Transcript, Hearing 29 June 2023
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Date: 29 June 2023
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Attendees and Location
140 Promenade du Portage
- Chairperson: Adam Scott, Hearing Chairperson
Claire Anderson, Commissioner, British Columbia and Yukon
Ellen Desmond, Commissioner, Atlantic Region and Nunavut
- Legal Counsel: Moïra Létourneau
- Secretaries: Jade Roy
- Hearing Manager: Manon Auger
Table of Contents
1032 Piita Irniq
1051 Taqqut Productions
1209 Dr. Frank Tester
1280 Inuit TV Network
1389 Nunavut Independent Television Network
29 June 2023
Opening of Hearing at 9:23 a.m.
--- Upon commencing on Thursday, June 29, 2023 at 9:23 a.m.
1026 THE SECRETARY: Good morning. I'm just going to wait for the music to fade out.
1027 Good morning, everyone. We will start by advising that at 10:30 a.m. a test for the security system will be made through the audio system here in the building, which will last about four minutes. When it starts we will wait for the announcement to be over and we will then continue, but you do not need to run out.
1028 We will now begin Phase II of the hearing, during which the interveners will present their interventions in the order indicated in the agenda.
1029 For the record, at this time we know and we have been advised that the intervener Ningiukulu Teevee on the agenda will not be appearing at the hearing.
1030 Also, just for the record, we are trying to reach the Mayor of Hamlet of Grise Fiord and we will probably be trying until Phase II is over if they can connect at a later time, but at this time the Mayor is not connected.
1031 So we will begin with the intervention from Piita Irniq. Piita Irniq could not join us today but sent us a video of his presentation, which we will now play for you.
1032“INTERVIEWER: For this, we have TV available in Inuktitut, called Uvagut qitigvinga-gut. Do you think it is important that people be able to view it on TV?
1033MR. IRNIQ: Yes. Oh, the ones who make videos? Yes. This is very important for me and to the whole Inuit. I usually talk to Inuit and they say that this is very important. That’s what I heard from people that I talk to. I usually talk to a lot of people from Nunavut. There are many people I talk to. They say that Uvagut is making videos and they are very pleased and like the videos you make and they were very glad that you make them available on video and also that they are talking in Inuktitut. They say that that is really like it. I also have seen the video regarding "Qianguaq and Piujunguaq" and also young girls. I really like it. They are talking in Inuktitut and using wording very well, that’s why I like it very much.
1034Moreover when I see the land, I am able to recognize the land. It makes more attraction just to see the land. It makes you feel comforting and makes you feel healing within you. Yes, it is very much -- I like your making video available. It is comforting in your heart and I am touched by this. Thank you for that. Thank you.
1035INTERVIEWER: Thank you as well.
1036If you want to say regards or say goodbye, you have a chance.
1037MR. IRNIQ: Yes. I am glad, even though we live in Ottawa, far away from Nunavut, Our Nunavut, we cannot forget our land, it is most beautiful land, including the people in Nunavut we will never forget. Of course I remember people I grew up with and our people and my own family. There are many of them in Nunavut (up there). Also, the animals like Tuktus and sea mammals like seals, and animals like walrus, all of the animals, including bowhead whales. When you see them anywhere, you feel in your heart and in your mind it is comforting. I often thought just to be on the land is to make you comforting. This land and sea and sea mammals, all the animals and birds that we see, including our country food is one of the best foods, also makes you live better and comforting. That's why I like it when I see and watch on the video.
1038I also think, like friendship we have, we always live to treat each other and our people with respect and help each other from history. We cannot even say when that started. This is from our ancestors way back helping one another through loving each other, respecting one another and helping each other, to your neighbour, to help each other for anything, for food or for anything, like for clothing, for dogs. We were able to help one another for anything to survive with one another. This is even -- nowadays we have to remember to help each other, it is the best thing, and be kind to one another. If we keep our custom, we will have a good future forever.
1039INTERVIEWER: Is that it?
1040I almost forget to ask you: Do you think our people still have shamanism?
1041MR. IRNIQ: Yes, indeed there are some actively practising not only among our people for sure, also in other races. Like, we originally came from Mongolians, we don't know the exact time, but the Mongolians, they believe in shamanism, it's part of their religion. They have made a book. I have seen their book, history book, thick one, when I visit. Mongolian people, they are like us, almost exactly like us. They believe in shamanism. It is part of their history like other religions, Roman Catholic, Anglican Church and other denominations. Like, we can say this is our national religion. The Mongolians still believe this and practise, also some different races. I know there are shamans up there today for sure practising. Thank you.
1042INTERVIEWER: Thank you.”
1043 THE SECRETARY: Thank you. So that was the intervention from Piita Irniq.
1044 We will now continue with the next two participants, that are part of a panel, which is Taqqut Productions and Artcirq, who will both appear remotely via Zoom. We will hear each presentation, which will then be followed by questions by the Panel to all participants.
1045 We will begin with the presentation by Taqqut.
1046 Louise, can you hear me?
1047 MS. FLAHERTY: Yes, I can. Can you hear me?
1048 THE SECRETARY: We can hear you. We will just put you on the screen so we can see you.
1049 MS. FLAHERTY: Okay.
1050 THE SECRETARY: Perfect, we can see you, we can hear you. You may begin your presentation. Thank you very much.
1051 MS. FLAHERTY: Thank you for giving me the opportunity.
1052 I am from Clyde River, but I have lived in Iqaluit for many years, for 30 years, and I also work in this community.
1053 I am an educator with a vested interest in language retention, Inuktitut-language retention especially. I am an author, publisher, filmmaker and a business owner.
1054 I have asked to speak here today on behalf of my company, Taqqut Productions.
1055 Taqqut is a film and animation company we started in 2012. It has been 11 years. Our head office is located in Iqaluit, with another office in Toronto, Ontario.
1056 I have fought for my language and culture all my life and I am here today to support these two Nunavut broadcasters' applications to CRTC.
1057 I never intended to become a publisher or a film producer. I am a trained educator and I worked in Nunavut schools for many years. After that, I worked at Nunavut Teacher Education Program training the next generation of Inuit teachers.
1058 I have spent a few years as Nunavut's Deputy Minister of Language and Culture, and after that I was briefly the Deputy Minister of Education.
1059 In my role as an educator I saw firsthand how quickly Inuit children were losing their language and culture. Me and other Inuit educators tried our best to teach our language to our children, but southern media is very hard to compete with. And now you will find Inuit children entering kindergarten speaking English. This is a fairly recent development and is heartbreaking for me to see.
1060 This is why in 2003 I asked a colleague of mine, Neil Christopher, at the Teacher Education Program, to work with me to start creating books in Inuktitut for Nunavut children. Together with a group of community members, we created a not-for-profit society and began to seek funding.
1061 After a few years of working on successful not-for-profit projects, we decided it was time to create a commercial publishing company that produces books in the Inuit-language from an Arctic perspective, so with Inuit content.
1062 In 2006, we created Inhabit Media Inc. This publishing company was the first Inuit-owned publishing company in Canada and the first independent publishing company in the Canadian Arctic.
1063 Now, Inhabit Media has published more than 400 titles in Inuktitut, Inuinnaqtun, English and French. As well, we have worked with other Inuit regions to adapt our books to other Inuit-language dialects in Kalaallisut, Nunavik, Nunatsiavut and the Northwest Territories. We pay our authors royalties twice a year and work with our authors to secure foreign rights deals and other revenue opportunities. Now Inuit children and youth can see their culture and language in their storybooks, magazines, young adult novels, graphic novels and non-fiction books.
1064 In 2010, we began discussing what we could do to reduce the impact of southern television on Inuit children and this was -- I believe at that time my first grandchild was born and I became concerned about how much English our Inuit children were being exposed to.
1065 After reading about the benefits of educational preschool programs, we realized that we needed to provide children's television programming in Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun. So in 2012, we incorporated Taqqut Productions and began building an awesome team of Inuit and non-Inuit to help us create an Inuktitut children's show.
1066 In the beginning we focused on short films to develop our skills and gain experience. Many of these early productions travelled the world and received numerous awards, including awards at Annecy Animation Festival, at the Toronto International Film Festival, ImagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, as well as two Canadian Screen Awards. We were even shortlisted for an Oscar, which was amazing.
1067 In 2018 we began production on our first Inuktitut preschool television series. It was called "Anaana's Tent". This show was produced in Inuktitut and English. "Anaana's Tent" was Nunavut's own version of "Sesame Street". We produced three seasons of "Anaana's Tent" with the help of NITV and APTN. This program has been seen throughout Nunavut and is often used in Nunavut schools to support Inuktitut language education.
1068 "Anaana's Tent" received numerous accolades and a few awards. However, it was the supportive comments from Nunavut parents, grandparents and Inuit teachers that meant the most to me. I still get the positive comments when I see people from the communities.
1069 With the help of NITV, the Canadian Media Fund, Nunavut Film and Federal Tax Credits, we had created what I always dreamed of and I always will be grateful for that support.
1070 On a personal note, it is a special source of pride when I see that my grandchildren are watching "Anaana's Tent" or another one of our programs in Inuktitut. Also, my nephews and nieces that are numerous are exposed to those shows in their communities, which is just amazing.
1071 Since the first season of "Anaana's Tent", we have worked with NITV to develop and produce many children's programs, documentaries and youth shows. Almost all these shows are in Inuktitut and all of them are created for a Nunavut audience.
1072 Our accountant did a quick tally of the shows we have developed and/or produced with NITV and the various budgets add up to more than $15 million. That is very, very amazing. I have attached a summary of these productions for those interested. So I will be able to send those costings if they are needed.
1073 Taqqut Productions has spent the last decade working to develop high-quality productions for Nunavut children. We have gained a lot of experience and we are ready to do more Inuit-language productions to support our territory.
1074 An important thing I want to stress to the committee members is that Nunavut is in a time of language crisis. Our language and culture is eroding very quickly. English television, films, internet, apps, social media is a powerful force in the North. Increasing the funding available to create cultural-relevant media in our language would be a tremendous support.
1075 It is my sincere hope that Canada will support these broadcasters' proposals and begin to fulfill the promise of reconciliation and work towards achieving some of the Calls for Action.
1076 Allowing Inuit communities to create and broadcast Inuit-language productions will go a long way to protect our language and culture.
1077 I also wanted to stress again that although I have worked mostly with NITV up until now, I am also very supportive of Inuit TV. I have met and worked with them recently and I have been impressed with their vision and commitment to our language and culture.
1078 Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak.
1079 THE SECRETARY: Thank you very much.
1080 We will now hear the presentation of Artcirq.
1081 Guillaume and Jimmy, can you hear me?
1082 MR. SALADIN: Yes.
1083 THE SECRETARY: Perfect. You can turn on your video.
1084 MR. QAMUKAQ: Yes.
1085 THE SECRETARY: Perfect. We will just turn on your video.
1086 MR. SALADIN: I'm trying. It doesn't want to start.
1087 THE SECRETARY: No, it's okay. We will do it from here. Perfect. Perfect, we see you. So you may begin your presentation. Thank you.
1088 MR. SALADIN: Okay. My name is Guillaume Ittukssarjuat Saladin. I live in Igloolik. I am also living in the South.
1089 First of all, I would like to apologize that I am not quite fluent yet in Inuktitut. I am very pleased to be presenting this morning remotely. I am here to support Uvagut TV and I am still learning to speak Inuktitut.
1090 Artcirq, our Inuit circus company was born in 1998, one year before Nunavut. It was born because of the help of NITV Isuma Productions in Igloolik, because at that time no one believed in what we were trying to do, which was create Inuit circus with young people, with Inuit games, traditional games, and you combine that with modern southern circus skills.
1091 Today we are like 25 years later, we have a very strong team in Igloolik. We have a Black Box, which is our training space, where we teach young people almost every day about Inuit games, drum dancing, throat singing, acrobatics, music. All that is happening today because of some video makers believing in us 25 years ago.
1093 MR. QAMUKAQ: Thank you for welcoming us to the Commissioners. My name is Jimmy Qamukaq. I was raised in Igloolik as well as Hall Beach -- Sanirajak -- but I currently live in Igloolik.
1094 I am involved with Artcirq since 2004 and ever since then I have been part of the Artcirq circus club. And ever since I joined Artcirq, our language, our traditions, our traditional practices and especially our language are elements in my culture that I am still learning about. And when I joined Artcirq, I became more familiar with my culture, my traditions, my language and I am very pleased to be a part of this Artcirq club which has really offered all sorts of support.
1095 And yes, I have been involved with Artcirq since 2004 and I have climbed to be a part of the management team. I am part of the management team of Artcirq.
1096 MR. SALADIN: Jimmy is now in Iqaluit performing I think tonight or tomorrow for Alianait Festival.
1097 I just wanted to complete. Please, you can start the video now.
1098 --- Video presentation
1099 MR. SALADIN: Thank you.
1100 Artcirq was born 25 years ago when there was no cultural industry in the North. All the efforts we put on NITV and other key actors worked 25 years ago made Nunavut artists seen today. It's making artists shining now. People are more and more collaborating and being recognized through festivals in Nunavut and all around the world. We have been travelling almost everywhere in the last 15, 20 years, and I can see the difference. We helped shape today's reality.
1101 Now we have to think ahead. How can we even go further? And I think it's all about collaboration -- collaboration with the key people, the one that we already know we can trust and we have succeeded with. With NITV, we have a very long history of collaboration. We participate in their touring, screening videos around Nunavut. We did some shows in Timbuktu, in Mali, and then at the end screened Atanarjuat or other movies.
1102 We just finished a big major production called Unikkaaqtuat about the founding myth of Inuit, and we made a documentary about that, a four-part documentary. This will be screened on Uvagut TV. And this way, anyone who didn't see the show live will be able to see it from their home all around the North and even down south for people who are not familiar with Inuit culture.
1103 Hopefully, many, many more projects, video projects will keep happening. So what I see is NITV, Uvagut TV is one more time they're setting the standard for our cultural industry. They have the team, they have the skills, and they have key collaborators in many other communities, big and small ones.
1104 I really believe that NITV can give chances like they gave to us 25 years ago to other young Inuit of today that are full of dreams with no means. NITV, they have the possibility to impact the future in an even stronger way, because TV is in every houses. It means more Inuit content, more meaningful content will be seen for the better for all.
1105 MR. SALADIN (interpreted): I support NITV. Jim?
1106 MR. QAMUKAQ (interpreted): And at this time, here in our community or in our territory, the Uvagut TV production company has very much supported us as we practise our work. And there is always -- sometimes there's a lack of support from the community members, but Uvagut, NITV has been there to support us. And I very much appreciate their support and the work in supporting the work that we do and the stories that we tell about the territory of Nunavut and our land. We are given that opportunity through this production company to foretell.
1107 And for those who are not able to have access to Internet, the productions Uvagut is producing is able to be seen by those who lack technological devices and such. And the work that we do at Artcirq is very much appreciated by the public.
1108 And there's not many of us who are now fluent in Inuktitut. And this is something to be very proud of. The majority of our young people are now speaking English, where a small proportion of us are still very fluent. And that is something to be very proud of. So therefore, Uvagut TV has really helped preserve our language. And this has to be acknowledged and recognized.
1109 And we are now more exposed to the world wide, and our voices, our language, they're still quite striving. And we need to keep that momentum. And because of the support of Uvagut, we have -- we're keeping that momentum in place and to work together. And that is the only way we're going to have a brighter future as Inuit and to collaborate with one another.
1110 MR. SALADIN: Like back in the days, when we were having meetings about how to make projects happening with NITV, we were already talking about how can we represent today's life from an Inuit point of view, a youth point of view from our remote communities, and how can we use the TV in a meaningful way.
1111 Well, every time I would go and visit houses, friends in Igloolik, TV would be on and people who had cable would be on channel 51. It was called like that in Igloolik. And it was people would get the cable, in fact, to have channel 51 aired in their home because that was the only channel in Inuktitut showing their reality. That was a meaningful way to use TV.
1112 I really believe that this is the way for the future. Young people today, for them, maybe it's normal to see NITV or channel 51 in Igloolik. But that had to be dreamed 20 years ago to make a reality today. Now we're trying to spread even more. I really believe in those initiatives.
1113 I'm very proud to be part of Artcirq, to be working with Jimmy for over 20 years to trust each other, to sweat together, to go through hard times and good times. And all that is possible because we have trust. We created it. And that is a collective; it's not just one person's dream. It's all of us chipping in. And that's the nicest dream I can dream of for my life.
1114 So NITV is part of all this. Imagine what can come for other communities. Thanks a lot.
1115 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
1116 Madam Flaherty, if you can just open your video and your mic, we may have questions for you. So everybody can stay on the video.
1117 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
1118 I'd like to thank all of our intervenors this morning. And I know that Piita Irniq is not available for questioning, but I would like nonetheless to say that we very much appreciate his participation. Anyone who's willing to share their time to appear in a public process like this is making a valuable contribution, and while we can't ask him questions, he has nonetheless contributed.
1119 And thank you for the three of you who are on screen and available for questions. I appreciate your engagement as well, and thank you for sharing your time with us.
1120 So I think we'll turn first to Commission Desmond to open up questions. Thank you.
1121 COMMISSIONER DESMOND: Good morning and thank you so much for your presentation here today. I can't tell you how impressed I am with the work that all of you have done to preserve your culture. It's just -- it's amazing. And I'm very, very impressed with how long you've been working at this and the difference that you're making.
1122 We're in a difficult spot as Commissioners. We've got two excellent applications before us, both of whom want to have -- they've asked that the Commission order that they have mandatory distribution across Canada. And both applications have merits. They're very strong files. And we have to weigh the pros and cons of their filing.
1123 So I would be interested in knowing if you can comment on whether you've had a relationship with both NITV and Inuit TV, if you had an experience, maybe, to work with both of them. I know our first intervenor did comment that you've had an excellent relationship with both parties.
1124 I wasn't clear if, Artcirq, if you've had a chance to work with Inuit TV. I know you spoke positively of your experience with NITV, but I am wondering if you've had an opportunity to work with Inuit TV.
1125 MR. SALADIN: You want us to answer, Artcirq?
1126 COMMISSIONER DESMOND: Please.
1127 MR. SALADIN: No, we are located in Igloolik, so small community, about 1,000 kilometres from Iqaluit. So we never really had the opportunity to collaborate with Inuit TV.
1128 But many artists that are part of the Nunavut cultural life now live in Iqaluit, and we collaborated with them through video projects, music shows, circus performances. But our main collaborator always had been NITV because we are in the same community.
1129 COMMISSIONER DESMOND: Ms. Flaherty, I think you commented that you supported both applicants, that you see the merits in both files that are before the Commission. I don't know if you could add anything further to that or your relationship with both parties.
1130 MS. FLAHERTY: We have not done shows yet with Inuit TV, but we have -- majority of the work we've been doing is with NITV.
1131 COMMISSIONER DESMOND: Okay, thank you.
1132 Recognizing that neither of you have had a chance yet, then, to work with Inuit TV, I'm wondering if you could comment on the programming that's offered by NITV, if you've had a chance to explore what other programming they offer and what you might see as the strengths of the programming that they offer.
1133 MS. FLAHERTY: Guillaume, can I answer first?
1134 COMMISSIONER DESMOND: Sure.
1135 MS. FLAHERTY: Majority of our shows, the shows that we've been working on have been towards children from preschool to elementary level. And I think as Inuit film production, people that are involved in productions in the Arctic, we all have different genres that we work with.
1136 And because I was an educator at the elementary level and I believe in targeting early children, ECE to elementary, because they are so teachable. They learn very fast. And that's where my interest has been.
1137 And I know that each film production company has targeted different audiences. But we cannot just focus on the ECE to elementary. We need adult productions, young adult productions. So I think a lot of the film that each production company works on is vital to retaining our language and culture.
1138 I know that it's very hard to compete with the media that's available to everyone in the world, in the global world. And we've always -- I grew up where my culture and language was not represented through these media. But now that we have a chance, I think we need more Inuit broadcasters. And I am in support of both broadcasters that are working in Nunavut because we have different targeted audiences. And although we may be a small number in Nunavut, as Inuit, it is more vital that we make sure that our language and culture are represented and retained through the work that these wonderful film production companies work on. Thank you.
1139 COMMISSIONER DESMOND: Thank you.
1140 I'm wondering if either of you have worked with other companies. And you might be able to kind of compare your experience that you had with NITV versus maybe another company. Are you able to speak to the strengths of them as broadcasters? So either of you could answer that, I guess.
1141 MR. SALADIN: Me, from my experience, I worked with many filmmaking companies, but always the southern companies, you know. And every time they're trying to represent the North, it's always wrong or full of mistakes. So I kind of stopped doing collaboration with southern filmmaking companies about the North because they don't know. And I'm trying always to link Isuma or NITV in the loop, because the best people to represent Inuit reality is Inuit.
1142 I know that in Arviat they have a filmmaking society for many years now. We collaborated with them. They are collaborating with IsumaTV. They are putting seeds in their community for young filmmakers to grow up and then one day create content.
1143 I also know that NITV, through this application, is trying to give back like 80 per cent of their profit back into content for the communities. And I think this is the way. I think it's the way for a better today and tomorrow, because we're giving young people possibilities, not just a southern point of view, but the microphone. I really, really believe that's the key, that's the way to do.
1144 MS. FLAHERTY: Can I just add on, we have worked with APTN on -- more than once with APTN. But because it's targeting all the Indigenous people in Canada, Inuktitut is not supported enough, I feel. But with the NITV, they are. And I think that's where, like Guillaume, it's great to have broadcasters that are located in Nunavut that are Inuit with the same vested interest, because we ...
1145 I mean, there are so many film companies in the world. And when -- as Guillaume said -- when they're trying to represent Inuit, it's never accurate, whether it's the clothing, whether it's -- I mean, they will have non-Inuit characters speaking in broken Inuktitut or if any, not even speaking Inuktitut at all.
1146 So I cannot stress enough that we have Inuit broadcasters that we work with, because they have the vested interest in making sure that language and culture is represented well.
1147 MR. SALADIN: If I can add, we also collaborated with APTN. Jimmy just performed last week in Winnipeg part of --
1148 MR. QAMUKAQ: Yeah.
1149 MR. SALADIN: -- Aboriginal life, APTN show. It's awesome to have. They were one of the first, APTN, to broadcast on a nation-wide spectrum. But it's -- their home base is in Winnipeg. So it's west point of view represented, First Nation.
1150 And many times we are lost with this word: Aboriginal. It includes everyone's reality. But it's so different, Inuit from Nunavik, Nunavut, from Alaska, First Nations, Métis -- all that should have its own voice to be represented by its own people. So having in Nunavut, in Igloolik, our point of view, I think, is very important.
1151 COMMISSIONER DESMOND: Thank you so much for your time today. And those are my questions. Thank you.
1152 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great. I'm going to use my chair as providence, take my one question before I turn to Commissioner Anderson.
1153 Ms. Flaherty, I heard you loud and clear about the urgency of the language loss issue. So my question is about the capacity within the broadcasting ecosystem. And obviously funding is one of the barriers to producing more content. Are there other barriers that are impeding the ability to produce the content that's necessary to address language learning? And can we do it -- is there promise that we can grow on that side of the industry at the same pace as the risk we're facing on the language loss? It's really a question about kind of scale and ability to build up quickly in particular.
1154 MS. FLAHERTY: What I did not speak to, when I started talking earlier, I did say that I was never a film producer, was never trained as one. But throughout the years that we've been working on short animated films and seeing all the skill sets that are put into creating one 13-minute film takes a lot of people and involvement. So that capacity, skill-building capacity is definitely needed.
1155 So I believe that with the pocket that -- the money that's allocated to film production, I think -- because I still, I think, speak as an educator when I say this -- that there should be a pot for capacity-building in media training workshops available for Inuit and Indigenous people across Canada. Because from my experience in working with film, it has been a lot of learning as we've been working through the ropes.
1156 It takes a lot of people to create that one film. We have behind the scenes people involved in directing and producing, in writing content, voice acting. There are so many authentic people that are involved in one little film.
1157 So yes, it's needed. And I wish there was more pocket where training and providing training could be available allocated into it. But definitely, we need the broadcasters.
1158 And I didn't want to sound like I was not in support of APTN, because I know they have a huge mandate in trying to address all of the Indigenous people across Canada, Canada's needs. But if we can support these smaller broadcasters within territories, within the provinces, then I'm all for it.
1159 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great, thank you very much for that.
1160 Commissioner Anderson?
1161 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Thank you, and thank you very much for your submissions today. I'm really grateful that we had the benefit of hearing your experience living in the North and learning about your contributions to the broadcast industry as a whole.
1162 I’d like to give both of you an opportunity to respond, but maybe beginning with Taqqut Productions -- and apologies if I mispronounce that. But as my Commissioner -- fellow Commissioner, Commissioner Desmond, said, we’ve got two competing applications right now that are both excellent applications. We have to make a determination based on exceptional importance and exceptional contribution to a system and, historically, we have only ever provided that order about mandatory distribution if the services are not duplicative, like if they’re not like each other. And so it puts is in a best of a position where we’ve got to consider both of these excellent applications.
1163 And so yesterday we asked the Applicants what is in the Inuits’ best interest, and I just wanted to read from the transcript yesterday and put forward their suggestions and then maybe ask you what your suggestion is. But Ms. Robinson, behalf of Uvagut, stated that:
1164“Our submission is that the best outcome for the public that we serve is for NITV's application to be successful and, frankly, for it to be the only successful application.”
1165 And then on behalf of Inuit TV, Ms. Arnaquq-Baril -- and I apologize if I mispronounced your name -- but the submission was:
1166“...So my preference would be that we are approved, that Inuit TV’s application is approved with a commitment to merging channels in a way that is satisfactory to both parties.”
1167 So those were two if the propositions that were put forward. I was wondering if you had any views on that.
1168 MS. FLAHERTY: To work together, I think that's how we can get stronger is we have to work together. Everybody has to work together to make things work well.
1169 And I cannot say that I have a preference because I believe -- I mean, we shouldn’t even have to, I feel, fight for one or the other because the more people that are working on initiatives like this should be -- should be supported in Canada. And I cannot say that one takes precedence over the other.
1170 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Thank you very much for that thoughtful response. We really appreciate it.
1171 And I’ll turn the same question over to the other intervenors that are on the Zoom call. And please let me know if you’d like me to reiterate the question or if you’re in a position to provide your views on what’s best for Inuit and the public in general.
1172 MR. ITTUKSSARJUAT SALADIN: For sure, we totally agree with what Louise is saying. Collaboration is the key. Then it’s a question of point of view.
1173 From my perspective, I think Iqaluit is a capital which is a command centre for many decisions in the north and, often, I feel there is a gap of reality with small communities because I’m from Igoolik and Igoolik had been also a named cultural capital of the north.
1174 MR. QAMUKAQ: Nunavut.
1175 MR. ITTUKSSARJUAT SALADIN: Yes, because so much effort has been made to maintain Inuit identity and language strong. And I really believe in this point of view outside the capital, but that’s my personal point of view.
1176 I really appreciate all the artists living in Iqaluit, but I would just see or find it sad if the central point of video-making would be in the capital because I think we have the chance to spread around communities all the collaboration efforts.
1177 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Thank you. Thank you very much.
1178 MR. QAMUKAQ: And as me --
1179 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Yes, please.
1180 MR. QAMUKAQ: I wish that the collaborations will increase and also that hopefully all these organizations and companies will able to give them a hand because I worked with a crew before, not just once, but a few times. They worked very hard and sometimes the equipments or how Nunavut is, you know, sometimes there are equipments not arriving due to, you know, plane cancellation or technical difficulties.
1181 But I really hope that these Applicants are not categorized, but prioritized so that Nunavut can be recognized in a more understandable way, I’d say, because we depend on regions. And each region has their own goals, but in reality, our goal as unity is to be heard, recognized and, you know -- and learn more about each other and all these language barriers and dialect barriers, they can be, you know, understood better through these broadcasters because our region is, you know, they say the clearest dialect in Inuktitut, but for other regions it’s very important that we work together, put aside the differences and hopefully we can create more opportunities for the younger ones for job and for career, you know, and other things.
1182 There’s a lot of things that they help a lot, you know.
1183 MR. ITTUKSSARJUAT SALADIN: Any decisions you will take, us, we will have to find ways to collaborate. No matter if it’s from Igloolik to Iqaluit or from Iqaluit to Igloolik, we have to bridge each other and work as a team. That’s the only way.
1184 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: May I just ask one quick point of clarification that was stated, and it was from your colleague. But it was something about not wanting to be categorized, but prioritized.
1185 Can I just get a little bit of clarification about not wanting to be categorized?
1186 And that was something that Jimmy had stated. And I apologize, Jimmy. I don’t know your last name. I don’t see it on the piece of paper in front of me.
1187 MR. QAMUKAQ: It’s Qamukaq, but it’s okay.
1188 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: I was wondering if you’d be able to just maybe shed some light on not wanting to be categorized.
1189 MR. QAMUKAQ: I think this is -- as for me personally, I think this has been going on for quite a long time, I think even before I learned about all these government and the history.
1190 Why I said categorize is that, you know, we are given time and opportunity in this specific schedule or, you know, season and also, with all these promises and stuff that’s been going on for years, me just hearing about it and through APTN and, you know, it seems that even though we are, you know, being heard and, you know, being promised and that we’re priorities, you know, it’s always -- it seems always to get back to categories, just following A to Z category. And I think that all these can be put aside and, you know, prioritize what’s most important in the heart of this Canada, not just Canada, in Nunavut, Inuvik, you know.
1191 I think what -- this made me feel more comfortable just by saying being categorized. Actually, it’s a better word, prioritized.
1192 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Thank you.
1193 And can I just ask one last question and then that’s it, I promise. But what is your priority?
1194 MR. QAMUKAQ: My priority is to be there as much as I can and help out however I can because these broadcasters will help us a lot more even to our own people with the language because also, ourselves, we are also losing our dialect. But that -- these broadcasters are helping a lot because there are interviews that are long ago and will help us to keep our dialect strong and, you know, united.
1195 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Thank you. Qujannamiiq.
1196 Thank you. Those are all of my questions.
1197 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Commissioners, for your excellent questions, and thank you again to our intervenors, both for the thoughtfulness of your answers and your generosity with your time. I appreciate it very much.
1198 Thank you.
1199 So let’s take a short break while we queue up our next intervenors and figure out what the rest of the schedule will look like for the day.
1200 Thanks very much. We’ll see you soon.
1201 THE SECRETARY: Thank you. We will be back at 10:40.
--- Upon recessing at 10:24 a.m.
--- Upon resuming at 10:45 a.m.
1202 THE SECRETARY: Welcome back. We are now ready to proceed with the intervenor, Dr. Frank Tester.
1203 Mr. Tester, can you hear me well?
1204 DR. TESTER: I can.
1205 THE SECRETARY: Perfect. We will just add your video on the screen.
1206 Perfect. We can see you, we can hear you well. You may begin your presentation.
1207 Thank you.
1208 DR. TESTER: Well, good morning. It's quite early here, but I’m reasonably well awake.
1209 DR. TESTER: In my letter to the CRTC in November, I provided you with a brief summary of my relationship to the creation and development of Nunavut and involvement in a number of events and developments that concern the cultural, environmental and historical importance of Nunavut to the Canadian conscience, so I want to dwell on that to some extent as a kaluna (ph.) that has spent his entire adult life working on many issues in Nunavut Territory with the Inuit, who I greatly respect and appreciate.
1210 So what I have to say today further emphasizes two things, and that is the supreme importance of broadcasting -- and this has already been dealt with to some extent -- broadcasting that brings to Inuit youth, who comprise, by the way, as you probably know, 50 percent of the current Nunavut population, so this is really important in the kind of programming that takes place, and it’s programming that meets a wide range of needs which I see as essential to their well-being and development, and I want to emphasize this, as critical thinkers in a world and cultural context where critical thinking is -- and I’m deliberately overusing the word -- of critical importance to all of us.
1211 And secondly, the long overdue necessity of giving southern Canadians access to cultural, environmental, social and colonial-affected realities that are essential to development, our development, as a nation that claims to be committed to social justice, human rights and a renewed sense of community and country.
1212 The Uvagut TV Application addresses, I would say, in the first order, these two vital needs which are essential to our ongoing developmental history.
1213 My years of experience working with Inuit youth and Elders have taught me something that may seem glaringly obvious but is often difficult to grasp for those of us who have not been on the receiving end of colonial logic. This is a logic and practice that permeates the archival record of our relations with Inuit -- and I’ve put together a collection of about 12 and a half thousand documents dealing with the colonial history of Nunavut. And this is a logic and practice that permeates that record with Inuit since whalers first arrived off the coast of Qikiqtaaluk in the 1830s.
1214 Inuit have been on the receiving end of assimilation offered within the smiling face of a liberal welfare state developed and celebrated by Canadians after World War II and aspirations for social justice, human rights and equity that I would say were informed, in large measure, by our experience with the Depression of the 1930s and the Second World War. But the result has been entirely ironic and contradictory, and Canadians need to get in touch with this.
1215 The Inuit experience with colonialism is therefore unique because it comes, unlike other indigenous peoples in this country and elsewhere, late in our developmental history as a nation, that is, primarily after the Second World War.
1216 And it’s both unique in relationship to Canada and the history, I would say, of colonial relations of ruling, internationally. So Inuit were taken from a hunting and gathering culture, the oldest form of social and cultural organization on the planet, to an industrial logic and culture in about 10 years, from roughly 1955 to 1965. It’s possibly the fastest rate of change for any group of indigenous people in the world. So what I’m saying is there’s some -- there’s very unique material and experience here that needs to be shared, not just with southern Canadians, but internationally.
1217 And this experience, as we all know, has taken a terrible toll. The loss of an identity, a cultural and philosophical framework within which one can operate and engage others and the world around, is the source of and the foundation for no end of personal trouble. And we all know that, for example, the suicide rate for young Inuit males is regularly the highest rate of suicide in the world.
1218 At the same time, the Inuit story, Inuit social history and culture, is a rich and I’ve already indicated in many ways a unique experience from which we all have, as a nation that played a key role, for example, in drafting the 1949 United Nations Declaration on Human Rights -- we all have an awful lot to learn. And Uvagut programming will have much to contribute to this journey. In other words, its contribution is twofold.
1219 It’s not just to the development and the future of Inuit youth. It says a lot and is extremely important for the development of all of us.
1220 So what Uvagut TV broadcasting principally in Inuktitut offers is programming that supports what is currently under way, the discovery, rediscovery and celebration of Inuit culture, literature, art, music, forms of social and cultural expression that are the foundation for developing the identities and sense of self essential to functioning well in any culture or society.
1221 One needs roots. We all need roots. One needs to know those roots and one needs to feel that they belong and come from a place that will take them somewhere worth being. So what you’re doing here is contributing to the mental health of Inuit youth. This is not just an exercise in providing entertainment, education and even an exercise in strengthening language, which is extremely important. There’s a huge mental health component associated in what’s being proposed here.
1222 So this Application, and you probably are already aware of this, addresses Article 16 of the Truth and Reconciliation’s Calls to Action, and to quote:
1223“Indigenous peoples have the right to establish their own media in their own languages and to have access to all forms of non-indigenous media without discrimination.”
1224 At the same time, we all know there are technical matters that need to be addressed to make this a reality, and I would argue that the Uvagut TV proposal will give impetus and reason for doing so, for addressing these technical realities.
1225 The capacity of Inuit to deliver programming, based on my experience, which goes all the way back to the -- when TV was first introduced in the satellite images that were created back in the mid-70s. The capacity that Inuit have developed -- and I think this has already been made very clear from some of the presentations that were made earlier -- is really remarkable. The work of Zacharius is one illustration of what I am referring to.
1226 And the list of talent, I could regale you with that list for the next 20 minutes, is pretty amazing.
1227 And there are all kinds of roles and all kinds of capacity among Inuit of Nunavut that are relevant to what’s being proposed here. There is no shortage of talent, and I say that with a lot of experience and conviction.
1228 So this is a pretty impressive proposal which provides a tremendous opportunity to bring this talent to a larger and appreciative audience in need. And that audience is not just located in Nunavut. It’s located in the south.
1229 I’ll give you an example of what I mean by “need”. Just recently, I -- you know, this happened twice. Heading for the airport and I get into a cab and the cab driver asks me where I’m going. And you know, I’m checking my phone and doing other things at the same time, so I just say, “I’m going to Nunavut”.
1230 And I go to the airport and I go to get out of the car and I open the door and I suddenly realize that I’m at the international terminal. That says a lot about, you know, what’s needed not just in Nunavut, but here in the south.
1231 You know, we have a lot to learn about ourselves and others. Our industrial culture, for example, its toxic -- and these are problems that I’ve worked on over the years. You know, the toxic byproducts of our industrial culture end up in Inuit waters, on Inuit lands and in the country foods that Inuit eat.
1232 The average surface temperature of Nunavut is already beyond the two-degree increase from pre-industrial records identified as more than critical by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Narwhal -– and I’m currently working on a project based on Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit traditional knowledge about narwhal. They’re an ice-dependent species. Quite simply put, as ice goes, so do narwhal. In other words, there are, in the Canadian Arctic, a whole host of issues that are right at the centre of our plate at the current time. And Inuit need to participate and have the opportunity to present these issues to a larger audience.
1233 And Inuit youth need a courageous capacity to engage the rest of us in this kind of critical thinking about what we are doing to the planet. Inuit values, culture, traditions, world view and what I would describe as reflecting the importance of a well-known Indigenous acknowledgement, and that is captured by the words “All my relations”, is essential medicine for all of us.
1234 And Uvagut TV programming has the potential and will, in fact, bring this home, not only to Inuit, but to all of us. And this has already happened. It was Asuma that filmed the hearings that I was a part of around the proposal by Baffin Island to develop its capacity for developing iron and shipping iron ore on the northern tip of Baffin Island, and those were televised by --
1235 THE SECRETARY: Mr. Tester?
1236 DR. TESTER: Sorry?
1237 THE SECRETARY: Sorry, yes. Your time is almost up. You have one minute left, then conclude. Thank you.
1238 DR. TESTER: Those were televised by Asuma, and that’s really important.
1239 So I want to conclude by making it clear that your acceptance of this application is not merely an exercise in acknowledging a colonial history, you know, like an opportunity to do the right thing for and by Inuit. It’s an opportunity to do something for all of us because what we have to learn from Inuit history, experience and culture is critical to what awaits us in short order in relationship to many things, in particular climate change. And it’s past time to get on with it.
1240 I and countless other Canadian’s look forward to your acceptance of this application as your contribution to something important to each and every one of us.
1241 Qujannamiiq. Thank you.
1242 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Professor, both for your written submissions and for agreeing to speak with us today.
1243 I’ll turn the mic over to Commissioner Andrson to kick off questioning, please.
1244 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Hi there. Good morning, and thank you for providing submissions so early in your day. We much appreciate your contribution.
1245 And I’m not sure if you’ve been following the hearing very much. I think you said you heard a few of the submissions. But I’ll just very quickly summarize the position that we find ourselves in because, as we’ve stated earlier, we’ve got two different Applications for Inuit television networks to provide service. They’re both seeking a Mandatory Distribution Order across Canada.
1246 Now, typically, historically, we grant Mandatory Distribution Orders to services that are unlike any other, so you can see the predicament or the situation that we’re in when we’re being asked to provide that Order to both when, historically, we only provide it to one unique service.
1247 While you say that you want the acceptance of the Application, yesterday we heard from Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, Tom McLeod and Lucy Qavavauq -- I’m sorry if I mispronounced those names -- but we heard from them on behalf of Inuit Television Network that approval of Uvagut’s application would have negative effects or deleterious effects on Inuit TV Network, the second Applicant.
1248 So, I was wondering if you’d care to share some thoughts on this situation in whether the approval of one to the detriment of the other is actually in Inuit best interest? Or, if you’ve got any views to share, that would be helpful.
1249 DR. TESTER: Well, I don’t think that the approval of one is necessarily a problem. It’s already been stated that whatever happens, people are going to have to and will end up working together.
1250 I think the strengths of the Uvagut proposal has already been noted. The location in Igloolik is really quite significant. My experience -- and I really want to emphasize this -- is that the cultural differences between the capital Iqaluit and the other communities -- the outlying communities of Nunavut -- it’s worthy of note.
1251 Most -- in fact, very many -- almost all of the Qallunaat that currently live in Nunavut can be found in the capital. And the difference between the culture and way of making sense, for lack of a better way of putting it, between the culture and outlying communities, is remarkable. And the majority of the Inuit live -- don’t live in the capital. They are found in the -- you know, the 25-plus communities that are located elsewhere.
1252 But the other thing is, looking at the history and the experience that this proposal brings to what’s needed, I mentioned the broadcasting of -- of the hearings that were held around Baffinland, the -- that was quite notable, and the extent to which there have been meaningful connections with people like myself is also worthy of note because what needs to happen here, as I’ve tried to indicate, is that what’s going on right now in Nunavut, especially around climate and climate change matters, and current political, social, environmental, et cetera, et cetera issues, is important to all of us. And I would say that Isuma has had lots of experience and has a considerable capacity to address this need.
1253 I recognize that most of the broadcasting and many -- much of it will be in Inuktitut, as it should be, but there’s also the relevance and experience with connecting to those kinds of issues on the southern audience is extremely relevant to this application.
1254 But as I said, people would ultimately end up working together.
1255 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Thank you. Thank you, and collaboration certainly is a theme that we’ve been hearing today, so I appreciate that you shared your views on this.
1256 I have no other questions, Mr. Chair.
1257 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Desmond, do you have a couple of questions?
1258 COMMISSIONER DESMOND: Thank you, and thank you for being here this morning.
1259 I just have a couple of questions, I guess. I noticed in your written submission, which was provided back I think in the fall, you had made a comment that this proposal is the most comprehensive and significant among them. So, I am wondering if you did have a chance to evaluate the two applications -- if you’ve had a chance to look at the filing of both Inuit TV and NITV?
1260 DR. TESTER: I confess I gave it a cursory glance; I wouldn’t claim to, you know, be familiar with all the details and the content.
1261 My experience has been with Isuma. I am impressed with, I guess, the scope, range, and focus, which is broad and deals with a wide range of current issues and concerns of importance to Inuit -- not just a focus on Inuit culture and art; it’s a focus on current political and social issues, and these issues as they relate to and need to be known to and -- and broadcast to southern Canadians.
1262 And as I’ve indicated, you know, Inuit colonial history and that experience is -- is -- the number of stories and potential content and -- and material that exists there is -- is pretty amazing, and Isuma is really in touch with that, as far as I’m concerned.
1263 COMMISSIONER DESMOND: So, I just have one, maybe one more question, and you did speak in your opening comments to the amount of individuals who are engaged in production, and you listed the work of a number of people who have capacity, and a capacity that exists, the content that exists. In your view, would there be enough capacity to support two Inuit channels?
1264 DR. TESTER: Well, with difficulty perhaps, but as has already been said, I think that ultimately people will -- the real strength will be in people coming together and working together. And that -- that would happen. I have no doubt about it. And I -- I think that that’s probably the best way to go. But, you know, I -- I say that with, you know, a measure of caution and some uncertainty.
1265 COMMISSIONER DESMOND: Thank you very much.
1266 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
1267 We’ll turn to Commissioner Anderson for one last question.
1268 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Yeah, thank you.
1269 I just -- I wanted to follow up because you had stated something about your experience being with Isuma, and I was just wondering if you could please provide a little bit of clarity or a bit of context, or a bit more information about that?
1270 DR. TESTER: Well, I've known Zach for a long time. I worked with him on Kiviaq versus Canada. I worked on the script and the historical background that was relevant to the subject matter of that particular film. I’ve talked with many Inuit that were involved in the production of Atanarjuat. I’ve talked as well with people about the, you know, managerial challenges, difficulties, and experiences over the years related to, you know, keeping things together, funding, management, personnel, et cetera, et cetera. I just see a lot of experience there that’s been obtained from being part of -- for lack of a better way of putting it -- the ‘school of hard knocks’ because, you know, keeping this sort of thing going has been a considerable challenge, and Isuma deserves a lot of credit for, you know, being there.
1271 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Okay, I just -- yeah, I just wanted to see if there was any kind of affiliation or professional relationship with Isuma.
1272 DR. TESTER: Well, there -- there was in the production of Kiviaq versus Canada. And I’ve also, you know, consulted with Zach around, you know, other work that I’ve done related to a couple of films that I put together, one dealing with the movement of the Inuit off the land and into wood frame houses, a piece that I shot in Naujaat, and a major piece that I did on the history of the Rankin Inlet mine and the experience of the Inuit working in the mine.
1273 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Okay, thank you very much. Thank you.
1274 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, Professor, let me thank you one more time for appearing before us today.
1275 And Madam Secretary, I think we’ll take a short break just to reset the table.
1276 THE SECRETARY: Yes, but before we do that, for the record, I would like to mention that the Mayor of Hamlet of Grise Fiord, Dr. Wade Davis, Inuit TV Network, and Nunavut Independent Television Network will not be appearing in Phase II.
1277 We will take a short break and come back in Phase III. Thank you.
--- Upon recessing at 11:09 a.m.
--- Upon resuming at 11:14 a.m.
1278 THE SECRETARY: Welcome back.
1279 We will now proceed with Phase III, in which the applicants can reply to all interventions. We will now here the reply from Inuit TV Network. Please reintroduce yourselves for the record, and you will then have 10 minutes for your reply presentation. Thank you.
1280 MR. GOLDSTEIN: Thank you. Mr. Chair, Commissioner Anderson, Commissioner Desmond, Commission Staff. For the record, my name is Kevin Goldstein, and I am Inuit TV’s regulatory counsel.
1281 With me on the panel are Alethia Arnaquq-Baril, Tom Mcleod, and Lucy Qavavauq.
1282 When we appeared before you yesterday, we gave a number of undertakings. While the deadline to provide our responses is next Thursday, we were able to put together the answers to some of them and thought it would be appropriate to put that information on the record now.
1283 First, we were asked whether Inuit TV was prepared to commit to a minimum amount of Canadian programming during the evening broadcast period in addition to our 90 percent commitment for the broadcast day. Inuit TV can confirm that it would be prepared to commit that a minimum of 80 percent of the programming broadcast during the evening broadcast period will be Canadian.
1284 Second, we were asked about the definition we had proposed for original, first-run programming that takes into account that some of the programming Inuit TV will commission may be in partnership with other broadcasters. This is expected to be a very small amount of programming and limited to certain genres –- principally dramas, and
1285 maybe some documentaries. It is also difficult to quantify exactly how much programming will fit into this category as no such titles have been commissioned. However, we do recognize that the Commission wants to ensure that the vast majority of original programming on the service is truly unique.
1286 Therefore, instead of attempting to carve out a certain amount of programming and adjusting our financial projections and potentially our first-run exhibition commitment, we thought a more elegant solution would be to limit the amount of this type of programming to 15 percent of our original, first-run programming, and it will probably be less than this amount. This should give the Commission comfort while not unnecessarily handcuffing Inuit TV’s ability to commission the best content. We would also note that this flexibility shouldn’t diminish the extraordinary contribution Inuit TV is proposing to make to Canadian programming, given that our commitments in this area are well in excess of what other 9(1)(h) services have made, as discussed yesterday.
1287 Third, on the issue of carrying forward overspending on Canadian programming by an amount greater than five per cent of our CPE requirement and for more than one year, it was our intent to mirror the standard language that applies to all discretionary services, both those offered by the large groups and other 9(1)(h) services. That said, given that Inuit TV will be almost entirely funded by the revenues generated by the regulated wholesale fee we have proposed and intends to operate close to break-even, there is unlikely to be significant overspending in any given year of the licence term.
1288 Fourth, we were asked about accepting a wholesale rate that is the same in each year of the term instead of one that increases gradually over five years as Inuit TV had proposed. Inuit TV is prepared to accept a rate of seven-and-a-half cents in each year of the term should the Commission determine that such an approach is appropriate. This obviously would alter our projections slightly, and we intend to file revised projections for the public record at the same time as the remainder of our responses to undertakings.
1289 Fifth, we were asked whether the mandatory order we have requested needs to apply to BDUs in the North with less than 2,000 subscribers. We’ve discussed this and have determined that while it is critical that Inuit TV is available on all BDUs in the North, we do not need a subscriber fee from those small BDUs. We don’t know the exact number of subscribers this would apply to, but it is very small as the vast majority of subscribers in the North are with the two DTH providers. As a result, we don’t see this change having a significant impact on our projections.
1291 MS. ARNAQUQ-BARIL: Thanks, Kevin.
1292 I would once again like to thank the Commission and Commission staff for considering our application, your thoughtful questions, and your assistance throughout the process. As I noted yesterday, the Inuit TV initiative is one that is near and dear to our hearts.
1293 I would like to thank our staff and Kevin for working so hard on this application, as well as all of our Board members, past and present, for pouring their hearts and souls into this initiative. I would also like to thank all the intervenors who participated in this process, either in writing or by video this morning, regardless of which application they supported. What is evident from their comments today, as well as our years of engagement with our stakeholders, is that an Inuktut-language discretionary service is desperately needed. Knowledge of our language is strong, but declining rapidly, and we are determined to be part of the solution to stop this trend in its tracks. We know from successes that other Indigenous nations have had that this is very doable. It is clear that an Inuktut-language television channel is crucial to our success in that endeavour.
1294 As we noted yesterday, we strongly believe that our proposal for Inuit TV responds to the needs of our community and is the best proposal in the circumstances. Contrary to what some of the intervenors said this morning, I would like to clarify that Inuit TV is not an Iqaluit-focused channel. Both our staff and our Board members are represented across the Inuit regions. Our proposal is for a pan-Northern service that covers all of Inuit Nunaat, which is Inuit Lands.
1295 This is also a not-for-profit commercial enterprise. Our members and Board consist of Inuit volunteers whose goal is not to benefit financially from the approval of this application. To us, it goes much deeper. It’s about community. It’s about future generations, and sparing them the soul-deep hurt of being separated from language and culture. That is why, whatever is decided, we want to be part of the solution by working cooperatively with all parties to ensure Inuit have access to programming in our language.
1296 Piviqatittausimagatta sulijullatttaarmik qujalivugut. We are truly so grateful to have the opportunity to be here today. Uqausitsaqaruunniiratta, apiqqutiksaqarutsi kiugasungniaqpavut.
1297 That concludes our remarks, and we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have. Thank you.
1298 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for those remarks, including those that addressed some of the questions that have been undertaken. Very helpful to get those on the record as quickly as we can as we start our deliberations.
1299 I have just a few what I’ll call ‘mop-up’ questions before I pass the mike to Commissioner Anderson for some more thoughtful ones.
1300 So, you had indicated yesterday that news and current affairs will be produced by some local teams. Would those teams be employed by your service? And who would have editorial oversight over the local news teams?
1301 MR. GOLDSTEIN: So, perhaps I'll start, and maybe Tom can provide more detail. I believe the news programming is going to be produced inhouse. The current affairs programming will be split between independent producers for certain of the shows, and the late-night program -- current affairs program that’s listed on the schedule would be produced inhouse, but I think Tom has the breakdown of staffing related to that. And I believe editorial control, which was your second question, will probably rest with the news director.
1302 So, Tom?
1303 MR. MCLEOD: Thank you.
1304 Yes, what Kevin said is correct -- that our chief editorial director would have the final say in news editorial decisions, and that is a position that will be created with the possible acceptance of Inuit TV’s 9(1)(h) Order.
1305 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
1306 And then, I do want to pin you down on another question that was asked yesterday. Because you proposed new programming as a condition and you also indicated that you’re not currently creating broadcasting such, in what year of your licence would you be able to meet that condition? Is that a Year One condition, or would you benefit from a ramp-up?
1307 MR. GOLDSTEIN: I think we had indicated that we would be ready to go to a full 18-hour broadcast within -- you know, within 12 months. The news would kick in the minute we go to 18 hours.
1308 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, so at a point within that first year, --
1309 MR. GOLDSTEIN: Correct.
1310 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- you would be offering, --
1311 MR. GOLDSTEIN: Correct.
1312 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- but possibly not from the first? Okay, thank you.
1313 And then my last mop-up question. You had mentioned yesterday -- you made a number of references yesterday to your organization’s bylaws, and we just wanted to confirm on the record that the submitted document entitled Inuit TV Governance Policies is in fact the bylaw document in question?
1314 MR. GOLDSTEIN: It's not. We were in the process of amending our bylaws within the last month, just to do some housekeeping matters. We can file those bylaws with the Commission to make sure they’re on the record.
1315 THE CHAIRPERSON: If you could please do that, that would be appreciated.
1316 MR. GOLDSTEIN: Absolutely.
1318 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, that ends the mop-up, and I will ask Commissioner Anderson, please.
1319 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Yeah, thank you.
1320 First, I just had another I guess mop-up question, and it was with the commitments that were made, Mr. Goldstein, and -- sorry, it was about the overspend, and it wasn’t clear to me whether there would be an overspend or a commitment to an overspend of five percent of CPE, or -- like, I understand that you anticipate that there’s not going to be a large overspend, but was it a commitment to five percent?
1321 MR. GOLDSTEIN: No, our commitment is to adopt the same CPE overspend language so it applies to I think every single discretionary service in the -- right now. My comment, just for clarification, in our reply was just that notwithstanding that language, we don’t anticipate there to be a significant --
1322 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Okay.
1323 MR. GOLDSTEIN: -- overspend. If the Commission were to put a restriction of some sort on overspend, we’re not sure why that would happen, but we don’t anticipate it’s going to be an issue for the operation of the service.
1324 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Okay, thank you.
1325 And then, my next question goes to the remarks about regional representation, and I appreciate your comments just now about ensuring that there’s regional representation by having staff and members to the Board of Directors across the region. I just wanted to give you a moment to maybe comment a little bit about regional representation and commitments, or the vision that you have to ensure that there is regional representation. So -- you know, please.
1326 MS. ARNAQUQ-BARIL: Thank you for the question. It’s something that’s important to viewers. It’s something that we heard a lot in our gatherings and discussing this channel was that most of the Inuit-made content that goes on air comes out of either Igloolik or Iqaluit, and there’s a huge desire to see more content from Inuit from other communities; that there are lots of communities that are very strong in language and culture, and they want to share their stories as well.
1327 So, from our inception that’s been really important to us -- to work to develop production communities outside of the two major production hubs that already exist. It’s why we were so excited to hire Tom, who is from the western Arctic, and Lucy, who lives in Iqaluit now but is from further up island and is well-known all across the Arctic through her journalism work. And it’s why our news staffing is preplanned to have reporters based in other communities, and it’s something that’s very important to the purpose of our network, is to have a breadth of dialects represented on screen to allow communities that struggle with fluency to benefit from communities that are very strong in their language, and there are many communities that are strong in their dialect.
1328 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Thank you, and can you remind me, and apologies that I don’t have the information in front of me, but when you talk about ensuring that there’s staffing when it comes to news and current events in other communities, could we just -- and I’m not sure, staff, do we have on record the list of the communities that you intend to serve, and if not, would you be willing to provide a list either now or at a later time?
1329 MR. GOLDSTEIN: I think Tom can give a breakdown of what our staffing plans are relating to the news and news programming.
1330 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Thank you. Yeah, that would be helpful.
1331 MR. MCLEOD: So, while we don’t have an exact list of the communities that our regional representatives will occupy, they will be from each of the Inuit regions. So, there would be a correspondent in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, which is the western Arctic, and there would be -- there would be our main office likely in Iqaluit in Nunavut. There would be a correspondent in Nunavik, northern Quebec. And then, there would be a correspondent in Nunatsiavut, so that would be northern Labrador. So, most likely within the main hubs within those regions would be where those staff members would reside.
1332 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Okay.
1333 MR. GOLDSTEIN: And I think, just to add to that, I think the intent is then that those correspondents would move throughout their region to provide coverage as necessary.
1334 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Thank you.
1335 And then, this leads me quite nicely into my next question because it’s really about the different regions that you propose to serve. And I understand that you’re seeking an order for mandatory distribution across Canada, but as we’ve been discussing, right now we’re looking at two very attractive applications from two different networks, and so I understand that the submissions indicated that you need the national coverage in order to continue on with your service, but I’m asking for all of the solutions to be put on the table, and if not today, then maybe in a follow-up response, by writing.
1336 But I’m wondering, if part of the goal is to ensure that Inuit that are living outside of Nunavut also have access to Inuit language or Inuktitut or Inuktut, is there a smaller region in which providing a mandatory distribution order would achieve or accomplish most of that goal?
1337 And right now, you’ve listed the four different regions -- Inuvialuit, Nunavut, in northern Quebec, and in Labrador -- and I note that in your submissions, you also state that the majority of Inuit not living in Nunavut reside in the National Capital Region. So, I just -- I wonder whether -- is it realistic, or could an appropriate solution be to have mandatory distribution in those regions that I’ve just listed -- the four regions that you’ve listed -- plus potentially the National Capital Region? Would that provide any of the support that you need to ensure that your services can grow and can continue to serve both the Inuit and non-Inuit population?
1338 MR. GOLDSTEIN: I’d love to say yes, but I think it’s really a matter of just financial reality. We could have a smaller footprint in terms of the distribution order, but the rate would need to be exponentially higher. And so, you know, it’s a balancing act between -- you know, and that’s kind of the nature of all 9(1)(h) orders, which is they work because the fee is relatively low, spread across a large base. The smaller the coverage area that the mandatory order applies to, the greater the fee needs to be. For example, 9(1)(h) orders that apply specifically to French-language programming in the Province of Quebec tend to be higher than the ones that apply more broadly across the country.
1339 And so, you know, in theory -- like, I think for Inuit TV, yes, there is a large -- you know, the next-largest population would be in the National Capital Region, but Inuit live throughout the country to varying extents. You know, I think it’s important that the service is accessible to them. I think -- and I don’t want to advocate any BDU’s case for them, but if, for example, the order was narrowed to only apply to Quebec and Ontario, you’d be, you know, targeting certain BDUs and not others by this, and the impact on them would be much more significant than, you know, everyone agreeing to, you know, paying a very, very small rate, in that it would ensure -- you know, ensuring that the service is available across the country to anyone who wants to watch it, and specifically the community that needs it, and generating, you know, a reasonable amount of revenue to actually achieve the objectives.
1340 MS. ARNAQUQ-BARIL: If I could add to that?
1341 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Please.
1342 MS. ARNAQUQ-BARIL: While the majority of the Inuit population outside of Inuit Nunangat are based in Ottawa and Toronto, there is also a significant population in Montréal, Edmonton and Winnipeg. We span the North, a massive territory, and due to medical travel, Inuit are often sent just south of wherever they are and so there have become populations of Inuit in many southern Canadian cities. So it would just isolate a number of Inuit that live in the western part of the country as well.
1343 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Okay. Thank you. I understand the response and I appreciate the responses that you have provided.
1344 I think my last question is going to be in the spirit of what was said this morning from interveners, and there was a really strong desire to have collaboration and that collaboration and collective effort is in the best interest of the public. I wonder what your thoughts are on that. It is a very general question, but please answer how you like.
1345 MS. ARNAQUQ-BARIL: Thank you for the opportunity to speak on that.
1346 It is our deepest desire. It has felt very uncomfortable, this process, appearing to be pitted against each other, but we have had many moments looking between organizations and yearning to find a way. I think it is possible. We very, very much still want to and I really appreciate the interveners who came and did their very best to support applications without being hurtful to the other. It is actually why we didn't bring interveners. We didn't want to put anyone in the position of having to vouch for one or the other. We know everyone feels strongly about a need for this kind of service.
1347 Yes, I will just reiterate that I think it is very possible to work together and we will continue to be open to that.
1348 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: I don't have any other questions.
1349 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
1350 Commissioner Desmond, please.
1351 COMMISSIONER DESMOND: Thank you.
1352 I just wanted to follow up on Commissioner Anderson's question about the geographical area. I understand your response completely. I just wondered if you have done any financial analysis to look at what the subscriber rate would be if the footprint was smaller. So if you were to just have basic -- to have mandatory distribution in the North only, what would the rate be if it was to be in an area that did include the National Capital, just kind of to have a comparison if you have done that analysis?
1353 MR. GOLDSTEIN: So we did the analysis relating to the North, to the best of our abilities. If I remember correctly, when we were doing it we had to make some guesstimates, because I think in terms of the way in which the data is split relating to BDU subscribers, I think some of the territories are grouped with one province and they might actually be grouped as the Commissioners, you know, in terms of their, you know, responsibility. But we kind of had a general sense of how many BDU subscribers there might be in the North and it is a slight increase, it goes from seven to eight cents to $35 a month. So, as you can see, if it is limited to the North, it is just not really realistic, especially when you are dealing with a population who is amongst the poorest in Canada.
1354 We have not done an analysis if you were to kind of add various provinces. So for example, you know, we could -- and we are happy to do that as an undertaking if that is something the Panel feels is useful. If we were to -- we can do the analysis and add whatever provinces are necessary. I think all it does, as I indicated in my earlier answer, is it just becomes a sliding scale on the rate. Obviously, if you include Ontario and Québec it is not going to be $35. Those are the two most populous provinces and probably amount for half or more than that of BDU subscribers in Canada. If that is the case -- back of envelope math -- it is probably somewhere about 15 cents versus seven and a half.
1355 But I think that we need to also distinguish if that is something that the Commission is considering, that there is who pays and the availability of the channel, and we would want a situation where the channel continues to be available as broadly as possible, because I think it is needed and you shouldn't be limited in your ability to receive the channel in an area that isn't covered by the mandatory distribution order by what BDU decides whether or not they want to give it capacity or not, you should have ubiquitous access.
1356 But I think for us it is generating enough revenue to meet the business plan we have designed. We tried to design the rate so that -- I'm not sure if this is the right term, but everyone feels a little bit of the pain versus one area really shouldering the responsibility. But yes, we can do that math if it would be helpful.
1357 THE CHAIRPERSON: Just on that issue, I am trying to avoid creating more work than is necessary and, as you have indicated, I think I am hearing you correctly that the total budget necessary as fixed --
1358 MR. GOLDSTEIN: Correct.
1359 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- and it's simply -- you have used the phrase "rudimentary math" several times --
1360 MR. GOLDSTEIN: That is all I'm capable of, unfortunately.
1361 THE CHAIRPERSON: But it's surprising how often the rudimentary math is the most important. But my sense is that we could do our own calculations on a variety of things, with the assumption that the budget that will lead you to success of what you have proposed is a fixed amount and the degree to which we broaden or narrow the subscriber base is a pretty straight-line calculation.
1362 MR. GOLDSTEIN: I think you are 100 percent accurate. All we would be ending up doing is looking at CRTC data relating to BDU subscribers and plugging them into an Excel spreadsheet. So it is definitely something I think that is within the capabilities of your staff, who I think are much more talented at this than we are, especially with my rudimentary math skills.
1363 THE CHAIRPERSON: Staff is indeed very talented. So I think on that matter we will do our own spreadsheets as opposed to imposing additional undertakings on either application.
1364 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. I have one more question from Commissioner Anderson and then I have one last of my own.
1365 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: I did have a question and it was that a lot of the submissions that we received from the BDUs were in opposition of granting the 9(1)(h) order, as we discussed yesterday, and one of the arguments was that 9(1)(h) orders typically or historically never provided for services that are similar to each other. That argument was made I think within the context of APTN already providing the service and you have provided your response about why you view your service as distinct from APTN.
1366 But I am wondering if you could talk about whether or not there might be a reason to depart from the historic trend that we have had, or the historic practice to only issue one 9(1)(h) order for a service. And really, what I am trying to get at is what about having two mandatory orders for Inuit networks? Is there any reason why you think that there might be a case to depart from the historical practice of only having one 9(1)(h) order for a particular service? And again, I am contemplating a service for Inuit.
1367 MR. GOLDSTEIN: Thanks, Commissioner Anderson.
1368 So, first of all, I think that is in the template intervention that the BDUs like to file on these, along with a variety of other arguments as to why they don't think they should pay more money, you know, and I understand the situation. They are dealing with a capped base grade and this is an additional cost.
1369 I am actually not certain that the -- I think that if you look at the various 9(1)(h) services that have been issued, for the most part there actually is only one kind of in each area, but I am not actually sure that that is a formal policy for the Commission. In fact, 9(1)(h) orders are actually issued for a variety of different things. There is a 9(1)(h) order in terms of mandating carriage of all national news services. All of those are exactly the same. So I don't think that that is actually a formal policy. I think it is something that a number of the BDU interveners have tried to extrapolate from the Commission's decisions relating to 9(1)(h) services.
1370 I think also -- and we did speak about it in our application, in our reply to interventions and yesterday. I think the APTN service, although extremely important and critical, is different than what is being proposed here and, you know, I don't -- you know, I think we recognize that approving both of these would be extraordinary, but I don't think there is anything in Commission policy specifically that would prohibit. There might be a variety of other reasons why that might not be the approach the Commission should take, but it isn't -- I don't think it is something that is prohibited.
1371 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Thank you.
1372 I was wondering if maybe you could speak to some of the other reasons why it might not be practical or feasible to have two existing -- or to issue two 9(1)(h) orders to both of the applicants.
1373 MS. ARNAQUQ-BARIL: I don't know if this matters to other people, but I think of our producers in our communities and how awkward it is for them to not know which network to approach and to feel kinship and support for both but to not be sure where they should be putting their programs.
1374 I do think it's -- at this point in time makes most sense to have one network, to have collegiality and collaboration across our communities and no confusion over which channel to watch and which channel to approach to create programming. Perhaps someday there will be a point where we are producing enough content to fill two channels with original first-run programming, but at this point I do think it is sufficient to have one.
1375 And to your previous question about a precedent for more than one service, a filmmaker friend of mine said once, you know, "Indigenous film is not a genre. White folks are allowed to have all different kinds of genres, make horror films and dramas and comedies, you name it. We can too."
1376 So I think there are multiple 9(1)(h) services that service settler Canadians in English and in the future I don't think we should cut off the possibility of having multiple crucial services in our language, but at this point in time I do think it makes most sense to have one.
1377 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: I want to thank you sincerely for that correction and observation. I don't have any further questions. Thank you.
1378 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner.
1379 So my last question has to do with tracking objectives and I would like to go beyond. I have every reason to believe that both applicants are capable of doing all the reporting necessary to show that they are meeting conditions of licence. A lot of the broader objectives we have been hearing about over the last two days extend beyond that and while they may be hardest to capture in a formal application, I would probably enumerate them amongst the most important, things like representativeness, content creation in a variety of dialects, protection of language, diversity of genres, as you just mentioned.
1380 What machinery would you envision having in place for reporting on your progress against achieving those broader and really fundamental objectives?
1381 MR. GOLDSTEIN: So I think for a number of the things that you just highlighted there, you know, covering various dialects, diversity of content, diversity of genres, regional representation, those are all things that to varying degrees I think are caught in the reporting that we would be doing with the Commission and to the extent they are not we would be happy to provide that information.
1382 I think in terms of the broader mandate and its success, which is to helping preserve and grow Inuktut language and Inuit culture, I think that is obviously a longer-term measurement exercise. I think those are things that we are confident that our plan will achieve, but, to be honest, it is not like you can track that on a year-to-year basis. It is more I think something that we would want to look at and discuss with the Commission on a licence term by licence term basis, like any licensee would be doing in terms of how it contributed to the system and met the objectives that the Commission set for it.
1383 MS. ARNAQUQ-BARIL: If I could add to that. Our accountability is to our communities and I don't think the CRTC is qualified to even receive that reporting. You know, there is a reason we have structured ourselves in a way to have Inuit organizations nominate members of our Board. We are accountable to our own governance system, to our own people and I think it would be awkward to have to report to the colonial government on our language progress.
1384 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great. Well, thank you very much. Unless Commissioners have any final questions, I can thank you for your application, for the objectives that you are pursuing, for your candour in front of us. You know, the hearing is about building a record and I would like to thank you very much for all your contributions in building a record as we prepare to make what everyone acknowledges is a challenging decision. Thank you.
1385 MR. GOLDSTEIN: Thank you.
1386 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
1387 We will now ask Nunavut Independent Television Network to come to the presentation table.
1388 THE SECRETARY: We will now hear the reply from Nunavut Independent Television Network. We also have some people appearing by Zoom that I think you will introduce and you may begin your presentation. You have 10 minutes.
1389 MS. LAYTON: Good morning, Mr. Chairperson and Commissioners.
1390 I want to make a clarification for the record before Lucy begins her reply. One of the interveners had referred to "Isuma" several times and Commissioner Anderson had a question about that. I just wanted to highlight that that is the historic name of NITV. Isuma was incorporated under the Societies Act as Igloolik Isuma Video Services and the name was later changed to NITV. So in the community it is sometimes colloquially referred to as "Isuma".
1391 Go ahead, Lucy.
1392 MS. TULUGARJUK (INTERPRETED): Thank you to all of you. I would like to speak Inuktitut. I am going to be speaking in your language so that you understand me properly.
1393 MS. TULUGARJUK: Thank you, Commissioners, for hearing our application yesterday and today. We are proud to share with you the details of Uvagut TV application and for the opportunity to tell you about the 24/7 Inuktitut service that me and our colleagues who are Inuit have worked so hard to create for the past 25 years.
1394 I want to address a point about my language. Yesterday I spoke in Inuktitut. The translations may not have captured everything that I said in the way that I wanted to be heard. Words are important and language is important. What happened yesterday is a perfect illustration of why Inuit urgently need a television service in our own language.
1395 Today I will speak in English, your language, but one that I have learned to accommodate the rest of Canada. To ensure that you can understand everything that I am saying and that nothing is missed, I will tell you in English why you need to accommodate spaces for NITV to deliver Inuit voices in Inuktitut.
1396 We are asking you to guarantee a fund space for Inuit to not only preserve our culture and language but to bring Inuit culture and language to all of Canada for the benefit of all Inuit living in their homelands and living throughout Canada. Through Uvagut TV we can also educate and inform non-Inuit Canadians who want to know and learn about Inuit culture, values and language.
1397 You have heard how Uvagut is currently providing and will provide 24/7 service in Inuktitut, five hours of news and current affairs per week, Inuit-created films, children's shows and educational content, live and recorded broadcast of important current events, everything from weather to ice conditions, regulatory hearings and public events, to music festivals and graduation ceremonies in Inuktitut. And we will provide subtitles in English on the majority of our programs to ensure that non-Inuit speakers, particularly non-Inuktitut speakers who are Inuit, like my own children and grandchild, can watch television about their own culture in their own language.
1398 NITV wants to provide this service on this unparalleled scale for years to come. It is the only one of the two applicants who can provide this breadth of service and can do it right, right now.
1399 This is the moment in time where the protection of Inuit culture and language is vitally important. We absolutely agree. NITV is the hard work, determination and success of Inuit. It is an Inuit company, built by Inuit for Inuit, based on Inuit values for 35 years.
1400 What I heard yesterday, and I think I can relate to your reactions, is that because we don't have enough representations here in this room, and because we have staff and supporters who are non-Inuit, it is that NITV is not Inuit enough.
1401 I have to address this suggestion. Hearing your words, I felt like all of the hard work that I have done and put in towards NITV and throughout my career and the work of my Inuit colleagues of 35 years was minimized.
1402 But I want you to know, Commissioner Anderson, that I hear you. I feel you. I understand you, why you think you might have highlighted that Inuit are being told how to do it. It is us who are making it happen with the help and assistance from those who have expertise. And we would love to put those expertise to among other Inuit.
1403 I need you to know no one is speaking for us. We, the Inuit, are speaking for ourselves. And this is exactly an important reason why Uvagut TV, Inuktitut programming must exist today.
1404 This CRTC hearing space is not a space we know. It is not the way we Inuit work together to collaborate to come up with something that is important for everyone.
1405 We excel in production. We excel in distribution. We excel in delivering Uvagut TV to the people. This space is yours. It's a space that is legal and rooted in non-Inuit ways. So we ask for help from the people familiar with your world. This is what Indigenous people have had to do for decades to occupy this space to speak to decision-makers like yourselves. We can't be penalized for that.
1406 We wanted people that understood our dream and vision and could communicate it with you in your space, using your language. Qajaq is a great example for the bridge between the two worlds, like a translator, to bridge between our way of doing things and yours.
1407 She was recruited by us, the NITV board of directors, in 2021 to sit in the board of NITV to serve us and our vision. Our working relationship at NITV and our working relationship as young girls growing up together in Igloolik is an example of reconciliation in practice. Since we were little, my grandmother babysat Qajaq. We grew up in the home of our community of Igloolik.
1408 I mention this to you because I want to make it clear that there has been a long relationship knowing Qajaq and to invite her to NITV was very important to the board. Out of the five people, four were Inuit and Qajaq was selected because Inuit and the board of NITV know Qajaq from childhood. Our working relationship we cherish, we celebrate and embrace each other. That is our way in the North.
1409 A huge part of being Inuit-run in Inuit self-determination, the autonomy of Inuit to run our business in a manner that we think serves our objectives and the needs of our audience. That means a self-determined autonomous entity: we choose who we employ to provide the best service for our people. Others are working for us Inuit.
1410 For NITV to successfully carry out this mandate to bring Inuktitut language to all of Canada, we need to partner with those with relevant expertise who are committed to advancing our objectives and interests. But let me be clear: we are without question an Inuit company. All but one of our board members are Inuit. We have four Inuit full-time employees. We have five contractors that are Inuit. And our content broadcast on the air is only Inuit faces, culture, language, and reality.
1411 I shared with you this morning Piita Irniq and continued on sharing the shamanism to point that there is so much to learn about Inuit language, cultures, beliefs. It is exactly what Piita Irniq was presenting this morning, that we have to collaborate together. We have to understand that that's the only way to make things work for everyone.
1412 Our contributions are significant to the lives of Inuit and the Inuit economy. The film that our team in Igloolik is working on right now in Igloolik, The Wrong Husband, has triggered more than 63 Inuit jobs so far in one film alone. The film, the last previous film I directed and acted in, called Tutuuqtavuuk (ph), provided over 103 Inuit jobs for the total of $1.175 million spent on Inuit salaries. That was just this year. We have roughly six productions per year based on our current funding.
1413 This is not a profit centre. The beneficiaries of our work are Inuit. The money that is put back into the community in producing and delivering this service goes to Inuit.
1414 Of course, we want to collaborate with Inuit TV. We want to involve many perspectives. We would love to have Inuit TV's productions, films, and perspectives. But we want to include them in our channel that is already running 24/7 and have produced multi-million-dollar projects and given back millions into the Inuit community.
1415 Anyone who wants to produce Inuktitut language programming and broadcast Inuktitut programming will be given space on our channel and will be invited to the board. My colleague, Zacharias Kunuk, one of NITV's founders and shareholder of Isuma Distribution International, and dear Elder Susan Avinga, an NITV board member, producer, collaborator, are also present today on Zoom to conclude our submission.
1416 I want to be clear that because in 2023 we have come a long way since the beginning. I joined NITV in 1997 and there was very little things we have on Inuit channels in Inuktitut. Atanarjuat has made big accomplishment since it won at Cannes Film Festival. To present day, I'm able to say I'm an actor who was hired because of Atanarjuat at Paramount level at the Mission Impossible 8 that will be released in 2024.
1417 So to you, it may seem little to us, but to us, it means so much. Within 25 years, we've accomplished so many beautiful things related to Inuit culture, our language, our identity. And in the Mission Impossible, I am speaking in my own language, representing Inuit.
1418 If NITV was not available, I don't know where I would be today. And I know I would have not learned more about my culture and language without Isuma because I was too little when I was forced to go to school in an English society in an English world.
1419 And in this present moment we are taking in English where it is run by English. And now we are trying to stand here today in front of you, trying to make changes in that so that Inuit and non-Inuit and Indigenous people of Canada can work together as humans, as people of Canada. Qujannamiiq.
1420 Here is Zacharias Kunuk and Susan Avingak from Igloolik.
1421 THE SECRETARY: I think we can hear you. Hello, can you hear us?
1422 MR. KUNUK: Yes, yes, we do.
1423 THE SECRETARY: Perfect, thank you. You can continue.
1424 MS. TULUGARJUK (interpreted): Zacharias, you can start now. Thank you.
1425 MR. KUNUK (interpreted): Yes, thank you. I can speak in English, but I will be speaking in Inuktitut. Yes, we can hear you. I can speak in English, but I will be speaking in Inuktitut because we have really good interpreters.
1426 THE INTERPRETER: He's breaking up.
1427 MR. KUNUK: Sorry, it's the Internet time lapse.
1428 THE SECRETARY: If you prefer, you can also remove your video, maybe, if you think that maybe we could hear you better. But we can hear you.
1429 MR. KUNUK: Okay, yes. Yes. I'm sorry, it's the Internet. I'll shut off my video if it's better.
1430 THE SECRETARY: Right now it's okay, so you can continue.
1431 MS. TULUGARJUK (interpreted): Zacharias, if you can speak to it.
1432 MR. KUNUK (interpreted): Yes. The Internet is quite slow. There we go. Now that we're not showing, I will be speaking in Inuktitut, although I can speak in English.
1433 We would like to state that as Inuit in Igloolik, the community of Igloolik, I would like to say that we started making -- first of all, we were born out on the land. Susan and I were born out on the land. And we didn't know about Canada way of life.
1434 But I went to school in 1966, and I was unilingual, speaking Inuktitut child. At that time, I found out that everything is moving in English world.
1435 And then we found out about the TV was being introduced into the North back in 1975. It was trying to be introduced to our community of Igloolik, and we refused that because there was no Inuktitut content. Us younger people at the time really fought to have TV because we could speak English at the time back in 1978-79. And the Igloolik community refused to have the TV services, even though the younger people were awkward.
1436 But Inuit broadcasting was established back in 1982. And then in 1983, then we created our own TV. Once we got the TV in our community, we started watching the international world, how it was with the filming. And we started establishing NITV in our own community because we would watch movies in our community and we watched different channels through our cable. And we tried to do exactly the same thing back in 1990s, to have live shows for our community. It was called Community TV from 6:00 to 7:00 every evening.
1437 Well, we all know that it's very difficult to work on the education within one hour, and we had to do a lot of editing. That's when we realized that we would practise and we would realize that it was difficult work. But also the world functions in English language. Our staff, who are appearing before you today.
1438 We started realizing what is available. And then we realized, Oh, we can apply for funding. Back in 1985, we applied for funding for Canada Council and because we were trying to practise to become capable. And we thought we were capable enough. That's why we appear before you today with our application.
1439 Thank you. But Susan will make -- intervene.
1440 MS. AVINGAQ (interpreted): Nobody's going to ask me a question?
1441 Thank you as well for giving me the opportunity to speak. I'm very passionate about Inuit culture who work on Inuit content. As an elder, I'm very passionate and work very hard to make sure that Inuit content is available.
1442 And I remember at the time when we were going to do some filming, I was asked by one of the camera guys what my thoughts were about the live shows. I have told him even though young children and youth people, even when they are not interested in our way, our old traditional way of life, I was thinking at the time that our traditional way of life, we could use our traditional way of life and use that as a medium to inform the youth and train them about our traditional ways. That way, they can learn faster using the television medium so that they can find out what kind of hardship we went through to survive. I was very happy and pleased at the time. I can't remember which year it was.
1443 But when I'm a member of NITV with Zacharias Kunuk, when Uvagut TV was going to be established at the time, I said that. And I was very happy to see that the Uvagut TV was going to be established. But I don't speak English at all, but I can think like Inuktitut. And I started thinking that if this is going to be managed and operated by Inuit, I was very happy. I was very pleased that we won't have to wait too long to get some funding. And that's what my thought was.
1444 And I believe that our company here is run by just Inuit. And I also would like to state again that I would like, as an elder, would like to have support from non-Inuit who work with us, who live with us so that we could learn from each other. They ask questions to us what they don't know, and we don't know the White man way of life, so we ask that question to them. When we go back and forth by supporting each other. So I have not anything against whether it's going to be just Inuit or just run by White people. But once we start working together, I believe that it works out for the best of everyone.
1445 I'm not too sure if there's going to be questions, because I can't hear anything through here.
1446 MS. TULUGARJUK (interpreted): Thank you, Panikulu (ph), and thank you, Zacharias. Please stay online so you can answer some questions if there are any questions. Thank you.
1447 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for those comments. You were remarkably clear. I think we've had closure on that issue.
1448 I would like to thank you also for your generosity in speaking to us in your language to ensure that we understood, though I strongly suspect there is no language barrier that your passion could not break though. I think that's true of everyone who's appeared as part of this proceeding. So thank you again.
1449 For questions, I will turn first to Commissioner Desmond to kick us off. I think we'll have questions from all three panelists.
1450 Commissioner Desmond, please.
1451 COMMISSIONER DESMOND: Thank you. And as the Chair mentioned, I also want to thank you for speaking in your own language. I think that has really helped to enrich the hearing. So thank you for that and for the hard work that you have done in being here today and in your filing.
1452 I did have a question about collaboration just that came from your opening comments that, you know, you see yourself working with Inuit TV. I just wanted to get a better understanding of what that means to you. What does it mean to work together?
1453 MS. TULUGARJUK (interpreted): To me, I understand that we both have the same goal: Inuit content, Inuktitut language, Inuit culture and beliefs to be highly protected and promoted on broadcasting. I have reached out to Inuit TV a few moons ago, and we did have communications how can we work together, how can we partner to work together.
1454 I did not bring in the merge dialogue yet because we need to learn each other first in order to work together. But I have a long-term vision that we can work together. It has always been my question: how can we work together to serve our audience? Our first priority are Inuit, and therefore I still stand today -- yes, I am willing to work with Inuit TV, and as long as there are Inuit Inuktitut programs on television, I will be a happy mother and grandmother.
1455 Thank you.
1456 COMMISSIONER DESMOND: Okay, thank you, thank you for that.
1457 I did have a couple of questions that were a little bit more specific, that came as a follow-up to our earlier conversation from yesterday.
1458 So, my first question is with respect to partnerships, and I’m wondering how you envision your current partnerships evolving in the short-term and in the medium-term with or without a mandatory order?
1459 MR. FRANTZ: Just for clarification, are you referring to specific production company partnerships? Or other --
1460 COMMISSIONER DESMOND: Yeah, so the partnerships you have I guess with your producers -- how would you see those evolving in the short-term and in the medium-term?
1461 MR. FRANTZ: I mean, short-term, we have commitments already on both sides to air content that they are providing, as we have mentioned, for only a dollar. They are anxiously anticipating receiving a fair value fee for their content, so that’s something we would like to do very quickly if an approval is given. We also have licence commitments and have allocated performance envelope to various producers that we’re working with. And I’ve indicated that our intent and benefit if this application is that production activities would significantly increase. As Louise mentioned today, they are aware of that and have been ramping up their capacity. We have also been in touch with Nunavut Film about training exercises that we could collaborate with. So, it’s sort of working collaboratively with this group to enhance the capacity and ability to meet the demand that an approval would seek.
1462 COMMISSIONER DESMOND: And what about the situation if you were not given a mandatory distribution order? What would the partnerships look like in that situation?
1463 MR. FRANTZ: I think they would still exist; it just would be unfortunate that the scale of operations would decrease. I mean, we’re -- we’re in an unfortunate situation now that we have more demand than we have licence fees, so we’re not able to approve and support all of the applications we have. So, that -- that would continue, that there is, you know, great content, great ideas that’s just not achievable because the funds aren’t there.
1464 COMMISSIONER DESMOND: Okay, thank you. If the commission were to approve your request for a 9(1)(h) order, would that distribution order require a wholesale rate from the BDUs that have less than 2,000 subscribers?
1465 MR. FRANTZ: Yeah, we haven’t looked too much into it. I mean, looking at Kevin’s comments today, if the numbers are very insignificant and it doesn’t impact the financial bottom line, that could be something we would entertain, but we’d have to do a calculation to see what the financial impact would be. Yeah, so that would, I think, be the main -- main concern. And then, obviously the access as well. So, then those -- the audience numbers are then not receiving the channel, which is -- would be unfortunate, as well.
1466 COMMISSIONER DESMOND: Right, so -- and I understand your comments as it relates to access, but if we were just to talk about the wholesale rate, I’m hearing you say that you would need to kind of do a calculation to see how that would impact on your costs. Is that something that’s easily done, from your view?
1467 MR. FRANTZ: Yeah, I imagine if we -- we could take that as an undertaking, if -- if that would help, to look at the impact on that and get back to you?
1468 COMMISSIONER DESMOND: Okay, that would be helpful.
1469 MR. FRANTZ: Sure.
1471 COMMISSIONER DESMOND: And if you felt that a rate was required, could you include in your calculations what that rate might be?
1472 MR. FRANTZ: Okay. Sure.
1474 COMMISSIONER DESMOND: Thank you.
1475 If the commission were to approve your application and exclude those with fewer than 2,000 subscribers, are you able to kind of explain what the impact would be on your proposal? Like, both from a financial perspective and maybe from, you know, other ways that it would be impacted? You talked about access, for example.
1476 MR. FRANTZ: Yeah, I think we would probably prefer to get back to you and talk about that, if that’s okay?
1477 COMMISSIONER DESMOND: Certainly. So, if you want to as an undertaking give us a sense of what the impact would be, that would be helpful.
1478 MR. FRANTZ: Sure, thank you.
1480 COMMISSIONER DESMOND: Okay.
1481 Could you comment on the possibility of the Commission only granting mandatory distribution to the licensed BDUs and exempt BDUs in the North? And perhaps by exempt BDUs with those greater than 2,000 customers in the rest of the country? What would that impact be for you?
1482 MR. FRANTZ: Yeah, I think, you know, the same -- the same issue is the -- you know, the financial concern first, and then again, the access -- that -- that we really lose a lot of the value and benefits as a nation if we’re excluding services to the vast majority of Canadians. So, I think those two -- two impacts would seriously alter the benefits and value of the proposal.
1483 MS. TULUGARJUK: May I add to that, please? Thank you.
1484 During the process of creating, shifting from NITV Igloolik only to the national level, switching to Uvagut TV, we did look at both 200,000 subscribers and the 600,000 subscribers. We learned that if we were to limit to 200,000 subscribers, we would have had to not include the Labrador Inuit, and therefore the Board wanted to make sure that all Inuit in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik, and Labrador were all included to have access to this Inuktitut program. That’s why we reached out to 600,000 subscribers -- in order to include the Inuit from the Labrador region. Thank you.
1485 COMMISSIONER DESMOND: Okay, thank you.
1486 Those are my questions.
1487 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner.
1488 I just have one short question before I pass the microphone to Commissioner Anderson. So, I don’t think the application included a specific proposal for a condition of service related to the exhibition of original first-run content. If such a condition were to be imposed, do you have a proposal in mind? Is there something you could explore?
1489 MR. FRANTZ: Yeah, just to -- I thought we did have a condition of licence there, but --
--- Off microphone
1490 FR. FRANTZ: Yeah, we could -- we could certainly look into that and -- and get back. So, you’re looking at what -- a percentage of first-run as a -- as a percentage of our CPE? Is that the question?
1491 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm just conferring with staff, who's looking at the application right now, just to make sure we’re all -- we’re all squared away. Staff, is that consistent with what we’re hoping to get on record?
--- Off microphone
1492 MR. FRANTZ: Okay, so amount of hours --
--- Off microphone
1493 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, I could -- I could -- oh, you’ve got a mike now?
1494 MS. AUGER: Okay.
1495 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, so -- so, I think we're looking for the number of hours of original first-run programming being exhibited.
1496 MS. AUGER: As a condition of service.
1497 THE CHAIRPERSON: As a condition of service.
1498 MR. FRANTZ: On, like, a weekly basis?
1499 MS. AUGER: Yes.
1500 MR. FRANTZ: Okay. Okay, yeah, we can, --
1501 THE CHAIRPERSON: Perfect.
1502 MR. FRANTZ: -- we can get back to you on that.
1504 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great.
1505 MS. LAYTON: And for the record, I think those numbers are expressed in the application, just in different terms, and it may not be a condition of licence in the manner that you’ve just described, but it will be very easy for us to put that together.
1506 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, and then I know we’d had questions from the other applicant this morning on the issue of a regional distribution. I just want -- if the same solution works for you as for them, would it be fair to take as an assumption that your budget amount is fixed with regards to the revenue that you think you need for a successful service, and that any reduction in the number of subscribers would have an equivalent increase in the rate to keep the total budget full?
1507 MR. FRANTZ: Yeah. Yeah, we would assume the same approach of a fixed -- a fixed end.
1508 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, so we'll take that as a common understanding, and then we should not have any further undertakings with regards to that specific issue.
1509 MR. FRANTZ: Okay, thank you.
1510 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great.
1511 So, and with that, I’ll pass the microphone to Commissioner Anderson.
1512 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Thank you.
1513 I want to thank you for clarifying and making further statements about our interaction yesterday. I think that the importance of Inuit authenticity is not lost on anyone in the room when it comes to Inuit stories, and I regret that you had to share your perspective in a colonial language and a language that is foreign. So, I just want to thank you for taking the time to explain what you did, this afternoon. So, thank you. Gunalcheésh.
1514 My question, I suppose, goes to what is the best outcome in this situation? Because, as we’ve discussed plenty of times, we’ve got two excellent applications for the same 9(1)(h) service nationally, and I know the submissions yesterday were to provide just the one order, and we actually heard that from the other applicant just now as well.
1515 So, but to provide a little bit of context -- or just to remind everybody about the submissions that were made from all the intervenors that talked about collaboration, I’d like to just explore that theme about collaboration, just a bit more. And you indicated today just now that you’d be willing to take further steps to seek a collaborative approach. And I’m just wondering, is there anything more to say on that issue? Because I think we all just want the best thing -- the best outcome -- and this is not an easy place to be in for anybody in the room, including us.
1516 So, I would love to hear a bit more about collaboration, if you’re willing to share that?
1518 MS. TULUGARJUK: On behalf of NITV Board, we looked at different ways, how we can work together? And we learned that it is not easy to just let go and give what we have worked hard for -- to give to another broadcaster. And that’s why I was careful in saying I would work in partnership or collaborate and maybe down the road merge, once both parties have put on the table.
1519 NITV has put information -- so, what we have, what we have accomplished, what our goal is, the Board of Directors vision -- onto the table. We are still waiting for Inuit TV to bring in what they have to offer to -- to see how we can work together. And I’m still willing to accept those documents to present to the Board, and I would also have the door open for one of the NITV Board members to join NITV and/or an NITV Board member to join Inuit TV.
1520 The door is open. The trust has to be built. And we both understand we have the same goal -- Inuktitut language, culture, beliefs -- an Inuit channel, whichever it may be -- we both have the same goal. I have done my steps and I wish to see what Inuit TV will bring onto the table so that we can move forward.
1521 Thank you. Qajaq would like to add, please.
1522 MS. ROBINSON: I think collaboration is an inevitability. It’s a question of when and how. And the when is up against a parallel clock -- this process, but also the urgency of the need. I think you heard that from all the intervenors and both applicants. There’s urgency. There are language speakers being lost. There are kids, grandkids who are not gaining the language and knowledge -- daily, monthly, yearly. So, as time passes, there is loss.
1523 I guess what is a bit of a concern is when -- and I spoke to this yesterday about a bit about the importance of autonomy and there being self-determination between the two organizations on how that happens, and that happening not under a gun. Awkward and uncomfortable is an understatement, but we’re up against a lot of clocks, and I keep going back to the when and the how, and the where, and having these parallel processes has not been an easy place to try and navigate that. For anybody.
1524 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Those are all of my questions, Mr. Chair. Thank you. Gunalcheésh.
1525 MS. TULUGARJUK: May I ask if Zacharias may have something to say about collaboration?
1526 THE CHAIRPERSON: Please.
1527 MS. TULUGARJUK (interpreted): Zacharias, do you have any comments to make in regards to collaboration? And also, NITV and Inuit TV collaborating? Thank you.
1528 MR. KUNUK (interpreted): Yes. As a member of NITV Board, before we -- at the time when we appeared before you, Inuit TV -- I’ll welcome -- I don't know how they made it to appear before you. We can work collaboratively with them if they are willing to. And those are my thoughts -- that we can work together if they are willing.
1529 Thank you.
1530 MS. TULUGARJUK (interpreted): Thank you, Zacharias.
1531 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Those are all of our questions.
1532 Before we bring this public hearing to a close, I would like to thank everyone who appeared before us both yesterday and today, for providing us with their perspectives.
1533 Avant de clore cette audience publique, je voudrais remercier tous ceux qui ont comparu aujourd’hui et hier, de nous avoir fait part de leur point de vue.
1534 I would also like to thank in particular members of Indigenous communities who participated, whether in writing or through their appearances at the oral hearing.
1535 As a concluding thought, I think one thing that has come through with remarkable clarity is the fundamental importance of what is at stake. That is not lost on the panel at all. Nor is the urgency of the challenges. So the time pressure that we’re all under, and the opportunity to make significant progress, and the risk of facing significant losses, are weighing very heavily on us as we look at this decision.
1536 But it has not been a pessimistic hearing at all. In fact, it’s been incredibly eye-opening for those of us who are less familiar than the applicants are with the capacity in the North, the rich history both in the cultural perspective, but also a rich history within the broadcasting space. So, there is the history that goes back hundreds and thousands of years, but there are applicants with a long history of producing broadcasting content, and sharing it, and telling stories. So, it’s an area rich with history, rich with talent, rich with opportunity.
1537 And I am incredibly encouraged. I think the word we heard most often probably has been ‘collaboration’, and I absolutely take the point that applicants operate with autonomy, and collaboration is for them to consider and pursue, but I am encouraged that we have heard it so often from so many of the people who appeared before us today.
1538 This hearing has given the CRTC valuable insights into the dynamics of providing television service to the Inuit, and it’s helped us creating a valuable and fulsome record for this process. Decisions are not made in this room; this is the room where we gather the facts and the information and the perspectives that we need to make what everyone is recognizing will be a difficult decision, but an incredibly important one.
1539 Thank you to everyone who appeared. Thank you to staff, technical team, interpreters. It’s been a very useful, a very informative, and like I said, a very positive and optimistic process.
1540 Thank you everyone. That brings us to a close.
1541 MS. TULUGARJUK: Thank you so much. Qujannamiiq.
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12:45 p.m.
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