsophisticated now after all that explanation of all those languages going on.
3520 I had a question about why your expenses for your alternative frequencies were higher, but I believe that was explained in terms of the fact that they would be more standalone because you would still have the low power. Thanks.
3521 One -- I’m always hesitant to say “final question” because there might be one -- almost finished question from me. Your proposal is pretty Surrey centric overall, but the 106.9 powered up goes way beyond what Surrey requires. It’s quite expansive. So is that the reason why it’s your first choice? Or is your first choice more based on the fact that you’re already sitting on that?
3522 MR. PANNU: That’s the point what you have said. Where we’re sitting already, 106.9, that’s our choice.
3523 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay. And -- because I guess the concern is what I’m trying to get at, to be blunt, is whether or not your main core is always going to be Surrey, although that seems to be the heartland of the Punjabi community which would make sense for your programming, but your -- there's always a concern that the temptation is to expand that and you put -- the Surrey part gets diluted and it becomes more of a Lower Mainland station as opposed to a Surrey; do you see that as a risk? And while on that, I mean your transmission site I think is on -- it’s in Delta, just on the eastern ---
3524 MR. PANNU: Yes.
3525 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: --- border of Delta?
3526 MR. PANNU: Yeah.
3527 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Do you see any -- do you see any risk of it being less Surrey centric or -- I mean it -- because it is the -- it is Surrey, but it is also Punjabi in a sense, Punjabi Hindi, Indo-Canadian, so is the audience Surrey, is the audience geographic or is it more demographic?
3528 MR. DHAWAN: It is Surrey and of course it is geographic in that sense and demographic also.
3529 VICE-CHAIRMAN MENZIES: Okay, thank you.
3530 Those are all my questions, my colleagues may have some more.
3531 THE CHAIRPERSON: I was noting that you were referring to the 106.9, your current -- where you're currently broadcasting, you're describing it almost as if it’s a licensed undertaking which we could make an amendment towards, so that you can now operate like a regular power. You have no entitlement to that, you realize that?
3532 MR. PANNU: Yeah, it’s just that we are requesting even when that is exempted, we are going through this hearing, that will be done if licensed. That is our mean to say amended, even that is not licensed exempted, so ---
3533 THE CHAIRPERSON: But it’s not -- it’s not an amendment, you do not have a licence for that service.
3534 MR. PANNU: Yes, yes, agree.
3535 THE CHAIRPERSON: So we can't amend it, that’s ---
3536 MR. PANNU: Yes.
3537 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- it’s unprotected, somebody else could come and ask for it, you’ve asked for it.
3538 MR. PANNU: Yes, we ---
3539 THE CHAIRPERSON: So it’s not technically an amendment.
3540 MR. PANNU: Technically, you're right.
3541 THE CHAIRPERSON: All right.
3542 MR. PANNU: Technically, you are right.
3543 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well we’re a technical body, so ---
3544 MR. PANNU: Yes.
3545 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- technicalities do matter.
3546 MR. PANNU: Yeah.
3547 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, so as long as we’re clear about that.
3548 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
3549 THE CHAIRPERSON: Just to clarify some of your level of third language programming. So your first choice is 106.9, and if I understand correctly, you're proposing 74 hours of broadcast per week or about -- it’s about 58 percent, 50 -- almost 59 percent. Then your second choice is 91.5 ---
3550 MR. PANNU: Yes.
3551 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- at 74 hours, that’s 58.73 percent. And your third choice at the AM 1250 ---
3552 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
3553 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- that’s 98 hours and that’s almost 78 percent. Can you explain to us why your third language programming is so much higher for your third choice?
3554 MR. PANNU: Our contour of 1650 is wider. And most of the 1650 listened by the seniors and the people come from India, and when we tune to FM, it is youth and also people from India, from South Asia. So what we have chosen, if we go on 1650 AM we will be having more audience ---
3555 THE CHAIRPERSON: Audience.
3556 MR. PANNU: --- which is from South Asia.
3557 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
3558 MR. PANNU: That’s the reason we have chosen more ---
3559 THE CHAIRPERSON: So in a sense your format or your sound will be quite different if you are on 1650?
3560 MR. PANNU: That will be -- we can say that will be ---
3561 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mostly it’s from a language base?
3562 MR. PANNU: --- 14 percent difference.
3563 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
3564 MR. PANNU: Yeah.
3565 THE CHAIRPERSON: Which is not insignificant, I mean it’d be ---
3566 MR. PANNU: Yeah.
3567 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- a different -- it would be significantly different because you're actually targeting a different type of audience, an older audience ---
3568 MR. PANNU: That’s true.
3569 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- that still has the original South Asian language as their primary language ---
3570 MR. PANNU: Yes.
3571 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- and perhaps even their exclusive language ---
3572 MR. PANNU: Yeah.
3573 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- I take it; right?
3574 MR. PANNU: But also we are not forgetting the youth in this too, we will be targeting those.
3575 THE CHAIRPERSON: And for the -- you think the youth will be more attracted -- as you’ve discussed with the Vice-Chair -- to the English services?
3576 MR. PANNU: They will be less toward AM ---
3577 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
3578 MR. PANNU: --- but FM for sure ---
3579 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
3580 MR. PANNU: --- there will be more.
3581 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. We had a discussion earlier about younger folks not listening to radio, and I think probably even less AM radio, is maybe a reality there that you see quite across the country. Probably don’t have sets that have AM tuners anymore, but -- hence the change of technology.
3582 MR. PANNU: Yeah.
3583 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, thank you for that clarification.
3584 Legal counsel?
3585 MS. FISHER: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
3586 I just had a quick question to clarify certain COLs that you discussed with Commissioner Menzies. I know that you confirmed the levels of ethnic and third language programming that you were committed to by COL. But in terms of the ethnic programming broadcasting in particular languages, I know there was a bit of an exchange and I just wanted to make that very clear for the record.
3587 MR. PANNU: Yeah.
3588 MS. FISHER: So on our preferred frequency of 106.9 and your first alternative of 91.5, based on your application it appears it would be a minimum of 41 percent of ethnic programming broadcast each week in Punjabi and Hindi; is that correct?
3589 MR. PANNU: That’s right.
3590 MS. FISHER: Okay, and you would adhere to those levels as a COL ---
3591 MR. PANNU: Yeah.
3592 MS. FISHER: --- as a condition of licence?
3593 MR. DHAWAN: Yes.
3594 MR. PANNU: Yeah.
3595 MS. FISHER: Yes, thank you. And then for your second alternative on the AM station it appeared from your application that it would be a minimum of 60 percent of ethnic programming broadcast each week in Punjabi and Hindi; is that correct as well?
3596 MR. PANNU: That’s correct.
3597 MS. FISHER: Okay, and you would adhere to those level as a COL?
3598 MR. PANNU: Yes.
3599 MS. FISHER: Okay, perfect.
3600 Thank you, Mr. Chair.
3601 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, great, thank you, those -- your mics are on, do you have anything to add? No?
3602 MR. PANNU: Thank you very much.
3603 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, thank you. Just making sure that there wasn’t anything you wanted to add.
3604 So we’ll take a -- thank you, that’s all the questions.
3605 MR. DHAWAN: Thank you, sir.
3606 THE CHAIRPERSON: And we’ll take a break. In this hearing room I don’t have a clock on the wall, so sorry, if I have to look at my watch. Why don’t we come back at five to four for the continuation of the hearing. Thank you.
--- Upon recessing at 3:38 p.m.
--- Upon resuming at 3:59 p.m.
3607 LE PRÉSIDENT: À l’ordre, s’il vous plaît. Order, please.
3608 Madame la Secrétaire.
3609 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
3610 One more announcement, following the next presentation we will be starting Phase II, whereby applicants appear in the same order as Phase I to intervene on competing applications if they wish. If you know that you do not intend to appear in that phase, please advise me at the next break.
3611 We will now proceed with Item 8 on the agenda, which is an application by Radio India Ltd. for a broadcasting licence to operate an ethnic commercial FM specialty radio station in Vancouver. Please re-introduce yourself and your colleagues and you will then have 20 minutes to make your presentation.
3612 Thank you.
3613 MS. SHARON GILL: Okay. Good afternoon, Mr. Chair, Mr. Vice-Chair, Members of the Commission and the Commission staff. My Name is Sharon Gill, and I’m the president of Radio India Ltd.
3614 Mr. Blais, in regards to your concerns this morning, I would like to say yes, I’m young, yes, I do not have 50 years of experience, but I have the means, I own Radio India Ltd. I do not have any written agreements or any other form of agreement either with my father, my brother or any other members of my family.
3615 In regards to the control of Radio India Ltd. or the radio licence or licences that the CRTC may wish to put in my trust, I am the sole owner of Radio India.
3616 Yes, my family and my father has helped me when I was in school and in university as any parent does, but today I am an adult. I bought my aunt’s asset and created Radio India Ltd.
3617 This morning I was nervous and anxious because all my heart is in this project. This is my chance to be a broadcaster and I promised a service to community and to other -- to my community and to other communities I wish to serve.
3618 I have put together a team, we are all together, Mr. Shakamuri, Mr. Mathieu, Sukhjit, Nandini, Mandeep, Devinter. And I will make good use of their wide expertise. Thank you.
3619 By the way, I have also submitted the many documents regarding my net worth, and I'm controlling my own interest. The only situation is that I own a building with my brother, but I pledge that he is not going to be involved in the control of the radio station and licence.
3620 I firmly stress this, I will be the sole person controlling Radio India Ltd.
3621 Now I’ll get to the introductions. To my immediate right is Mr. Mike Mathieu, he is our broadcast consultant and has worked closely with me in the preparation of these applications.
3622 To Mike’s right is Mr. Kerry Pelser. He is the chief engineer of D.E.M. Allen & Associates Limited of Winnipeg and he worked closely with our broadcast consultant, Mike Mathieu, to prepare all the technical aspects of our application.
3623 To Mr. Pelser’s right is Nandini Aggarwal. She will be doing news and talk show.
3624 To Nandini’s right is Mr. Vijay Shakamuri: Vijay is a certified general accountant and the CFO of Shakamuri & Co Inc. He was responsible for the preparation of our financial statements and the business plan and was instrumental in guiding us through our financial decision including the Canadian Content Development initiative.
3625 To my left is Sukhjit Mangat. Her duties include hosting live shows, designing and preparing ads, selecting and scheduling radio hosts and dealing with clients.
3626 To Sukhjit’s left is Devinder Benipal. He has a career spanning over a decade as a songwriter, a radio host, an MC and a well-known media personality. He is also in charge of the musical aspect of the programming.
3627 To Devinder’s left is Ms. Mandeep Gill. Mandeep’s a talk show host and news announcer at Radio India. Her talk show discusses political and social issues in and around the South Asian diaspora of the Lower Mainland.
3628 We are here today hoping to move to the next stage in our development. Our team has worked hard and is ready. Radio India’s years of operation have taught us what the community needs, wants, and how to deliver it.
3629 We look forward to maintaining our existing level of service while improving and expanding it. Strong of experience acquired when my father (Mr. Maninder Gill) was operating Radio India 2003 and broadcasting to the Surrey/Vancouver area via a U.S. transmitter.
3630 I am proud to be here today with this team of dedicated and experienced broadcasters. We have the experience, we have the passion, and we have the plans to provide a high-quality stereo FM service to the Surrey/Vancouver Market.
3631 Radio India pledges to substantially encourage and support the Canadian content development.
3632 As this morning we applied for a station in Surrey. This application is for a Vancouver station that will allow us to serve the whole Vancouver/Surrey market and either 89.3 MHz or 91.5 MHz in Surrey.
3633 Although the Commission could license us only in Surrey or only in Vancouver, we hope that the commission will provide us the tools to offer a local service to the whole of Vancouver/Surrey area, as the needs of the south Asians living in Vancouver are the same as the needs of the South Asians living in Surrey.
3634 Our newscast will provide information that is pertinent to all South Asians that live in the Lower Mainland.
3635 The Commission will note that should we be successful in obtaining both 89.3, our preferred frequency, or 106.9, the Vancouver frequency, our over and above CCD commitment over the first seven years of operations will be $1.2 million, to which we are accepting the condition of license.
3636 Given our financial projections, our basic contribution should be in the order of $441,000 for a possible total contribution of $1,641,000 over the first seven years of license.
3637 Over and above, Radio India Ltd. pledges to offer free concerts as well as organizing talent shows to which Radio India Ltd. will directly pay the performers the expenses, rental of halls, sound systems, et cetera. This is to expose the talent of emerging and well-known South Asian artists.
3638 Radio India Ltd. also pledges that all the organizations and events that it will finance as CCD contributions will be acceptable to the CRTC guidelines as set out in the broadcasting public notice 2006-158.
3639 Furthermore, Radio India Ltd. pledges by condition of license to contribute a minimum of 30 percent of our over and above CCD commitments to FACTOR.
3640 Lastly, we are also providing scholarships and bursaries for the purpose of providing one or more bursaries for deserving students of the music program or journalism program of the selected institutes. Individuals that demonstrate good performance potential and academic achievement will benefit from these scholarships.
3641 Consistent with the CRTC’s ethnic policy we pledge to set up an advisory board of which some the members will be of different communities and a limited number of members will be independent producers and also one or two members of the staff.
3642 MR. MATHIEU: This is Radio India Ltd.’s application for a Vancouver station that will operate on 106.9 MHz channel 295A with an average E.R.P. of 300 watts and a maximum E.R.P. of 1,000 watts at an effective height above average terrain of -64.1 metres.
3643 Our station will direct its 100 percent ethnic programming to 31 cultural groups in at least 20 different languages each broadcast week, per condition of license and should the Commission grants us both a Surrey and a Vancouver station, the two stations together combined will provide programming to 35 cultural groups in 22 languages per condition of license. We also accepted a condition of licence this morning that our minimum programming in Punjabi will be 50 percent. We are reinstating that statement.
3644 As the Commission will understand, there is no frequency that can provide coverage to Vancouver and Surrey. So the use of two frequencies is necessary. But the beauty of broadcasting on two distinct frequencies provides us with the possibility to offer an alternative service to smaller groups and languages that are not presently well served by radio. We are thinking of smaller groups like; Greeks, Arabs, Dutch, German, Korean, Italians, Persians, Vietnamese, Portuguese, Afghans and more.
3645 To further explain the need why two frequencies, I am inviting Mr. Kerry Pelser on my right of D.E.M. Allen & Associates to offer his insight.
3646 MR. PELSER: Thank you, Mike.
3647 It's really quite simple. Radio India approached D.E.M. Allen & Associates for a frequency that would cover both Vancouver and Surrey. We looked at the whole band and obviously we found that there is no frequencies that exist that can cover both communities. So in order to cover both these areas we looked and found two separate frequencies.
3648 MS. AGGARWAL: Thank you, Mr. Pelser.
3649 I am Nandini Aggarwal and I am a journalist with over 10 years of newspaper as well as broadcasting experience.
3650 At Radio India Limited, I pledge to provide clear informative and good entertaining information to our listeners.
3651 MR. SHAKAMURI: Thank you, Nandini.
3652 Good afternoon to everyone.
3653 I am Vijay Shakamuri. I am a Chartered professional accountant and the founder of Shakamuri & Co Inc. I was involved in the past as an accountant for Radio India 2003 Ltd. when Mr. Maninder Gill was running it. To that end I have provided the financial information pertaining to the revenues of Radio India 2003 Ltd. until it closed down in late 2014 and was later sold to Ms. Sharon Gill and became Radio India Ltd.
3654 I was also involved and collaborated with Mr. Mike Mathieu, the broadcast consultant that prepared Radio India Ltd.’s applications.
3655 With Ms. Gill and Mr. Mathieu’s input I prepared the business plan and the financial projections in support of Radio India Ltd.’s applications.
3656 In preparing the business plan we made use of the revenues that Radio India 2003 was obtaining when they were broadcasting via a U.S. station.
3657 I have also examined Ms. Sharon Gill’s financial situation and I am comfortable that she has the means not only to implement the stations she is applying for now, but she is able to support them should the financial projections not materialize.
3658 Thank you.
3659 MR. MANGAT: Thank you, Vijay.
3660 I am Sukhjit Mangat and I did work at Radio India 2003 when it was broadcasting over the airwaves. At the new Radio India Ltd. I will be the operations manager and will provide on-air public service announcements and I will also act as a news reporter.
3661 Thank you.
3662 MR. BENIPAL: Thank you, Sukhjit.
3663 My name is Devinder Benipal. I am a songwriter at Radio India Ltd. I will be in charge of the music and among other tasks I will host a talent show dedicated to emerging artists.
3664 MS. MANDEEP GILL: Thank you, Devinder.
3665 Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Mandeep Gill.
3666 At the new Radio India I will be delivering the news, as well as hosting talk shows that I am proud to say were a platform for open dialogue as well as addressing the concerns of the community.
3667 Thank you so much.
3668 MS. SHARON GILL: Concluding remarks: We are experienced and are a serious radio broadcaster, here for the long haul. I am ready to be entrusted with this license. My existing team and the new colleagues I will hire will make you proud of what we can accomplish as a Canadian licensee.
3669 I, Sharon Gill, pledge to support Radio India L.T.D. Should our financial projections not materialize, I have the means to guarantee our operations for the first period of license.
3670 Thank you. We are ready to answer your questions.
3671 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. We will put you in the hands of Commissioner MacDonald to start us off. Thank you.
3672 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Good afternoon, and welcome back.
3673 Because this is your second time here today, I’m not going to cover some of the ground that my colleagues covered earlier, so with respect to your CCD contributions or the transfer of ownership from your father to yourself. My colleagues may want to revisit some of those areas later.
3674 But I guess I’d like to start off by finding out how you came to the proposed format that you’re suggesting. Is it a rehash of what was offered by Radio India 2003 or is it a new concept?
3675 MS. GILL: It’s a rehash of what was offered by Radio India 2003.
3676 And we have made a few changes. Like we would be following a lot of the CRTC’s regulations in regards to talk shows. And a lot of the talk shows that we’re covering they won’t always necessarily take calls on the shows so they’ll just be -- they would just be providing information.
3677 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And I know Radio India 2003 went off the air in 2014, but since that time, and leading up to this application, did you do any research in the market to determine whether this service was still of interest to people and still would be viable in a very competitive marketplace?
3678 MS. GILL: Well, the people that -- the entity that took over our lease -- well, Radio India 2003’s lease, they are doing the same format and they’re successful, and they’re producing the same programming, and they’re making money, and so I would believe that it’s still successful and still relevant.
3679 MR. MATHIEU: If you allow me to compliment that. Like I mentioned this morning, the reason the American -- let’s call it this way -- the cross-border thing was successful is because there was no -- and there’s still no competition here. There’s one station here that apparently they’re doing exceptionally well.
3680 The situation with us, and another broadcaster, if you so choose to licence another one, is that we’re going to repatriate because we’re going to be on the FM band, we’re going to be in FM stereo. The American signals are there but they have signal deficiencies especially downtown Vancouver and Surrey where the noise is very high on the AM band. The antennas for the FM are going to be right there in the middle of the population. So that alone should convince you that we’re going to repatriate things.
3681 The other thing is Ms. Gill has some contacts. She’s got a team. When I worked with Mr. Vijay and her and preparing this application there were questions asked to people and I’m convinced that the momentum is still there. They’re going to do their programming. They have a credibility. They have a following. And ethnic people, especially South Asians, have very big loyalty, and fortunately in radio that doesn’t hurt us at all, quite to the contrary.
3682 MR. BENIPAL: I want to add on, sir.
3683 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: M’hm.
3684 MR. BENIPAL: Basically our experience is our confidence. We’ve proven it in the past. Advertisers are still with us. The proof is already submitted. Around 200 spoke letters from the different businesses. If we get the licence from the day one we will start our program with a full advertisement.
3685 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Thank you.
3686 One of the things we’re going to be analyzing is the experience of your team in being able to compete in what is a very competitive market. And I know obviously there’s a lot of experience on your panel today, and I thank you for outlining that, but out of -- I know some of you -- I assume some of you are volunteering your efforts or serving as paid consultants. Other than yourself, who among you is actually a current employee on the payroll of Radio India?
3687 MS. GILL: Sukhjit is. She helps me with the day-to-day stuff with managing everything. And Devinder he’s not on the payroll but he is always there supporting us, and anytime we need any help he’s always there, and same with Mandeep and Nandini as well.
3688 MR. MATHIEU: See, at the -- sorry -- at the moment -- okay, I thought we had an issue. At the moment Radio India is operating on skeleton staff because limited to the internet.
3689 When the station if -- I hope -- it gets back on the air, Ms. Gill has quite a number of people that she can hire, and all the people on the table here will be involved.
3690 She had asked me to stay involved as a consultant. Any technical issues I work with Mr. Pelser. Mr. Vijay is going to be on the team and all these nice people. And they’ve got experience.
3691 And contrary to what she mentioned this morning, Ms. Gill has some experience. Okay, she never owned a radio station, but she was maybe shy to say but she was a great help for her father to run the station on a day-to-day basis.
3692 The problem here is simple. Ms. Gill is kind of shy to say because she was not involved in this deal in the U.S., and that thing is a situation that we feel bad because even myself had I been asked never thought was illegal. I always thought that to be illegal you need to run a transmitter without a licence. As a broadcaster, I’m happy to see that the Commission is taking steps, very happy for all my clients.
3693 At the moment Ms. Gill is 27 years old. She’s a university graduate. She’s convinced me she’s got business -- much -- very good business capability, and I have no doubt in my mind that she can run the radio station.
3694 I’ve known her since July of last year and I’ve been heavily involved with Radio India Limited and Ms. Gill throughout that period. Again this morning she said “Are you going to advise me when I get on the air” the answer is yes.
3695 Mr. Shakamuri is there, Mr. Pelser is there, all these people, and I’ve seen them run the station and I am impressed.
3696 That’s my humble comments.
3697 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Thank you.
3698 And, as I’ve said, there’s clearly a lot of experience sitting at the table. In your response I counted two people on staff, and you indicated this morning that you had five currently on staff at Radio India. Is that correct?
3699 MS. GILL: They’re on a volunteer basis but they’re always there.
3700 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay.
3701 MS. GILL: And they also work on commission when they bring in advertisements. So I give them a commission if they bring in advertisements. So that’s how I pay them.
3702 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay.
3703 MS. GILL: The people that are volunteering.
3704 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So your volunteer staff that are not here today would be predominately focused on soliciting advertising revenue. Would that be an accurate ---
3705 MS. GILL: They’re here.
3706 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay.
3707 MR. MATHIEU: Yeah, but you have some on the air.
3708 MS. GILL: Yeah.
3709 MR. MATHIEU: So we can’t have everybody here.
3710 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So if we do grant one or both of your licence applications, what synergies are going to be created with your existing operations? How are you going to be able to leverage what you’re already doing today to make your over-the-air stations successful or more successful faster?
3711 MR. MATHIEU: Because the two frequencies was my idea with Mr. Pelser’s advice I advised Ms. Gill to do the application the way we did it.
3712 She inherited three studios. The three studios are there and they’re functional. So the beauty today in 2016 with the internet is we can have one studio feeding the Surrey transmitter. We can have the other studio feeding the Vancouver transmitter. That allows for separate programming. We can have one studio feeding both transmitters.
3713 The name of the game here, to make money, to make sense, is on the day-to-day operations, say, 6:00 in the morning to 6:00 in the evening -- the schedule is in our application. On the weekend we start earlier. I think we start at 9:00 at night separating, eh, during the week and on the weekends maybe at 6:00.
3714 During the day the programming is local on both stations. And when I say “local” I insist it comes from Surrey and it’s on both transmitters, but it talks to South Asian people that share the same situation. The news are the same. Whenever we’re going to give the weather forecast it’s got to be Surrey, Vancouver, the station is going to give -- it's 15 degrees outside in Surrey and 17 in Vancouver.
3715 So it's the essence. I recognize your rule, your policy about commercial local programming. However, it wouldn't make sense at the moment that both stations would separate for 42-43 hours a week because, as discussed this morning, during the daytime we are going to be quite Punjabi and the same program appeals to both persons.
3716 But come six o'clock at night we can separate. We can focus more on Vancouver and on Surrey for certain languages. You see, you have certain groups that basically live in Surrey, certain groups that basically will be in Vancouver. So it allows us to fill a mandate as an ethnic station to cater to these groups.
3717 We have many lists of languages. This is a project. It is serious. When we get on the air we are -- we will be able to have agreements with producers and we will be able to meet our promises and our conditions of licence. And we pledge to that.
3718 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. That's where I am going to go next but you used the word "inherited" three stations. Did you mean to say purchased?
3719 MR. MATHIEU: She purchased -- okay, there is a word when we talk inherit. I inherited things in my life. It's not an inheritance from somebody. It's somehow I was sold or something.
3720 They bought the assets. In the assets you have three broadcast studios in the station. So like I said, they can be on air in Surrey and feed the two transmitters. They can flip a switch. That studio stays on Surrey, the other studio goes to Vancouver.
3721 There is still a third studio where they can do production and news and everything. So they are fully equipped. They are fully equipped and it allows them to have flexibility.
3722 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay.
3723 MR. MATHIEU: And that allows them to be able to serve the community better.
3724 But the equipment, the list I -- I furnished you the list today. I don't know if you personally have the documents in your hands but I gave it to the secretary today where you have the list of equipment, the price. We gave you a whole document of things regarding Ms. Gill's assets and everything.
3725 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: I just wanted to make sure that we had the correct understanding of the use of the term "inherited" for the purpose of the transcript.
3726 MR. MATHIEU: No, she bought assets.
3727 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. Okay.
3728 MR. MATHIEU: But for me, as an old broadcaster, you know, by buying the assets she inherited what's there.
3729 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay.
3730 MR. MATHIEU: You know like the studios are built. They are existing. That's what I meant.
3731 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay; no, understood.
3732 MR. MATHIEU: Sorry about that.
3733 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So in your proposal, you are proposing to simulcast 80 percent or just a little over 100 hours of programming on the Vancouver station from the Surrey station; is that correct?
3734 MR. MATHIEU: I think I have to look. I think it's less than that.
3735 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay.
3736 MR. MATHIEU: I think it's less than that. I'm sorry. You see, we prepared that and filed it in September. Since then, you know, we have other things but please allow me to find this and I will give you a definite answer. I think it is more like 80 hours that is -- no, we are doing -- okay, there we go.
3737 Okay. I have to find these things. We are -- I am looking at the deficiency letter where I was quite precise and I was explaining why we are doing that.
3738 Your requirement is 42 hours per broadcast week to be a local station of simulcast programming.
3739 Okay, 80 percent of the 126 hours will be simulcast on both stations and the remaining 20 percent will be separate programming on each station but originating from our studios in Surrey. But if you look at the market Surrey and Vancouver is the same thing.
3740 And if you look at your policy, I can be here doing a show from Montreal station and if the show that I do is especially for the Montreal station it becomes a local show. So we're doing it in Surrey but it's focused for Vancouver.
3741 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So just so I am clear, 80 percent does come out of Surrey and then 20 percent is ---
3742 MR. MATHIEU: Correct.
3743 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: --- produced solely for the Vancouver station?
3744 MR. MATHIEU: Absolutely, by condition of licence.
3745 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. And why are you -- I know you talked to your thought that this is one market and the weather is the same, for example, ---
3746 MR. MATHIEU: Yes.
3747 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: --- in Vancouver as it is in Surrey. But why are you taking an approach that would see so much simulcasting?
3748 MR. MATHIEU: Well, it's a question of, first of all, if you are going to do a lot of, say, Punjabi programs and I could mean other languages, okay, it would put a burden on the station to try to separate programming that is going to do the same thing anyway. It's going to be the same topic, the same music, the same everything.
3749 So honestly, it doesn't quite make sense to separate. We could have asked you for a rebroadcaster but I was not comfortable with that because the frequency is much better. So we discussed and Ms. Gill said, "Well, can I do something better? What can be done?"
3750 And this is where this separation came about of being able to provide some local, like separate local programming. The thing is this is an ethnic station. If you want to cater to small communities, you've got to get the right programmer, the right producer, and that's quite a task. So 20 percent to start will work more than that. It's putting a burden.
3751 However -- and Ms. Gill can answer to that because we have discussed it. As we go along in the first term of licence, I'm sure the station is quite willing to be able to produce more separate programming.
3752 But in the end of the day the core of the programming addresses the whole South Asian people. Whether they live in Surrey or Vancouver it's the same people. It's the same thought. It's the same.
3753 You know, so if they're -- and Surrey and Vancouver is like tied in. I'm in Montreal. I live in Laval. I ran the station in Laval. We were giving Montreal news and in Montreal they are giving Laval news. It's the same thing between Surrey and Vancouver, especially on the ethnic side and on the South Asian side.
3754 So that's why for us it made sense to do that because then we're not really tying up a frequency just to repeat. We are providing -- there is an incentive because we are providing. And because we are doing that, yes, it helps our revenue and it helps our Canadian content initiative. So I believe it's a win-win situation.
3755 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So of the 20 percent is that being produced exclusively for Vancouver?
3756 MR. MATHIEU: When you go on the 20 percent period, the program that's going to be produced for Surrey is exclusively for Surrey and the program for Vancouver is exclusively for Vancouver.
3757 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So it will not be aired on ---
3758 MR. MATHIEU: No, it's separate programming, completely separate. It's like two separate radio stations.
3759 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And if you are making the argument that this is all one community ---
3760 MR. MATHIEU: Yes.
3761 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: --- can you give me some examples of what that 20 percent solely for Vancouver would actually be if it's one community? How are you going to separate that out?
3762 MR. MATHIEU: Well, there are languages. We discussed them. I am not -- unless you give me about 20 minutes, I can look at languages.
3763 But there are some languages in Vancouver that are more predominant in small communities but more predominant; same thing in Surrey. So we are going to focus on these communities. This is in the evening. It's not at eight o'clock in the morning in the morning show. It's after six, seven o'clock at night that we are going to separate the programming.
3764 Should there be a need to do that during the day, we can do it. The technical facilities are going to be there. It's just a question that when you are doing a mainstream -- well, I can't say mainstream because this is an ethnic station but when you are doing a main ethnic thing like for the Punjabi, honestly, it makes more sense and that was discussed between Ms. Gill, Mr. Shakamuri. We have had some people -- she had some people come in about that. We've talked about that. I'm going back last July, last August when we started doing this application but this is the why we're doing it like that, you see.
3765 I mean if you want to look at languages and see the different languages that one station is doing as opposed to the other. I’m quite prepared to look at the application.
3766 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So I guess as an example in your proposed programming schedule for the Vancouver station, you’ve tried to target some of these smaller linguistic communities and --
3767 MR. MATHIEU: Well ---
3768 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: -- have programming for Korean --
3769 MR. MATHIEU: See ---
3770 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: -- Spanish and Arabic speaking people. Will that programming differ from the Korean, Arabic, Spanish programming that’s offered at --
3771 MR. MATHIEU: Yes.
3772 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: -- the other station?
3773 MR. MATHIEU: Yes. I’m looking here at this RF -- why am I saying RF? I’m looking at the Vancouver program schedule. Now I don’t know if you -- do you have the application for Surrey? Let’s look at the programming schedule for Surrey and see the differences. And there are differences.
3774 You see here at 6:00 in the afternoon I believe it’s a separate programming on the weekends. We’re doing Greek, Arabic, Dutch, Tagalog, German, Korean; okay? In Vancouver after 9 p.m. which is separate Monday to Friday, on Monday evening, for instance, we’re doing Polish, on Tuesday Dari, on Wednesday Tagalog and it’s like this.
3775 So you may be doing -- assuming -- I’m not an expert in languages, but assuming you’re doing Tagalog in Surrey and Tagalog in Vancouver, they can be two different programs by two different hosts but at different times and at different days. You see what I mean? So it gives us the flexibility to reflect on the community.
3776 And what is really going to put this all together in perspective is we are going to have committees to advise us to bring input. When we get this input, we’re going to really have the pulse of the community what they want. Of course we’re going to start off with something that will meet the rules. But if we, for whatever reason, our Tagalog program should go on Monday night instead of Wednesday evening, then it’s something we’re going to do. We want to serve the people. So we’re going to do -- Ms. Gill is going to do whatever she needs to do to come to that.
3777 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And I’m more interested in that the programming you just described, if similar programming is being aired on both stations that it is different. So from what I’m hearing you’re saying it will be at different times, different hosts --
3778 MR. MATHIEU: In the cases --
3779 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: -- different subject matter.
3780 MR. MATHIEU: -- in the cases that it’s separate programming. Of course, when it’s the -- on the same programming during the day, it’s going to be the same program. One host or two hosts, but on the same console feeding the both transmitters.
3781 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And who’s going to be responsible for producing this program -- this programming?
3782 MR. MATHIEU: Well, Ms. Gill is the boss of the radio station. She’s going to have a program director working with her and she’s going to have somebody doing production and then the production studio. And I will be there to give advice, but basically be there to make sure all the wiring is done. This is a very simple issue with the little switches that you can put any console on any transmitter. It doesn’t take a big deal.
3783 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So it will be produced in-house. But in what --
3784 MR. MATHIEU: Oh yes. Oh ---
3785 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: -- but in what studio?
3786 MR. MATHIEU: Pardon?
3787 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: In what studio? Where will it physically be produced?
3788 MR. MATHIEU: In the Surrey studio. Can you give the address please? I don’t have it by -- no, no, just give it.
3789 Because it’s -- the address in Surrey is ---
3790 MS. SHARON GILL: It’s 12830 80th Avenue.
3791 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And everything will be produced out of that facility?
3792 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
3793 MR. MATHIEU: Correct.
3794 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. Given that there is a scarcity of available frequencies in this market and, you know, we need to ensure that we make the best use of the radio spectrum, can you comment on why you think a service that is 80 percent simulcast programming fits the requirement as to being the best use of available spectrum?
3795 MR. MATHIEU: Because a standalone operation on 106.9 or 91.5 it’s going to be difficult. It’s going to work -- we’re prepared to do it should the Commission give us one frequency. But if you look at our application, we’re one of the highest offering to Canadian content for the simple reason that our revenues are going to be higher if we have two transmitters. Because we’re basically -- and Mr. Pelser can comment there -- we’re not going to cover as good as say this RED FM or some other mainstream FM because by grandfathered rights they have much better frequency and they’re broadcasting from Mount Seymour at a much higher power level. We’re limited. Our maximum is a kilowatt. But we’ll make good use of it.
3796 So if we have the two frequency, then we cover basically the whole area. We’re covering all the South Asian and we’re comfortable with that. It allows for us to get more revenue, which allows for us to bonify our CCD commitment. But that’s not all. It allows us to have the staff, the people and the input from the community to give a much better service.
3797 You see, if you’re limited to 89.3, we’re going to do the best we can with it. But then we’re definitely limited to Surrey. If we have the 106.9, we’re definitely limited to Vancouver. The frequencies we looked at, and we really worked hard and Mr. Pelser really helped us out, 89.3 and 91.5 I believe, correct me if I’m wrong, would not work properly in Vancouver. So the only frequency we could use in Vancouver was 106.9.
3798 Ms. Gill had given me a mandate to prepare two application in each city on two different frequencies to allow you to choose which one you want to allow us. We did all we could. In Vancouver it’s 106.9 or nothing; am I right, Kerry?
3799 MR. PELSER: That is correct. We could not find any other frequencies for the Vancouver area.
3800 MR. MATHIEU: Yeah. And if you are concerned, I was talking to this with Ms. Gill and Mr. Pelser, if we don’t have it we’re willing to create a map showing you the contours of say 89.3 over and above 106.9. You’re going to see that the three millivolts, if they encroach it’s not a lot. And in Vancouver, you need a three millivolt signal.
3801 As you heard before, there’s an application here for somebody that’s receiving interference in their three millivolt signal. We are going to receive some interference too, and worse than the applicant in question because the lower end life, the later in life that you apply for FM frequency, the more interference that the frequency gets because there’s no frequency. We really have to work very hard to be able to find something that works.
3802 So you know, in my concept as a broadcast consultant and I used to own -- I owned up to two radio station in the Montreal area and I managed some. It’s a good use of frequency the way we’re proposing it because we’re doing some separate programming at least and we’re really going to focus on the community and give them a good service. If we’re not given the option to have the two frequency, one of the two cities will suffer. If you give us 106.9, Surrey will suffer. If you give us 89.3 alone, Vancouver will suffer. That’s my comment.
3803 Do you want to add something, Kerry, or ---
3804 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: I’m looking at the table you provided outlining the linguistic communities that you hope to service. And the first one is service in Punjabi at 35 percent and followed by Hindi at 10 percent. Already in the market we have RED FM which you mentioned and CJRJ servicing both those linguistic communities. Why are you of -- given that there’s two operators there already, why are you of the view that those communities are not already well served?
3805 MR. MATHIEU: For the same reason that the cross-border programming was highly successful. There is a need. There -- the people want to have different voices. RED FM, to my knowledge, is doing a good job in what they’re doing. We have nothing against them. The other station, 1200, I’m not too, too aware of what they’re doing, but Ms. Gill tells me that they’re doing fairly well.
3806 The situation is that there’s a need. And when we were doing, when -- not we, but when Radio India 2003 was doing their thing on the U.S. frequency, they were getting quite a good response. So the demand is still there.
3807 So the reason, there’s a demand. The people want the service. They want different voices, they want different way of doing things and they're there to support it. And the sponsors are willing to advertise. And the South Asian sponsor -- and I’m working with a South Asian client in Toronto and I was working before with a South Asian person in Montreal, so I got to understand it’s different than the French or English. You can have a South Asian business, he’s going to try to advertise on all the South Asian stations. And somehow he sees his product, he sees his profits, so it works.
3808 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So you mentioned the cross-border issue ---
3809 MR. MATHIEU: Yes.
3810 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: --- and you cite conversations that you’ve had with the former advertisers that would advertise on Radio India 2003.
3811 MR. MATHIEU: Correct.
3812 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Beyond that, have you done any market research, analysis, focus groups to see whether people are actually feeling that they require more service or willing to tune in to your service?
3813 MR. MATHIEU: Well, actually in the time span we had to prepare the application, and because of all the searching for frequencies and the way we did the application because there's almost five -- no, there is five scenarios in there, there was not really a lot of time for a market study.
3814 I worked a lot with Mr. Vijay Shakamuri, he’s done quite a good extensive business plan that is almost a market study. But we based ourself on the revenue of the cross-border programming because they were there and we’re convinced that they can be repatriated for reasons I explained about the situation that now, especially if we’re granted the privilege of the two frequency throughout the Vancouver/Surrey, our signal is going to be a very good one, FM stereo. So that way the poor person on 1600 or 1550 especially at night -- and you’ve got to be available in radio all around the clock to your people.
3815 You see, the task here is to have a programming to different languages, but that the South Asian people are going to recognize themselves in that programming. So I feel that in our case if we have the two frequency, we will meet these objectives and there is no worry about the revenues.
3816 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Can you explain for me how you're going to distinguish your service from what is already in the market? And I understand it’s an additional option, but how is it going to differ from what's already there in the way that will entice people ---
3817 MR. MATHIEU: The sound is going to be different, the age group -- although Ms. Gill would like to repatriate and I agree with her, the younger South Asian it’s different -- different people, they have different taste. It's almost -- okay, maybe we could do it like that, it's almost like a country station and a rock station and -- I don’t know, easy listening station, you can have three service but they differ from each other.
3818 For us -- we’re Canadians, it may be hard to understand, but if you ask the people here on the table, I’m sure they will have a better answer than me, because it’s different thinking. The South Asians and ethnic persons in general don’t think French or English.
3819 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. So just to change over to some regulatory issues. In preparing your presentation -- your proposal rather, did you have an opportunity to review Radio Regulations 1986 with respect to the provisions around simulcasting of service?
3820 MR. MATHIEU: Yes, sir.
3821 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So you're aware that an FM station cannot simulcast more than 42 hours during a broadcast week?
3822 MR. MATHIEU: I’m aware that an FM station has to provide at least 42 hours a week of local programming if it wants to sell local advertisement.
3823 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: You may not simulcast more than 42 hours a week ---
3824 MR. MATHIEU: Well ---
3825 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: --- and in your proposal you're ---
3826 MR. MATHIEU: No, in our proposal ---
3827 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: --- you're closer to 80 percent ---
3828 MR. MATHIEU: --- we’re simulcasting more, because if we’re simulcasting 80 percent of the week, 80 percent, 126 hours.
3829 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So then would you agree that your proposal as it currently stands doesn’t -- doesn’t meet the regulatory requirement?
3830 MR. MATHIEU: Well, we are suggesting to the CRTC if they could understand to give us a waiver, if I can call it that, because I feel that this is necessary. On the other hand, we would like -- we would have to change our proposal to not do simulcasting, which we feel that what we’re going to do makes a lot of sense.
3831 You have rules and I respect them and I -- it wouldn’t be good that a lot of FM station in Canada would simulcast. But on the other hand, what we’re proposing makes a lot of sense for the South Asian community.
3832 And like I said -- and Ms. Gill will correct me if she doesn’t agree -- we’re quite willing by condition of licence to, through the term of the first seven years of licence, increase our separate programming.
3833 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So then just so I understand clearly, you want to request an exemption to ---
3834 MR. MATHIEU: Yes.
3835 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: --- that requirement?
3836 MR. MATHIEU: It was discussed in the deficiency letter and we did ask for it, yes.
3837 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So can you convince me as to why that’s justified?
3838 MR. MATHIEU: For the reason that I’ve been explaining to you and everywhere we say this is why we need two frequencies, and we’re kind of you know, we would use two frequencies. And two frequencies would be simulcast together. So you just told me that there is a rule and I knew about it, that you're -- it’s not a good idea to simulcast. We’re trying to not simulcast. So we’re making an effort of 20 percent to start, this is a start. But on the other hand, you need frequencies and not a frequency, frequencies to cover the area and provide the service, otherwise we will be limited to either Surrey or Vancouver.
3839 The main -- the main core of the South Asian Punjabi population is in Surrey, so I would think Ms. Gill would say she prefers to have a Surrey licence than a Vancouver. However, we don’t want to leave the community of Vancouver without our service, we’re quite willing to provide it. And the CCD initiatives for one thing that we’re proposing is going to help the talent. Our programming is the main thing that is going to provide a service.
3840 So we feel that in that case -- and we’re getting to I guess situations like that, it's the lack of FM frequency, otherwise we’d be applying on Mount Seymour for frequency and it would -- it would do the job, but there is no frequency.
3841 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So you're of the belief that the Vancouver/Surrey markets are actually one market. And I'm just wondering with respect to the Commission’s policy on local programming as set out in the Radio Policy, simulcasting programming received from another station does not meet the definition of local programming. Are you aware of that?
3842 MR. MATHIEU: To be honest with you, when I prepared the application I was well aware that you need to be 42 hours -- one third of the programming separate. But you're surprising me by saying that we’re -- we had -- there's a rule that we’re not allowed to simulcast more than 42 hours a week. And if that’s the case and we’re forced into it, let me ask a question.
3843 What do you think, are you in the position to separate that 42 hours a week instead of what we’re proposing?
3844 MS. GILL: Sure.
3845 MR. MATHIEU: Okay. You should open your mic.
3846 MS. GILL: Yes.
3847 MR. MATHIEU: So if that’s the case, then we’re prepared to find a way to change our programming and do that.
3848 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. With -- on the same issue with respect to the local programming coming from outside the local area, if that could be handled through an exemption to the policy ---
3849 MR. MATHIEU: M'hm.
3850 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: --- would that be something that you want to request and ---
3851 MR. MATHIEU: Yes.
3852 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: --- can you provide some justification for it?
3853 MR. MATHIEU: Well I think I tried to -- I think I justified it by explaining what's going on. If you look at the CRTC call for application -- I don’t have in front of me -- but I think it states the Vancouver/Surrey area or Vancouver/Surrey market. There is a station we’re talking about, REDFM, I believe their studios are in Surrey, their transmitter is on Mount Seymour, and they're a Vancouver/Surrey station. I could tell you other stations.
3854 I’m sure I’m not, you know, I looked at the South Asian ethnic situation, I didn’t look at mainstream station. But the way I understand it, it’s like Laval and Montreal or Toronto and Scarborough or something like that, you know.
3855 I mean, it's basically the preoccupation of the South Asian people whether they're in Vancouver or Surrey. And I’m asking the team here if they want to comment because they are South Asian.
3856 The preoccupation are the same. Am I right or wrong?
3857 So if you could answer, that ---
3858 MS. MANDEEP GILL: Yes.
3859 MR. MATHIEU: So we're not -- you know, this is the situation that I was told, so it is in that light that we prepared that application that way with the hope that the Commission understands the frequency problem that exists.
3860 COMMISSIONER MACDONALD: So just so I'm clear, and then I'll move on, in the absence of those two exemptions, you are willing and able to produce the programming out of the two respective stations and not simulcast more than 42 hours a week. Is that correct?
3861 MR. MATHIEU: We were able -- we would be able to do that, but I honestly have to say the way we built our application, it would be to the detriment of the quality. It would be because -- if you are doing -- like, for instance, you're doing a morning drive, okay.
3862 Well, that morning drive is as much interest as the South Asian in Vancouver than the South Asian in Surrey. It's the same thing, so why two separate program, is my way.
3863 But I'm sure we could find a way to respect the 42 hours.
3864 COMMISSIONER MACDONALD: You said it would be detrimental. Would that be detrimental to the quality of the program or detrimental to the business case that you've put forward?
3865 MR. MATHIEU: Well, it means having two hosts in two different studios to do basically programs that are almost the same except for the voices and -- you know. It means that we're going to recite the news the same thing, we're going to give the weather.
3866 We give -- when you're in Surrey, I'm sure you give the weather for Surrey-Vancouver.
3867 I mean, there's a lot of commuting going on. You know, on the weekend I was commuting between the hotel and Surrey and the Surrey studio as I was preparing the team and working with them.
3868 If that happens to me, I'm an outsider. People here are commuting all the time.
3869 So you know, I don't see the need, the real need to separate that much. But if the Commission sees it that way, we're prepared to do what it takes to serve our community.
3870 COMMISSIONER MACDONALD: Okay.
3871 MR. MATHIEU: And respect the Commission's -- that's one thing I would like to put forth because we had a big discussion, me and Ms. Gill. She pledges to respect the rule of the Commission, and I'm sure she'll open her mic and tell you that herself.
3872 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes, I want to follow all the rules and regulations of the CRTC, and I'm willing to make all of -- like I'm willing to pledge that I will do so.
3873 MR. MATHIEU: We've got a delay system for the talk show. There will be call screeners for the talk show.
3874 Ms. Gill has been advised on your CRTC open line programming where she always meet the balance of programming. And there's many other things that I spend a lot of time talking to her about during the course of this.
3875 COMMISSIONER MACDONALD: In your proposal, you indicated that you intend to broadcast 100 percent ethnic programming and at least 95 percent third language programming each week.
3876 Are you prepared to honour that commitment through a condition of licence?
3877 MR. MATHIEU: Absolutely. Definitely. I think it's right written in the application.
3878 There's no -- you see, there's no point. We're an ethnic station. You always have to be available to your people.
3879 So if you're going to do 10, 20 percent in English, that's a lot of English for the South Asian. There might be other applicants who may see a reason to justify that. But in our case, we need the five percent for the younger generation, but also for mainly because sometimes you have a talk show and you have guest. And the guest doesn't speak South Asian. He speaks English. So then the host will ask the question in English and translate.
3880 We don't want to be outside the CRTC policy or guidelines, so with the five percent allowance like that, it gives us the leeway to do these things. But we have no intention of having six hours a week of English programming. It wouldn't make sense on an ethnic station.
3881 COMMISSIONER MACDONALD: In a similar vein, would you be prepared to adhere to a condition of licence that is reflective of the ethnic programming contained in your application?
3882 I'm thinking, off the top, 45 percent dedicated to Punjabi and Hindi.
3883 MR. MATHIEU: Well, this morning, there was a discussion about 50 percent in Punjabi, and we agreed to that.
3884 COMMISSIONER MACDONALD: Okay. I'm just -- I'm going off of your ---
3885 MR. MATHIEU: Okay.
3886 COMMISSIONER MACDONALD: --- application for the Vancouver station, not Surrey.
3887 MR. MATHIEU: If you want to go with the application, we were happy doing 45 percent. We'd be happy to do 50 percent.
3888 Honestly, our main core will be Punjabi, so we -- but we will have to keep in mind the other communities because, as an ethnic station, we have a role to play. And if you grant us the privilege of having a frequency, especially two frequency, then we feel we have to.
3889 We understand your guidelines, but on the other hand, let alone your guidelines, we feel we have the obligation to serve those communities that are different than Punjabi.
3890 COMMISSIONER MACDONALD: With respect to the financials in your business plan, you believe that you're going to be profitable in your first year of operation, and that would be somewhat unusual for a radio station.
3891 Do you think that that is actually realistic?
3892 MR. MATHIEU: It is not only very realistic; it has happened to me personally and it has happened to some of my clients.
3893 And maybe Mr. Shakamuri has some comments, but we are convinced we can achieve that, yes.
3894 MR. SHAKAMURI: Yes. Like because of the past experience with the Radio India 2003 Ltd. and I believe -- I think Ms. Gill is going to use the skills like which is used by Radio India 2003 Ltd.
3895 We are hoping like we are going to have income in the first year.
3896 MR. MATHIEU: We don't have a big capital investment. We're talking -- okay. Sorry.
3897 We're talking about putting small antennas on some buildings and, you know, a transmitter, even a kilowatt, is not very expensive these days. You need an audio processor, and today, your transmitter, you plug it into the internet and you can remote control it from any computer in the world.
3898 So there's not a lot of expense like we had years ago. And you know, you're not talking about 10, 20 kilowatt transmitter. To do the one kilowatt, you're probably talking about a five, six hundred watt transmitter because the antenna has a gain in it.
3899 So I'm not going to burden you with technical things, but there's not a lot of expenses there.
3900 And the studios are there. We have a budget of $10,000 because they asked me to look in the studio, check everything, you know. But everything is there, so we don't need to buy microphones and expensive computers and audio consoles, and it's there.
3901 So for us, it's easy for the first year. We just throw up a switch, and the staff is there. These people are volunteers now, but when they come to work, Ms. Gill is going to take good care of them.
3902 And the money is going to come in, and she's got the means to make sure that -- the promotion, that's the most important thing.
3903 When we get on the air, there will be a promotion campaign and people are going to know. But in communities like ethnic, like South Asian, everybody seems to find things out much easier than we do in French in Quebec or, I guess, than you do in English in Vancouver.
3904 COMMISSIONER MACDONALD: Obviously, a major component in your financial projections is the revenue you're going to receive, and a lot of that, 70 percent, I believe, you're thinking is going to come from repatriation of dollars.
3905 MR. MATHIEU: Correct.
3906 COMMISSIONER MACDONALD: Do you have any specific plans in place to target those customers or have you already had conversations and assurances that they will start writing their cheques out to Radio India versus another station?
3907 MR. MATHIEU: Ms. Gill can tell you herself that she was talking to many of the -- they're actually complaining right now because we're not on the air, so -- you want to maybe comment, Sharon?
3908 MS. MANGAT: We already have 200 advertisers with us if we get a licence from the day one we started to running the advertisement. Around the world, product is coming everywhere, for example, more selling cars Honda, Mercedes, Toyota.
3909 People's first choice is always product, and our product is our programming. We have proved it in the past.
3910 When we were on the regular band, even though we paid a heavy amount as a lease then, we were in profit. We were running the radio in profit.
3911 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So with respect to the 200 advertisers that you say are willing to come back, how far does that get you financially to where you need to be from a revenue standpoint? Does that get you 50 percent of the revenue you’re projecting; does it get you 75? Can you put some number -- approximate number to that for me?
3912 MS. MANGAT: Seventy-five (75).
3913 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Seventy-five (75)?
3914 MS. MANGAT: Yes.
3915 MR. MATHIEU: If you allow me. The least -- you understand that those cross-border situation, including Radio India 2003, were leasing the whole radio station on a yearly basis. So they were paying close to $1 million, if not more. Maybe Sharon can -- or Mr. Vijay can say the numbers are there. So right off the bat you’ve got -- let’s call it $1 million leaving to the States.
3916 When they were talking before at this hearing about sending money to the States, yes the sponsors are buying the ads from a Canadian producer but the Canadian producer is buying the time -- buying the lease from the American station so that costs a lot of money.
3917 It’s not going to cost us $1 million to put the station on the air and keep it on the air. So that’s why it can be profitable on the first year.
3918 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. Thank you for that information.
3919 MR. MATHIEU: Yes.
3920 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Ms. Gill, you’ve demonstrated that you have the financial capacity to set up these stations and to fund them should your revenue projections be off, but do you have the willingness to do that if the revenue projections are substantially off the mark?
3921 MS. GILL: Yes, I do.
3922 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And that willingness isn’t going to decrease if we’re in year five, six, or seven and the station has yet to turn a profit?
3923 MS. GILL: No. Broadcasting’s my passion and I believe that should I be licensed we would be successful and if not I would still be willing to put money into the radio station until it becomes profitable and serves the community that I want to serve.
3924 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And potentially two radio stations ---
3925 MS. GILL: Yes.
3926 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: --- that may not be turning a profit?
3927 MS. GILL: Yes.
3928 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay.
3929 MS. MANGAT: I would like to add on, if a client gives $2,000 to $3,000 per month budget then it is more than enough to run a successful radio station, and I already told you that we have 200 advertisers with us.
3930 MR. MATHIEU: And just a -- excuse me. Just a point, sir, that you have letters of support intervention, and I remember sending at least 200 letters, and I guess most of them are with sponsors that are supporting us.
3931 So we are very confident, enough to go out and buy transmitters, antennas, and whatever and get it on the air.
3932 And at Ms. Gill’s young age she doesn’t want to break her neck in the broadcasting business, so she believes -- and I’ve had conversation with her again today -- that you know, this will work.
3933 And she’s asked me for -- to put in my experience too to assist her. I have accepted. Mr. Vijay is there. The staff is there. So it’s a team. And we are dedicated, I’m sure as you can feel. So I’m very confident that this venture will work.
3934 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And rest assured, Ms. Gill, youth is not a bad thing. At one time I even considered myself to be young. My grey hair has changed my opinion on that.
3935 And I just want to confirm something that you said this morning. You don’t believe your business plan or your viability will change if the Commission were to licence more than just the stations that you’re applying for today. If we were to issue additional stations and market you think you’re still okay?
3936 MS. GILL: Yes.
3937 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay.
3938 MS. GILL: And we actually encourage you to licence more.
3939 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay.
3940 MR. MATHIEU: You actually licence more and it’s going to create a ball in the market, and it’s not going to hurt it’s going to help. It’s going to motivate the advertisers and the listeners.
3941 MS. GILL: I just wanted to add that we believe in healthy competition. So I think more competition is better so you should definitely licence more radios.
3942 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: As a former sales professional, I was always resistant to more competition, so I’m trying to wrap my head around your viewpoint on that.
3943 With respect to advisory committees, will you have one committee for both stations that you’re applying for or will it be one?
3944 MS. GILL: No, we’ll have two, one that’s specifically for Vancouver, one that’s specifically for Surrey.
3945 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And all of the items that you outlined, all the questions you responded to with respect to the Surrey advisory committee would remain the same?
3946 MS. GILL: For the Vancouver, yes.
3947 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. Size, how they’re chosen ---
3948 MS. GILL: Yes.
3949 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: --- mandate, meeting schedule. Okay.
3950 How will you promote the advisory committee?
3951 MS. GILL: Through advertising, through social media, through actually -- actually approaching the community groups that are going to be on the committee. I would ask them to spread awareness within their societies that they serve.
3952 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So the public will be able to become aware of and contact the members of the advisory committee. Will the members also be encouraged or mandated to go out and disseminate information into the community and build those ---
3953 MS. GILL: Yes ---
3954 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Build those relationships?
3955 MS. GILL: --- in houses of worship, and charities or wherever they specialize in. I would encourage them to spread awareness of our advisory committees and tell them what we’re about and how they could use the committees to address social issues or whatever issues that are plaguing their society or -- I mean, plaguing them in particular -- I don’t know their society but in particular or any concerns that they had.
3956 MR. MATHIEU: We also have a very good tool today in 2016, the social media, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Ms. Gill is quite a good person on that.
3957 So all needs to be done is on the air say “Leave us your comments, send us your comments, what would you like about our radio station” and you’re going to get clicks, and that’s positive for us because the more clicks we get we can prove to the advertisers that we’re getting input from the community.
3958 If the community takes the time to give their input it’s because they’re listening to us, they’re of interest to us. So I think it’s a positive thing. And it’s a much easier situation now then it was years ago when we didn’t have the social media as a communication link.
3959 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: With respect to community, if you’re successful in your application or applications you’ll have a responsibility to serve and reflect the community. How do you evaluate success in that regard? Does it go beyond financial success?
3960 MR. MATHIEU: Well, obviously if the advertisers come in and they renew. Repeat business is telling you you’re on the road to success. You’re on the road to success. If you’re not getting any repeat business you’ve got a problem.
3961 If you’re on the road to success, you’ve got the social media, you’ve got your advisory board that are people that are going to bring input.
3962 I have all the confidence in the world that Ms. Gill is going to be able to put all this thing together and say “Okay, that’s where we’re going, maybe we’ve got to steer the ship in that direction or in that direction but no matter what the ship is going to be ended up in the right direction.”
3963 She’s got a lot in this. She wants to succeed. The team wants to help her. We all want this to function. Not only the people at this table but there’s other people behind the scene that cannot be here today. But tomorrow there are people that’s going to intervene in our favour and they have reasons -- solid reason to do so.
3964 So with all this together, it’s a win/win situation, because if you don’t serve your community.
3965 I saved me a little day time AM radio station on the south shore of Montreal in 1983 from bankruptcy because they were just playing music. Well we started talking and we started doing remotes and things and the people got all involved, and we had a show at noon about the news and public affairs on the local area. It just mushroomed. All of the sudden we didn’t need salespeople.
3966 We needed order takers and I’m not joking.
3967 So you have competition but competition stimulates. So we’re quite willing to do that.
3968 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So the measurement is financial success or that’s just an indicator that you’re serving ---
3969 MR. MATHIEU: In my view I explained to you that it’s not only the finance. It starts with that. If you don’t get repeat business you know right away you got a problem. When you get repeat business then you try to go deep, you talk to your sponsors. With the social media you can talk to your listeners. With the talk show, people call in the station. You know, people will call in the station and say, “Look, I don’t like that.” That’s what they’ll do. Then you know you’ve got to attend to something. If they say, “I like that”, then they must like it a lot to take the time to call the station.
3970 So it’s -- you got to interact. If you don’t interact, you may have a situation that is not good.
3971 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. Just one final question before I hand this over to my colleagues. You’re proposing -- will open line programming form a part of your offering?
3972 MR. MATHIEU: M’hm. Yes. Yes.
3973 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
3974 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And can you identify what specific measures that you intend on putting in place to ensure that there’s balance and to also ensure that you’re meeting a high standard and that you’re in line with the Commission’s policy on open line programming?
3975 MR. MATHIEU: What I do with all my clients, and this has come up quite a bit, first thing, I print out your policy on open line programming in multiple copies and I give it to my client. And I said, “Show it to your host.” To the point that Ms. Gill has asked me to sit down with the host and say, “Look, you can’t do that. You must do that. This is radio. You can’t just open your mic and start screaming on the air. It doesn’t work that way.” So that’s the number one thing to have the host responsible.
3976 Then you get good call screeners that knows what’s going to come out. You don’t want a lawsuit; okay? That’s number one. And you don’t want to hurt your sponsors and your listeners. If you’re hurting your listeners, you’re hurting your sponsors. If you’re hurting your sponsors, you’re hurting your revenue so you’re hurting your listeners. It’s a wheel and you have to focus on there.
3977 So when you got good call screener to further today with -- I can do a delay with a computer. I can give you a 20, 30 second delay. You want five minutes, it’s doable. I won’t do it personally. I’ve got a computer expert who can do that. But Ms. Gill knows the computer and a lot of these people a lot better than me. So you just input the audio and output it. You can get a delay.
3978 There used to be some commercial delay machine made for broadcast. They were kind of limited to 7, 10 seconds. There’s a possibility of having a little bit more delay to give a better chance to somebody. We don’t want somebody mean mouthing somebody else; okay? So all those situations will be implemented at the station. And we don’t want to have an issue where we get a lawsuit, number one, or we do something that affects sponsors and/or listeners.
3979 So this is the task. You have to have people that understand this and that are professional and that do it right. If you got people, like some radio stations in Quebec that are willing to do anything for the ratings, well, they get involved with a lot of lawsuits to the point of possibly losing a broadcast licence. I’ve seen that.
3980 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. Thank you very much. Those are my questions.
3981 MR. MATHIEU: You’re welcome.
3982 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Just one final comment in this phase of -- and question for you, Ms. Gill. I took note of your comments at the beginning and certainly heard your perspective on things. And I must say that I’ve been at this hearing particularly impressed by the number of talented women that have appeared in this hearing. It’s not usual for CRTC hearings to have as many women assuming leadership positions, and particularly young women. So I’m very much impressed globally. But in this last presentation I’m struck by the fact that Mr. Mathieu did most of the talking.
3983 MS. SHARON GILL: Yeah, because I asked him to because I got nervous last time and we’ve -- obviously what he’s saying is in line with my ideology and my view of the radio station. But I had a little trouble expressing myself this morning so --
3984 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
3985 MS. SHARON GILL: -- I asked him to do most ---
3986 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understand that. If ever you’re successful in getting one of these licences, I know you said you’re passionate about radio. Unfortunately, one of the downsides of being passionate about radio if you do get a licence is you have to appear in front of us from time to time. So --
3987 MS. SHARON GILL: Yes.
3988 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- I appreciate your --
3989 MS. SHARON GILL: Right.
3990 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- comment there so.
3991 MS. SHARON GILL: I’ll work on it.
3992 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah. Okay. Thanks.
3993 MR. MATHIEU: Would you allow me? Quick comments. Ms Gill is a good client of mine. I respect her. If you know a little bit what I’m doing and I think we’ve had the occasion to speak on different occasion and ---
3994 THE CHAIRPERSON: In different functions. I remember way back to the 1990s --
3995 MR. MATHIEU: Ninety (90) ---
3996 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- I believe, yes.
3997 MR. MATHIEU: I remember when we’re talking about a station in Saint-Constant.
3998 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. I do remember that one.
3999 MR. MATHIEU: Okay. Sir, I will say this, Sharon this morning, she’s got so much into her about -- on this that it’s -- you got to understand, the first time I went in front of the Commission I had the same thing. When you see Sharon the fourth or fifth time after six or seventh licence, she won’t need me. So she’s -- was counting on me. I was kind of shy to get involved because I wanted her to learn the role, to get -- you learn by doing.
4000 I understand you’re very experienced with the Commission and I think now you’re realizing that okay, Sharon was not forward this morning, but the talent and the experience is there. I mean, if the radio station goes off the air tomorrow, Sharon knows enough to call an engineer and press on the overload reset. Give me a year. Sharon will be able to go on a standby transmitter or something. That’s technical but it’s important.
4001 THE CHAIRPERSON: M’hm.
4002 MR. MATHIEU: Also important is the regulation. We discussed it a lot. But you see Sharon has an ongoing business to try to make some money and she’s got to keep going. So that is one thing.
4003 The other thing is, she’s very concerned about the situation and this morning it was like that. So that’s why I was asked to.
4004 But whatever I say, I look you in the eye. Whatever I say comes from her.
4005 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
4006 MR. MATHIEU: I’m not in the position to say something -- when your gentleman asked me a certain things I looked at her, she said yes. Okay. Because I’m not taking this as decision. I can make recommendations. I’m a consultant.
4007 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. And just for the record, you do agree with everything that has been said, right, Ms. Gill?
4008 MS. SHARON GILL: I do.
4009 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Good. Thank you.
4010 Thank you. Those are all our -- no? No questions from legal. Those are all our questions for this phase. And it’s 5:20. Why don’t we take a 10-minute break until 5:30 which will allow us to go into phase two. So thank you very much.
4011 MR. MATHIEU: And we thank you very much for this opportunity.
4012 THE CHAIRPERSON: Merci beaucoup.
*--- Upon recessing at 5:20 p.m.
--- Upon resuming at 5:35 p.m.
4013 THE CHAIRPERSON: So order, please.
4014 So Madam Secretary, I understand that some parties have elected not to participate in Phase 2. So who is the first party to appear in Phase 2?
4015 THE SECRETARY: The first presenter in Phase 2 will be South Asian Broadcasting Corporation Inc.
4016 So can you please come to the table?
4017 THE CHAIRPERSON: So welcome back. Take your time to set up there.
--- (SHORT PAUSE)
4018 MR. LEWIS: Mr. Chair, perhaps I could lead off before Mister ---
4019 THE SECRETARY: Just one section, please.
4020 MR. LEWIS: Oh, sorry.
4021 THE SECRETARY: For the record, please reintroduce yourself and you will then have 10 minutes for your presentation. Thank you.
4022 MR. BIJOY: Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, and Members of the Commission and CRTC staff.
4023 For the record, I am Bijoy Samuel. I am Vice-President and General Manager of RED FM.
4024 And with me are Kulwinder Sanghera, President of RED FM; Jim Moltner from Teknyx. He is our engineering consultant.
4025 And on our left is Mark Lewis of Lewis Birnberg Hanet, LLP, our legal counsel.
4026 MR. LEWIS: Before we begin our presentation, Mr. Chair, yesterday you asked us some questions about population statistics and unfortunately we didn't have the numbers with us. So we have gone back overnight and we have run those numbers and we have a printout of the ethnic groups that we are licensed to serve and do serve in the geographical areas that are affected by the interference.
4027 So if we could file those with the Commission, we would be appreciative.
4028 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you are asking permission to do that?
4029 MR. LEWIS: That's correct, sir.
4030 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, we will take it under advisement but you can address it if you need to in its space but we'll rule later on it.
4031 MR. LEWIS: Certainly. Thank you.
4032 MR. BIJOY: Thank you.
4033 We have filed interventions in March and there is very little to add to what we have said then. This hearing over the two days has confirmed to us one thing, and that is the estimates of market capacity to absorb more radio services that target the South Asian community is over-stated by applicants as is the ability of applicants to repatriate advertising revenue, spent in the Lower Mainland, and paid to Canadian companies which are operating broadcasting undertakings using U.S. transmitters.
4034 Several times during this hearing parties have referred to advertising dollars flowing south. That is simply an exaggeration. Two sets of individuals pay U.S. station owners' rental fees for airtime. It's that simple. As we have stated consistently for many years, the Canadians who utilize these U.S. transmitters are operating as broadcasters in Canada and they are fierce competitors for our listeners and advertising clients and those of CJRJ and Fairchild each of whom provides South Asian programming.
4035 The data concerning the current incarnation of operators is contained in our intervention filing of March 21st and the record is complete in that regard.
4036 Fairchild has intervened in this proceeding to make the point that they are concerned about over-licensing, relative to the provision of programming directed to the Chinese Community. They have expressed a reasonable concern.
4037 The Greater Vancouver Area (including Surrey & Richmond) is home to approximately 411,470 residents of Chinese descent. The area is home to approximately 252,405 residents in the last census and now perhaps closer to 300,000 residents who speak Punjabi, Hindi or other South Asian dialects. Based on the last census, the Chinese-speaking community is approximately 65 percent larger than the South Asian community.
4038 At the present time, the Chinese population is served by three radio stations that devote a predominance of their schedules to programming in Mandarin and Cantonese. Fairchild Radio through CHKG-FM also provides some programming to South Asians.
4039 If you look at the current landscape a population of around 300,000 is served by CKYE; that is, RED FM; CJRJ; Fairchild. That's three stations, two Canadian broadcasters via U.S. transmitters, plus at least three "license exempt" radio stations, a total of eight radio services.
4040 Mr. Pannu claimed in his filing for a new licence that he had over $600,000 in revenue for his "Tourism Radio" service. By any measure, the market is saturated and the market is super-served, compared with the three radio services that serve the much larger Chinese community.
4041 The question is whether introduction of additional ethnic radio services at this time, primarily targeting South Asian listeners, absent remediation of our signal issue on 89.1MHz and a comprehensive, long lasting and cohesive solution to curtail the operation of cross-border stations, is in the public interest.
4042 We stated in our written intervention that several of the applicants claim they will derive a very large part of their revenues from repatriation of ad revenue that is spent with the Canadian operators who broadcast on KRVI and KRPI.
4043 In fact you heard some conflicting testimony from Radio India on Tuesday as to how much advertising revenue was earned by Ms. Gill's father's station. Mr. Shakamuri, who is coincidentally Radio India 2003's former accountant, stated that Radio India 2003's ad revenue was only $700,000 a year in 2014. That is when Radio India was highly successful but on October 15, 2014, Mr. Gill, appearing before the Commission in Gatineau, in response to a question from Vice-Chair Menzies stated, "We never make less than $2 million".
4044 So how much money is really flowing to those Canadian operators today that can be repatriated? We don't know.
4045 But we believe that the repatriation estimates of applicants are far over-stated. Those unlicensed broadcasters will continue to under-cut rates and sell aggressively.
4046 You may think that what we are saying is contradictory. There is a significant amount of ad revenue going to those unlicensed operators but nowhere near what some applicants claim they will repatriate to support their new services. And that's the real issue.
4047 So the revenue impact could be more significant for RED FM and for CJRJ because our current advertisers will be solicited to re-direct their advertising budgets.
4048 We remain convinced that any new stations, would derive a large percentage of revenues, larger than that estimated in their applications from our station, if our signal is not remediated.
4049 MR. LEWIS: Now, we would like to spend a moment addressing the issue of the two applicants who have selected 89.3 as their primary channel. They have both applied for 9.1.5 MHz, as an alternative frequency, which it has not been emphasized, does not suffer from significant co-channel interference. If the Commission determines that either applicant's proposal merits licensing, they can provide service to the community on 91.5 MHz.
4050 We heard on Tuesday -- that's today -- that ISED has now accepted the original 2015 89.3 filings of Akash and Radio India, due to the consent of KUGS. But the issue remains, whether the down-graded March 21st technical filings remain on the public file, or the original filings are going to be considered by the Commission. Regardless of which 89.3 technical brief is considered, either applicant would have significant co channel interference from KUGS over heavily-populated areas of Surrey which have a concentration of South Asian listeners. That means tens of thousands of individuals would not be able to clearly receive the station operating on 89.3 MHz, throughout the southern part of Surrey.
4051 Akash suggested their use of 89.3 would provide superior coverage and hence the "best use of frequency" relative to the mutually-exclusive 89.1 MHz of RED FM, simply because it has "more watts". We disagree. 1,000 watts maximum ERP on 89.3 versus 250 watts maximum ERP on 89.1 does not mean the higher power provides adequate, let alone better coverage.
4052 We are providing a comparative map which we derived from the IC-approved database -- and just to be clear, it's the original filing by each of these applicants, and we have overlaid CKYE's 89.1 contour compared to the applicants' 89.3 original proposal filed last year, the one that ISED approved last week.
4053 There are a couple of points I want to emphasize:
4054 - Number one, the proposed 89.3 MHz coverage misses the entire southern half of Surrey;
4055 - The proposed 89.3 MHz coverage, while reaching into Vancouver theoretically, is deficient realistically;
4056 - And three, the proposed 89.3 coverage, while doing well to the west, does not cover anyone. The area is farmland and industrial;
4057 - And fourth, a large part of the 89.3 MHz coverage area will be subject to substantial cochannel interference from KUGS-FM.
4058 RED FM's use of 89.1MHz is not subject to co-channel interference. RED FM's 89.1 MHz coverage is superior along the key transportation corridors, and in the southern part of Surrey as well as Delta.
4059 Comparing apples to apples, Mr. Moltner has put on a map data -- again going -- going to the
4060 ISED approved maps that show within the 3 Millivolt per metre contour, CKYE RED FM would reach 226,000 people, and within the -- within the 3 Millivolt contour, Akash or Radio India would reach 224,000 people. So when you compare the co-channel interference free reception, 89.1 would serve a population of 426,000, but 89.3 would only serve 251,000 people.
4061 You heard Akash would accept 91.5, and they estimate it would not impact their business plan by more than 10 percent. And you’ve heard from Mr. Pelser that he might be able to tweak their 91.5 proposal at an alternative site. You also heard Radio India state that they would accept 91.5, and it would not impact their business plan as filed.
4062 Under the current circumstances, we believe the best use of frequencies would be to remediate RED FM's service on 89.1, which is not subject to co-channel interference over the populated areas of Surrey. And secondly, to license a new service on 91.5 Megahertz. You also have of course other licensing scenarios involving 106.9 and various AM frequencies if you wish to add additional stations to this market. However, we remain concerned about over-licensing.
4063 MR. SAMUEL: Finally, we want to put into perspective the fact that RED FM, since it was licensed in 2005, has fulfilled the broad service requirement, providing 16 languages to 18 cultural groups. These people live, work and commute throughout the areas where there is interference, not just in Surrey.
4064 The Filipino population alone is approaching 90,000 people. There are many people of Polish, Persian, Hungarian, Serbian, African and Russian origin who listen to our programs, who live in New Westminster as well as Surrey, who encounter interference. So, we are speaking about a much larger cohort of listeners than the South Asian community who are impacted by the interference.
4065 In summary, the coverage achieved by 89.1 is superior to that of 89.3 Megahertz when considering a Surrey-based operation, and the avoidance of co-channel interference on 89.1 is a huge advantage.
4066 We believe restoring our service throughout Surrey and Greater Vancouver to tens of thousands of actual existing listeners, who suffer signal loss, fulfills the greater good, particularly when there are several other frequency options for introduction of new services.
4067 Thank you.
4068 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
4069 I’ll see if my colleagues have questions, nor Legal?
4070 You're very clear and thank you Mr. Lewis for clarifying this was Tuesday. At one point I was confused and couldn’t remember if that was yesterday or today. But I guess many of us are on central time zone and it’s late in the day and -- or even Atlantic time zone -- Maritime time zone, so thank you for that. So we have no questions.
4071 MR. LEWIS: Thank you, sir.
4072 LE PRÉSIDENT: Madame la Secrétaire.
4073 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
4074 I would now ask Radio India Ltd. to come forward to the table.
4075 For the record, Radio India will be presenting in Phase II for the Surrey application.
4076 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. Welcome back. I know it’s been a long day, but we’re listening.
4077 MR. MATHIEU: Okay. I’ve got Ms. Gill aside of me. Our intervention’s going to be very brief, very simple.
4078 Whether it's Surrey or Vancouver is -- one thing is the same thing. This 89.1 thing where it’s supposed to cover all these people, should it be true, which I doubt very much, it’s a viable frequency for a real FM station. And as Commissioner MacDonald mentioned it to me, an FM station should not simulcast more than 42 hours a week. I understand it’s a repeater, and if it's a repeater it’s a simulcast. You always see a repeater normally with a lower power station, but it’s covering around half a million people. To me, that’s simulcast.
4079 We have nothing against RED FM. My personal comment as a broadcast engineer, fix the problem at the base. We’ve got a lack of FM frequency as you can see here, so go -- we get ISED to go to the FCC. There's an international agreement and there's something wrong and it’s got to be fixed there. Because if we don’t do that, we’re going to have -- we’ve got problem in Hamilton, Toronto, there's problem cropping up all around Canada and it’s bad for the Canadian broadcaster. So I think it’s urgent that some members of the government talks across the border, that’s number one.
4080 Number two, why doesn’t RED FM find a frequency that doesn’t wipeout 89.3 or 89.1? There must be something here that can be used with 50 watts or 100 watts, that’s all they need.
4081 If RED FM is not happy -- Ms. Gill has asked me to say something, which I agree -- Ms. Gill wants a radio station, she’s serious, she’s got the money. If they want to sell their station, let’s talk.
4082 But 89.1, honestly, it would be a bad -- a bad situation. Then allowing 106.9 in Surrey, Mr. Pelser and I worked on it extensively, 106.9 works a lot better and it’s the only frequency that will work out of Vancouver. And I think Mr. Pelser mentioned that at the hearing with me.
4083 Eighty-nine three (89.3), 91.5 works very well in Surrey, it can't be moved to Vancouver unless you really downgrade them. We don’t have FM frequency, but there is a need.
4084 Contrary to what RED FM mentioned, we can repatriate it, we’ll have Mr. Vijay to comment and Ms. Gill, we can repatriate revenues. The need, the revenues are there, so we need the frequency. So I understand RED FM’s problem. I understand they're asking you to fix it. Do I need to ask you to fix a transmitter? It’s a technical problem. I think the technical problem should be fixed at the base.
4085 As far as 106.9, 91.5 and 89.3, well you’ve got a young “entrepreneur” on my left, Madam Sharon Gill. She’s willing, able and that would give new blood to the broadcasting business. And you allow somebody who’s coming in the business and wants to grow with the business, which means acquisition or new licences. So that would create another good entity in broadcasting. If you allow 106.9 to go to Surrey, you're putting a crutch to Vancouver, you're hurting Vancouver.
4086 Ninety-one point 5 (91.5), if you choose to allow us our 89.3 and our 106.9, 91.5 is there. You're certainly welcome to give it to anybody you feel deserves it. We have no problem with that.
4087 Sharon, would you like to further the comment and then maybe Vijay can talk about repatriation of revenues.
4088 MS. SHARON GILL: Well, like I suggested -- I mean like I said before, the revenues that we foresee to repatriate back to our proposed station, they're viable, they're there. Our community that's willing to advertise, the money is there, we know how to repatriate it and I think we can do it. And I'm -- yeah, I’ll leave ---
4089 MR. MATHIEU: Okay. One thing we want to stress and we made our point before, it’s competition. I think some broadcasters don’t accept competition, but I think it’s healthy for a market to have a good competition.
4090 Vijay, would you like to address us in respect to some allegations as far as repatriating revenues?
4091 MR. SHAKAMURI: Yeah, thank you.
4092 In regards to RED FM announcement like saying that -- or announce that he has he has like revenue not less than 2 million, that was true. And if you can see like before 2010, it was like the Radio India 2003 was generating almost like 1.8 to 2.2, 2.4 million.
4093 The time when it comes to me like this account from 2010, so then it was a declining trend. Then I asked like Mr. Gill why it is going down? Then he said like there was a complaint against him and regarding this -- so I think this morning we discussed about that foreign entity and everything. That’s the reason like the revenue went drastically down.
4094 And, as I said, like in 2014 it was like 700,000. And I just like completed everything and filed the tax return and everything.
4095 After two years, last year one of my clients -- I was just doing a -- I started for a law firm and I saw there is like a cheque being made to Radio India, then I asked them like “there is no radio station like why you are paying to them” then he said “No, no, no, like just like ask Sharon.” Even until then I didn’t know Sharon actually. So then I called Mr. Gill and I asked like “bring your accounting. I didn’t know like you’re starting again the radio station.” Then he said “No, no, like actually Sharon is doing like this online streaming.”
4096 So what I meant to say here is basically the clients are there, the revenue is there, only the thing is it has to come on the air and it has to be Canadian. Definitely whatever like he was -- like generating the revenue the station’s going to be there.
4097 Thank you.
4098 MR. MATHIEU: Also in closing, in the South Asian population -- and I’ve noted that. Like I said, I work with quite a few South Asian people. They’re tied in together. They hold themselves together. Like, we don’t want to intervene against another South Asian whenever possible.
4099 The situation is this, when the South Asian businesses heard that what was happening in the State was being questioned that’s how they started pulling out and that’s why the Radio India 2000 revenues went down like Mr. Shakamuri said. And we honestly are convinced we can recuperate that the moment we get on the air. And we thank you.
4100 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
4101 Anything to add?
4102 No, that’s it. No questions.
4103 That was clear. Thank you very much. So no more questions. Thank you.
4104 Madame la secrétaire.
4105 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
4106 I will now ask Akash Broadcasting Inc. to come forward to the table.
4107 Thank you.
--- (SHORT PAUSE)
4108 THE SECRETARY: Please reintroduce yourself for the record and you will then have 10 minutes for your presentation.
4109 Thank you.
4110 MR. SANNI: Chairman, sir, Vice-Chair, Commissioners and Commission staff, thank you very much for this opportunity again.
4111 Mr. Chairman, Commission, thank you. My name is Tejinder Singh ---
4112 THE CHAIRPERSON: It may seem like a formality for you because we’ve just introduced, but it makes it easier for the people doing the transcript, and some people are listening to us when we stream and they may not be able to identify you because there is no video of this. So just reintroduce your panel please.
4113 MR. SANNI: My apologies for that.
4114 THE CHAIRPERSON: No problem.
4115 MR. SANNI: My name is Tejinderpaul Singh Sanni. I’m a Programming Director for Akash Broadcasting. To my right is Rahul Chopra. He is our Financial Director. Behind us is Andrew Forsyth. He’s our Broadcasting Consultant. And also Jagtaran Singh, our legal counsel from McCarthy Tetrault.
4116 Thank you.
4117 THE CHAIRPERSON: Super. Thank you.
4118 So go ahead.
4119 MR. SANNI: Mr. Chair and Commission, thank you for this opportunity to address some issues which have come to light as a result of the application process.
4120 Akash Broadcasting takes a great pride in the diligence and the effort it put into its application. We believe in our application and our work product.
4121 Given this, while we are pleasantly surprised to learn that SPICE Media has chosen to rely on Akash Broadcasting’s original data and research from our 2013 application, we understand why SPICE Media would wish to use this information. It’s comprehensive, thorough, and accurate, but for 2013.
4122 We believe that given we are now in 2016, it is imperative to have up-to-date and accurate data and research which reflects current realities. The radio market has changed in numerous ways, including a surge in new, local businesses, the addition of low powered, non-compliant stations, and the continued effect of unregulated cross border stations.
4123 It is for this reason that the data and the research in our current application adds to our previous research and bring our application forward three years to the present day, as should be expected of any applicant.
4124 In its intervention, Sher-e-Punjab states that Akash Broadcasting, along with said other applicants, is engaging in supposed double counting by stating that a particular language may serve multiple groups.
4125 In support of this claim, Mr. Badh states that while one language is listed as serving multiple, communities, there is no explanation as to how the content provider in that language would be divided among the various groups.
4126 Akash is confident in its allocation of programming to the targeted groups as provided in our application. Simply put, this is not the question of engaging in alleged double counting or some sort of scheme to trick the Commission. Akash has delivered an overarching plan, which was created to provide the Commission with a sample of the various groups we intend to serve and in the various languages spoken in the Surrey.
4127 Furthermore, we note that in its application, Sher-e-Punjab has scheduled six hours of programming for Sanskrit speakers. We are certainly surprised to learn that the ancient language of Sanskrit was actively spoken in Surrey especially since this did not appear anywhere in our research, and we are fairly certain that Sanskrit isn’t even an actively spoken language in India.
4128 In addition, Sher-e-Punjab states that it intends to provide Portuguese programming for Indian Christians from Goa and Pondicherry. Some quick research indicates that the last Portuguese newspaper in Goa was published nearly 35 years ago. It is worth noting that Pondicherry was a former French colony not Portuguese. It is unclear how Portuguese programming would be beneficial for a French speaking audience.
4129 Another matter we wish to address touches on our fellow applicants’ decision to target certain audiences within the Surrey community. While we understand the business case, and general reasoning behind this decision, we would like to emphasize that our research indicates that what Surrey really needs is a full service, community building station, and this is exactly the vision of Surrey Connect FM.
4130 We are looking to provide a variety of content not specifically targeted towards talk radio, for an older audience such as Sher-e-Punjab intends, or even simply a youthful musical show such as would appear that South Fraser Broadcasting intends to implement. Rather, Surrey Connect FM intends to provide much needed trans-generational programing for Surrey families as a whole, from the older generation, to the younger generation. We believe that a radio station should connect the various groups in Surrey, which is why we have named the very idea our namesake.
4131 With that, we would like to offer our thanks once again to you, Mr. Chairman, and to the Commission, for providing this opportunity to further state our vision for what a truly community building station should look like.
4132 Thank you.
4133 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
4134 Does legal have questions? No. So we’re good. Thank you very much.
4135 MR. SANNI: Thank you, sir.
4136 THE CHAIRPERSON: It was very clear. Thank you.
4137 Madame Secretary?
4138 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
4139 And now I would ask Ravinder Singh Pannu on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated to come to the table.
--- (SHORT PAUSE)
4140 THE SECRETARY: Please reintroduce yourself and you will have 10 minutes for your presentation.
4141 Thank you.
4142 MS. PANNU: Thank you.
4143 For the record, it’s Preet Pannu. I speak on behalf of our team and Ravinder Singh Pannu.
4144 I am respectful of all the applicants and their presentations. It was a very enjoyable experience listening to everybody. However, my team and I have some concerns about the CCD projections in comparison to their respective revenues.
4145 The applicant Sher-e-Punjab has proposed $1.8 million in CCD contributions during their licence term.
4146 Simon Fraser has purposed a CCD contribution of $50,000 per year. In addition, if revenue exceeds $1 million than an additional five percent of revenue to CCD.
4147 Spice Radio has purposed $600,000 over the course of the license term.
4148 Radio India Surrey and Vancouver, their contribution to CCD over the first seven years of operations will be $1.2 million.
4149 Akash Broadcasting, their contribution to CCD over seven years of operation will be $700,000.
4150 At this time I wish to note many channels who have failed to respect their commitment to CRTC to date.
4151 To state a few examples, number one, CHBN-FM has failed to contribute the total annual CCD amount required for 2006 and 2007 and then again in 2007-2008 broadcast years in the amount of $571,429.
4152 CHLG-FM, the station incurred a $50,000 shortfall in its required CCD contribution in the 2008 and 2009 broadcast year, as well as 200,000 shortfall in the required payments to factor in 2009 and 2010 broadcast year.
4153 CKLX FM from Montreal, although the annual contribution should have been 200,000, the licence contributed approximately 71,000 in 2005, approximately 135,000 in 2006 and 195,000 in 2009, despite the fact they still had a shortfall totalling 197,000.
4154 CKDG FM, 105.1, in 2010 -- this is a 12-year old commercial ethnic radio station in Montreal. It has failed to meet CCD commitments to pay 42,000 in or around to date and the same is true for 2013.
4155 I thank you for the -- thank you to the Commission for listening to our intervention and I revert back to you for any questions.
4156 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. You’re telling us -- I just want to make sure I understand fully what you’re saying about these stations. Obviously there are stations from time to time that are in non-conformity. What exactly -- because there’s almost a sentence missing in your argument. You’re -- am I correct in assuming that you think that they have over-promised and that we will be facing non-compliance in the future?
4157 MR. PANNU: Well, we basically respect their passion. We respect their big expectations. But it seems that it’s -- considering the other radio stations, it seems that it’s -- they’re promising too much.
4158 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. But there’s nothing, except perhaps for the last one which is a case well known to the Commission, that is there any reason to link any of these to the applicants in front of us?
4159 MR. PANNU: Basically what we are trying to say is that when we are making business plans and we are looking at all our projections and we are making commitments, so those should be more realistic to the ground level.
4160 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Fair enough. But we won’t start trying to analyze each one of these to compare what they may have --
4161 MR. PANNU: Yes.
4162 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- promised at renewals.
4163 MR. PANNU: We understand that.
4164 THE CHAIRPERSON: That would be at least four rabbit holes.
4165 MS. PREET PANNU: Yes.
4166 MR. PANNU: Yes, we understand that.
4167 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. Okay. Thank you.
4168 MR. PANNU: Thank you.
4169 MS. PREET PANNU: Thank you.
4170 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
4171 I believe that completes ---
4172 THE SECRETARY: Yes. I would just like to specify for the record that Sher-E-Punjab Radio Broadcasting Inc., Spice Media Group Inc., South Fraser Broadcasting Inc. and Radio India Limited for item 8 have all confirmed that they would not be appearing in Phase 2 and that this completes Phase 2 for items 1 to 8 on the agenda.
4173 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. Thank you very much. And I know everybody’s had a very long day so we’ll adjourn. I know we’ve had a long day up here and staff as well. So we’ll adjourn until 9:00 tomorrow morning to continue the -- with Phase 3 of -- yes, Phase 3 of the hearing. Thank you. À demain.
--- Upon adjourning at 6:08 p.m.
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