TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS
FOR THE CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND
TRANSCRIPTION DES AUDIENCES DU
CONSEIL DE LA RADIODIFFUSION
ET DES TÉLÉCOMMUNICATIONS CANADIENNES
SUBJECT / SUJET:
BROADCASTING APPLICATIONS AND LICENCES/
DEMANDES ET LICENCES EN RADIODIFFUSION
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Triumph Howard Johnson Triumph Howard Johnson
MacDonald-Cartier Salle de bal
2737 Keele Street 2737, rue Keele
Toronto, Ontario Toronto (Ontario)
February 8, 2000 le 8 février 2000
In order to meet the requirements of the Official Languages
Act, transcripts of proceedings before the Commission will be
bilingual as to their covers, the listing of the CRTC members
and staff attending the public hearings, and the Table of
However, the aforementioned publication is the recorded
verbatim transcript and, as such, is taped and transcribed in
either of the official languages, depending on the language
spoken by the participant at the public hearing.
Afin de rencontrer les exigences de la Loi sur les langues
officielles, les procès-verbaux pour le Conseil seront
bilingues en ce qui a trait à la page couverture, la liste des
membres et du personnel du CRTC participant à l'audience
publique ainsi que la table des matières.
Toutefois, la publication susmentionnée est un compte rendu
textuel des délibérations et, en tant que tel, est enregistrée
et transcrite dans l'une ou l'autre des deux langues
officielles, compte tenu de la langue utilisée par le
participant à l'audience publique.
Canadian Radio-television and
Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des
Transcript / Transcription
Public Hearing / Audience publique
Broadcasting Applications and Licences/
Demandes et licences en radiodiffusion
BEFORE / DEVANT:
A. Wylie Chairperson/Présidente
M. Wilson Commissioner/Conseillère
J. Pennefather Commissioner/Conseillère
A. Cardozo Commissioner/Conseiller
R. Williams Commissioner/Conseiller
C. Grauer Commissioner/Conseillère
A. Noël Commissioner/Conseillère
ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:
P. Cussons Hearing Manager and Secretary / Gérant de l'audience et
D. Rhéaume Legal Counsel /
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Triumph Howard Johnson Triumph Howard Johnson
MacDonald-Cartier Salle de bal
2737 Keele Street 2737, rue Keele
Toronto, Ontario Toronto (Ontario)
February 8, 2000 le 8 février 2000
TABLE OF CONTENTS / TABLE DES MATIÈRES
PHASE III (cont'd) - INTERVENTION BY/PAR
Aboriginal Peoples Television Network 1307
Native Communications Inc. 1312
Barrie-Orillia Broadcasting Limited 1321
Pedahbun Lodge Inc. 1330
Mr. Paul Thompson 1335
Mr. Elijah Harper 1342
Mnjikaning First Nation 1350
National Indian Brotherhood 1359
Curve Lake First Nation 1366
First Nations and Aboriginal Student Association 1376
Ms Liss Jeffrey 1386
Frontiers Foundation Inc. 1398
Human Sexuality Program of Toronto District School Board 1406
Mr. Alan Fraser 1411
EGALE, Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere 1422
Mr. George Smithermann 1427
Alliance des Radios communautaires du Canada (ARC) 1435
Christian Marketing Canada and GMA Canada 1447
Reverend Bud Williams 1457
Ms Damalei Beckford 1462
Toronto, Ontario / Toronto (Ontario)
--- Upon resuming on Tuesday, February 8, 2000
at 0900 / l'audience reprend le mardi
8 février 2000 à 0900
6280 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, ladies and
6281 I will repeat comments that I made earlier in
the week because not everyone was here.
6282 We are now in the phase of hearing intervenors
in support of the applications filed and we will be hearing several of these
supporting interventions during the week.
6283 We may not have any questions for intervenors
as we want to hear as many intervenors as possible in the time we have
available. We do not want you to take that as a lack of interest in your
intervention. Moreover, we want you to understand that each intervention will be
transcribed and will be added to the record and will form part of it in addition
to your written interventions.
6284 Having said that, I will ask
Mr. Secretary to go over the procedure to be followed.
6285 May we remind you again that cell phones
should be turned off. They are very distracting for people who are appearing
6286 Thank you.
6287 Mr. Secretary.
6288 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you,
6289 We are continuing this morning to hear a
number of interventions in support of various competing radio applications for
Toronto. We are going to start today with a number in support of the application
by Mr. Gary Farmer.
6290 I would like to remind intervenors again that
we allow a maximum of ten minutes for your presentation and we appreciate your
co-operation in that respect.
6291 Without further ado, I would like to introduce
our first intervenor of the day, the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network,
6292 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning,
Mr. Tagalik. It is nice to see you.
6293 MR. TAGALIK: Good morning. Nice to see you.
Nice to be here.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
6294 MR. TAGALIK: (Native language spoken /
language autochtone). I'm an Inuk. I'm Abraham Tagalik. I'm the Chief Operating
Officer of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. It certainly is a pleasure
to appear in front of you this morning.
6295 I want to explain a bit about why we support
Gary Farmer's application for the first Canadian urban aboriginal radio
6296 I think, looking at all the applicants that
have come before you, it is sort of a pity that in this day and age of digital
communications we can't put everyone on that spectrum, and I think the future is
coming when that will be possible, but it is a shame today that, you know, we
have to fight for the small space that is available out there. It sort of amazed
me that in this day and age it is so tight in terms of giving people the access
they need to tell the stories and to really reflect to their own community what
that means to them.
6297 APTN supports this application because we know
first hand the importance of building a broad talent base throughout this
country. As we mentioned in our written intervention, Canada's aboriginal people
are only now putting together the infrastructure to support future generations
of native artists, musicians, journalists and storytellers. We need a base in
southern Ontario to complement other Aboriginal radio services in north and
6298 Aboriginal broadcasters work together and
support each other. This is part of our tradition. Just this morning we went
through a prayer ceremony and a celebration of life to prepare for this. We
share ideas and expertise. We need to expand our base and grow our numbers for
the same reasons as the commercial broadcasters do. Our long-term survival
depends on commercial success in the marketplace. Governments can no longer be
counted on as a funding source.
6299 We know that the Toronto FM licensing history
has some controversy. We haven't followed that situation all that closely, and
aren't aware of all the details, but we urge the Commission to arrive at a
decision that truly expands the diversity of voices in this
6300 To paraphrase section 3(d)(iii) of the
Broadcasting Act, the Canadian broadcasting system should reflect the
multicultural, multiracial nature of Canadian society, and also the special
place of aboriginal peoples within that society. We believe that Gary Farmer has
put forth a proposal that captures the spirit and intent of the Broadcasting
Act, and that it will also be a commercial success.
6301 Aboriginal Voices Radio will be unique. It
will make an important contribution to the quality of life of a lot of people in
southern Ontario. As a hunter and gatherer, I know the importance of inheriting
and passing on traditional knowledge to the next and future generations, and as
a former radio announcer I know first hand the impact that radio can provide as
a storyteller's medium.
6302 As a hunter builds an igloo, he needs a good
foundation of solid snow and for the building blocks to support each other. The
ground work that the Aboriginal Voices Radio is planting is that very solid base
in which we as aboriginal people need to build to support and connect with the
next generation of Canadians.
6303 Aboriginal Voices Radio will support
aboriginal talent by showcasing our recording artists, giving voices to native
journalists. Aboriginal Voices Radio will provide an aboriginal perspective in
all of its programming. It will provide important role models for our youth and
will provide a bridge of understanding between aboriginal and non-aboriginal
6304 As the Commission is aware, aboriginal
audiences in the northern parts of this country are better served than those in
the south, and yet it is the urban native whom needs communications services
because in many ways urban aboriginals are less connected to their roots and
traditions than their northern cousins.
6305 On behalf of the Board and staff of APTN, as
well as all the independent producers who supply our programming, I urge the
Commission to grant a licence to Aboriginal Voices Radio.
6306 (Native language spoken / language
autochtone). Thank you.
6307 THE CHAIRPERSON: (Native language spoken /
language autochtone ), Mr. Tagalik.
6308 MR. TAGALIK: Good morning.
6309 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your
6310 MR. TAGALIK: Thank you.
6311 THE CHAIRPERSON: It is always nice to see you
before us. I'm sure we will again.
6312 MR. TAGALIK: Thank you.
6313 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary,
6314 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you,
6315 I would now like to invite Native
Communications Inc. to come forward please.
6316 MR. McLEOD: (Native language spoken /
language autochtone). Bonjour. I bring greetings from the west. It is a pleasure
to be here with you.
6317 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
6318 MR. McLEOD: Abe started out giving a little
bit of background.
6319 I have been involved with native
communications myself for over ten years now. I grew up in northern Manitoba and
I have spent a lot of time in communities, so I understand the value of radio,
especially aboriginal radio from a grassroots point of view, from how necessary
it is. I have spent my career working in native communications, so when Gary got
in touch with us and we found out about this project we were very excited,
especially for a city like Toronto.
6320 Anyways, Native Communications Inc., or NCI,
we currently operate the largest aboriginal radio network in Canada.
Provincially, we reach a total of 55 communities from Winnipeg to Churchill, and
we also have plans to expand into the southwestern region of Manitoba in the
near future. NCI-FM broadcasts 24-hours a day, seven days a week, with station
offices in both Winnipeg and Thompson.
6321 We began as a grassroots effort back in 1971
with a group of people who believed that native radio could succeed in meeting
the needs of our people. At the heart of their success remains our
6322 Aboriginal people possess an oral tradition.
That tradition works hand in hand in the medium of radio
6323 Radio -- as I put it when I go and see
classrooms and speak with some youth -- radio, in a sense, is the fire, so to
speak, the meeting place where we gather to share our stories, our experiences,
our achievements and even our hardships.
6324 Historically, mass media was guilty in
threatening the very survival of many of our traditional languages, culture and
self image. Aboriginal television and radio is doing away with that because in
the inception of television and radio there were stereotypes, wild Indians
riding horses to the warpath. We are all aware of that. But, fortunately, there
has been an evolution taking place for indigenous people in mass communications
in this country where radio and television can now be perhaps our greatest
6325 The application we are here to review today, I
would like to also mention, has proven itself in several
6326 Firstly, the magazine, Aboriginal Voices, had
roots in being a reference for many radio stations in Canada. It provides radio
chart information on what is happening with native artists. It also provides
artist profiles, book, television and film reviews. Also, it has articles worthy
of national attention. Now, the work done with Aboriginal Voices Magazine can
easily be translated into a radio form.
6327 Also, last June I had the pleasure of working
with Aboriginal Voices JUMP-FM during its live radio broadcast in the
Harbourfront during the Aboriginal Voices Festival. At that time, there was
quality programming being produced with little monies and little staff. The
broadcast included interviews, live concerts, talk shows. It also linked up with
the United States with the AROS(ph) network using internet services. This also
brought the voices from south of the border with our voices up here. This
obviously shows a great dedication on their part and also a commitment. I think
there was some experimentation done at that time too, which is the first time I
have seen that done using radio with aboriginal guests and
6328 Yesterday, I also visited the offices of
Aboriginal Voices and I was impressed to see they had a full radio studio set up
raring to go -- this again showing the commitment. Also, they have a line up of
people willing to volunteer and wanting an opportunity to go on a radio station
6329 The spoken word aspect of the magazine has
also gained the attention from artists in Manitoba. This was a footnote that I
came up with yesterday because there is an Aboriginal Writers Collective in
Winnipeg that has already recorded dozens of poems and prose in anticipation of
spoken-word programming. Marvin Francis, he is a local poet/painter from Alberta
living in Winnipeg, approached the group with the idea to record, and that has
6330 So those kinds of steps are already taking
place again to foster a sharing and partnerships with Aboriginal Voices Radio.
We have had discussions as well as to the future relationship we can have as a
radio network in Manitoba working with JUMP-FM.
6331 In terms of business, there is no two success
stories the same. We run fundraising, a very successful bingo operation in
Manitoba, where we had a payout that reached a record one million and a quarter
dollars. Profits like that go back into our programming. We are also gaining
great momentum in our advertising sales. I think that what will happen with
Aboriginal Voices Radio is much like us.
6332 We started out in Winnipeg just a year and a
half ago and we have gained a lot of attention in the city, particularly with
some of our talk shows, bringing up aboriginal issues which when we bring up an
issue it is much different than a commercial station because the voices of the
people on the radio are the people who are involved with this issue. It is not
talking about a people and about an issue. It is talking to people from that
community in the communities. So it has been a great experience in the talk show
6333 I know a lot of Aboriginal Voices Radio is
concentrated on talk, and I think that is key to what I have seen in their
6334 I would also like to take a moment to also
mention the music that Aboriginal Voices Radio is proposing in their
application. It is quite diverse, including 25 per cent aboriginal content and
40 per cent world music. We at NCI Manitoba have a strong country music
influence. Right now we play three aboriginal artists an hour and this summer we
are working towards playing four aboriginal artists an hour.
6335 So in terms of music, I think the
cross-section of music, world music with the aboriginal music, is actually going
to gain a larger audience, especially in a centre like Toronto. I think it is a
really exciting idea and I'm looking forward to hearing that on the
6336 Thankfully, the Commission has begun to open
its doors for aboriginal broadcasters. This supports the survival of the first
culture of these lands.
6337 In my time as Program Director at NCI I have
learned several important lessons, the first being that broadcasting aboriginal
languages in itself is one of the greatest contributions that radio can make. It
has been said that as language dies so does a big part of a culture. It is a
simple fact that in order for a cultural base language to flourish it must be
used and practised. It is also through language that many traditional songs,
stories and legends can be shared and also be documented. That is an important
point as well. In our experience, other priorities include the talk show
formats, as I have mentioned.
6338 The proposed programming by Aboriginal Voices
is diverse and exciting. The application holds a vision that I believe will
catch the attention of not only aboriginal people but all Canadians living in
Toronto. We have proven in our region that aboriginal radio can definitely
succeed, and that is success through what I have seen in the application,
meeting with people, and seeing JUMP-FM in action. I think it definitely would
6339 I would also like to mention that a place on
the radio dial is not simply a frequency, as I'm sure many of you know, it is
also about a role it can play in a listener's life. Toronto has a very high
aboriginal population that is growing and these listeners are all interested in
receiving a station like this. Abe touched on it at the beginning, but there are
a lot of people that are moving from the communities into the cities, like in
Winnipeg. We have an estimated population of between sixty to 70,000 aboriginal
people. That is happening here in Toronto.
6340 When you listen to an aboriginal radio
station, wherever I have gone, if it has been in the States or in different
parts of Canada, there is always a sense of home when you listen to an
aboriginal station because you know where the people are coming from. We all
have similar experiences, similar families, similar backgrounds. So there is a
real connection with all aboriginal people.
6341 Louis Riel is quoted as saying:
"My people will sleep for one hundred years and when they awake it will be
the artists who give them back their
6342 I'm sure those sentiments are echoed in the
application and the voices that are waiting to be involved with a station like
6343 Members of the Commission, we at Native
Communications Inc., the NCI Board of Directors, Chairman and CEO, Ron Nadeau,
look forward to working with our colleagues Aboriginal Voices Radio/JUMP-FM in
the near future.
6344 Again, thank you for the opportunity to speak
6345 All my relations. Meegwetch.
6346 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
6347 Just a moment. Thank you for your
6348 Commissioner Grauer has a question for
6349 MR. McLEOD: Sure.
6350 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you,
6351 I think you answered it in your presentation.
It was really to just determine whether or not you envisioned an active working
partnership and perhaps -- I know you have talked a bit about a network that
extends beyond Manitoba -- whether you saw this as being an integral piece of
6352 MR. McLEOD: Definitely. I think what -- like,
my experience being here in June really opened my eyes up that we can share
information, especially interviews. Now, a lot of issues that are affecting
First Nations affect them at a national level, so issues here are very alike
what is happening in Manitoba, or how maybe a community deals with an issue will
help solve problems in our region or vice-versa. So I think those kinds of links
would be really impressive. I mean, to share a talk show, to have listeners at
some point listening in this area and also in Winnipeg and, you know, the rest
of Manitoba, it is without question that would be a great
6353 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you. Thank you,
6354 THE CHAIRPERSON: Meegwetch.
6355 Mr. Secretary.
6356 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you,
6357 We will now hear the intervention by
Barrie-Orillia Broadcasting Limited. Mr. Bingley.
6358 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning,
6359 MR. BINGLEY: Good morning.
6360 Since we are all practising our Ojibway this
morning, perhaps I should say (native language spoken / language
6361 THE CHAIRPERSON: What do you mean practising?
I think I did that very well.
--- Laughter / Rires
6362 MR. BINGLEY: I noticed total fluency,
--- Laughter / Rires
6363 THE CHAIRPERSON: (Off microphone / sans
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
6364 MR. BINGLEY: My name is Doug Bingley and I own
a radio station in Barrie, Ontario. For the last 11 years I have been associated
with native broadcasting. In fact, on today's agenda there is a non-appearing
item, a licence application for the Beausoleil First Nation. That is a group I
have worked with for a number of years.
6365 I'm often asked why am I involved in native
radio. What is my motivation? Well, I will tell you what it is
6366 There are some people who say that society has
to provide certain things for native people because of some terrible events that
happened in the past, as non-natives perhaps we should feel some form of
6367 But I have to tell you that my motivation has
nothing to do with any sense of guilt for something that occurred 150 years ago.
You see I wasn't here and I'm not responsible for that, and indeed nor are any
of us. What happened back then is merely history.
6368 But for just a moment let's review that
history, because I think it is important that we are reminded of it from time to
6369 The fact is that the early settlers of this
country and the Canadian government participated in what today would be called
ethnic cleansing. Now, that is a very strong word and strong language, but the
fact is that in order to make room for European settlers native people were
forced off their land into small refugee camps that were later referred to as
Indian reserves. Governors, known as Indian agents, were appointed to rule those
reserves. The Canadian government decided that native culture was inferior and
had to be eradicated. Native people were shipped off to residential schools
where they were punished if they spoke their own language. And I have met people
today that are living with the results of that, that they were actually punished
or their parents were punished, they couldn't speak their
6370 Until 1961, native Canadians did not have the
vote. Now, think about that one for a moment. While Martin Luther King was
leading marches in the American south, in this country the original native
people of Canada were denied the vote. Until 1955, if they walked into a liquor
store or a beverage room they were denied service because Indians weren't
allowed the possession of alcohol. All of that really wasn't that long
6371 Most of us, as Canadian citizens, don't like
to think about this. We are quick to recognize the evils of apartheid, the
disgraceful racial record of the American south. But as Canadians we know we are
good people. We are tolerant and we find it almost unbelievable that this
occurred within our society. But the fact is, it did occur here in Canada and it
is a part of our history.
6372 Now, as I mentioned, it's a tragedy that this
occurred but, Members of the Panel, we are not responsible for that. It didn't
happen in our time. And I don't bring this up to raise the spectre of racial
intolerance. I'm bringing it forward because history has a habit of resonating
in our time. What occurred yesterday has a direct effect upon what is happening
6373 Past events have set in place a condition
where a large number of Canadian citizens of one ethnic group are locked into a
cycle of poverty. They have set in place a situation where native people have
the highest rate of suicide in this country, the highest levels of infant
mortality, the lowest life expectancy and the lowest standard of
6374 So while I have no sense of guilt about what
happened 100 years ago, I certainly feel a sense of responsibility when these
issues are occurring in our time, in our society.
6375 Now, all of that sounds rather dismal, but I'm
not here to talk about the evils of the past or simply to give you a history
lesson. I'm here to talk about solutions and hope, and I want to share with you
a personal observation.
6376 My grandfather built a cottage beside the
Beausoleil First Nation Indian Reserve in 1938. I spent virtually every summer
of my life there. In fact, I have a cottage of my own now. It is on land that I
lease from the Beausoleil First Nation, and I live there all summer long, and
here is something that I have personally observed.
6377 Over the last 20 years native people have been
working very hard to regain their culture and their traditions. This has
produced an incredibly positive effect. As native people have reclaimed their
culture, they have also reclaimed their pride and their dignity. This incredibly
positive situation has, in turn, enhanced their standard of
6378 I honestly believe that none of the negative
social issues that affect native people can be resolved until they truly and
fully reclaim their culture.
6379 This isn't some abstract theory I'm talking to
you about. It is something I have seen, it is a fact, and it works. There is no
amount of money, no government program that can give to native people something
that they can only give themselves, and that is to reclaim their heritage. In
today's modern society, one of the most effective ways of doing that is through
the use of radio and television.
6380 That is something else I have seen -- it is
the power of radio.
6381 My radio station helped Beausoleil First
Nation set up a small community station. That station is operated by volunteers,
in particular, young people.
6382 I know in theory that native radio is good, we
all talk in theory, in the abstract, but for once I actually got to see how it
affects people. The band put together a feast in honour of our radio station for
helping them out. At that feast, the emcee invited young people and all the
people in the room to get up and talk about how that station had affected them.
I saw person after person, kid after kid, get up and talk about how important it
was to them to be on the air, to hear their friends hear themselves, and to
actually be involved in this. Then an elder got up and said that he had turned
on his radio and for the first time in 75 years he had heard a native radio
station and he had heard someone actually talking on the radio in Ojibway, and
he thought that time would never come.
6383 I have to tell you, as a commercial
broadcaster, you sometimes get a little bit jaded with this industry, you get
too wrapped up in the business side of it, but there was some real magic in the
air there and you could really see how one little radio station could touch so
6384 Now, what I'm talking about is a 100 milliwatt
transmitter. You can hear that station for one-quarter of a mile. If one-tenth
of a watt can produce that kind of results, I simply can't imagine what a 50,000
watt clear channel signal can do for the native community.
6385 Now, that is a great success story, but
unfortunately the fact is, when it comes to broadcasting, native Canadians are
the most under-represented group in radio. In Toronto, Canada's largest city,
there is not a single native radio station. In fact, as Mr. Farmer pointed out,
there are only five hours of native programming available each
6386 If you go home tonight and you turn on your
television to the news, to either the public or the private networks, chances
are you won't see a single native commentator, reporter or news anchor. You will
see representatives of nations from around the world, but you won't see a single
6387 Members of the Panel, there is clearly a
problem here, and I know that you are concerned and, moreover, you are doing
something about it. The recent changes to the native broadcasting policy have
made it easier for natives to obtain stations in the north, and recently you
licensed the APTN, and I know some Members of this Panel were at that hearing.
So I know your hearts are in the right place. But I also know that today you
have a problem, and the problem is there are some very, very powerful reasons
for licensing some other groups and the number of frequencies is
6388 So I know that you face a very difficult
decision, and hopefully I can bring you some help there by putting this issue
into context with history.
6389 I think one of the biggest disservices to
native people is what I would call the "tomorrow syndrome". This began 150 to
200 years ago. "If you surrender this land today, we will treat you fairly
tomorrow." When tomorrow comes, "Well, sorry, we will get around to it later."
Years pass, then, "I'm sorry, the government has budgetary problems right now."
And, finally, after generations have past, "I'm sorry, those promises were made
150 years ago. The fish are gone, the trees are gone. Surely, you don't expect
us to live up to something that was committed to so long ago."
6390 Commissioners, I'm sure when you think of your
decision in the context of history, you will see that the decision is quite
easy. Compared to native Canadians, no individual nor any group that is here
today can claim priority for these frequencies for indeed no group has had to
wait so long. Native people have been incredibly patient, and surely their time
6391 Thank you for your attention.
6392 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Bingley.
We always enjoy seeing you.
6393 MR. BINGLEY: Thank you.
6394 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary,
6395 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you,
6396 I will now come upon Pedahbun Lodge Inc.
--- Pause / Pause
6397 MR. CUSSONS: It sounds as if I may have
mispronounced the name. I apologize if I did.
6398 MS CHASKE: It's called Pedahbun Lodge, but
that may not be correct either because I'm not Ojibway and it is an Ojibway
6399 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning.
6400 MS CHASKE: Good morning.
6401 THE CHAIRPERSON: You are Ms
6402 MS CHASKE: That's right.
6403 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
6404 MS CHASKE: My name is Ivy Chaske. I'm the
Executive Director of Pedahbun Lodge, which is one of the longest running
residential treatment facilities in this country.
6405 But it is not in that capacity that I sit
here. I sit here in the capacity of one of the leaders of my community, not just
from a sense of somebody else's definition of what leadership is but from the
definition of my own people.
6406 I come from a traditional hereditary
leadership family where the responsibilities for our people are handed down from
generation to generation. Last year, that responsibility was handed to me to
speak for the women of my nation.
6407 Now, I don't know if I'm allowed to ask you
any questions. I have never appeared before you. I'm sure that some of you don't
know who Dakota people are. I don't know how many of you have heard of Dakota
people. I'm sure you have heard of Sioux people. I don't know how many of you
have heard of Wounded Knee. I don't know how many of you have heard of the
Battle of the Little Bighorn. I'm sure you have heard of Custer, but I'm sure
all of you have heard of Dances with Wolves.
6408 And you ask what is the connection between all
of these things and why am I talking about these things? Well, the connection
with all of these things is this is about my life. And when I sit here and speak
to you, I speak from the perspective of the people of my nation at a community
level. I sit here and I speak about what something like this means to our
6409 I have had my own radio show, an award-winning
radio show in Winnipeg. I have developed an aboriginal and journalism program
when I worked in Manitoba. I have done radio programming here and there,
different spots on different shows.
6410 But the most important thing and the most
important reason why I sit here is to speak for not just me but to speak for the
responsibility that I carry to ensure that the voices of our people are heard
because I don't know all of the technicalities, I don't know all of the
applications that you are considering.
6411 I listen to the other speakers. As I listen to
that I feel like I have been around for 200 years. It is in my lifetime our
people didn't have the vote. I have been to residential school. As a matter of
fact, Elijah Harper and I went to the same residential school.
6412 All those things that were spoken about today
have been a part of my life. I grew up in a tent on the banks of the Assiniboine
River in southern Manitoba. I walked past restaurants that said "No dogs or
Indians allowed." That is my history.
6413 Residential school does a terrible thing to
you. It teaches you to hate those people who oppress you. I remember when my
daughter was five years old and I was going on about these horrible things that
were happening to our people and those damn white people did this and that, my
daughter, at five years old, grabbed my skirt and said, "Mommy, my friend Mika
is not like that. My friend Mika is white and she is a good person." And I
realized that those things that I spoke out against, the disrespect, the racism,
I was teaching them to my child by my behaviour.
6414 I vowed at that point to take on the
responsibility to change that, to be a part of educating, because whatever it is
that we learn we are taught by those people who have come before us, by our
family members, by our relations, and that I was doing exactly the same thing
that I was blaming other people for and that in order to restore that balance --
because with my people, when you make a mistake, you have created an imbalance,
and that is what I did.
6415 So it is my responsibility to restore that
balance, and to do that I took on the responsibility of being part of an
education process to educate non-native people and to be a bridge between my
people and the rest of the people that live on this land, because I also came to
the realization that nobody is going home. They are here to stay. I don't know
what I was thinking that I thought that people were just here
6416 If we are going to live together, then we all
have a responsibility to connect with each other, to communicate with each
other, to have an understanding of each other. That is what this radio station
will do. It will give a voice to my people that is heard beyond just in a room
like this, beyond just those people who are interested in what we are hearing,
but it will give a voice to all of our people from all of the different nations
in this country.
6417 I want to thank you for taking the time to
listen to me, to hear what we have to say, to hear what the people have to say,
and to hear what I say on behalf of the women of my nation, because it is in
that capacity that I sit with you.
6418 I also want to thank you for taking the time,
because one of the things that I was taught growing up in a hereditary
leadership family is to always remember that as you sit here and listen to me,
whether it is five minutes or ten minutes, whether it is an hour, it is five
minutes or ten minutes or an hour out of your life, and that is a sacred thing
that you do, that you have given me, some time out of your life to listen to me.
It is time that your family didn't have. It is time that people close to you
don't have. That is a sacredness with which we are to view life, and that is
what I see when I see you sitting there listening to me. I recognize that this
is a sacred thing that we do, that you would give your life, your time, your
gifts of hearing and seeing, to listen to me and what I have to
6419 I'm not Ojibway, but I will also say meegwetch
because I think most of the people here are Ojibway. Meegwetch.
6420 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much,
6421 Mr. Secretary, please.
6422 MR. CUSSONS: Our next intervention will be
presented by the National Indian Brotherhood. Mr. Switzer, please.
--- Pause / Pause
6423 MR. CUSSONS: Okay. I will call him again. In
the meantime, perhaps I will call upon Mr. Paul Thompson to come
6424 Mr. Thompson.
6425 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning,
6426 MR. THOMPSON: Good morning.
6427 Je voudrais vous remercier de m'avoir invité à
parler avec vous aujourd'hui et de pouvoir parler un petit peu en français.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
6428 MR. THOMPSON: I guess the best way to describe
who I am is -- and I don't know how I would say this in French -- an elder, un
6429 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Un ancêtre.
6430 MR. THOMPSON: But I'm, I suppose, a theatre
elder in that I have just spent the last 35 years of my life working on national
theatre in this country and helping evolve and develop and be part of a movement
that has an amazing reach and success story.
6431 I have created plays. I have had the
opportunity of creating plays in seven of the ten provinces and have had a great
opportunity of working with the native community in initial circumstances, where
we develop material today, and in other circumstances where, through the theatre
I was running, we created circumstances for them to develop their own plays.
Because this has happened in different parts of the country, and when you are
doing original work you get a great opportunity of connecting with that sense of
the various parts of the country.
6432 Actually, my first connection with the native
theatre movement, that was in Saskatoon in 1975. Over the years, the growth and
evolvement of the native aspect of that theatre movement has been
6433 Initially, when we were doing plays in the
early seventies, it was almost impossible to find a professionally trained
native performer for the parts. With the growth of their own material, the
native material, this has evolved to such a point that, from a grassroots
perspective to a popular perspective, we have seen shows go into the Royal
Alexander Theatre, the National Arts Centre, and various places across the
6434 In fact, very recently I had a very unusual
experience of being invited to the University of Venice in Italy to direct a
native play that was developed in Saskatoon with Maria Campbell called Jessica.
It played in the classically-focused Goldoni Theatre in Venice. I will tell you
that it was an amazing experience to deal with Indian ceremonies, the whole
native cultural aspect and the contemporary relationships that the themes in
Jessica touch on.
6435 All of this is just to give you, I think, a
little bit of perspective having to do with where I see grassroots and culture
connecting with the application that is in front of you here
6436 In most of the circumstances I'm talking
about, if not all of them, what was an essential part of the development of the
material and of the power of the performers was a sense of home, a sense of
place. In a certain way we were lucky in Saskatoon at the beginning of that
because the geographical sense of the native community in Saskatoon is very
clear. In a place like Toronto, that is a much harder and more complicated
phenomenon to connect with.
6437 What I would like to focus on in terms of this
application is that sense of home.
6438 The experiences that I have had across the
country have allowed me to see in places like Wikwemikong Reserve, up on Baffin
Island, a way in which the material, the broadcasting material, is used to
connect in with the community, and to, I suppose, find another means, even their
own, if you will -- excuse me for a minute.
--- Pause / Pause
6439 MR. THOMPSON: -- their own sense of the
6440 I remember once being on Baffin Island and in
Iqaluit. People had their radio on when you were going around visiting. In a
certain day I think I probably visited about three or four people, and during
that period of time the radio was on and there was an elder talking about his
life story as part of a land claims but, in a sense, it felt almost like an epic
poem and it had, for me, a very profound effect, because it was a bit like his
version of the Iliad. There was something about a trap line. He remembered where
this was. There was a very interesting sense of time that was connected in with
6441 People sort of absorb that as part of their --
a natural part of their lives as opposed to something being special. I guess my
experience in the arts and with the theatre community is that the more it is
absorbed into the everyday nature of your life the richer it becomes and the
more you can extend out from that.
6442 Now, in my letter of support I pointed out a
couple of perspectives that I thought were important for the Toronto
application. One of them had to do with this sense of home, but the second of
them had to do with this manner in which the forum can get used.
6443 I think what is happening in radio right now
is that when I listen to it my ear always picks up to the -- you know, something
that is different from what was going on before. I think radio has a great
opportunity of sort of leading us towards breaking away from our expectations.
And I think that the experience up on Baffin Island and actually the way that
the media got used on the Wikwemikong Reserve, where I helped create several
plays, has a way of absorbing it so totally into the community that people have
a strong sense of themselves as sort of stars.
6444 When we were doing the plays on Manitoulin
Island, the publicity -- I actually have created plays in large professional
places as well as in very community-oriented places, if you like, and the TV ads
that we had for the show on Manitoulin Island were exceptional. They would stand
beside a Mirvish ad that, in the Toronto circumstances, would be beyond any
theatre, apart from these highly-powered commercial ones to youths, so that the
vocabulary between the audience and the performers, the creators, was an
immediate one, and sort of got out of the road of economics. I think that in a
certain way we can do the same thing here, getting out of the road of the
economics and being able to connect up with the native
6445 The native community here has a problem in
Toronto. You have already heard that a little bit. There is no geographic base,
whereas almost in every other city that I can think of you have that geographic
base. The radio circumstances will allow the communication of the information
and the connection with that support.
6446 In the final phase of this, I think that what
comes to mind for me is a way of connecting with other communities. What comes
to mind for me is the Anishnabe Health Street Patrols. In Toronto, I'm not sure
if all of you will be familiar with this, but they have a terrific reputation
amongst all of the communities out there as somebody who has a direct connection
with the people on the street. They have an element of trust in that and they
have an expertise and an understanding that have to do with the spiritual
qualities that we have seen mentioned before today and I guess a savvy that has
to do with the survival that has happened up to now.
6447 So I would say that from that point of view,
it is in the interest of all of the communities out there to allow the native
community to come to the fore and to be present and active in the multiple
voices of the city. Not only will it be enriching and strengthening the native
community, but it will also be widening the sense of communities that is, in my
opinion, at the base of the richness of the City of Toronto.
6448 Thank you for listening to me.
6449 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very
6450 Commissioner Noël has supplied the proper
translation for elders, which would be "les aînés".
6451 MR. THOMPSON: Les aînés. Ah, c'est bien
6452 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Merci, Monsieur
6453 MR. THOMPSON: Thank you.
6454 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary,
6455 MR. CUSSONS: I would now like to invite Elijah
Harper to come forward and present his intervention, please.
6456 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning.
6457 MR. HARPER: Good morning.
6458 I don't hear a response. I'm not sure whether
I'm appearing before a Commission.
6459 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning,
6460 MR. HARPER: Good morning. Thank you.
--- Laughter / Rires
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
6461 MR. HARPER: Anyway, I'm honoured to be
6462 I would like to thank the Commission for
giving me the opportunity to be here. I know the kind of work that is being done
by the Commission and also the time and effort given by the individuals. I know
it sometimes seems a tedious task, but it is certainly a job that, I guess,
needs to be done. I thank you for that.
6463 I would also like to thank the Aboriginal
Voices Radio, the organization and the volunteers for this
6464 I would like to speak on my personal
experience as a First Nations person, as a First Nations leader, also speak as a
person that has been involved in the general public and politics and the field
of, I guess, media, which I have been exposed to.
6465 Media can be a very vast and important
influence. I know from experience that, with all the print and television images
and radio that collectively focus on a single subject, that can present a
powerful message and image. I have had that experience. It can be like a sword.
It can slice in both ways, either negatively or positively.
6466 I think media has an important role to play in
the lives of everyone concerned. That is why it is so important that as First
Nations people or as aboriginal people we need to have access to the media. In
this case, I'm appearing before the Commission to support the application
licence for Aboriginal Voices Radio.
6467 It is not only crucial but it is a must
because aboriginal people have a tremendous contribution to make in this
country, to make a contribution to all the people that have come to live in this
country we call Canada. How many of you, or how many people in the radio world
or in this country know what "Canada" means? How many of you know it is an
aboriginal word? Where I come from, Manitoba, how many of you know what
"Manitoba" means? It is an aboriginal word. Even "Winnipeg" is an aboriginal
word. What does it mean? Does anyone here before the Commission know any of
those words, what they mean, places that are identified as using aboriginal
6468 So it is important to understand what these
words mean and what they reflect.
6469 As aboriginal people, we talk about our
relationship with Canada and the people. Often times in the media we see
confrontations, we see violence. Those things seem to be the only ones that the
media seems to pick up, the negative aspects of the native world or a
confrontation between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people. There hasn't been
anything positive said about aboriginal people.
6470 From time to time I see a positive story
printed in the media or seen in a documentary or hear of it in the news and on
the radio. So we need to put forward our views of the world, of what we can
offer to the rest of the society. I have seen, as I have said, the impacts that
it has had on our people, the stereotype images of aboriginal people, not just
only film and video but what is said and what is written about aboriginal
6471 I don't want to make you feel like some -- as
someone said, make you feel guilty, but rather that this is important and
essential in the preservation of our language, our culture, our traditions and
6472 Often times people, when put in a position of
making decisions, often times don't make the right decision or the correct
decision. I think in this case the application for aboriginal people and their
quest for a radio licence in Toronto is essential.
6473 You know, I have heard many comments from many
people as I travel across the country. I have appeared previously before CRTC
hearings. I have spoken at practically every university across Canada. I have
spoken to many professionals, teachers, lawyers, doctors at many conferences,
not just only aboriginal conferences, and the general public at large about
aboriginal people and our issues. There is this uninformed, I guess, opinion of
people sometimes, this ignorance of aboriginal issues, of what we talk about
doesn't seem to be understood by ordinary Canadians. I see that. I hear
6474 When we talk about treaties, not many people
know that treaties exist between First Nations people and the Government of
Canada, or in this case it would be the treaty relationship by the people of
Canada through their government. So, as a general public, you do have treaty
rights with the First Nations people, but people don't see it in that context.
So when we see uprisings or newscasts about a treaty that was made in 1752 with
the M'kmaq people about lobster fishing rights, people wonder what this is all
6475 We have to take responsibility. Often times I
hear people say, "It's not my responsibility. It wasn't during my time. That
happened a long time ago." I have heard that so many times, not just only from
individuals but people in the position of power. People in the position to make
a difference make those comments. Because what we are addressing here are events
that happened a long time ago, treaties that happened a long time ago, but they
are still as valid today as they were signed 100 years ago, because treaties are
about relationships and from time to time we need to look at
6476 So it is important to address those things and
not just to write it off as a piece of history and say it happened a long time
ago, because in that sense, from our perspective, it is like a curse, a
generational curse. We say in the Ojibway language "onjenay", which is like a
curse. It is a continuing thing that affects our people from one generation to
another generation of people.
6477 People totally absolve themselves from making
any decision. They hide behind laws, they hide behind regulations, they hide
behind institutions and say they don't fit into those institutions or laws. They
conveniently hide behind those from making any decision to correct a wrong or to
make things right. So often times I see that.
6478 For instance, an example I can give you is
immigrants that come here to this country. The most recent immigrants that have
arrived, let's say, from the Pacific Rim, from India, when they come to this
country and become citizens of this country they also inherit the legacy of the
broken promises and treaties that were made with the First Nations people even
though it is not of their doing. It is not of their doing, but they take on that
6479 These immigrants are good people to come and
live here, and they want to be part of the society that may want to correct some
of these mistakes or want to contribute in making things correct. So, in that
sense, we need to provide the information, need to communicate to the general
public and to educate and make them aware of these issues so that they can
collectively understand what this is all about.
6480 I know, from experience, even ordinary
Canadians today don't understand many of the issues that I talk about, many of
the issues when we raise treaty issues. For instance, I'm also on a commission,
I belong to a commission. I belong to the Indian Claims Commission. We deal with
specific claims made by First Nations. We go into the history of our people,
deal with the circumstances. So I deal with those constantly, not just as a
commissioner but also as an aboriginal, a First Nations member.
6481 I don't practice Ojibway; I live Ojibway. I am
Ojibway. I am who I am. I cannot change who I am. This is the way that I was
created. And I speak with my own language as well fluently, a language that many
of us speak at home. If we lose that, we don't have no place to go back to, to
somewhere in the world, to a mother country where we can retrieve our language.
We don't have that. We have been here and will be here forever.
6482 As part of that, as First Nations people, as I
said earlier, we have a tremendous contribution to make, and I don't have time
to go into some of those aspects in terms of our values and our traditions. I
think we have very rich traditions, rich values that incorporate humanity in
terms of the sharing, the caring and respect of other people, of other nations.
If those treaties were ever understood, they would reflect those decisions, that
the relationship that we have is forever. As a matter of fact, the treaties say
"As long as the sun shines, the river flows and the grass grows." That is our
relationship. We are here to live together and the treaties reflect
6483 So we want to be able to inform the general
public of those values, of how rich and a caring society we are as First Nations
6484 I could go on, but I think I have said my
part, and I hope I have made an impact at least. The message that I am trying to
make here is that it is important and essential to have a voice in the
community, a voice that cares for everyone.
6485 So with that I thank you and I will say
meegwetch. This is an Ojibway traditional territory. Meegwetch and may God
bless. Thank you.
6486 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your
participation, Mr. Harper.
6487 Mr. Secretary, please.
6488 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you,
6489 We will now hear from Mnjikaning First Nation,
6490 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning.
6491 MR. MARTEL: Yes.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
6492 MR. MARTEL: How do you do?
6493 Thank you very much for inviting me today. I
almost didn't make it. We have just finished a very hectic 15-day negotiation
session with the Province of Ontario and I am tired and I had to get out of the
hotel and get up here as soon as I could.
6494 Anyway, thank you very much for inviting me
and allowing me to say a few words here.
6495 My name is Dennis Martel and I currently work
as a Communications Director for the Mnjikaning First Nation near Orillia. You
will know it as Rama. Many of you may know it as Casino Rama, but that is only
one part of our economic development program right now.
6496 I'm here at the request of our chief, Chief
Lorraine McRae, and our council, to provide support for Mr. Gary Farmer and his
application for the Aboriginal Voices Radio.
6497 Since 1972, I have worked with First Nations
people. I gave up a career as a tenured professor at university to work
freelance with First Nations because I thought it would be an exciting career.
Little did I know just what it would do to me. But it has been exceptionally
6498 I have worked with First Nations, the Union of
Ontario Indians and the Assembly of First Nations back in the days when it was
known as the National Indian Brotherhood. I have worked with the Chiefs of
Ontario, United Chiefs and Councils of Manitoulin Island, Southern First Nations
Secretariat, and now with Mnjikaning.
6499 I have always worked in the capacity of a
communications person. Sometimes it meant writing speeches, doing position
papers on certain issues that were of importance to them, but primarily it meant
training young people to take my job.
6500 I remember when I first starting doing this, I
was questioned by some people, "You are actually working yourself out of a job.
Isn't that kind of silly?" Well, here I am. It is the year 2000, it has been
over 25 years, and I have worked myself out of a lot of jobs, but there is still
lots to be done and lots in front of me.
6501 I also worked for a short period of time when
I realized, after the patriation of the Canadian Constitution issue, after
certain events that took place at Restigouche where I was involved, that there
was a need for a larger First Nations presence, a larger First Nations voice in
6502 At that point, I talked to my chief at that
time, Chief Pat Medabi, at the Union of Ontario Indians and asked if it would be
okay if I went to the University of Western Ontario to help out there. They had
a program in journalism for native people that was running into some roadblocks.
So I received permission from the chiefs and the elders to go to Western and I
worked there with Peter Devereaux and the Graduate School of Journalism to
maintain a program for native people in the area of journalism.
6503 It was a very successful program, and some of
our graduates have gone on to some very important and very good jobs. One in
particular, Mr. Dan David, is now with the Aboriginal Peoples
6504 When I left Western I did so because I wanted
to go back in and work with the communities at the community level. Since then I
have worked in the Orillia-Barrie area through the First Nations at Mnjikaning
and the other First Nations at Christian Island, Georgina Island, Moose Deer
Point, and Wahta, where I have worked on a project with Mr. Doug Bingley from
Rock 95 in Barrie. We are trying up there to establish a series of small radio
stations for the First Nations in that area to provide jobs and training and to
gain that voice.
6505 So what I am trying to create here is this
kind of picture that goes back a long way, working to establish a First Nations
voice within both mainstream and aboriginal media. And it has touched lots of
little bases. It has touched First Nations organizations, it has touched the
community, it has touched academics, and it has touched those people like
Mr. Bingley who actually work in the area and have proven to be very, very
successful in it.
6506 Now, since 1978, I have worked off and on very
closely with Mr. Farmer. In fact, Gary and I worked together at Ontario Indian
Magazine, in 1978, at the Union of Ontario Indians. It was an exciting time. At
that point, I recognized the passion and the love and the deep commitment that
Mr. Farmer had for providing a First Nations voice. Sometimes we crossed swords,
we didn't always agree with each other, but I always, always appreciated and
respected his point of view, and in the long run he turned out to be more
correct than I in certain areas.
6507 He has moved on to develop his own magazine
and he has spent many, many years, lots of time, lots of effort, lots of hard
work, lots of heart and soul and tears and money to provide this voice. I think
that the project that he is presenting here is a good project and is put
together by good people, and it will have good results if it is given an
opportunity to do so.
6508 First Nations people need access to the media,
they need to have their voices heard, their songs, their stories, their culture,
but even more important, their unique perspective on this world.
6509 While I have worked with First Nations
throughout the last 27 years in communications, that is the one point I missed.
I can bring so much else to the table and to the work, but I can't bring that
unique First Nations perspective, which Elijah Harper so eloquently covered a
moment ago. But the First Nations have a voice, and it has been
6510 As Mr. Harper talked about a moment ago, so
many of us don't know the meaning of the words of the capital of our country,
the name of our country, so many of the streets, the cities, the towns. That is
the native voice, but it has been silenced and perhaps it is time it was given
an opportunity to speak out.
6511 It is, to use a very old metaphor, part of
that mosaic that makes up this place called Canada. If Mr. Farmer is successful
in his application, I believe it will be not just the culmination of about 28
years work, or maybe a lifetime of work for Mr. Farmer, but it will provide a
link that will bring together all those many aboriginal communications societies
that exist or have existed across Canada. It will link it to the efforts of many
of the First Nations organizations.
6512 We have, for example, in Ottawa right now, at
the Assembly of First Nations, a fellow named Maurice Switzer. I believe he is
here today. He is doing tremendous things at that national level to link the
First Nations communities together.
6513 So what's happening? I see this as a very ripe
time. We have, for the first time, this coming together of people who have been
working in the area for many years at the political level, Assembly of First
Nations, at the Union of Ontario Indians level, across Canada we have the
aboriginal societies. We have First Nations professionals that are out there
that are ready to go and ready to work. What they need is a little bit of a
push. In our area, if we are successful in our application for the radio
stations, this will be a natural link in with Mr. Farmer.
6514 We at Mnjikaning, and I cannot speak for the
Chief in Council, but we are deeply, deeply committed to encouraging the culture
of First Nations people and to provide jobs and training and community develop,
and we have set aside a significant portion of the revenues that we will be
receiving from Casino Rama for those purposes. Now, that is not to say that
immediately a cheque will be sent off to Mr. Farmer. That won't happen. But
there will be talks taking place regarding the use of these revenues for
cultural and community endeavours, and a radio station figures very prominently
in our plans.
6515 So it is a natural link for us. Like I say, it
is a good proposal but it is also a natural proposal.
6516 I have heard -- and I will stop after saying
this -- you know, I have heard some people say that perhaps we shouldn't provide
a voice for a specific group of people, that there is something wrong with that.
I would say that Canada has a long history of doing that.
6517 I think the CBC was initially established to
give Canadian people a voice against this barrage of signals that were coming
across the border from the United States. As somebody who grew up in an isolated
mining camp in northern Ontario, the CBC was often the only voice I heard. It is
what gave me my unique identity and my unique perspective on this world, my
unique Canadian perspective.
6518 I can remember also about 25 or 30 years ago
certain percentages being set to establish a Canadian presence on Canadian
radios telling people you have to air some Canadian music once in a while. For a
long time all we heard was Gordon Lightfoot and Anne Murray, but look at where
we are now. Look at the voice that Canadian entertainers have across Canada, the
United States and around the world. We have set the world on its ear with the
magnificence of our talent and our creativity.
6519 I think that the same thing can happen if we
provide the First Nations with this voice. The talent is there. It is tremendous
and it is growing. From our own community, the Ronnie Douglas Blues Band. Nobody
has ever heard of them, but they just came to Toronto and blew the doors off
everybody down here in a blues festival, and they were selected the best blues
band in Ontario. I hear there are a couple out in some other communities, and
Gary Farmer has a few down where he comes from.
6520 All I'm saying is that those voices are there
and right now they are silenced, and right now they need -- they are trying for
an opportunity to speak out. I think that this project will give them that
6521 Thank you very much.
6522 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your
participation, Mr. Martel.
6523 We will now take a 15-minute break and return
at ten to 11:00.
6524 Nous reprendrons à onze heures moins dix.
--- Recess at 1035 / Suspension à 1035
--- Upon resuming at 1050 / Reprise à 1050
6525 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary,
6526 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you,
6527 I would now like to call upon the National
Indian Brotherhood to present its intervention please.
6528 Mr. Switzer.
6529 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning and welcome. Go
ahead when you are ready.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
6530 MR. SWITZER: Bonjour (foreign languages
spoken / langues étrangère).
6531 I'm pleased to represent the National Chief,
Phil Fontaine, this morning. He unfortunately can't be here, but he specifically
wanted me to say with how much fervour the Assembly of First Nations supports
the application by Aboriginal Voices Radio and wishes them godspeed in the
6532 My name is Maurice Switzer. I'm the Director
6533 Like, I think, Dennis Martel mentioned, he was
a bit weary this morning, I actually appreciate people shuffling the order for
me because I slept in because I was out last night with the Native Men's
Residence Street Patrol here in Toronto. For those of you who don't know, they
are at 14 Vaughan, and they have a 38-bed facility to take people off the
streets when it is 19 below zero, or whatever it was last night, and colder.
They service people on the streets not just who are aboriginal but anybody who
needs their help.
6534 You won't see stories about their work very
often in the mainstream media or hear it on the mainstream radio stations. I
believe actually there was a ten or 15-second clip on Citytv last night, but
they must have had a gap between Tina Turner's visit and something
6535 Those are the kind of stories that only
vehicles like Aboriginal Voices Radio and Aboriginal Peoples Television Network,
and The Messenger, which is the national newspaper that the Assembly of First
Nations has launched, and many other regional publications and broadcast
initiatives -- you are only going to hear those stories if aboriginal and First
Nations people tell them, unfortunately. I believe that will change but
unfortunately now that is the case.
6536 I come from -- my grandfather's community is
on the shores of Rice Lake near Cobourg. It is a community called Alderville. I
was reading in our newsletter the other day that they are actually talking about
starting their own little radio station. Some of the Commissioners might be
surprised to know that there are, across this country called Canada, about 170
such little radio stations that are a very important means of communication for
First Nations and aboriginal people.
6537 They are very entertaining. They are not so --
they are very laid back. I can remember driving through a reservation in North
Dakota and the on-air announcer said, "Excuse me for a minute", and he came back
in five or ten seconds and he said, "I was just taking a bite out of my apple."
Very laid back, very comfortable listening. Not the hype that you hear on so
much commercial radio. But those stations are a critical network to get
information out for aboriginal people.
6538 There are two real reasons for the need for
these kind of initiatives.
6539 To me, the obvious need is to help public
education. When one of the Commissioners asked me if the APTN intervention by
the assembly -- how I would justify the inevitable criticism about forcing
people to pay 15 cents a month to watch or to have on their band an
aboriginal-specific television station, I said it is public education. We pay
for education if it is important education that isn't being provided by other
6540 The schools are very slow in getting to this,
the aboriginal file. Mainstream media are pretty slow in dealing with our
issues, particularly the stories such as the one I mentioned, the Native Men's
Residence story, those which we call positive stories -- as a journalist, I
don't like to talk about positive or negative, but those kind of stories. So if
there aren't vehicles like Aboriginal Voices Radio or APTN, The Messenger or
Wind Speaker, you know, all of these, these little scattered communication
vehicles, important stories aren't going to be told. And not just to mainstream
Canadians or wider Canada, who really have just woeful ignorance about
aboriginal people, it is just -- a day does not go by in which I'm not amazed at
the lack of knowledge about some pretty basic aboriginal cultural or traditional
or historic information that is exhibited in the mainstream media. It is very
important that aboriginal native people talk amongst ourselves about what is
going on and hear our own voices.
6541 There are all sorts of things that that can
do, but one of the things it can do is it can impart hope. If you know that some
people are accomplishing things -- if you grew up in an environment that is
maybe not the most positive environment because of all sorts of social issues
and poverty issues, to know that people are succeeding is extremely important,
and aboriginal media is very important to carry those messages, those messages
of hope. They are education messages.
6542 The language issue is extremely important.
There is a great fight on for the preservation of aboriginal languages, and
Aboriginal Voices Radio has made a commitment to that, as well as to the
preservation or to the broadcast of French. Many of us tend to forget that for
about 15,000 First Nations people in Quebec, for example, their working
day-to-day language is French. So Aboriginal Voices Radio will be important for
6543 I just read in my community a newsletter, as I
said, that there is talk about a little radio station. I think one of the most
important aspects of what I know about this application is the training aspect.
There is a desperate need to develop communications capacity in aboriginal and
First Nation communities.
6544 There is only one aboriginal-specific diploma
journalism program in this country, which I had the privilege of being involved
in helping establish. It is extremely important that those sorts of initiatives
be allowed to be nurtured and be allowed to grow because First Nations
aboriginal people are developing all sorts of skill sets. They are learning how
to be accountants, they are learning how to be lawyers, they are learning how to
be teachers. But without that communication skill in our communities, sometimes
it is as if those successes never happened.
6545 We have to have -- it is almost a cliché, but
that voice to tell people what we are capable of doing, what we have done, what
we plan on doing. So that training aspect is just critical. I was very pleased
to see that there was a training component in this application.
6546 The Royal Commission on Aboriginal People made
some very good recommendations, and many of them dealt with media and
communication issues, most of which have been ignored or have gathered dust --
not gathered strength, they have gathered dust.
6547 People who remember those days in the summer
of 1990, you remember the role that the distorted media images played in what
could have been a very dangerous situation at Kanasatake. The distortion of what
Indian people are and are represented to look like -- made to look on your
evening news like nothing but a bunch of thugs when, in reality, they were
people who drew the line at having people play golf on top of their ancestors.
It wasn't an overnight quarrel. That is a debate that had been going on for 270
years. The media just noticed it, but that was a 270-year land rights
6548 So it is those sort of things that aboriginal
communications vehicles will help inform wider Canada about, but I think almost
as importantly, or more importantly, they will provide an opportunity for young
people, elders, to speak their language, play different kinds of
6549 I know when I was working in Tyendenaga that
the radio station would play Britney Spears or whoever the equivalent was in
those days -- programming that was designed by First Nations and aboriginal
people for their own interests in their own community. Whether it is cultural
programming, whatever it is, it is important that the design of that programming
is by and for aboriginal and First Nations people.
6550 So that is the message that the Assembly of
First Nations, formerly the National Indian Brotherhood, has asked me to bring
to the Commissioners. And we are very much in support of Aboriginal Voices Radio
and what it stands for and what other initiatives like that can mean for our
6551 So, meegwetch (native language spoken /
language autochtone). Thank you.
6552 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much,
Mr. Switzer. I hope that you bring our best wishes to Mr.
6553 MR. SWITZER: Meegwetch.
6554 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary,
6555 MR. CUSSONS: Madam Chairperson, we will now
hear the intervention from Curve Lake First Nation.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
6556 MR. WILLIAMS: (Off microphone / sans
6557 I would like to thank you for taking the time
to hear me out today, and to thank the organizers and the people, the
volunteers, connected with the Aboriginal Peoples Voices Radio.
6558 I have a couple of stories to tell before I
start, just to give an idea of who I am and what I have been
6559 A few years ago I was elected as Chief of my
First Nation and I was at the conferences that we went to and there was a lady
there who was very heavy into keeping our language alive. She asked me did I get
elected on what I know or just popularity. I had no political experience or very
little cultural awareness at that time, so I responded popularity. Over the
time, though, I have taken the role very seriously as elected chief, and I think
sometimes that can be misconstrued with the roles of the traditional chiefs and
the way that we did business. But, unfortunately, I feel inferior to those
traditional chiefs because the election process is something that is imposed on
us through a piece of legislation.
6560 However, I am known as Gary Williams, as you
see in the information that I have handed to you. I'm from Curve Lake. I am a
singer/songwriter. I am known by a lot of people in Ottawa as 1610056901, and
I'm from Band No. 35.
--- Laughter / Rires
6561 MR. WILLIAMS: As chief of one of the
Mississauga First Nations in this area, we have a lot of pre-Confederation
treaties, and the Williams Treaty that we are currently dealing with, where
Curve Lake is involved with a group called the UAC who is an organization of
eight First Nations who are negotiating self-government, there are seven First
Nations that are involved in treaty negotiations.
6562 I guess, going back four years when I was
elected, I should clearly state that I didn't know a lot about my history. I was
just starting to learn about my culture. It seems funny now, and I don't know
what this is, but people used to say, "You are young for a chief." That was only
three-and-a-half years ago. People don't say that any more, so I don't know what
the connection is there.
6563 But as chief, I have had the opportunity to
learn a lot and read a lot of documents that confirm that we have occupied this
area since time immemorial. Through these treaty research documents, I have also
learned of the valuable contributions we have made to this country. Our warriors
protected this area with the British Crown in a time when this country was very,
very vulnerable, and the treaties were made at a time when we were considered
formidable allies. The fur trade tied into a means of transportation, a system
of transportation, an economic system that was already in place -- things that
seem forgotten or very forgotten, even by our people.
6564 I will not go into the details of a lot of
these documents. However, I will say it is a shame that I was not aware of these
things while I was growing up on the reserve, or even more important when I was
living off the reserve in the Toronto area.
6565 Some of the things when we talk about our
history -- and one of the ladies who so eloquently said this morning about her
history and what she saw -- on Curve Lake we are only two hours northeast of
here. We are in the Peterborough area. It is well within the 740 AM frequency
that the group is trying to get. I can remember having to go to -- having an
outhouse. I can remember bathing in a little aluminum galvanized tub, you know,
that is maybe this wide by that wide, and I can remember getting whooped for
painting a little bull's eye in it and throwing a stick with a nail through it,
because that was all we had for a bathtub. I can remember the first telephone,
the first TV, and our first car.
6566 So, when you look at the experiences that I
have had or that First Nations people have had and have had to progress at such
a rapid pace, I think, you know, it shows our flexibility and our
6567 When we are talking about treaties, I do feel
that there is one treaty that may be particularly relevant in this case, and
that is the Gunshot Treaty. I don't know if anybody of the Commission is
familiar with it, but the Gunshot Treaty was basically, on a quiet day, if you
could hear a gunshot from the Toronto area where the gun was fired, where you
could hear it, the exterior boundary where you could hear it, that was the land
that was to be surrendered. You know, it seems funny, that is probably right
where the FM range is that we are talking about.
--- Laughter / Rires
6568 MR. WILLIAMS: So, like I said earlier, I did
not know such treaties existed prior to being elected, and I'm sure many
aboriginal and non-aboriginal people do not know of these treaties. My point
here is that as we enter the new millennium it is important that aboriginal
people have the opportunity to voice their concerns and issues unfiltered in a
way that respects their basic beliefs.
6569 Also, the point I'm stressing is that we are
now just starting to have the opportunities to have our histories told as it was
in days gone by. We are an oral culture, we are an oral people. We have always
passed our stories of history, culture and spirituality down through the spoken
word. Talking, showing, but more importantly listening was the way we learned.
We have always been a people willing to share, for this is what we were told by
our elders, through those oral teachings. Now more than ever there is a need for
aboriginal and non-aboriginal people to understand exactly who are the first
people of this country and what are we really about.
6570 This concept of sharing is very evident in the
way the traditional songs were arranged for our social gatherings. Many of these
songs contained vocables, and this morning, in the ceremony that was conducted
by the elder, there was a song. So the vocables were used to accommodate for the
many different dialects and languages of the people that came to our socials. So
we have always welcomed different people to our ceremonies and to our socials.
These vocables were simply so that people could sing along without knowing the
words. Now, there may be, you know, some other spiritual connections that flow
from them, but I have been told that that is one of the reasons for
6571 There are many other examples of this gift of
sharing that we have been given, too many to mention at this
6572 Another gift is patience. I have learned that
we are probably the most patient people in the world, sometimes to our detriment
it seems. We have had our land and resources taken. In the past, our children
were taken away from us and put into residential schools. Our language is almost
gone, and yet we remain calm on the fact that some day justice and truth will
6573 Two weeks ago I was at a burial ceremony of
one of my elders and predecessors, Chief Aubrey Coppaway. Many years ago when I
was living in the city, word got back to me that he had been quoted on TV as
saying the following, and I quote:
"Any ducks flying over Curve Lake airspace will be
6574 He was of course speaking of hunting and
fishing rights, but now it is my understanding that he believed we are so
connected to the environment that our rights are all-encompassing. We must be
responsible keepers of these rights and the lands and share all things. This
includes not only what you see, but also what you don't see.
6575 It seems ironic that when you look at things
that are identified, such as land and resources, that because our beliefs are so
encompassing that we are having to ask again for a space of something that is --
as for our basic beliefs -- something that is ours as well to
6576 I understand that there are not many
frequencies left and that if the Aboriginal Voices Radio is not granted a
licence this may be one of the last opportunities to get one. With this in mind,
I am asking you to grant to Aboriginal Voices Radio a licence. The market is
there. The need has always been there. Now we have the people committed to
deliver the entertainment, the information and the goods. It is time for the
spirit of sharing to be reciprocated.
6577 Today's technologies have created many
opportunities to allow for good communication. However, I believe radio remains
one of the best ways of exchanging and expressing human thoughts. It is thought
by some that this era will be a time where people of all colours, male, female,
young and old, will be yearning for a better awareness and understanding of
their existence, and I feel our culture has a lot to offer these
6578 You may see, when you walk down the streets of
Toronto -- some people have talked previously about the homelessness situation,
and this is evidence of culture shock -- young aboriginal people who have left
their reserves in search of something better. They may be homeless, alone,
homesick, trying to dull these feelings with alcohol or drugs. This radio
station could be that voice in the night that maybe, just maybe, will give that
person the hope, the security not to go down that road of destruction, or maybe
the voice to help a person out of that situation.
6579 I will speak briefly about how this situation
could bridge the gap between on and off reserve First Nations
6580 First Nations people who move off reserves are
sometimes considered to be traitors, to some extent. What is not understood by
the people on reserves is that many times the off reserve people are dealing
with more extreme issues, issues such as racism, addiction to hard drugs,
homelessness, AIDS. That is not to say that these issues are not issues on First
Nations reserves, but they may, in some cases, not be as extreme. What could
happen is that the people who deal with these issues in the city could share
their experiences in overcoming these issues through radio. This could also work
in the opposite direction.
6581 People in the north have, in most cases, held
on or are relearning their traditions, cultures and languages at a faster pace
than those living off reserves, so if a First Nation did have a low-frequency FM
radio signal, there could be in the future an opportunity for an exchange of
that type of information.
6582 As I told you earlier, I am from Curve Lake,
which probably would be in the 740 AM band range, and in the future I'm certain
that some young person would be interested in setting up a low-frequency radio
station. This will be possible because training could be easier for that person
because the program would already be there and the technology to support it
would be there.
6583 This FM station could also be very beneficial
in case of emergencies or just general local news and stories.
6584 As a singer/songwriter myself, Aboriginal
Voices Radio would provide a place where my music could be heard. It seems very
synchronistic that after I leave here today I am going to pick up my independent
CD that I have been working on for about eight years. However, I realize that
there is no major way to have it distributed, no major radio station to give it
air play. However, I feel I have a story to tell, a song to sing, and a gift to
share. Even if people wanted to hear it, they have no place to go to hear it, no
place to go to even listen for it. This radio station could be that place. It is
a shame that there have been so many other artists before who have gone unheard,
so many stories left untold.
6585 In closing, I once again ask you to issue this
licence to the Aboriginal Voices Radio. Let this station be the gunshot that
will bring positive attention to our people, their issues and concerns.
Aboriginal Voices Radio will be for the benefit of all people, for this is our
6586 I thank you again for the opportunity to speak
to you and for your attention.
6587 Gchi meegwetch.
6588 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your
participation, Mr. Williams.
6589 Mr. Secretary, please.
6590 MR. CUSSONS: We will now hear the intervention
by First Nations and Aboriginal Student Association.
6591 Mme DAHNIJINIGE:
6592 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning. Bonjour.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
6593 MS DAHNIJINIGE: Teyjah Dahnijinige (native
language spoken / language autochtone).
6594 My name is Teyjah Dahnijinige. I'm from the
Lynx clan and Nipissing is where I am descendent from, from the Commanda people
there. I'm very proud to be part of the Commanda family. If it weren't for them,
I wouldn't be here today. I'm very honoured to be here to support Aboriginal
Voices and in turn, for them to support us as well.
6595 As a student and member of the First Nations
Association at York University, we are in dire need of some
6596 I became president just this year. I have been
at York for three years now. I became president in an unconventional way as well
in terms of leadership as what I have heard today. You know, I wasn't like, you
know, "Vote me for president." It wasn't that at all. It was more to do with
what people saw me doing. I was doing things at the university that I felt
needed to be done in order to have my own needs supported there.
6597 At this present time, York has a lot of
potential for growth and Aboriginal Voices Radio, I see, can really help us to
do that. Right now we have CHRY that gives us an hour on the radio once a week,
and it is not enough at all. I just found out that Mr. Abe Tagalik was
doing a speaking engagement at York University and I didn't know about it. I
didn't know about it, and I'm sure there are many other members that didn't know
about it in our community at York.
6598 I don't really know the vast numbers there
are, that I imagine there are, because we are not able to identify them in many
cases. As you can see, I'm not easily identifiable as an aboriginal person, as a
First Nations member of Nipissing. So there are many of them, many people like
6599 Then there are others, you know, that are
identifiable and they are, you know, visible minorities. We have the visible
minorities and we have the invisible minorities. So we have this internal thing
happening there, and the radio would definitely help us to bridge those
6600 I came here in 1991 to go to school -- not at
York. York was a -- you know, three years ago, as I had already mentioned, I
started at York, but when I came here in 1991 I came to study massage therapy
and then I was going to go back up to Timmins where I grew up.
6601 I grew up in the city to go to school and on
the earth with my grandparents, you know, hunting and trapping and fishing and
living off the land. So I had, you know, those two worlds to live in. When I
came to Toronto I didn't have that. I didn't have that any more. I didn't know
anybody. I didn't know a soul in Toronto. I used to tell people up in Timmins, I
used to say, "If I ever move to anywhere it's not going to be to Toronto." Well,
here I am, almost ten years later.
6602 Going back there didn't work out. It didn't
work out. As a result I went into a lot of isolation and shock because I didn't
bother to find out, you know, what the supports were, and there wasn't really a
lot that I could get involved with because I was in school. It was very intense.
That massage therapy program is very intense. If I had had the radio program to
listen to I think that would have helped a lot, you know, just to be in touch
with that and to find out what is going on, because I couldn't always go out.
When I did go out I ended up getting sick a number of times, you know, running
here and there and just not being used to the city. I biked around a lot and I
absolutely hate biking now. I will not bike in the city any
6603 So that experience, when I first came to
Toronto -- you know, I knew I was going back, at that time I knew I was going
back, so I didn't bother to do much in getting support systems. So when I did
end up staying in Toronto, like I said, you know, I went through a lot of
culture shock and isolation and also ended up being physically and emotionally
and mentally paralysed where I couldn't get out of bed. I had to have help to
carry me to the bathroom or, you know -- just thinking about it, I'm so glad I'm
not there any more.
6604 And it has been through the help of different
supports in our community that has helped me to be able to go on and get over
that paralysation to some degree that the culture shock and the isolation had
caused me. This was happening while I was in school, but I had shut it off. I
had shut it off so that I could finish school and then it all avalanched on me
when I finished.
6605 Yeah, those were some of the most difficult
times in my life. I can't imagine what it would be like coming just straight
from the reserve and not knowing anybody and not having, you know, supports, or
not being able to get out, especially if people have disabilities. I mean, that
is another question as well.
6606 So I'm really excited about this opportunity
for Aboriginal Voices to have a radio program and to be able to assist and
prevent these kind of things from happening, because I have seen similar things
happening with some members of the youth, of our young people, every since I
started -- you know, ever since I came into the city.
6607 York University is very isolated compared to
other universities and colleges in this city. At the same time, I do see there
is a lot of potential there. I'm actually in the dance program along side the
psychology program, so I'm looking at doing a double major in both, and
continuing on to get the masters -- I'm not sure which yet. I'm interested in
dance, therapy. I'm interested in education and psychology, scientific as well
as clinical. I'm interested in environmental studies.
6608 Right now York has just started, just this
last year they have been -- there is a group that has been meeting to form a
program for people to get a bachelor in education and environmental studies with
an aboriginal focus, and it has been moving along tremendously fast. It's
amazing. They already have a package together to present and it might even start
in September or maybe in January or next year. It is going to start very
6609 You know, there is so much potential for
growth and I see that Aboriginal Voices Radio can have an amazing impact on the
education system itself, not just at York but also at other institutions. We are
reaching out as much as we can to the other student bodies as well all across
Canada. There is a lot of work to be done and Aboriginal Voices is very much
6610 The paper is not enough for us to communicate,
internet is not enough for us to communicate, especially to those that aren't --
that we don't even know, we can't identify, or who don't know about us, you
know. It is this constant frustration. Everybody would like to see us grow and,
you know, "How come the First Nations Association is not doing this", and "How
come that", and "How come this?"
6611 Well, we are a student club and we are in the
midst of changing into a student organization, like a service organization for
providing services to the students like the First Nations House. Are any of you
familiar with the First Nations House of U of T or programs that are
set up specifically for aboriginal people within educational
6612 Well, our institution doesn't have that yet,
and Aboriginal Voices Radio would be able to help us to get something like that
happening. We have attempted in the past, and because we are students and we
have, you know, a heavy load as students to begin with, and not only that, a
high rate of movement within the student body, you know, people are there two,
three, four years and then they are gone, and then we have to start from the
ground up again. So this is what has been happening for six years now. I'm
really hoping that Aboriginal Voices can help us to continue on and get it
moving and established in a foundational way.
6613 I'm really concerned about the way aboriginal
students are marked and given grades on papers because a lot of the faculty
aren't even aware of where we are coming from and what are our experiences. So
with something like Aboriginal Voices Radio, that can help faculty and all
people on campus to find out a little bit more of who we are and what our values
and beliefs are and how that reflects in our papers, and how that reflects in
our -- I'm getting really excited here -- how that reflects in our contribution
back to our community, back into our purpose for uniting together and working
towards the future, hopefully in peace, hopefully towards peace and reducing the
6614 We get regular vandalism at our office and it
is really scary, you know. I mean, there has been a few times where I have been
there very late and really didn't want to walk home or take the bus home. I live
downtown, so, you know, I travel three hours a day to get to and from York, so I
stay there sometimes, and I don't feel safe. I really don't feel safe because
there has been vandalism there. I don't sleep very well when I'm there, but, you
know, what is it? You know, I go out on the street late at night and face, you
know, whatever there is there, or I stay and I face, you know, fear there
6615 MR. CUSSONS: Excuse me. I apologize for
interrupting, but we had asked intervenors if they could keep their
presentations to ten minutes approximately.
6616 MS DAHNIJINIGE: Okay.
6617 MR. CUSSONS: If you could perhaps summarize
your thoughts, we would appreciate it.
6618 MS DAHNIJINIGE: Sure.
6619 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you.
6620 MS DAHNIJINIGE: I'm almost done.
6621 So, yes, I see that Aboriginal Voices will
help us to make it an easier place for youth to live in the
6622 I also see that Aboriginal Voices, you know,
will be able to provide role models and decrease the ignorance with information
and education, be able to reduce the divisions that are within and outside our
community, and increase self-esteem and understanding as well as healing -- yes,
healing -- through the spoken word. That has been something that has really
helped me a lot. I have actually published some pieces and done readings as
well, and I know that it has helped, you know, those who have
6623 I also wanted to mention that the opportunity
for Aboriginal Voices for employment is also important to us; and the fact that
they are interested in solar power, that coincides right along with our bachelor
of environmental studies and education program. And we have members that are
qualified, highly qualified.
6624 We have one particular member who has a Ph.D.
She is working towards a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology and has extensive experience
in radio programming and is quite willing to come on board with Aboriginal
Voices and York University. We have other members that work with CHRY who are,
you know, also there in support. I'm sure that the more members we find out
about, they will also be in support too.
6626 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. I will not attempt
to say your name because I am sure I will not say it properly, but we thank you
for your presentation and thank you for your participation.
6627 Mr. Secretary, please.
6628 MR. CUSSONS: Madam Chairperson, we will now
hear an intervention by Liss Jeffrey.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
6629 MS JEFFREY: Hello. I know some of you. Hello.
6630 I'm very honoured to be here to speak in
support of the Aboriginal Voices Radio application and our colleagues Gary
Farmer and others on his team.
6631 Allow me first to introduce myself for those
of you who do not know who I am, and then I would like to make a case that
basically amplifies the points that you already have in my brief, No.
6632 I have a Ph.D. from McGill University in
communications. My specialties are media policy, Marshall McLuhan, our own
Canadian communications guru, and communications history.
6633 I teach graduate courses at the University of
Toronto, at the McLuhan program, and I have a lengthy background in all of
Canada's cultural industries, including a seven year stint at Citytv in its
earlier days. So I'm quite familiar with the start on a shoestring and
eventually make yourself into something.
6634 More recently, my work has been in the new
media area. I run an innovations lab known as the E-lab by Design, and in that
capacity we were most pleased to work with the Commission on its own Citizens
Consultation Forum concerning the new media policy. We have also, in this
regard, worked with Aboriginal Voices.
6635 Gary Farmer has been a guest and noted speaker
in my visionary speaker series which ran at the University of Toronto. He and
his group have also worked with us in new media projects, and we are continuing
to work on the area of how to take old media, traditional media, including
radio, and combine it with webcasting and the internet in order to come up with
some innovations that we think are going to stand Canada in good stead
throughout this new century.
6636 I'm here in fact to present a case to you
based on my role as a creator and my role as an expert in the new media and
policy side. In other words, I don't really want to talk as much about history
today -- I am what I am, I'm a proud Canadian -- I want to have the choice of
listening to Aboriginal Voices Radio and I would like the opportunity as a
creator to work with the community that is represented by Aboriginal Voices in
moving into new media.
6637 So I want to say a few things that amplify on
my comments that you already have before you.
6638 Before I proceed with my point-by-point
argument, allow me to please make an amendment to what I gave you, and in fact a
small confession. When I prepared this I was thinking with that Toronto-centric
mind that of course so annoys the rest of this country. What I mean by that is I
made an error in here saying that there were no aboriginal radio stations in
Canada. Of course, this is grossly incorrect. There are 170 and counting. Some
of them have been represented here today. They are very important in our overall
fabric of broadcasting.
6639 What I really meant to say was, there is no
aboriginal radio station in Toronto, our largest city, home of our most
culturally diverse population and, furthermore, that there is no aboriginal
radio network in this country.
6640 If I may please ask your forbearance in that I
made this error. Mea culpa. We are not always right.
6641 THE CHAIRPERSON: Ms Jeffrey, we plan to frame
--- Laughter / Rires
6642 MS JEFFREY: Touché. We will get back to
6643 But, anyway, you win on this one -- no
6644 I would like to, in fact, elaborate on my
specific points as to why I believe the Commission should give priority to this
6645 Please, I understand you face difficult
decisions. There are many groups appearing before you. They want their voice as
part of the diverse Toronto make-up. We are a rich city in more ways than just
the financial ways, but I want to make clear why I think this application
6646 First, as the application notes on page 2,
there is ground in our own Broadcasting Act for giving priority to the special
place of aboriginal people. I think that the special place of Aboriginal people
in an urban setting deserves this consideration as a foremost policy
6647 I think that there is also ground, in fact, in
Canada's multicultural policy and in the fact that we, in trying to forge a
place for Canada in a global context within this century, need to distinguish
ourselves from what other countries are doing, and we have an excellent record
when it comes to cultural diversity. I believe that licensing the Aboriginal
Voices Radio station represents a profoundly important step, materially and
symbolically in this direction.
6648 I may simply add that I serve on Canada's
behalf on the Council of Europe's Committee on Cultural Policies for the Next
Millennium, the discussion of Canada's cultural diversity policies. What we are
doing with media in the cultural diversity area is looked at it internationally
and I think that this would be a very important step.
6649 So my first point is I think we have grounds,
I think we have reason, and I think this will be a farsighted move on the part
of the Commission.
6650 Secondly, Gary Farmer is well known to me as
an individual, as a leader, as a speaker, as a member of his own community. I
believe that he has earned a chance to reflect the contributions of the
aboriginal community. I believe that this is not only an excellent way to
counteract the stereotypes that we all know exist about native people. In fact,
I think this represents a way to make an affirmative contribution, that is, to
represent the artistic and creative side that indisputably exists within the
6651 Thirdly, again on this issue of creativity, I
have made the case in my publications and elsewhere that Canada's chief response
to some of the difficulties it faces in the global arena has to be to create or
perish. It seems to me that with the aboriginal community and the artistic
contributions that they are making we are not just looking at retransmitting, we
are not just looking at rebroadcasting or taking what is going on in another
country, I think we are looking at the original side of the aboriginal
6652 We have playwrights, we have other musicians,
we have those who are actors in films, including Gary Farmer himself. I believe
that this artistic contribution needs a medium. It needs a channel and it needs,
most importantly, a foothold in Canada's largest city in order to build that
kind of network that I think we have heard reference to and that I would like to
see in terms of a radio network that parallels the APTN television network that
you have already licensed.
6653 When I speak of this artistic side, we have
had the privilege of working with some of Gary Farmer's colleagues. We have
worked with them in webcasting. We assisted on the Aboriginal Voices Festival
last summer. We believe that there is a substantial core of young talent working
in digital media who can make positive and substantial contributions to the
overall media mix that I think we all want to see to advance the Canadian radio
spectrum on the cultural side. It seems to me that this is indeed a very
6654 Fourth, there are undoubtedly concerns about
this application. It is a community radio application. This is an application
that is coming out of a not-for-profit group. I have looked at some of the
debates over cash and funding and the economic side, knowing something of the
not-for-profit side. I believe that the arguments that have been made to the
Commission, and certainly what I am familiar with as an associate of Aboriginal
Voices, I believe that they can make good on their promises to sustain their
radio station and to do so with the good will and the contributions of the
community, the business community, the media community, and their own artistic
6655 It seems to me that it would be inappropriate
to judge this application solely on a simple same kind of playing field basis as
some of those that have come before you. The reason is simple, it is different
from those other applications, and I think it is only fair, in fact, to judge it
on its merits and to award it a licence based on those merits and not in fact to
rule it out because it does not have some of the economic engine and strictly
commercial application that some of the other potential licensees
6656 I also think, by the way, that there is a
possibility for corporate underwriting of such a venture once they get up and
running. We are ourselves involved in similar things in the new media world and
it is simply to me apparent that there is funding out there for a worthy and
promising cause such as this one.
6657 Number five, it seems to me, in terms of
programming, that what has been put forward in this application as far as world
indigenous music is indeed a very important aspect that I hope the Commission
will not overlook. In fact, Canada's role as head of the Summit of the Americas
has brought us further and further into contact with our Spanish-speaking
partners in South America. We have been doing work with those partners in our
E-lab through our Pan-Am by Design and other kinds of initiatives, a new world
cultural diversity site that we are involved in. I think this is a farsighted
aspect of this application.
6658 And, furthermore, it seems to me that this is
a very popular and growing side of the musical spectrum and the programming
spectrum and one that I know I as a listener would certainly appreciate -- and I
know there are many others out there.
6659 Finally, it seems to me there is an important
sign in this application making arrangements with SHARE. It seems to me that we
are looking at the prospect of a bridging application here, that is, to add to
the sharing of information and the sharing of programming and artistic talent in
Toronto among different communities who have not been fully represented with
their voices in the spectrum of expression and, in fact, the technical spectrum
on the radio dial.
6660 I believe that Aboriginal Voices, certainly in
my contact with them, will make an important contribution to this bridging
function. I know you have heard a great deal here about communication directly
with the Aboriginal audiences, and I think that is extremely important and
welcome. But I also think there is something to be said for the bridging
function, that is, providing information to other Canadians and citizens of
Toronto. And, also, I know, as someone who is frequently called upon to comment
as an expert on one thing or another, I know that the Aboriginal Voices focal
point will provide a source for other media, will provide a source, and a source
of support for those in the aboriginal community or those who seek information
about the aboriginal community.
6661 Again, it seems to me there are some very
powerful merits in this application if viewed from that larger kind of
6662 So, in some of these arguments, my case to you
would be that I believe that this Aboriginal Voices Radio application deserves
priority consideration by the Commission because it has policy merit under the
Broadcasting Act, because it represents a positive contribution to cultural
diversity and the recognition of the special place of aboriginal peoples,
particularly in an urban setting, because it acknowledges the creative strength
-- and that original creative strength, not just a rebroadcaster -- of the
aboriginal talent themselves, because it speaks from a commitment from the
aboriginal community and their partners to in fact do this on the kind of
shoestring that is legendary in that community, because in fact it comes out of
a context where globally we are looking at the need for Canada to differentiate
itself and start developing some unique models of programming, and I think this
one adds to what we can contribute as a country, and, finally, in summing up the
arguments in my brief to you and elaborating on them, because I believe this
application represents co-operation. It represents the possibility of some
6663 There has to be a way to reach to the
aboriginal community instead of having to go around to a number of different
areas. I believe that this Aboriginal Voices Radio station, their office
downtown, which you can go and see, provides that kind of focal
6664 I think, in my conclusion, that what is most
significant here is that Gary Farmer and his team have managed to move from a
position of old media attitudes, that is, the media is a threat, it is a threat
to communities, it is the invasion of the community snatchers, a threat into a
tool, a tool, an instrument for doing something new, for creating a node within
a much wider network. It seems to me that that is very significant and that in
fact is something that I do hope the Commission will take into
6665 My final point is simply that as a creator I
would like to have the opportunity to work further in partnership with the
Aboriginal Voices Radio team as we move into webcasting and other kinds of uses
of the radio and the voice medium, and I would also like an opportunity as a
long-time citizen of Toronto to have the choice to listen to Aboriginal Voices
6666 Thank you.
6667 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much,
Ms Jeffrey, for your participation and for your correction.
6668 Mr. Secretary, please.
6669 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you,
6670 We have one more appearing intervention in
support of Mr. Farmer's proposals from Frontiers Foundation Inc.
6671 MR. McPHAIL: Greetings.
6672 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning.
6673 MR. McPHAIL: Actually, I also bring greetings
from our founding director, Reverend Charles Catto, and the other members of the
staff and the volunteers that regularly give of their time and energy in the
construction projects that Frontiers Foundation regularly and, actually, for 35
years has taken part in.
6674 Hopefully, I have -- yes -- our recent little
program. Actually, in the centre, on the right page, near the top, there is a
before and after picture of a project that I took part in this past year and
make reference to in my little comments here.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
6675 MR. McPHAIL: Members of the Commission, and
fellow supporters of the Aboriginal Voices Radio application, and other
applicants and their supporters. Frontiers Foundation Inc. -- here I am
repeating myself -- for those who don't know, was established 35 years ago to
help aboriginal peoples build better homes for themselves.
6676 Only rarely has Frontiers received any
government assistance. Rev. Charles Catto, the founding director of
Frontiers Foundation, unfortunately, is not able to be here today. He is meeting
with government civil servants to discuss a change in that
6677 My name is Steve McPhail and I am a project
co-ordinator at Frontiers Foundation.
6678 Frontiers Foundation wholeheartedly supports
the Aboriginal Voices Radio application. We have selfish as well as altruistic
reasons for this support. We are Canada's largest and most active aboriginal
volunteer service and community advancement organization. Our story needs to be
told. Canada's future depends on the quality of her role models, past and
present. The Canadian aboriginal community has hundreds.
6679 An aboriginal radio station would give a
vibrant voice to a full range of existing native music, comedy, talent,
aboriginal news, sports and cultural events presently denied us.
6680 Last summer I had the honour of working as a
volunteer technician on the week-long run of Aboriginal Voices FM Radio at the
Aboriginal Voices Festival at Harbourfront here in Toronto. After the set-up, I
had the opportunity to listen to the professionally produced CDs of literally
hundreds of talented aboriginal musicians, as well as interviews with countless
native artists and elders. I was impressed at the quantity of quality Canadian
6681 After that experience at Harbourfront, I went
to work on a Frontiers Foundation project in northern Ontario. This was in a
small community called Upsala, a hundred miles northwest of Thunder Bay on the
TransCanada Highway. I spent four months working with a family of Findians, part
Finn and part Ojibwa, ripping down their old, rotten and unliveable cabin and
building a new solid and well-insulated house.
6682 The much loved father of the family had died
horribly from cancer two years previously. The three sons and one daughter, all
twenty-something, had become seriously depressed. Whatever money they earned
from poorly-paid bush work was rarely spent on good food and mostly spent on
beer, pot and painkillers. The mother, aware of other Frontiers Foundation
projects, had applied for the grant.
6683 The family was grateful for only the $15,000
material budget but the important push to improve their depressing
circumstances. But the cycle of poverty that they were locked into was not about
to be changed just by improving the physical structure of their home. I realized
that they needed to dream a self-reliant dream with the confidence that there
was some hope that it could be realized. I began to try to encourage them to
think entrepreneurial and to think about what skills and resources they might
6684 On my return to Toronto, and with the support
of Frontiers Foundation, I have been developing a rural business proposal in the
hopes of creating jobs for this extended family of Métis peoples. I have
discovered various interested funding agencies that are concerned with the
issues of developing aboriginal companies and programs for the teaching of
skills to aboriginal people.
6685 For many, this hearing is about which
applicant is going to receive a lucrative opportunity for a commercial venture.
In other words, it is a question of money. But for the aboriginal community, the
stakes are much higher. The importance of having a media profile in this country
is essential for the self-esteem of the aboriginal peoples. Entertainment is a
small part of the story. The historical basis for the theft of their land, their
language, their values, their role models and their story has been conveniently
6686 Unfortunately, many historically challenged
individuals are unaware of the horrific efforts of the American colonists to rid
the land of the aboriginal peoples. The official policy was one of if not
outright genocide then at least assimilation.
6687 An Iroquois chief, better known as Joseph
Brant, realized that the British were a lesser evil than the Americans and
talked a number of other Iroquois chiefs into supporting the United Empire
Loyalists and what British troops could be spared from the war with France in
Europe. The French colonists who had been conquered by the British refused to do
much to help fight the Americans.
6688 The sad irony is that though France had no
interest in these French peoples, the British agreed to allow them to retain
their language, their religion, their Napoleonic Code of Law and their homes.
But, in the course of time, as immigrants to Canada have been influenced by the
American relationship to their aboriginals, all these rights have been denied to
our aboriginal peoples. It was actually defined in a bill in the U.S. Congress
that the American native peoples are "aliens and dependents". There is much
resentment today of aboriginal peoples in Canada demanding any rights, as it is
largely assumed that they are old news and without a place in the
work-in-progress of modern civilization.
6689 As the Canadian government began to imitate
its southern neighbours, native peoples were hustled onto reserves. Whenever the
government could make a buck on their land it was leased to logging, mining or
power companies, and natives on their reserves only found this out when the
heavy equipment showed up. Is it not the mandate of the CRTC to support and
defend our Canadian culture? This must include the aboriginal cultures which
embody a reverence for the spirit of our land and a consensus form of government
concerned with the welfare of the tribe.
6690 The contemporary corporate obsession with
profits and the bottom line has justified the destruction of our environment and
the dismantling of our social system that once took responsibility for
employment, education, health care and the construction of homes for our people.
Our modern city dwellers have not only forgotten their history but have also
forgotten that the Great Spirit is not found in books but on the land
6691 It is the marginalized people of the land,
those of the First Nations, Inuit or off-reserve Métis, still trying to eke out
a living as hunters, fishermen, trappers, farmers or bush workers who can remind
us who we are and where we come from.
6692 At present, other imported ethnicities have
overwhelmed our media at the expense of the public's awareness of the
accomplishments in all fields of our native sons and daughters. There seems to
be greater government support for defending old country culture than for the
aboriginal silent partners in Confederation. A vote in favour of allowing the
aboriginal voices to be heard is a vote for an aboriginal future with
6693 As it is written on the wall at Frontiers
Foundation's Toronto office:
"Where there's hope, there's
6694 Thank you very much.
6695 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. McPhail,
for your presentation.
6696 This would seem like a good time to break for
lunch since we have finished the group of intervenors in the Gary Farmer
6697 We thank you all for your
6698 In case you weren't here this morning, I will
remind everyone that our lack of questioning is not a lack of interest, but it
is in the interest of time and of hearing as many supporting intervenors as
possible. Be assured that your interventions are transcribed and added to the
written interventions that you have filed already and, therefore, is part of the
record, as well as the written interventions.
6699 Again, thank you for participating. We greatly
appreciate your input.
6700 We will resume at 1:30. Nous reprendrons à une
heure et demie.
--- Recess at 1215 / Suspension à 1215
--- Upon resuming at 1330 / Reprise à 1330
6701 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order please.
6702 Welcome to the hearing. We will proceed with
the hearing of supporting interventions.
6703 For the benefit of those who may not have been
here when we said so before, I remind people that the fact that Commissioners
are not asking questions of supporting intervenors does not indicate a lack of
interest. Your oral interventions will be transcribed and will be added to the
transcript of the hearing in addition to your written
6704 What we are trying to do is hear as many
supporting intervenors in the time that we have at our disposal. So that is the
reason for our interest but without questioning.
6705 Mr. Secretary, please.
6706 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you,
6707 Just to extend that thought, in terms of
giving as many people an opportunity as possible, I would like to reiterate, as
I have done several times throughout this hearing, that we are asking people to
restrict their presentations to ten minutes at the maximum. We would really
appreciate your co-operation in that regard.
6708 We are now going to hear several appearing
intervenors supporting the application by CKMW Radio, also known as Rainbow
6709 Just before I introduce the first intervenor,
I would like to note that one of the intervenors who had hoped to be with us
today, Michael Batista, is unfortunately unable to join us, but he has submitted
his written intervention which I will make sure is distributed to the Members
and to everyone on the staff team. So certainly Mr. Batista's views will be
taken into account, and we thank him for his submission.
6710 It is now my pleasure to introduce our first
intervenor, the Human Sexuality Program of the Toronto District School
6711 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon,
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
6712 MR. SOLOMON: Madam Chair, Commissioners of the
CRTC. My name is Steven Solomon and I am a school social worker with the Human
Sexuality Program of the Toronto District School Board.
6713 Let me begin by thanking you for the
opportunity to speak today here in support of CKMW's application to the CRTC for
6714 For well over a decade now, the Human
Sexuality Program has been providing individual, family and group support to
lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender students, teachers, parents and their
families. This involves often conversations with students who are beginning
their coming-out process to themselves, to their friends, to their parents, and,
more recently as parents making the decision to come out to their
6715 As well, in classrooms across our district, at
both the elementary and secondary level, the program undertakes anti-homophobia
workshops in an effort to foster safe, welcoming and inclusive environments for
all our students. Opportunities to reach these populations and populations which
cut across a variety of lines -- from ethno-racial differences, religious
differences, ability in class -- opportunities to reach these populations are
critical to the work and I would like to speak here today to highlight why the
presence of Rainbow Radio would enhance and further such
6716 I would like to ask you today to try and frame
or understand or approximate some of my remarks from the perspective of youth
who are not heterosexual, who have been kept silent and isolated by homophobia
and, unfortunately, with increasing frequency, outright hatred.
6717 We do our best in our school programs, but the
accessibility of radio to reach these diverse students cannot be overstated.
While other forms of electronic media are touted for their advantages, their
accessibility remains painfully limited to these youth who must exercise the
utmost caution and care when trying to obtain valuable information, community
resources and support.
6718 I foresee an important role for Rainbow Radio
in providing positive images for those who must constantly battle negative
images, damning stereotypes and hatred in their own struggle to find an identity
that makes sense to them. This struggle is often borne by the individual alone
without the support of friends, family or community. These youth often find
themselves in high-risk categories, be it suicide or suicide ideation, substance
use, dropping out of school, violence within the home and violence in the
6719 I feel this would be accomplished through a
variety of means including but not limited to open-line programming that would
make available information about community, support groups, or even just the
chance to hear others speak of their own experiences which can then validate a
positive self-worth for these youth.
6720 What power does radio possess to achieve
6721 The proliferation of portable audio has made
radio one of the most important and inexpensive medias which students can access
with relative privacy. With their headphones securely attached, these youth can
listen to Rainbow Radio programming and no one is the wiser.
6722 I know of many terrified youth who when they
seek information and support want to do so with relative confidentiality. I also
know how important it is that when they do reach out that they get accurate,
appropriate information, information that can help them counteract the negative
images and stereotypes that other corners of society barrage them with, but,
most importantly, how wonderful it would be for them to be able to reach them in
their periods of confusion and isolation. Rainbow Radio can do
6723 Furthermore, the chance to hear programming
that is inclusive and that will offer perspectives to them is important.
Opportunities to exchange views and talk about common experiences without fear
of being identified or judged are very far and few between for these youth.
Worst of all, many lesbian, gay and bisexual youth lack positive role models.
There are many professional, athletic, intellectual and musical role models for
our young people but they have no access to them right now.
6724 I would like to also speak of how the issue of
such programming would also cast a very wide net beyond those communities
already mentioned. While there is research that addresses what percentage of the
population is not heterosexual, it should be recognized that a far greater
percentage of families have members who are lesbian and gay. That being said,
Rainbow Radio programming plays an important role in the wider community by
supporting many, many people who seek to be allies of the community -- mothers,
fathers, friends, co-workers, the list goes on.
6725 While we all recognize that visibility is
important to diversity, the whole notion of coming out and being visible,
audibility too has a place, and I believe strongly that Rainbow Radio would be
uniquely positioned to undertake this role and responsibility.
6726 Thank you.
6727 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you,
6728 Mr. Secretary, please.
6729 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you,
6730 We will now hear an intervention by Alan
6731 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon,
6732 MR. FRASER: Good afternoon.
6733 Even though I was once a co-host of a radio
program, I'm still a little nervous about being in front of the microphone.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
6734 MR. FRASER: Thank you very much for your
address, Madam Chair, and honoured guests here today, and Members of the CRTC
6735 My name is Alan Fraser and up until recently I
was the producer and hope to be again of a radio program called OUT & ABOUT
-- Queer Radio.
6736 I'm here today to speak on behalf and in
support of Rainbow Radio and their application for the broadcast licence being
considered for the Toronto area.
6737 Although I have worked in the broadcast
industry since 1987 -- at the tender age of 18, I joined the television ranks of
the local CTV affiliate -- this is the first time I have ever really had any
direct contact with the CRTC. I never imagined, in my position behind the
scenes, that I would ever have been intervening on behalf of a licence
application, but I was prompted to get involved in this selection process
because I feel very strongly that the time has come for a gay and lesbian radio
station to be launched in Canada.
6738 I have many personal and professional
arguments in support of Rainbow Radio. I feel it is imperative that they are
granted the opportunity to provide broadcast programming for the underserviced
and unique market sector of Toronto's gay and lesbian community.
6739 As I have mentioned, I have been a member of
the broadcast industry for over 12 years at CKCO television, the CTV affiliate
in Kitchener. In my capacity as a technical operator, director and producer, I
have seen some very major shifts in broadcasting trends during that time. But it
is as a producer and co-host of a weekly talk radio program for the gay and
lesbian community that I have witnessed some of the most relevant changes in the
nation's broadcast needs.
6740 I have experienced firsthand the overwhelming
need and support by listeners of gay and lesbian-oriented programming. I feel
that approving a licence for Rainbow Radio would be a great way to further the
CRTC's ongoing efforts to provide diverse, balanced and responsibly relevant
programming for all Canadians. It would be a much needed, long overdue decision
that would create a more equitable broadcast environment for everyone living in
and around the Toronto market.
6741 In light of recent decisions to relax the
intent of some community broadcast licences by the CRTC, a number of niche
market programmers and indeed those niche markets themselves have suffered. As a
programmer for and as a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered
community, I recognize the need for balance, reflective and diversified
programming to that community.
6742 In the Waterloo region alone we have seen the
rapid commercialization of our existing community station there. This has left a
considerable void in the services provided for and by the many special interest
groups in that region.
6743 Until recently I was the producer of a weekly
news-magazine talk-radio program for the gay community. After seven years on one
of Canada's oldest community radio stations, we were more or less forced off the
air because we no longer fit into the new agenda of a commercial program that
they had adopted. Paid programming and a new direction of easy listening music
for a senior demographic, although well needed and deserved in the community,
all but squeezed us out of the program schedule.
6744 Like many other community licence holders, I'm
sure that they are still adhering to their CRTC guidelines, however, they were
no longer truly a community station. Their programming had become extremely
6745 I have come to learn that this trend is not
necessarily an isolated case. As more and more stations are allowed to adapt to
the changing economic conditions, they have proceeded to marketcast solutions in
an effort to target and attract larger more lucrative audiences. In the process,
they have abandoned many of their traditional community broadcast roots. They
have become target-market programmers. Following the principles of their
mainstream cousins, they have marginalized many programs and market sectors
which relied on their distribution of specialty programming.
6746 Like traditional mainstream broadcasters, they
now only take a cursory look at gay and lesbian issues, so seldom do they ever
provide the scope of balanced coverage required to adequately reflect this
unique subcultural group. And I truly believe that this is a subcultural group.
It may be invisible to most people but we are there. We are more than just Pride
Day parades with extreme images, drag queens and radical feminist lesbians. The
gay and lesbian community is a varied collection of individuals with active
lives that rotate through a daily schedule 365 days of the year. We are
homosexual, but we are not homogenous.
6747 Within the vast communities of our urban and
rural neighbourhoods are a diverse group of people with unique informational and
cultural needs. There are perhaps a thousand stories in the queer community, but
within mainstream broadcasts we seldom hear of anything but, say, the most
sensational ten or so.
6748 Existing licence holders neither have the time
or the inclination to reflect the many untold day-to-day struggles and triumphs
that queer Canadians routinely endure.
6749 A personal reflection. Even with an hour a
week, eight regular contributing co-hosts and two or three additional interview
guests, our show, even in its ongoing efforts, was unable to comprehensively
reflect all the complex and varied interests of our eclectic listenership. I
think a dedicated station with the expressed directive of fulfilling those needs
would dramatically increase the scope of coverage and offer the many voices of
the gay community a public forum of expression.
6750 Unlike many other minorities, gays and
lesbians are not adequately provided for within the realm of mainstream radio.
Many existing stations already target identifiable minority groups with specific
programming. The proliferation of programs for women, seniors, native peoples
and specific age group clusters from six to 60 provide those market segments
with news, information and music. The same kind of pandering does not generally
occur to the gay and lesbian community. There is a great deal of queer
subculture that is never addressed by traditional programmers.
6751 Perhaps it is the fear that including gay and
lesbian interests will alienate their traditional audiences, but for whatever
the reason there is a reluctance to gamble on the inclusion of same-sex issues
as routinely as they would other minority-specific topics. This is rather
ironic, I find, at a time when so much is happening with regards to gays and
lesbians in Canada.
6752 We have less and less access to our own
stories and fewer reflections of the issues affecting our daily lives. This is
all happening during a pivotal point in our national development. Our social,
political and cultural landscape is changing and an evolution of sorts I think
is under way with regards to queer issues.
6753 Approving a licence for Rainbow Radio I think
would be one step that would substantially correct this erosion and provide a
broader voice to the considerable community of the greater Toronto area. A gay
and lesbian radio station in Toronto is even more appropriate I think when one
considers the disproportionately high concentration of gays and lesbians that
emigrate or visit the city's large urban environment. It attracts people and it
attracts a lot of gays and lesbians.
6754 Rainbow Radio would reflect the hidden
diversity of all Canadian's within and outside of the Toronto barrier. Both a
direct broadcast here in the Toronto region and a market webcast across Canada
and indeed across the world, would open up the airwaves and develop a forum
where people could fully express their viewpoints across Canada, in Toronto, and
6755 Rarely are queer issues covered by the
mainstream media with the scope or frequency needed to completely reflect
Canada's diverse homosexual community. Rainbow Radio, I think, would be the
first step in providing Canada's largest community of gays and lesbians, with a
positive realistic voice that could truly reflect its vibrant and culturally
6756 Of course as a programmer, I can rely on the
fact that there is a kaleidoscope of programming that can be adapted to or is
already gay or lesbian oriented. It may come as a shock to some, it did the
board of directors at the station I was at, that less than 5 per cent of our
programming actually reflected direct sexual issues, something of concern for
most people. The majority of our program focused on a myriad of other cultural
concerns and interests. Music, the arts, politics, medicine, entertainment, gay
and lesbian sports, commentaries, interviews and news were all presented and can
be presented with a queer angle. With a little research, we found that we could
provide a complete spectrum of topics and music formats from a queer
perspective, and there is certainly no shortage of music or foreground
information that can't be reoriented. The combinations for commercial
programming success are therefore unlimited, limited perhaps only by our
creativity and imagination.
6757 And, of course, the gay demographic is an
important commercial market niche, and it is increasingly being sought out and
being sought after by advertisers. A commercial gay and lesbian licence could be
a vital broadcast voice for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered
community, as well as a fiscally responsible business. New York based Mulryan
Nash and other international demographic marketing firms have recognized the
importance of the gay and lesbian profile and the important role that it plays
in product sales and product placement. We are a market that advertisers want to
6758 Increasingly, many businesses and corporations
are courting this blossoming market because of its lucrative, brand loyal,
trend-ready spending habits and because of its above average disposable
6759 A gay and lesbian radio station would be
preferred to and preferred by many advertisers. Not only does it tap into the
gay and lesbian market but it upsells a progressive and rather avantgarde image
to all of its consumers, both straight and gay, because of course gay and
lesbian programming is not only of interest to gay and lesbian community members
but it finds substantial attention and listenership from all facets of the
community at large.
6760 If statistics are accurate, and we have
bantered about this a number of times on the show that I produced, approximately
6 to 12 per cent of the population is gay or lesbian or not identifiably
straight. The other 88 to 94 per cent are our parents, siblings, relatives,
friends and coworkers, and increasingly they find themselves paying attention to
same sex stories and program content that will affect their extended gay
6761 On our regional broadcast, we were also very
surprised to learn that often we had straight listeners responding to our
programming with their comments and viewpoints, testament to the fact that we
were indeed broadcasting to a wider audience than we may have originally
intended. In fact, one-quarter of the support and turnout at any of our
promotional events came from the straight community. We had a substantial
following well beyond what we considered to be the gay and lesbian faction,
proving that you never know who is listening or who wants to listen if given the
6762 Rainbow Radio would provide an outlet for
queer programmers, it's true. It would also raise the visibility of the gay and
lesbian community. It would provide an excellent forum for social integration
and facilitate the diverse opinions and the many voices of the gay community by
providing access to the ever-diminishing airwaves. It would be a vital and
viable commercial extension of our culture and our diversity.
6763 It is time for a change in the Canadian radio
landscape, and it is time to let the many proud voices of Canada's gay and
lesbian community speak for themselves.
6764 I think it is time to colour the airwaves with
the rainbow hues of Canada's first gay and lesbian radio
6765 Thanks for your consideration of Rainbow Radio
and for hearing my arguments today.
6767 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your
participation, Mr. Fraser. We appreciate your input.
6768 Mr. Secretary, please.
6769 MR. CUSSONS: Madam Chairperson, we will now
hear the intervention by EGALE, which stands for Equality for Gays and Lesbians
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
6770 MS LeFEBOUR: Good afternoon,
Madam President, Members of the Panel. My name is Patricia
6771 THE CHAIRPERSON: Not Mr.
6772 MS LeFEBOUR: No. I'm not John
6773 My name is Patricia LeFebour
6774 THE CHAIRPERSON: Pleasure.
6775 MS LeFEBOUR: -- and I today appear for EGALE,
Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere.
6776 EGALE appears today in support of the
application by CKMW Radio Limited for the use of the 93.5 FM
6777 EGALE thanks the Commission for this
opportunity to make this presentation in support of the
6778 EGALE is a national organization which was
founded in 1986 to advance equality for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and
transgendered people in Canada. To this end, EGALE has appeared before the
Supreme Court of Canada in every major equality rights case involving equality
issues for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered.
6779 For example, EGALE appeared as an intervener
in the Vriend case involving human rights protection in Alberta. EGALE also
appeared as an intervenor in the M v. H case involving spousal
6780 EGALE has also appeared before this Commission
in support of diversity initiatives in Canada's broadcast policy through the
accurate representation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered
6781 It is EGALE's submission that the application
by CKMW, if granted, would promote community development within the lesbian and
gay communities in Toronto and between the lesbian and gay communities in
Toronto and the community at large.
6782 At present, there is no one radio station
dedicated to addressing the concerns of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered
populations in Toronto. By granting this application, the Commission would be
ensuring that many members of these communities have a source of information,
support, entertainment and community outreach.
6783 EGALE has been involved in public education
since its inception. This has comprised education efforts directed at the
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered communities themselves, and at the
community at large. These educational efforts have taken the form of
presentations and workshops to various community groups, unions, the judiciary,
among others, in Canada and internationally.
6784 Public education is an effective mechanism by
which EGALE can reach members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered
communities, as well as the public at large. Its success however is dependant on
willing participants. In the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered
communities, many people are not open about their sexuality. As a result, they
are limited in the amount of information they receive about community events,
general news and current information. They are also limited in the amount of
support they can access to deal with any issues they may be facing in their
lives. This is especially true of the youth who are dealing with their sexuality
and may find themselves confused and alone.
6785 As opposed to public forums which require
attendance in person, radio is an extremely effective and efficient medium for
reaching large numbers of people in the privacy of their own homes. If the
application by Rainbow Radio is granted by this Commission, it will, in EGALE's
submission, be able to provide a great public service to the lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgendered communities. By having the capability to reach a
great number of people in a large metropolitan area such as Toronto, Rainbow
Radio will be able to provide the community access and support which is lacking
in many people's lives. A person who is not open about his or her sexual
orientation need not risk his or her privacy in order to receive community
information news. Moreover, a youth who is unsure about his or her sexual
orientation may be able to obtain some guidance or reassurance through various
radio information shows.
6786 EGALE submits that the approval of Rainbow
Radio's application will be of use to the community at large. It has been
EGALE's experience that the education of the general community on equality
issues for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people serves to foster an
understanding and acceptance of people of different sexual
6787 For example, parents whose children are
lesbian, gay or bisexual or transgendered may be able to receive information on
dealing with their child's sexual orientation. Institutions, such as schools,
hospitals and the courts may also gain some insights through the programming of
a radio station such as Rainbow Radio.
6788 The specific communities served by the
applicant are as diverse as the general population. In EGALE's experience, the
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered communities comprise people from
various cultural and ethnic backgrounds, various income classes and levels of
physical ability. EGALE submits that the application by Rainbow Radio will reach
all the diverse members of these communities and will also reach the general
6789 EGALE has always supported greater visibility
being given to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered communities by the
increased public representation of these groups in broadcasting. In EGALE's
submissions before this Commission on changes to the Broadcasting Act, EGALE
expressed its support for increasing diversity in public representations of
these communities. In granting this application, EGALE submits that the goals of
increasing diversity in broadcasting will have been met.
6790 Thank you. Those are my
6791 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your
6792 Mr. Secretary, please.
6793 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you,
6794 I would just like to advise everyone that
Father Carparelli of the Caritas Project Community Against Drugs, unfortunately,
is unable to be with us today, but we do have his intervention and it will be
taken into account.
6795 Having said that, it is my pleasure to
introduce our next intervenor, Mr. George Smithermann, MPP.
6796 MR. SMITHERMANN: Good
6797 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon,
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
6798 MR. SMITHERMANN: Members of the Panel, before
I begin, allow me to thank you for hearing my submission today.
6799 You have an important public duty entrusted to
you and, as a public servant, I appreciate your hearing my
6800 As you know, radio has played a tremendous
role throughout this century in Canada. It has helped to build and strengthen
communities across the country. Most importantly, it has provided the means for
different communities to talk to each other. It has allowed us to open lines of
communication, and a healthy line of communication, as we all know, leads to
6801 This is an especially important point in this
case. Few communities have been misunderstood to the same degree as has the gay
and lesbian community. I do not want to dwell on past injustices. I want to help
move a community forward.
6802 Indeed, we have made tremendous strides
forward in the past 20 years. Sexual orientation is now prohibited as grounds
for discrimination in the Human Rights Code, both in Ontario and federally, and
other jurisdictions as well. At Queen's Park this fall we passed legislation
that provides gay and lesbian couples the same rights and, importantly, the same
responsibilities accorded to common-law couples. If the Toronto Star is right,
today we may see the same sort of legislation introduced in the House of
6803 Awarding the licence for 93.5 to Rainbow Radio
would give the gay and lesbian community another rung on the ladder toward full
enfranchisement. This licence is a licence to communicate. It is a licence for
an estimated 365,000 people to communicate within a larger community of four
million. But just as important, it is a licence for 365,000 people to
communicate amongst ourselves.
6804 Some would say that the Rainbow Radio
application is a narrow application focused on a single community. I don't
believe that. I believe it to be a broad application given the confines of the
signal's strength. I know that from the experience of having knocked on
thousands of doors in a constituency that is in itself a microcosm of Canada's
6805 Imagine for a minute a riding that includes a
seat of government like Parliament Hill, an affluent community like Westmount,
an historic community like Vancouver's Gastown, and the heart of the country's
financial industry. Meanwhile, in the centre of my riding lie Regent Park and
St. James Town, two communities that face economic challenges as severe as any
other communities in this country.
6806 All of this is by way of saying that Rainbow
Radio's listening audience will be anything but uniform.
6807 This spectacular range of cultures is
reflected in the gay community. Indeed, in each of these communities I knocked
on doors that opened to reveal gays and lesbians of every conceivable culture,
race, class, size and shape.
6808 Like Toronto and like Canada itself, my
community is breathtakingly diverse. It is African-Canadian, Asian-Canadian and
Anglo-Saxon. It is rich, middle class and poor. It is elderly, middle aged and,
increasingly, it is young.
6809 While we have made many advances as a
community, too many individuals have been left behind.
6810 I own a small business in the heart of the gay
community, and each day I am astounded by the number of homeless youth I see.
Countless other young people make their way to the symbolic capital of our
community after school and on weekends. These are young people who may not
receive the understanding that I was fortunate to receive at home. As a
consequence, young gays and lesbians are often left without a support network.
They don't know where to turn when they need information on health issues, legal
issues or social issues like housing.
6811 Let me give you two concrete examples of how
Rainbow Radio can be effective in helping the youth in our
6812 Much has been made of the recent, significant
scientific breakthroughs in the fight against AIDS. I have personally celebrated
new life with friends that had been, at one time, at death's door. However, it
has also been suggested that the hype surrounding the effectiveness of new
treatments has given young people the impression that they need not be as
vigilant in protecting themselves from the spread of the AIDS virus. They
believe a cure has been found.
6813 Rainbow Radio can act as a source for reliable
public health information. It can educate young people regarding the continued
danger of unsafe sex and direct young people with HIV and AIDS toward
6814 Secondly, gay circuit parties bear a strong
resemblance to the so-called rave parties that have been so often in the news of
late. The culture of drugs and dance is a significant issue in our community.
Young people also need to know the dangers involved in the social choices they
make. Rainbow Radio would be a reliable, invaluable source for this
6815 In short, Rainbow Radio will help to build
connections within our community. It will raise awareness among its listeners.
It will inform them of the progress we have made and of the steps we still need
6816 I believe that our community is in transition.
Activists who once cut their teeth on the essential battle for equality rights
have largely been successful. The lawyers are sorting out the details as we
speak. Now we must redirect that energy and expertise towards the health of our
6817 As is the case in society at large, the elders
of my community too often share with the young the distinction of being
vulnerable. These people are the pioneers of our community, the people who had
the courage and stamina to stand up for our community when it was much more
difficult to do so. We owe them an immeasurable gratitude, but, more important,
we owe them our attention.
6818 Toronto, as we all know, is facing a severe
shortage of affordable housing. The elder members of my community are feeling
the pressure created by this situation. In a post-equality rights environment,
my community needs to fight for its most vulnerable members. Housing for the
elderly, mentoring and peer support for the young, these are two of the most
important issues we need to undertake.
6819 Rainbow Radio will help in these efforts. It
will be a unifying voice in our diverse community.
6820 Thank you.
6821 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you,
6822 I believe Commissioner Grauer has a question
or two for you.
6823 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Good afternoon,
Mr. Smithermann. Welcome.
6824 MR. SMITHERMANN: Thank you.
6825 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I don't know if you are
aware that we look at a number of criteria when weighing and considering the
various applications that are in front of us. While format is an important
element, in particular, when we look at the business plan, it is -- we maintain
an interest in format and in the diversity of a market. We don't require
adherence to a format as a condition of licence. I don't know if you were aware
of that aspect.
6826 MR. SMITHERMANN: Vaguely.
6827 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Vaguely. Okay. I really
just wanted to make sure that you did understand that, because we have had
format switches and --
6828 MR. SMITHERMANN: Yes. One of the things that I
think has been related to this application has been -- and it is something
reasonably novel, in my view -- the creation of an advisory council that I have
been asked to join.
6829 THE CHAIRPERSON: Not novel.
6830 MR. SMITHERMANN: Not novel?
6831 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: No.
6832 MR. SMITHERMANN: New to me. And I think that
that provides a very exciting opportunity for the community to try and ensure
that the format reflects the needs and aspirations of the community as
6833 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Okay. Thanks very much.
Nice to see you here.
6834 MR. SMITHERMANN: Thank you.
6835 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you,
Mr. Smithermann, for your participation.
6836 Mr. Secretary, please.
6837 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you,
6838 I would now invite Michelle Douglas to present
her intervention please.
--- Pause / Pause
6839 MR. CUSSONS: I gather Ms Douglas is not with
us yet. I understand there is still a chance that she might be here, so perhaps
I could call her a little later.
6840 Maintenant l'intervention de l'Alliance des
Radios communautaires du Canada, M. Robert Boulay.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
6841 M. BOULAY: Bonjour Madame, bonjour Madame la
Présidente de l'assemblée, bonjour Mesdames les Commissaires, Messieurs les
6842 Je vous remercie énormément de me donner
quelques minutes de votre temps pour exprimer mon appui pour le projet présenté
par la Coopérative radiophonique de Toronto.
6843 L'implantation et la consolidation de radios
communautaires dans les milieux francophones minoritaires est coordonnée au
niveau national par l'Alliance des radios communautaires du Canada, ARC du
6844 L'ARC du Canada a été fondée lors de la
rencontre nationale des radios communautaires francophones et acadiennes de mars
1991. L'ARC du Canada compte présentement 28 membres actifs dont 18 radios en
ondes reliées entre elles par un réseau satellite, RFA, le Réseau francophones
6845 L'ARC du Canada vise à contribuer à
l'épanouissement des Canadiens et Canadiennes d'expression française par la
création, le maintien et le développement d'un ensemble de radios communautaires
6846 Présentement au Canada plus de 250 stations de
radio communautaires diffusent dans une trentaine de langues différentes mais
moins de 20 pour cent de ces stations offrent une programmation de langue
française. La demande de licence de radiodiffusion soumise par la Coopérative
radiophonique de Toronto contribuerait grandement à améliorer cette situation,
tant au niveau quantitatif que qualitatif.
6847 Nous nous réjouissons du fait que le CRCT,
dans sa nouvelle politique relative à la radio communautaire rendue publique le
28 janvier dernier, réitère clairement et concrètement les objectifs établis
pour la radio communautaire, et je cite:
"Le Conseil a pour principal objectif que la radio communautaire offre un
service de programmation local dont le style et la substance la distinguent de
celui des stations commerciales et de la SRC. La programmation devrait
intéresser les collectivités desservies, y
Et j'aimerais accentuer ce passage.
6848 "... celles de la minorité
6849 La demande qui vous a été soumise par la
Coopérative radiophonique de Toronto répond en tous points à vos attentes à ce
niveau et à celles que vous énoncez par la suite dans cette même politique
"Ces stations se trouvent en mesure de contribuer grandement à l'expression
de la diversité culturelle du Canada, notamment en présentant et en mettant en
valeur les artistes des groupes culturels
6850 Mise à part la Société Radio-Canada, quel
autre diffuseur torontois peut et, par surcroît, désire contribuer à la
reconnaissance et à la découverte des artistes franco-ontariens, acadiens,
québécois et autres artistes issus de milieux francophones
6851 Il ne fait nul doute dans notre esprit que la
grande majorité des 200 000 et plus francophones et francophiles de Toronto
désire accueillir dans leurs foyers la Coopérative radiophonique de Toronto en
tant que radiodiffuseur communautaire d'émissions locales dont la teneur sera
éducative, culturelle et divertissante.
6852 De plus, le jeune public francophone
nouvellement desservi dans sa propre langue pourra donc se familiariser avec la
culture franco-ontarienne et s'ouvrir à ce riche univers culturel qui autrement
aurait pu lui échapper.
6853 La programmation proposée par la Coopérative
radiophonique de Toronto mettra en valeur la francophonie canadienne et mondiale
grâce à une diversité et à un alliage uniques en leur genre. Celle-ci créera ses
propres succès et engendrera ses propres découvertes par le biais d'une
interaction constante avec le milieu culturel et artistique de la francophonie
6854 Or, il est clair que l'assimilation a fait de
sérieux ravages dans cette communauté et qu'il est grand temps que la communauté
francophone puisse obtenir certains outils tels une radio communautaire pour
contrer ce fléau.
6855 Seule une radio communautaire francophone peut
espérer freiner le raz-de-marée de l'assimilation dans une ville comme Toronto
car elle seule répondrait à un tel défi quotidiennement et concrètement par la
présence de sa programmation d'intérêt local et communautaire.
6856 La Loi sur la radiodiffusion ne fait-elle pas
référence au fait que le système canadien devrait:
"... servir à sauvegarder, enrichir et renforcer la structure culturelle,
politique, sociale et économique du
6857 Cette même loi préconise également que
"... favorise l'épanouissement et l'expression canadienne en proposant une
très large programmation ... et qu'une gamme de services de radiodiffusion en
français et en anglais doit être progressivement offerte à tous les Canadiens,
au fur et à mesure de la disponibilité des
6858 Ces moyens s'offrent enfin à la minorité de
langue officielle de la région de Toronto et ils seront finalement disponibles
grâce à la Coopérative radiophonique de Toronto.
6859 Dans son propre document intitulé De la vision
à l'action, publié en mai 1998, le CRTC parle de "la présence d'une
programmation qui reflète la société canadienne" et aussi "de façonner
l'identité canadienne". Ne serait-il pas opportun pour le CRTC de profiter d'une
occasion idéale comme celle qui s'offre à lui présentement et de passer "de la
vision à l'action" dans ce dossier d'importance capitale pour la francophonie
6860 Par l'article 41 de la Loi sur les langues
officielles, le gouvernement fédéral s'est engagé à favoriser l'épanouissement
des minorités francophones et anglophones du Canada et à appuyer leur
développement. L'épanouissement de la communauté franco-torontoise et l'appui à
son développement passent par la disponibilité d'outils adéquats de
communication dont la radio communautaire proposée par la
6861 Dans un jugement publié dans le recueil de
jurisprudence (1999) 1 R.C.S, no. 768 -- excusez la précision --
le plus haut tribunal du pays abonde dans le même sens en exprimant que:
"Les droits linguistiques... ne peuvent être exercés que si les moyens en
sont fournis. Cela concorde avec l'idée préconisée en droit international que la
liberté de choisir est dénuée de sens en l'absence d'un devoir de l'État de
prendre des mesures positives pour mettre en application des garanties
6862 En cette Année de la francophonie canadienne,
le CRTC ne pourrait offrir un témoignage plus concret et plus éloquent de son
engagement vis-à-vis des minorités francophones du pays en donnant suite à la
requête de la Coopérative radiophonique de Toronto.
6863 En effet, si vous lui donniez accès au marché
radiophonique torontois -- le plus important marché radiophonique au
pays -- cela lui permettrait d'offrir une visibilité accrue de la
communauté franco-ontarienne et de démontrer la richesse de sa culture et la
vitalité de ses créateurs.
6864 RFA, le Réseau francophone d'Amérique, jouera
un rôle clé à ce niveau puisqu'il contribuera au façonnement de la programmation
de la Coopérative en lui donnant accès à des émissions en provenance des 18
autres stations membres de l'ARC du Canada et de ses propres studios de
production. Cette synergie contribuera grandement à la vitalité et à la
diversité de la programmation de cette nouvelle radio et offrira aux auditeurs
torontois un contenu pancanadien francophone de très haute
6865 Or, dans la foulée de la victoire historique
des défenseurs du centre hospitalier Montfort à Ottawa, il n'en revient qu'au
CRTC d'écrire sa propre page d'histoire en accordant un droit de parole à la
communauté francophone de Toronto.
6866 La Coopérative radiophonique de Toronto est, à
notre humble avis, la seule requérante qui se propose d'offrir une programmation
distincte de celles qui vous sont soumises dans le cadre de ces audiences et par
surcroît différente de celles qui sont déjà diffusées par les radiodiffuseurs
6867 L'univers de la radiodiffusion de grands
centres urbains tels Toronto n'offre pas beaucoup de surprises à
l'auditeur-type. En effet, celui-ci se voit offrir une programmation "Adult
Contemporary" ou "Contemporary Hit", ou encore "New Rock", "Album-Oriented Rock"
et "Alternative" en passant par "Oldies", sans oublier les types de
programmation tels "News Talk", "All Talk", "Sports", et cetera.
6868 Ces stations mettent-elles en valeur des
artistes canadiens nouveaux ou méconnus ou se contentent-elles de diffuser
généralement les mêmes artistes et les mêmes succès? Celle-ci sont-elles
préoccupées par l'émergence de nouveaux talents et de nouveaux styles musicaux
si ceux-ci ne cadrent pas parfaitement avec leur "son" et avec les attentes de
6869 Nous estimons que la programmation proposée
par la Coopérative radiophonique de Toronto est de loin la seule qui apportera
un contenu musical et vocal nouveaux ainsi que totalement innovateurs aux
auditeurs et auditrices de cette métropole torontoise.
6870 En conclusion, depuis 1988 la communauté
francophone de Toronto démontre un appui inconditionnel et un dynamisme constant
face au projet de radio communautaire qui vous est soumis aujourd'hui. Les
leaders et les nombreux bénévoles de la radio communautaire sont convaincus de
sa viabilité à court terme et de sa nécessité à long terme.
6871 Pour toutes les raisons susmentionnées, mais
principalement au nom de la survie de la communauté francophone de Toronto,
l'Alliance des radios communautaires du Canada recommande au CRTC d'accorder le
permis de radiodiffusion à la Coopérative radiophonique de
6872 La fréquence convoitée par elle et par les
autres requérantes est la seule de disponible et elle représente sa dernière
chance pour contrer l'assimilation.
6873 Dans l'anticipation de votre accueil favorable
à cette demande, nous vous remercions au nom de la francophonie canadienne de
donner enfin une voix à une minorité qui risque de devenir de plus en plus
silencieuse et de moins en moins visible.
6874 Merci beaucoup.
6875 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Monsieur Boulay, faisant
absence abstention de discuter des valeurs de chaque demande, je suis un peu
surprise de votre commentaire selon lequel la demande de la Coopérative serait
la seule qui offrirait à Toronto un contenu musical et vocal
6876 Etes-vous familier avec les --maintenant
nous en avions 15, nous en avons maintenant 13 -- les 12 autres
demandes qui sont devant nous?
6877 M. BOULAY: J'avoue qu'il y en a peut-être
quelques-unes qui, oui, offriraient un contenu musical nouveau.
6878 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Mais vous parlez de vocal
6879 M. BOULAY: Pour moi si je restais à Toronto,
je n'aurais jamais eu jusqu'à maintenant, ou très peu à part par le SRC, ce que
la Coopérative radiophonique de Toronto offre et je reviens en arrière
6880 Dans les programmations qui vous sont
présentées dans le cadre des autres interventions, c'est de la musique à
laquelle on peut toujours avoir accès. Exemple: Si je vais dans un disquaire "X"
à Toronto, je suis pas mal certain que je vais trouver tout ce qu'il propose de
diffuser, alors que les francophones eux vont se faire dire, "Bien la demande
n'est pas là. Nous n'avons pas Catherine Lara, nous n'avons pas telle personne".
C'est un peu dans ce sens-là. Vous avez raison que personne ne réinvente rien,
que tout est déjà là, qu'il s'agit juste d'aller le chercher et de le mettre en
6881 Mais je crois qu'à ce niveau-là je suis
peut-être allé un petit loin pour prêcher pour ma paroisse, mais ce que je
voulais dire c'est que l'emballage, le contenu, le contenant présenté par la
Coopérative radiophonique de Toronto va faire en sorte que ça va être nouveau
et, bien sûr, on ne sera pas les seuls peut-être à amener quelque chose de
nouveau, mais au niveau de la francophonie, au niveau d'une vision canadienne, à
mon humble avis, je dirais que c'est nouveau.
6882 Mais vous avez raison que quand même il y a
certaines autres personnes qui vont présenter des choses qui sont peut-être pas
encore tout à fait là en ce moment. C'est à ce niveau-là que je m'expliquais
6883 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Merci.
6884 M. BOULAY: Merci à vous,
6885 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Nous allons maintenant prendre
une pose de 15 minutes.
6886 We will now take a break of 15 minutes before
going on to the next interventions.
--- Recess at 1430 / Suspension à 1430
--- Upon resuming at 1445 / Reprise à 1445
6887 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will now proceed with the
interventions in the McNabb application.
6888 Have we ascertained whether Ms Douglas is
here or not?
6889 MR. CUSSONS: I don't believe she is,
Madam Chairperson, but I will ask once more if Ms Michelle Douglas is
in the room.
--- Pause / Pause
6890 MR. CUSSONS: I guess not,
6891 So that being the case, I will now introduce,
one at a time, three intervenors who want to come forward today and express
their support for the applications by Mr. Andy McNabb.
6892 Our first intervenor is Michelle Sim.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
6893 MS SIM: Good afternoon,
6894 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good
6895 MS SIM: My name is Michelle Sim and I'm
sitting here on behalf of Steve Nicolle who is unfortunately ill today. Steve is
president of Christian Marketing Canada. He is also president of GMA Canada,
which I will expound upon a little bit.
6896 I just want to give you my background so you
will know my area of interest.
6897 I am Founder and Administrator of Northern
Praise Ministries, and that is a non-profit charitable organization that
supports Canadian artists, primarily in the field of music, by means of
education, encouragement and facilitating opportunities for artistic performance
and development. Support has been given to anyone, Christian or not Christian,
who is in need, and the help that I provide is both practical and spiritual in
6898 I am also Secretary of the Board of Directors
for GMA, Canada. GMA, Canada is the first international branch of GMA, which is
Gospel Music Association from Nashville Tennessee. GMA, Nashville is very
convinced that Canadian gospel artists are professionally ready for the mass
media and have taken huge steps of faith, and financially and physically have
supported this new chapter that is in the Toronto area. I have been elected by
my peers in the fall of 1998 to a three-year term to this
6899 I also am and have been a producer, promoter,
artist, management and I have been involved in special events co-ordinating in
the areas of the Oakville Waterfront Festival, and also Special Olympics of
which my son is a special olympian. We did the special events co-ordinating for
opening and closing ceremonies in 1998 in Oakville and I am presently on a
denominational board in Oakville for something called Jesus Jubilee 2000, which
is going to be a huge event taking place in Oakville this
6900 I have also been and continue to be a TV and
radio host in many different areas. One is a call-in show that is aired on CTS
out of Burlington, Ontario. I know you folks are familiar with
6901 And I have produced my own CD. I have
co-produced many other CDs.
6902 I'm also Chairperson for the Screening
Committee for the gospel category for the Junos. We are going into the fourth
year of our own category. We were, at one time, linked with gospel and blues,
which is sort of an oxymoron. Anyway, we have had three runnings for that. We
are coming into the fourth here now, and nominees were just announced for that
the other day.
6903 Also, I am an ordained minister with a
mainline denomination in Canada.
6904 Toronto is Canada's strongest Christian music
market, yet we do not have a Christian radio station. What we are receiving
right now is basically from WDCX out of Buffalo. Unfortunately, what happens
there, they have no interest at all in Canadian talent and that of course is
where my heart lies, in the aiding and assisting of causing our Canadian artists
to develop and grow and to be heard and have their talents used.
6905 I just want to read an excerpt from Steve's
letter, because he is the business guy here. He says in his letter that:
"Toronto has a history of having a strong presence in Gospel/Christian music.
According to [their] sales history, the GTA accounts for 19% of sales of Gospel
and Christian music in Canada. What this shows, is that without a 7 day-a-week,
24 hour-a-day presence for Christian music in Toronto, that the market has
a positive sales index relative to its population.
By adding a 7 day-a-week presence for Christian music, we estimate that
Christian music would grow by a further 20-25% margin within the GTA region.
There would also be a significant opportunity for local Canadian Christian
6906 And that is where my interest lies:
"...to have an avenue to promote their music and aid in launching them to an
Since the Christian stations went on the air in Calgary ... and Edmonton [in
6907 Meaning Christian Marketing:
"...we experienced a considerable increase in sales well above that of the
6908 He also goes on to say that:
"...present sales levels indicate that there exists a stronger market for
Christian music on Toronto radio than any place in Canada - demonstrated by this
index, the sheer size of the city, and the fact that it has the largest unserved
radio audience for Christian music in Canada.
Of paramount importance is the fact that a Christian station in Toronto will
be instrumental in developing the largest untapped talent pool in all of Canada.
With 20,000 churches in all of Canada, over 4,500 churches are within a
50 mile radius of Toronto. This gives unprecedented exposure for Canadian
lyric and music writers, producers, and artists, leading to more engagements,
production[s], music sales and an avenue for the industry to grow and develop,
adding much greater diversity to existing offerings of the Canadian music
6909 Just an excerpt from my letter, and my point,
I guess, here is that my greatest observation over the last ten years -- I
pastored up until 1990, and was just simply called into what I'm doing today,
and that is to support artists. I very much am involved with the music industry
in Toronto at large as well where I offer just prayer or whatever people may
need, because people are really hungry for spiritual help. My greatest
observation over the past ten years is the maturation of the professional
quality of Canadian gospel artists.
6910 When I started doing this ten years ago, it
was pretty pathetic. There were a few people that were doing a good job, but a
lot of the rationale was, "Well, we are just doing it in Church. It's okay." I
have seen incredible growth, even that we can get the attention of those out of
Nashville, where these people have just developed against all odds because there
has been nowhere to play it, nowhere to hear it, nowhere to see it, and they
have just abounded in their progression of their craft.
6911 U.S. artists, as you know, have massive
exposure. It is a huge industry in the U.S., Christian music, and enormous
amounts of money are poured into their careers by record labels and/or other
investors in their own country. As you are all well aware, exposure creates
demand, creating work, creating finances that can go back into careers that can
be developed even more.
6912 Both proposed radio stations will go a great
distance to promote Christian talent by way of free announcements, an update,
and of course just by continuous exposure of these Canadian artists that can't
happen anywhere other than radio. It can't happen on TV -- we wouldn't put up
6913 One of the other things, too, is sitting on
the board at CARAS I have noticed -- I was co-chair for two years, and then this
last year and a half I have been the chairperson -- there is really a marked
interest in what is going on in gospel music from all the other leaders in the
music industry in Toronto. So I have been very interested to see
6914 One young man called Steve Bell, I don't know
if any of you know who he is, is an incredible singer/songwriter out of
Winnipeg. He released a single called "Hear By the Water" and it immediately
jumped up to the top ten in the inspirational charts in the U.S. Both Steve Bell
and Sharon Riley and Faith Chorale were the first and second recipients of the
Juno for the gospel category and both of them have gotten U.S. record deals and
hardly anybody in Canada knows who they are. How can they if they can't be
6915 What I did want to talk about specifically is
Mr. McNabb's offer to pledge considerable funds towards Canadian Christian
artists. GMA, Canada is primarily an educational tool. They have yearly
academies all over the U.S. and they are having one in Toronto, that is their
Canadian -- they were going to do it in Thunder Bay until I mentioned to them
that very few people lived up there, so they moved it to Toronto. They just
picked the centre part in Canada.
6916 What the GMA does is once a year it has what
is called an academy -- some people are brought in from Nashville and some
people are used out of Canada -- where it really is to enhance the skill level,
bring up to standard the skill level of the Christian artist.
6917 We also have quarterly meetings called The
Gathering, and these two are fellowship times for areas of encouragement,
education, but also bringing to the forefront Canadian artists. And we would
like to be able to properly remunerate them, bring them in. We would love to
bring in Steve Bell, but don't have the money to do that.
6918 So Mr. McNabb's offer is very generous and
6919 Also, GMA has started up something called GMA
On Campus, and they are using a Canadian college to do it first in North
America. They are using a college out west called Briarcrest, and there is
actually going to be an accredited course taking place, and it is going to be
the gospel music industry taught in our Christian colleges. So that is
6920 Just a couple of success stories. One Cross is
a family from Mississauga who one a huge competition in the U.S., a very coveted
price, and we don't know who they are. Deborah Klassen is up for a Juno. We
don't know who Deborah is. Sharon Riley, Faith Chorale, Steve Bell, we don't
know who these people are because they have no exposure.
6921 So, just in summary: Why do I think we need a
Christian radio station here in Toronto?
6922 The GTA public, which is 74 per cent
identified believing in the Christian faith, can tune into hopeful and helpful
music and information.
6923 Number two, 4,500 GTA churches representing
some of that 74 per cent will be served.
6924 And, in my heart, number three is that the
Canadian, and particularly GTA Christian artists, can be promotionally and
financially assisted toward further development and production in other areas
and that they would have exposure to the public.
6925 Thank you very much.
6926 THE CHAIRPERSON: We thank you for your
6927 Mr. Secretary, please.
6928 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you, Madam
6929 I would now like to invite Reverend Bud
Williams to present his intervention, please.
6930 REV. WILLIAMS: Good afternoon.
6931 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
6932 REV. WILLIAMS: I want to thank you for the
opportunity of appearing here.
6933 I am a pastor, so I don't have a written
script. Would somebody just ring the bell when I am to stop or make a motion
6934 As I submitted in my letter, I am the pastor
of Evangel Temple. That is located at 401 and Yonge Street here in the centre of
Toronto. We have approximately 2,000 members. They are made up of 84 different
nationalities, and we would just like the opportunity of being able to express
what God has done in our church in bringing together 84 different nations, and
our singing, our preaching. The different presentations that we offer present a
great variety of peoples from all over the world, and we believe that Christian
radio, as well as Christian television, could help us to better express what we
are all about.
6935 I have had the opportunity -- or presently do,
of being on three television stations here in Canada broadcasting from coast to
coast, and also three different stations in the Caribbean. We would like to also
have the opportunity of having a Christian radio station where we can have a
voice as far as Christian radio is concerned.
6936 I have been involved in Christian television
and radio for about 35 years and I have found it a great medium of promoting
understanding between different religious people, different nationalities, and
in helping to bring our community together in different projects that we support
to help the poor, the less fortunate, and so on. I understand that Christian
radio will give us this opportunity of advertising what we are about, what we
are doing. And, one of the best things about it, according to Andy, is a lot of
these ads are going to be free.
6937 We are now presently advertising on Christian
radio in Buffalo, New York, WDCX, and I know that it is a very effective way of
advertising different Christian events.
6938 Recently, we had a large crusade in Toronto.
We advertised in our newspapers and we advertised on secular radio. But when we
took a consensus of where the people came from and by what means they heard the
advertising, WDCX in Buffalo came out far on top, making us know that Christians
listen to Christian radio here in Toronto.
6939 Another reason that we would like to see
Christian radio is that I believe that we have a lot of Canadian content that
needs to be heard in our Toronto area. We are thankful for those who come in
from the U.S. and other parts of the world, but I believe that Canadians have
something to offer their own nation.
6940 I believe we are known throughout the world as
peacemakers. I believe we are peacemakers at home as well as
6941 One of the things that really startles me from
our many telephone calls and many letters that we receive is how people can see
by Christian television, when the cameras scan our audience on Sunday morning,
that nobody is in the majority as far as a race is concerned. We are 84
nationalities. We are all worshipping together, we are working together, and
this is a great voice to our nation that we can have people come here from all
over the world and we can work together.
6942 And, another thing that I would like to see
happen on Christian radio, is that Christian radio become a voice, a stronger
voice for patriotism in our country.
6943 When I go across the border, as I often do,
and preach in cities in the United States and listen to their television
stations, listen to their radio stations, one thing comes through loud and
clear, that they are patriotic people. I believe that it is our God-given call
in this nation to bring people together under our flag and to pray for our
leaders to work together for a greater patriotic spirit.
6944 In our gym we have 84 different flags of
nations where people come from, but we have a large Canadian flag and we tell
our people they have adopted Canada. "Now, let's be good citizens. Let's be
people of integrity. Let's pay our taxes. Let's pray for our government, not
bash our government, and let us work together to build this great country of
6945 So if I sound like somebody that is real
patriotic this afternoon, I am. I was born here. I love this country. I believe
that Christianity has attributed a lot to our nation and I believe we deserve to
be heard, what we have to offer for the people of this country.
6946 So I trust that, as you listened this
afternoon to the different presentations, we shall all realize that we feel a
bit gipped in that we have not had Christian radio in this
6947 I know the history a little bit and there were
problems back many years ago with Christian radio. But we are living in a new
day and Christians are encouraged now not to bash one another or bash our
government but to work together in unity for the great purpose of our nation. So
I'm a firm believer that it will be financially supported. We are on the air on
three television stations. We are not having any problem as far as our finances
are concerned, and I believe that Christian radio will bring in Christian
advertising, and also it will be supported by the freewill gifts of
6948 So I want to thank you today. I don't know how
far we are in our ten minutes, but I want to thank you today for hearing us. I
hope that we can go back to our 84 different nationalities at Evangel Temple
with a positive report in the near future that we are going to have a voice in
the Toronto area, that is, the Christian community will have a voice through
radio in the Toronto area.
6949 Thank you very much.
6950 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Reverend. You see,
no bell has rung, so you did very well.
--- Laughter / Rires
6951 REV. WILLIAMS: Thank you.
6952 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you for your
6953 Mr. Secretary, please.
6954 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you,
6955 We will now hear the intervention by Damalei
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
6956 MS BECKFORD: Good afternoon. I'm a little
younger, so I don't have as much experience, but I think it is such a great
opportunity to be able to come before you and to discuss this
6957 As a Torontonian I came here -- actually, I
came here from Jamaica when I was eight, you know, and it's the typical story,
and grew up in Toronto. I grew up mainly in the Keel and Old Weston Road area.
And I love the city. This has been, you know -- this is the home town. I just
wanted to share just a little bit of my own history. And I am just representing
just a listener, as a prospective listener, you know, as a Christian and as a
6958 As I was saying, I grew up in downtown
Toronto, the west end, and I became a Christian at 14 years old. The reason that
I want to give this is that, as a young person, I was used to tuning into
different channels to hear whatever I wanted to hear. Before I became a
Christian, let's say I wanted to hear a hip-hop or R&B, I would tune into
WBLK and 680 before it turned a new station. I don't know why they did that. So
I was already used to being able to get whatever I needed on the
6959 So when I became a Christian I just
automatically assumed that, you know, there was a Christian station. So I would
try to look for that. I was looking for a station, and there wasn't anything at
the time. Now I found out that there wasn't any at all. At that time, I just
thought that I just couldn't find any thing. I quickly came to realize that
Christians, the way that they spread news -- "news" meaning like concerts,
speakers, preachers -- was mainly through word of mouth and through magazines,
like, if you read it in a Christian magazine or a Christian newspaper. But
really there was no -- like, there was nothing on the radio. There was nothing
you could get information like that on.
6960 Because I come from the downtown area, WDCX
doesn't operate in that area, you know, and so you just absolutely have nothing,
except WBLK just on the weekends has like a two-hour program, you know, if you
can get it, if you can get that range at the time.
6961 So, anyways -- and I am just going on here --
I also learned that in order to get Christian music I had to actually buy the
CDs myself, you know, and play it at my own needing, but there was no venue to
really be able to -- the difference is that with, as the lady before was talking
about, exposure -- you see, the reason why we go out, especially as a young
person, you go out and you buy a CD because you have heard it. You have heard
them on the radio or you have seen them on TV or something, but most of the time
we have heard them on the radio. So it would be like, "Oh, did you hear that
latest song? Let's go out and..." you know, and so we would go out and buy
6962 But now, as a believer, to go out and buy
Christian music, well it is difficult because I have never heard them, you know,
so I don't know what they sound like. You had to really go around -- it was just
through friendships, you know, through others who bought, you would listen and
decide what you liked. There is just absolutely no venue for any information,
for just learning, you know, as far as that is concerned.
6963 Anyways, though I did resign looking for a
Christian station, I never really believed, I must say in my heart, that there
was no such thing for Toronto. The reason why I say that is because, you know, I
was a lover of this city and Toronto to me is growing up, and even now is a
ground-breaking city. It is a city that has everything. This is what I grew up
with, you know, because of the multiculturalness of the city, it is just open to
having everything. So I just never really believed that we didn't have a
6964 Not only that, the churches that I --
Toronto has some of the largest churches in our country. You know, like, Evangel
Temple being one of the largest, as well as Revival Time with the young people.
I have gone to different concerts. For example, there was a group called
Delirious and they had a concert -- this is a Christian band -- they had a
concert in Hamilton at Copp's Coliseum, just this past November, and it was,
like, packed out. It had over at least 10,000, over at least 10,000 young
people, and they were under the age of 24, the majority. It was just the most
awesome thing. Like, this is without radio, you know. It is mostly by word of
mouth we all knew. And they come in -- Toronto is pretty close to Hamilton, so
they came in just flocking by bus. It is an awesome event.
6965 The reason why I'm saying that, as far as the
city, is just knowing that, you know, Toronto is where everything happens. You
always hear whatever is going on here. So that is why this is really important
to me. This is why I came out, just as a representative, just as a Christian, a
young person listening to the radio, growing up here in this city, knowing the
importance of this city, that this city affects everyone, and knowing that there
is such a large -- there is such a vast number of Christians that I know, it's
not -- the problem -- like, what we are having is not a lack of audience but
just a lack. You know, there is not a lack of audience, there is just a lack. I
didn't mean to repeat that twice.
6966 Anyways, going on, Christian radio, some of
the awesome things of Christian radio, what it is that we get or that I get from
it is now that I have -- I have grown up. Now I'm in St. Catharines, Ontario and
I attend a bible college there. Now, St. Catharines, you know -- coming
from Toronto, a big city, you know, St. Catharines is a little small to you,
right, so, you know, I go to St. Catharines and I find out they have a Christian
station. You know, like, they are just a little small city. You know, Toronto
for sure should have a Christian station. And that is because they get -- they
don't have a station. They are actually getting the Buffalo channel which is
6967 Anyways, the programming, though, it is so --
the thing about Christianity, the programming of Christianity, is that it is
above age, culture. It is all about a belief. It is a belief. So all age ranges
tune in to listen, you know, because the major underlying basis is the faith,
and that is what people are tuning in to listen to. What they have on it is
preaching and teaching or they have, like -- for example, they have different
churches that have slots, different slots of times that they have sermons, that
church puts their particular Sunday service on on the station. They have music
at different time periods.
6968 They even have a call-in show, and the call-in
show is really good to listen to because you can hear the different ranges of
people that call, believers as well as non-believers, young people, you know,
older people. It is cross-cultural, just cross-boundaries.
6969 The reason why I'm saying this is because I
was just listening to a program that really touched me. It was a young person
calling in and they were asking on some really serious things of the faith, you
know. And it's great to be able to call in and discuss a viewpoint on your faith
with somebody who is going to understand and be able to speak back to you on
6970 So this is where I find the state that is so
important, because there is -- in Toronto, even with a church of 2,000 or a
church of, you know, 1,500 or even 800, a majority of them are coming -- a good
percentage is going to be youth.
6971 The youth are so -- you know, I think that we
are no -- I am 20 years old myself, so there is no -- you know, I know that
some adults have spoken, you know, so much more grown up, that have spoken to
you, you know, come from a background where young people weren't as active in
their faith, but from my life, and from my friends and from living it, they are
very active. You know, this generation is more active and more persistent and
more concerned about what is happening in their churches and amongst each other
and in their societies as well. Christian radio will give Torontonians, will
give Toronto children, Toronto youth, Toronto believers a chance to be able to
unite together, to be able to hear each other's voices.
6972 That concert that I mentioned, it was all
across the board, Presbyterians, Protestants, Mennonites, you know, a list of
different denominations coming together because the basis of it is our faith. So
that is what Christian radio -- I think this is what Christian radio does for
us. It brings believers. It brings believers together on their faith, as well as
ministering to those that aren't necessarily churchgoers or anything but have a
heart for faith issues. And this is a great way -- it's great to be able to
discuss those things.
6973 Just let me see here.
6974 So just to wrap it up, that is the reason why
I believe a Christian station is needed for Toronto is because of the majority,
the amount of people, when you look at the stats.
6975 Also, just as a final comment, you know,
someone asked me before, they asked me, you know: Is there nothing suitable on
mainstream radio that you find for yourself? The thing about it is, the reason
why mainstream does not satisfy, it doesn't encourage your faith, you know, the
things that we are taught, because we do believe in the bible. You know, we
believe in God, and the songs or the things that are spoken about necessarily
are not towards the faith and not encouraging us in that belief. So that is why
in mainstream there is nothing. That is why the stats are right that, you know,
Christians don't necessarily -- we tune in for news. We tune in for the news and
that is about it, because everything else is against -- you know, especially the
6976 As a young person, you know, the music does
not promote the things that we believe in as far as the bible is concerned,
relationships, and even society itself. It is not something that even society
itself notices, the problem, notices that there is -- just with what is being
6977 And that is it. That is where I am
6978 So I will just leave it that there is a need
for young people to be able to -- even for young people to be able to voice
their opinions, be able to learn from the teachings that would be on the radio,
to be able to be a unit -- young people as well, you know, believers, to be able
to be a unit. That will be a positive thing for Toronto. And it is crossing --
it is the one, I think -- I have listened to a lot of the other ones, and it is
the one belief I think that it will include all sectors of the spectrum as far
as, you know, people, different people groups, everyone. It includes them. It
includes them because everyone is concerned about their faith. Everyone is
concerned about what they believe in. All right.
6979 And that's it.
6980 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Beckford.
You were spared the bell too.
--- Laughter / Rires
6981 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you for your
6982 I believe, Mr. Secretary, that that ends our
agenda for today.
6983 MR. CUSSONS: Yes, it does,
6984 THE CHAIRPERSON: Tomorrow morning, then, we
will resume at 9:00 with the interventions in the Jolly
6985 Thank you very much.
6986 Nous reprendrons à neuf heures demain
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1530, to resume
on Wednesday, February 9, 2000 at 0900 / L'audience
est ajournée à 1530, pour reprendre le mercredi
9 février 2000 à 0900