ARCHIVED - Transcript, Virtual Hearing January 13, 2021
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Location: National Capital Region, in virtual mode
Date: January 13, 2021
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Attendees and Location
National Capital Region, in virtual mode
- Chairperson: Ian Scott
- Vice-Chairperson, Broadcasting: Caroline J. Simard
- Commissioner, Québec: Alicia Barin
- Commissioner, Ontario: Monique Lafontaine
- Commissioner, British Columbia and Yukon: Claire Anderson
- Legal Advisors: Jean-Sébastien Gagnon, James Wilson
- Secretary: Jade Roy
- Hearing Manager: Céline Legault, Manon Auger
Table of Contents
PHASE I – Presentation by the Licensee
2113 - Presentation by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation / La Société Radio-Canada (the Corporation) to renew the broadcasting licences for its various English and French-language audio and audio-visual programming services
2191 - Undertaking
2711 - Undertaking
2734 - Undertaking
2770 - Undertaking
3143 - Undertaking
--- Upon commencing on Wednesday, January 13th, 2021 at 10:00 a.m./ L’audience débute le mercredi 13 janvier 2021 à 10 h 00
2102 MS. ROY: Good morning, Mr. Chairman. We may continue.
2103 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning. Merci beaucoup. Bon matin.
2104 Good morning, everyone. Welcome to Day 3 of our proceeding. We'll get right to the agenda.
2105 I will yield the floor to the Vice-Chair, who has some more questions for the panel just finishing off the sections from yesterday.
2106 So with that, Madam Simard.
2107 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: Je vous remercie beaucoup, Monsieur le Président.
2108 Alors, bonjour tout le monde.
2109 Comme le Président vient de l’annoncer, nous allons compléter notre échange d’hier concernant la programmation locale. Donc, pour vous ce matin, cinq questions.
2110 Pour commencer, donc, la première, et je vous dirige vraiment sur des questions très pointues pour nous assurer que l’information se trouve bien consignée sur le dossier public. Alors, nous allons d’abord commencer avec la question qui concerne, donc, la proposition de réaménagement – je vais le formuler de cette façon-là –, réaménagement, donc, des conditions de licence et attentes actuelles.
2111 Donc, pour le marché anglophone, on parle actuellement de 14 heures qui, selon votre proposition, seraient diminuées de 2 heures pour les marchés métropolitains, et pour les marchés non métropolitains, on parle toujours de 2 heures, de 7 heures à 5 heures. Vous proposez, donc, une attente de 2,5 heures de programmation locale en ligne, disons, pour… dans le cadre de ce réaménagement.
2112 Ce qui serait important, donc, de savoir à ce stade-ci, c’est de quelle programmation parle-t-on quand on parle, donc, de cette suppression-là. Donc, de cette diminution-là des deux heures potentielles dans chacun des marchés, donc marché métropolitain et non métropolitain – évidemment, on parle de programmation locale. Donc, de quelle programmation locale parle-t-on qui serait ainsi supprimée de la télé de CBC?
2113 Mme TAIT: Merci, Madame la Vice-présidente, et bonjour. Rebonjour à tout le monde.
2114 Je passerais la parole à l’équipe… enfin, d’abord, Barb et son équipe. Merci.
2115 MS. WILLIAMS: Thank you, Catherine, and good morning.
2116 And I appreciate the question, Commissioner.
2117 Just to be sure we're all understanding the context of the question, our proposal actually was to increase the amount of local news we would do in major markets from 14 hours to 14 and a half, and from the other, smaller markets from seven to seven and a half. So it is about an increase in our commitment to local news with an adjustment of what the floor is that must be on linear television and what the opportunity is for some of that to potentially be on digital.
2118 And just as a further context piece, none of this says that we would change anything that we're doing. We're just acknowledging over a five-year licence term with the changes that are likely to continue to evolve in our industry and with viewer habits and media consumption habits that we'd like the flexibility to be able to adjust should we find it necessary.
2119 So to your point, of the hours that we are absolutely committed to being on television regardless, should we choose to adapt that, it could be any of the programs that fall within our local programming definition today.
2120 So it could be a newscast, it could be a piece of the morning show, it could be a local show that is talking about local -- locally relevant programming. It could be any of those things that today fit the definition that potentially we could evolve to having some of that show up and be measured and accounted for on the digital platform.
2121 COMMISSIONER SIMARD: Thank you very much, Mrs. Williams.
2122 So my second question -- actually, that's a sub-question. On which platform would this 2.5 hours be available? Would it be on Gem only?
2123 MS. WILLIAMS: If we chose to put some of that content on a digital platform to fulfil the expectation, yes, it would be on Gem.
2124 COMMISSIONER SIMARD: Thank you. Second question.
2125 En vertu des conditions de licence actuelles, donc des quatorze heures de programmation locale pour les marchés métropolitains, donc au moins une heure doit être consacrée à de la programmation locale qui n’est pas des nouvelles. Je comprends de votre proposition que vous proposez, donc, de supprimer sept heures. La question toute simple : pourquoi?
2126 MS. WILLIAMS: Again, it's not a matter of removing something specific as it is an opportunity to more broadly understand how we would fulfil the commitment or the condition of licence when it comes to television, so it could continue to provide that hour or we could deliver up to those 14 and a half hours with more news.
2127 It's really opening up the opportunity for each decisionmaker in their own market to respect what their audience is asking for and where their audience is most interested in finding their news and information and then responding to that audience with the best set of programming within that larger local definition that we can have.
2128 COMMISSIONER SIMARD: Thank you very much, Mrs. Williams. This is very helpful.
2129 Now for the third question we will talk about a very different topic.
2130 Alors maintenant, on parle ici…
2131 Ah! Oui.
2132 Donc, je m’excuse, j’ai oublié une sous-question, et c'est pour Radio-Canada. Donc, avant de changer de domaine, nous allons tout simplement compléter pour la partie Radio-Canada.
2133 On parle, donc, d’une proposition d’ajouter un 0.5-heure de programmation supplémentaire, donc, en ligne, selon la proposition. Alors, la question, qui est un peu la question similaire de celle que je viens de poser pour le marché anglophone, pourriez-vous être… nous indiquer encore une fois, pour le dossier public, de quelle programmation s’agit-il? Hier, vous avez parlé du vidéojournal; est-ce que c’est cette programmation que vous avez en tête avec ce 0,5-heure-là?
2134 M. BISSONNETTE: Ça peut être le vidéojournal, ça peut également être du contenu qui est davantage culturel pour permettre à la communauté artistique dans chacune des communautés d’être mieux connue; assurément, ça sera de la production locale, mais on n’a pas précisé le genre pour l’instant.
2135 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: Parfait. Je vous remercie.
2136 Et la plateforme, pourriez-vous préciser, s’il vous plait?
2137 M. BISSONNETTE: Pour respecter les conditions, ce serait sur TOU.TV.
2138 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: Parfait. Je vous remercie.
2139 Maintenant, les deux dernières questions qui concernent un sujet différent, et c’est le sujet dont nous parlions à la fin de la journée hier, donc les normes et pratiques journalistiques. Donc, ma question, encore une fois de précision parce qu’on avait débuté l’échange sur ce sujet quand on parlait, donc, des… on a parlé, donc, des ombudsmans; on a parlé, donc, de cette possibilité… donc, le rôle joué par les ombudsmans dans les deux marchés; et maintenant, la question plus précise, je pourrai donner plus de contexte là, parce que je comprends évidemment qu’on n’est plus dans cette espèce de… donc, dans la mouvance de cette discussion-là, mais la question précise qui n’a pas été abordée hier, c’est : quels critères précis on pourrait utiliser pour mesurer la partialité du journaliste, si de tels critères peuvent exister?
2140 Mme TAIT: Alors, est-ce qu’on va directement à Luce et à Brody, peut-être?
2141 M. BISSIONNETTE: Oui, tout à fait.
2142 Mme TAIT: Oui? Okay. All right, Brodie, were you able to get the question?
2143 MR. FENLON: I would answer that by saying we have a really robust measurement in the form of the ombudsman's reports on when we do and do not violate our standards. And so all of that information is public, it's catalogued, and we know when we run afoul of our principles of impartiality or not because the ombudsman has ruled on it. So, I'm not sure if anything more would add to what is already provided through that office.
2144 COMMISSIONER SIMARD: Thank you. And my last question is maybe for you as well. So yesterday you talked about the JSP's revision, so we talked about the review in 2010, in 2018, and if I recall correctly, you mentioned a review that has been undertaken internally. So, could you provide more information with respect to the scope of this review and the objectives of it, please?
2145 MR. FENLON: Certainly. To be clear, it is not a formal review like the 2 you mentioned in 2018 and the prior period. There will be another formal review in a few years. This is more of a consultation with our staff to address and hear concerns, questions about where there is or is not clarity needed around our principles. And it's largely in the frame of inclusion and diversity.
2146 And as I tried to explain yesterday, in this moment of racial reckoning that came out of the killing of George Floyd, there were a lot of questions about what do we mean by impartiality? What is allowed on social media? And so we've created a process to hear from our staff about what are their concerns and where could we help them understand the principles of the JSP. So, that's what we're in the middle of. It's a consultation, discussion to identify areas of concern or where there might be clarity needed.
2147 But as I said as well yesterday, what has emerged is probably broader than just the JSP. It's more about how we work, how we hire, how we promote, and how we are more -- need to be more inclusive in terms of all voices at our story tables.
2148 COMMISSIONER SIMARD: Thank you, Mr. Fenlon. My last question for you, the same question we have already asked many times, how will you measure the success of this initiative?
2149 MR. FENLON: Well, the goal is that our staff first and foremost feel comfortable and understand what is expected of them. And secondly, that we will see in our coverage -- and again, this isn't so much about the JSP. It's just about our story choices and our coverage, that we do a better job at representing and reflecting this country. I think we do a good job, but there is always room for improvement, and I would say that's the measure, as much as you can measure that.
2150 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: Thank you, Mr. Fenlon. Peut-être que je vais donner l’opportunité à Madame Julien ou quelqu’un de l’équipe francophone d’ajouter de l’information au dossier public si besoin est?
2151 M. BISSONNETTE: Luce?
2152 Mme JULIEN: Honnêtement, je partage totalement l’opinion de Brody, alors je n’ai pas de précision, je pense, davantage. L’important, je crois, c’est juste de répéter peut-être que l’ombudsman est vraiment, vraiment, vraiment un rempart très costaud, je dirais, pour bien mesurer l’application des normes et pratiques journalistiques. Je vous remercie.
2153 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: Parfait, je vous remercie. Donc, ceci met fin aux questions pour l’instant, je vais dire, concernant les services de l’information. Donc, je passe la parole à Monsieur le président, merci beaucoup pour votre collaboration.
2154 LE PRÉSIDENT: Merci, sorry I had to get the mute button.
2155 I believe some of our colleagues have questions. Can I turn to Commissioner LaFontaine?
2156 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Thank you, Ian, and good morning. Thank you for your submissions thus far this morning.
2157 I have one question about the digital platforms on which you are proposing to broadcast the flex local content. In the -- your response this morning you indicated that it would appear on Gem and on Tou.TV, but I'm interested to know how you would handle a situation where you have a new platform that you've developed and launched and are interested in posting or broadcasting flex local content on that new platform. Would you -- like, are you envisaging informing the Commission of this, or are you really just thinking that it's Gem and TOU.TV?
2158 MS. TAIT: I think it's fair to say that our focus is on the free Gem and TOU.TV. And if there were other opportunities, but I think you heard from Claude yesterday that we do take content onto other platforms based on, you know, pushing it to audiences that may not find it, so whether that's YouTube or social, there are always other opportunities. Our role really is to make sure as many people, as many Canadians see the content as possible, but the commitment specifically would be to ensure that it stays on -- that it's on Gem and TOU.TV.
2159 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Sorry, Ms. Tait, my digital audio broke in and out, so what I think I heard you say is that it would -- that your commitment is for the content to appear on Gem and TOU.TV. You mentioned the free platform for Gem. Would this content appear behind the pay wall on TOU.TV or would it appear on the free service?
2160 MS. TAIT: No, on the free service.
2161 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Great. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
2162 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner LaFontaine.
2163 Commissioner Anderson?
2164 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Thank you.
2165 THE CHAIRPERSON: I believe you also had questions.
2166 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: I do have questions. I'll start with Mr. Fenlon's comments just now about the journalistic standards and practices and the internal review that was discussed, and specifically one of the measures of success that he referred to was whether or not staff feel comfortable. So, presumably, there will be some kind of questionnaire or reporting done, questions asked to racialized staff to ensure that they feel as though the consultation was successful and whether it produced meaningful results.
2167 MR. FENLON: Thank you for the question, Commissioner. Let me be clear, our racialized staff are highly involved in this process, and every -- we have at least -- first of all, on the CBC side, we issued a survey to all staff, and out of that, people were invited to volunteer and participate in a second process involving consultation and conversation. At least more than 60 employees are involved, and they are representative of all of our employees, including our black, Indigenous and staff of colour.
2168 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Thank you. I have another question, but it relates to yesterday's submissions. I'm just getting a little bit of feedback, so hold on, I'm just going to -- okay. Yesterday Mervin Brass referred to CBC North's television services like Igalaaq as the life blood in the north. Mr. Brass, I was wondering if you could please elaborate on what you mean by "life blood" and do you think that there might be an emphasis on regional or local programming when it comes to remote, rural or Indigenous communities?
2169 MR. BRASS: Thank you, Ms. Anderson. What I mean by that is people depend on the service when -- if something happens, say the weather, and we're unable to broadcast a show for the day or we have a satellite challenge and the show is not there, people feel like they're disconnected to the rest of the world, to the rest of the country, to their local communities. When I first became the managing editor at CBC North, I attended a language conference, and the language experts that were there. When they found out I was from the CBC they came and they started talking to me and they were happy to see that an Indigenous man was, you know, leading the CBC in the north. And then they were also telling me that -- how important CBC Radio is, CBC Television is to the north.
2170 So that’s what I mean by lifeblood, and it’s -- it’s really, really critical that we provide those service to those communities.
2171 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Thank you for that.
2172 My next question relates to local programming, more generally, and let me see. A number of Canadians in rural and northern communities requested more local content on T.V. and radio, and as noted yesterday, if it wasn’t for CBC’s local programming some communities would not have any coverage at all. Yesterday, CBC representatives discussed local programming being more important now than ever, and I believe Ms. Williams indicated that they -- CBC takes their commitment to local programming very seriously.
2173 But when asked on the possibility that the CBC SRC be required to report on local programming and locally reflective news on local stations for the next licence term, the response was:
2174 “We do not see any benefit in requiring CBC Radio-Canada to begin classifying and tracking local news elements and programming, which primarily has a focus on -- a regional focus.”
2175 The view was that this type of reporting would be administratively burdensome and would lack clear regulatory purpose, given the lack of connection with CBC Radio-Canada’s actual statutory mandate as established by Parliament and the Broadcasting Act. So my question is, how can you speak about the importance of local programming and local news, but then refuse to report on that very type of programming?
2176 MS. WILLIAMS: Do you want me to take a stab at that, Catherine?
2177 Thanks for the question. I think from my point of view, and others on my team should feel free to wave their hands if they would like to add. The point is that we do respect that there are many small communities that are looking for information that does pertain to them and their community. And a local T.V. station that is doing locally reflective content is actually constrained to -- that reflective local content is constrained to that transmitter contour that that local station is attached to. And that often excludes many of these other small communities that are looking to be sure that their stories are also heard and that they’re involved.
2178 So partly what we’re after, with a broader definition of being relevant as opposed to reflective, and being regional as opposed to local, is to have the flexibility to reach into those other communities and do stories that may be more specifically important to them, would be relevant also to the major market, but be more inclusive.
2179 And then I have to add, that it is the power of radio and digital that ultimately, really does allow us to be sure that we’re speaking to all of those smaller communities that are not necessarily well-served by the traditional bricks and mortar television station.
2180 MS. TAIT: If I may just also add to that comment, Commissioner? It’s not a refusal to report on what we do. I think the context of the question was the practicality when we’re producing hundreds of stories a day across the country from all -- in all forms, digital, radio, and television.
2181 Now, you know, we can perhaps take an undertaking to think about how we could better provide information, because it is core.
2182 Ultimately, as I think we have said, with the resources that we put to local programming and the commitment is -- and the fact that through our public perception surveys, we see that Canadians greatly appreciate and feel that they are being reflected, as I said, 90 percent have that opinion. So again, I just -- the language there to say that we are refusing to provide information, I think what we were trying to communicate was it’s hundreds of stories a day across the country in many forms.
2183 So, you know, again, I think that it would be fair to say we can -- we do broadcast logs, so perhaps there’s a similar solution for these other formats as well.
2184 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Thank you.
2185 So you just indicated that you would be agreeable to exploring or providing an undertaking with respect to gauging success, or measuring success when it comes to local programming.
2186 MS. TAIT: Yes.
2187 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: And that would be in relation to -- or I suppose it would be both quantifiable and qualitative?
2188 MS. TAIT: Yes, let’s say ---
2189 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Qualitative and quantitative.
2190 MS. TAIT: As I said, let’s take an undertaking and have a look at what we feel is going to be relevant and helpful to what it is you are seeking.
2191 UNDERTAKING / ENGAGEMENT
2192 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Okay. And then yesterday there was a lot of reference to the public perception surveys, and specifically the Mission Metric surveys. And I was wondering if we could just please get a copy of that, since it was referred to I think at least three times yesterday?
2193 MS. TAIT: Absolutely. It’s -- I believe we have provided it to the Commission.
2194 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Oh, okay. My apologies.
2195 MS. TAIT: But happy to do so again. Yeah, no problem.
2196 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Thank you.
2197 MS. TAIT: And as we’re on the -- if I may, Commissioner, as we’re on the business of kind of clarifying various points that were made, I did want to just emphasize a point of factual accuracy.
2198 I think somebody said at some point that the ombudsmen reports once a year to the Board and to the public. It’s actually twice a year that the ombudsmen in English and French provide reports on all of their activities and all of the papers and opinions that they’ve issued, and those are proactively disclosed on our corporate website. Just to -- I just want to make sure that’s on the record.
2199 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Thank you.
2200 I also had further questions about the local and regional programming that we were just discussing. And we heard throughout the day yesterday about the decision to shut down local evening news because of the corona virus.
2201 However, there was another decision that was made two months before the eruption of the pandemic, and that was the decision to consolidate local radio newscasts across Canada’s three northern territories into one pan-northern morning newscast read in Yellowknife. The public reaction to that decision was strong and it was quick. There was reaction from CBC employees, from northern constituents, from parliamentarians, and from territorial party leaders, and the decision was quickly reversed.
2202 So I was wondering if somebody could please comment on what was learned from that experience?
2203 MS. TAIT: Sure. Go ahead Mervin.
2204 MR. BRASS: Thank you for that, Ms. Anderson.
2205 We learned quite a bit. It was a real learning experience for the leaders in the north, the management leaders. We learned that we -- we need to do a better job of communicating with our audience, as well as our staff. And from that, we are now doing that when we are going to be, you know, making any types of changes.
2206 First of all, we go through an extensive consultation and prepare, you know, the proper communications.
2207 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: And when you say you prepare an extensive consultation, that would be internal and external?
2208 MR. BRASS: Yes, it would be internal and external.
2209 Just so you know, we haven’t made any changes since then. So we haven’t had any of these consultations yet, but in the foreseeable future, I don’t see any types of change like that in the horizon.
2210 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Okay. Yeah, thank you.
2211 And I have an interest in the north, I live in Whitehorse, Yukon, and so when that decision was made it was -- it was really interesting to see the public reaction to the decision, because of course, the CBC North covers about 6,000 kilometres and three different time zones, and so it’s hard to see why programming or news coming out of say, Baffin Island would have much relevance to somebody from say, Old Crowe, Yukon. So I think that that is a challenge.
2212 That said, I do listen to the morning news every morning. I rely on it like a lot of northerners, and one of the ways that I feel like local news is covered is by having local correspondents from different smaller communities speak to different events that are occurring within the Yukon, and I was if this is an approach that’s taken in other regions?
2213 MS. TAIT: Absolutely. I don’t know if Susan Marjetti would speak to that, perhaps?
2214 Oh, is Susan here with us? Maybe not. Oh, there she is. Sorry, Susan.
2215 MS. MARJETTI: No problem.
2216 I think all of our shows have, you know, feet on the ground in terms of reporters in the community, if that is as I understand your question, Commissioner. And those reporters on the ground bring those stories.
2217 Now, in terms of actual correspondents, you know, they’re all correspondents, we’re all correspondents, our morning show hosts are correspondents, our afternoon show hosts are correspondents, you know, but in general, that idea of having people in various communities, I think, is a great one at getting access to some smaller communities where we might not have a reporter on the ground.
2218 And one of the things that we look at today, and Johnny Michel, our senior managing editor in British Columbia and Alberta was speaking to this yesterday, is it’s just not about bricks and mortar anymore.
2219 So, you know, you’ve hit on that idea that we were trying to articulate, which is there are communities that we need to go into and build relationships and build trust and get more of those stories on our airwaves and across our platforms, and Johnny was speaking to Red Deer yesterday.
2220 So that’s the kind of thing that we are doing to bring more voices, more faces, more places, and more stories to our cross-platform offer.
2221 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Thank you.
2222 I have no further questions; thank you for your responses.
2223 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner Anderson.
2224 Commissioner Barin, do you have questions?
2225 COMMISSIONER BARIN: Yes, I do. Thank you.
2226 THE CHAIRPERSON: Please go ahead.
2227 COMMISSIONER BARIN: Thank you very much.
2228 My question relates to some of the comments and the discussion that you had with the Vice-Chair yesterday, and your team was very articulate in describing the changes in news production with the journalists producing content for radio, television, at your discretion of channels, as well as online.
2229 And in response to one of the Vice-Chair’s question on intervenors’ concerns regarding reductions in programming costs for the CBC, I believe I understood that you have allocated a certain amount of programming costs to your digital platform, and because the programming costs are a central issue for many intervenors, I’m wondering if you would be able to provide the totality of your programming costs over the licence term, which includes the programming costs that are allocated to your traditional platforms as well as your online platforms in the interest of having some kind of, you know, benchmark for tracking programming expenditures in the future.
2230 And I guess a subset tothat question, could you also provide some clarity as to how you make your allocation of programming costs as between the different platforms?
2231 MS. TAIT: If I understood the question correctly, Commissioner, I believe we do provide the breakdown on the digital spending. I think you’re -- are you specially talking about local within the spend? I believe that’s what you’re getting at.
2232 So I would say, yes, we can provide that. I’m assuming you’re talking on the look back -- okay. Yes, we can provide that information to the Commission.
2233 On the second question, again, I would just reiterate what we were trying to describe is a news backbone where we are -- we have news expenditures, obviously, for radio for television, and for online, but they’re oftentimes shared resources. So one journalist is filing for many, and we do an allocation exercise.
2234 Getting into that level of granularity, I’m not sure that it’s helpful with respect to how we do that because, ultimately, as I think you heard, it depends on the station, it depends on the audience, it depends on behaviours, and it depends on a whole lot of variables within that each of our news leaders is managing at any given time.
2235 So I would hesitate before suggesting that that's a science or even anywhere near a science; it’s about knowing where your audience is and delivering what it is your audience is looking for in any particular market.
2236 COMMISSIONER BARIN: Thank you for that answer, Mrs. Tait.
2237 I think I was more interested on whether you’re allocating costs on the basis of the revenues generated by the platforms, or whether you were looking at a time-based allocation, or whether it was just, you know, there’s one resource, they’re producing content for different platforms so, you know, we’re splitting them four ways?
2238 MS. TAIT: It’s the latter, and absolutely not a revenue-based calculation. And I think somebody said it yesterday, you know, we’re delivering the services, and whatever revenues we’re able to earn go into the central operation to support the delivery of those services.
2239 COMMISSIONER BARIN: Okay, thank you very much.
2240 I have no further questions.
2241 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner Barin.
2242 Then I will turn to Commissioner Lafontaine, who I think has some questions for you in the area of content.
2243 Madam Lafontaine.
2244 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you, Mr. Chair. And, again, good morning, Mme Tait, Mme Williams, M. Galipeau, M. Bissonnette, Mme Kirshenblatt, et tous les membres du panel de Radio-Canada et CBC, c’est à mon tour.
2245 I will continue the questioning today with a focus on, as the Chair says, Canadian programming, non-news programming across all platforms. We’ll be talking about feature films; Canadian programming expenditure requirements; PNI; the definition of original and original first-run Canadian programs; independent production; support for emerging artists; and children and youth programming. So we have a full agenda for at least the morning.
2246 We’re going to begin with exhibition of Canadian programming on the conventional services. And I acknowledge that you have had an initial conversation about this with the Chair on Monday. It was, I think, more of a general conversation, and so I would like to speak with you about your commitment, your proposal for Canadian content on your conventional platforms.
2247 And in this regard, you have proposed an exhibition requirement of 75 percent of the broadcast day and 80 percent of the evening broadcast period for boththe English and French language conventional services.
2248 And I’d beinterested to hear from you about why you believe that this exhibition requirements, or the continuation of these exhibition requirements are appropriate in the current environment, in the current broadcasting environment.
2249 And, as I say, I do acknowledge that you spoke about this the other day, but in the specific context of the conventional platform, I’d be interested to hear about why this continues to be relevant to you, to your mind.
2250 MS. TAIT: I would -- thank you, Commissioner, and thankyou for the question. And I’m sure all of the teams are gathering themselves here so just -- I just want to, again, introduce other parties that will be participating in this conversation, probably most of the morning, and that is Sally Catto, our general manager of entertainment, factual, and sports at CBC, and Dany Meloul, directrice-générale de la télévision Radio-Canada.
2251 So Sally and Dany are lead -- have slightly different responsibilities but they lead the entertainment programming.
2252 To your question about the -- our desire or our proposal to go forward with exhibition requirements, I think that I was quite clear that I felt that -- that we feelthat it makes sense, it provides comfort for the specific intervenors, mostly the independent producers, that they know what the domain -- what the range of commitments that we’ve got, specific commitments that we have. And, very specifically, on the conventional television side, a solid floor so that there is no concern over the licence term about our commitment, but I will invite Barb and Michel, if they would like, because obviously, again, in this area, like in many, French and English are quite different.
2253 So maybe start with Barb and then over to Michel.
2254 MS. WILLIAMS: Sure. I guess two top-line thoughts, and Sally may have more to add.
2255 But I think the primary one is that we are so substantially Canadian content in our primetime and across our whole schedule, and we are unique in that regard and we're proud of the amount of Canadian content that we deliver to Canadians on television and on our other platforms. And we believe it's responsible of us, frankly, to continue to uphold a very significant amount of CanCon exhibition across television as well as the other platforms.
2256 And then specifically in the other categories, as Catherine said, we want to assure our critical partners that our commitment to long-form scripted drama, to half-hour comedy, to documentary, to children's, to all of those categories that are at the heart and soul of a big piece of our mandate that we're not stepping back from those commitments in any meaningful way while also trying to recognize that a lot of our audience doesn't necessarily find our content on TV any more and we need to continue to find ways to ensure that we don't leave those Canadians behind and out of the CBC.
2257 MS. TAIT: Michel?
2258 M. BISSONNETTE: Merci, Barb.
2259 Madame la Conseillère, bonjour.
2260 Comme vous le savez, du côté francophone, le contenu original canadien a la cote, mais en même temps on est tout à fait conscients qu’une nouvelle génération suit beaucoup les émissions qui sont faites sur Netflix et on sent qu’on a un mandat et un rôle important à jouer pour s’assurer de maintenir un contenu canadien élevé sur nos ondes de façon à bien jouer notre rôle de diffuseur canadien, et, en ce sens-là, on ne veut pas diminuer notre plancher de contenu canadien.
2261 CONSEILLÈRE LAFONTAINE: Très bien. Je vous remercie.
2262 Pour ce qui est… en ce qui a trait aux pourcentages que vous proposez, c'est-à-dire le 75 et le 80 %, ça fait quand même un bon bout de temps que ces mesures sont en place, je crois que ça fait… ça fait déjà 20 ans, et ça sera… il serait en place encore pour un autre 5 ans, si votre proposition est approuvée par le Conseil.
2263 Vous avez, par contre… vous excédez, comme vous avez noté, vos obligations pour la présentation, sur la présentation du contenu canadien de façon systématique, et je serais intéressée de savoir pourquoi vous pensez que vous devriez maintenir le 75-80 et pas établir un montant… un pourcentage plus élevé pour affirmer votre… vos engagements à la production… à la communauté de production et aux Canadiens et Canadiennes.
2264 M. BISSONNETTE: Bien, comme vous…
2265 MS. WILLIAMS: I’m sorry. Go ahead, Michel. M. BISSONNETTE: Non, non, non, go ahead.
2266 MS. WILLIAMS: Sorry. We'll get in the rhythm as the day goes on, I'm sure.
2267 I would -- I guess your point is very well taken, and it was something that I was made well aware of when I joined the CBC not all that long ago that, in fact, we do often exceed those requirements, which I think says just two things, maybe three things.
2268 First of all, it says that our commitment to Canadian content is absolutely real. We are not looking to just barely make it. We're looking to do as much as we possibly can. Respect there's a floor, but it is a floor, not a ceiling, so when we can go above and beyond, we love to do so.
2269 I think the second thing, though, that it points to is that, actually, as the audience continues to evolve and as we respect this piece of our Canadian population that's not discovering us on television that we could be using some of thought potential excess, if that's a fair word to use, and say, "Let's start really building that great Canadian content story on Gem and let's do the kinds of content that will resonate best with that platform and with that audience that's not finding us on TV".
2270 And so that's why we actually increased the overall commitment to some of these categories with the expansion of the platforms that they would be measured on because we do see that we have opportunity, but we want to use that opportunity for good use in the future to that audience that we are so determined to stay connected with.
2271 M. BISSONNETTE: Madame la Conseillère, j’ai bien fait d’être gentleman parce que je ne pourrais pas dire mieux que ce que Mme Williams nous a dit présentement, donc c’est la même chose du côté de Radio-Canada.
2272 CONSEILLÈRE LAFONTAINE: Très bien. Je vous remercie. C’est noté.
2273 Alors, bien que vous excédiez les obligations de contenu canadien, lorsque je regarde les pourcentages que vous avez réalisés pendant la dernière période de licence, il y a quand même eu une tendance à la baisse, bien que vous excédiez, comme je dis, l’obligation.
2274 So we've noticed that there has -- there's been a trend over the last licence term, a downward trend, on your Canadian programming exhibition, and it was quite noteworthy in that in 2013-2014, in that broadcast year, CBC Television aired 93.71 percent of CanCon, or Canadian content, throughout the year, but then in 2018-2019, that dropped to 78.48 percent, which is really a drop of 15 percentage points from early on in the licence term to more recently.
2275 And something similar happened on the francophone side, but not quite as dramatically. I think it was a drop of about three percent through the broadcast year, and then a bit of a drop in the evening broadcast period.
2276 So I'd be interested to hear from you about, you know -- and I do appreciate your -- you know, your passion and your commitment to Canadian programming and to serving Canadians, but I think it does -- you know, it's worth having a conversation about why this downward trend did -- took place and what type of programming did Canadians have access to in the schedule in 2018 that was, say, different from 2013-2014.
2277 So I'd like to give you the floor to speak to that downward trend.
2278 MS. WILLIAMS: I'm going to be honest. I only heard about half of what you said.
2279 I don't know if this was a challenge for anybody else. You were cutting in and out in my -- in my experience with your audio.
2280 But I think I got the gist of it, which is there was a period of time when we seemed to be doing less of our CanCon and not over-achieving as much as we maybe had, and you're asking about what was behind that trend. Is that sort of ---
2281 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Well, it is, but the trend is a downward from -- that was higher seven years ago than it was two years ago. Much higher, 15 percent of the broadcast year more in 2013-14 as compared to 2018-19.
2282 So again -- so for the broadcast year of 2013-2014, the CBC Television -- can you hear me, Ms. Williams?
2283 MS. WILLIAMS: Yeah, actually, I'm hearing you better now.
2284 So it's helpful if you'd just repeat a couple of those numbers for me. Thank you.
2285 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Yeah.
2286 So as an example, in 2013-2014, CBC Television aired 93.71 percent Canadian programming throughout the broadcast year, but then, five years later, in 2018-2019, throughout the broadcast year CBC Television aired 78.48 percent Canadian content throughout the broadcast, so that's about 15 percent less -- or not 15 percent, but 15 percentage points less. So it works out to, you know, a lot of programming, about 1,000 hours of programming, less of Canadian programming.
2287 So it would be interesting to know how that -- why that transpired and whether you -- what you see for the future.
2288 MS. WILLIAMS: And I caught the first most of that. I didn't catch the full end piece, but ---
2289 MS. TAIT: Why don't we -- let me help, Barb.
2290 MS. WILLIAMS: And I think Sally can help, too.
2291 MS. TAIT: Yeah, I think that's the point given that -- given, as you've just pointed out, you've only been with us for just over a year. Wonder year, at that.
2292 Just to be clear, and I know the Commissioner is aware of this, but for the record, the -- our Canadian content obligations for all broadcasters is taken over the entire licence term, and there's a reason for that. And the reason is that programming is choppy and different -- and boy, oh boy, you know, this year has proven that. That's for sure.
2293 So there will be years where we exceed and there will be years where we might exceed to a lower level or, in this case, where we miss it by a point or two.
2294 But very specifically, maybe Sally could help us on understanding what may be looking like a trend, but I think you’ve heard us loud and clear, it’s not a trend. We’ve consistently exceeded our Canadian content obligations historically; and quite frankly, we will do on a going-forward basis.
2295 So maybe, Sally, you could shed some light on what happened in those two periods.
2296 MS. CATTO: Sure. Thanks, Catherine; and good morning, Commissioner.
2297 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Good morning.
2298 MS. CATTO: As Catherine said, it is very true. It’s really vital to look at the complete licence period and know that our raison d’être is Canadian content, and that we are the only broadcaster to have such a fulsome Canadian content primetime schedule.
2299 But each year can vary. It can vary in terms of the flow of projects and development, the genre. We have had projects in primetime series that perhaps do not qualify as PNI, but we have still elected to air them in prime because we believe there is an audience there. We have reasons that we believe will, you know, I think drive our primetime audience, lead audiences to PNI.
2300 I also do want to note that the cost of production has significantly increased. And so it is fair to say that in the last few years, we have had to look at the balance of genres that we are covering.
2301 For example, when our licence period began, the budget for a drama was approximately 1.7 million. Now, today, the budget for typical Canadian drama is 2.5 million. And that’s just a typical Canadian production. Obviously, we are competing on a world stage with productions with much higher budgets.
2302 So I think that also has been a factor that could be considered.
2303 M. BISSONNETTE: Madame la conseillère, j’inviterais Dany Meloul à pouvoir apporter quelques précisions du côté de Radio-Canada.
2305 THE SECRETARY: I think you are on mute.
2306 Mme MELOUL: Merci beaucoup. Excusez-moi; bonjour.
2307 Effectivement, la dernière chose que Radio-Canada souhaite faire c’est de diminuer son contenu canadien. C’est la raison d’être de ce qu’on fait et c’est ce qui est attendu du public aussi.
2308 Mais Sally a tout à fait raison. Il y a plusieurs facteurs qui puissent faire en sorte que ce n’est pas, à chaque année, le même pourcentage. Mais globalement, quand on voit l’état de notre licence, on sait qu’on a excédé de beaucoup.
2309 Et ces facteurs sont les phases de développement, le coût de certains genres en ÉIN qui augmente et donc qui va faire en sorte que, oui, on va assurer le nombre d’heures mais effectivement sur le total du pourcentage, on pourrait voir une petite baisse globalement.
2310 Alors, c’est plusieurs facteurs qui font en sorte que on n’a pas… le même pourcentage à chaque année.
2311 CONSEILLÈRE LAFONTAINE: Merci.
2312 So it is -- your submission then is that although there were some fluctuations and downward movement, this is not a trend that you foresee for the next licence term, in terms of exhibition of Canadian programming on the English and French language services, conventional services. This is correct?
2313 MS. TAIT: Correct.
2314 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you.
2315 Alors, on passe à la prochaine question. Et encore une fois, ce que vous proposez pour la présentation du contenu canadien pour les services traditionnels de télévision, le 75 et 80 pour cent, ce sont les mêmes engagements pour le service de langue anglaise que les services de langue française.
2316 Et je serais intéressée de vous entendre sur le pourquoi que les obligations dans le marché anglophone sont identiques pour la présentation du contenu canadien dans le marché francophone bien que, et vous l’avez noté pendant cette audience, que ce sont des marchés très différents, distincts. Et même la Loi sur la radiodiffusion le reconnaît.
2317 Donc, est-ce que vous pouvez discuter du pourquoi de la même promesse ou le même engagement pour les services de télévision traditionnels de langue anglaise et française?
2318 Mme TAIT: Je pense que c’est… Michel, est-ce que je peux te demander de répondre?
2319 M. BISSONNETTE: Bien, comme ça concerne les deux, peut-être que Bev peut répondre?
2320 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: With respect to the differences in the market specifically?
2321 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Or just rather, Ms. Kirshenblatt, what I’m interested to hear about is why is the Corporation’s proposal for Canadian Programming Exhibition identical in the English and French language markets when we hear quite frequently and correctly that these are very different markets, and they should be treated as such. So why the same obligation?
2322 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: Now I understand your question. Thank you.
2323 So with respect to CanCon specifically, we’ve proposed to maintain these levels for daytime and for evening. But as Barb noted before, these are simply minimums. And in the past, you know, we’ve exceeded them, and Radio-Canada and CBC have taken -- their numbers aren’t identical. It depends on the year. It depends on a number of factors, whether it’s the ability of, you know, financing, tax credits, what have you.
2324 So it’s within this overall framework that we’re maintaining a high level of Canadian content, often exceeding it, but each service or both Radio-Canada and CBC, it allows them to take different approaches within that framework.
2325 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Great, thank you.
2326 We will move on now to Canadian programming obligations on your discretionary services. In your application, you have proposed to amend the evening broadcast requirement for your three discretionary services, ICI ARTV, ICI Explora, and the documentary Channel.
2327 I would be interested to hear from you about why this proposed amendment is required; why this flexibility is being sought for the discretionary services?
2328 M. BISSONNETTE: Bien, c’est certain que notre engagement, on préférerait qu’il soit sur l’ensemble de la journée, mais je vais demander à madame Meloul de venir préciser notre volonté.
2329 Mme MELOUL: Merci, Madame la conseillère.
2330 Vous savez, c’est des services discrétionnaires comme vous dites si bien mais aussi c’est des services qui sont à la carte et qui doivent compétitionner dans un marché qui est affiché. Et dans ce contexte-là, notre approche a été que, autant que possible quand on peut revenir vers des conditions normalisées, c’est ce qu’on souhaite pour ces deux services qui sont dans ce marché particulier.
2331 MS. TAIT: Barb, do you want to address the documentary Channel?
2332 I don’t think Barb’s machine is working. Bev, maybe you can jump in.
2333 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: If I might, while Barb is fixing her audio -- and, Barb, are you back?
2334 MS. WILLIAMS: I think I’m back. It’s the Commissioner I am having trouble hearing, I’m sorry.
2335 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: I wonder if I should reboot, if Ms. Williams is having trouble hearing me.
2336 MS. WILLIAMS: And I seem to be the only one. I apologize, I’m not quite sure. I can reboot also. We could both try.
2337 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: It’s -- sorry?
2338 THE CHAIRPERSON: I have a suggestion, if I may. Why don’t we take a 15-minute break at this point? And we can sort out what might be the difficulty with Ms. Williams’ hearing. I’m not sure which side it is but let’s take a 15-minute break now.
2339 Madame la secrétaire, can we return at let’s say 10 after?
2340 THE SECRETARY: Perfect.
2341 THE CHAIRPERSON: In the meantime, we will sort out any issue. Thank you.
2342 THE SECRETARY: Perfect, thank you.
--- Upon recessing at 10:57/
L’audience est suspendue à 10h57
--- Upon resuming at 11:13 a.m./
L'audience est reprise à 11h13
2343 THE SECRETARY: Mr. Chairman, we may continue.
2344 THE CHAIRPERSON: Merci, Madame la secrétaire. I will turn the floor back to Commissioner Lafontaine to continue her questions.
2345 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you very much, Mr. Chair. Merci.
2346 So before the break, I had asked a question about CBC Radio-Canada's proposal to remove the Canadian exhibition requirements in the evening on three of its discretionary services. I'm interested to hear from you about why this proposal is appropriate considering that the Commission removed this obligation, this evening exhibition obligation, on the private discretionary services, as a result of Let's Talk TV proceeding, because those services are typically scheduled on a programming wheel. And -- so that was one of the reasons why the Commission removed those -- the evening obligation, and the other reason was because these services do not typically have simulcasting rights.
2347 So again, I'd like to know why this proposal is appropriate for the public broadcaster, given that primetime is still primetime. Are you moving away from Canadian programming in the evening? Is it no longer important for your discretionary services?
2348 So I'll turn it over to you. As I say, I'm interested to hear about why this proposal is appropriate for your services considering the rationale in the Let's Talk TV proceeding.
2349 MR. BISSONNETTE: Merci. Merci -- oops, sorry.
2350 MS. TAIT: I was just going to do a quick overview and actually maybe ask Bev to -- because Dany already spoke to the issue on the two services. If that's okay, Michel? Oh. No?
2351 MR. BISSONNETTE: It's just that I think that Anne-Marie can answer a bit about that because this is very specific to RTV and Explorer and maybe Dany can complete if you're okay with that.
2352 MS. TAIT: Oh, I'm absolutely fine with that, and then maybe, Bev, you can deal with that. See, what a team. Thank you.
2353 Alors, vas-y, Anne-Marie.
2354 Est-ce qu’on a déjà fait une introduction de Anne-Marie? Je ne crois pas.
2355 M. BISSONNETTE: Pas encore.
2356 MS. TAIT: Okay, this is great. And I'm always switching from English to French, so I apologize to the interpreters. Anne-Marie is our regulatory leader on the French side of the business, and -- so I'll just turn it over.
2358 Mme MIGNEAULT: Bonjour.
2359 Alors, notre proposition vise à proposer de compter le contenu canadien de la façon dont le CRTC le compte maintenant pour les autres services facultatifs depuis la décision Parlons télé là, avec les politiques, Parlons télé.
2360 Alors, en ce moment, nous avons des conditions de contenu canadien. Si on prend par exemple ARTV, nous avons en ce moment 60 % en journée de radiodiffusion; donc la journée de radiodiffusion en ce moment, elle est sur 24 heures, et on a 60 % en soirée, de 18 heures à minuit. On a comme deux niveaux de conditions de contenu canadien parce que la définition actuelle de la journée de radiodiffusion d’ARTV est de 24 heures.
2361 Alors, avec les politiques Parlons télé, le Conseil a décidé de modifier le modèle pour les services spécialisés dans la façon de compter le contenu canadien. Alors, par exemple, dans la règlementation, on voit que c’est, pour les services facultatifs, 35 % de l’année de radiodiffusion, mais pour une journée de 6 heures à minuit. Donc, la façon dont le CRTC calcule maintenant, c’est 6 heures à minuit en moyenne sur l’année, puis le niveau normalisé, c'est 35 %. Alors, nous, ce qu’on a fait, c'est qu’on prend le même mode de calcul, 6 heures à minuit sur l’année, mais on offre 60 % de canadien.
2362 Donc, c'est une façon de calculer qui correspond au nouveau modèle que le Conseil applique au facultatif; comme ça, on pourra… vous pourrez avoir des comparables dans nos performances. Mais le niveau qu’on propose est beaucoup plus élevé que le niveau normalisé, il est à 60 % pour ARTV, et quant à Explora, Explora est un nouveau service, c’est un peu notre petit récent bébé là, il ne faisait même pas partie du renouvellement en 2013, c’est un service qui a été lancé… qui venait tout juste d’être lancé, alors maintenant il est renouvelé avec tous les services. Explora est né avec une condition de 35 % canadien et on propose de maintenir ce niveau et qu’il se calcule comme tous les autres services facultatifs selon la politique Parlons télé.
2363 Est-ce que ça répond à votre question?
2364 COMMISSAIRE LAFONTAINE: Oui. Merci, Madame Migneault. Ça répond en partie à ma question.
2365 J’apprécie que vous… votre proposition ici, c’est pour vous aligner un peu, pas tout à fait exactement comme ce que le Conseil avait décidé à Parlons télé, mais ce qu’il faut aussi tenir en ligne de compte, c’est que quand le Conseil avait éliminé l’obligation en soirée pour les services facultatifs, ça faisait partie d’un cadre règlementaire où il y avait également des obligations de dépenses sur les émissions canadiennes et avec une approche de groupe, donc ça faisait partie d’un encadrement différent que ce que vous proposez ici et, il faut aussi le souligner, c’est pour les services privés et non un diffuseur public.
2366 Alors, pour moi, en tant que régulatrice, ma préoccupation, c’est l’élimination d’une obligation en soirée des émissions importantes – des émissions artistiques, des documentaires, je crois les sciences – pour les Canadiens et les Canadiennes et dans les communautés francophones qu’anglophones.
2367 Alors, j’apprécie que c'est un alignement – je m’excuse pour l’anglicisme –, mais j’ai du mal à voir pourquoi c'est approprié dans le contexte de votre groupe de services pour les Canadiens.
2368 MS. TAIT: Perhaps, with your permission, I could invite Bev to pull the Documentary Channel into the discussion as well, and then perhaps to answer the second part of your question with respect to appropriateness of this model that we -- that we're proposing.
2369 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: So I'm at -- thank you very much. I'm just -- did you say Barb or Bev?
2370 MS. TAIT: Bev.
2371 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: Oh, okay. I saw Barb show up on my screen.
2372 I -- what I was going to say is I'm just going to briefly touch on the regulatory framework, and then I think the core of your question, before we had some difficulties, was understanding what that meant for the Doc Channel in the evening period, and then I think I'm going to throw it back to Barb or Sally.
2373 So with respect to the overall approach, as Anne-Marie laid out, we looked at the top TV policy, we took some parts of it but not all because -- and I'm actually really glad, Commissioner Lafontaine, that you pointed out that that is the overall top TV approach and lots of elements of it is part of the group licencing for the largest ownership groups. And that's not what we're proposing because what we've done is for both or for all of our specialty services we've looked at CanCon levels throughout the broadcast day, but we've also imposed specific CPEs on the individual services. So we don't have that flex to allocate back and forth.
2374 But one of the things that we are looking at, and this goes back to some of the things that we said over the past few days, is ensuring that the services appeal to audiences, and one of the things going forward is these services are going to have to negotiate carriage with BDUs going forward if that's the -- that's the new part of the regulatory regime. So while we are putting forward high CanCon levels, there are -- we're looking for a bit of flexibility to make the best type of programming decisions to appeal to our viewers, and make them as attractive as possible, but really, the nub of your question is, well, what could that look like. And I will ask somebody who actually does programming to answer that question.
2375 MS. TAIT: So if that's a throw over to English, then I'm just going to throw to Sally.
2376 You're on mute, Sally.
2377 MS. CATTO: Sorry, thanks.
2378 So when we look at, as Bev said, the fact that the documentary channel will, you know, will be negotiating and that mandatory carriage will no longer exist, we also have to then take into consideration what a highly competitive environment we are in. And as a reminder, the documentary channel is a separate legal entity from the CBC. It is a partnership of which we are majority partners, and it is subscriber driven.
2379 So, keeping all of that in mind, our reason for asking for this is really about flexibility in terms of pushing towards ultimately discoverability of more Canadian content. We are extremely committed to Canadian documentaries. This request we have made is certainly not a reflection of any kind of wavering in that commitment. It is simply the reality though that when you can occasionally offer an internationally known big event documentary series, it can be a driver. It can bring subscribers in.
2380 So, with our primetime schedule on the doc channel, we have done theme nights. So, for example, Monday is a true crime night. Thursday is a feature film night. We may find that we have an incredible true crime series that is an international event that we know will draw audiences to the documentary channel that might not otherwise find it. We want those audiences to come, we want them to discover more Canadian documentaries, so it is really for us more about discoverability and remaining competitive than anything else.
2381 M. BISSONNETTE: Et je comprends, Madame la conseillère, que vous avez le même souci, non pas sur le passé, mais pour le futur de nos chaînes que sont ArTV et Explora et je peux vous assurer que notre volonté de soutenir le contenu canadien est toujours aussi présente, mais j’inviterais Madame Meloul à préciser.
2382 Mme MELOUL: Oui, tout à fait, merci.
2383 Alors, c’est certain qu’avant tout, ce qu’on veut faire sur ces chaînes-là, c’est faire du contenu canadien et surtout, amener des abonnés vers ce contenu canadien là. Donc, il faut un attrait.
2384 Et si on prend ArTV, par exemple, il se peut que quelqu’un va s’abonner parce qu’il aime C’est juste de la TV ou parce qu’ils veulent avoir des discussions autour des livres comme avec une série comme Pour emporter ou La table de Kim. Mais il se peut aussi que cette personne-là soit attirée par une série britannique comme Downton Abbey ou Les Misérables. Et c’est l’ensemble de tout ça qui fait en sorte que nous pouvons avoir des abonnés.
2385 Pourquoi c’est important de maintenir ces abonnés-là? C’est justement pour pouvoir continuer à faire une offre qui est robuste, une offre qui va plaire à un groupe aussi diversifié qui se peut malgré que c’est une chaîne spécialisée et qui œuvre dans un marché qui est très, très compétitif – il y a un très grand nombre de chaînes facultatives de langue française et ce service-là doit survivre à même cet écosystème.
2386 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Merci. Bien, et ce n’est pas pour faire trop l’avocat du diable, mais ce que j’entends, c’est que vous voulez vous assurer de pouvoir céduler des émissions canadiennes en soirée, une série documentaire importante ou un long métrage important non canadien. Encore une fois, ce n’est pas une obligation de 100 % qu’on est canadien en soirée, c’est un pourcentage, donc il y aurait quand même la place… si c’était… si vous maintiendrez les obligations existantes, il y aurait quand même la place dans la grille-horaire pour des émissions non canadiennes. Mais j’ai entendu votre soumission à cet égard et on peut… nous pouvons continuer.
2387 J’aimerais toutefois souligner, comme vous le savez, que l’UDA, AQTIS, ARC, SARTEC, dans leur intervention, ils s’opposent à votre obligation d’éliminer l’obligation pour le 60 % de contenu canadien en soirée sur ArTV; à leur avis, vous devriez la maintenir, votre obligation en soirée. Mais je crois que vous avez répondu à cette intervention et comme je dis, nous pouvons passer à la prochaine question, qui est la suivante.
2388 If the Commission were to approve this request to remove the exhibition requirement in the evening, how are you going to ensure that Canadians will have access to Canadian programming in the evening broadcast period? What will it look like?
2389 You've talked about the need to broadcast non-Canadian programming as a driver to strengthen your negotiating position in the marketplace with BDUs, but I'd just like to hear about your ---
2390 MS. TAIT: Thank you. I'll pass it to Sally and to Dany, but I just want to remind the Commission that we are -- since the Let's Talk TV decision, each specialty channel is -- you know, fights for its place in a -- what we used to call a, you know, a pick and pay, or whatever you want to call it. It is a very different environment. No Canadian is obligated to subscribe to a channel, and it's not packaged in the same way. And so therefore, to expect the Canadian -- I mean, you made the point about the public broadcaster having a different set of rules, well, we're all on the same playing field now with respect to these channels. So, I just want to put that on the record. It's -- there is no advantage in the fact that we are the public broadcaster with respect to our specialty channels.
2391 So, over to Sally and then perhaps Dany to explain how we will make sure that there is Canadian, solid Canadian representation across all those channels.
2392 MS. WILLIAMS: And I might -- just before Sally jumps in, I might just mention a couple of other thoughts.
2393 The proposed condition ensures that there will be Canadian in primetime. It -- primetime's a third of the regulated hours, and we are committed to the three-quarters of exhibition, so there's no way to avoid, if you will, having Canadian in primetime. There's a commitment to having Canadian in primetime just by the rules.
2394 We also have maintained our commitment to independent producers, which is really, in many ways, for the documentary community and our commitment to that genre of programming, so substantial in Canada, so meaningful to our creative community. We have upheld our commitment to independent producers going forward too.
2395 And the third thing I would point -- just before we hand to Sally is there is no win for us as the Canadian broadcaster and the supporter of a documentary channel in not showcasing the very best of the Canadian documentaries that we can get our hands on, and support and finance. That's who we are. And in many cases, we try to put those documentaries on the main channel, to be sure that documentaries have that kind of attention also because we believe in them as part of our overall mandate. But there is no -- there's no win for us in burying Canadian content. There is a win for us in having a strong audience that we can then, as Sally said, help discover our Canadian content by occasionally having the flexibility to do something else.
2396 But, Sally, you may want to add to all of that.
2397 MS. CATTO: I think you said it perfectly. You know, it is our focus of Canadian documentaries. You know, 100 percent of our original first run, CanCon is with independent Canadian producers. This is really about discoverability and maintaining a competitive position without mandatory carriage.
2398 So, you know, it is not anticipating a significant change in the primetime schedule. It is allowing for flexibility over, you know, the next five years to be able to take those, you know, international docs that we see, seize them, get them on the schedule, bring in new audiences, you know, it really is -- that is truly the intention. So in terms of programming and scheduling the Documentary Channel, the intention is not to make any kind of significant changes in Cancon.
2399 M. BISSONNETTE: Et en complément du côté francophone avant que je passe la parole à Mme Meloul, je pense que les gens ont interprété notre demande versus les heures de grande écoute comme un désengagement envers le contenu canadien, ce qui n’est aucunement le cas. Nous ne voulons pas diminuer notre engagement à l’endroit du contenu canadien, et c’est… comme Mme Meloul l’a expliqué, c’est vraiment pour pouvoir aligner notre chaine avec les autres chaines spécialisées et, en ce sens-là, nous nous engageons à 60- %, ce qui est beaucoup plus.
2400 Mais j’aimerais que Mme Meloul puisse vous rassurer sur notre intention de soutenir et de diffuser le contenu canadien en heures de grande écoute.
2401 Mme MELOUL: Oui, tout à fait. Merci, Michel.
2402 Nos heures de grande écoute, ça vient aussi avec une obligation de dépenses canadiennes qui est la plus élevée dans le marché de langue française pour une chaine facultative. Donc, une fois qu’on se commet à faire un très grand pourcentage de contenu canadien, il va de soi que notre intention c’est de le mettre aux heures de grande écoute, car ce sont les chaines facultatives qui font un contenu canadien uniquement pour la programmation de jour.
2403 Alors, quand on prend un terme de cinq ans, moi, je n’entrevois pas qu’il y aura des changements fondamentaux entre ce que voit aujourd'hui sur la chaine et au cours du terme, dans le sens qu’on a une dépense canadienne importante à faire, c’est ce que les abonnés veulent voir et, assurément, c’est en heures de grande écoute qu’on va mettre ce contenu.
2404 COMMISSAIRE LAFONTAINE: Très bien. Merci.
2405 On passe au prochain sujet. On va parler maintenant de la stratégie de programmation. Québecor a fait valoir, comme vous les avez sans doute, que la Société devrait se concentrer sur certains types de programmation importante, tels que les nouvelles, les documentaires, les émissions éducatives, culturelles et scientifiques, les émissions axées sur les activités politiques et les émissions politiques.
2406 Certaines interventions de Canadiens et Canadiennes ont laissé entendre que la Société accordait peut-être moins d’importance à ce genre de programmation. Si c'est le cas, comment, donc, est-ce que la Société donne-t-elle la priorité à certaines catégories d’émissions par rapport à d’autres sur les… dans les grilles horaires?
2407 Mme TAIT: Merci, Madame la Conseillère.
2408 Avant de passer la parole à Michel et peut-être ensuite à Barb, j’aimerais quand même souligner l’importance de l’équilibre et surtout la vaste gamme de programmation qu’on fournie aux Canadiens, et c'est surtout bien décrit dans la Loi sur la radiodiffusion qu’on est obligés, et c’est un… enfin, c’est une obligation qu’on trouve très, très importante dans tout ce qu’on fait, de fournir une large programmation.
2409 So just to say, for Barb’s benefit, the Broadcasting Act is very clear about the obligations of the public broadcaster in terms of a wide range of programming, and the balance in its programming. And I think we had this conversation possibly at the last licence renewal about balance, and that is really -- when we talk about serving all Canadians, that’s what we’re trying to achieve.
2410 And just before Michel picks up on this, I would say the other piece of it is for our independent production community, we are, both in the English market and the French market, providing a platform, an incredibly important platform for all types of talent; for producers of dramatic series, of comedies, or of, you know, variety shows. And by restricting our ability to have that wide range of programming, we would, de facto, be restricting the opportunity for Canadian producers, both English and French, to have the full range and, quite frankly, more opportunity to produce in all those different genres.
2411 But without further ado, Michel, tu veux continuer, compléter?
2412 M. BISSONNETTE: Oui.
2413 Merci, Madame la Conseillère, de poser des questions parce qu’elles sont assurément d’actualité présentement.
2414 Vous savez, la Loi sur la radiodiffusion nous donne le mandat d’informer, d’éclairer et de divertir, et notre stratégie de programmation doit toujours tenir compte de l’équilibre de notre offre en télévision versus le mandat qu’on a à faire.
2415 J’ai eu la chance de le préciser un peu lundi auprès de votre président, mais Radio-Canada produit chaque semaine six heures d’émissions d’affaires publiques, dont quatre qui sont diffusées en heures de grande écoute. Notre offre de programmation en documentaires est exceptionnelle, notre offre de programmation en captation de concerts symphoniques ou en diffusion d’émissions culturelles est exceptionnelle, mais nous offrons également des heures de dramatiques qui, elles, rejoignent un public qui est différent de ce que les diffuseurs privés peuvent rejoindre, et c'est l’ensemble de la richesse de cette offre-là qui nous permet de pouvoir avoir une offre et nous confirmons… qui nous confirme également dans notre rôle de diffuseur généraliste.
2416 Donc, on essaie autant d’avoir de la science avec Découverte, de pouvoir avoir des séries dramatiques qui visent un public un peu plus pointu – je pense notamment aux Simone ou à Faits divers –, d’avoir d’autres séries dramatiques qui sont plus grand public. Donc, on équilibre notre programmation pour faire au mieux que l’on peut. Et, vous savez, c'est pas une science, la programmation, hein? C'est des risques qu’on prend et on s’ajuste selon la réaction du public.
2417 Mais je pense encore, et je tiens à le réaffirmer devant la Commission, pendant plusieurs années, il y a eu la barrière linguistique qui a protégé le marché francophone, qui nous a permis de bâtir un star-system qui est incroyable et qui nous mettait à l’abri du contenu américain et du contenu anglophone. La nouvelle génération aujourd'hui est de plus en plus bilingue; 80 % des gens qui ont de 18 à 34 ans sont abonnés à Netflix. Notre défi aujourd'hui comme diffuseur francophone, et j’inclus les diffuseurs privés et les diffuseurs publics, notre défi aujourd'hui, c’est de pouvoir bonifier le plus possible notre offre en qualité et en quantité de contenu francophone de façon à s’assurer d’avoir une alternative par rapport aux géants américains, et si nous réussissons ce pari-là, parce que c’est un objectif que je me donne personnellement, bien, j’ai l’impression qu’on va avoir gagné quelque chose pour le bilinguisme au pays et pour l’avenir du fait français.
2418 MS. TAIT: Barb, maybe you would like to talk about the CBC reality.
2419 MS. WILLIAMS: Sorry, Catherine, were you speaking? Sorry. Were you throwing to me because I’ll pick it up?
2420 MS. TAIT: I was. I was throwing to you. I realize that you were still listening, so ---
2421 MS. WILLIAMS: No, that’s okay.
2422 I -- actually, the thought that had been going through my head listening to both you and Michel, who are both very articulate about the issue of mandate and opportunity to serve all Canadians, but what was going through my head was where Michel started to go, which is in the English market when we are faced with such a barrage of content choices and such enormous audience fragmentation, the CBC stands out even more as the home of Canadian content, and even more needs to hold that responsibility for all types of Canadian content because we are, as Catherine said, that big platform that is actually not only providing tremendously exciting and interesting and valuable content for viewers, but also has a core responsibility for the development and support of the independent production community, and to be reaching into the community with an opportunity to develop new voices and bring new people into their creative process with us. And only by having that opportunity to do everything; to do scripted, to do, you know, drama, comedy, documentary, the whole gamut of content, only through that broad range can we ensure that offering to Canadians but also the offering to the independent production community that we are so committed to.
2423 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Great, thank you for this. Just along the same lines, how does the corporation determine which programs that it -- I’ve got it in French here, so I’m going to read the question in French but my translation -- so nothing gets lost in the translation; I’ll just pause for the translators.
2424 Voici la question : comment la Société détermine-t-elle que les émissions qu’elle diffuse sont pertinentes pour les Canadiennes et les Canadiens?
2426 Mme TAIT: Excellente question pour… je vais demander d’abord à Michel et puis ensuite à Barb.
2427 M. BISSONNETTE: Je vous dirais, l’appui du public est sans aucun doute l’un des critères, mais assurément pas le seule critère parce qu’on a un équilibre dans tous nos choix de programmation. Vous savez, hier, on a annoncé que le Bye Bye de cette année a été la plus grosse cote d’écoute à vie dans le marché francophone et on en est fiers. Mais c’est surtout de pouvoir avoir une programmation qui est rassembleuse qui nous fait chaud au cœur.
2428 Et en ce sens-là, on essaie d’avoir un équilibre dans nos choix de séries dramatiques, pour avoir une série qui soit historique par année, d’avoir une série qui s’adresse davantage aux milléniaux, d’avoir de la diversité. On s’assure d’avoir de la diversité également dans nos émissions de variété, on élimine toute émission qui peut être des téléréalités. C’est vraiment une question de balance et de choix et on a l’avantage d’avoir des fonds publics qui nous permettent de financer notre programmation et en ce sens-là, ça nous donne une latitude pour offrir des émissions qui ne visent pas toujours de grands publics, mais qui s’avisent d’être complémentaires et d’avoir une programmation qui, dans son ensemble, est un tout qui se distingue comme diffuseur public.
2429 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: I don't know if Ms. Williams wanted to add something, or, or Ms. Tait, or shall I ---
2430 MS. TAIT: No, no, no, I think she will. She's just listening to the -- to her headphones, so let's ---
2431 MS. WILLIAMS: A little slow.
2432 MS. TAIT: I'm going to have to throw to Barb first.
2433 MS. WILLIAMS: Yeah, well, or I will appreciate that when you've said Michel and then Barb that I will just come as soon as I've listened to the end of Michel's answer.
2434 MS. TAIT: Okay.
2435 MS. WILLIAMS: Or else I'm really going to throw a Sally after all of that. But the complexity of those decisions is the fun, frankly of the job. And TV only has a few slots. We think of this linear schedule as being so huge, but those primetime slots that really dominate what television is for a viewing public -- and it's not to say they don't care about our daytime programming. They do. But there actually aren't that many slots. And there are so many ideas and so many creators.
2436 So, that selection process that Michel referred to is what keeps Sally up at night, I know it does, and our whole team because it is hard, and we want to be reflective of Canadians and we want to be relevant to everyone, and we want to have hits, and we want to make great TV.
2437 So with all of that, Sally, explain how the heck you do it.
2438 MS. CATTO: Thanks, Barb. It does keep me up at night, but it is also the most, you know, exhilarating part of the job for myself, for our team. You know, I think that is one of the gifts of working for the public broadcaster that, you know, yes, audience numbers matter, of course they do, for certain kinds of programming. But we also look at so much more than that in terms of relevance to our audience, and are we representing different communities, you know, authentically, and are we reaching them.
2439 So, for example, you know, as important and great as it is that a series like Murdoch Mysteries reaches a broad audience as the highest rated Canadian drama in the country, you know, equally important for us is the renewal and commitment we made to Diggstown, which is -- you know, did not perform as well in terms of audience numbers, but it's extremely relevant and showcases black creators, black talent. It's a strong legal drama, and the community impressed in Nova Scotia. So, it is a balancing act. I'm giving you but two examples. But, you know, audience numbers are one factor.
2440 We also are really looking at what stories haven't been told yet, what voices haven't been heard yet, and how do we balance that on the schedule. And as Barb said, you know, there really are -- if we're looking specifically at primetime, very few slots each year. We have many returning series, and so I think that that is also what is exciting to us about some of the opportunities that Gem has provided, to also reach younger audiences and to showcase even more Canadian talent.
2441 M. BISONNETTE: Et j’inviterais Dany de pouvoir préciser également au niveau du côté francophone.
2442 Mme MELOUL: Je vous dirais qu’effectivement, on parle beaucoup de cotes d’écoute, mais ça va au-delà de ça. Aujourd’hui, je pense que quand on regarde une émission à la maison, en tant que diffuseur, on a toujours une plateforme à côté de nous pour voir qu’est-ce qui se dit sur Twitter, sur Facebook, sur Instagram pendant qu’on regarde l’émission même. Donc, la réaction du public, on est beaucoup plus près d’eux aujourd’hui, on a un sens tout de suite si notre télévision a plu, au-delà de la cote d’écoute.
2443 Je vous dirais aussi qu’on passe beaucoup de temps avec nos producteurs et on est à l’écoute de ce qu’ils ont envie aussi de raconter. Ça aussi, je pense que ça fait partie de notre mandat; ce n’est pas juste d’être une télé rassembleuse pour les Canadiens, mais aussi, qu’est-ce qu’on offre à l’écosystème canadien et aux artisans et aux auteurs. Et donc, de cette nature-là, on peut prendre certaines fictions et faire un test, voir jusqu’où la population est maintenant prête.
2444 Alors, j’ai comme exemple – vous savez, il y a quelques années, à 19-2, c’était la première fois qu’on voyait une fusillade à la télévision et sincèrement, les critiques à ce moment-là étaient « Voyons donc, comment est-ce qu’on peut montrer une telle affaire à la télé? ». Mais par la suite, le public a vraiment accroché puis ils ont dit « Oui, c’est de la télé différente, c’est comme ça qu’on aimerait voir le futur de nos fictions ».
2445 Alors, c’est évolutif, mais c’est une conversation entre les Canadiens, par l’entremise des points de contact qu’on a avec eux. Oui, la cote d’écoute, mais aussi ce que tout l’écosystème créatif souhaite faire et on est en discussion pour monter la meilleure télévision possible.
2446 MS. TAIT: If I could just add one other thought to these great comments, when Sally talks about Murdoch Mysteries as being a broadly entertaining show, what the public broadcaster can do differently, and I think you have our reports on this, is in a show like that where we have a big audience, we're able to bring -- work with the producer to ensure more female directors and writers than in any show in the history probably of this country, and it's bringing that lens of public service to all our shows. How do we -- it's not just, you know, let's talk about a police drama. How do we do it differently? How do we bring different talent to the table? How do we ensure representation? How do we ensure key creatives are from other underrepresented communities? And really that, ultimately, is -- becomes a filter as well in terms of relevance.
2447 So there -- I think you've heard there's a framework of relevance, and we go deep on a whole lot of criteria.
2448 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Thank you. Just to conclude on programming strategy, what I'm hearing is that, you know, the notion of providing balanced programming, a wide range of programming, serving Canadians from across the country, that this is top priority for the public broadcaster.
2449 I know as you mentioned, Ms. Williams is newer to the corporation, Ms. Tait is a couple of years in to her mandate. I guess Ms. Catto might be the bearer of the torch for the whole -- the last license term, but I guess we're just interested to know if there were any shifts in programming priority over the course of the last license term in terms of focus, or whether just that this notion of balance, whether that's what's carried the English and French language services forward during the course of this last license term.
2450 MS. TAIT: If I may, and I'm sure my colleagues will -- if they have something to add they will. Probably the most significant change between the last license term and this -- where we are today, balance is absolutely critical, absolutely. But perhaps the greatest shift I would say is the focus on diversity and inclusion. And our real move to accomplish what we have with, as I mentioned just a minute ago on gender parity, we -- and other colleagues in the industry. I don't want to just suggest it was the public broadcaster, but we have shown where people said there weren't -- there wasn’t a sufficient pipeline of female talent; we have shown that’s not the case. It’s about opportunity. And I look forward in this next licence term, and I’m sure we’ll get to this conversation later, to do the same with respect to all Canadians, and underrepresented communities in particular.
2451 So I would say -- and, again, Sally and Dany, you may want to add to that, but I would say that that would be the major shift, but balance is still critical to the overall approach.
2452 MS. CATTO: Sorry; I’m happy to jump in there. Yes, Catherine is exactly right. Having been here for the last five years, I can ---
2453 MR. BISSONNETTE: Your camera, Sally.
2454 MS. CATTO: Sorry; I’m having some challenges here today.
2455 Over the past five years, I can absolutely confirm that reflecting our country, and I would say our regions, has been a huge and increasing and ever-present priority for us, and we’ve seen those changes. Certainly, in scripted we’re seeing them, you’ll see more of them. We’ve just announced a wonderful drama, Black-led, a creatively driven drama called The Porter, and a wonderful comedy, a South-Asian lead and storylines called Sort Of which also explores the trans community.
2456 We are committed, in all of our programming, to really reflect this country, and we know we have more work to do there but I think what’s exciting to us is -- and Catherine spoke to this -- the way we approach our contents. So, you know, when we commissioned Burden of Truth, not only are we seeing Indigenous storylines and Indigenous talent involved, but there was just a wonderful training and mentorship program on that series for the past several years that has resulted in countless young, you know, up and coming Indigenous individuals receiving talent and training in the industry. You know, I -- we feel very passionately about this. I could go on andon with examples, but, you know, I will agree and concur in every way that this is a -- this is extremely important to us and our number one priority going forward.
2457 MS. TAIT: Dany, est-ce que tu veux ajouter quelque chose ?
2458 Mme MELOUL : Mais je suis définitivement du même point de vue que, au niveau de la diversité c’est quelque chose qui nous anime à tous les jours. On veut vraiment s’assurer qu’au sein de l’ensemble de nos émissions, on a ce reflet-là de diversité. Il y a aussi énormément qu’on continue à faire et qu’on veut accroître au niveau des régions. À ce stade-ci, au cours du dernier terme, 65% de toutes les fictions qui étaient faites à l’extérieur du Québec, étaient pour le diffuseur public et on veut continuer à développer chaque année et en faire.
2459 Et je vous dirais peut-être, une autre tendance qui prend son envol, c’est au niveau de la programmation jeunesse, mais plus particulièrement les jeunes adultes, les « tween » excusez l’expression. Donc les adolescents, les « tween », on est en train de faire de plus en plus de fiction pour ce secteur-là. Les gens nous avaient dit : « Mais voyons donc, ils ne seront pas à l’écoute. C’est un groupe qui a été délaissé, on ne devrait peut-être pas mettre nos énergies là-dedans. » Mais on le fait et c’est d’intérêt. C’est quelque chose qu’on voit, que les jeunes reviennent écouter ces fictions-là, donc on va continuer dans ce genre aussi.
2460 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you very much.
2461 Just to move forward with the questioning, there was an exchange that you had with the Chair on Monday about the relevancy of programming or maintaining the distinctively Canadian presence, you know, and serving your mandate on the traditional platforms as you shift attention and resources to the online platform.
2462 And so I’m wondering if you could just speak briefly about -- you know, and, again, I’ve heard, now and through the course of the proceedings, your passion for programming and for serving Canadians but how do you maintainthis commitment on the traditional platform when there is the excitement and the shiny and the youth on the online platform? And maybe not just the youth; as you say, the digital citizens. How do you maintain it?
2463 MS. TAIT: It’s a great question, Commissioner. And, yeah, those are shiny objects but we are absolutely still deep, deep, deep into a traditional television opportunity.
2464 And let’s be very clear; there are still significant audiences, Michel pointed to the Bye-Bye, boy oh boy, if we could do that all the time that would be awesome.
2465 The reality is, is that if you look at how we are deploying the resources and, you know, the traditional television or conventional television is still drawing significant audience, and Barb can talk more to that. And, again, with the same conversation about the floor that we are providing as a guarantee, but, again, with this aspirational augmentation or increase in program.
2466 What I would say is I think it’s very important, and it may not have come up yet but maybe Barb mentioned it in her opening remarks, are how much ourproducers want to create shows in the style or in the fashion, for example, of OTT platforms.
2467 So when audiences watch a show like I May Destroy You, a British show, an incredible show that we had on Gem, that show might not perform very well in primetime on CBC. It’s very -- it’s a niche show, it was pretty -- I don’t want to say -- it’s not racy, that’s not the word, but it’s an edgy show, and yet that’s a ground-breaking series for a diverse talent, British talent, a Black woman.
2468 And so we want to be able to, and our producers want to be able to create shows that fit that platform. So I think Barb called it, “bingeworthy”; more serialized, more niche, more focused. The platform is different, and therefore the content will also be different.
2469 So I think we need to understand that it’s not just coming from us, the desire for this flexibility, but it’s coming fromtheproducers, too. They’re watching Netflix, they’re watching Amazon and they’re saying, “Gee, I want to make shows like that as well.”
2470 So, again, it’s a little bit responding, we’re responding to audience taste but we’re also responding to our producers who are interested in producing inthat way. But maybe I’ll hand over to Barb and then to Michel to make further comment on that.
2471 MS. WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think you’ve touched on what’s key about this.
2472 Firstly, the floor can’t be overstated. We have a commitment of a PNI in primetime in our proposal that absolutely will ensure that we don’t abandon that linear television platform anytime soon. And we’re not looking to, because, as Catherine says, still big audiences there and big, beautiful shows.
2473 But the shows that work the best on that platform are increasingly more in the lines of episodic television, television that people can come in and out of, that really are well-supported by that weekly model of waiting the next week to -- you know, for the next episode. And more and more, the streaming platforms are playing to not only a different audience but a different kind of content that that audience is after.
2474 And maybe, Sally, you want to speak a little bit more to that distinction. It really drives our team to really want to do both, as Catherine says, with producers that want to do both, because they are increasingly different; one is not just a repeat of the other.
2476 MS. CATTO: Thanks, Barb.
2477 That’s exactly right. And to be really clear, our excitement about the possibilities on Gem should in no way be seen as kind of detracting from our commitment and ongoing excitement we have about the content we are providing on linear. That is obviously where the bulk is our audiences are. That is how we reach people across the country, and we have many beloved shows. We see no -- we’re not anticipating, you know, not having drama or comedy or documentaries or factual content, you know, family programming. All of this is the essence of what we do.
2478 It is more that, you know --and it has been said, there are certain kinds of content that are better suited to either binge-viewing, that do allow audiences to discover platforms like Gem. And Gem will allow audiences to discover short form content, so our digital original content, our short form digital original content.
2479 Because to be clear, currently all of our -- our long form content is on linear. And yes, you can find it on Gem, but it is -- it is commissioned for linear. But we’ve had wonderful success with our digital originals, and we’ve been able to really work with so many new, diverse, creators.
2480 I think the fact that we have committed to Canadian feature films on Gem and can offer so many more, simply because there is only so much room on a linear schedule. You know, they compliment each other. They definitely do speak at times to different audiences.
2481 But the commitment is there, certainly to keep our linear strong, but also to grow Gem and to bring in those audiences that we’re not always seeing on linear, which is vital to our sustainability in the future.
2482 M. BISSONNETTE: Merci, Sally.
2483 Madame la conseillère, ça fait plusieurs années que j’entends que la radio va mourir. Ça fait plusieurs années que j’entends que la télévision va mal. Et je vous dirais qu’on vit des moments de grâce présentement avec la radio, autant sur le linéaire que ce qu’on peut avoir en rattrapage sur notre application OHdio.
2484 Et quand je regarde qu’avec District 31 c’est presque 2 millions de téléspectateurs qu’on a tous les soirs; que Tout le monde en parle, c’est plus d’un million; la popularité de nos séries dramatiques; la popularité d’En direct de l’univers; je vous dirais que si la télévision va mal, moi, je trouve que le patient se porte plutôt bien, comme j’ai eu la chance de le dire.
2485 Et vous savez, on fait assurément le plus beau métier du monde parce qu’on est toujours à l’écoute de nos auditoires. Et je pense que Barb l’a bien résumé tantôt, nos engagements envers la télévision linéaire ne sont pas en diminution. On veut s’assurer de maintenir une offre qui soit solide sur la télévision linéaire.
2486 Mais Catherine l’a bien résumé aussi. Quand on fait des créations sur le numérique, je pense entre autres à nos webséries, c’est un univers qui s’offre à nous parce que tout d’un coup on n’a plus la contrainte d’un 30 minutes ou d’un 60 minutes. On a la capacité d’avoir des propos qui sont peut-être un peu plus audacieux; d’avoir une clientèle… on a quand même 25 pour cent de notre auditoire qui ne vient pas sur les plateformes linéaires.
2487 Donc, on a deux choix; on prend en partie nos programmations sur la télévision et on leur offre en rattrapage ou en primaire sur le numérique. Et on crée également, avec les producteurs, avec des nouveaux auteurs, avec des nouveaux réalisateurs, des contenus qui sont différents pour rejoindre une autre clientèle.
2488 Mais je peux vous assurer que notre volonté de rester fort sur le linéaire, elle est sincère et sentie. Et j’inviterais Dany à venir compléter ma réponse.
2489 Mme MELOUL: Il n’y a aucun doute que la télévision demeure la plateforme la plus importante pour la découvrabilité et pour rejoindre le plus grand nombre de Canadiens.
2490 Comme Michel a déjà dit au cours de ce processus, il y a quand même un certain pourcentage de Canadiens qui ne viendront plus à la télé mais ils sont encore des Canadiens et on a encore un mandat de les rejoindre autant que possible.
2491 On parle beaucoup du Bye Bye depuis quelques jours. Bon, c’est sûr que c’a eu des cotes d’écoutes extraordinaires à la télévision mais ce qu’on dit un petit peu moins c’est qu’il y a quand même 860,000 personnes qui sont venues écouter le Bye Bye par l’entremise de la plateforme.
2492 Alors, c’est plus de trois quarts d’un million de la population qui ne l’aurait pas vu à la télévision parce qu’ils ne veulent pas être à la télévision ou ils ne sont plus à la télévision.
2493 Donc, les deux sont nécessaires pour rejoindre le grand nombre de Canadiens. Et c’est certain que notre… la majorité de notre focus va demeurer encore ce qu’on fait à la télévision parce que c’est là où on rejoint le plus de monde. C’est là où on peut faire la plus grande découvrabilité, donner un plus grand rayonnement en ligne. Mais oui, il y a la nécessité d’avoir aussi les plateformes pour, d’une part, rejoindre les Canadiens mais d’autre part aussi pour, comme l’a dit Barb, comme l’a dit Michel, comme l’a dit Catherine, créer des contenus qui sont innovateurs, tester des choses, amener des nouveaux auteurs, leur donner leur chance.
2494 Et donc c’est un amalgame des deux qui sont nécessaires. Et l’écosystème, je suis convaincue, va continuer de cette façon-là au cours des cinq prochaines années.
2495 MS. TAIT: And if I may, Commissioner?
2496 I seem to be prone to mixing up my shows, and I’m being corrected that “I May Destroy You” is on Crave. And so you can see that I consume content on all platforms and it’s “Chewing Gum” from the same creator that is on Gem. And while I’m correcting the record, I also want to correct the record that I said that, the co-financier of enslaved was BETN, in fact it was Epic.
2497 So there you go. Thank you for my programming team to keep me sharp.
2498 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: That’s great. Well, thank you. Thank you for these additions.
2499 And element to the programming and the program use strategy, I guess it’s an extension of what we’ve just been talking about, in terms of maintaining or ensuring that you are meeting your mandate on the traditional platform. And again, this is something that was discussed a bit the other day.
2500 There are a number of intervenors who have concerns about shifting focus to the digital platforms because there are less resources there, and the quality of the productions might be lesser, the production values might be lesser. And so, what do you say to address these concerns, in terms of, you know, again to use one of your -- the term that was discussed with my colleague yesterday, the ecosystem and meeting the needs of Canadians across platform?
2501 MS. TAIT: Well, I think core to the proposal is the idea that if we have the flexibility to count our performance, and for this PNI programming on the digital platforms, the dollars follow. One of the challenges is that if we are not able to put -- as you heard, we have very, very limited funding. I mean, just a tiny amount by comparison to the competition out there.
2502 We want to be able to ensure that we can take those -- some of those dollars and be able to assign them to -- to Gem, and to TOU.TV. The reality is it would be not in our interest at all to be producing low budget programming when we have, you know, Netflix, and Amazon, and you know, all the other players in the market producing at five times, or 10 times, or even more. I think you heard Michel at 100 percent more.
2503 So it is absolutely not our intention to go to a low budget solution. It’s actually by counting those hours that we would be able to -- be able to hopefully assign more dollars.
2504 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Ms. Tait, I’m wondering if you could just speak a little about, how will the corporation know if Canadians are not satisfied or happy about the way things are going on the tradition platform as attention focusses on digital, and vice versa, the Canadians are not satisfied with the quality of the productions?
2505 You mentioned, I believe, in your opening presentation the other day, that Canadians have two jobs and one of them is running the Public Broadcasting Corporation. And so just really -- again, if we could just hear a little bit about how will you know if the course you are on is not the right course, in terms of where you’re putting your energies, Re: traditional versus online?
2506 MS. TAIT: Well, I think you’ve heard a couple of times, Commissioner, in this proceeding that Canadians do not hold back in letting us know when they’re not happy about our programming. And there are a lot of -- a number of avenues, but the audience return, I mean, that we get, frequencies is there. So we hear directly from our audiences through phone, through online, and through social. So there is kind of an immediate response that’s qualitative.
2507 We also have it from a ratings point of view that we keep a close eye on, and other measures as well. Because clearly, you know as Sally I believe has pointed out, not all programs will attract big audiences. That’s not our role, is to just be in the business of chasing ratings.
2508 So I think the -- for us the ultimate -- and I think Michel said it and Barb as well, the ultimate measure for us is, are we reaching the audiences all Canadians that we need to. If we don't have this alternative platform, we miss the digital -- the viewers that have abandoned television. At the same time, we must continue to serve the large audience that is in television, and we need to serve the documentary fans. We need to serve the person that wants to lean back as opposed to lean in to an entertainment experience.
2509 So, it's a -- we know that we know from our audience directly, we know from ratings, and we know from our producers. At the end of the day, there's -- you know, I keep coming back to producers because if they are key partners in this, they're also helping us and our financial partners, our co-production partners, other broadcasters. There's a whole number of variables that feed into the process.
2510 But perhaps, Barb and Michel, if you wanted to add anything to how we know?
2511 M. BISONNETTE: Peut-être juste ajouter, parce que sincèrement, le point de Catherine est exactement là où on est dans notre réflexion. Mais je sens, Madame la conseillère, dans vos questions, c’est comme si le numérique s’opposait au linéaire. Et dans ma perspective à moi, ce n’est pas des sections qui s’opposent, c’est des questions qui s’additionnent et en pouvant prendre le meilleur du numérique et le meilleur du linéaire, on réussit à rejoindre encore plus de Canadiens. Et on n’est pas là pour choisir l’un ou l’autre, on est là pour s’assurer que l’addition des deux plateformes nous permettent de rejoindre encore plus de Canadiens de la meilleure façon.
2512 CONSEILLÈRE LaFONTAINE : Merci.
2513 So my next question for you is you've put forward cross-platform proposals for local, for programs of national interest, for children, and for independent production to a certain degree. And I'm interested to hear about why you have not put forward a proposal for exhibition for your -- you know, you've got one for the traditional platforms, but why not an exhibit floor, as it were, for Gem and TOU.TV? And I ask this also because, you know, when you look to other jurisdictions, they are looking to putting exhibit floors in place. So I'm interested to hear about why that's not part of your proposal here.
2514 MS. TAIT: I think I'll throw this to Bev because she may have a more technical question, but just from a -- by way of context while she thinks about the answer that -- I should just say that Gem is a relatively new -- we talked about I think Dany called the new baby was Explora, well, another new baby is Ohdio and CBC Listen, and Gem is a relatively new platform compared to Netflix obviously, but also even TOU.TV. So part of the -- I would say we're in a kind of a different state of evolution, which maybe gives a sense of why we were -- we're kind of at the early days, and but maybe, Bev, you could be more precise than I have been.
2515 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: Sure, thank you. And I'll start off by saying that our proposal, to a certain extent, is based on exhibition, but it's rooted in looking at the linear first. So, when we put this forward in 2019, the starting point was or is what are we doing on our linear conventional television platforms, and we are creating that bridge through using the existing exhibition platform -- or the exhibition obligations.
2516 I think your question is actually looking at it the other way or looking at the entire that Gem as a whole and TOU.TV as a whole and saying, well, why didn't you come up with an overall framework for that. And in developing this, again, it's -- I think as the Chairman said on Monday, it's a bridge to one island. It's an approach that recognises that there may be some very significant changes in the system, you know, in the next few years, but -- so what we wanted to do was to be able to harness some of what we were already doing, and create that bridge, while recognising that over time there may be a new overall approach to OTT services.
2517 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Thank you, Ms. Kirshenblatt.
2518 I have some questions with various permutations of, you know, exhibition, up it here, lower it there. What I'm hearing though from you is that you're comfortable with the -- your proposal that you've put forward in terms of the exhibition floors for the conventional services, and that it would be not worth -- not productive for to give you the various permutations because you are comfortable with your proposal in terms of non-exhibition on the digital platforms and your proposal for the traditional.
2519 MS. TAIT: We are, and we thought long and hard about it. And just again to emphasise, it's -- it will be -- it presents additional hours to the system, which we think will be enormously valuable over the next license term.
2520 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Thank you. We've talked a fair bit about success and measuring success within this proceeding, talked about it on Monday with the Chair, you talked about it with Vice-Chair Simard yesterday in terms of news. Is there anything you'd like to add -- and you've also provided an undertaking, you know, coming back to us about, you know, tools for measuring success. Is there anything that you'd like to add at this point in the proceeding about the measurement of success of Canadian programs on your traditional platforms? If you feel like you've covered that ground, that's fine, but if there's something that ---
2521 MS. TAIT: I think we ---
2522 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: --- you'd like to add?
2523 MS. TAIT: --- I think we have, and I think that if there's anything additional, we will put it in that framework that we're currently noodling.
2524 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Perfect. Thank you.
2525 And then again in terms of discoverability, we talked about that on Monday. You made an undertaking about it. Will that -- the response to that undertaking also address discoverability on the traditional platforms, traditional television platforms?
2526 MS. TAIT: Bev?
2527 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: Yeah, if I might, and I'm actually going by memory right now from that day one. I think there were seven undertakings.
2528 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: M'hm. M'hm.
2529 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: But the nature of those undertakings were with respect to the entirety of our offering.
2530 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Okay.
2531 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: So it would be, you know, how we are offering content. So, the short answer is yes.
2532 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Perfect. Thank you. Then we can move to feature films.
2533 Mr. Chair, shall I continue?
2534 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, please do.
2535 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Thank you.
2536 Now I note in your application you are proposing to maintain your -- the commitment on the English language conventional television service of one feature film per month. I'm wondering if you could talk to us a little bit about -- I know Ms. Catto talked about feature films briefly a moment ago, but if you could talk to us about your strategy for showcasing feature films in the CBC/Radio-Canada ecosystem?
2537 MS. TAIT: I will just go right to the programming people on this, so we eliminate all the throwing back and forth. So, let's go to Sally on -- and CBC and then Dany on Radio-Canada. Thank you.
2538 MS. CATTO: Thanks, Catherine.
2539 CBC remains, and has been, certainly during our last licence period, very committed to supporting feature films in Canada with a particular focus on women, visible minorities, and unrepresented communities. Our feature film fund, which was formerly called the Breaking Barriers Fund and is now called CBC Films, has supported numerous films from under represented communities, from the Indigenous community, and that we have every intention continuing.
2540 Certainly, we do support more than one Canadian feature film a month. We particularly focus on summer in part. Because it is a scheduling issue for us on the linear schedule, when are we able to program primetime feature films. In the summer, we run feature films every Saturday, and certainly Gem has provided a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase even more feature films.
2541 We've made a decision to showcase only Canadian feature films. We have over -- well over 100 Canadian feature films on our Gem service. And I think the -- one of the advantages of Gem, certainly, is the way we have established collections and swim lanes, you know, by subject matter, by theme that really do allow for discoverability of more feature films in this country.
2542 MS. WILLIAMS: And just before Dany jumps in, I might just -- because I'm not sure everybody catches it as quickly. Sally's absolutely right, that there is actually a practical scheduling challenge with feature films on the linear schedule.
2543 And just to be clear about what that is: We have news at 10 o'clock. Feature films require a two‑hour window, two‑hour block of time, generally, and often their content isn't suitable for an 8 o'clock audience. So we get jammed in the inability to put a film on at nine that hits the news at ten or put a film on at eight that is inappropriate for a family audience at eight.
2544 And it's why we turn to summer and Saturday nights, dragging you right down the rabbit hole of programming here, where we don't have hockey, where we can expand that block of time on a Saturday night, take two‑hours, two‑and‑a‑half hours if it's required, and really exploit the opportunity of the freedom of the evening schedule to showcase Canadian film.
2545 MS. MELOUL: Merci, Barb.
2546 Au niveau du marché de langue française, on participe soit en participation ou en acquisition, donc en licences, à 90 % de tous les films faits de langue française au pays. Ce qu’on fait aussi, c'est que, comme Barb vient de dire, c'est difficile de programmer un film à la télé en linéaire pour les raisons qu’elle vient d’évoquer, alors ce qu’on a fait, c’est qu’on a utilisé un système 360 pour l’exploitation des films canadiens. Alors, on les met sur ARTV dans une case qui est dédiée au cinéma d’ici, on les met aussi à TOU.TV, et on les met sur la chaine principale, sur ICI Télé.
2547 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: It sounds as though there is a priority for showcasing feature films on both the English and French language networks. I do know that the obligations are different and that there isn't an obligation, a monthly obligation on the French language service.
2548 Would the corporation, would CBC Television broadcast the feature film monthly if it didn't have the obligation to do so? So -- but, you know, but for the obligation would the feature films appear on the main network?
2549 MS. TAIT: You're on mute, Sally.
2550 MS. CATTO: I know. Sorry.
2551 Yes, they would. You know, we -- as Barb said, often for us it is a scheduling issue with feature films. They are not the easiest to program, and that is why we really do take advantage of them in the summer.
2552 You know, we know that not only are they really important I think to our audiences, but feature films are a wonderful way for us to connect with new talent and different talent across the country. I -- I'm -- I think that they really start and evolve our relationships with Canadian filmmakers.
2553 I'm thinking of an example, a feature film we supported, Red Snow by a wonderfully talented writer/director Marie Clements who is now show running a series we have ordered, Bones of Crows. That's just one example of the evolution of the relationship.
2554 I don't mean to go off on a tangent. It's just to say that we really do value feature films, and so to be asked that question, I can say with certainty absolutely we would, regardless of the condition.
2555 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you. And the broadcast of the feature films on the main network, you know, either through the obligation or not, do you consider that sort of helpful? And you did talk about -- you did speak about Gem, but has the presence of the feature films on the main network help you bolster, as it were, the content on Gem in terms of cross-platform?
2556 MS. CATTO: We are completely satisfied with the condition. As I said, I believe we would do it either way, and we do want to be supporting on the platforms that are available to us.
2557 MS. WILLIAMS: I think if I could add two thoughts there, though: Having the films run on broadcast is wonderful, it's a showcase. The filmmakers really feel it's important. It often is a part of the funding system and the triggering of funds, did it have a broadcast play. There's a lot of reasons to be sure that the film has a play on linear television.
2558 But what's been very exciting is to put all that Canadian film together on the collection on Gem and have it live there for a long time so that people who are fans of the Canadian film industry can go and discover Canadian films that otherwise came and went one Saturday night. So we are actually, I think, influencing the success of Canadian films significantly by having it repeat and be collected and showcased on Gem.
2559 And it -- the only -- and the other point I would just make is it is a point of distinction for us at the CBC. I understand why other traditional broadcasters have moved away from supporting feature film and why our colleagues in the Canadian broadcast industry here in Canada really don't touch feature film anymore, I get it. And it's an important -- increasingly important then for us to be there to support that genre of creative storytelling.
2560 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you. Now, you may have seen the intervention from the Québec English Language Production Council (QEPC), Québec Community Groups Network, and the English Language Arts Network, (QEPC), et cetera, and they recommended the following. That:
2561 "The CRTC require a minimum CBC investment in OLMC feature films of at least 10 percent of the total feature film investment; broadcast of at least two medium or long budget OLMC feature films annually..." (As read)
2562 Or low, sorry, excuse me:
2563 "...medium or low budget feature films annually; and identify OLMC films in the annual reports." (As read)
2564 So could you please comment on these proposals that were submitted by this group?
2565 MS. TAIT: Sorry, Barb or Bev? I'm not sure who wants to -- Bev is nodding her head. Okay, Bev. No, she's not nodding her head. Oh, beg your pardon. Barb.
2566 MS. WILLIAMS: Actually, I was going to go straight to Sally ---
2567 MS. CATTO: Okay.
2568 MS. WILLIAMS: --- who had her mic open ---
2569 MS. CATTO: Yeah.
2570 MS. WILLIAMS: --- and was ready to go.
2571 MS. CATTO: I'm ready.
2572 Thank you, Commissioner. We have really enjoyed evolving and developing our relationship with QEPC, and certainly we feel that the current conditions of licence regarding production with independent producers, English language in Québec, are working well. We are satisfied with those. We would like to keep those conditions. I mean, I can say that CBC broadcast 18 feature films from independent producers in Québec over the last licence period, which actually represents 18 percent of our overall budget.
2573 However, we really do require flexibility. You know, we have so many different creators across the country from so many different backgrounds and stories that they want to tell, and so many regions. That is why we feel that the current conditions, they're great, they're working, you know, we're very happy with them, but we do need to maintain some flexibility to ensure that we are really addressing voices from all across the country, and so, you know, I think that it's really important to maintain some degree of flexibility there.
2574 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Thank you, Ms. Catto. So, I hear your submission on the need or the desire for flexibility, but within that flexibility, I'm also hearing that the CBC is amenable and open to and has showcased this kind of programming and that this will likely be part of your schedule in the future?
2575 MS. CATTO: Absolutely.
2576 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Thank you. In terms of measurement of feature films, there are a number of intervenors that asked that the -- that CBC/Radio-Canada submit reports to the Commission on -- annually on its feature film -- on the feature films that it's showcasing. Can you speak to that?
2577 MS. TAIT: In terms of measurement, are you talking -- excuse me, Commissioner, I wasn't entirely clear. Are you saying the number of feature films? I believe ---
2578 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: No, I ---
2579 MS. TAIT: --- that's all in the logs, so ---
2580 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Right. Well, I guess it's the reporting. I misspoke when I said measurement, but more the reporting on feature films. There are intervenors who have recommended that the corporation be required to report annually. And granted it is in the logs, and the Commission can review that, but for Canadians and stakeholders, it isn't as readily accessible. So, in terms of the public broadcaster's commitment to feature films and what it's showcasing and in the interest of transparency, would it be a very arduous or complicated thing to report annually to the Commission on feature films that it showcases?
2581 MS. TAIT: I don't believe it would be an onerous obligation. Again, you know, I think we -- I just -- I go back to -- not that I was here, but I go back to the last license renewal where the kind of genre-specific or format-specific obligation -- reporting obligations were in fact lifted to give us that broad flexibility for balance in our programming. So, I go to that decision, so I just don't want to be contradicting previous decisions. I don't know, Bev, whether or not you have a point on that.
2582 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: Well, in terms of reporting, we're talking about -- we keep going back and forth between two different things. Reporting overall in terms of feature films because I think what you've heard from Sally and Dany is that our content reaches different audiences. So, with respect to your question, Commissioner, are you asking about reporting on linear television? Are you talking about reporting in terms of all the feature films that we make available on demand or not? I guess I'm trying to understand specifically what the question is so we can answer.
2583 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Right. So, the question is, and I take your point, thank you for the question for -- of clarification. Reporting on feature films, one, on the traditional platforms, and since -- so this is a multi-platform proposal that we are reviewing in this proceeding, it would be for the traditional -- for the digital platform as well. And, you know, we can leave this question with you, if you'd like to give it some thought about whether you are amenable to filing this annual report. It was a proposal that has been -- that was submitted, and it is our rule to ask you about whether that's something that you'd like to include in your annual filings.
2584 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: Of course. Thank you. So that relates back to the filings that were done in February of 2019. And what we will undertake to get back to you as part of our overall approach of how we can report and measure on more globally as part of our undertaking.
2585 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Perfect. Thank you.
2586 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: Thank you.
2587 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: All right. I think that's it on feature films.
2588 My next section is on exhibition on radio and audio. Again, Mr. Chair, shall I continue?
2589 THE CHAIRPERSON: Perhaps that's a good point to pause for the lunch break before we move into audio exhibition.
2590 So, Madam Secretary, can I suggest that we recess for an hour, returning at 1:40?
2591 MS. ROY: Perfect. Thank you very much. Have a nice lunch.
2592 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Thank you.
--- Upon recessing at 12:39 p.m./
L'audience est suspendue à 12h39
--- Upon resuming at 1:44 p.m./
L'audience est reprise à 13h44
2594 THE SECRETARY: Welcome back. Mr. Chairman, I would just like to announce before we proceed that tomorrow morning and Friday morning we will start the hearing at 9:00 a.m. eastern time.
2595 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
2596 THE SECRETARY: Mr. Chairman, we may continue.
2597 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Madam Secretary. Thank you, Panel members and representatives from CBC Radio-Canada.
2598 Then we'll resume with Commissioner LaFontaine. I believe she was about to ask you some questions about audio exhibition.
2599 Alors, Madame Lafontaine.
2600 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
2601 Good afternoon. Many intervenors in this proceeding have spoken very passionately about CBC Radio-Canada's radio services and the important role that these services play in their lives and within the broadcasting system. We've also heard from many intervenors about the critical support that CBC Radio-Canada provides to Canadian musical artists. And of course, you discussed, you know, with incredible passion the -- your support for musical artists in this proceeding thus far.
2602 In light of this, can you please explain how the corporation determines what type of music is relevant to Canadians on both its traditional radio and online services and how it makes these determinations?
2603 MS. TAIT: Thank you, Commissioner. I'll start. Before I hand this to Barb and then Michel, I just want to say the -- again, the overriding programming filter is Canadian and then we go to all the other filters or criteria that we work with in all of our programming. But I'll hand it to the experts.
2604 Barb, do you want to start it off and then go to Michel?
2605 MS. WILLIAMS: Sure, thank you. And I will include a couple of members of my team, potentially. But radio, you have said, Monique, is so adored by so many Canadians, and so adored by so many people inside the CBC. I will say there is tremendous passion for radio.
2606 I would like to take a moment just to be clear. In our structure at CBC, CBC Music, which is -- we deem to be entertainment, is handled by Sally Catto in her overall responsibilities for all that is entertainment at the CBC; and Radio One is actually a predominantly news, current affairs, and information platform, and therefore, is predominantly managed by Susan Marjetti, although there are a few shows on there that are entertainment and fall into Sally's category, but that's a little too much in the weeds. So you may hear from both Sally and Susan is my point as we talk about Radio.
2607 Both services are predominant, well they are all Canadian all the time, that's what they are. Whether it's entertainment or it's news and information, current affairs, local, it's all Canadian all the time, and we have had a Radio One schedule, I think Susan Marjetti mentioned yesterday that was older than her. Not that I'm saying that's all that old, but it has been in place for a very, very long time with enormous success and without any particular obligations on it other than to serve Canadians.
2608 And CBC Music, similarly, has been, you know, a place of opportunity to just discover, share, and learn about new talent, Canadian talent, and it's only been added to over time as the music scene in Canada has become broader and more diverse and robust in its own right.
2609 So you know, both of those schedules really speak hugely to Canadians about Canada and have sort of forever without any other obligation on top of them.
2610 M. BISSONNETTE: Merci, Barb.
2611 Madame la conseillère, la performance d’ICI Musique, parce que votre question est vraiment sur les choix musicaux et les catégories qu’on fait, donc ICI Musique est sous la direction de la radio et de l’audio à Radio-Canada, donc sous Caroline Jamet. Juste porter à votre attention à quel point, notamment cet automne, nous avons presque doublé notre part de marché avec ICI Musique, ce qui démontre la force de notre programmation et à quel point les gens retrouvent chez nous les rendez-vous musicaux qu’ils souhaitent.
2612 Et j’inviterais Mme Jamet à vous expliquer nos choix de programmation et les styles musicaux que nous privilégions.
2613 Mme JAMET: Merci, Michel.
2614 Je vous dirais d’emblée que notre engagement au niveau du contenu canadien, il est très, très grand. Nous avons à ICI Musique une offre qui est distinctive et qui aussi se fait dans plusieurs genres musicaux. Nous sommes une radio nationale, c'est la seule radio nationale musicale qui est en ondes, et nous avons du contenu en chansons francophones – c'est notre majeur, je vous dirais. Nous avons également de la programmation jazz, en musique classique, et également musique du monde. Donc, c'est une offre qui est extrêmement riche, très variée.
2615 Nous avons aussi des artistes qui proviennent de partout au Canada, donc la diversité fait partie… non seulement régionale, mais également la diversité dans tous ses aspects fait partie également de nos choix de programmation.
2616 CONSEILLÈRE LAFONTAINE: Et est-ce que votre choix de programmation ou de musique pour vos services de radio musicaux, est-ce qu’ils s’enlignent avec la façon que vous faites vos choix pour vos services audio numériques? Est-ce que c'est le même genre d’approche que vous prenez ou juste est-ce que vous desservez dans quelque situation les mêmes auditeurs/auditrices, mais dans d’autres, non?
2617 Mme JAMET: Écoutez, sur notre offre OHdio, Madame la Conseillère, nous avons… en fait, les priorités que nous avons à l’antenne se reflètent également sur OHdio. Donc, par exemple, je vous ai parlé de diversité musicale, ces genres-là se retrouvent également sur OHdio, également la couverture de musique de partout au pays, donc nous avons des listes musicales de plusieurs régions en fait au pays. C’est une approche également au niveau des genres, au niveau de la musique autochtone, nous avons des listes de musique autochtone, par exemple, spécialisées. Donc effectivement, c’est le reflet, je vous dirais, sur OHdio qui reprend ce qu’on a comme priorité à l’antenne des radios.
2618 CONSEILLÈRE LAFONTAINE: Merci, Madame Jamet.
2619 Est-ce que vous pouvez parler un peu plus en détail de comment vous créez vos listes de musique, vos listes d’écoute, un peu le processus de pourquoi un tel genre de musique ou telle liste. Je sais que vous en avez plusieurs, mais on serait… ça nous intéresserait de savoir un peu plus sur le comment vous créez ces différentes listes.
2620 Mme JAMET: Alors, nos différentes listes, la façon dont… en fait, je vous dirais que la mécanique, elle est différente qu’une programmation, par exemple, musicale à la radio. Une liste musicale, donc, c’est comme un grand répertoire et quand quelqu’un se branche à une liste, donc, la personne reçoit une offre qui est distinctive pour chaque branchement.
2621 Au niveau des listes, nous avons, donc, différentes catégories, des thématiques, et le choix est fait en fonction… par exemple, si on prend une liste de musique acadienne, bien, on va aller mettre en valeur les artistes de l’Acadie et on va aussi avoir une… en fait, on va aussi, je vous dirais, prioriser des artistes émergents également. Nous avons, dans nos listes, aussi un souci d’avoir des artistes émergents dans chacune des catégories. Catherine Pogonat également, par exemple, fait une liste musicale sur les nouveautés.
2622 Donc, je vous dirais que ces listes-là sont faites par nos programmateurs qui sont les mêmes qui sont à la radio d’ICI musique.
2623 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Did you want to add about -- from the English language side, the process for, or is it...? Sorry, go ahead, Ms. ---
2624 MS. WILLIAMS: Yeah, sure, sure. I was just going to -- thanks. Sorry, Monique. I was just going to throw it to Sally, actually, to talk about the overall strategic approach that way to the music that's on the station as well as on the playlists. Sally?
2625 MS. CATTO: Sure. Thanks, Barb.
2626 Yes, it is very similar to our colleagues at SRC. Obviously, we celebrate a wide variety of Canadian musicians in multiple genres, and you know, in terms of our -- CBC Listen, which is a fairly new service, I really see it as, and we do, as an opportunity to do a deeper dive into all of that content and to discover new talent and really focus on the content that you love the most as a listener.
2627 So we have 193 playlists on CBC Listen, six Indigenous playlists alone, and multiple genres. Obviously, we prioritize and shine a light on Canadian content, Canadian music on that playlist.
2628 But really, it’s just -- it is more of what you will hear on CBC Music for sure. It just allows you to have a deeper dive and perhaps discover more emerging new talent, different music that you have heard before.
2629 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you.
2630 Can you talk a little bit more please, Ms. Catto, about that light that you’re shining on Canadian music and how that plays out into the process of broadcasting or posting music on your platform?
2631 MS. CATTO: Are we speaking about Listen in particular? Yes. Great.
2632 So we do have specific playlists dedicated to Canadian music that are prominently positioned. Over 25 percent of our playlists are 100 percent CanCon. So it is different than our radio platform.
2633 More than a third are over 55 percent CanCon. And 40 percent of our curated tracks are Canadian music.
2634 Again, you know, in terms of discoverability of new music, we do take the position that a blend or an offer of music, not only Canadian but from around the world, will bring in new listeners who will then discover some of the wonderful Canadian music that we are showcasing.
2635 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you, Ms. Catto.
2636 Et du côté francophone, est-ce qu’on pourrait entendre… vous entendre un peu sur la question du contenu canadien et comment vous tenez compte ou comment vous incluez la musique canadienne sur OHdio?
2637 Mme JAMET: Oui, avec plaisir, Madame la conseillère.
2638 Donc, au niveau des listes canadiennes, par exemple, je pourrais vous donner dans la catégorie 2 de musique populaire en musique vocale francophone, nous sommes au-delà de nos conditions de licence en radio; donc, près de 90 pour cent. La majorité de nos listes ont plus de 55 pour cent de contenu canadien.
2639 Nous avons à peu près 170 listes musicales sur OHdio qui, comme je vous ai dit tout à l’heure, sont extrêmement variées et par thématiques. Alors, c’est plus spécialisé, comme l’expliquait ma collègue, dans chacun de ces genres-là.
2640 CONSEILLÈRE LAFONTAINE: Merci.
2641 Je note un peu de la même façon que j’ai noté pour le côté de la télévision traditionnelle, vous n’avez pas proposé une approche multiplateforme pour la radio et côtés traditionnel et numérique.
2642 J’aimerais vous entendre sur le pourquoi que vous avez pris cette approche de ne pas proposer d’obligation de présentation de contenu canadien sur les plateformes numériques.
2643 Mme TAIT: Si je peux commencer et puis s’il y a d’autres commentaires, j’invite mes collègues.
2644 Mais comme j’ai noté, je pense, il y a deux jours, un jour, on vient de lancer nos deux services, CBC Listen et OHdio, il y a même pas un an je pense. Alors, quand on a préparé le mémoire pour ce processus, en fait, pour les audiences, on n’était pas en mesure de penser à ces deux services-là.
2645 Mais peut-être Michel ou Barb, s’il y a autre chose à ajouter.
2646 M. BISSONNETTE: Non, je pense que ça résume bien mais je peux vous confirmer, Madame la conseillère, que nos ambitions sur le contenu canadien sont du même acabit, que ce soit sur le numérique ou sur les chaînes linéaires.
2647 CONSEILLÈRE LAFONTAINE: Merci. Maintenant, je vais poser une question sur la régulation.
2648 I am going to ask you, sorry, I’ll just pause for the translator.
2649 I’m going to ask you a regulatory question that I am compelled to ask you from a regulatory perspective. I appreciate that regulating the online platforms is not something that you have submitted nor that you are advocating, but I am going to pose the following question to you nonetheless.
2650 You’ve just talked about the presentation of Canadian programming on OHdio and CBC Listen. Would the CBC/Radio-Canada accept an expectation for minimum requirements for the four types of content categories that it is proposing to maintain in terms of the obligations on the traditional platform? Would you accept an expectation on the online platforms for Category 2, 3, 31, 34? And if so, what would those minimum percentages be for those platforms?
2651 MS. TAIT: I’m not going to wade into the regulatory waters. I’ll leave that to Bev, but I would just say that we did not feel that this kind of approach was necessary for nascent services, such as CBC Listen and OHdio, and in fact could, in some way, limit our ability to really innovate and grow those services though obviously still keeping to our Canadian heart and soul.
2652 But Bev, perhaps you want to respond on the technical question.
2653 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: I think you’ve answered it fully. Thank you.
2654 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: All right, thank you.
2655 I have just -- so then we are not to expect any submission from you on what those minimum requirements would be? Again, I just want to be clear.
2656 MS. TAIT: Correct. We do not believe that they are necessary for these services. Thank you.
2657 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Okay. Thank you.
2658 MS. WILLIAMS: I wonder, at the risk of going down a path, but it is -- Listen and -- for the English services is, as Catherine said, a brand new opportunity. It’s far more expansive than music, and we are delving into so many different places. Podcasting is so huge and becoming bigger and bigger.
2659 The number one reason people go to Listen though is to playback -- to play live radio. It is a -- you know, it’s just another way for people who don’t have a transistor radio sitting on their kitchen counter anymore. It’s a way for them to listen to radio and then to listen to those live radio newscasts on-demand later.
2660 So Listen is so much more than music, and we want to continue as a brand new platform to let it develop into what it needs to be.
2661 So I think that’s partly why we weren’t looking at it in a box of music regulation but rather seeing it for the broad audio opportunity that it is.
2662 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you.
2663 You would have seen the intervention by the Ontario Association of Broadcasters, and they expressed the concern that CBC is not broadcasting enough Canadian programming on the digital radio, the audio platforms.
2664 Can you comment on that intervention?
2665 MS. TAIT: Sally?
2666 MS. CATTO: Thank you.
2667 As we have said, CBC Listen is a very new platform for us. We believe that the opportunity we are providing to really go in-depth with different genres of music that are fully Canadian or include Canadian are really giving us an opportunity to improve discoverability. It is different in terms of, I think, a listening experience and the goals of Listen than our CBC Music platform.
2668 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you. In terms of the conditions of licence that you are proposing for the next licence term for your traditional radio services, it’s a carryover from what is currently in place.
2669 Vous avez sans doute vu l’intervention de l’ADISQ -- pausing, I flipped language again.
2670 Vous avez vu sans doute l’intervention de l’ADISQ qui demande que la société s’engage à consacrer au moins 10 pour cent de sa programmation à la musique canadienne sur ICI Première.
2671 Est-ce que vous pouvez, s’il vous plait, nous donner des commentaires sur cette intervention concernant Première.
2672 M. BISSONNETTE: Merci de la question, Madame la conseillère, je ne sais pas si c’est Mme Migneault ou Mme Jamet, qui est la plus apte à répondre à votre question.
2673 Mme JAMET : J’ai eu un problème de son, mais si votre question portait sur les engagements de musique sur ICI Première, est-ce que c’est ce que j’ai compris ?
2674 CONSEILLÈRE LAFONTAINE : Non, pardon. C’est le montant de contenu canadien. C’est une recommandation d’avoir un minimum de temps d’antenne au contenu canadien, sur ICI Première, d’après ce que j’ai pu comprendre.
2675 Mme MIGNEAULT : Si je peux me permettre, je vais… Nous ne sommes pas disposés à prendre un tel engagement et Caroline pourra compléter sur la nature essentiellement différente de Première.
2676 CONSEILLÈRE LAFONTAINE : Pardon, Madame Migneault, je vais… Je dois clarifier, je m’excuse. C’est 10% de la programmation à la musique canadienne. Voilà, c’est ça leur proposition.
2677 Mme MIGNEAULT : Exactement. Alors ici on ne parle pas de contenu canadien en termes d’émission, mais bien de contenu canadien sur la musique. Donc si on diffuse de tels types de musique, tel pourcentage devrait être canadien. En ce moment, Première a de telles conditions de licence, qui sont identiques à celles de Musique. Et, déjà Première étant une radio parlée, a beaucoup moins de musique qu’un réseau comme ICI Musique, alors toute forme de plancher est déjà difficile à gérer.
2678 Si par exemple, on dit tel pourcentage du jazz doit être canadien, quand tu as juste une ou deux pièces de jazz dans une semaine, c’est déjà, avec Première, c’est plus difficile à gérer, les planchers. Alors imposer de nouveaux planchers serait, à notre avis, non approprié. Et j’invite Caroline, peut-être à compléter sur cette réalité de Première.
2679 Mme JAMET : Avec plaisir Anne-Marie. Alors effectivement, pour vous donner un aperçu de la musique sur ICI Première, nous en diffusons peut-être une centaine de pièces par semaine, donc… Et c’est dix fois moins qu’une antenne musicale. Donc, si par exemple, il y a une pièce qui était jouée, par exemple en anglais, vocale - on en a très, très peu - dans le cadre par exemple, d’une actualité. S’il y avait la mort par exemple, d’un grand artiste et dans l’actualité on jouerait un extrait, ou en fait une pièce de cet artiste-là, il faudrait jouer six pièces musicales francophones.
2680 Donc, et puisque ce n’est pas une antenne où on joue de la musique, c’est extrêmement complexe à gérer. Alors c’est juste pour vous donner un exemple en fait, de la quantité très minime de musique qui est jouée à l’antenne. Qui est faite simplement pour accompagner, par exemple, un sujet d’actualité, souvent, ou vraiment entre deux segments. Alors c’est quelque chose qui est assez complexe. Et dans notre esprit en fait, on pense que ça serait difficile à ajouter, des conditions, puisque nous avons à l’intérieur de ce qui est joué, ce qui est diffusé à ICI Première, nous avons les mêmes conditions que sur ICI Musique. Donc nous faisons déjà ce travail-là.
2681 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Très bien, merci. So my next question, and my final question in terms of your -- for now, anyways, in terms of the audio platform, relate, again, to reporting, something that’s come up a number of times in this proceeding, of course,and we talked about it again within the context of the feature film.
2682 I’d like to clarify whether the undertaking, this is from Ms. Kirshenblatt, the undertaking taken at the very first undertaking, taken about reporting on digital platforms. We just talked about that in the context of the feature film and you mentioned that you’ll include in that all digital.
2683 Will that include all digital, all traditional platforms including the audio platform, in terms of when you come back to us with your suggested approach for reporting on the various platforms? I’d just like to clarify that and confirm that it would include audio, digital, and traditional.
2684 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: Yes.
2685 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you.
2686 All right. We’re going to turn now to Canadian programming expenditures.
2687 I have heard -- I’ve noted that Corporation, or the CBC/Radio-Canada has stated a number of times in this proceeding that you do not support the notion of -- or don’t -- you know, not requesting Canadian programming expenditure requirements; in fact, it would not be appropriate, and I’d like to have an exchange with you about this.
2688 There were many intervenors that did not support that view and when I hear you, and I’m hearing you about this need for flexibility to move to the future, across the bridge to the future, to remain relevant in the future, that flexibility is important for you to get there. And when I look at and when I contemplate programming expenditure obligations, it sems to me that this is one of the key ways for you to get there, in terms of flexibility, and the Commission not regulating through conditions of licence, or in any manner, the online platform. If you have a Canadian programming expenditure obligation, I mean, we can talk about whatever that percentage might be, whatever, you know. If it was set on your traditional platform, you would just have that and then you could spend the money in pursuit of your mandate without any further restraints or constraints.
2689 So I’d like to hear from you about why, you know -- and, again, I’ve read this, you know, your application, I thought many times we just don’t want this, I’ve heard it. But I would like to hear from you about why this is not the flexibility, that this would not give you the flexibility that you so seek -- that you seek so much.
2690 MS. TAIT: Well, excellence through flexibility is my motto, as my colleagues know.
2691 I think you’ve heard -- and I don’t want to repeat what I’ve already said that’s already on the record, and so I will invite Barb and Michel, because they’re closer to the programming, to talk about the challenges that we see.
2692 And I think, if I may, just to start that off, it should -- the primary challenge is the question of -- and to -- really, to address specific requests from intervenors what we -- you know, what you start to see is a kind of a slicing of a very defined pie, and we do many things, and all of the parties -- oops, you keep jumping about on my screen; there she is.
2693 All of the parties have a piece that they want, and, absolutely, we understand their desire, whether it’s the OLMCs or the documentarians or the feature filmmakers, or the local news, all of it, everybody wants a piece of this very, very defined, and quite frankly, very challenged pie. I don’t know if this metaphor is going to take me right to the end but -- and what we find when we start to divide up in these ways, this kind of dollar-for-dollar slicing up the pie, is that it actually adds up to more than we have.
2694 And that’s the challenge that we have because the work that programmers do and that the professionals that have been entrusted with this work, do, whether it’s in the news area or whether it’s in the entertainment programming area or whether it’s in the music audio area, is they’re professionals and they are coming to the table with the evidence of interest from the audience.
2695 And there’s a very dynamic process, and you’ve heard very clearly about, you know, whether it’s the backbone of news and sharing of resources across not just within CBC and Radio-Canada but across the Corporation.
2696 It’s a very complex business. And our fear would be that we would end up running the place in a mathematical equation that would not allow us to respond quickly and nimbly to the demands and changing demands of audience but also to the possible changing realities of our financial picture.
2697 So that's kind of, I would say, to use the Chair's words, the 40,000 view -- foot view, but I will invite the programmers or Barb and Michel to talk about the -- what -- why it is that we feel that the exhibition regime serves Canadians in the way that we think is still appropriate.
2698 Barb, you want to start?
2699 MS. WILLIAMS: Sure, I'll give it a shot here and then hand over to Michel. And you've made many of the points, Catherine, that are at the root of our thinking here.
2700 To be clear, and to be sure I'm understanding correctly, the -- I mean, the intervenors are looking for expenditure requirements on the traditional linear platform and trying to contain and preserve a very traditional view of what spending is, on what shows are, on what that traditional platform is. And what we're trying to acknowledge is that as the viewership moves to other platforms, and as the type of programming that needs to be done on other platforms is encouraged and grows, that restricting significant dollars to very traditional measures on the very traditional platform is restricting, as Catherine says.
2701 And it's not about not wanting to spend on Canadian content. I mean, I think that's the other sort of big point here, is we don't really spend it on anything else. We spend it all on Canadian content. It's in one way or another across our platforms. I mean, as I was just mentioning the opportunity to grow podcasting and other pieces of Canadian content on our Listen platform, we're always looking for new ways to do more Canadian content to serve better all Canadians.
2702 So it's not an expenditure, you know, that was -- is going to help us to not do CanCon, which maybe is underlying some of the expenditure requirements in some other organizations, that's not our situation. So I guess we're looking in that bridge to have the flexibility of the spending to go across the bridge too, as we march across it, or however I'm going to kill myself in that metaphor.
2703 M. BISSONNETTE: Merci. Merci, Barb.
2704 Madame la Conseillère, j’ai eu la chance de l’exprimer, j’ai perdu un peu le sens du temps, je ne sais pas si c’est hier ou avant-hier, mais les Canadiens ont des attentes qui sont très élevées à notre endroit, et c'est normal, on est leur diffuseur public; l’industrie a des attentes qui sont très élevées à notre endroit, et c'est normal parce qu’on joue un rôle important, Radio-Canada, niveau francophone, est l’institution culturelle la plus importante au pays pour les francophones; et également, le CRTC a des attentes à notre endroit, et c'est tout à fait légitime aussi.
2705 Quand on a déposé notre projet, on était… notre… le plus important, c’était de pouvoir avoir la flexibilité entre le numérique et le linéaire pour pouvoir répondre à tous nos auditoires, et j’ai l’impression que si en plus on avait amené une notion où est-ce qu’on allait avec un pourcentage de dépenses, toute l’industrie se serait inquiétée sur « qu’est-ce qui va rester pour moi ».
2706 Et, vous savez, on est dans un environnement où les gens de sciences voudraient qu’on fasse plus de sciences, les producteurs jeunesse voudraient qu’on fasse plus de jeunesse, les producteurs de films voudraient qu’on finance davantage de films. Les attentes sont élevées pour tous les intervenants dans tous les secteurs, et on pense qu’avec les garanties qu’on a présentement en heures de diffusion est la meilleure preuve ou message de stabilité qu’on peut envoyer et aux Canadiens et aux gens de l’industrie.
2707 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Merci. Thank you for that.
2708 I'm going to ask you another regulatory question for the public record. Again, I have heard you that the CPE is not the avenue that you are advocating for; nonetheless, if the commission were to impose a cross-platform CPE on CBC Radio-Canada for its traditional television and online audiovisual platforms, what would be the most appropriate method of calculating that cross-platform CPE requirement? Would it be based upon expenditures as a percentage of total revenues, previous revenues, or as a percentage of expenditures? Again, I leave that to you to respond.
2709 MS. TAIT: Well clearly, because it was not something that we anticipated, because we are proponents of another approach, it would be probably beyond foolhardy if I were even to take a stab at an answer right here in front of you, Commissioner. So I think we should probably take an undertaking and think a little bit about that, understanding that it is not our preferred or recommended approach.
2710 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you. That's noted.
2711 UNDERTAKING / ENGAGEMENT
2712 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: So we'll carry on on the issue of Canadian programming expenditures, and we'll move to your discretionary services. ICI Explora, ICI TV, and the Documentary Channel. You've put forward various CPE proposals, and I believe all of them are below your current CPE expenditures or your historical CPE expenditures.
2713 And so, you know, we'll start with ICI Explora. You're proposing a 40‑percent CPE, and in the past six years it looks like the historical spend there was 48 percent, and as you know, the Commission typically bases CPE expenditure requirements on historical spend. And so we'd be interested to hear why 40‑percent is the appropriate percentage of CPE for ICI Explora and not say the 48 percent of the historical. We see also that AQPM has recommended a 52‑percent CPE. So I'll pass the floor to you to speak to the CPE.
2714 MS. TAIT: Thank you. And I'll just -- with your permission, I will just pass it straight to Dany because I see she's right there on the screen.
2715 So Dany?
2716 Mme MELOUL: Merci beaucoup, Madame la Conseillère.
2717 C'est vrai que quand on voit une moyenne sur… interne de plusieurs années, ça donne, comme vous avez bien dit, un 48 %; si on voit même les trois dernières années, c’est encore moins, on est plus près d’un 44 %. Le point étant surtout qu’ici on parle d’une condition de licence qui va être atteinte année après année, donc c’est vraiment un plancher, mais c'est sur une base annuelle. Et règle générale, quand on voit, encore une fois, les chaines de langue française, les services facultatifs de langue française, même à 40 %, c’est un seuil qui est beaucoup plus élevé que la moyenne des services.
2718 Je vous dirais en plus que nous n’avons pas plusieurs services qui partagent la même dépense, c'est uniquement pour ce service-ci, et on ne s’octroie pas de crédit ni pour du contenu CLOSM à 25 % d’augmentation ou du contenu autochtone à 50 %. Donc, la dépense qu’on vous propose, c’est une dépense pure et dure.
2719 CONSEILLÈRE LAFONTAINE: Merci.
2720 Est-ce que Radio-Canada/CBC ou la corpo… la Société aurait les ressources pour satisfaire une obligation de 48 % sur ICI Explora?
2721 Mme MELOUL: Bien, encore une fois, c'est un service facultatif qui est choisi à la carte et nous avons des inquiétudes face aux abonnements qui sont en décroissance et les revenus publicitaires aussi, donc on veut quand même se donner une petite flexibilité pour aller chercher des contenus qui parfois ne seront pas nécessairement des contenus canadiens, mais qui seront offerts en français à des Canadiens pour mousser l’attrait de ce service.
2722 Donc, c'est pour ces raisons qu’on souhaiterait avoir quelque chose qui est beaucoup plus près des moyennes des dernières années plutôt que des moyennes du terme au complet.
2723 CONSEILLÈRE LAFONTAINE: Merci.
2724 On va passer à ICI ARTV. Dans ce cas-ci, il y a certains intervenants qui ont suggéré un DÉC qui soit fixé à 68 %, 60 % ou entre 50 et 70 %. Est-ce que vous pouvez adresser ces interventions sur le montant… ces montants proposés pour ICI ARTV et aussi en tenant compte de l’importance de ce service dans le système : c’est une plateforme très importante pour les arts. Donc, j’aimerais vous entendre sur le fait que votre position est beaucoup en deçà de l’historique et il y a des propositions pour un DEC plus élevé que ce que vous proposez.
2725 Mme MELOUL: Oui, tout à fait. Alors pour ArTV, notre raisonnement suit un petit peu celui d’Explora dans le sens qu’autant que possible – vous avez utilisé l’expression ce matin – oui, on cherchait à normaliser les conditions des services facultatifs, mais c’était une façon un petit peu hybride et c’est un exemple d’une façon plus hybride. À 50 %, ce service aurait la dépense canadienne la plus élevée de tous les services de langue française, tous les services facultatifs de langue française et encore une fois, c’est un service qui va répondre à ces conditions sur une base seule, pas dans un groupe. Et pour cette raison-là, on s’est dit qu’à 50 % de notre dépense canadienne sur ce service-là, c’est déjà beaucoup plus que la norme et on va pouvoir répondre à la question culturelle, qui est une question très, très importante, d’où notre désir de ne pas réduire le contenu canadien à ce service-là.
2726 Mais comme j’expliquais ce matin, c’est très important aussi d’apporter d’autres éléments de contenu à ce service pour assurer qu’il y ait encore un abonnement soutenu parce qu’en bout de ligne, le plus important, c’est que ce service puisse continuer, qu’il y a une pérennité à ce service.
2727 Mme MIGENAULT: Si je peux me permettre, au sujet de la moyenne historique des DEC, effectivement le Conseil examine en général l’historique pour fixer l’avenir. Juste pour vous souligner que les chiffres qu’on a déposés en 2019, lors du dépôt de notre demande, on avait l’historique des trois années précédentes. Mais si on fait une mise à jour de l’historique en incluant 2019-20, où le DEC était plus bas, ça donne une moyenne moins élevée que celle que vous avez mentionnée.
2728 Par exemple, dans le cas d’explora, son DEC de la dernière année était à 42 %. Alors, le 40 % proposé, quand on prend les trois dernières années, est très, très près de l’historique.
2729 Et même chose pour ArTV, où le DEC a descendu ; alors l’historique n’est plus aussi élevé que les trois années qui étaient en vigueur au moment où on a déposé.
2730 CONSEILLÈRE LAFONTAINE: Merci beaucoup, Madame Migneault. Et est-ce que ça serait possible que vous déposiez les états financiers à jour pour qu’on puisse avoir ces informations sur le dossier public en ce qui a trait à l’historique plus à jour pour les trois services facultatifs en question ici ?
2731 Mme MIGNEAULT: C’est-à-dire, le DEC se calcule directement à partir des rapports annuels financiers qui sont déposés au CRTC. Alors, nous pouvons très bien vous fournir un tableau à partir des chiffres qui sont déjà dans les rapports annuels qu’on vous fournit du calcul du DEC.
2732 CONSEILLÈRE LAFONTAINE: Très bien, merci. Et est-ce que c’est quelque chose qui serait sur le dossier public ?
2733 Mme MIGNEAULT: Ces chiffres sont facilement calculable par un intervenant à partir du dossier public, considérant le dépôt de nos rapports annuels financiers et on peut vous fournir en engagement.
2735 CONSEILLÈRE LAFONTAINE: Merci !
2736 Et je veux juste… pardon, je veux juste aussi préciser, Madame Migneault, que quand on regarde les chiffres plus récents, ça, ça va avoir un impact sur le Documentary Channel aussi, sur les trois services ? Ou juste… oh, je ne vous entends pas.
2737 Mme MIGNEAULT: Pardon. Je ne pourrais pas vous répondre en ce qui concerne Documentary – désolée, peut-être que…
2738 MS. TAIT: It's quite a different situation there. We'll hand it over to Sally, and if she needs to be supported by our head of regulatory at CBC, that would be Tina Tatto.
2739 MS. CATTO: Great. Thanks, Catherine.
2740 If I'm understanding correctly, just to be clear, our CPE, which is a minimum of 43 percent of our previous years gross revenues is something we are proposing maintaining, so we are proposing status quo.
2741 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Thank you. When we look at the historical for -- or the historical spend on Canadian programming on the documentary channel that I have before me it shows 45 percent. And your colleague, Madam Migneault, just indicated that for the two other specialty services that we're talking about right now, the more current data would show a lower historical. And so in the case of the documentary channel, the historical spend is 45 percent. You're ---
2742 MS. CATTO: Right.
2743 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: --- proposing a 43 percent, and typically, the Commission faces CPE requirements on historical spend.
2744 MS. CATTO: The same.
2745 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: We have very small broadcasters who have, you know, 50 percent CPEs because of historical spend. And so we just wanted to hear from you about why 43 is the right number and not 45. It doesn't sound like a lot, but when you look at, you know ---
2746 MS. CATTO: Sure.
2747 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: --- over the broadcaster license term, it could make the difference between, you know, one or two, or five, or whatever it is documentaries that might appear on air. So, I guess the question is why is this the right number and -- on the one hand, and is 45 percent the right historical? Are there more current numbers that would show a lower historical spend than that which I have before me?
2748 MS. CATTO: Thank you for explaining that. I will let Bev jump in here after me, but I will say, we think 43 percent is the right number, based on the fact that we are in a remarkably competitive environment based on the -- not only the landscape, but also the, you know, audience behaviour of cord cutting and cord shaving and, you know, the fact that we will not have mandatory carriage. We think that the 43 percent is an amount that we can sustain and is reasonable, but I will let my colleague, Bev, jump in there if she has anything she would like to add.
2749 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: So just to -- thank you. Thank you, Sally. Just to clarify, we wouldn't have guaranteed access to -- we'd have to negotiate access with BDUs ---
2750 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Right.
2751 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: --- with respect to documentaries. I'm going to ask my colleague, Tina, actually, if she can update because I think, Monique, your question was with respect to the last broadcast year what the CPE was, or alternatively, for timing we can certainly provide that to you with respect to a three-year historical on doc. I just don't have that number in front of me. Would you like it ---
2752 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Sure.
2753 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: --- read onto the record or ---
2754 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Sure. Just on this point, the reason I raised it was because Madam Migneault indicated that the filings in the -- that are part of your application are no longer current, that there's more current data. And so I'm putting it to you would you please provide is with the more current data, so that we can make the decision based on that current data.
2755 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: Tina, do you have the number in front of you or shall we take an undertaking?
2756 MS. TATTO: I believe the number is 43 percent for the current broadcast year, which would probably reduce the amount from the 45 percent over the last 3 years. Pardon me, but we can actually add that to the information that -- and my counterpart Anne-Marie will be providing as part of an undertaking.
2757 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: I think it would be useful, and I think that since, as Madam Migneault had indicated, it's not a difficult calculation to make, if it could be done sooner rather than later, so that it would be available on the public record for intervenors who might be interested in this issue to comment on it as the hearing progresses, if that would be possible, that would be appreciated.
2758 MS. TATTO: Absolutely.
2759 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Okay. Thank you.
2760 Now if you didn't think we were down into the weeds enough, now we're really going down into the weeds, to the CPE weeds. And here is the next line of questioning. It relates actually to the various proposals in your application for the way the CPE is measured on these three discretionary services; right? So typically, the Commission will base a CPE on the historical revenue, right, the previous year's broadcast revenues. But in the case of all three of these discretionary services, that which the CPE is based on is something different. So, for activé it says the licensee shall expand on Canadian programs a minimum of 50 percent -- here we go -- of the previous year's gross revenues derived from the operation of the service. And then we go to the Documentary Channel, and that is:
2761 "In each year of the licence term, the licensee shall expend on Canadian programs amount of 40 percent of the previous year's revenues from subscription, advertising, and infomercials." (As read)
2762 So that's something different. And then for ICI Explora, I guess your newest, or one of your newer children, as you say, it's 40 percent of the previous year's gross revenues. That one uses the Commission's usual typical language.
2763 So I guess the question is why not use the Commission's standard language across the board? Would it have a very -- would it have a significant impact on your CPE? Anyway, I'll turn it over to you, and you can stick to the point.
2764 MS. TAIT: I guess that I would -- I don't want to wade into this one without Bev's guidance, because presumably she was involved in determining these descriptions.
2765 Can you give us some response on that one?
2766 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: So I think the differences in the language is just a question of history in terms of when these decisions came out. I think what we can do is come back with an undertaking with respect to confirming whether or not we'd accept the standard language that the Commission uses with regard to calculating CPE on our discretionary services.
2767 I see Barb or -- okay.
2768 So I -- that's what I suggest that we do.
2769 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Yes, okay. Very well, thank you.
2771 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Please just give me one moment.
2772 So here's another question on reporting, and again, I appreciate the undertaking that you've provided, that you'll come back with. This is something a little different.
2773 In 2019, the Commission adopted a new policy on reporting for the large station groups, it's the Production Report Information Bulletin 2019 -, I think it's 304. I'm not sure if I have the right number. But in any event, we'd be interested to know if CBC Radio-Canada would be prepared to file production reports in the same manner that the large station groups do in terms of providing details about the programs that air on your platforms.
2774 MS. TAIT: Just to be clear, you're talking about all our platforms or just the traditional platforms, the linear platforms? To be clear.
2775 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Well, I guess I ---
2776 MS. TAIT: Because I assume the others are not reporting on that, so I just want -- if you're looking for comparable, presumably.
2777 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Right. Right. So I put the question to you, one, would you accept to do the production reports for the traditional platforms? And then we can talk about this again when we talk about PNI. Maybe we can just leave it here for now on -- about the traditional platforms and revisit this point.
2778 MS. TAIT: M'hm.
2779 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: So the production reports is intended to demonstrate compliance with group CPE obligations for linear television and discretionary services. It's -- I'm just repeating this for my colleagues. So if we are talking about an approach that -- well, okay. Let me just take a step back.
2780 When we filed our application, it was before the production report had come out. It came out subsequent to filing our application. If we are -- sorry. And we've also accepted a number of things already in response to Commission's questions over the course of the application process that already jive with the production report.
2781 So if we are to take a more wholistic view of how we deliver on our mandate and look at our services, I think that what we'd like to do in our -- and this goes back to day one undertaking, is look at a way of demonstrating that we're meeting our mandate maybe in a more holistic fashion because that is just audiovisual and just linear. So I just -- I'd like us to be able to have an opportunity to think about how we can demonstrate that we're doing what we -- whatever it is that we're -- that the Commission wants to measure and make sure that we're doing in a way that makes sense.
2782 So it's not that I want to not answer your question, but I'd actually like to think about it more holistically, given the discussions that we've had over the past couple of days.
2783 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Sure. And I certainly take your point, Ms. Kirshenblatt, but what I would like to ask is as you do contemplate what it is that you are going to bring forward I would like to ask you to take a look at that information bulletin. Because there is a lot of information in it that broadcasters are now required to report upon that they had not historically, it doesn't come in the annual returns, and -- you know. So it's more than just are you meeting your spend, it's also, you know, women's participation in the production sector and all of that kind of stuff.
2784 So I think it would be appreciated if you could turn your minds to this report and come back to us and tell us what about it makes sense to your mind in terms of reporting.
2785 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: We hear you. Thank you.
2786 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Okay. Thank you very much.
2787 Now, it's programs of national interest. Shall we forge on, I guess? Okay.
2788 Now, this is one of the key components of your application in terms of -- you know, the novel piece. You talked about your cross-platform approach on local with my colleague. This is the second of the three key cross-platform elements of the application.
2789 Now, as you well know, programs of national interest have been a key regulatory tool in the attainment of the public policy objectives of the Act the better part of the last decade. In 2013, the Commission established a PNI obligation for CBC Radio-Canada based on hours to be broadcast on a weekly basis, and those minimum weekly hours were established -- they were lower than the historical at the time, and the Commission had not used historical hours because of the precarious financial situation that the CBC Radio-Canada had been at the time.
2790 Now, we have this application before us, and as you know, many intervenors have not supported it. Many stakeholders are -- have brought forward proposals for something a little different than what you've put on the -- in your application.
2791 So -- I mean, I guess the first place to start with this is let's just confirm that we are talking about -- which platforms you're talking about. I mean we -- earlier you mentioned GEM and ICI TOU.TV for the local. Is that also the case here?
2792 MS. TAIT: It is.
2793 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: And my question this morning was about in terms of ICI TOU.TV, the PNI programming that you're proposing to potentially, not may, perhaps, not necessarily, but potentially flex onto that platform, would it be on the free part of ICI TOU.TV or would it appear on the -- behind the paywall.
2794 MS. TAIT: On the free.
2795 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you. Now, in terms of your proposal, which is, you know, on the one hand there is an increased number in terms of the expectation for the cross-platform on the English and French language services, but ultimately the proposal that's before us is a request to reduce -- I mean, this is ultimately how it plays out, it's a reduction in the legal obligations to programs of national interest.
2796 And so when we look at your historicals of PNI, they are effectively higher than what you're proposing to have as a COL or a condition of license on your traditional platform. So, I guess my first question is, is why are the numbers that you've put forward 10 on the English side, 10 hours a week on the English side, 8 on the French language side in terms of the expectations, and then 7 and 6 for the condition of license, why are those the right numbers for Canadians, for Canadian audiences, for independent producers when these don't necessarily reflect -- that when they are a little bit below what you're already doing or have been doing?
2797 MS. TAIT: Thank you, Commissioner. I'll just give an introduction and I'll ask Barb and Michel to speak to how we feel this approach will better serve our audience.
2798 When we sat down -- it feels like a long time ago, August 2019, I think, and really talked about how we could build this bridge to the future, we agreed unanimously as a management group, as colleagues, that we wanted to do more. And we wanted to stretch, even with the pressures that we have, we really felt we could do more. And really, because of the limitations of the current regulatory framework, that's why we called them these expectations as opposed to conditions of license so just to be clear. And I -- you know, I've said a couple of times, we are not lowering our commitment. What we are doing is we're increasing our overall commitment.
2799 And I think the -- as Barb said a little earlier, the fear -- and we understand that fear lives in a very real place. The fear that somehow, you know, that becomes the new normal and we won't do the other things, if there was a way to tether these -- this two sides of the bridge together, we just want to make it very clear that the -- it's not just an intention. It is a commitment, and it doesn't necessarily mean if we have, you know, fantastic programs in front of Sally that she's not going to make decisions that would exceed the linear television commitments that we're looking at.
2800 And anyway, I feel like I'm maybe entering into the realm of repetition, so I'll see if Barb has anything else to add.
2801 MS. WILLIAMS: Yeah, just a couple of thoughts, and you've raised them, Commissioner. We have managed to over exceed what had been determined, however it was determined at the time that there was a number, and it was the right number. And we've always seen that number as a floor, and we've always tried to find ways to do more if we could. And some years you can't. Some years that partner comes through with a bunch of money to support a show that you can suddenly do that you didn't think your budget was going to let you do, or your CMF envelope's a bit bigger than you thought, so you go for it and you do another one. And I don't ever want our team to feel that, oh, we got to what our commitment was, so don't do anymore. We always want to do more if we can, and some years you can, and some years you can't. Some years the great stories are all there and you're trying to figure out how to do all of them, and other years the creative just doesn't seem as strong and you stick with what you think can work.
2802 So I don't -- I really mean that it's a floor, and I don't ever want a team to feel that they should not stretch to go beyond the floor wherever they can.
2803 But what we did feel as we looked, and as Catherine said when we were reflecting on this and we saw that on a somewhat reliable basis we seem to be exceeding the floor, we were good at making the money stretch and do more hours. We thought this is the opportunity to recognise that opportunity to speak to that missing audience, to do that different kind of programming, and essentially take what maybe was our, you know, capability at doing a little bit more some years and use that moment in time to say let's move some of that money over and start doing a set of content that we might not have thought we could afford. Let's expand the group of creative voices that we're working with to do a little bit more. Let's start to really take advantage of the Canadian content opportunity on Gem.
2804 So as Catherine says, there's a fear and I understand it, that whenever you change from what has worked for you before, there's always a risk of an unintended consequence. And I appreciate that our independent production partners, you know, have held on strong and hard and long to a traditional set of measures on a traditional platform. And I guess we're encouraging them to cross the bridge with us. We need their creativity. We need their new types of storytelling. And we want with this expanded commitment to acknowledge for them that the money will be there on the other side of the bridge, but let's not stick ourselves too hard at the traditional view of that.
2805 M. BISSONNETTE: Peut-être juste en complément d’information, je pense que Madame Williams a bien résumé qu’à chaque fois qu’on peut en faire plus, on en fait plus. Ce n’est pas comme si on était dans un scénario où est-ce qu’on voulait enrichir davantage notre actionnaire; notre actionnaire, c’est le public canadien et quand on peut faire plus, on fait plus.
2806 Je pense qu’on vous a bien résumé aussi que pour nous, c’était un plancher et le chiffre qui vous est déposé n’est pas quelque chose qu’on a fait sur un bout de napkin un matin dans une réunion; c’est vraiment quelque chose qu’on a pesé en fonction de notre besoin de flexibilité et il répond à notre vision pour les prochaines années.
2807 CONSEILLÈRE LAFONTAINE : Merci. I think I need a little bit of clarity on the -- sorry, there's a teenager and a dog. Excuse me. What I ---
2808 MR. BISSONNETTE: Which one do you prefer, the teenager or the dog?
2809 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: You know what? She has asked me.
2810 All right. So, I mean, I hear you. You know, you're saying that you're not moving away from your commitment to Canadian, to programs of national interest, to your mandate. Yesterday, M. Bissonnette had mentioned that expectations for CBC/Radio-Canada are just as important and meaningful to the corporation as the condition of license, but when I look at the proposal, again, so it's 10 expectation for the English television, 8 for French television, which if you were to do this, it would be 1 hour more per week for each -- in each language market, so 52, 104. It's 104 more hours of PNI programing annually. Sounds very interesting.
2811 Then I look at the financial projections that you filed. And when I look at them for both the English language service and the French language service, when I look at the line items for all of the PNI programming, they go down every year over the five years that you filed. So, for 2B, so for long-form documentaries, the number is -- it goes down. For drama, all genres of drama, that goes down over the period that you've -- you know, you're projecting. and so on, music and dance on the French side, et cetera.
2812 So, I guess what I'm trying to understand is do these numbers show what you're going to do on the traditional platform and then what you plan to do on the digital platform shows up somewhere else? Because the hours commitment, I see it, I can do the math, not that hard, if I have the numbers in front of me, but when I look at the financials, it doesn't add up. And so it doesn't add up to what you're saying either. I mean, and it -- I don't mean to be, you know, I don't mean to be rude, but I just -- I hear what you're saying. We're going to do more. We will do more. But then I look at this and I say, wow, this looks like they're going to do less, or maybe this is the number for something else.
2813 So, anyway, maybe you could help enlighten me, understand what your plans are.
2814 MS. TAIT: Absolutely, Commissioner. We want to be clear. So I'll ask Barb and then Michel?
2815 MS. WILLIAMS: Sure. Let me take a stab at explaining the magic there that you're so politely pointing to.
2816 So you're right. We're saying, gosh, we're going to do more hours, and yet our projections on spend seem to be going down, how does that fit together. So to clarify your first point, no, the number that -- that math that you're seeing, that PNI spend does include all 10 hours. Should they all be on TV or should one hour of it potentially go over to digital, over to Gem, whether -- whichever, we -- whether we take advantage of the flex or we don't, the 10 hours are managed by that PNI budget.
2817 So we're counting on a bunch of things here because your first point was the most important one. We felt we wanted to make a commitment that at the CBC we could do more, and frankly what came with that was a commitment to do more with the independent production community too.
2818 But what we’re also counting on is a more robust co-production slate. We’re counting on a more robust partnership view overall to help find us more dollars to do ours. We’re counting on increasingly making sure that our CMF envelope stays strong and that the other funding sources that we access are there. We’re working with our producers always to be smart about budgets, which everybody always is. And we believe with appropriate rigor, and expansion of thinking of financing content, that we can accomplish what you pointed to, that feels like a bit of a discrepancy.
2819 And Sally you -- maybe you want to add to it. Financing Canadian PNI, I will say, has been the conversation of at least 30 years of my career, and it gets more complex, and it gets more interesting, but it doesn’t necessarily get easier.
2820 Sally, maybe you want to add to sort of, how we think about going forward and accomplishing, producing all these hours?
2821 MS. CATTO: Sure. Thanks, Barb.
2822 I think you summed it up well. I think that the key thing I would want to emphasize is partnerships and the importance of partnerships for us in the future. If you look at much of our PNI, and particularly in the last few years, you will note that there has been an increase in partnerships, whether it be with international or in streamers outside of Canada, other broadcasters around the world.
2823 As you know we have three MOUs that we have established with other broadcasters around the world. We are highly motivated. We really have to be to seek out partnerships, and we have been seeing more partnerships. We have been reaching out and creating stronger relationships. We just announced, you know, obviously that BET has come into work with us on the Porter. These kinds of partnerships are vital to our future, given the cost of production.
2824 So, you know, I think that would be one of the key reasons why we are very ambitions in our desire to, and plans to increase our PNI, and we are equally ambitions in seeking out viable partners.
2825 M. BISSONNETTE: Et si je peux ajouter du côté de Radio-Canada, Madame la conseillère, les projections pour les années futures avec les ÉIN ne sont pas matérielles, selon moi. Elles sont compensées par des investissements qui iront du côté de TOU.TV.
2826 Donc au total, on maintient essentiellement nos investissements.
2827 Dany, je ne sais pas s’il y a quelque chose que tu voulais ajouter?
2828 Mme MELOUL: Mais je pense que Sally a bien exprimé aussi qu’il y a des coûts quand même qui augmentent au niveau de…
2829 M. BISSONNETTE: Ta caméra, Dany, ta caméra.
2830 Mme MELOUL: Je suis désolée, excusez-moi.
2831 Sally a très bien expliqué qu’il y a des coûts qui augmentent au niveau de… des coûts de production particulièrement pour certains genres comme la fiction. Et donc, c’est une des raisons pour laquelle on veut continuer à surpasser notre condition de licence. C’est certainement un plancher mais il peut y avoir des fluctuations d’une année à une autre, dépendant sur l’ampleur d’une dramatique ou l’ampleur d’un projet particulier, qui ferait en sorte qu’on serait plus près du seuil au lieu de le surpasser.
2832 Mais notre intention c’est définitivement de continuer à faire non pas juste du contenu canadien mais particulièrement du contenu en ÉIN.
2833 MS. TAIT: If I may, Commissioner, just to give again, maybe a 40,000 foot perspective on this, because this is certainly something, since I’ve been with the corporation, there’s been a big focus. How do we as the public broadcaster that is number 16 among 18 in terms of per capita funding -- we’re among the lowest in the -- in terms of funding. How we operating with two official languages -- and you heard all the range of programming over this vast country. How do we maintain any kind of competitive edge in the market for entertainment programming?
2834 And one of the conversations that we’ve been having for -- as Sally mentioned, we have been entering into conversations and we’ve signed MOUs with our -- with three -- four of our public broadcaster partners, BBC, ABC, ZDF, and a different kind of exchange program with France Télévision, and the Belgian, I believe French service as well. So we are -- we recognize, just as other -- as the Nordic countries have done in Europe, and how something called the alliance between the BBC, ZDF, and Rye -- or France Télévision and Rye. This is a requirement.
2835 All public broadcasters across the planet have to collaborate more and more, in order to put together budgets and financing for shows that can compete with the likes of Netflix, and Amazon, and others.
2836 So you know, what -- as you said, what looks like a counterintuitive situation, we believe is actually an opportunity for us. Because here’s the good news, Canadian producers have been doing co-productions for 30 years. Some of the best programming in the kids’ arena, and in drama, it’s something that we’re very good at by necessity. And so I think that’s why Sally and Dany have been ambitions in their aspirations over this next licence term.
2837 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you very much for your -- your comments on this point. I appreciate that.
2838 Just to finish up on this final point that you made, Ms. Tait, you’d talked about -- or in the CBC Radio-Canada’s application, you’d -- the PNI proposal was -- you’d stated that you were bringing this forward in part because of some financial pressures, and you’ve just talked about some of that, and you talked about it yesterday. The Parliamentary appropriations, subscriber revenues, discretion -- from the discretionary services, advertising.
2839 Is there anything else that you’d like to add on the public record in terms of financial pressures on the -- on the corporation that supports this, you know, this -- the proposal for more flexibility?
2840 MS. TAIT: Well, I think -- I mean, I think you nailed the big ones from -- with respect to our Parliamentary appropriation and commercial revenues on -- linked to our conventional services. Yes, you got those.
2841 The other big one, of course, is the impact of Covid, and I would say that’s the -- probably the new piece of information in the mix, and the indication that the -- I mean, none of us know how long it will go, obviously, in terms of an economic impact. And then very specifically, I think I mentioned the other day, on the production community.
2842 You know, how quickly we can recover? We believe that CBC Radio-Canada has an unbelievably important role in that recovery, and we want to be part of that recovery. And so -- but again, on the advertising revenue in particular, the indication are -- indications are that it won’t be a quick return. It could -- and if we need to get into that at some later point, Donald Lizotte can help us. But we’re looking probably at a two-to-three-year recovery to get back to where we were a year ago. In terms of ad revenue, I’m talking.
2843 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you, Ms. Tait.
2844 I see that Mr. Mooney has his camera on. I had raised the -- I had asked a question on Monday about the impact of Covid and whether the financial projections provided by the corporation should be adjusted for that. I take your point just now about it’s impact. However, Mr. Mooney had indicated that it wasn’t so great that it would be worthwhile.
2845 MS. TAIT: It wasn’t that it wasn’t so great. It was that it is a moving target right now, and that for us to go through an exercise of guessing how we come out of this -- I mean, we’re really managing this quarter to quarter at this point. And to be clear, we could go through an exercise and provide you with restated financial projections and then find ourselves a quarter later, having to do the exercise again.
2846 We feel that we’re going to be able to manage it, because we have managed, as I said earlier, savings in other areas to mitigate some of the -- some of the impact. What I was talking about, more generally is, to your question; what are the ongoing financial pressures, and I just didn’t want to not have COVID on the list.
2847 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you. Thank you for that. All right, so let’s move on.
2848 Still part of your PNI proposal and just trying to understand fully how it would work. Now, some intervenors have expressed concern about, you know, this notion of flexing. We’ll just take CBC TV, if it’s 10 hours for the week, and you flex two hours, instead of being on the main network, onto Gem. Those two hours on Gem are to worth two hours on the conventional service; you know, APN on a Tuesday night or a Thursday night.
2849 And so, you know, ACTRA, for one, had proposed that you use some audience measurement indicators, you know, and the number of views. I’m wondering if you could just speak to how -- you know, how we can address the concerns from stakeholders about what that one hour -- instead of being, you know, in primetime on the main network, going on the online platforms? Is there something that you could put around that that would give it more prominence or, you know, increase its exposure, as it were to Canadians for the value of the flex --for the flexing?
2850 MS. TAIT: I’ll let Michel and Barb, perhaps, respond but just to say, you know, the -- I don’t know if you’re a Netflix viewer but there are ways that Netflix indicates to its viewers, to its audience, what’s new, what’s worth watching. And that’s what our curatorial teams so at Tou TV and at Gem in terms of, you know, bringing programming forward. And audience expect that. They don’t expect to just jump -- I think Barb described it as swim lanes, or maybe Sally did. We don’t want people jumping in the pool and not knowing where they are. And so, you know, when shows are being launched, there’s lots of ways that we can bring attention to them.
2851 But, Barb, maybe you want to go deeper into that, or Sally?
2852 MS. WILLIAMS: Sure, I can start but I’ll hand it to you, Sally.
2853 I think it’s funny, I bet people think that an hour on Netflix is as good as an hour on primetime.
2854 I think we’re stuck a little bit in Canada with still really believing that TV is where it’s at. And TV is still really important; we’re not walking away from TV. But it’s a bit of chicken and egg here. If we really want to play in that streamer space, we got to put some great content there. And to put some great content there, we got to be willing to commit the independent producers, creativity with our budget and financing, and lead the viewer a little bit, too, that if they love streaming but they’ve got to know we’ve got some great stuff for them there. So it’s a little bit of chicken and egg.
2855 We also are committed to promoting our Gem shows on traditional TV, you see 30-second promos, 15-second promos on CBC primetime TV that talk about shows on Gem. So we use all of our traditional marketing effort to promote a PNI show on Gem the way we do on TV. I mean, some of the outdoor billboards and stuff don’t have the same prominence in COVID, but actually so much of marketing is moving to digital anyway where you can reach much more targeted audiences. So the commitment to marketing is there.
2856 And then, of course, that shows that goes up Tuesday night at 8:00, goes up Tuesday night at 8:00 and it’s gone in an hour. And you hope people went and caught it. It’s appointment viewing, we used to call it, you know?
2857 When it goes to Gem it has a life there, and if it’s a series, maybe that first episode went up by itself but then the second one comes and then the third one comes, so --or maybe we drop them all at once and talk with some excitement to viewers about the opportunity to see them all at once.
2858 So I think we all need to be a bit brave about believing that in Canada, too, we can build a strong and successful streaming service with some great Canadian content, and support it and see it, you know, enjoyed.
2859 But maybe, Sally, you want to talk a bit about how we track the numbers and al therest of that good world.
2860 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you, Ms. Williams, and I am interested to hear from Ms. Catto, but I guess, you know, I hear your point about, you know, let’s be brave and bold and, you know, look into the future but, you know, yes, I’ve -- you know, there are all kinds of online platforms that I, you know, enjoy content on and I’vebeen on, you know, the CBC and Radio-Canada’s online platforms. And, you know, there are nice banners that come up when you log in and you can see, you know, an array of content as a starting point. And that’s something very different than, okay, here’s the five or whatever it is. I don’t want to watch these, or I’ve seen them, you know, and then starting to find something else that might be buried deep onto the site.
2861 Those are two very different experiences of finding content. And so I think what the intervenors might be concerned about is maybe not the -- or maybe they are; we’ll hear from them. But maybe not the banner, maybe not the, you know, prominent placement, but it’s the buried how many search engines deep or search requests deep that they’re concerned about. And so I’m wondering if there’s anything that you can tell us, and these stakeholders and Canadians, to reassure them about where this high-quality, high-cost programs of national interest is going to find itself on these online platforms for them to enjoy and access.
2862 MS. WILLIAMS: Sure. And, Sally, maybe you want to talk about merchandising of a platform like Gem and how we useit to drive to new content.
2863 MS. CATTO: Thanks, Barb.
2864 Completely -- can you hear me?
2865 MS. TAIT: We can hear you but we can’t see you.
2866 MS. CATTO: I’ll get this right.
2867 I can completely understand that concern. Certainly, you know, for PNI, for these projects that we’re making a significant investment in, there would be no intention of burying. Yes, we have our swim lanes and even now we have what’s coming up on CBC, a lovely swim lane that pushes to our linear platform. We also have carousels at the top that really do showcase our top titles, and we have seen great effectiveness there.
2868 But I think it is fair to say, particularly while Gem is a growing platform, so I particularly understand the concern today. We’re looking at the next five years; we’re anticipating growth, we’re anticipating a place where only an increase of audience will find our content on Gem; that we will need to, and we already do, in terms of discoverability, be promoting on cbc.ca where we get, you know, 18 million viewers in that 18 to 35 demographic, that we will be promoting on our linear platforms, that we will be supporting with paid media as we do for key content that is on linear.
2869 So the treatment of our PNI is thetreatment of our PNI, regardless of the platform. That would certainly be the intention.
2870 You know, I understand the question and I understand the concern and I do agree, and was thinking the same thing when Barb said it’s a bit of a chicken and egg. We have to have those key titles there and ready for audiences to really stay with us and see there's a credible content here you can only get on Gem or get on Gem first.
2871 So it would not be in our interest to not promote those title using all of our platforms, all of our owned and operated and beyond.
2872 M. BISSONNETTE : Et pour compléter, parce que la réalité n’est pas différente du côté francophone. Vous savez, la réalité de ce qui est le plus populaire sur la télévision linéaire est exactement la même sur les plateformes numériques, c’est le contenu original canadien. Et en ce sens-là, quand on a à mettre en marché une série sur Tou.tv ou sur Tou.tv Extra, bien entendu on utilise les plateformes de la télévision de Radio-Canada. On utilise également les médias sociaux, on utilise également de la publicité qu’on achète à l’extérieur, pour ramener les gens vers notre plateforme et s’assurer également que ceux qui sont déjà des habitués de la plateforme soient au courant qu’il y a une nouveauté qui arrive. Parce que c’est l’arrivée de nouveautés sur une base régulière qui nous permet d’avoir la plus grande rétention de nos abonnés ou de l’engagement des gens à notre endroit.
2873 Et au même titre qu’on peut retrouver sur Gem, vous allez avoir le carrousel qui va présenter nos nouveautés, mais après c’est vraiment comment est-ce qu’on s’assure de la découvrabilité des produits. Donc vous allez avoir une section qui est toutes nos émissions jeunesse, une section qui est nos séries de fiction, une qui est nos documentaires. On va avoir après les productions autochtones, on va avoir les productions régionales, donc quelqu’un qui veut retrouver des contenus comparables va tous les avoir dans la même section.
2874 Et après avoir terminé une série, on recommande deux ou trois autres séries possibles qu’on pense que si vous avez aimé un tel, vous devriez aimer… si vous avez aimé (a), vous devriez aimer (b), (c) ou (d).
2875 Et c’est de cette façon-là qu’on fait la plus grande promotion du contenu canadien et on ne le cache pas dans le troisième sous-sol. On le met à l’avant-plan parce que c’est ce qu’il y a de plus populaire.
2876 Dany, je ne sais pas si tu veux ajouter quelque chose?
2877 Tu es en ‘mute’, Dany.
2878 Mme MELOUL: Merci.
2879 Ce que je voudrais vous dire c’est que TOU.TV joue plusieurs rôles pour nous. D’abord c’est une façon de rattrapage pour ceux qui, comme Barbara a dit, l’émission est passée à la télé et on l’a manquée. On peut aller la chercher sur TOU.TV.
2880 C’est aussi une télévision en direct. Donc, si on n’est pas devant un téléviseur, il y a ça aussi.
2881 Et par la suite, il y a tout le reste du contenu. Alors, quand on parle de la grande majorité de ce qu’on retrouve sur TOU.TV, c’est effectivement ce qu’on a à la télévision, sauf bien sûr il reste en place. Donc, on peut aller le retrouver après la diffusion.
2882 Et là, on parle d’un petit pourcentage d’heures qu’on aimerait ajouter à la plateforme numérique uniquement. Et ça, c’est pour attirer… attirer des gens qui peut-être ne sont plus du tout à la télé, ne savent pas que nos contenus sont là. Et donc c’est un accompagnement, si vous voulez, pour qu’ils puissent découvrir tout ce contenu canadien qu’on fait et à la télé et qu’on leur donne aussi sur la plateforme.
2883 CONSEILLÈRE LAFONTAINE: Très bien. Je vous remercie.
2884 Monsieur le président, est-ce que ce serait un bon moment pour prendre une pause?
2885 LE PRÉSIDENT: Oui, je pense que oui. Merci, Madame Lafontaine.
2886 Let's take -- Madam Secretary, let's take a 15‑minute break, returning at 3:30.
2887 THE SECRETARY: Perfect. Thank you.
2888 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
2889 CONSEILLÈRE LAFONTAINE: Merci.
--- Upon recessing at 3:16 p.m./
L'audience est suspendue à 15h16
--- Upon resuming at 3:31 p.m./
L'audience est reprise à 15h31
2890 THE SECRETARY: Mr. Chairman, we are back. Before we begin, I would just like to say again that tomorrow morning we will start the hearing at 9:00 a.m. Thank you.
2891 THE CHAIRPERSON: Merci, Madame la secrétaire. We'll resume with Commissioner Lafontaine.
2892 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
2893 Bonjour. We are talking about the -- CBC Radio-Canada's proposal, flex proposal for programs of national interest. I'd like to hear from you on the counting, as it were, of the PNI hours. I do note that Ms. Kirshenblatt had stated that PNI programming will not be double counted, and so I'd like to have a little bit more of a conversation with you about that. I think she mentioned that on Monday.
2894 And so -- so if it's not double counted, that is certainly good news, but I'd just like to -- I'd like you to walk us through a little bit more how it will work. So I mean, you can take CBC or -- CBC TV or ICI Télé and just walk us through sort of what would happen in a week with the hours. And -- because what the concern is, I'm asking this question about the incrementality of the PNI hours but also incrementality in relation to the digital platform.
2895 MS. TAIT: Barb? Not Barb, sorry. Bev, do you want to do a walkthrough on this?
2896 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: Sure. Oh.
2897 MS. TAIT: Oh, who's grabbing? Barb, sorry. I said ---
2898 MR. BISSONNETTE: No, it was Bev.
2899 MS. TAIT: I said Barb but I meant Bev because I am dyslexic. So -- but the two of you is right on the screen. So go ahead, Bev.
2900 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: Thank you, Catherine.
2901 Okay, so let's use the -- a PNI example. Now, with respect to linear, it counts the same way that it has always counted. So it's on an exhibition basis. Now, the -- is your question, Commissioner Lafontaine, directed to how do you ensure it's not double counted?
2902 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Yes, it's -- I guess it's to allay the concerns of the regulator and of stakeholders about, okay, so you've got 10 hours, you can flex up to three of them. So the -- so in the -- so I'll just take an example:
2903 So in -- we'll take the Week 1. First week of the broadcast year of 2021, in September, you have, you know, one hour of dramatic program of Diggstown that is aired on Monday in Week 1. That's -- I get that will be one hour of PNI. It's not going to be one hour -- it's not going to be an additional hour of PNI that week on Gem. Might it be in Week 2 of September, with Episode 1, ever be counted as an hour for Gem, or it's been counted and that's the end of the story? Is that what you're submitting?
2904 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: Correct. So once it's counted on one platform, even if it is, for example, I'll use the term "made available" or on an "on demand basis", on Gem as catchup viewing, for example, it doesn't get counted a second time. And that's why we have proposed in our licence renewal application this -- a little bit of a different definition of original first run.
2905 But I just wanted to go back to one thing that you said, that when it comes to PNI, that's measured across the broadcast year, it's not measured on a weekly basis. So -- and another thing, further to the first day, in response to the Chairman, we talked about the possibility -- he asked us in -- or the Commission has asked us in one of the undertakings whether or not we would report more frequently than on an annual basis in order for the Commission to ensure that there's -- this balance is going on and that -- and to have a sense of what's going on on the digital platform in terms of reporting. And we will include that in our February 3rd proposal.
2906 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you. And so just on this point of the flex hours for PNI, I have the definition of the broadcast that you've put forward in your draft expectations, and I see here that your -- you stated that:
2907 "For the purposes of the above, expectations broadcast in respect of digital platform means making a program available via that platform provided that the program is an original first-run." (As read)
2908 So -- and as you just -- just to the point that you made, and it is distinct from, sorry, original first run program in the case of PNI.
2909 So -- and we'll -- we're going to talk about your proposed definition of original first run in another section but am I to understand though then that it's going -- it will be brand new content to the system that you're proposing for these flex hours? That's -- I mean, that's an important piece of the puzzle.
2910 MS. WILLIAMS: And if I could just emphasise, actually, that goes both ways; right? Like if the hour first went on Gem and then goes on TV we don't get to count it again when it goes to TV. You get to count it once. You make it, it's beautiful, you put it somewhere and you count it once, and that's it. So if you made a five-part series and you put them all up on Gem to binge and you put them all up at once, there's five. They might sit there for months and maybe in the summer we run them once a week on TV. It doesn't matter, you've got five. Done.
2911 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Okay, thank you very much for that. That's very -- as I said, that's very helpful.
2912 All right, we are going to forge ahead. I am going to raise a CPE. And, you know, again, we've heard, you know, your submission that that's not something that you're advocating, but I would just like to hear from you, you know, one more time - and I don't mean to make light of it - just for the public record why a CPE for PNI is not appropriate and -- yeah, we'll just start with that. I'll come with Part 2 in a moment. But why a CPE? Because there are a lot of intervenors who have proposed an expenditure obligation for programs of national interest.
2913 MS. TAIT: Well, given that I've already responded I believe a couple of times to that question, maybe I'll punch this to one of my colleagues to see if they can put something else on the record.
2914 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: And you can be very, very brief, just to confirm that this is, you know....
2915 MS. TAIT: Yes. Barb or Michel ---
2916 MS. WILLIAMS: Sure.
2917 MS. TAIT: --- either of you?
2918 MS. WILLIAMS: Sure, and Michel I'm sure can emphasise or add.
2919 We are committed to all of our spending, essentially, being to Canadian content, so we're not concerned about needing a CPE in order to ensure that we spend on CanCon and don't spend on non‑Canadian. That's something that CPE is often used to do, and we don't need it.
2920 We also believe that the way we've structured this, the exhibition hours are the output of that CPE that actually is what this system needs. They need -- the system needs, the viewers need hours of television. They don't care how you've figured out how to finance it and how much you spent on it or you didn't, or you could've or you should've, they're looking for the output of hours. And so exhibition to satisfy our demonstration of serving all Canadians has felt like a more meaningful condition, and we don't see an expenditure adding any additional value to that.
2921 M. BISSONNETTE: Je ne peux que souscrire à ce que madame Williams vient de dire.
2922 Vous savez, je l’ai exprimé un peu plus tôt, les gens de l’industrie ont énormément d’attentes à notre endroit. Et je pense qu’un engagement par nombre d’heures, par genre est la meilleure façon de rassurer les gens sur notre volonté de continuer dans la même voie qu’on est depuis plusieurs années.
2923 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you.
2924 Now, in light of your preference for an hourly obligation for programs of national interest and the concerns of the sector or stakeholders -- number of stakeholders about expenditures for the flex PNI, would CBC-Radio Canada be prepared to accept an obligation whereby you would submit, you know, periodically -- and this goes, perhaps, to the umbrella undertaking, but I think it's important to state it here -- you know, your financials in terms of what you are expending on your online platforms for this -- for this flex content.
2925 MS. TAIT: I think ---
2926 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Sorry. I'll just qualify it, if I may, Ms. Tait. Excuse me.
2927 MS. TAIT: Yes.
2928 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Sort of in the same way that annual returns get filed, if you -- if it were a form of annual return, but for the digital platforms so that, you know, what is being done there can be monitored by the regulator.
2929 MS. TAIT: Yeah. I think -- I think that would let us put that as part of the framework that -- yeah, because it feels like another piece of it. Just to be clear, when we say "online platforms" here, we're talking about our audio-visual platforms, just to be really clear.
2930 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Yes, and I believe in the context of the PNI it's just -- it's Gem and 2.TV.
2931 MS. TAIT: Correct.
2932 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Good. Okay, perfect. Thank you.
2933 Okay. Independent production.
2934 We will move forward, move along. You've spoken very eloquently about, you know, the independent production sector in Canada, passionately about this -- the content creators. You've put forward a proposal or a commitment for independently produced PNI programming. The proposal that you've put forward is 80 percent.
2935 And I would just like to hear from you on why that's the right number when, again, if we look at the historical, the PNI -- the independently produced PNI programming has exceeded 90 percent. You're proposing 80.
2936 So if you could just speak to why 80 percent is the right number here.
2937 MS. TAIT: Thank you, Commissioner.
2938 Well, it is higher than our previous obligation. And you know, we absolutely have turned to independent producers as the key partner -- I think you've heard the word partner -- for most of what we do in the original Canadian content area.
2939 We landed on that 80 percent, really -- one, we wanted to demonstrate the commitment and to reinforce it, but we also want to leave ourselves some marge de manoeuvre or flexibility to be able to still leverage some of the creative talents that exist within both Radio Canada and CBC.
2940 Let's not forget that it's not -- it isn't so long ago that it was a very different picture and a lot of -- there was still a lot of in-house production. And we've moved very, very dramatically away from that, but if we were to go to, you know, the historic number as the requirement, we would really be not in any position to do some of the very interesting things that we have been doing even if -- experimental, innovative work, cross podcast, audiovisual work.
2941 There's some opportunities there that we feel as part of our innovation role are kind of critical.
2942 Michel, tu voulais ajouter quelque chose?
2943 M. BISSONNETTE: Madame la Conseillère, vous savez, le législateur au niveau fédéral et au niveau de plusieurs provinces a fait le choix de soutenir l’industrie de la production indépendante de façon à diversifier les sources de création et c'est sans aucun doute une des décisions qui a permis l’éclosion d’autant de talents et d’autant de projets qui sont innovateurs et structurants.
2944 Ceci étant dit, nous avons quand même besoin d’une marge de manœuvre parce qu’il y a beaucoup de documentaires qu’on produit à l’interne avec nos ressources qui sont dans les salles d’informations et nous permettent de pouvoir produire des émissions qui sont de qualité sans nécessairement faire appel à la production indépendante au même titre qu’il y a des projections jeunesse qu’on peut faire notamment dans l’Ouest canadien ou encore des émissions culturelles qu’on peut faire dans nos stations locales.
2945 Donc, ce que vous abordez présentement, c'est d’amener le plafond comme étant le plancher, mais si vous faites ça, on n’a plus aucune marge de manœuvre. Donc, on avait déjà un plancher qui était à 75; pour démontrer à l’industrie de la production indépendante à quel point on croit dans ce partenariat-là, on est prêts à monter notre condition à 80 %, mais on souhaite conserver une flexibilité pour des projets qui peuvent se présenter qu’on pourrait produire soit en documentaires, soit en jeunesse, ou encore au niveau culturel à l’interne.
2946 CONSEILLÈRE LAFONTAINE: Merci.
2947 Bien, je crois que ça va… ça termine les questions sur les ÉIN et… ou du moins de façon directe.
2948 I'm going to turn now to your -- to the -- your definitions, your proposals for original and -- original first run programming.
2949 We'd like to first hear from you -- and again, we're getting into the regulatory weeds here.
2950 You have -- the definition for "original" that you've put forward is language that was already part of the licence and you've brought forward a new definition -- as Ms. Kirshenblatt had referenced earlier, a new definition of "original first run" which is not entirely consistent with the Commission's current definition of "original first run".
2951 And so I think the starting point on this is if you could just tell us a little bit about why these two definitions have been put forward and, you know, perhaps, you know, why not one.
2952 MS. TAIT: Go ahead, Bev.
2953 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: Well, the reason why we put forward the "original first run" definition that's a little bit different than the Commission's current definition is because the Commission's current definition works only in a linear world. And in -- when we go into the -- a digital world, there are a number of other digital services that are there, so -- and we were also trying to ensure that in our no double counting that we had come up with a definition that gave the Commission the comfort that we couldn't double count and that we couldn't take something from somewhere else and then count it as new on our digital platform.
2954 Does that answer your question?
2955 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: It's a starting point, yeah. It's a starting point.
2956 Well, let's just -- let's push it a little bit further.
2957 So in your definition of "original" -- let me just put here. Excuse me.
2958 If the licensee contributed to the program's pre-production financing, so it's original -- original Canadian programming that has only -- that refers to children's, right. Like this does not refer to any other original programming that is broadcast on the two networks.
2959 So if a licensee has contributed to the -- the licensee has contributed to the program's pre-production financing, a Canadian program has only been previously broadcast by -- that also contributed to its pre-production financing.
2960 So what is it about the children's programming and the pre-production financing that requires you to bring this forward so that it gets captured in your spend?
2961 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: Well -- excuse me.
2962 The definition of "original children's programming" was a definition that came out of the 2013 licence renewal decision, and it related to the fact that when it came particularly to children's programming -- and you know, the transcripts from back then and the decision demonstrates that, you know, financing children's programming is challenging.
2963 So there was a recognition of that, that if, for example, there was a partnership, for example, with TFO or TVO, for example, for a children's production and it aired first by another broadcaster that there was this ability for us to be able to count it.
2964 And before I continue on to the next point, I don't know if any -- again, the people who are actually responsible for programming wanted to add in to any of the challenges specifically with respect to children's programming before I move to the original first run.
2965 MS. CATTO: Thanks, Bev. I think you've summed it up well. I think we have seen, particularly with children's progamming, that there are often a myriad of partnership, unlike, you know, in a drama or comedy where you might have one or two. Often you will see, you know, three, four, five partners, sometimes also in Canada and beyond. So, I think you've explained it very well.
2966 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Excuse me, but why is it just the pre-production? Like, why wouldn't it be, as you've put forward for the original first run, you use -- let me just find it here, excuse me -- the programs production financing with third parties, but with the children's it's the pre-production. So, I guess, like, why wouldn't the childrens also be the production financing?
2967 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: Well, yeah, so we -- I mean, if that was expanded in the original children's programming to have production, I don't think we would have a concern. The original children's programming definition came first. That existed in 2013. So, maybe your question is the opposite. Why have you used the term production financing? Is that -- in the ---
2968 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: No, I think -- oh, no, I think my -- no, my question is most definitely, what is it about the creation of children's programming with partners that requires or creates the stage or the situation where you're -- there's a pre-production financing that triggers somehow, you know, the need to be sure that this program is going to be counted as your original. That's what's not clear to me.
2969 MS. CATTO: If I can just jump in, Commissioner, I'm not sure if this answers your question, but I think for us we're distinguishing between when we pre-license a content versus acquire after the fact. So, when we pre-license, it means we are coming in -- I can see you're nodding -- you know, before production has commenced for significant financial contribution, versus an acquisition that we acquired a much lower rate for, you know, a completed production, and we're not suggesting that that kind of acquisition should count, only the pre-productions. Does that answer your question?
2970 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: That does answer my question. Thank you very much.
2971 MS. CATTO: Thanks.
2972 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: So, okay. So that is -- that explains the distinction between the two. And then just in terms of these definitions and why they have been brought forward, I guess on the -- for the -- in relation to the children's programming and then your commitment to the creation and broadcast of original programming and meeting that commitment, this definition is in place or you're asking for it to be carried forward in terms of the calculation of the, you know, the 52, 80 hours or whatever. I'm sorry, I don't think I have the right number there. But in any event, for the original hours, you want to calculate those original hours using this definition.
2973 Would you -- you wouldn't use this definition for anything else I don't think. I mean, I should ask you. Would you use this definition for anything else in terms of lobbying purposes, when you're submitting your logs, when you go through the, you know, the key figures and there's the original line item, is it -- would you just log it as an original regardless of this definition, or is there something else that you would do with this other than just in terms of the -- not just, but just the tabulation of meeting that condition of license?
2974 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: So if this is a logging question in terms of how do we log original children's programming in a way that is -- in a way that the Commission would know that it's ---
2975 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: No, I'll help you out. Let me come at it again.
2976 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: Thank you.
2977 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: So I guess the question is, in terms of this definition that you've put forward, do you -- will you use it -- does it impact on the business of broadcasting in any other way, other than your report to us on original children's programming? It just is for your report on -- your spend or your hours on original -- I see Barb, or Ms. Williams and Ms. Tait nodding their heads that this is what this definition is for; right?
2978 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: Right.
2979 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Okay.
2980 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: It's to meet -- it's to demonstrate compliance ---
2981 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Right.
2982 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: --- with meeting a regulatory obligation.
2983 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Thank you. Okay. Great.
2984 Now, then we go to the original first run definition, again, as you've said, this is different than -- as we said, this is different than the Commission's definition. And you've put it forward in the context of reporting to the Commission on an annual basis, not logging, but reporting. You've put in -- and we'll come to the logging, but from what I've understood is you're proposing to submit annually this report on the original first run programming for your traditional platforms and your online platforms. And I just want to understand -- I want to understand if this proposed definition will be used for anything other than that report at the end of the year.
2985 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: So sorry, this is to address and demonstrate compliance with the regulatory proposal that we put forward and to ensure that it's there. And just to clarify, with respect to original first-run programming, in response to our -- it's in response to a question from the Commission, we have already agreed to report on programs, hours that are original first-run programming on conventional television and we said digital platforms. So, I just wanted to clarify that.
2986 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Thank you. Yes, and I guess what I just -- I guess what I just want to be certain of is that this definition is being submitted or put forward in the context of those annual reports. And so -- right? Like, when the annual ---
2987 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: Yes.
2988 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: When I look at your draft ---
2989 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: Yes.
2990 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: --- COLs ---
2991 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: Yes.
2992 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: --- right? Okay.
2993 So ---
2994 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: And demonstrating compliance with what we said, you know, that because we just needed to come up with a ---
2995 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Right.
2996 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: --- a way of measuring to hold us to account.
2997 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Right. And so -- and as you say, so it would also apply to, you know, to your point, the measurement of those PNI hours, the new PNI hours on ICI, TOU.TV and Pointe TV and Gem. So that's where that -- the definition would be used. But for all of your other programming and your monthly logs, when you go through the key figures, I think I have them here, you -- will you be using the definition, the Commission's standard definition of original first-run -- here I'm just going to grab it.
2998 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: So for the purposes of linear ---
2999 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: M'hm. Yes.
3000 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: --- the Commission's definition of what's original first run on linear works very well. For the purposes of digital, it doesn't work, so that's why we proposed this for the purpose of what's on digital.
3001 I guess the confusion is probably the way it's drafted, as I'm looking at it now a year-and-a-half later, it's -- I think what we were trying to say by saying by means of a linear broadcast or an on-demand basis, and that may be where you're tripping up in the wording, is that we wanted to make clear that recognising that there could be broadcast in the traditional way on linear, as well as on demand or even, you know, streaming at the same time on digital. So, maybe it's the wording that's a little bit cumbersome.
3002 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: No, I did -- I guess what I'm just trying to confirm is to what extent these proposed definitions are going to be used. Is it just for the tabulation of those hours, you know, for the report, and then those online hours, or are you proposing to use this new definition of original first run for all of the original first-run programs that you broadcast on your linear channels for the purposes of your logs, you know, on a monthly basis? And what I think I'm hearing is that you're not, but you -- for your traditional services, so for Anne with an E that's on -- a new episode of Anne with an E on CBC TV, or a new episode of District 31, that would be -- that you would not be using this new definition of original first run for the logging of those services; is that correct?
3003 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: Yes, provided there’s no double counting. So the short answer is yes.
3004 How we envisioned this, was that the linear world, when this -- the way this application is drafted, the linear world is linear. It’s the old -- it’s the Commission’s definition that they’re comfortable with.
3005 And as you’ve put forward, when it comes to flex, if we want to be able to demonstrate or if we want to be able to count or even show how we’re meeting that overall commitment, we just needed to come up with a different definition.
3006 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Understood. Thank you.
3007 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: Thank you.
3008 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Just please bear with me for one moment.
3009 (SHORT PAUSE/COURTE PAUSE)
3010 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: All right, thank you.
3011 So in the -- continuing on in the original first-run, and now I’m back on the traditional platform with the standard definition the Commission uses on the linear platforms.
3012 CBC’s original first-run -- the percentage of original first-run programming that CBC and Radio-Canada broadcast is quite extensive. And there are intervenors who have put forward proposals that CBC/Radio-Canada commit to broadcasting original first-run programming on the linear channels.
3013 And so I would like to hear from you about why there has not been anything put forward specifically on the linear channels, I don’t think, in terms of original first-run. I think there’s something on the documentary Channel but other than that, I don’t think that there’s a specific commitment to original first-run programming?
3014 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: So I can confirm that our proposal does not include a specific commitment on conventional television with respect to original first-run programming.
3015 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: And why is that, given the importance of it within the broadcasting -- the world of broadcasting?
3016 MS. WILLIAMS: We are all looking a little dumbfounded. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s four o’clock in the afternoon.
3017 But Bev, just like cut me off here if I’m going down a crazy path, but our PNI sort of by definition is all first-run. Our news is all first-run. Our Children’s programming, we have the -- you know, it’s original, it’s first-run.
3018 Like, it would feel duplicative to me, I think. We do repeat our PNI programming. We couldn’t begin to afford to have all new programming all the time, fun as that might be.
3019 So like all broadcasters we do have to repeat stuff, but the commitment is to making that PNI, making that Children’s, making that local programming. And it’s all first-run.
3020 And then we do what we have to do sometimes to repeat stuff to fill the schedule, but I’m not sure what the extra value would be of this other measure.
3021 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Well, I think it’s ultimately, you know, from the stakeholders’ perspective or their interventions, it’s seeking a commitment to this type of programming from the Public Broadcaster.
3022 I am hearing you say that, from your perspective, it is not needed. A regulatory requirement is not needed for this type of programming to be made on your traditional platforms, that you’re doing it -- and I see that Ms. Kirshenblatt has her hand up.
3023 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: Well, I was simply going to say further to what Barb has said, not only do we do it we are prepared to report on it on both, our linear and our digital, of how many -- I am just going to repeat it because I know it’s a long day and there’s a lot of details. Report on programs in terms of hours that are original first-run programming on both, conventional and digital.
3024 And that would provide stakeholders with, you know, and I’m looking at -- I’m actually just guided by I’ve had an opportunity to review the Production Reports. And the way that the privates do it, it does provide information. And should after reporting, the Commission felt as if they needed to do something else, I mean, I think what you’re hearing from Barb and you’ve heard from Michel previously is we already do a lot of this. So that if we are, you know, providing information on what -- if we’re prepared to provide information on this, which we said we would, if there was a problem, then -- but we haven’t demonstrated that there is a problem. So thank you.
3025 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you. All right.
3026 Independent production and your new proposed expectation for independently produced programs relied on the traditional platforms and on your -- on the digital audio-visual platforms.
3027 So I’m just going to -- because it is -- the day is progressing and we are into some complicated regulatory stuff.
3028 So you are proposing, no less than 80 percent of audio-visual program, Canadian content broadcast by the Corporation on the network during the broadcast year, other than news, sports and current affairs programming, be produced by Canadian independent production companies. So 80 percent on the network.
3029 But then on the digital platform, so what you say is, no less than 80 percent of all original first-run, audio-visual content made available on the Corporation’s digital platforms during the broadcast year, other than news, sports, current affairs, et cetera.
3030 And so we thought it was interesting that for the linear platform, it’s just straight up 80 percent of the audio-visual programming would be independently produced.
3031 But on the online, it’s 80 percent of the original first-run. Presumably the new definition of original first-run.
3032 And so we are interested to hear about why the distinction; why not just full 80 percent of that online platform?
3033 And I guess you should also -- I mean, just clarify which online platforms you are referring to. I am assuming it’s OHdio and -- not OHdio, excuse me, ICI TOU.TV and Gem, but please confirm.
3034 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: Yes, so under our proposal, it’s Gem and ICI TOU.TV and let me start and if someone can say it clearer, we’ll go from there.
3035 So it’s a starting point on digital. We are looking at the new stuff because there already is a library of on-demand programming that’s already on Gem and on TOU.TV. So this is forward looking, and this is the content, the PNI, and the Children’s that we wanted to ensure there is a way of counting what’s on demand that’s made available as from the new licence term that is independently produced.
3036 So that was the idea behind -- you’re looking at going forward.
3037 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you.
3038 Now, is it -- sorry, is it just the Children’s and the PNI that you will be reporting on, as part of this -- the 80 percent independently produced or it’s everything that’s original first-run?
3039 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: Thank you for correcting me, Commissioner Lafontaine.
3040 So it’s everything that meets that definition of independent production, all the genres that we have not excluded in the definition that you’ve just read.
3041 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you.
3042 Do you have a sense of sense of, as you said this is forward-looking, in terms of what is there now, what the percentage of independently produced content is? Do you track that at all in either of the platforms?
3043 MS. WILLIAMS: I'm -- Sally, if you happen to know that; I don't.
3044 I think the point, as I understand it, is that we wanted to be sure that the independent production sector didn't feel that they were being cut out of the work that they feel responsible for doing within this flex arrangement. So when we commit to the independent production sector to do all that great work they do in linear to the extent that we're doing similar which, you know, is going to count in these areas of PNI and children's, we wanted to reassure the independent producers that by leaping over to the other platform we weren't cutting them out of the opportunity to continue to do that work. So to live up to the same commitment, that was the spirit and intent of what we were trying to do. I appreciate -- we're really caught in definitions and it's complicated and ---
3045 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: Yeah, yeah.
3046 MS. WILLIAMS: But that -- I think, Bev, if that's fair, that was the spirit and intent, and if the language drafting needs to be tweaked to accomplish that goal, I just think we ought to understand that was the intent.
3047 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: Thank you. And just to further beat a dead horse on this, it -- you know, it would also include... Currently, the way -- for example, the way we calculate our obligations on the CBC side, for example, with respect to feature films, that's counted separately from PNI. So that 80 percent would also -- I mean, we're not going to do a feature -- you know, we don't do feature films, but you know, it includes all the programming that - on Gem, just to clarify - that's not news, sports, and you know, current affairs; that it's produced by Canadian independent production companies. That's the 80 percent on digital on TOU.TV and Gem.
3048 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you. I have another housekeeping question for the regulatory members of your team.
3049 In the ARTV and Documentary Channel, or the applications that relate to these two channels, you're proposing to remove the definition of independent production company and then replace it with the standard conditions that are set out, the standard requirements that are set out in Broadcast Regulatory Policy 2016-436, which does not contain a definition of independent production company. And so it's a little bit of a -- as I say, housekeeping.
3050 Do you propose to add a definition, add the Commission's existing definition to that licence? Anyway, I'll -- I see that Bev has taken off her mask, so....
3051 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: That must be an oversight on our part, and of course there has to be a definition, independent production company, and the Commission's definition of independent production company is a definition that we would accept. So it's -- in terms of housekeeping, that can be cleaned.
3052 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you. Thank you for that clarification. Just please bear with me for a moment.
3053 We'll turn now to the audio platforms, and still within the context of these questions on original programming, so radio. Many Canadians stated in this proceeding that CBC Radio-Canada's traditional radio stations play a high amount of repeat programming. What in your views -- what are your views, excuse me, on these submissions that we received from Canadians on the percentage of repeat programming that the corporation broadcasts on its traditional radio stations on a weekly basis in both the English and French language markets? If you could speak to that, that would be appreciated.
3054 MS. TAIT: Okay, well let's reassemble the audio team and maybe ask Barb just to start out. And as Barb pointed out, she has two radio people, so I don't know how you want to handle that, Barb.
3055 MS. WILLIAMS: Well, thank you, Catherine. If Susan Marjetti is still with us; I'll speak slowly in the hopes that she might appear in my little table across the top there. Is she there? You can see her? Okay, good, because I can't.
3056 Then I might ask Susan to start and speak to the Radio One schedule and how they have structured the schedule in past years and managed through repeats and solutions they have come up with to try to address that concern, solutions other than just more money, which obviously is a solution in itself if that's ever possible.
3057 But Susan, let me hand it to you.
3058 MS. MARJETTI: Thank you, Barb.
3059 When I inherited the CBC Radio One sched in 2015, at the time as the Executive Director of Radio, it was about 25 percent repeats in terms of the schedule, and that's right across that midafternoon strip. There are about 12 shows that are repeated through there. Some of them are rerecorded, recut, repackaged somewhat different actually in terms of the content that's in them.
3060 I have to tell you they do quite well for us. That midday period does not lose audience in that time period.
3061 So the original reasons were economic, but in terms of audience through that period the schedule is quite strong through afternoons, and those programs do very well for us. What we've found in analysing the sched is that there's a very low percentage of crossover. I mean, other than people like me, probably no one here is 24/7 of the radio sched, and there's a very low crossover in terms of the repetition of audience for those different time periods, and I'm talking now about morning, afternoon, and evening. And so it actually does quite well for us as an offer.
3062 MS. TAIT: Caroline?
3063 M. BISSONNETTE: Mais peut-être juste en introduction, vous savez, Madame la conseillère, depuis le réinvestissement du gouvernement fédéral, on a injecté beaucoup d’argent dans ICI Première justement pour s’assurer que le bloc du matin, de l’après-midi et de la soirée soit en programmation originale.
3064 Et j’inviterais madame Jamet à venir préciser notre programmation originale versus les rediffusions.
3065 Mme JAMET: Merci, Michel.
3066 Effectivement, nous avons ajouté la programmation originale en soirée. Ce que j’aimerais aussi ajouter, comme l’a dit Susan, c’est qu’il y a aussi un appétit en soirée, en fait, quand il y avait des contenus qui étaient en reprises, je dois dire quand même que les auditeurs appréciaient puisqu’ils n’avaient pas la chance d’écouter, par exemple, l’émission qui se passe entre 9 h 00 et 11 h 00.
3067 Donc, on a vu aussi une satisfaction de la part d’auditeurs à plusieurs égards quand nous faisons des reprises. Mais ces reprises-là ont été repoussées vraiment plus en fin de soirée, comme l’a dit Michel.
3068 Donc, c’est pour répondre justement à ces deux éléments-là.
3069 MS. MARJETTI: I might also add, if I could, that with all of our original podcasts it is a very different audience often for a radio audience and the podcast audience. There's some crossover, but again, for a lot of people our podcasts are heard for the very first time on radio. And during the summer months, we use a lot of our original podcasts on radio to great success. A lot of people are hearing some of these award-winning podcasts for the very first time and getting excited about following up with further podcasts, so that's one of the things we do to ensure that there is always an influx of original content.
3070 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you for these comments.
3071 Just coming back to the breadth of the availability of content on the audio platforms, digital platforms, Ms. Marjetti just spoke about the podcasts. I had the privilege, as it were, over the holidays to spend a lot of time listening to OHdio and CBC Listen, and I was -- I noted the breadth of the content.
3072 And you know, we talked earlier about musical content on the audio platforms and the Canadian-ness of the musical content, but I'm wondering if you could speak -- just take a quick moment to just talk about the breadth of content on the digital audio platforms and what goes into the selection of the different types of contents that's available.
3073 And you know, there's radio -- there's live radio, there -- as you say, there's podcasts, there's playlists, et cetera, so I'll turn it over to you.
3074 MS. MARJETTI: Thank you, Commissioner.
3075 So when we were -- it's only been a few years since the dream of CBC Listen was -- you know, was born and then brought to fruition.
3076 The intent was to create this digital consolidated offer where you could find all of these incredible things that we were doing, just one stop. And as we're seeing over the years and certainly it's part of our thinking on bridge to the future, is that, you know, there's a whole generation now, they don't have a radio.
3077 I have a radio in every room. There are people who do not have a radio, and yet -- and yet they listen to radio. They just listen on their mobile device. And they often listen, you know, to live streaming.
3078 As Barb mentioned earlier, the number one function that people perform on the CBC Listen site is to listen to CBC Radio One. And when we do big things on CBC Radio One, it actually -- the audience jumps on CBC Listen.
3079 So when Matt Galloway hosting The Current interviewed former U.S. President Barack Obama recently, listenership on CBC Listen went up by 30 percent.
3080 So that's the number one thing people do.
3081 But the other thing they do is, you know, who can make appointment now to listen to something. We all have very busy lives. Less so, perhaps, during COVID as we are just trying to stay safe. That's our job right now.
3082 But for a lot of people with their busy lives, they want to listen back. They want to listen back to that incredible episode of ideas and they want to listen to it on their own time.
3083 So it made content available on demand.
3084 The next piece was our podcasts. Leslie Merklinger and the podcast team, which actually reports to Sally, is doing this tremendous job. Award-winning, like world renowned, studied what CBC has done as the number one podcast publisher in Canada with those podcasts. And there is quite a range and array, as you noted.
3085 And then it was our music playlists, and to make sure that we had this one place where you could, indeed, listen to CBC Radio One, you could pull any of the things -- you know, I listened to the Newfoundland snowstorm last January, the blizzard.
3086 CBC Radio went live 24/7 coverage. I was listening to that on CBC Listen overnight and into the next day.
3087 It gives you the ability to listen to any part of our service, any region, any time, you know. And that way, it's this incredible resource and it's an incredible destination for people.
3088 So that was the intent of CBC Listen, and it brings together all of these various components, Radio One, our original podcasts, as well as our CBC music streams.
3089 MS. WILLIAMS: And if I -- I know we're very enthusiastic about Listen because we're just seeing such a big audience come to it, and a young audience. But it also -- I mean, Leslie Merklinger, as Susan mentioned, runs this podcast team, which has been incredibly innovative, but they also work into the news team and do news content, as I think we mentioned yesterday, with Front Burner, but also locally.
3090 Many if -- maybe, Susan, you would know if all now of the -- of the regions do their own local podcast.
3091 Edmonton's is called, I think, The Loop or In The Loop. But each of these local content opportunities now come out of podcasting to do a daily podcast for that local audience that's speaking to the issues of the day.
3092 So it's just been this incredible span of opportunity that podcasting has provided for us that reaches into every piece of our business now.
3093 M. BISSONNETTE: Caroline souhaitait ajouter quelque chose, Madame la Conseillère.
3094 Mme JAMET: Merci, Michel.
3095 En fait, je suis tout à fait d'accord avec ce que Susan vient de vous dire, mais j’ajouterais également, pour nous, c'est un outil extraordinaire de mettre en valeur nos productions – à la radio, par exemple –, nous avons des trésors, vraiment, qui sont entendus à l’antenne, mais dans une optique de diffusion en direct, ça passe une fois et puis après ça on n’a plus l’occasion d’entendre ces contenus-là.
3096 Alors, nous avons pu, avec l’application OHdio, présenter dans un menu déroulant en page d’accueil, plusieurs fois par jour, ce contenu est mis à jour, donc nous pouvons présenter une centaine de contenus à la fois qui sont divisés par thématique, et je pense que ça aide énormément la découvrabilité de cette richesse de contenu qui et fabriqué par nos artisans, mais également ça nous permet de mettre des thématiques de l’avant parce que ce sont des rails horizontaux, vous l’avez vu en allant sur l’application.
3097 Par exemple, si c’est la fête de l’Acadie, nous pouvons mettre… nous pouvons juxtaposer, par exemple, un « Aujourd'hui, l’histoire qui a présenté des sujets sur l’Acadie », avec des listes musicales qui présentent les artistes acadiens ainsi qu’un livre audio, par exemple Acadie Road qui serait présenté sur une liste comme celle-ci. Donc, je pense que ça donne une occasion de présenter ces contenus-là.
3098 Et, de notre côté, nous avons évidemment, comme je vous l’ai mentionné, les émissions, les émissions en rattrapage, donc toute l’offre musicale, en plus des listes musicales, il y a toutes les émissions qui sont présentées en direct et en rattrapage, nous avons les balados, nous avons également des livres audio, nous avons une offre d’environ une centaine de livres audio et énormément de contenu au niveau des livres pour enfants, des livres aussi pour adolescents, des livres… des romans, et ça nous permet aussi de découvrir, par exemple, des biographiques de personnalités canadiennes qui marquent notre société.
3099 Alors, voilà.
3100 CONSEILLÈRE LAFONTAINE: Merci bien. Merci pour ces informations.
3101 I turn now to emerging artists, les artistes émergents. And again, you've spoken about -- again passionately about the support for Canadian emerging artists on your various platforms. I think it was on Monday you talked about a new, was it, radio show or hip-hop artists.
3102 And so we'd like to hear from you a bit more about Canadian emerging artists and the support for Canadian emerging artists. And we note that there are no specific commitments from CBC-Radio Canada to broadcast this talent, and so we'd be interested to hear from you, you know, to specifically -- I mean, again, I -- you know, we've heard you and your -- you know, in terms of meeting the mandate. But from a regulatory perspective, there isn't anything specific.
3103 So we'd like to hear from you about that because there were -- there are intervenors, one in particular, who has asked for measures to be put in place.
3104 And this was a sort of floor, as it were, a minimum requirement. In 2013, this was something that the public broadcaster had put forward.
3105 So we'd just like to hear from you a little bit about your commitment to these -- this artistic talent and what the next licence term will look like.
3106 MS. TAIT: All right. But thank you, Commissioner.
3107 Before I hand it to the -- again, the programming teams, I'd just like to give -- make a general comment about the commitment of the public broadcaster to emerging talent. It's very, very part -- much part of the DNA. When we talk about how do we distinguish ourselves from not just other broadcasters in the Canadian system, but in -- just on the global stage, it is at the proximity that we have to the creative community that is really a huge, huge force for us. And it is our incredible competitive advantage. We have deep relations into all sectors, whether it's music, or performing arts, or writers. We touch every corner of the cultural community. And we need to be in touch with the -- those creative communities in order to, pardon the term, feed the pipeline or programming that is our bread and butter.
3108 But we do that in a lot of different ways. We do it through training. We do it at the -- like, very much at the local level through a thing called the creator's network. We do it in partnerships with our friends at the Canada Council or other cultural organisations where we can connect with new voices, new talent. So, that's kind of I would say the -- again, the framework, and I'll hand it over to maybe Michel first if that's okay.
3109 M. BISSONNETTE: Merci, Madame la conseillère. Vous savez, on fait déjà beaucoup, mais je pense notamment en télévision avec En direct de l’univers, pour soutenir et faire de la place à des nouveaux talents. On en profite également dans nos émissions comme Tout le monde en parle pour pouvoir faire découvrir également des gens qui viennent en chanson à la fin de l’émission. Mais j’inviterais Madame Jamet – parce qu’on a un projet qui est vraiment incroyable, qu’on répète d’année en année avec la radio, pour qu’elle vous parle de la place qu’on fait au talent émergent. Caroline?
3110 Mme JAMET: Merci Michel.
3111 Alors effectivement, nous avons un grand programme qui s’appelle Révélation et qui existe depuis maintenant 12 ans à Radio-Canada. Au fil des ans, il y a 63 artistes différents qui ont remporté ce prix. Alors, dans cinq catégories, nous avons… en fait, nous nommons à chaque année des artistes qui sont de la relève en chanson, en jazz, en musique classique, en musique du monde et depuis l’an dernier, en rap également. Alors, c’est important pour nous de continuer à suivre l’industrie.
3112 C’est un énorme programme qui ne se passe pas seulement à la radio, mais également à la télévision; quand un artiste remporte le prix Révélation, nous l’accompagnons pendant une année complète, il y a une énorme visibilité à l’antenne radio, mais également une campagne de publicité. On l’accompagne également au niveau de sa démarche artistique, à travers de l’enregistrement studio, on fait un soutien personnalisé.
3113 Alors ça, c’est pour Révélation – je pourrais vous en parler encore longtemps, mais j’aimerais aussi vous parler de ce qu’on fait à l’antenne d’ICI Musique pour les artistes émergents parce que c’est notre mandat et c’est aussi notre bonheur, je vous dirais, d’identifier les nouveaux talents. On le fait à toutes les semaines, on le fait avec passion – vous connaissez peut-être Monique Giroux, Monique Giroux qui fait ça depuis des années. D’ailleurs, il y a plusieurs artistes qui, publiquement, ont dit que sans Radio-Canada, ils n’auraient pas eu la carrière qu’ils ont. Monique Giroux fait son émission le dimanche, mais elle était également reçue à chaque semaine à l’émission du matin pour parler d’une nouveauté; Catherine Pogonat également le fait. On le fait en jazz avec Stanley Péan.
3114 On le fait donc aussi à travers nos partenariats avec les festivals à travers le Canada. On le fait également en musique classique avec le CMIM par exemple, avec les Francouvertes au niveau de la chanson française; on participe au jury et on diffuse certaines de ces émissions pour les finalistes qui sont présentés en spectacle. Aussi, on s’assure d’avoir justement… quand un artiste Révélation est nommé, on a même un programme au niveau des festivals, on s’assure que ces artistes-là sont présentés dans les festivals à travers le Canada. Alors, je vous dirais que c’est une panoplie d’outils que nous avons à notre disposition et pour nous, c’est quelque chose de fondamental.
3115 Et par rapport à votre question sur la nécessité d’avoir peut-être une condition de licence affectée à ça, c’est tellement quelque chose qui est dans notre ADN – comme vous le voyez, nous avons une panoplie de projets et de programmes – et c’est quelque chose qui serait assez aussi complexe, je pense, à faire parce que ça serait… en fait, je ne pense pas que ça soit nécessaire.
3116 Et peut-être juste en terminant, sur OHdio, c’est un autre endroit où nous avons… nous mettons l’accent sur les nouveaux talents. Cette année en fait, juste dans les albums en écoute intégrale…vous savez, à toutes les semaines, on présente gratuitement - et c’est important de le mentionner, sur OHdio, cette offre-là est gratuite - en musique, nous présentons des albums en écoute et 20 % de ces albums-là sont des albums qui sont les premiers albums d’artistes. Donc, c’est une autre façon pour nous de mettre en valeur les artistes à travers la découvrabilité qui est possible sur OHdio.
3117 Je pourrais transférer peut-être à ma collègue de CBC?
3118 MS. CATTO: Thank you. Just to clarify, are we speaking only to OHdio right now when it comes to ---
3119 MS. TAIT: Okay.
3120 MS. CATTO: --- emerging artists?
3121 MS. TAIT: I understood we were speaking about all artists, so I may have broadened the field ---
3122 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: No, no.
3123 MS. TAIT: --- but if ---
3124 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Yes, it's correct. Just generally how in the CBC/Radio-Canada ecosystem Canadian emerging artists are showcased and supported.
3125 MS. CATTO: Okay. Across all genres.
3126 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Yes.
3127 MS. CATTO: Okay. Thank you. I mean, I can certainly start with music. I think CBC music has just a wonderful track record of supporting emerging artists.
3128 I mean, certainly we have a dedicated show every week, the intro on CBC Music Morning, which is dedicated to showcasing emerging artists. We have our talent competition Searchlight every year. Our most recent winner Shawnee can give examples of how that -- how much that competition has meant to the talent we have worked with and has helped support their careers, whether it's Ruth B, sorry, Rae MA, and Ruth B might not have been a -- might not have been one, but she's certainly an artist we've supported. William Prince's career we followed from an early time.
3129 Just one quick example that I really like is Lennon Stella. So, our team set up a recording session with Lennon and her sister, Maisy, who were 14 and 12. They were up and coming YouTube stars. And after this session, their -- the live session went viral. They had over four million views on YouTube. They were featured on our music program Backstage Pass, and their career -- I won't give you the whole history. They ended up on the series Nashville, for example, but their career certainly went from there and they have since been, you know, all the way to the Juno stage and beyond.
3130 But I think all this to say that there is a long track record and commitment to supporting emerging artists, particularly through our live concerts. Arcade Fire, we did a session with them, even before their first album was released. But, you know, and on every platform, we are extremely committed to emerging talent. We need that talent. They are our future.
3131 You know, I think Catherine referenced briefly the creator network. This is very important to us. It is a digital only content stream that supports new and emerging talent. We do this in partnership with the regions. We have hubs in Manitoba. We have hubs in Vancouver. And that has been a remarkable opportunity to showcase not only new and emerging talent, but over half of that talent is by pop, so that is also a key element for us that we're always looking to. During COVID the creative relief fund certainly supported countless I think emerging artists for 119 projects have come out of that.
3132 I can -- you know, our short documentaries, our digital originals on Gem, which have won numerous awards. You know, I can give you multiple examples if you would like me to give you more, but I can tell you that in every area that we support, emerging artists are at the front and foremost of what we're doing.
3133 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Thank you very much. And what does the corporation consider to be an emerging artist? You have sort of -- I mean, I can stop there. I see Barb or Ms. Williams and Ms. Tait, but we would like to hear from you because there is -- the Commission does have a definition of emerging artists, but in your application you confirm that this is not the one that you use, it's the commercial stations. So, we'd be interested to hear what -- you know, how you define and what you consider to be an emerging Canadian artist.
3134 MS. CATTO: Well, I can start and certainly my colleagues can jump in.
3135 You know, it truly does vary from genre to genre. That is probably why there is a resistance to one definition. You know, for example, in music you could be an artist with a major label but not be very well known, or you could be an artist who, you know, does not have a major label but who has a huge following on YouTube. Which of those are an emerging artist? These are conversations, they are fluid, they are, you know, decided as we move along through ourprocesses.
3136 I would say generally in scripted an emerging artist would certainly be one who is not, you know, show run a series, or had their own project. They might have written in a writing room but they might not have ---
3137 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Sorry, Ms. Catto, just in terms of musical artists.
3138 MS. CATTO: Oh, in musical artists. Okay. I think I gave you the overview there. Thanks.
3139 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Just to come back to the undertaking with regard to reporting, I know this is part of your homework and that you’re going to be looking at a number of things, but as part of that homework can you -- are you already contemplating coming back to us about musical artists and emerging talent on traditional and digital platforms, or can we include that -- have that included, in terms of your keeping the Commission apprised of the support for Canadian emerging talent?
3140 And we think back to, again, the 2013 licence renewal where, for a time, the Corporation was reporting to the Commission about musical selections. At that time, there had been a commitment to broadcasting a certain amount of emerging artists. So I’m just wondering if you could turn your minds to this or have it included in your holistic view of what you will be coming back to us about in terms of supporting Canadian talent.
3141 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: And just so that I understand, are you asking us for a definition, or how we would -- I guess the two go hand in hand because you have to agree on what it is that you -- maybe I should ask you, Commissioner Lafontaine, what specifically, in terms of an undertaking, are you requesting of us vis-à-vis emerging artists?
3142 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: I’m asking in terms of what you can come back to the Commission with on an annual basis. So as part of the undertaking, that you turn your minds to what it is that you could come back to us yearly about, in terms of supporting Canadian musical talenton your audio platforms, both traditional and digital. Whether that be musical selection or artists, we put it to you to have that part ofyour assessment.
3143 UNDERTAKING / ENGAGEMENT
3144 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: Okay, now how you explained it, it much clearer of supporting Canadian talent, so I understand that. Thank you.
3145 MS. TAIT: And just to be clear, we’re talking about audio here.
3146 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Audio, not -- yes, I’m talking to you about audio. Musical talent.
3147 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: You’re talking about music, okay.
3148 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Yeah, great. Okay.
3149 I have one section left which is the children’s and youth proposal that you have, but just as we were completing the emerging artists section, I noted that I omitted to talk to you about your proposal on programs of national interest with regards to drama and documentaries on the English language television network, and I would be remiss if I did not speak to you about that.
3150 So I’d like to come back to that before we speak about the children’s and youth. And why it is that CBC Television, or why the Corporation is proposing to remove the commitment or the obligation to broadcast the two hours of drama or docs weekly as part of the PNI obligation?
3151 You’ve spoken, again, a fair bit about the importance of scripted content, non-scripted content, the commitment to the creation of original programming. And so we’d be interested to hear from you because there were, again, a number of stakeholders who had raised this concern about why it is that you’re asking to have that obligation removed from the licence. Is it because -- is it a programming strategy? Isit that there’s not much left after -- if you take out drama and docs and your PNI on the English channel, on the English network there's not much left, other than the awards shows?
3152 So I’ll just leave it to you to speak to the point about why it is that you’re proposing to remove that obligation.
3153 MS. TAIT: Sorry; I don’t even know ---
3154 MS. WILLIAMS: If somebody could help me, I don’t understand ---
3155 MS. TAIT: I don’t even know ---
3156 MS. WILLIAMS: --- the question.
3157 MS. TAIT: I don’t either.
3158 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Okay.
3159 MS. TAIT: What obligation are we talking about.
3160 MS. WILLIAMS: Yeah. PNI is its own definition and we haven’t -- other than the bridge and the allocation of hours across the platforms, I’m not sure we’ve changed what’s included in PNI.
3161 MS. CHATTO: So if I might just explain what it is that we ---
3162 MS. TAIT: Tina is waving her hand. Tina, go.
3163 MS. TATTO: Yes, hi. Thank you.
3164 The reason why we proposed to remove that condition of licence is because we’ve exponentially exceeded those limits every single year so it was unnecessary, because we really, truly focus on documentaries and dramas, but we didn’t need to be locked into those hours because we’ve exceeded them.
3165 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: So there’s no plan to move away from drama? I see Ms. Williams ---
3166 MS. WILLIAMS: Absolutely not. No, there’s no interest in moving away from scripted content, drama or comedy. In fact, Sally’s got a great slate, one of which is about to launch this week, we’re very excited about. So, no, there’s no inclination to be moving away from that at all.
3167 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Right. And so-- and to Ms. Tatto’s point; you’re asking for this obligation to be removed because you’re exceeding it. It’s not -- is it a problematic obligation if it were to be maintained?
3168 MS. TATTO: No, no. It was just unnecessary.
3169 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Great, thank you.
3170 MS. TATTO: You’re welcome.
3171 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Okay.
3172 All right. This is my last section.
3173 The children’s and youth programming, I guess this is the third bridge inyour multiplatform, cross-platform proposal. And I guess I’d like you to start -- I mean, you can speak to the proposal generally but the key issue that hasbeen raised by stakeholders is the shift away or the potential shift away from the original hours for children and the hours for youth, the expectation for youth programming.
3174 When I look at the -- when I do the math, in terms of the condition of licence and the expectation, it does actually look like a reduced overall commitment to children’s and youth. So it would be helpful if you could speak to this point about the concerns that have been raised in terms of the overall proposal for children and youth and your commitment to children and youth, and particularly in light of the strategic plan and all of the things that you’ve been saying about wanting to be serving all Canadians of all ages. So I’ll turn it over to you.
3175 MS. TAIT: Okay, thank you, Commissioner and I’ll ask Michel to begin.
3176 But just to reiterate; connecting with young Canadians and engaging in a life long relationship with them is, as you mentioned, a key pillar of our strategic plan.
3177 So maybe, Michel, you can start and then Barb, talk -- address the Commissioner’s question.
3178 M. BISSONNETTE : Oui. Merci Catherine, merci Madame la conseillère. Comme j’ai pu le dire dans mon mot d’ouverture, on avait fait, depuis maintenant deux ans, une priorité de la jeunesse et il y a quarante titres qui se sont ajoutés, dont dix qui sont des productions originales. Et notre souhait ce n’est pas d’en faire moins, c’est d’en faire plus, mais encore une fois, avec une flexibilité pour pouvoir rejoindre les jeunes sur les plateformes là où ils sont et c’est pour ça qu’on demande une diminution de notre nombre d’heures de diffusion à la télévision, mais une augmentation de notre nombre d’heures de production. Et j’inviterais Madame Menoul à pouvoir venir préciser notre demande.
3179 Mme MENOUL: Merci Michel.
3180 Madame la conseillère, je sais qu’on dit qu’on demande une diminution à la télévision, mais ce n’est pas de la façon que nous, à l’interne, on le voit. On voit qu’en fin de compte, on a une augmentation parce qu’on passe de 100 heures à 110 heures, avec une flexibilité de 10 heures exclusivement à la télé, exclusivement, pardonnez-moi sur la plateforme ou encore sur les deux. Et à ce jour, ce qu’on a vu, c’est que ça se passe beaucoup sur les deux, mais un terme de licence étant un terme de cinq ans, il se pourrait qu’un moment donné, il y en ait qui seraient exclusivement sur une plateforme.
3181 Donc, c’est plus une flexibilité, mais en termes de ce qu’on compte faire, c’est d’accroître nos heures et pas de diminuer.
3182 MS. WILLIAMS: And if you want us to just leap in here, I'll just hand over to Sally. Thank you.
3183 MS. CATTO: Thanks, Barb. We do not view our proposal as a reduction in commitment to children's content. It is a key pillar of our strategy and vital for us to get those earliest viewers and carry them through. So, we are proposing to maintain our conditions of license of 15 hours a week.
3184 I think what you might be referring to is the change of 40 hours a week on linear as opposed to 52, and the increase actually to 80 hours in total, but shared between both platforms.
3185 And just to give you a little background on that, our linear strategy is really a preschool strategy that has been borne over learnings, over time. We know that children, as they age, are increasingly gravitating to digital platforms. We have seen issues with that on our own linear platform. We know that preschoolers are still watching linear. Their parents are there, they're guiding them. But once they get those iPads in their hands, they are really off and running. And so we really feel that in order to keep and grow school age, tween, youth audiences, we need to be on digital.
3186 Just to give you just one example, we have a lovely tween series Find Me in Paris. Now, Find Me in Paris, we did air it on linear on a Sunday when we would traditionally air family programming. It ranked lowest in its time slot. We aired Find Me in Paris on Gem and it was the top rated family or youth series when it launched and stayed in the top 15 for quite a while, confirming to us that there is an audience for this content, but they are not finding it on linear. So, this really is about flexibility for us.
3187 It is also allowing us to be more targeted to youth. In the past we have, I think as you know, taken more of a family strategy approach, which encompasses and includes our youth. So a series like Heartland we see as content that youth will enjoy, but it is also family programming. Whereas, on Gem, we've been able to offer series such as Endlings, which we co-commissioned, and numerous other series that are really targeted more to directly to youth. And that's where we think they are, and that's why we really want that flexibility, so we can be where the audiences are.
3188 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Thank you. Well, I guess what I was referring to in terms of reduction, and I appreciate that in terms of the -- your overall proposal it includes an expectation and then the expectation component across platform proposal is an increased on enhanced number. But from a legal perspective and the legal obligation on the corporation, there is a drop in terms of the obligation by condition of license and that it works out to about I guess 160 some odd hours throughout the license term of original programming that will not be on the linear channel that would be on the -- that could potentially, not necessarily. I take your point, Ms. Tait, could potentially be.
3189 And so we then think of Canadians -- Canadian children who, as you say, they do watch TV, the younger ones, but I guess not all children will have access to this content because not all children have access to the internet or computers. And so what of them? Will this content that will appear on the online platforms -- and you've talked about this, but I'd like to hear it in a context of children's programming, will it make its way for the children who don't have access to the internet to experience and enjoy this original programming, and how will that play out? Would it be down the road? Anyway, I'll turn it over to you to speak to this point.
3190 MS. CATTO: Sure. I can appreciate that concern. I can say that our commitment to, you know, our preschool programming on linear remains strong and unwavering. And, of course, we will have content on linear for school-age children. There will be programs that will be available on both. But I am saying that there will be an increase in school-age content, and tween content, and some content that would not be available on linear. Just there is not that room on the schedule with the balance of content that we are -- that we're scheduling.
3191 So, really, we see it as kind of an additional opportunity and a place where we think increasingly audiences are going, and we're concerned that if we're not there, we're not going to get them. And, you know, we do serve them in a number of other ways. It doesn't exactly, you know, answer your question about linear, but whether it's through -- we're very successful with our children's games, and our Kid's CBC News. There's just many different ways that we are servicing our children and beyond even just the straight linear and straight Gem programs.
3192 Mme TAIT: Je ne sais pas si Dany, tu aimerais ajouter quelque chose?
3193 Mme MELOUL: Ce que j’aimerais ajouter, c’est qu’en termes des 15 heures, pour rassurer le Conseil, j’aimerais que vous sachiez que pour les 15 heures, on reste avec la programmation jeunesse de, donc, 0 à 12 ans. Alors ça, ça va être à la télévision et ça ne change pas, ce n’était pas nos intentions de changer.
3194 Nous, chez Radio-Canada, on continue à faire des expérimentations et pour le moment, ça a été très évocateur. On a des séries pour les jeunes adolescents que nous avons mis à l’antenne, qu’elles soient en heure de grande écoute ou bien juste avant, pardonnez-moi l’expression, le access prime time et ça a très bien fonctionné. L’effet secondaire, c’est une série qui quand elle a été en ondes, était la série numéro 1 dans tout le marché de langue française pour ce groupe d’âge à la télévision.
3195 Alors pour nous, pour le moment, la télévision, c’est un engin de découvrabilité, mais aussi pour après, l’offrir sur la plateforme, pour ceux qui veulent aller le chercher, soit en rattrapage ou sur un flot direct, au moment où on est en ondes. Notre intention, pour le moment, demeure d’avoir autant d’heures à la télévision avec aussi une utilisation de la plateforme, mais ne pas enlever de la télévision.
3196 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Merci. I'd also just like to quickly confirm that the platforms that we're talking about, in terms of cross-platform in the case of the children's programming are Gem and ICI TOU.TV?
3197 MS. TAIT: Yes.
3198 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: And in terms of the ICI TOU.TV, the children's programming, the original children's programming, that would be flex or could potentially be flexed, would it be on the free portion of the platform or behind the ---
3199 Mme MELOUL: Sur la plateforme gratuite.
3200 COMMISSIONER LaFONTAINE: Okay. Merci. Can you also please confirm that the incremental nature of the programming would be treated in the same way that the PNI programming would be, it would all be unique, original ---
3201 MS. TAIT: No ---
3202 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: --- in other words, there would be no double counting with the ---
3203 MS. TAIT: No double ---
3204 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: --- with the children as well?
3205 MS. TAIT: No double counting.
3206 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: I have a question for you about the children and youth, the expectation of five hours per week and your proposal to remove that, or to have that expectation removed.
3207 Doesn't that ultimately result in a reduction of the children's programming in your schedule, or is it the -- it shows up in the family programming?
3208 I see Ms. Catto, so I'll let you....
3209 MS. TAIT: Go ahead, go ahead, Sally. Oh, on mute.
3210 MS. CATTO: Sorry. That's exactly right. It shows up and will continue to show up in our family programming. That's how we perceive it and we don't intend to change that.
3211 So for us, really it is an additional opportunity to target more specifically certain demographics, but we do not intend to change the content that we have now that we feel is very appealing to our youth on linear.
3212 MS. MELOUL: Même chose de notre côté. D’ailleurs, nous avons deux séries qui vont être présentées au cours des prochains mois dans ce groupe d’âge.
3213 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Merci, beaucoup.
3214 Mr. Chairman, I have just a handful of questions. Shall I -- we take them tomorrow, keep them until tomorrow?
3215 THE CHAIRPERSON: I think so. We did indicate that we'd finish at five today. I know the lawyers have a short summary of undertakings, and I'd suggest we just finish off in the morning, because I expect that our colleagues may have one or two follow up questions as well.
3216 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you.
3217 THE CHAIRPERSON: So can I turn it over to counsel just to provide us with a summary of the undertakings for today? And has been the case in the last two days, we will provide you with an email summary as well in advance of the transcripts.
3218 Mr. Wilson, could you provide us with those -- with that list?
3219 MR. WILSON: Certainly, and I'm just going to start with just sort of me confirming the scope of the measurement framework we were talking about, just simply because I think at least in one case one of the (indiscernible)---
3220 MS. TAIT: Excuse me, Mr. Wilson. Oh, excuse me.
3221 MR. WILSON: Yes.
3222 MS. TAIT: Can you bring your mic ---
3223 MR. WILSON: Yes.
3224 MS. TAIT: --- closer to your -- between your nose and your mouth?
3225 MR. WILSON: Yes.
3226 MS. TAIT: There you go.
3227 MR. WILSON: Can people hear me? Okay.
3228 Okay, so with respect to the measurement framework undertaking, just because I think it sort of morphed in a few cases. Just to confirm that what we're talking about here is your undertaking to get back to us on a measurement framework for defining and reporting success, both to the Commission and to the Canadian public, and that will sort of encompass all types of programming across both traditional and online platforms, just to confirm that scope.
3229 Secondly, your views on annual reporting on support for Canadian musical talent across all audio platforms.
3230 Thirdly, to file the most recent mission metric survey.
3231 Fourthly, to provide programming costs by year for local programming as allocated between traditional services and digital services over the last licence term.
3232 Provide your views on the most appropriate way to calculate across platform CPE requirement if the Commission were to impose one coming out of this proceeding.
3233 Your views on the possibility of standardizing the language on calculating CPE that's used in the conditions of licence for the EC Explora, ECR TV, and the Documentary Channel.
3234 And then finally, to file a chart with the updated CPE data for EC Explora, ECR TV, and the Documentary Channel covering the last three years.
3235 And I believe Commissioner Lafontaine had asked for that last item, if you could potentially file that earlier than the 3rd of February, which is the date that we've established for your other undertakings.
3236 And -- yes?
3237 MS. TAIT: Just one thing on the one about the music.
3238 MR. WILSON: Yeah.
3239 MS. TAIT: I believe the words were emerging talent and you've gone to all talent.
3240 MR. WILSON: Ah, yes. I believe you are correct; yes. My mistake.
3241 So I don't know if you have a sense of with respect to that last item what date you might be able to give it to us. The other items that I've mentioned will go on the February 3rd date that we've previously discussed.
3242 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: May I ask you to repeat the last one, please?
3243 MR. WILSON: Sure. That was the filing a chart that would have the updated CPE data for EC Explora, ECR TV, and the Documentary Channel that had been discussed. I think there was some indication in the discussion that there was more recent data than what had been put forward in the questions.
3244 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: And how many years would you like it? Just to clarify.
3245 MR. WILSON: I think the discussion around the questioning was just sort of going back three years.
3246 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: Okay, so 2020, the broadcast year ending August 31st ---
3247 MR. WILSON: Right.
3248 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: --- 2020, 2019 ---
3249 MR. WILSON: Right.
3250 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: --- and 2018?
3251 MR. WILSON: Right. Correct.
3252 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: I would just add on that point that it's -- just to go back to what we don't have. So I think we may have ---
3253 MS. TAIT: That's what I was going to say. You wanted it updated.
3254 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Yes, exactly. Yeah.
3255 MS. TAIT: Because you already have the last three years.
3256 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Exactly. Yeah.
3257 MS. TAIT: What the Commissioner was looking for was an update because they're trying to determine what the threshold might be.
3258 MS. KIRSHENBLATT: And updated three year average. That's ---
3259 THE CHAIRPERSON: If I can make -- pardon me. If I can make a suggestion. Perhaps you can come back in the morning and indicate what years are available in the form of an update and how quickly you could provide them, and then we can amend the undertaking or add that specificity to the undertaking.
3260 Does that work, Counsel?
3261 MR. WILSON: Yeah, that's fine, Mr. Chairman.
3262 THE CHAIRPERSON: Does that complete the list?
3263 MR. WILSON: That completes the list.
3264 THE CHAIRPERSON: And Madam Secretary?
3265 THE SECRETARY: We are done for the day, and tomorrow morning we will be convened at 9:00 a.m.
3266 THE CHAIRPERSON: Eastern time. Thank you. Thank you, everyone. Have a good evening.
3267 MS. TAIT: Thank you.
3268 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
--- Upon adjourning at 5:09 p.m./
L'audience est close à 17h09
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