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:
Vancouver Trade Vancouver Trade
& Convention Centre & Convention Centre
Room 8-15 Salle 8-15
999 Canada Place 999, Canada Place
British Columbia (Colombie-Britannique)
February 23, 2000 Le 23 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:
Françoise Bertrand Présidente/Chairperson
Présidente du Conseil/
Chairperson of the
Andrée Wylie Conseillère/Commissioner
Stuart Langford Commissioner/Conseiller
Cindy Grauer Commissioner/Conseillère
Barbara Cram Commissioner/Conseillère
ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:
Lori Assheton-Smith Legal Counsel/
Michael Burnside Hearing Manager/ Gérant de
Marguerite Vogel Secrétaire de l'audience/
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Vancouver Trade Vancouver Trade
& Convention Centre & Convention Centre
Room 8-15 Salle 8-15
999 Canada Place 999, Canada Place
British Columbia (Colombie-Britannique)
February 23, 2000 Le 23 février 2000
TABLE OF CONTENTS / TABLE DES MATIÈRES
PHASE III - INTERVENTION BY / PAR
The National Broadcast Reading
Service Inc. 706
British Columbia Film 716
Canadian Independent Film Caucus
(BC Chapter) 729
Vancouver Multicultural Society 742
Capital Region Race Relations Association 759
City of Nanaimo 777
Kumar Sikka 786
Directors Guild of Canada 806
Trevor Chan and Michael Johal 817
Crisanta Sampang, Planet Aaj Radio;
Baljit Deo and Michael Sunnar 824
Baljit Sangra, Eagle Eye Films;
Loretta Todd, Endless Entertainment Inc.;
and Andrew Ooi 831
Face to Face Media 845
Shavick Entertainment and No Equal
Entertainment Inc. 850
Diane Farris Gallery 856
Granville Entertainment Group 866
Christine Haebler and Scott Smith 873
Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver 884
Chinese Women Entrepreneurs Association 890
Canadian Ethnocultural Council 896
Milton K. Wong and Barbara Brink 904
Joseph D. Sorbara and Brian G. Baynham 912
Law Courts Education Society of
British Columbia 920
Gurmant Grewal, Official Opposition
Deputy House Leader 927
Omni Film Productions Ltd. and
Paperny Films Inc. 935
United Chinese Community Enrichment
Services Society (S.U.C.C.E.S.S.) 945
Tokmakov Productions 954
Gurnam Singh Ranu 960
Nirvana Films and Crossroads
Productions Inc. 964
Balwant Singh Gill 974
TABLE OF CONTENTS / TABLE DES MATIÈRES
PHASE III - INTERVENTION BY / PAR (cont'd)
Canadian Association of Media Education
Organizations and the Jesuit Communication
Port Theatre and Nanaimo Art Gallery 984
High Road Productions Inc. and
Tapestry Films Ltd. 990
Smooth Productions 997
Barry W. Kelsey 1003
New Music West 2000 1011
CKTV & Production Inc. 1016
Vancouver, British Columbia / Vancouver (C.-B.)
--- Upon resuming on Wednesday, February 23, 2000
at 0800 / L'audience reprend le mercredi
23 février à 0800
3976 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good morning. I would
ask the Secretary to please call our first intervenor.
3977 MS VOGEL: Thank you, Madam Chairman. The first group
of intervenors we will hear from this morning is The National Broadcast Reading
Service Inc.: Robert S. Trimbee, Alix Nicoll, Paul Thiele and John
3978 Please go ahead whenever you are ready.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
3979 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good
3980 MS NICOLL: Madam Chair, Members of the Commission, my
name is Alix Nicoll. I am the Vice-President of The National Broadcast Reading
Service Inc. and President of our new VoicePrint BC chapter.
3981 On my right is Paul Thiele, a B.C. director of NBRS
and Vice-President of VoicePrint BC. On my left is John Stubbs, NBRS operations
chief and Director of AlternateMedia Canada, the technology division of NBRS;
and on Mr. Thiele's right is Bob Trimbee, NBRS Executive Director.
3982 You have our sincere thanks for giving us this time
to appear to intervene against the applications for television licences by CHUM
Ltd., Craig Broadcast Systems Inc. and CFMT-TV, a division of Rogers
3983 As you well know, NBRS has appeared before at your
hearings to advance the cause of described video services -- DVS. Our media
charity is dedicated to the enhanced use of the broadcasting system in Canada by
blind and vision-restricted viewers. These 2.8 million Canadians --
including about 350,000 in B.C. -- have a right of access to the system
equal to others.
3984 In Public Notice CRTC 1996-97 (11 June 99), the
Commission supported in principle the implementation of DVS programming. The
Commission also said:
3985 (1) licensees and our company should continue to
co-operate in order to effect the gradual implementation of DVS;
3986 (2) it will at licence renewal, explore with
licensees the progress that has been made in meeting the needs of viewers with
3987 Well, Commissioners, when we suggested to each
applicant through the intervention process tied to this hearing that each
incorporate DVS in their broadcast schedule starting in their first year of
operations, one applicant did not respond and the others proposed to address the
question at licence renewal.
3988 Surely the Commission did not think that new
licensees should be exempt from the implementation of DVS.
3989 In its comments, CHUM Ltd. says NBRS has done nothing
constructive to advance the implementation of DVS. This is disappointing and
3990 I will now ask Mr. Thiele to outline some of the
things we have done so far.
3991 MR. THIELE: Most importantly, we have raised the
issue of DVS with the Commission to the point where the CRTC has said publicly
that it supports its implementation.
3992 We have gone on record with the CRTC and with all
Canadian broadcasters that any broadcaster can use the national audio service of
VoicePrint for the simultaneous distribution of a described soundtrack. So the
broadcast of described programming need not all rest on using S.A.P.
3993 We have contacted every applicant through this
particular public hearing, trying to get DVS facilities built into any new
3994 We have met with CAB's Joint Committee on Societal
Issues and Trends to talk about organizing through CAB the production in total
by CAB members of two hours a week of described television programming for use
by its members.
3995 We have contacted CBC, CanWest Global, Alliance
Atlantis, Shaw, applicants before the CRTC for renewal or transfers of
ownership -- and have suggested that they get into DVS in the near or
3996 And, Commissioners, I would draw your attention to
the "Milestones of Canadian DVS" attached to the text of our comments to you
3997 Commissioners, we are here today as a matter of
principle. We know that DVS has a place in the Canadian broadcasting system. And
we are here in support of that principle.
3998 At the same time, we wish to illustrate again that we
have a fantastic described-video division that has produced some of the best
work anywhere. CBC, Alliance Atlantis and others have hired us to produce
described versions of programming for broadcast.
3999 Watch this sample, a bilingual work which was the
centrepiece, February 9th, in CNIB's first-ever national campaign on Braille
--- Video presentation / Présentation vidéo
4000 MR. STUBBS: Commissioners, we see in responses to our
intervention a complaint about the cost of description. For a single project we
charge $100 a minute. Others might say: "Gosh! $100 a minute times 1,440 minutes
a day times 365 days...no, that's too expensive."
4001 We respond as follows: We are talking only about the
broadcast of two hours a week of described programming.
4002 This description work can be done by the broadcasters
themselves or by a description house that can meet their cost expectations. We
don't care who does the work, just that it gets done. We are not here to talk
about NBRS building a business through the implementation of new regulatory
obligations on other licensees.
4003 We know that description costs can be offset in a
variety of creative ways. For example, we approached CITY-TV/CHUM Ltd. in early
1997 with an offer to describe each week -- at no charge -- one of the
two-hour movies scheduled to be broadcast by CITY-TV. In return we would get a
negotiated number of promotional avails during the described broadcasts --
a pattern developed to offset the cost of broadcasting programs that are
4004 Further, under that particular scenario, what is the
real cost to CHUM Television if it contracted to have a two-hour movie
professionally described each week and then bicycled the described version among
its other stations.
4005 Also, as noted, should its S.A.P. capacity be tied up
with other revenue-generating activities at the time of the broadcast, there is
the possibility of VoicePrint broadcasting the described audio track.
4006 As the Commission also knows, quite separate from our
talks with CITY-TV/CHUM Ltd. and other broadcasters, we long ago proposed to the
CAB that it co-ordinate a national description plan through which its television
members each year could pool their resources to produce 104 hours of described
Canadian television drama and children's programming.
4007 Participants would have access to the entire
catalogue of described programs by paying a share of the description costs. We
added that if we were asked to produce that volume of description work, NBRS
would be to look for ways to offer a volume discount of at least 20 per
4008 Commissioners, description costs are not going to get
in the way of DVS.
4009 Now, in the area of technical problems faced by a
licensee getting involved with DVS, we hear a broadcaster has to:
4010 (1) put a SAP generator on to his tower;
4011 (2) rewire his entire existing plant;
4012 (3) dedicate expensive playback equipment solely to
the task of handling SAP broadcasts.
4013 I think we can respond simply to these
4014 Putting a SAP generator on to a transmitter: Yes, it
is true that that must be done if a unit now is not installed. Such a generator
costs $10,000 Canadian. In our view, it is likely that broadcasters will use
their SAP facilities to develop other revenue-generating businesses in catering
to viewers wishing to receive foreign-language audio broadcasts. Some already
4015 Rewiring a television plant: We agree with CHUM Ltd.
that it makes sense to ensure that a new television facility can broadcast an
SAP signal. But the technical translation of that comment is not that a
broadcaster must spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to install special
wiring and switches to automate the relay of SAP transmissions. There is a zero
likelihood of any licensee undertaking such a grandiose capital expense,
especially when a simple switch costing a few hundred dollars can do the
4016 We provided the Commission with the schematics of
such a switching arrangement a the fall 1998 public hearing on future television
4017 Dedicate a VCR to described activity only:
Broadcasters have sufficient VCR playback equipment to allocate a unit, on an
as-needed basis for use in any SAP broadcast. But if a broadcaster wished to do
so, the one-time cost of buying a VCR for specific purpose would be about
$10,000. But why would they?
4018 Commissioners, Canadian broadcasters have a wonderful
history of responding to viewer needs. If there is a will to see something
happen, they find creative ways to mitigate obstacles, such as those some
erroneously believe preclude them from producing and broadcasting DVS
programming. It's essential that new entrants be involved with DVS from the
outset and gear up their plants to make it so.
4019 We speak always of using SAP technology to broadcast
described programming because open description may be a challenge for some
viewers. We have produced our described videos anticipating open description,
but the preferred broadcast delivery will be closed (i.e. with the described
sound audio track transmitted within the SAP).
4020 That logistical approach, among other things, means
that DVS can be introduced into the broadcasting system with the least impact in
terms of channel capacity constraints.
4022 MR. TRIMBEE: Thank you, John.
4023 Commissioners, the licensees before you see DVS as
something to do at some nebulous and future date. That is just not good
4024 Three years ago, DVS became part of television in the
United Kingdom. The initial content level was set at 2 per cent. It now is 6 per
cent and will reach 10 per cent by 2002.
4025 DVS has been a regular element of broadcasting in the
United States for a decade. In that time, PBS has broadcast more than 1,600
described programs. Now the FCC has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that
would require private broadcasters in the top 25 markets -- which includes
nearby Seattle -- to air four hours a week of DVS programs.
4026 In Canada, the principle has been approved. You have
said DVS programming will be introduced gradually. It's now a question of when
people who cannot see the screen or cannot see it well, finally will enjoy
Canadian television as all other citizens do.
4027 Our appearance today is not about building a DVS
business within NBRS. It is about the principle of adding DVS to Canadian
television just as years ago captioning for viewers with diminished hearing
became an integral element of Canadian broadcasting. If not as a result of this
hearing, then when will DVS become part of Canadian broadcasting?
4028 We urge you, in licensing any of CHUM Ltd., Craig
Broadcast Systems and/or CFMT-TV to ensure that the access needs of Canadians
with diminished visions be respected. There are no technical or economic reasons
for doing otherwise.
4030 MS NICOLL: We would be pleased to answer any
questions you may have.
4031 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very
4032 Commissioner Grauer.
4033 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you. Welcome...
--- Technical difficulties / Problèmes techniques
4034 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Madam
4035 MS VOGEL: Thank you, Madam Chairperson.
4036 Our next intervenor is British Columbia Film, Rob
4037 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good morning,
Mr. Egan. Please proceed.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
4038 MR. EGAN: Good day, Madam Chair, fellow
Commissioners, staff, and ladies and gentlemen.
4039 My name is Rob Egan, and I am the President and CEO
of British Columbia Film. With me here today is Liz Shorten, Communications and
Corporate Affairs Co-ordinator for British Columbia Film.
4040 We are pleased to appear before you today to expand
upon our written comments, as part of this regulatory proceeding regarding new
television stations in Vancouver and Victoria.
4041 As we stated in our written submission, British
Columbia Film does not support any particular applicant in these proceedings.
Additionally, we will restrict our comments primarily to the applications by
Rogers/CFMT, CHUM and Craig Broadcasting's A-Channel application.
4042 British Columbia Film is a privately-administered,
non-profit society with a mandate to expand and diversify the cultural
industries of film and video in British Columbia. The Society offers a range of
programs, including production and development financing to projects with
significant B.C. components. This includes dramatic, animated and documentary
film and television productions.
4043 In addition, British Columbia Film administers the
Province's film and television tax incentive programs, Film Incentive BC and the
Production Services Tax Credit. In total, British Columbia Film administers
programs worth approximately $40 million per year.
4044 In our written submissions we touched on a number of
specific areas of concern to British Columbia Film regarding the British
Columbia indigenous production industry. This indigenous sector of the industry
in British Columbia has shown promising growth in recent years, a growth in new
investment and increased production that is testament to the creative talent,
experienced crews, entrepreneurial skill and public policy initiatives that have
4045 Toronto, however continues to enjoy significant
benefits over Vancouver. It is the home base for industry decision-makers from
the large Canadian production and broadcasting companies and national funding
agencies. In B.C. we are poised to lose WIC, the only large conventional
broadcaster based in British Columbia, in the very near future.
4046 To the greatest extent possible, we must ensure that
the framework for future business development, employment, creative opportunity
and cultural expression is enhanced in British Columbia, and these applications
must be considered with those goals at the forefront.
4047 We note with concern that none of these applicants
before the Commission are B.C. companies. In this regard, we feel it is
imperative for the applicants to demonstrate a commitment to high quality
programming produced by the independent British Columbian production community.
As well, we believe that authority for decision-making will best serve the B.C.
industry if that authority is vested in the successful applicant's entity in the
province, rather than a head office located east of the Rockies.
4048 We also believe it is imperative for the applicants
to address the changing diversity and ethnic make-up of the community it hopes
to serve. From our perspective, the reflection of the exciting and changing face
of British Columbia society must be a central component of the Commission's
4049 Above all, we believe an unequivocal commitment to
the indigenous B.C. film and television production community must be clear and
comprehensive. Beyond the promises made when applying, our test is the delivery
of production and development financing; promotional and marketing support to
guarantee opportunities for B.C. talent and B.C. companies; and a commitment to
bring to the screen the stories, voices and faces of British Columbia in local,
regional and national programming.
4050 Priority programming, as outlined by the Commission
in Public Notice 1999-205, is mandatory for the largest broadcast groups,
including WIC, CanWest Global, and CTV. None of the new applicants are required
to meet these thresholds, as they each broadcast to less than 70 per cent of the
country. Craig and CHUM have pledged, however, to broadcast varying levels of
priority programming on their proposed new stations.
4051 As we stated in our written submission, we take issue
with the Commission's definition of what constitutes priority programming.
Firstly, the Commission has determined that it will only provide incentives for
regional programming outside of the genres of drama, music, variety,
documentary, news and other information programming, and sports.
4052 This restricts regionally-produced priority
programming to the marginal categories of religion, education, game shows, and
general entertainment and human interest. As a result, there is no specific
incentive for the larger broadcasters, such as CanWest Global or CTV, to produce
quality programming in the most significant (and previously under-represented)
categories of drama, music, variety and documentary programming, outside of
Toronto and Montreal.
4053 Secondly, even within these limited programming
categories that do qualify as regional priority programming, the Commission has
determined that Vancouver does not qualify as a region. While the potential
exists for Vancouver to become established as a centre of English-language
production comparable to Toronto, it must be understood that Vancouver and
British Columbia are still not on a level playing field when compared to our
central Canadian counterparts.
4054 Therefore, as detailed in our written submission, we
continue to disagree with the Commission's decision to exclude Vancouver from
being considered a region for the purposes of qualifying as a source for
regional priority programming. We are concerned that this definition will likely
set a precedent that other organizations may follow.
4055 Thirdly, the Commission will consider local
programming as regionally produced priority programming if it is produced in
Victoria. We welcome the Commission's recognition of Victoria as a region
outside of Vancouver. However, as noted above, similar programming originating
in Vancouver will not be considered regionally produced priority
4056 We hope that these new applications before the
Commission and their proposals for producing B.C.-based priority programming
will help to counteract these limitations.
4057 Beyond priority programming commitments, however, is
the commitment by Canadian broadcasters to provide national exposure to
programming that originates from regions across the country.
4058 Craig, Rogers and CHUM have identified in their
applications opportunities for national exposure for B.C.-based producers and
have offered specific production funds in their applications, with varying
commitments for national exposure, as noted in our written
4059 National exposure is of critical importance to
developing a strong and viable production community in British
4060 The Commission must assess the proposals made by each
of these applicants to ensure that their production and development funding
commitments are adequate to deliver the level of high quality production that
each applicant promises, especially in this era of over-subscription of public
4061 As part of their production promises, each of the
applicants intends to put in place a local development officer. This commitment
to regionally based decision-making will greatly assist in the ability to have
regional and national broadcasting content emerge from outside Toronto or
4062 However, we seek reassurance that this is not a token
gesture by the applicants, and that it demonstrates a real long-term commitment
to regional decision-making.
4063 Viewers should be able to access locally-produced
programs which reflect their values and concerns. Local television stations must
use the talents and ideas of our community to speak directly and personally to
viewers, as well as provide a showcase for the talent of regional producers,
writers and directors who can deliver such programming.
4064 The Craig and CHUM applications contain significant
local commitments, while the Rogers application provides a more focused
commitment to local ethnic programming.
4065 Given that the CRTC has recently removed the
requirement for local stations to provide local reflection in any quantifiable
amount, including news, we feel that local commitments should be of major
consideration for the CRTC in any deliberations regarding a new television
station in this market. Local production often provides opportunities for the
development of local talent, an important stepping stone in growing the
indigenous industry in British Columbia.
4066 Therefore, it is the delivery on the commitments
outlined in these various applications that will ultimately have an impact. A
commitment to scheduling and promotion at times when B.C. audiences are
available, as well as the support and exposure of British Columbia content
providers on the national scene, are key factors which we hope will guide the
4067 We encourage the Commission to consider these issues
seriously and to render a decision which looks with clear vision to the
potential and opportunity for British Columbia; a decision which clearly
supports British Columbia's indigenous industry and its changing communities;
and a decision which recognizes the well-spring of talent and skill that British
Columbians offer to the cultural fabric of the Canadian film, television and
broadcast industry and to Canadian viewers across the country.
4068 Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you this
4069 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you. I would ask
Commissioner Langford to ask some questions.
4070 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: This is a little difficult. I
have been kind of wrestling with this question as I have been listening, and I
don't mean to sound offensive -- but maybe I will; I haven't had enough
coffee this morning.
4071 I listened to the whole thing. I can't figure out why
you are here, in a sense. I have read your brief. We have heard all the
applications. Essentially, you are giving us the same thing that was in your
brief, which was perfect in the sense of a before these are the concerns we
would like you to listen to when the applicants come.
4072 But the applicants have come. I think what would be
really helpful, at least to me -- and we don't have pre-game meetings here,
so I can't speak for anyone else.
4073 MR. EGAN: Yes.
4074 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: You have heard them now. You
have their points. They are very clear on page 2, and they were clear in your
brief -- your priorities. What do you think? Who do you love, as they
4075 MR. EGAN: We love the B.C. production community and
we love B.C. film makers.
4076 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Well, so do I. But that
doesn't help me with the challenge I have ahead.
4077 MR. EGAN: I listened carefully to Commissioner
Wylie's comments last night when the CFTPA presented their submission as well. I
think what our intent is, in terms of being here today, is obviously to restate
the priorities that we think are important. Our Board does not feel at this
point in time that it is appropriate for B.C. Film, which is there primarily to
support producers and film makers, to endorse publicly one application over
another. That is, as you know, a delicate situation to be in.
4078 I also think that for an organization like ours,
frankly we recognize and acknowledge that we simply don't have the resources and
the capacity, nor the expertise, to do the kind of detailed analysis of
television applications that is required.
4079 What we can speak with some confidence and authority
about is what we think is important for the independent production community
here in B.C. That is a long non-answer to some extent, and I appreciate the
frustration that you might feel about that position. Nonetheless, it is one that
we feel we have to adopt.
4080 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Well, I respect your position.
The only problem is I knew it already, so I am hearing it again. And that's
fine. I am getting the described video, I guess. It's an extra kick at the
4081 I can only suggest that I kind of look at the
applicants who come before us as Canadian risk takers.
4082 MR. EGAN: Yes, as do we.
4083 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: And that is pretty admirable.
They are putting it all out there, and the are going against each other. And
that is interesting, to me. Maybe your board would like to get a little more
risky in the future. It would help us. I don't say that facetiously, but taking
that extra step would help us.
4084 MR. EGAN: Comment well taken.
4085 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Thank you very
4086 MR. EGAN: Thank you.
4087 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Commissioner Cram has
a question for you.
4088 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I am sort of concerned about the
long term, and I would like to hear your view on it. We look at television
applications, and everybody puts lots of money on the table. They love Calgary,
Edmonton, Barrie, you name it, for seven years. And that's as long as the
4089 I ask myself where that gets the production industry.
We have, name it, so many million dollars over the first licence
4090 Does that create a critical mass? Does it depend on
the amount of money that is put in in the first seven years? What is the
long-term effect, and is there a long-term effect? Or are we just putting our
fingers in the dam to bankruptcy or oblivion for production?
4091 I just want your views.
4092 MR. EGAN: I appreciate that it is a complex question
with a complex answer.
4093 COMMISSIONER CRAM: It is not a non-answer?
4094 MR. EGAN: I work for an organization that is funded
on an annual basis, and with that comes all the challenge and difficulty of
making commitments to long-term planning. I wish we had a seven-year commitment
that would enable us to look at how we might invest strategically in various
sectors of the indigenous industry and to look with a view to how things might
change the gaps that we can address.
4095 Certainly in British Columbia I think that we are
experiencing a rapid growth in the film and television sector. That growth is in
both the service sector and the indigenous sector. I think the introduction of
ETV into the market several years ago has had an impact, and I would expect that
the introduction of a new licence at this time will also have a positive
4096 From our position in terms of our role in the
industry here, what we see is more money brought to the table. We see more money
being invested in development, and we see more productions eventually going
4097 So on the whole, we have a very positive view of the
continuing growth of the industry here. We certainly welcome the level of
interest and commitment and risk-taking, as Commissioner Langford has described
it, that these applications have put on the table.
4098 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you.
4099 MS VOGEL: Our next intervenor today is the B.C.
Chapter of the Canadian Independent Film Caucus.
4100 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good morning.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
4101 MR. CARRUTHERS: My name is Stephen Carruthers. I am
the co-chair of the Vancouver chapter of the Canadian Independent Film Caucus.
Beside me is Karen Lam, and Cari Green will be joining us in the next two
4102 I am going to start off our presentation by letting
you know a bit about the Caucus, who we are, who we represent, stress the
importance of the documentary industry in the changing global marketplace and
particularly in Vancouver. Then I am going to underscore the opportunity for our
membership that is offered by a new local station in Vancouver. Karen will then
comment on the various applications, and Cari is going to give our
4103 The Canadian Independent Film Caucus is an
organization of over 350 documentary producers across Canada. We are
representing the Vancouver chapter of the Caucus, which has a membership of over
100. We are primarily a lobby group. We have been very active lobbying at both
the federal level and at the provincial level, and we have become known as the
voice of the documentary industry over the last two or three years. Locally, we
also provide a very active networking group and put on a lot of professional
development events for our members. It is quite an active
4104 Combined with our industrial mandates and our
lobbying, we also have a strong cultural commitment to the kind of social and
political documentaries that Canada is really known for. We are very proud to
count among our membership members like Mark Achbar(ph), the producer of
"Manufacture and Consent", who is currently working on a new documentary
entitled "The Corporation". We have Nettie Wilde(ph) in our ranks, who is well
know for her documentary "It's Like a Place Called Chiapas".
4105 As well as those small independent producers of the
more social and political documentaries, we also have a number of medium sized
and growing production companies, including Omni Film Productions, which is a
well-known local company that produces a variety of series, including "Champions
of the Wild", "Quiet Places", and has made that step from being a small company
to a medium sized company that a lot of our membership is really at work on
making that step.
4106 Locally, our membership has mushroomed in the last
three years. Three years ago we were at about 50 members, thinking we have
tapped the entire documentary scene in Vancouver, and now we have well over 100
members locally in Vancouver, documentary producers, and routinely have sellout
workshops every month that get a huge crowd of members and non-members coming
for the panel discussions.
4107 This is quite indicative of both the growth in the
documentary sector of the production industry on the whole and the fact that
Vancouver has become a real hub, a real hotbed of documentary activity over the
last few years.
4108 The documentary industry is hugely important globally
right now. Documentary programming is in high demand. We have seen a huge growth
in the number of specialty channels which are commissioning large amounts of
documentary programming. And there is a huge demand globally for documentary
4109 A lot of our producers are increasingly seeking
access to global markets, be it Europe, be it the U.K., be it the United States.
But there is a huge growing demand for documentary programming.
4110 The good news is that Canadian companies are
exporting their documentaries. There has been a big increase in the amount of
documentary production for export. The bad news is that this production is
primarily centred in Toronto and that Vancouver hasn't really accessed that
global marketplace yet to nearly the same extent, which is why having a local
station in Vancouver commissioning documentaries is one of the biggest
opportunities that we have seen for our membership in some time.
4111 It is really an opportunity for us to get
beyond -- I mean, everybody has heard the tired thousand-dollar cup of
coffee story, about the producer flying to Toronto to actually bump into someone
or have a meeting with the key decisionmaker in Toronto.
4112 What we need in Vancouver is the opportunity to bump
into our commissioning editors, to bump into our decisionmakers at our Safeway
in Kitsilano or at Urban Fair in Yaletown, and just have access to those people
on an ongoing basis to develop the relationships that will really allow us to
grow our companies.
4113 With a genuine locally-run station where
commissioning decisions are made here, basically it is an outlet for more
documentary programming produced in B.C. It gives us better access to the
decisionmakers, better access to more licences, which allows us to strengthen
our companies and strengthen the documentary sector of the industry as a whole,
which is what our members want to help us grow, to stabilize our companies and
actually allow us to grow to the point where we are really playing in the global
marketplace as well.
4114 In summary, a new station in Vancouver is a big
opportunity for us. Karen is going to comment on the applications.
4115 MS LAM: We have actually chosen to focus our
intervention on three of the main broadcasters that we think would have the most
impact on documentary productions, which are LMTV, which is Rogers; A-Channel on
the Island, Craig Broadcasting; and CHUM Television in Vancouver.
4116 I think it would be really pointless and boring for
us to just read the intervention out loud, but I have highlights from our
letter, where we simply have gone over what each application will do for
4117 The first applicant is LMTV. Of the three
broadcasters, only LMTV seems committed specifically to documentary film making.
We note that they are licensing a minimum of 15 new documentary programs over
the term of their licence. They are offering high licence fees. They have script
development specifically for documentaries, and they are going to set up a high
profile documentary strand that shows during prime time hours for the
4118 They are also promising travel allowances for
documentary film makers to attend the national and international markets, which
is what documentary film makers need if they are going to establish
relationships and to tap into that larger market. And they have a local
4119 We acknowledge that there has been a long-term
relationship between Rogers Broadcasting and documentary film making. They have
Rogers Telefund, which has provided interim financing that is structured for
documentary productions so that you don't have to go to the banks and mortgage
your house and give up your first born.
4120 There is the Documentary Fund which provides $4
million annually for documentary productions as well.
4121 A-Channel on the Island is focused on long form
Canadian drama, and they have orally told us that there are some allowances for
long-form Canadian documentary programming as well.
4122 The commitments for short form documentary
productions have been strictly verbal at this point, and there are no financial
amounts reserved specifically for documentary productions.
4123 I believe that long form documentaries are favoured
over short form documentaries. And given most of the documentary productions
that come out of our region, the short form is rather important. And I think a
lot of our members are producing short form documentaries.
4124 With CHUM Television, they focused also on long form
Canadian drama. The supplemental written materials include references to
documentary productions, but there are no specific financial commitments or
proposed marketing plans for these productions.
4125 We do note, also, that CHUM Television Vancouver
could have a positive impact on B.C. producers because it would allow us to have
access to other CHUM stations, such as Bravo! or Space, which do regularly
license documentary productions.
4126 Given Stephen's remarks as well on the documentary
community, we have a very strong reputation for producing strong socially and
culturally relevant work. We have some concerns that not all of the applicants
are recognizing the needs of documentary film making in our
4127 We do acknowledge, again, that LMTV has recognized
the importance of short form documentaries, but we need a commitment from all
the applicants that our needs are going to be met as well.
4128 The concern for A-Channel and CHUM is that the
documentaries that they might be commissioning are what they term bunny ears,
which is essentially fluff documentaries: high on the entertainment level, low
on the social, political, cultural content.
4129 Historically, A-Channel in Alberta has licensed only
high profile documentaries such as "Hit Man Hart - Wrestling with Shadows",
which is not to say that Hit Man Hart isn't culturally and socially relevant,
but it is more on the entertainment level than what our documentary producers
would like to be doing.
4130 There is not a strong focus on documentary
programming in the other channels for Craig Broadcasting. With CHUM again, there
are some arts and entertainment documentaries, but Space Channel seems to be
focusing on the weird and paranormal, which again is not necessarily bad product
but we would like a little more hard-hitting docs.
4131 Actually, now we have some recommendations from Cari
as far as the CIFC. Thank you.
4132 MS GREEN: Given the importance of the documentary
industry to B.C. film makers, just to reiterate what we are looking for, it is a
long-term commitment. We have seen some recently licensed channels come in and
make promises, but those promises are not necessarily transformed into a
4133 The high profile documentary strand seems to be the
best strategy for the industry. Prime time broadcasts, high licences: we have
seen again commitment to high licences, and those licences have dwindled in the
last couple of years.
4134 Access to second windows as well across the country.
Development funds is incredibly important; and very important is access to
4135 We also want to note that in our letter we had
mentioned that regional licences do not qualify us for the Canadian Television
Fund, and that is incorrect. They do.
4136 In conclusion, we need a network that will make a
commitment and keep it. We have found that only one of those applicants has
written in to their application and has done their homework in terms of what
this industry needs, and that is LMTV.
4137 I would also add that Rogers has made a commitment to
an equity fund, which is another promising development for our industry as
4138 We recommend that the CRTC look very closely at the
applicants they license and require that these applicants pay close attention to
the needs of our documentary industry.
4139 Thank you.
4140 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very
4141 Commissioner Cram.
4142 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you, Madam Chair.
4143 Thank you for coming. I am a little confused. I
think, Mr. Carruthers, you started off saying you were with the Vancouver
chapter. And throughout, when you were talking, it seemed like Vancouver and
British Columbia were used interchangeably.
4144 Who are you?
4145 MR. CARRUTHERS: We had a bit of an identity crisis.
We are the Vancouver chapter, and the documentary industry in B.C. is pretty
much focused in Vancouver. So we have members in Vancouver. We have members on
the Sunshine Coast, in Victoria. It is both. We are basically the CIFC west of
4146 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay, I get it. If you are west of
Toronto, do you include Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta?
4147 MR. CARRUTHERS: No, we don't.
4148 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Then there was a reference to the
station in Vancouver, but you are really talking about stations in the area. You
are talking about Victoria, if there are any licences given in
4149 MR. CARRUTHERS: Yes, definitely. That will still give
us greatly improved access. It is really -- I guess for Vancouver basically
substitute region of Vancouver-Victoria.
4150 COMMISSIONER CRAM: It appears -- and I may be
putting words in your mouth; and if so, tell me -- that in terms of the
documentary production, the commitment and the global and national exposure, you
believe is LMTV is the one that provides your chapter with the best
4151 MR. CARRUTHERS: That is correct. There is an actual
commitment written in to their application to the documentary sector.
4152 I think Cari has a comment.
4153 MS GREEN: I just wanted to add that not only our
chapter, but it is a strategy for the growth of documentaries. Our chapter
represents perhaps a portion of the industry, which is a very large
4154 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes, surely.
4155 I note, Ms Lam, that there is the preference for
short form, not weird, not fluffy documentaries. But it seems to me that LMTV
should be concentrating on what I would call ethnic documentaries.
4156 So to me, that is another subset of the ones you
want, the weird ones and the bunny ears ones; and then there is another subset
that I would say would be the ethnic ones.
4157 It would seem to me, in terms of the ethnic, that you
would actually want people from those ethnic communities to develop those
documentaries. Is there that critical mass?
4158 MS LAM: Right now, based on our membership, I think
if there is a station like this it would encourage more documentary film makers
of ethnic backgrounds to actually get involved. Documentary film making, I
think, is a little more egalitarian as far as people can go out there and create
and produce these pieces that are socially and culturally relevant to their
communities in a way that I think with feature film and long form, based on the
price and the amount of labour that is necessary, it is not quite as open; with
the expense of long form drama.
4159 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you very much for
4160 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very
4161 MS VOGEL: Our next intervenor today is KCTV &
--- Pause / Pause
4162 MS VOGEL: I don't see anyone from KCTV coming
forward, so we will re-call them later.
4163 I would ask Vancouver Media Directors Council to come
--- Pause / Pause
4164 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: They didn't know we
were starting early.
4165 MS VOGEL: How about the Vancouver Multicultural
4166 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good morning. You are
an early riser too.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
4167 MS ALLARD-STRUTT: Madame la Présidente, Membres du
Conseil, thank you for this opportunity to comment on applications before you
for the introduction of local multicultural television broadcasting.
4168 My name is Suzanne Allard-Strutt. I am the Executive
Director of the Vancouver Multicultural Society. For 25 years we have been
serving as the umbrella organization for a broadly based coalition of groups and
individuals from ethnocultural communities in the Greater Vancouver
4169 Our board of directors alone is representative of
Vancouver's diversity, with membership from the following communities: Chinese,
Indo-Canadian, African, Caribbean, Latin American, Guyanese, Swedish, Métis,
Polish, Hungarian, Scottish, Jewish, English and French Canadian.
4170 My presentation this morning reflects my board's
consensus with regard to elements of multicultural broadcasting.
4171 The mandate of the Vancouver Multicultural Society is
to increase understanding and communication across cultures and to raise
awareness of the social enrichment that is multiculturalism.
4172 I should make it clear from the onset that as an
umbrella organization we are not in a position to support one licence applicant
over the other. However, we believe there are fundamental principles that should
guide the operations of a new television service. I am here to outline some of
these in the hope that they will be useful during your review of the CHUM
Limited and CFMT-TV applications.
4173 These observations are formed strictly by our mandate
to foster cross-cultural communication and understanding.
4174 My comments will touch upon the following areas:
ethnic versus linguistic programming; multilingual versus multicultural
programming; Canadian versus multicultural programming and foreign content; and
finally, accessibility for small and under-represented ethnocultural
4175 To describe as ethnic programming that is not
mainstream is a misnomer. We all have ethnicity, whether we are First Nations,
French or English Canadians, or immigrants from anywhere else around the
4176 When we describe as ethnic programming in languages
other than French or English, we ostracize minority ethnocultural communities
who have French or English as their first language. Further, we must acknowledge
that French and English are the two languages through which all communities can
communicate. By virtue of our Canadian constitution, English and French are the
common languages of this nation, and they are understood by most Canadians,
regardless of their ethnicity.
4177 In the end, it should be the objective of the
Canadian broadcasting system to ensure that mainstream broadcasters themselves
produce programming that reflects the whole spectrum of ethnocultural
communities irrespective of language.
4178 In the same vein, the terms multilingual and
multicultural are not analogous. We do not mean to imply disrespect for minority
ethnocultural groups who want to maintain and protect their linguistic and
cultural heritage. We also recognize the important role that broadcasting can
play in this regard, as well as in informing the daily lives of members from
minority cultural communities.
4179 However, we do believe that there is a corresponding
need to share traditions, beliefs and values cross-culturally.
4180 Multiculturalism suggests both the fostering of
cultural heritages, including language, and the building of cross-cultural
understanding. This should be the primary function of a multicultural television
4181 Multiculturalism implies and demands that we be able
to communicate with one another. Too often ethno-specific programming fails to
do this, because unless it is captioned or subtitled it is inaccessible to
francophone or anglophone viewers or speakers of other languages, for that
4182 It also contributes to ghettoization. Ethno-specific
or third language programming is not multicultural programming. It is
exclusionary by its very nature, not inclusive.
4183 Third language programming should result in
cross-cultural liaison, not segregation.
4184 As I noted earlier, in an ideal world a multicultural
mandate would be a given in our Canadian broadcasting system. Programming by all
broadcasters, whether mainstream or ethno-specific, would be inclusive of all
people who make up the communities they serve.
4185 We don't believe there should be a juxtaposition of
Canadian versus multicultural programming. They are one and the same. To imply
otherwise is to reinforce a misconception that minority ethno-cultural
communities operate in the margins and are not part of our citizenry, or that
ethnicity belongs only to non-French or non-English immigrants.
4186 By its very nature, Canada is multicultural.
Multiculturalism embraces all native, founding and other immigrant nations. We
have observed the unfortunate tendency of ethno-specific programming towards
ethnocentrism and parochialism.
4187 Therefore, we support broadcasting endeavours that
strive to create opportunities for Vancouver and B.C. to be reflected to the
rest of Canada. Conversely, we encourage programming that would allow cultural
communities with a small population base in Vancouver to benefit from
programming from their community in other parts of Canada where they may be more
numerous and influential.
4188 Television plays such an important role in the
development of identity that when it ignores, under-represents or misrepresents
minority cultures this contributes to their sense of alienation and their
4189 Programming should respect and reflect the equality
and dignity of all Canadians.
4190 We highlight the distinction between third language
broadcasting that informs newcomers and facilitates their integration and
foreign third language programming. In our view, programming should facilitate
integration in meaningful civic participation in all aspects of Canadian
4191 If third language is to be offered, there should be a
priority placed on the domestic production of ethnocultural services that
transmit Canadian values and that speak to the experiences and circumstances of
immigrants as they settle in their new country and community.
4192 The cross-cultural mandate of the Canadian
broadcasting system cannot be achieved in an environment that promotes the
segregation of the cultural communities from one another and from the
mainstream. As much as possible, third language programming should be subtitled.
This measure would at least increase access to the programming by viewers across
4193 We strongly urge the CRTC to consider the needs of
small cultural communities. Multicultural programming should not cater simply to
the large ethnocultural communities. It should reach out to the smaller
communities with fewer resources to compete for air time.
4194 In other words, multicultural programming should not
be here just to meet the demographics of the society. It should be here to
reflect and project the entire spectrum of cultural communities, including the
smaller, resource-poor cultural communities.
4195 What hope do the Sudanese, Ethiopian, Caribbean or
Latin American communities have to see themselves, their cultural traditions and
practices and their contributions to the development of our Canadian identity
respectfully represented on our broadcasting system?
4196 Before I conclude, I would like to highlight areas of
concern and need.
4197 First, what our communities need is quality,
culturally diverse programming that reflects us to one another. We need
distinctive programming that is produced locally and that focuses on local news,
arts, entertainment and social affairs; programming that encourages
cross-cultural understanding and interaction; programming that is fair and
4198 We also need to encourage, as much as possible, the
exchange of ethno-specific programming across the nation in order to ensure that
our broadcasting system includes small, as well as large, geographically
situated cultural communities.
4199 We need a commitment on the part of the broadcaster
itself to produce this culturally diverse programming and not merely to provide
air time to various cultural communities who then have to scrounge around to
gather necessary production resources.
4200 We need a high standard of technical quality in
4201 In addition, we believe that licensees should
demonstrate a serious commitment to employment equity at all levels of their
organization, on and off the air. All programming should contribute to
respectful and positive portrayals of cultural groups, and this is best achieved
when equity hiring practices are applied and the multicultural nature of
Canadian society is reflected on the air and behind the scenes.
4202 Corporate philosophy and structure should reflect a
commitment to multiculturalism, anti racism and employment equity, including
seeking and developing talent from the multicultural communities.
4203 Finally, we support the notion of a local community
advisory board to monitor content and suggest improvements.
4204 Thank you for this opportunity to speak and for your
recognition of the importance of Vancouver having a multicultural channel that
will inform and unite its diverse communities.
4206 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Merci, Madame. So that
we don't need subtitles we will speak English, because we have no interpreters
with us today.
4207 Thank you for your intervention and this morning
adding to it, especially in your conclusions. I will not pretend that I have
understood all the fine distinctions you make about ethno programming and
cultural programming. I am not too good at that.
4208 But one thing I understand is your kind of raising
the bar in a way, so that broadcasters do reflect better the diversity in
Canada, but especially here in this market where it is very...
--- Technical difficulties / Problèmes techniques
4209 ...first generation and second and third generation
in all the groups. We had a discussion yesterday with somebody representing the
Punjab community, and they gave some indications for South Asia. But we were
wondering about the Chinese.
4210 Maybe you have some more information on other groups
that would be helpful to us in understanding. There was a discussion with one of
the applicants yesterday about the approach should be different or not from
Toronto, depending on the targets, the audiences we are trying to reach: to what
type of generation are we addressing ourselves.
4211 MS ALLARD-STRUTT: I think what I would present is a
somewhat different perspective. I can give you, as an example, this anecdote
from a colleague of mine who is a first generation immigrant from the
4212 His teenage daughter is considering moving to
Toronto. She is completely disillusioned about her cultural environment here,
because the minority culture is a small cultural community, and they are not
reflected in popular cultural products. She feels alienated and is considering
moving across the country to join a larger community.
4213 That is why we are making the suggestion that
demographics alone should not be the deciding factor about which communities are
represented in broadcasting.
4214 The smaller communities, the Guyanese, the
Caribbeans, the Latin Americans, may not have the large population base, but
their needs are the same as they come here and try to integrate and try to make
sense of their new community.
4215 We do support third language programming that
facilitates integration of new immigrants. But at some point we have to
acknowledge that we need to speak a common language. That is when we probably
would draw the line and say that unless the third language programming works to
fostering cross-cultural understanding then we would question its usefulness in
4216 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Except for the kind of
service that can be provided for first generation in order to help them come
into this country and really be able to establish a dialogue with the community
they live in, would you say that what you see is much more than conventional
broadcasting? It should be like the integrator?
4217 MS ALLARD-STRUTT: Yes.
4218 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Are you at this point
supportive of a cross-cultural station or would you rather go -- and I am not
saying that the formula that is in front of us is any better. But it is the
4219 Do you feel, with what you observe and what you know
of the communities here, that a stronger presence within the conventional
broadcasting system is much more what the Vancouver market would need at this
point in its development?
4220 MS ALLARD-STRUTT: I believe that in an ideal world
the conventional broadcaster should reflect all cultural communities. This is
not happening. This is a big disappointment. And certainly as a stop-gap measure
we would support a truly multicultural channel, but a channel, a station whose
priority is reflecting cultural communities to one another, small and large, and
increasing understanding across cultures.
4221 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: There is one project
in front of us that is, by definition, cross-cultural and is trying to address
that kind of approach more.
4222 Have you read the application?
4223 MS ALLARD-STRUTT: Yes, I have. We support that
4224 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: You do. Okay. Thank
4225 Commissioner Grauer.
4226 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Going back to the Chair's first
question, which is one that we have been asking a number of people who have been
before us, it is to get an understanding. I take your point of your friend who
is from the Caribbean because we have such a small, I think -- but I would need
to confirm it -- community here, and the Toronto one is larger.
4227 I think what we were trying to really understand are
the differences in both the patterns of immigration and the immigrant groups
between here and Toronto.
4228 It is my experience -- and correct me if I am wrong,
because you know more than I do -- that our immigration here came much later and
is from Asia and the Pacific Rim countries largely. So it is a different pattern
4229 Whereas in Toronto, because it is the easiest
example, there were a lot of much earlier immigrants from Europe and then from
the Caribbean. So you have a more advanced, if I can call it that, more
generations have existed there as opposed to here.
4230 Am I accurate?
4231 MS ALLARD-STRUTT: Yes, that is a very fair
representation. But the argument that I am presenting is that regardless of the
pattern of immigration, small cultural communities should not be
4232 And that actually can be addressed with the sharing
of programming across the country.
4233 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: My point -- and our question was
not related to your thesis but rather so that we can better understand the
community. We take your point with respect to small communities.
4234 Thank you.
4235 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Commissioner
4236 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Ms Allard- Strutt, your approach
seems to me quite intellectual, and I would be interested to hear your comment
about the fact that this Commission, as it goes around the country, has heard
the need for multicultural programming in radio and television and specialty
services, as well as the need, which I quite understand, of proper
representation in the mainstream.
4237 We also hear very passionate pleas for programming in
third languages where the lonesome grandmother or the recent Korean student can
see the vistas of her native country, hear its sounds, its music. And what
appears to be ghettoization to us may be a salve on the soul and the emotional
welfare of that person.
4238 You seem to say that programming should inform
newcomers and facilitate their integration, and that is what third language
programming should be.
4239 What about the salve on the soul? Do we not owe a
certain help in the broadcasting system to the passionate approach of the
newcomer, for whom we can establish an intellectual approach, but we don't feel
what the Chinese grandmother feels, or the Korean student who is lost in Toronto
feels, or a young person feels.
4240 Do you not think that that is also of
4241 MS ALLARD-STRUTT: Yes, I do and that is why I
prefaced my presentation by outlining the mandate of my Society, which is not
strictly the preservation of distinct cultural heritages but the sharing of
4242 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: So you would say that it is also
-- from your presentation and reading your intervention, I understand the one
part but the other part is not as important. And I am glad to hear -- because I
am sure you hear the people who appear before us. They are quite passionate
about the need for simply entertainment programming that makes them feel at home
in their heart for a particular moment.
4243 MS ALLARD-STRUTT: We recognize the value, but we
would like that programming to also be accessible to speakers of other
4244 Also, there is the question of: Should this
programming be on basic cable service?
4245 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Yes. But some of it may simply be
music that is foreign to us, dancing that we don't understand but that is very
important to the grandmother and the student I am speaking of. But I am sure in
the association you work with you must get this passion as well. Or is it just
exposed to us?
4246 MS ALLARD-STRUTT: No. We do get it, and we respect it
and we recognize its value.
4247 What I am here to speak to today is the need for
integration and cross-cultural communication.
4248 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Thank you very much.
4249 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you.
4250 MS VOGEL: Our next intervenor today is the Capital
Region Race Relations Association. For the record, Madam Chairperson, Larry
Wartels will not be with us today, but Joan Russow will present in his
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
4251 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good morning and
welcome. I saw that you were nodding at Mrs. Wylie.
4252 MS DHILLON: Good morning. My name is Harrinder
Dhillon from the Capital Region Race Relations Association. I will be making a
joint presentation with Joan Russow, a member of the Victoria Community
Coalition Against Racism.
4253 Joining us is Imtiaz Popat, an independent producer,
who is working with co-operative radio.
4254 We appreciate this opportunity to speak to the
Commission this morning about two letters of support that we submitted to the
CRTC Commission, one for CHUM and the other for CFMT.
4255 We are here to support both applications, based on
conditions and expansion of services. Vancouver Islanders need both a locally
established alternative media station such as CHUM and full access to CFMT's
multicultural and multilingual programming through a local Victoria broadcast
4256 Our support for CHUM is conditional based on their
expressed undertaking to be committed to and to demonstrate cultural diversity
best practices in their hiring, in their programming, in creating diverse work
sites, and implementing racism free policies.
4257 We support the proposal by CHUM to have a weekly
program on First Nations issues and see this as an indication of their
willingness to reach out to the community and to be inclusive.
4258 To ensure that this commitment is acted upon, the
CRTC should place a conditional clause on their licence. We would also expect
CHUM to be proactive in the areas of progressive race relations, competencies,
which would include the following six items:
4259 (1) providing non-sensationalistic coverage of racism
4260 (2) ensuring that mass media reflects ethnic
4261 (3) counteracting the stereotyping of people of
colour in relation to violence, drugs, sex and crime;
4262 (4) making available international news via a wide
range of local ethnic voices;
4263 (5) avoiding tokenism, exoticism, and moving beyond
the three D's, the dance, dine and dress, in providing ethnic programming that
is not glossy and exoticized;
4264 (6) seeking the ethno-cultural communities reflected
in the professions and in the topics and the actual media community, if you
4265 The next point is that high profile topics should be
explored on an ongoing basis, with both people of colour and the mainstream
communities on issues, very controversial issues, such as First Nations land
claims, hate crimes, asylum seekers versus economic refugees, employment equity
versus quota systems, hate speech versus free speech, et cetera.
4266 We suggest that CHUM set up a public race relations
resource team to measure and analyze the potential impact on the communities of
any controversial race related issue.
4267 Finally, CHUM should provide access to the media for
relevant community social justice issues through investigative journalism,
current affairs, news and documentary format.
4268 We fully support the CFMT's application because we
believe that multicultural and multilingual programming is an essential part of
the Canadian fabric, not only for the ethnic communities but also for the
4269 We resonate with LMTV's slogan "more voices, more
choices". We recognize that without CFMT's multicultural and multilingual
programming over the years that the issues of the ethno-cultural communities
would have been further marginalized.
4270 We support the way LMTV has consulted with various
communities and has a record for high quality programming and that contributes
to a positive portrayal of ethno-cultural groups of all ages.
4271 The emphasis on presenting issues and news in
different languages about Canada has helped expand the presence of the
ethnocultural community in Canada.
4272 In addition, we want to support LMTV's concept of
giving access to students of diverse cultural backgrounds in the area of
studying television broadcasting. I hear that they are putting this through a
scholarship program with BCIT.
4273 We stress the importance of LMTV's undertaking to air
60 per cent of its programming in various languages and to produce the majority
of the programs locally. Vancouver Islanders have been under-served in this
capacity and this broadcasting would be invaluable to those who feel isolated
because of inaccessibility.
4274 We also acknowledge the importance of LMTV's
undertaking to have 50 per cent Canadian content, with most of it being produced
in B.C. We expect that to be supplemented with documentaries and coverage on
important social justice issues affecting both ethnocultural and mainstream
4275 In conclusion, we see these two applications as being
complementary, and the combination of the two with the conditions and
suggestions that we have proposed would begin to serve the needs and interests
of communities on both the Lower Mainland and the Island.
4276 Thank you.
4277 MS RUSSOW: I am Joan Russow. I am with Victoria's
Coalition Against Racism.
4278 Not only would multicultural, multilingual
programming fulfil a need in the community, it would also discharge an
obligation that the federal government has incurred under the International
Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
4279 Under Article 7 of the Convention on the Elimination
of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, state parties undertake to adopt
immediate and effective measures, particularly in the fields of teaching,
education, cultural and information, with a view to combatting prejudices which
lead to racial discrimination, and to promoting understanding, tolerance and
friendship among nations and racial or ethnic groups, as well as to propagating
the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, The Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Declaration of Elimination of
All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
4280 This places a positive duty on the Canadian
government and its institutions to combat prejudice through education and
information, including media broadcasting.
4281 Often it is thought that multilingual and
multicultural programs are only necessary where there is an ethnic population
that warrants it. A distinction could be made between multiculturalism, which
caters only to the audience and varies with the composition of the community,
and polyculturalism which seeks to encourage appreciation of all
4282 In the latter case it is extremely important for the
mainstream community to become aware of the diversity of cultures through
progressive race relations programming.
4283 In B.C. there is prejudice which often manifests
itself in discrimination racism. We need look no further than the demonization
of the Serbs and the dehumanizing response to the Chinese recent asylum
4284 It must be admitted that racism exists in the
Vancouver and Vancouver Island area and that every effort must be made to combat
prejudices and promote understanding.
4285 Often recent immigrants whose language is not English
are hesitant about speaking out on issues because they are overly concerned
about integrating into what they perceive to be the Canadian community and
adhering to Canadian values. They must be encouraged to participate in issues
that they believe to be vital regardless of the comfort zone in the mainstream
4286 The opportunity for the ethnocultural community to
hear events through their own language is essential. By having an opportunity
for them to speak in their mother tongue occasionally, when necessary, with
subtitles would begin to break down barriers that have arisen as a result of
linguistic discrimination. Often they are discriminated against because what
they are saying does not sound right, and by allowing them to speak in their own
language -- and this would also be on key news broadcasts and key documentaries,
to allow them to express their own language and then to have some way of
communicating through subtitles, I think would be very essential.
4287 We support LMTV's proposal for a multicultural forum
-- a one-hour program in English, bringing together journalists, community
business, government and academic leaders, and activists to share their views on
various issues. With high profile news broadcasts we would hope that members of
the ethnocultural community would have a strong opportunity to speak in their
mother tongue and communicate the fundamental concerns that they have in the
4288 We support CHUM on condition. We would support CHUM's
application if CHUM implements the condition of progressive race relation
programming; if CHUM is dedicated to investigative in-depth reporting, examining
vital issues in the community; if CHUM ensures that the human rights of the
marginalized, disadvantaged, including the disabled, are fully respected on an
ongoing way in their broadcast programming; and finally, if CHUM promoted
independent sociopolitical long and short form documentaries produced in
Vancouver and on Vancouver Island. These have to be broadcast in prime
4289 If these conditions were met, we would support CHUM's
application. We feel that the combination of the two would be fundamental
advance in serving both the Vancouver area and the Vancouver Island
4290 Thank you for this opportunity to make a
4291 MR. POPAT: My name is Imtiaz Popat. I am an
independent producer. I work with Vancouver's Co-op Radio and I work with
Harrinder and Joan on race relations issues. I just want to add a few things
which are important.
4292 As an independent producer, I am very disappointed
with the lack of commitment from Canadian broadcasting on ethnic diversity. I
can only compare it to the work that the CBC has not done compared to what DBC
has done in England, as an example of reflecting diversity.
4293 Also, the commitment of cable carriers like Rogers
when they put the current multicultural channel on an impair channel for the
last 20 years is a lack of commitment.
4294 Also, when you license stations like ATN or Fairchild
or TalentVision, they are put on a digital band which gives lack of access to
many, many people who would like to see them at an expensive cost otherwise not
4295 If the CRTC is going to license more Canadian
channels, I suggest that they should give Canadian channels a priority on the
analog band over American channels, as they do currently. Channels like the
Canadian Learning Channel are put on the digital over the American Learning
4296 I feel there is need for both CHUM and LMTV, as my
colleagues has pointed out. Perhaps the CRTC should consider that LMTV, with
CFMT, could be given a specialty channel licence that goes across Canada, like
the Aboriginal Channel, which would be mandatory, because all Canada needs to be
served by ethnic diversity programming.
4297 I have a few things to say that are somewhat
different from what Shushma Datt had to say yesterday regarding the type of
programming young people watch in this area.
4298 Thank you.
4299 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very much. I
would ask Commissioner Langford to address a question.
4300 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Thank you. I am not sure we
are ready to give one of the applicants a national licence today, but it is an
interesting idea and certainly brought warmth to many eyes in the audience --
not all, but some.
4301 I have a question with regard to your approach. If I
took my notes correctly, I think it was more focused on the CHUM application,
but there may be some spillover on the Rogers application as well.
4302 What I heard was lots of -- I didn't write it all
down, because I can't write and necessarily catch all the perspective. But what
I heard was a call for a lot of conditions of licence, in a sense to harden
4303 Would it be fair, before I ask you a couple of
questions, to say that you essentially support the spirit behind these
applications but you are little queasy about the details. The devil's in the
details, and you want to hammer those down and make absolutely sure.
4304 Is that a fair 15-second precis of your position here
4305 MS DHILLON: I think we are looking at setting
standards for the communities of colour in terms of how they are portrayed, and
it is important that large corporate interests do listen to those communities,
do recognize their concerns. Certainly we hear a lot of promises from a variety
of different sources in the larger community, and we are concerned that unless
we hold some kind of clause that these things will be forgotten. Well, good
intentions are always there. So how can we engage with media groups at this
point to consider these in a very serious manner, other than to have conditions
4306 You are right, we do support them in spirit, but I
think at some point we need to see something concrete.
4307 MS RUSSOW: Could I add to that?
4308 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Surely.
4309 MS RUSSOW: There is a very important principle called
the doctrine of legitimate expectations. And this is when institutions undertake
to do something that the public has a legitimate expectation that they will
fulfil their obligation.
4310 I think that is what we are saying. We do support
them in spirit, but we do expect that they will deliver on their commitments and
4311 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Thank you.
4312 MR. POPAT: I support the idea of some sort of a body
that looks at if these broadcasters do meet their mandate, because there are
certain commitments made by ETV per se that have not been made.
4313 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: I am going to leave that one
along with your national licence suggestion to another day. Certainly if anyone
in Canada has any feeling that obligations of any broadcasters are not being
made, we are certainly the proper body to write to and we will deal with it at
that time. We just can't do it all on the one day.
4314 I would suggest something to you, if I may be so
bold, and that is that what we have heard here from all of the applicants, I
think it is fair to say -- and certainly our lawyer will correct me very quickly
if I am wrong.
4315 But I think we have heard from them that they were
willing to accept as conditions of licence everything they proposed, any
commitments they made with regard to employment, program direction, specific
programs even in some cases. I may be overstating it, but by and large I think
it is fair to say that they have all unanimously agreed that if we want that in
condition form, they will take it.
4316 We use conditions of licence very sparingly. This is
going nuclear. This is the big one. And really it is all we have. It is the
biggest thing in our arsenal.
4317 What I would propose is that you work with them to
sharpen those conditions. I certainly -- and now I am being a little editorial;
I am being a lot editorial, I suppose. I sensed a real eagerness in all our
applications; not just the two that you mentioned, but in all of the applicants
here to work with the communities. They all have brought on community
representatives. They have all gone to the expense of getting community
demographics, community surveys.
4318 There seems to me, at least on face value here, to be
a lot of goodwill to work with, a lot of legitimacy. Any licence we do give
would be probably a seven-year licence, certainly no longer.
4319 I would think -- and again it is a proposal that I
hope you don't find in any way patronizing; it is just a proposal: that with the
basis of the conditions of licence they have all agreed to, perhaps in the first
licence term the way to approach this fine detail would be to work with them and
then to come back to us on renewal and say: Well, either hooray, they did a
great job, or half hooray -- one hip rather than hip, hip hooray -- they did a
half good job. And then maybe we speak of conditions of licence.
4320 Does that strike you as a feasible
4321 MS RUSSOW: I was wondering: Is there a possibility of
review after a year? It seems like a long period of time to wait, for seven
years. Maybe that is suggesting something that is too onerous.
4322 I think we have in some cases suggested the moving a
bit beyond what they have actually written in their application. For example,
when they were talking about issues in CHUM, they mentioned timber rights. Well,
anyone from the environmental movement would be very concerned about issues
expressed in that way, as timber rights. I don't think that is taking a hard
core activist approach to the issue.
4323 We have suggested perhaps moving them along a bit
further, building on a need to have social justice and activism represented in
television viewing. So I would think that there would be an interesting proposal
to have a review after a year. That might encourage stations to be more
concerned about continuing to work on an ongoing basis with the community
4324 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Of course, it may take them
the first year just to get the cameras out of the wrapping boxes, and whatnot.
But still, I hear what you are saying.
4325 To get back to it, though -- and it is up to you to
give your proposals. I shouldn't really be making mine, I suppose. It seems to
me that what I am hearing is that you are building -- you must sense goodwill in
some of these applications.
4326 From what I am hearing from you, there is a lot of
goodwill and now you are trying to sharpen it.
4327 It always seems to me, from my limited experience in
life, that voluntary commitments are the absolute best. They may be a little
tougher to get, and they are perhaps written on water sometimes; you can't quite
grab them. Yet when people's hearts are in the right place it is a great
4328 I just wondered whether you really do want to push us
to conditions of licence on absolutely every one of those points or whether it
might be better this first time around to say: "Well, we like what we hear and
there are track records out there with these corporate entities. And maybe we
want to build on them and come back, perhaps in a year or two years."
4329 And that is something that you could get back in
touch with the Commission and make suggestions on.
4330 I am certainly not closing -- I don't get to make
this decision. There are five of us here -- and the three in red are actually
the most powerful, as you can see.
--- Laughter / Rires
4331 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: There is a pecking order up
here. I showed up in brown today. Imagine my surprise!
--- Laughter / Rires
4332 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: That is really all I have to
say. I sense a lot of goodwill, and I just wonder whether this couldn't be one
of these really healthy situations where you have newcomers to a community and
you work with them.
4333 I don't want to be Pollyanic, but it seems to me
there is a lot to build on here.
4334 MS RUSSOW: I think maybe what we can start with is
the idea of the Public Race Relations Committee or advisory group within, so
that one can look at the range of issues that we have raised. Certainly that
would be a point to start off on. We can discuss that.
4335 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: I can tell you from my
perspective that I can see people taking notes back there. So I think the job
4336 Unless there are other comments, those are all of my
4337 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very
4338 I'm sorry, we had an additional question from legal
4339 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: One very short
4340 I am wondering to what extent you are familiar with
CHUM's draft corporate statement on cultural diversity best practices. I am
wondering if you are familiar with that and if it responds to your concerns to
4341 MS DHILLON: I have not seen the full statement. I am
aware that there is something that exists, but I have not seen it.
4342 Have you got it there with you?
4343 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: It is in the application. I just
wanted to know if you had seen it.
4344 MS DHILLON: No, I haven't seen it.
4345 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Thank you.
4346 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very
4347 MS VOGEL: Our next intervenor this morning is the
Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce.
--- Pause / Pause
4348 MS VOGEL: Not seeing anyone stepping forward, I would
invite the City of Nanaimo, being represented today by Ron Cantalon(ph), City
4349 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good morning, and
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
4350 MR. CANTALON: Good morning and thank you very much
for hearing our story today.
4351 I flew over this morning from Vancouver Island -- it
was a beautiful morning -- and into the sunrise. It is a gorgeous day. I thought
sometimes we feel as close to Vancouver and the rest of Canada as the 20-minute
flight that it takes to get here. At other times we feel like we are flying in
from Japan. I think this Commission, by its decision and wisdom, can influence
greatly how we feel connected to the rest of Canada.
4352 I am kind of naive to this process. I am not in the
business. But when the Council first heard about this, our immediate reaction
was: What about Nanaimo?
4353 The north part of the Island is the greater half of
the 700,000 residents that live on Vancouver Island, and historically,
culturally and resource-wise we are probably as separated from Victoria by a
rock called the Malahat as western Canada is by the Precambrian Shield from the
rest of eastern Canada. If you can think of that sense of separateness, that is
sort of what we feel.
4354 Victoria is traditionally the colonial seat, tourism,
those sorts of things. Northern Vancouver Island has a rich maritime heritage,
forestry, fishing, mining, a fabulous story that we like to tell, that we need
to tell to ourselves and that we would like to share with the rest of Canada. I
think we would like the opportunity to do that.
4355 So we thought: What about a station for Nanaimo? Why
weren't we considered? We seem to have the population base and we are a growing
4356 But as Moses Znaimer from CHUM very succinctly put it
to us, he said: "Ron, you are not on the ballot. You can write a letter, but
that is the best you can do."
4357 So I wrote a letter and we are here in person to make
4358 That is our first recommendation to the Commission,
that we be considered in the future, at the next round perhaps, for a licence. I
recognize that that would require a response from the entrepreneurs in the
broadcasting community, but we think we have a unique opportunity for a
4359 We have suffered all the years. It is a community of
125,000 people, and we are always in the broadcast shadow of Nanaimo. So it sort
of seems that we never get the opportunity to have our own say.
4360 But broadcasting and broadcasting revenues tend to
follow where the stations are, so it is a chicken and egg thing. And until we
have a station, you can't verify it.
4361 You have heard much today about the importance of
production for local representation, and I won't go into great detail. But we do
feel that we have a significantly different story and a rich opportunity to
share with the rest of Canada. That requires some production opportunity in
4362 We were impressed, frankly, with the interest that
both CHUM and Craig had in representing themselves to Nanaimo, much better than
we have been served over this hump, this Precambrian hump from Victoria, by
CHEK-TV very frankly. Both seem very interested in supporting our local
4363 So we are putting to you again some preconditions
that we think will put perhaps some teeth in it, and that is the best we can do
4364 One suggestion that we understand was made -- and it
is called Vancouver Island, but I would represent to you that there are two half
to Vancouver Island.
4365 One of the things that interest us and that we
request that you emphasize as a pre-condition -- I don't know how steely the
teeth can be in such requirements. Commissioner Langford has spoken about good
intentions. Well, we respect good intentions but we hope we can be stronger than
4366 One of the things we would like to see is a permanent
storefront bureau located in Nanaimo's downtown centre. Like many communities,
we are restoring our downtown core. We have a new theatre, that you will hear
from tomorrow. It has become a cultural and artistic centre. We have a richly
growing cultural community there.
4367 We think a storefront bureau operation would greatly
encourage and create a focal point for creating production and encouraging and
4368 One of the things that I think is very important --
it is a simple thing -- would be a split feed news broadcast for Nanaimo so that
local news here and in other communities on the Island, not just for Nanaimo; it
could be split feed for Campbell River and other up Island communities that we
speak for that are not here today.
4369 I think that would be very, very helpful.
4370 Also, to provide a minimum of two hours of local
programming during prime time that highlights the arts and culture.
4371 Our history is coal mining. In Nanaimo it is a
fabulous, fabulous story. The forestry and fishing, the pioneer logging that
occurred in Nanaimo is a fabulous and rich heritage; the Japanese fishing
culture that brought the trolling and fishing industry to Vancouver. It is quite
a unique story, and I think a wealth of material for broadcasting.
4372 Part of what was suggested by CHUM, again to support
this, was a $50,000 commitment to support a Vancouver Island film commissioner
4373 I would represent to the Board that we are half, more
than half of the population up Island. And fair is fair: if $50,000 is a willing
commitment to Victoria, the same commitment should be made to the Upper
4374 You heard Mr. Egan and others indicate how important
local production is. But if local production doesn't have a focus, doesn't have
a co-ordinator, doesn't have somebody knowledgeable in the business to sort of
generate and facilitate these activities, they are not going to happen in my
opinion, from what little I know of the broadcasting.
4375 So I would encourage you to tag that as a
precondition on the licence.
4376 In my brief political career, I have learned that the
reception to my speeches are proportionate to their brevity. I thank you for
hearing me, and I will hear any questions that you have.
4377 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very much. I
would ask Commissioner Cram to ask the questions, please.
4378 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you,
4379 I actually was under the impression that Nanaimo was
now an island. I heard that some American publicist talked about Diana Krall
being from the Island of Nanaimo. Have you broken away already?
4380 MR. CANTALON: No. But I have often thought that
Emperor Cantalon had a nice ring to it. But I don't think we are going that
--- Laughter / Rires
4381 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Maybe somebody should be informed
in the American publicity wing for Ms Krall.
4382 Are you here today for the City or for the Chamber of
Commerce, or both?
4383 MR. CANTALON: I am here for the City, but I know that
the Chamber parallels our request. We support a new facility on Vancouver
Island. We don't differentiate between the two, being political, and we are not
choosing. We have been encouraged by the enthusiastic representations that both
parties have made.
4384 COMMISSIONER CRAM: If I talk about the upper half of
the Island, and you say there is Campbell River, did you say, or --
4385 MR. CANTALON: Campbell River, Courtenay, Parksville.
Nanaimo is basically now evolving as a greater community that is expanding from
Duncan virtually to Courtenay. We have a new transportation link as sort of a
mini super highway, like the 401, so it is now possible to go from Duncan to
Courtenay, 120 miles, within an hour and a half.
4386 But Victoria is still over the hill and into the
valley, kind of thing.
4387 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Would I take it that the more
bureaus in the God's country of the "Island of Nanaimo", the better?
4388 MR. CANTALON: Absolutely.
4389 COMMISSIONER CRAM: If there were a bureau in Campbell
River, you would be happier still, if there were a third bureau in the northern
half of the Island.
4390 MR. CANTALON: That's right. I will be shot by all the
cities I neglect; but certainly geographically, Nanaimo and Campbell River are
the two focal points.
4391 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Does Nanaimo have an Economic
4392 MR. CANTALON: Yes, we do.
4393 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I, too, am a neophyte to
broadcasting, and I was appalled and shocked to find out the costs of production
of television programming.
4394 Would it be possible, if indeed the good people of
Nanaimo would like to see themselves reflected on television, that there might
be some effort made at joining with producers to develop this kind of
4395 MR. CANTALON: Absolutely there would be. And I think
we have many historical venues, besides the natural beauty, that offer a great
opportunity for production settings. But we would be more than willing to help
4396 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you very much for coming. I
encourage you to work with the producers.
4397 MR. CANTALON: Thank you for hearing us.
4398 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Commissioner Langford
has a question.
4399 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: I just want the record to show
that when this intervenor described Victoria as "over the hill", we understood
that he was speaking geographically and not metaphorically.
4400 MR. CANTALON: Certainly.
4401 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very
4402 We will now pause for coffee. We will be back in 15
--- Recess at 1000 / Suspension à 1000
--- Upon resuming at 1030 / Reprise à 1030
4403 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Welcome
4404 Madam Secretary, please.
4405 MS VOGEL: Thank you, Madam Chairperson.
--- Technical difficulties / Problèmes techniques
4406 MS VOGEL: Our next intervenor this morning is the
Sierra Club of British Columbia.
--- Pause / Pause
4407 MS VOGEL: At this point I would like to re-call
intervenors from yesterday afternoon and this morning.
4408 I would like to call Kumar Sikka, Intervenor No.
4409 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good morning and
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
4410 MR. SIKKA: Good morning. My name Kumar Sikka. I own
my own business, and I am the past president of the India Club, which is a
charitable organization in Vancouver for over 30 years. I immigrated to Canada
about 29 years ago.
4411 I am opposed to the application by Rogers media for a
licence to operate a multilingual station CFMT-TV in the Lower
4412 The South Asian community is comprised of nearly
one-quarter of a million people speaking Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati, Tamil,
Bengali, Urdu, as well as other languages.
4413 Rogers Media is offering, besides repeat broadcasts,
one hour of Punjabi, half an hour of Tamil, and one hour of Hindi programming
each week. Also allotted are two hours, Saturdays and Sundays each week, for
4414 I firmly believe that:
4415 1. There is not enough time allotted for a quarter of
a million people on a channel that is known as a multilingual
4416 2. There are a fair amount of Gujarati-speaking
families and there is no mention of any type of Gujarati language
4417 3. Indian movies are three hours or more, not
including any advertisement. How is Roger Media going to accommodate a
three-hour movie into a two-hour slot and be able to add some commercials as
4418 4. The proposed programming is primarily in English,
which does not serve the interests of new immigrants and seniors.
4419 5. Local interests, concerns, difficulties and
achievements of new immigrants, seniors and South Asian families cannot be
addressed if programming is produced in Toronto, as Rogers Media is
4420 6. When METV applied for a licence, the station had
promised to do a number of things, including establishing news bureaus in
several Lower Mainland ethnic communities. METV has broken those promises, and
there has been no action taken against the station. How can we be sure that
Rogers will not abandon their proposed programming in the future?
4421 The past performance of Rogers' multicultural channel
has not been worth much praise. There used to be three to four hours of
continuous South Asian programming containing entertainment, news, information
and achievements of the local community. The family used to look forward to
sitting together and watching such quality programs.
4422 The Rogers Media management has changed the format
into half-hour slots with low quality, repetitive programs. Basically all we are
getting are a few clippings from some Indian movie songs.
4423 This move has proved very divisive for the Indian
community by making about 11 different producers have to fight for the media
market share. Maybe this was the intent of Rogers Media.
4424 My question to the Rogers Media system is: Was there
any consultation or opinion of the South Asian community taken before changing
the original format? If not, how can the management assure us that they won't do
the same thing with the multilingual channel in the future?
4425 Thank you for listening to me.
4426 MS BHUI: Good morning. My name is Nalini Bhui. I am
an occupational therapist and am currently in a management position. I have
lived in Canada for 17 years and worked in various professional positions during
that period of time.
4427 I also am a past director of the India
4428 I want to clearly state at the outset that I am here
purely on a personal representation as a community. There is no hidden agenda.
There is no body to protect. I am just coming as an objective viewer of these
programs, and what I would like to see and what my views are personally as to
the podium that a program for the different communities should
4429 Basically, the factors that adversely or conversely
affect the quality of programs is of great concern to me. The programs have to
fulfil several needs in the community. I know you must have gone through this
several times, but I feel that some of the basics are fairly important. I will
draw some examples later on. So please bear with me.
4430 Is there any objective accountability -- I am just
throwing the questions out right at the beginning.
4431 Is there any objective accountability? And what are
the consequences of the licences be revoked should the presentations not stand
up to scrutiny? In what kind of time frame and what kind of frequency will this
scrutiny occur? Is there an objective body? Are there objective guidelines set
so that there is no corruption in that process, so that no one with a hidden
agenda can dip into the pot or create a disturbance or any such
4432 To mind, what we are doing right now is we are
setting the pace for the future generations. What we present here can -- what
better podium can we have than this, and what better opportunity can we have to
initiate and promote positive behaviours, positive achievements?
4433 We have lots of media coverage in North America that
presents negative aspects of life in general and gory specifics, which we have
all been through. What I would like to know --
4434 The way I remember my culture -- and because I am an
authority only to speak on my culture, since I am so familiar with it, I think I
will just stick to that. So please bear with me on that account as
4435 What I remember of my culture is grandparents,
seniors who never say die. What can we make of this? How can we make this
better? All the moral values. A lot of all that I feel is lacking in society
today. A little bit is eroded by the education system. A little bit is eroded by
essential advances in technology, I guess -- the computer age, alienization, all
this sort of stuff which causes lack of socialization.
4436 In previous years we had stress release. Man is a
social being. He likes to be loved. His achievements should be recognized. Then
he feels good. Good endorphins are released. He turns to do more
4437 This part of it can be achieved by multicultural
programming, to a great extent in an easier way. I do believe that a lot of the
violence is an outlet for this frustration, this anger, that normally occurs in
a human being that does not feel cared for, does not feel that society at large
4438 With the programming that we had in the past, I know
that there were certain awards, such as the India Club scholarship awards, the
Triple A awards. I don't know if you are familiar with it. That was a podium for
the youngsters who achieved incredibly high, whether it was in the academic
field or in the athletic field. They achieved beyond reason. And this didn't
come overnight. It was long years for parents and kids. So the whole family unit
had to support this child, and then this child bloomed.
4439 So these programs were a podium for that kid. Now,
not only did his family watch and feel proud; the community at large watched and
felt proud. He or she was given a voice. They were recognized that yes, your
achievement was good and this is more of what we would like to see. The
youngsters in the community watched this. That was their role model. Not only
that, but their peers, whether they were white, black, blue, brown, whatever,
they watched their friends and they got feedback from them.
4440 This itself caused peer integration in a very nice,
social, non-invasive way. And that is desirable. Anything that can bring about
cohesive in various communities in such an easy manner I think should be
recognized and should be given a podium.
4441 When it is presented with a song and a dance in the
foreground, you know, clips of something here and there, and this is just used
as a fill, the message that we are giving this individual is: Your achievements
are not so important. They are okay. We will put you up on TV to make you look
good, but it is not as if you really want to know and you really care that this
is the achievement. Your community is so proud of you. This is not a feedback
coming back to the child.
4442 So the whole purpose of just presentation of this is
lost. The essence of the presentation is lost.
4443 There are other parts of it. In the current period of
programming, I am not exactly sure as to what level or stage of discussions this
is at. I am really not sure about that.
4444 But if this was a probation period for Rogers -- you
know, in any job we have to have a probation period. If this was a probation
period, in their lack of understanding of the cultural richness of the various
Asian communities doesn't seem to be presented.
4445 If you are going à la Hollywood style, if you are
just going into the half-hour time slots, the quality programs, the excellent
programs don't come in those kinds of time frames. Any of the really good
Pakistani serials, the Hindi serials, the Rami Anhabarta(ph) -- which are famous
epics. This was presented in past years on TV. My children watched it and I
think the TV in this case did a better job than I did of bringing them to
understand and correlate what they saw into the positive aspects of it, and of
course some of the negative aspects of the story, of how you should avoid that.
And it gave them strategies to incorporate and use the positive aspects, like
4446 These are all not things that can be taught in a day.
But when it is presented to children, to adults, these were presented for
comprehensive audiences. It didn't segregate them with age or ability, or
4447 That quality, I think, is lost because these serials
are mainly an hour, two hours, three hours in time frame. And as mentioned by
Mr. Sikka, even the Hindi movies.
4448 If you are going to fragment this, one argument could
be: Well, we are going to fragment these and put them in parts 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Fragmentation beyond a certain reason loses the essence of the program, and then
it does not fare for all that work that has been put in. Your whole point in
making this program is lost, and you really don't want that.
4449 Having thrown all this, I feel that in the final
analysis, I also want to know that there is no preclusion of veteran producers,
of truly knowledgeable people in the community -- and there is a lot of
corruption that can go on as soon as there is power. It is not just with this
channel. It is with life, as we see.
4450 Since you are setting the base, I would like to see
as much as those cracks can be taken away right now so your foundation is
strong. That is why I am trying to help out with my thoughts on this
4451 A truly comprehensive program in general broad terms,
to me, seems that there should be true education. We could pick the aspects of
education and use this podium, then events and views. We like to see local
events. There are lots of Asians all over the country. I don't know how you are
going to make it proportionate, or whatever.
4452 However, you know, in the evening, at the end of the
day, we like to see our local news. What happened last night at the hockey game
is very important to me. So what happened last night at the Triple A Club
Awards. Who won this? That is important to us.
4453 If we were to go with it, then the local events seem
to be of importance.
4454 News and views; true entertainment, not someone just
taking clips. Anyone can go to a video store and pick up clips of movies here
and there and stick it. A monkey could do it. You just stick it together and
just present it and call it entertainment. That is not true
4455 What would you think of when you hear the name Bill
Cosby? He is the epitome of humour. He is the king of comedy. It is quality. And
that is what comes immediately to the forefront of our minds.
4456 I really, really sincerely hope, because we have so
much richness in all these cultures, that you are able to tap on that and
somehow -- I am not sure how you are going to do this. Maybe you already have
plans for this; I don't know. But I feel that that is something that should be
4457 MS VOGEL: Ms Bhui, we are well past your ten minutes.
Could you wrap up, please.
4458 MS BHUI: Certainly.
4459 MS VOGEL: Thank you.
4460 MS BHUI: So to sum up, I would like to ask: Does the
producer go above and beyond the call of duty? If that is the kind of producers
we want, if that is the kind of shows that we want, then we need to think a
little differently than what Rogers has presented thus far.
4461 Thank you.
4462 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very
4463 I would ask Commissioner Langford to ask
4464 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: There is a lot of passion
here, and that is always a good thing.
4465 I want to be clear on something. I almost feel like I
heard two distinct presentations here. Are you both opposing the Rogers
application, or do we have one opposition and one -- I am just not sure what I
4466 MR. SIKKA: With past experience what I have seen from
Rogers is either they have to change what they are producing, or I am not in
favour of giving them another channel which is going to do the same
4467 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: That was clear.
4468 Ms Bhui, where are you on this?
4469 MS BHUI: From what I have seen thus far, I think
Rogers has done an inadequate job in its probation period. That is what I am
4470 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Are you opposing
4471 MS BHUI: At this point, yes.
4472 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Sorry to sound simplistic. I
just want to make sure that we are both singing from the same hymn
4473 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: You are not singing
with the same --
4474 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Not we in the sense of this;
but that the two of you are singing from the same hymn sheet. When you speak
about power corrupting, I am fine with Cardinal Newman because I have none; I
have no position; I have no power; I have no red jacket. I am just here.
--- Laughter / Rires
4475 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: You have a red
4476 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: I am a little worried about
Bill Cosby being the king of comedy, and I am working on that.
4477 Let's get serious for a moment.
4478 How about this -- and again, I am not an advocate of
Rogers, but we have an opposition of Rogers, but yet I get a sense, hearing your
last comments, that there may be something to build on.
4479 Is another approach possible, that you could work
with that application? Or are you basically saying it is so flawed that we don't
even want to work with it?
4480 I am hearing things, I think, like: "I don't like the
way they have done half-hour time slots. That won't do." And then I see Mr. Sole
make a note in his book.
4481 And then I hear you saying: "Two hours won't work for
an Indian film." That is not the first time we have heard that in this room. "We
need at least three." And I see Mr. Sole make a note in his book.
4482 I am not advocating for that application in any way,
but it seems to me that we have a choice here: that you have to choose between a
dynamic perhaps, possible dynamic, the hope of a dynamic, or say: "No, this
application as it stands is so flawed that we would rather throw it out and
4483 I would just like to be clear what you are telling us
4484 MR. SIKKA: Do you want me to answer it?
4485 What Rogers has done, it clearly shows that either
they are doing it deliberately to some motive or they have no idea about Indian
culture. I am not against unless they improve on it and give us some quality
things than what they are giving us.
4486 I want to know what was their intention of doing all
they have done. Did they consult anybody or just for some reason -- I don't
belong to any group. I am just a viewer, the way I used to watch, and the way
now I am watching, I don't know when is the program coming. There is nothing
4487 I find all the producers -- as Ms Bhui said, anybody
can make the program that we are getting now. Even I can do it. I can go to a
video store, rent ten movies, put them together, and there is my program. There
is no quality. There is no substance. There is nothing we can as a family sit
together and watch. There is no information. There is nothing for the shut-ins.
There is nothing at all.
4488 Why did they do it? Somebody has to
4489 MS BHUI: If I may add, I feel a little concerned that
if so much happened without the actual awareness of a lot of the thinking people
in this group, how much more can be just shoved through?
4490 I like to be proactive always in life, not reactive.
So I say scrap it for now; find an objective group and put it together. I have
no vested interest. It doesn't matter to me whether Rogers is at the helm or
somebody else is at the helm, because I am certainly not interested in that
4491 I think the process has to be better than this. If
this is all they can come up with as a process -- and they think it is a valid
process. As Mr. Sikka said, they really don't have an understanding, I
don't think, of the cultural richness that they are trying to
4492 They are trying to do a Mickey Mouse job of making it
look very good in optics. It is a little shallow for my liking.
4493 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Thank you.
4494 MR. SIKKA: Could I just add a little bit. If the
licence has to be given, can it be conditional for say two years, three years.
If they don't fulfil what they said they will do and break their promises, then
it should be for reassessment.
4495 I can live with that.
4496 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Thank you very much. That is
4497 MS BHUI: Do you have any guidelines thus far? The
CRTC has to regulate everything before it goes on. Am I correct or am I wrong in
4498 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Well, we can't do "CRTC 101".
And I am not sure that I am the right person to do it anyway. We don't
4499 Generally licensees come to us with proposals, as the
applicants here have. We try, through the use of conditions of licence and
understanding, to hammer out between them and us, usually through our legal
team, as clear an understanding as possible. And then over the licence period
they are judged on how they live with that.
4500 But we certainly don't pop by the offices every week
or two to see how they are programming.
4501 On top of that, we put out general policy statements
-- for example, we recently released an ethnic policy statement; we have a
television policy statement -- which overlay the whole process and say: Hey,
industry, take a look at this. This is the direction that we think Parliament,
through the Broadcasting Act, would like you to be going.
4502 So we have some big general tools and specific tools
at licensing and relicensing time. But we just can't go down there and say:
"Sorry, sport, a half an hour on Thursday isn't enough." We look at that at the
end of the licence term.
4503 One final thing. If there are complaints, of course,
we look at complaints, specific complaints. But we don't pop around to their
offices every month or two and sit in on the programming meetings.
4504 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Commissioner Grauer
has a question.
4505 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I just want to make sure I
understand. The existing Rogers multicultural channel which is here now -- and
Commissioner Wylie will straighten me out if I am wrong -- is the only one that
exists I think in the country as it is.
4506 Are your comments primarily with respect to the
changes that have occurred on that service and not with respect to the
application that has been filed for the new service?
4507 In other words, have you looked at the new service?
Are your issues primarily about the changes made to the existing, or are they
having looked at the schedule for the new, which is quite a different over the
4508 MS BHUI: I can't say that I am an expert at it, and
it seems inadequate -- that is what I am saying -- to fulfil the needs. That is
all I am saying.
4509 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: The proposal or the
4510 MS BHUI: Yes.
4511 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: They are two separate
4512 MS BHUI: The proposal.
4513 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: You are talking about the
4514 MS BHUI: Is this a multilingual licence or is this a
multicultural licence? Isn't there a little distinction because multicultural is
more comprehensive? Or am I wrong?
4515 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Well, we are not quite
good on the semantics on that topic. There is a distinction. What we understand
is you have views on the existing channel that is run here.
4516 Madam Vogel is the Secretary for this hearing, but
usually her function within the Commission is the Regional Director for the
CRTC. She could provide you with the proper information of "CRTC 101", and also
about our ethnic policy, and also about ways to make sure your voice is
4517 You were saying that it is important to be proactive.
Well, there are ways. The cable industry has organized itself with a board where
they hear complaints, and before you get to that level there is certainly a
possibility of establishing a dialogue with the Rogers company.
4518 Madam Vogel could help you out with that after the
4519 MS DHUI: Thank you. And I am not an expert, so I hope
you are taking the veterans in the field. You make me nervous now.
4520 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Not at all.
4521 MS DHUI: I am just a poor subject off the
4522 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: What we tried to
clarify is what we have done. It is important that we understand. Of course, the
people who have applications have full understanding of the ways of the
Commission, but we want to hear. That is why we are here in Vancouver;
otherwise, we could have stayed in Ottawa. The very reason we are here is to
hear people like you and all the other intervenors.
4523 The more things are repeated with different tones
about it and passion about it, the more it helps our understanding of the people
here, the needs, and it helps in our decision-making process.
4524 Thank you for having participated.
4525 MS DHUI: Thank you.
4526 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Madam
4527 MS VOGEL: Our next intervenor this morning is the
Directors Guild of Canada. Please come forward.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
4528 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good
4529 MR. HAWKINS: Good morning. Thank you very much for
4530 My name is Crawford Hawkins. I am here representing
The Directors Guild of Canada and the B.C. District Council. I am a member of
the National Executive of the Guild and chair of the B.C. District
4531 At the national level, the Guild has 2,800 members
drawn from all areas of production, direction, design and editing of films and
television programs. The B.C. District Council is one of the most active of the
Guild's seven district councils, with over 870 members.
4532 Mr. Paul Audley, who is here with me today, is a
consultant who has assisted the Guild in drafting its submission to this
4533 The Guild's intervention addresses the applications
of Rogers, CHUM, Craig and Trinity for Victoria and Vancouver licences. In
developing the Guild's position on the applications for the new conventional
television station licences that are now before the Commission, the Guild began
by examining the decision announced just over three years ago when the CIVT was
licensed. We know that the following concerns expressed by the Commission in
explaining the reasons for its 1997 decision:
4534 First, while the Commission was satisfied at the time
that the market could support a single new entrant, caution was expressed about
the market's ability to support new entrants without duly affecting the ability
of existing privately owned stations to provide high quality service.
4535 A general caution expressed by the Commission is
shared by the Guild. In our written presentation we have expressed our concern
that over-licensing is primarily a threat to priority programming, and in
particular to Canadian drama, which is usually the first victim of financial
4536 Second, the Commission acknowledged the clear demand
among Vancouver Island residents for a new local service and expressed its
agreement that there is a need for such a service, although it was concluded at
that time that the CanWest application then before the Commission did not meet
4537 Third, in redirecting the CanWest application, the
Commission expressed strong concern over the possible licensing of two
English-language television stations under common ownership, whose services
would be broadly available in the Vancouver extended market.
4538 Despite the exception, represented by CHAN and CHEK,
the Commission emphasized that it was an exception, expressing concern that
approval of CanWest's application would convert the policy exception in to a
virtual rule. This concern is one that the Guild shares and to which we have
attached weight in assessing the current applications.
4539 Finally, in its 1997 decision the Commission gave
particular attention to the need to encourage contributions to the production
and scheduling of Canadian drama, music and variety programming, as well as to
the growth of a strong independent production industry in all regions of
4540 Not surprisingly, these concerns have been central to
the Guild's analysis of the existing applications. We urge the Commission to
again give particular attention to these objectives in reaching its
4541 These concerns identified by the Commission and
shared by the Guild provide the framework within which we assess the current
applications. The Guild believes that the licensing of mainstream
English-language stations in both Vancouver and Victoria would result in
over-licensing, with substantially resulting damage to the ability of all
broadcasters in the market to contribute to the financing and exhibition of
priority Canadian programming, and in particular drama programming.
4542 The result would be that three new mainstream
stations would have to be added to the extended Vancouver market in only three
or four years. On this basis, the Guild has focused its attention on which of
the Victoria applications should be approved.
4543 The Guild recognizes that CHUM's Victoria application
reflects the fact that CHUM has also applied for a Vancouver licence. Both the
revenues and the proposed Canadian programming expenditures of CHUM's Victoria
application reflect the fact that CHUM has also applied for a Vancouver licence.
Nevertheless, our analysis must focus on the two Victoria applications as
4544 The Guild has concluded, on the basis of reviewing
the two Victoria applications, that Craig should be licensed. The Craig
application is superior in its proposed expenditure on Canadian programming;
$74.7 million compared with $39.9 million. It is also superior to the CHUM
application in support of B.C. based drama and long form documentaries: $11
million compared to the unspecified part of $6 million in the CHUM
4545 The Guild supported the earlier Craig applications
for licence in Calgary and Edmonton in large measure because of the A-Channel
drama fund that was proposed. Since 1997, when the Alberta stations began
broadcasting, they have delivered on most of those commitments: approval for
projects supported through the Alberta fund is given entirely in western
4546 Based on commitments now offered in its Victoria
application and the performance in Alberta, the Guild supports the Craig
application for Victoria, provided that the explicit expenditures commitments it
is offered, including its specific commitments to B.C. production, are made a
condition of its licence.
4547 While the Guild does not support the licensing of
CHUM's Vancouver application, we recognize the commitment to Canadian feature
film production that is part of that application. However, the Guild notes that
additional benefits that are comparable may still be achieved by the Commission
through the process that has now begun that involves both CHAN and CKVU stations
4548 The Guild also expressed conditional support for the
Rogers application for the ethnic station in Vancouver. However, the Guild
submits notes that the Rogers application is less problematic to the extent that
it would not compete directly with the mainstream English language stations in
4549 The Guild supports the licensing of the Rogers
station as long as the Commission is satisfied that it would not affect the
ability of either of the other stations in the extended Vancouver market to
contribute to the financing and exhibition of Canadian programming and of
priority Canadian programming in particular.
4550 Rogers has offered to earmark $1 million to
script and concept development and marketing for independently produced B.C.
documentaries and $3.5 million to the licensing of B.C. produced
4551 If Rogers is licensed, these expenditure commitments
should be made conditions of licence, along with the requirements that no
licence fee top-up from the Canadian Television Fund be counted as though they
were expenditures of that station.
4552 Thank you very much. We would be glad to answer any
questions you may have.
4553 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good morning. I would
like to understand or have a clearer understanding. Certainly I can see that in
the Vancouver Island application you are supportive of the Craig application.
But what is your view about the capacity of the market?
4554 You are saying that one of the areas where you can
immediately see financial problems occurring for broadcasters is their capacity
of being involved in drama series or drama initiatives.
4555 From your experience and from your members, do you
see that there is a healthy situation from your point of view here in the
market, and that there would be no harm in adding a broadcasting
4556 What is your view on that?
4557 MR. HAWKINS: Well, it our view that the licence for
the Island would not interfere with the current programming in the
4558 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Where in Vancouver it
would. You don't make a distinction on the fact that advertising revenues could
be drawn from the same market, given that it is considered to be the same
extended market commercially?
4559 MR. HAWKINS: Given correct programming, I think that
that would not happen. I think it would bring additional revenues to the
4560 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you. In your
proposal -- you haven't talked about it today but in your written intervention
you made specific recommendations that the commitments, expenditure commitments,
should not account for the top-off fees.
4561 Do you care to comment on this?
4562 MR. AUDLEY: Yes. The concern there is that licence
fee top-ups provided through the Canadian Television Fund should not be treated
as though they were expenditures by the broadcaster. In other words, this should
be the broadcaster's money that is being committed, as part of meeting the
Commission's expenditure requirement, and not the broadcaster's money plus the
licence fee top-up.
4563 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: So it should be
strictly their in-house production, the money that is required or the rights
they are buying, or the development that they are providing for
4564 MR. AUDLEY: The only expenditures they should be
allowed to count are expenditures of their own funds and not their own funds
plus the licence fee top-up from the Canadian Television Fund.
4565 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Not the
4566 MR. AUDLEY: Yes.
4567 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: You know that in the
TV policy the Commission has kind of taken some distance from the expenditures
and is not really using that any more in the renewal of licences. But in a
proceeding like this one, where we are considering granting a licence, I gather
it is your view that we should have condition of licence on specific
expenditures for a program.
4568 MR. AUDLEY: That is the strong view.
4569 MR. HAWKINS: Yes, that is the strong view by the
4570 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Do you wish to comment
on the specifics and how the accountability of those commitments could be done
over the licence period? Do you have any views on that?
4571 MR. AUDLEY: I think the extent of the Guild's concern
is that there should be a specific expenditure requirement for Canadian
programming generally and that there should be a specific expenditure
requirement for B.C. production in the priority categories.
4572 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Have you been
following the hearing since Monday? Have you heard about the exchange we have
had with the applicants?
4573 MR. HAWKINS: No, we haven't.
4574 MR. AUDLEY: Only to the extent of reading the
newspapers. Sorry, we haven't been able to be here.
4575 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: I was wondering if you
had any further comment from what you may have heard. Although certainly what is
in the papers is accurate, it is not the same as being here.
4576 Thank you very much for being here today and your
4577 MR. HAWKINS: Thank you.
4578 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Madam
4579 MS VOGEL: Next, I would like to call KCTV &
--- Pause / Pause
4580 MS VOGEL: This intervenor will be re-called at the
end of the interventions.
4581 I would like to call Vancouver Media Directors
--- Pause / Pause
4582 MS VOGEL: Not seeing any movement, I would like to
call Grater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce.
--- Pause / Pause
4583 MS VOGEL: Our Intervenor No. 20 is Trevor Chan and
4584 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Before we get into the
first intervenor of the supporting intervenors, I would like to make a
clarification on how we will proceed.
4585 We will be asking questions to the intervenors only
if we need really to clarify or if there is some distinction between what has
been filed and what is said, the idea being that we want to give air time to the
intervenors and to as many as possible. We want to take all the time to be
listeners and not questioners.
4586 As I say, if there is a need for clarification, we
will not hesitate. But please don't be upset if we are not engaging in a
dialogue. The purpose is to hear as many of you as possible.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
4587 MR. JOHAL: Commissioners, hello, bonjour. Thank you
for this opportunity to speak before you in support of the application by CHUM
4588 In trying to assess or go through the various
applications I was looking for something that would help one of the applicants
stand out. There is an awful lot being promised by all the applicants, and like
you, I have to go through it and sift through it and try to find outstanding
4589 There is plenty of research and statistics and videos
and presenters, and so on and so forth, and the one thing that stood out for me,
not so much here but previously when I attended some of the information sessions
that some of the applicants were putting on, was the point in CHUM Television's
presentation when Moses Znaimer referred to mainstream. He proposed a
redefinition of mainstream that resonated with me greatly.
4590 He proposed that rather than CHUM Television
appealing to ethnic minorities, or multilingual or multicultural minorities that
exist somewhere on the fringes, in fact we are now a part of the mainstream. And
it is a nuance or a subtlety in defining somebody's approach to their so-called
multilingual programming that really resonated with me and that I think is very
4591 I don't feel that I exist on the fringes of Canadian
society. I do feel I am indeed a part of the mainstream. And when somebody makes
that definition, challenges us to redefine such a key concept as mainstream, it
speaks volumes to me about their mindset, that applicant's mindset, their entire
approach to the notion of appealing to and reflecting and including so-called
minorities in Canada in their programming.
4592 What that tells me about CHUM Television Vancouver's
approach to programming with these communities, including these communities, is
that it is a mindset; it is a way of being; it is not just a slogan. It is not
just something that needs to be presented because it is the flavour of the
month: we have to now appeal to the ethnic minorities.
4593 I am going beyond that definition that I heard that
day that resonated with me very, very deeply.
4594 I came to Canada in the mid-1980s and was sort of
weaned on a couple of the channels, in particular MuchMusic that the CHUM group
has had since the mid-1980s, I believe. What I saw there was dynamic, vital
programming. I saw CHUM doing there stuff that nobody asked them to do, in terms
of including people from so-called minority communities, long before it was ever
in vogue, long before it ever became a slogan to present before commissions --
look, this is what we are doing, long before it was ever politically
4595 And that again resonated with me. I was younger in
those days, and even to this day my 14 and 15-year-old cousins are watching that
channel, and Citytv, channels that are already doing what some of the applicants
are now promising to do. The others all sort of shift their platforms a little
bit to try to coast on the coat tails of that.
4596 And that, I feel, is partly what has happened in
broadcasting, not just in Vancouver with, to a minor extent, VTV, but in the
Canadian broadcasting landscape as a whole, where the CHUM imitators are now a
dime a dozen and everybody has shifted to do what CHUM has been doing in terms
of interesting dynamic programming and including so-called minorities. Everybody
has shifted to include that. And to that extent, I think CHUM has raised the
4597 These are the main points that I wanted to make, and
I can elaborate on some of these if you so wish. Thank you.
4598 MR. CHAN: Hi there. My name is Trevor Chan. I am a
marketing analyst and a strategist for an Internet company called GlobalMedia. I
am here today in support of the CHUM application. I have a couple of points here
that I would like to make.
4599 First of all, I am in new media. My interest in all
of this is that we are out to destroy television; we are out to destroy radio;
we are out to destroy print media. We are creating the new medium. That is what
we are doing.
4600 We have a saying in new media, and it is called
"content is king". What this basically means is it is not about going out there
and aggregating content, buying content, buying syndicated programming and
reprocessing and broadcasting it, but going out there and creating something
4601 That is what I think CHUM can do.
4602 The most important thing, the most valuable thing we
can have in a media culture is creating relevant programming to your audience.
You've got to go out there; you've got to know who your audience is. You've got
to know who you are programming to. That is what really matters.
4603 When you look at mergers between AOL and TimeWarner,
there is a lot of stuff going on at the high end. All of these big companies are
merging together. If you are only out there rebroadcasting stuff, you are going
to be out sooner or later.
4604 I look at CHUM and I see what they are doing, and it
is a little bit different. They are not like Rogers or the CanWests of the
world. They are BCTV, you know what I mean, whose main interests is like buying
syndication rights for the top U.S. programs. CHUM is out there creating
something new that is relevant to people like me, to the youth demographic, and
that's what it is all about.
4605 If you look at the Internet right now, and it has
completely taken over television as the new pervasive medium. Look at the kids
right now. What is the first thing they do when they come home? They don't turn
on the TV. They are on the net. They're surfing. They're looking for new stuff,
right? That's what it is about.
4606 I look at some of my cousins and some of the younger
people out there, the first thing they do when they go home is they go on Asian
Avenue. It's a site for Asians. The reason why they go on that particular site
is because it's got events and things. It's got reviews about music, reviews
about movies and stuff like that.
4607 This is all the type of information that should be
broadcast on television. But these kids can't find out there because it is not
relating to them because they are young and multicultural; they are doing
whatever. They jump on the net because that's the place they can find it, and
that's the place they will go looking for it.
4608 I am looking at all this craziness that has been
going on. I am a dot-com kid. I'm part of all that. I've got options in my
4609 Anyways, there is a big shift in the media landscape
right now, and I don't want to see Vancouver lose out on this. I don't want to
see all the media companies being bought out by some big faceless corporation. I
want to see a media company being developed in Vancouver that addresses the
youth demographic, that knows the city and can do stuff. I think CHUM can do
4610 I have personally been raised on CHUM programming.
I've watched MuchMusic all my life. I've watched Citytv. Even when ICRAVE(ph)
was still around, I watched it on the Internet, because it's cool. I'm into
that. They are producing something that really connects with me. It's not about
dictating or saying I've got a certain percentage of Asian programming, I've got
a certain percentage of Caribbean programming, I've got a certain percentage of
Latin programming. That is not what it is about.
4611 Multicultural is a given in this country, do you know
what I mean? And that's what it is about, right? It's not from the top
management on down, and that's reflected in their programming. And that's what I
want to see. It really connects with me.
4612 My final point is this. I am a 27-year-old
Chinese-Canadian male. I was born and raised in Vancouver, so I have seen all
the crap that has come out here. And to this day, I feel I got a raw deal
because there is no media outlet that represents my point of view. You know, I
look at newspapers. Ah, who cares, man. I look at radio. It sucks too. And TV,
don't get me started about TV.
4613 I jump straight to the net because I know I'm going
to find niche programming that is geared towards me.
4614 Like I said, I've seen CHUM's work in the past.
They've got Bravo!, Showcase, all that good stuff, right? You know, I think they
can really make a difference here. That is why I am supporting their application
today. That's about it.
4615 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: And regulators are cool,
4616 MR. CHAN: I know you don't have a red jacket, but
4617 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: We are dot.com kind of
4618 Thank you very much to both of you.
4619 Madam Secretary, please.
4620 MS VOGEL: I would now like to call Crisanta Sampang,
Planet Aaj Radio; Baljit Deo and Michael Sunnar.
4621 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good morning.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
4622 MS DEO: I am Director and co-founder of Planet Aaj
Radio, and I am intervening on behalf of CHUM Television Vancouver. I am not
really here today as a broadcaster. I am more here as a young Canadian person
who lives in Vancouver and puts on my TV and can't find anything to
4623 I will just tell you a little bit about my company so
you know what kind of background we come from.
4624 We have a very grassroots company. We have served the
community for close to three years and broadcast programming for the second and
the third generation with music and views that are culturally diverse. We have
enjoyed enormous success in the last three years, going from only two hours a
week to seven hours a day.
4625 We actually relate that directly to the fact that we
are producing programming that is culturally diverse and that there is such a
shortage of it in Vancouver. This is on radio, so it is not even touching TV. If
I was to look at television, there's nothing. There is absolutely nothing, not
even half an hour of TV on our screens right now that is culturally
4626 There is so-called multicultural programming, but it
doesn't relate to us. I speak to people every single day and it's the same
thing. We get the same thing, that there's nothing on TV that is relating to us.
It might relate to our grandparents, to their generation. It is third language
programming that is brought in from another country that often we have no clue
about whatsoever. It doesn't relate to our lives in Vancouver.
4627 What we think is that we need a channel that is as
culturally diverse as the society that we live in and that promotes positive
discussion in the community.
4628 The face of Vancouver has changed a lot. It is a rich
mosaic of people from all over the world, with great traditions. And it saddens
me that despite all the promises of ETV, of a bright future, despite the
misguided efforts of Rogers Multicultural Channel, there is still nothing on our
screens that truly depicts the face of Vancouver.
4629 There is no longer any such thing as an ethnic
minority in Vancouver. In a few short years the so-called ethnic minority will
actually be the majority.
4630 We are the new mainstream, and I am saying that
before I actually heard Moses say it. I didn't know that he had said
4631 When are the broadcasters in B.C. going to realize
that? When block programming has the emphasis on it, it only serves to
perpetuate the myth that we are different without fostering any form of
understanding of each other. And moreover, it firmly stunts any bridge building
that could take place.
4632 We have different experiences, granted. We have
different cultural histories. We are not different. As second and third
generation Canadians, first and foremost we are the face of the new mainstream
in Vancouver. I invite every program director in Vancouver to take a long, hard
look, because we are here, growing in numbers every day, and we are here to
4633 How long do we have to be here? How many do we have
to be before it is deemed time for us to be served in a fair and balanced
4634 This new mainstream is Canadian first and deserves
representation 24 hours a day. We don't need more blocks of totally unrelated
programming. We deserve more than token time slots that no one except, like I
said, our grandmothers can relate to. We need a station that sees Vancouver for
what it is and believes in fostering and supporting a culturally rich, dynamic,
progressive and diverse community. We need a station that can do for Vancouver
what Citytv did for Toronto.
4635 Vancouver is often referred to as a giant melting
pot, which isn't really quite true. The ingredients are definitely there, but we
have to put them in the same pot and give them the same attention in order for
there to be any real melting. That is not an easy task. It takes
4636 And imagination, unfortunately, from what I have seen
so far in Vancouver on TV, is in short supply.
4637 In closing, I would just like to say this. Vancouver
needs a station with eyes and ears that see and hear what the people want and
need, a station that has faith in the credo that cultural diversity is the only
way forward. It needs a station that believes in local talent and puts its money
where its mouth is. It needs a station that has integrity and the philosophy to
build bridges between the traditional mainstream and the new mainstream -- a
station with imagination.
4638 Quite simply, Vancouver needs CHUM Television
Vancouver. Thank you.
4639 MS SAMPANG: Wow! I think she just said everything I
wanted to say. I am a Filipino-Canadian. I have been here for several years. I
am also a journalist. I have a lot of vested interest in what I see on
television and on other media.
4640 As a member of the ethnic and so-called visible
minority, I feel that I am invisible when I watch television. Imagine surfing 72
channels and seeing nothing at prime time. You only see the ethnic minorities in
Vancouver when there are really just brawls, illegal immigrants and drug
wheeling and dealing on the east side, and I think that is not a fair reflection
of the ethnic community in Vancouver. There is so much more, so much deeper
stories that we can tell.
4641 There are achievers. There are stories of love and
loss. There are stories of successes, and there is so much culture in Vancouver
that is not being seen on TV or in the papers today. We have so-called local
content, but it also contains white faces.
4642 I have nothing against white faces on TV, because
they are here and are part of the population mix in Vancouver. But I also want
to see something that is coloured, that has an accent, that has culture in
4643 I am here in support of CHUM Television because after
extensive research I have seen their ten-point plan, and based on their track
record in the past I feel that CHUM television can do what they have committed
4644 As a current student of documentary and film making,
I am most interested in what they plan to do in British Columbia. They have
committed to put in $18 million and $25 million more in creating, in funding
Vancouver-made movies and documentaries. I feel that that is a very good
4645 Vancouver is the third largest movie production
centre in North American, next to Los Angeles and New York. Americans come here
and hire Vancouver film makers to do their own films, and they spend millions,
billions of dollars in Vancouver.
4646 I say if we are good enough for American film makers,
then we are good enough for Canadian television.
4647 I feel that if CHUM TV can do that, fund television
film makers, I say give them a chance. Give them a platform to air these
Vancouver-made films and documentaries and let the ethnic communities be heard
and seen nationwide and in Vancouver itself.
4648 Thank you.
4649 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very much
for your interventions.
4650 Madam Secretary.
4651 MS VOGEL: Next, I would like to call Baljit Sangra,
Eagle Eye Films; Loretta Todd, Endless Entertainment Inc.; and Andrew
4652 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: I would like to remind
everybody of a rule. When there are two or three intervenors appearing together,
they have to share the same ten minutes. Thank you.
4653 MS VOGEL: Go ahead whenever you are ready.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
4654 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good
4655 MR. OOI: Hi. My name is Andrew Ooi. Thank you for
listening to us today. I am here in support of CHUM Limited's application for a
new TV station in Vancouver.
4656 Just a little bit about myself.
4657 I came to Vancouver nine years ago and became a
citizen about three years ago. I was a med student, decided not to go to med
school, and started up a company Echelon Talent Management, which is now the
largest Asian-based talent agency in Canada. We have an office here and one in
Toronto, and we represent mostly Asian actors.
4658 A fair number of them are actually very well known in
Asia, which is great. And some of them are living here now too.
4659 I also run and am co-owner, senior Vice-President of
Acquisitions and Finance of Endless Entertainment Inc., a newly formed film
production company whose mandate is to produce commercially viable and
4660 Last year our first credit was "I Know What You
Screamed Last Semester", a spoof of all these horror movies that Lionsgate just
bought and will be coming out some time this summer.
4661 A number of my fellow intervenors will be talking
about various issues, but I just want to cover two things that are very
important to me right now: the way Asians are reflected in mainstream
television, as you call it today, in Vancouver and Canada.
4662 Promises were made in previous applications. I have
actually spoken on four of the applications before, in 1997. Unfortunately, some
of those promises were not met.
4663 A case in point. I don't see ourselves being
reflected in TV today. Given we are on the news. I think about 50 per cent of
newscasters are Asian these days, which is really weird. I know broadcasters are
trying to do something, but it is not the news I am just talking about. It is
things that people watch in general, like dramatic series, comedies, and you see
very, very few Asians in them.
4664 Two TV series come to mind, "Cold Squad" and "Da
Vinci's Inquest". Given they are very, very high quality and have won a number
of awards, but I see very few Asian faces there, especially in the leading
characters. They are all white.
4665 I have nothing against white people, as one of the
other intervenors has said. My partner is white, for that matter. I have lived
all over the world, and in London, everywhere. And I have nothing against you. I
love you guys.
--- Laughter / Rires
4666 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: And you like grandmothers.
4667 MR. OOI: I love them too. You see, I am wearing
4668 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: She was getting a little
worried the last time around.
4669 MR. OOI: The point is that we are getting type cast.
I run a talent agency and I see the breakdowns that come in: the Punjabi taxi
driver, the Chinese laundromat worker, the Asian female prostitute. It is so
common. It is so tired.
4670 One of my clients is here with me today. He is a very
good friend of mine. In three years, he has only been asked to audition for
"Cold Squad" once. He appears as a guest star on series, regular roles, leading
in a film that is coming out that I am producing shortly.
4671 The role that he was asked to read for was the Asian
transvestite male prostitute. I am not joking. I am very serious about this.
There seems to be very little being done about it. I would really appreciate if
something could be done about that.
4672 I think what CHUM is advocating, what CHUM is talking
about -- I have listened to their pitches, because I was very, very cynical this
time around. I listened to their pitches, and I really believe in them. I
believe in what they are saying.
4673 The second thing I want to talk about is subtitling.
They are talking about subtitling their news.
4674 I come from Singapore where a lot of the programs are
subtitled. I grew up with subtitles. I think subtitling actually helped bring
the communities together. Singapore is made up of Malays, Chinese, largely
Chinese, Tamils, East Indians and we all get together. It is in large part
because we can understand each other's cultures. The subtitling really
4675 I can watch an East Indian film. I grew up watching
East Indian films where they were dancing around the trees, singing songs. I
loved it. I grew up watching Malay films, horror films, and these were great,
great stories. And I am glad to see that CHUM is finally -- and Bravo! They are
showing Asian programs, Asian films, and that really warms my heart.
4676 The other night I turned on the TV and there was
"Judo" from China. Another night it was "Scent of Green Papaya". I thought cool.
I really enjoy this. I really wish that this could be more reflected in
Vancouver today. As previously said, Vancouver is such a big melting pot. There
are more than 800,000 Asian people here, in a population of 3.1 million. That is
one quarter, but we don't see that reflected at all.
4677 I guess that is all I have to say for today. Please
approve them. Thank you.
4678 MS SANGRA: Good afternoon. My name is Baljit. I am
here in support of the CHUM application. You might have to excuse me; I am a bit
nervous. So I might make a few pauses.
4679 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: So are we, so join the
group -- especially now that we see that we are in the generation that is not
4680 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: And if you think you are
nervous, look at me up here.
4681 MS SANGRA: I am a film maker. I have made some
documentaries and short films. I graduated from film school several years ago,
and to pay the rent I work in the film industry. I have been involved in the
South Asian art scene for quite a while, since my university days.
4682 I am second generation Canadian. I was born and
raised in Vancouver. So I think I bring many perspectives, as a film maker, as a
South Asian artist, and a Vancouverite who has been a surveyor of the TV scene,
being born here.
4683 The key issues that stand out for me regarding CHUM's
application are CHUM's commitment to feature film and independent programming
and their commitment to ethnic and cultural diversity programming.
4684 As a young South Asian film director and someone who
has worked in the industry, I am really excited about their commitment for local
long form and serial drama. I recognize that there is a real lack of opportunity
for independent productions in the Vancouver television market.
4685 I went to film school at UBC and I studied film. My
parents were not too pleased about that choice. They kind of mapped out computer
science and med school and a few other things for me, but I chose film school,
with a dream to direct a feature film and reflect my experience, my story, what
4686 I think it is really important that we support
Canadian films, in development, financing, publicity, and of course showing it,
exhibiting it. I have only had cable on and off a couple of times, and now I pay
a couple of extra dollars and I have Bravo! and Showcase, and I have seen
probably the most Canadian films I have ever seen before.
4687 And CBC, of course, plays Canadian films. It has been
quite an education for myself.
4688 CHUM is the largest private broadcaster/player in the
Canadian feature film market.
4689 The other evening I was at Cineworks, which is a
non-profit film organization downtown, and I was talking with film makers who
are doing their independent works. I told them that I am coming here today, and
they wanted to know why I am coming here, what interests compelled me to be
4690 I told them a bit, that CHUM is putting a lot of
money towards film, and they have pre-licensed 17 films and of that 17 ten are
from new directors and producers. And the group that I was speaking with was
quite excited about that.
4691 I said: Out of the ten, five are from B.C.
4692 Now, if they put $18 million towards B.C. produced
films and television, that is amazing. I can see light at the end of the tunnel,
that there is hope. And there will be a diversity of stories out
4693 I have another story. A while ago I ran into a friend
of mine, Reg. He just premiered his feature film, his first feature, at the
Vancouver Film Festival. We were chatting and I said: "How did you get the
funding for this film?" And he said: "I got the script together and I was down
at the Toronto Film Festival; I got in and talked to somebody at Citytv and I
got some development money quite quickly."
4694 He was able to get his funding. And this is his first
film. So that was very encouraging.
4695 Then when I looked at the application and I looked at
all the films that they have supported with pre-licence agreements, I knew about
at least four of them. So that gives me hope as well.
4696 The other point I wanted to talk about is CHUM's
commitment toward cultural programming.
4697 I was born and raised in Vancouver, and I have only
travelled much of Canada. So I feel pretty disappointed in what I have been
seeing on television.
4698 It is not very accessible. I have grown up with some
multicultural programming through Rogers, and that is pretty low production
quality, traditional. It doesn't speak to me. It is dramas that are set in
Pakistan, and I have no idea what they are about or songs, music videos. There
is not a lot of money put into it.
4699 At one point there was some interesting programming
that Ashushmat(ph) put on, where she had youth voices but apparently that got
cut. So that was quite disappointing.
4700 As a second generation Canadian, I think that what is
out there doesn't speak to us at all.
4701 MS VOGEL: Ms Sangra, we are past our ten minutes.
Could you wrap up, please.
4702 MS SANGRA: My apologies. What can I say? I am a South
Asian, a film maker. And in looking at the applications, I think only CHUM
really stands out in delivering on those two things. I have to echo what Michael
said. They are tried and true, and I give them my support.
4703 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: We have not heard you
and we would like to hear from you.
4704 MS TODD: Thank you for this opportunity to speak to
4705 In the past I have watched the CRTC hearings, which I
hope doesn't say more about my social life than my social conscience.
4706 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: No. It says that you
are maybe an insomniac. From time to time we see ourselves too, when we have one
of those nights.
4707 MS TODD: But I do take to heart public policy when it
comes to media in Canada, and I do take that to heart as an aboriginal person,
because what happens on TV affects our lives every day on the
4708 As an aboriginal person, it is as important to me to
have a native show on TV as it is that there be an overall policy that fosters
understanding of aboriginal society. So it is not just the aboriginal program
that is important; it is the overall vision of the broadcaster that is important
4709 Let me tell you a little story. Recently I produced
and directed a biography of the late Chief Dan George for "Life and Times" on
the CBC, which was a very good experience, I must tell you.
4710 In the process of making that documentary, I was
fortunate enough to go into the archives of the CBC here in Vancouver. I looked
at some of the work from the fifties and the sixties and the seventies. I was
amazed at the energy and the creativity and the risk taking and the excitement
that was in those archives: the stories that were being told, the way they were
being told, the joy of image-making, of story-telling.
4711 I looked around Canada and I would say that within
the CBC that spirit still exists, to some extent. Sure, all of us would like to
see that spirit restored within the CBC, because I think the CBC is still an
important institution within Canada. But I looked around Canada, at the other
private broadcasters, and I said: "Where else does that spirit
4712 That spirit exists within the CHUM family, within the
CHUM system. That love of innovation, that unabashed belief in genius, that
willingness to take chances, to look differently at the world. That is what
exists on the CHUM system.
4713 As an innovator myself, as somebody who is interested
in telling stories in a new way, from my perspective, I want to go to a place
where I feel that spirit would be recognized and that spirit would be enhanced
4714 To me, the CHUM system is a system that has
demonstrated it does that. It does that in its programming through all its
system, and I feel that it will also do that here within its proposal, both
within Victoria and Vancouver.
4715 What is exciting to me -- because also, as a
community worker, someone who hasn't just made films, but someone who has worked
within the film making community to develop film makers, Vancouver is a
community full of creativity. It is bursting at the seams. It is full of
knowledge and experience. It is bursting at the seams. It wants to get out and
be able to express that spirit.
4716 I have a feeling that to some extent when you hear
resistance to the CHUM system, what you are really hearing resistance to is to
change to the status quo; that people want to maintain things as they are. We
really are the face. We are the face of new broadcasting in Canada. I think that
is the face that is going to create the dynamic programming that is going to go
across the world, not just within our own homes.
4717 From the point of view of the news, I have to say a
4718 As an aboriginal person, I know that when the news
reports negative things about who we are and stereotypes about who we are, it
affects young people the next day in the school yard. It affects old ladies on
the bus the next day.
4719 I think that a lot of the news broadcasting in
Canada, even when they put a person of coloured face delivering the news, they
still haven't really interrogated their own bias. You can talk until you are
blue in the face about that bias, and they won't recognize that bias.
4720 But when you talk to CHUM, they will listen. They
will listen that maybe they do have bias, and they will be willing to change.
There is not that arrogance, that somehow what they say is correct.
4721 Just to wrap up, I think we are talking about social
change here. We are not just talking about a new broadcaster. All my life I have
tried to support social change, and I would like to bring my film making forward
to help create social change. I think CHUM is the means to do that.
4722 Thank you.
4723 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very
4724 We will stop for lunch now.
4725 I would like to remind everybody that although two or
three at a time can come forward, it is ten minutes altogether. Otherwise, we
get into a situation where we don't have the same rule for everybody, and that
would create problems.
4726 I would like your co-operation. Maybe over lunch you
can choose the elements that you really want to put forward, so that we can make
sure that we will have the same air time for everybody.
4727 Thank you. We will be back at 2 o'clock.
--- Recess at 1200 / Suspension à 1200
--- Upon resuming at 1400 / Reprise à 1400
4728 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Welcome back. Good
4729 Madam Secretary, will you please introduce our next
4730 MS VOGEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
4731 Our next intervenor this afternoon is Face to Face
Media, Gary Marcuse.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
--- Technical difficulties / Problèmes techniques
4732 MR. MARCUSE: ...and you may be familiar with that. I
went all over the United States tracking down this Fox Network production, which
eventually wound up with Sony International. After many dozens of phone calls
and also after being rebuffed at the major television networks, who simply were
not interested in responding to a Canadian request, I finally got Sony
International and the Office of Copyright Clearance.
4733 The Office of Copyright Clearance advised me that
they didn't intend to respond to these kinds of requests because they had so
many requests, and after all how could they service them all. There was kind of
a spiel that went on for about ten minutes from the lawyer -- actually, from the
Vice-President that I was speaking to.
4734 But at least I felt I was getting close to the
source. So I asked him: Should I really want to try and have something like this
cleared -- after all, I am representing all of Canada here. I felt ennobled by
this. And he said: "Well, if you really wanted to get the stuff cleared for use,
you could send your request to the Senior Vice-President." "Mind you", he says,
"he refers everything back to me."
4735 So it was a perfect stonewalling. We got nothing out
of the United States. It is very difficult for these organizations to respond.
Few of them will try.
4736 But we went to CHUM, and they agreed to come in with
us. And rather than charging us roughly half a million dollars for copyright
clearance so that we could take the stuff into the classroom, they simply became
a partner in the venture and made their material available.
4737 Even more important, they made their lawyers
available to us, because we can't clear this stuff and know where it stands
unless we have lawyers. And how can teachers afford those things.
4738 As a result, CHUM has been deeply involved in this.
We created the first media literacy collection which you have the teacher's
guide for. It tries to get across the basic concepts. But more than that, it
provides media materials for use in the classroom.
4739 This became, in Canadian terms, a best seller, with
more than a thousand sets circulating in the schools. It is starting to set the
tone for media education.
4740 CHUM, meanwhile, went on, even though they didn't get
their licence here the last time they agreed to support a media literacy centre
in Toronto, which is doing national work. They continue to do this kind of work.
I know they are making media literacy the cornerstone of their Victoria
application, and I think we will get the same kind of participation
4741 For example, now that we have some media materials
for use in the classroom, teachers want training. How are they supposed to
deliver this stuff? How are they supposed to, themselves, get training? So now
CHUM is working with us to create a website where the basic fundamentals will
also be taught.
4742 Out of this there will be many spinoffs. We can now
create video collections for use in the schools. CHUM is committed to doing more
4743 Overall, what I see as a pattern here is a television
station that has filled the missing link in this chain that has to take place
before media literacy can happen. And as a public spirited media producer, it
made it possible for me to work with activist teachers groups and suddenly
energize a whole national network around the questions of media
4744 We have gone on to start to influence the Americans
with this as well, because Canadians are about ten years ahead of the U.S. We
have sold hundreds of these kits in the States, and we hope to take over the
States as well.
4745 Those are my comments.
4746 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very much. I
don't think we have any questions.
4747 For those of you who were not here this morning, we
have taken an approach where we will be hearing the intervenors. You are really
the ones who have the air time this afternoon and tomorrow morning. We will ask
questions only if there is a need for clarification, given your presentation
today in comparison to what we have read in your written
4748 It is really a listening exercise that we are doing,
to learn as much as we can so that we can have the fullest of information for
the decisionmaking process.
4749 Madam Secretary.
4750 MS VOGEL: Thank you, Madam Chairperson.
4751 The next intervenor this afternoon is No. 23 on the
agenda, the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Victoria, with David Cheng; and
The Asian Canadian Writer's Workshop, with Jim Wong-Chu.
4752 Could you come forward, please.
--- Pause / Pause
4753 MS VOGEL: Not seeing any movement --
4754 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: My colleague reminds
me that we are also allowing ten minutes per intervention, whether there are two
or three intervenors in the same intervention.
4755 MS. VOGEL: Thank you. We will be
4756 We will re-call Intervenor No. 23 at a later
4757 I would like to invite the Chinese Women
Entrepreneurs Association, Ling Chu, to come forward now.
--- Pause / Pause
4758 MS VOGEL: Again, we will have a recall of that
4759 Would Shavick Entertainment, with James Shavick, and
No Equal Entertainment Inc., with Larry Sugar, come forward, please.
4760 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: The men in black. That
has been our running joke. Those who didn't wear red today is because they
didn't read our memo.
4761 MR. SHAVICK: If I had known there was a dress code, I
would have worn red.
4762 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Welcome.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
4763 MR. SHAVICK: Hi. My name is Jim Shavick. I am the
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Shavick Entertainment. Larry Sugar, who
has his own company, is sitting next to me. We are friends but competitors, and
this tape will probably be widely circulated as we are both sitting together
today, which is unusual.
4764 Briefly, as to what we do, Larry and I represent
approximately 25 to 30 per cent of the indigenous production level in this
community. Together, we do numerous shows and movies. Presently between the two
of us we have seven of the 25 movies or television shows -- I think it is seven
-- on the DGC and IATSE production list.
4765 We are both here today to support the CHUM
application. We are here for a number of reasons. We have written our own
letters to you, but we wanted to elaborate on a more detailed basis.
4766 We would not be able to do what we do without strong
support from the broadcasters. One of the things that gives us clout in the
development area, in the area of funding, in the area of going towards other
markets, Germany, America, to find partners is the money and the support we
bring from Canada.
4767 And while the government plays a role, both federally
and provincially, it all starts with the broadcaster.
4768 In my experience of 25 years in this country -- I
started in Quebec. I made "Two Solitudes", which was the first great Canadian
film. And in my experience, the broadcaster as a partnership is essential. And
CHUM, through Citytv, has been the number one partner I have had and the most
responsive in this country.
4769 I know you heard from the Producers Association, and
I wanted to reiterate a little bit -- although I was not here -- of my feeling.
And I am sure they said the same thing.
4770 A national broadcaster, especially a national
broadcaster who believes in movies, which Citytv and CHUM does, is so key to
what we do. Movies, among other things, allow us to tell our story. Movies,
among other things, allow us to develop talent.
4771 As an example, 99 per cent of the directors who work
for me are Canadians. Almost all of the crew members, with rare exception, are
Canadians. The bulk of the people who work for me live and pay taxes in British
Columbia. We do this with the blessings of the broadcasters.
4772 I think four years ago when you were here I didn't
have to wear the glasses, but I have to put them on now.
4773 I also wanted to talk a bit about a movie that we
participated in as a distributor and a funder last year. It was called "A Girl
is a Girl". Christine Haebler, who is the executive producer, will be speaking
later. But "A Girl is a Girl" is a unique opportunity for us to give back to the
4774 One of the reasons I got involved is because it was
100 per cent British Columbian film, first time director, two extraordinary
producers, Christina Margellis and Christine Haebler, and a unique story for
generation X. There were no outside actors. Every single actor was a British
Columbia young person. There were no outside elements. It was all British
4775 The only network in this country who would put up
significant six figures was Citytv -- the only one. CBC wasn't there. For
whatever reason, the other private broadcasters weren't there. And not only did
they put it up, but they helped us in so many ways that are intangible, in
story, in ideas.
4776 When the film was launched, it was a critical success
at the Toronto Film Festival. Citytv was there to support us. It is those kinds
of intertwined relationships that allow a movie like "A Girl is a Girl" -- which
is a festival movie and not a commercial venture. We ourselves put up high six
figures to be involved. And the chances of getting our money back are
4777 It is those kinds of things that allow that movie to
4778 And before I turn it over to Larry -- and if you have
any questions we would love to answer later, although you seem not to be asking
too many questions.
4779 The production level in this city, as you may know,
has risen dramatically. Eight years ago it was in the $200 millions; now it is
in the billions.
4780 We need a strong network in this city and in this
province to help us continue to grow it and to help us continue to recapture the
runaway production business, which is a substantial part of the business in this
town, or to make Canadian indigenous product, like "A Girl is a Girl". We need
somebody like City here on an ongoing basis -- not that they are not available
if we go to Toronto, or when they take their three or four times a year trip
here, or we see them at a market in the States, but we need them here to talk to
on a daily basis.
4781 I am going to turn it over to Larry.
4782 MR. SUGAR: Good afternoon. I don't have a great deal
to add to what James said. I think the one thing he didn't talk about was the
opportunities that James and I as producers have to train a great many local
people in the film business.
4783 People locally joke a lot about James. James trains
them first and then I take them away and pay them more. I think that does happen
4784 But both of us have very active training programs,
and a lot of that, certainly for me, is due to the participation of CHUM. Jay
Switzer and Diane committed very early on to me and to a company that I work
with, Peace Arch, on a project called First Wave. Without their commitment First
Wave, which is Canadian content, on which we employ I would say 99.9 per cent
Canadian and local, all Canadian directors -- the only non-Canadian element is
some of the scripts.
4785 This project certainly would not have happened
without their participation, nor do I think a local -- well, not that I think. I
know another local program that I produced called "Dead Man's Gun", which was
solely produced in British Columbia, could not have been aired nationally or in
British Columbia without their participation.
4786 Unlike, I think, a lot of people -- and I spoke here
four years ago. I was in a totally different position than I am today in terms
of the amount of product that I produce and the organizations that I am active
4787 The commitment that was made to production by CHUM in
British Columbia was not in any manner in concert with an application for a
television station. And I think that is worthy of note.
4788 Their endorsement of British Columbian producers came
because of their belief in the quality of the product that we were able to
deliver, not because they sought something from us other than
4789 I heard that earlier today the Directors Guild, or a
member of the Directors Guild, spoke -- well, I wasn't here, so I don't want to
say what the person said. But certainly as a member of the Directors Guild,
which I am, certainly no query had been sent out, to the best of my knowledge.
That may have been an opinion of the Executive Committee but certainly not of
the membership at large, because we were not pooled.
4790 I am not certain that I have anything else to add. I
am very much looking forward to their being here. I certainly hope they are the
ones who are endorsed.
4791 I have enjoyed the opportunities that they provide
our citizens here and have found them to certainly be the most aggressive in
4792 Thank you.
4793 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very much
for your intervention and taking the time to come and meet us.
4794 Madam Secretary.
4795 MS VOGEL: Our next intervenor is Alan Herbert, with
Diane Farris Gallery. Would you come forward, please.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
4796 MR. HERBERT: Just to allay any confusion, Ms Farris
is not available here this afternoon.
4797 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: So you will have the
ten minutes all for yourself.
4798 MR. HERBERT: Thank you.
4799 Madam Bertrand, Members of the Commission, good
afternoon. My name is Alan Herbert, and I am appearing in support of the
application by CHUM Television for a licence in Vancouver.
4800 I have been active in community issues for some 35
years, including past president of Aids Vancouver, past president of the
Foundation for Immune Diseases, past chair of the Vancouver Pride Society. I
spent 12 years on the city's Planning Commission, several years as its chair and
vice-chair. I have been on the city's Urban Design Panel. The list is long. And
I am also a former Vancouver city councillor.
4801 May I bid you welcome to Vancouver, the city, where
Asian meets Europe in the Americas, a city that for the first century of its
life lived at the back door of a Europe focused North America but today finds
itself at the front door of an increasingly Asia focused North
4802 When the city Planning Commission wrote its Futures
Report in 1989, those were the phrases it used to encapsulate at once the city's
history, its future, and its very raison d'être.
4803 Vancouver is trans-shipment. That is at its core, its
heart, its pulse. In the late 19th century the CPR developed a land-to-sea,
rail-to-ship interchange. In the mid 20th Century trans-shipment was redefined
by including air, and the city indeed changed the motto to read: "By sea, land
and air we prosper".
4804 Now at the dawn of the 21st century Vancouver once
more is redefining trans-shipment to encompass the information highway, the
Internet, and even good old television. This latest iteration is but the
trans-shipment of ideas.
4805 If this city, which plays so vital and important a
role in the economy of the nation, is to optimize its birth right, it is
critical that it possess the necessary infrastructure. If this city is to
sustain its pre-eminence as a point of trans-shipment, it is necessary that the
ideas people, from geeks, to philosophers, to artists, to economists, can get on
the air from here. To the eyes and the ears of the nation, the continent and
beyond, such access is the crack cocaine of the ideas industry, and those cities
where it is obtainable are the places that will be the stars in this new
4806 In 1998 and 1999 the city of Vancouver's Economic
Development Commission held three seminars and invited some 130 high tech CEOs
to tell us about high tech: what it is and who it is.
4807 High tech employees, they told us, are urban and
idiosyncratic, as likely to be at work at 2:00 a.m. as 2:00 p.m. They demand
equal access to a Starbucks or to a pub. They want good housing. Rail transit is
preferable, and they want recreation and entertainment opportunities to be at
4808 The creative ones think outside the box and they all
want to be creative. They go around the clock and they are in the
4809 That sounds like CHUM Television. It fits the order.
It breaks the walls of the television institution. It goes beyond the studios
round the clock and indeed into the streets.
4810 CHUM Television alone, I find, seeks to be proactive,
both locally in their proposal for television in this city, and nationally,
possessing an inherent understanding of the nature of the on-air broadcasting
segment of the infrastructure which those CEOs described to us.
4811 CHUM will actively pursue, translate and export
4812 In recent months, I also had the opportunity to play
tour guide to CHUM. I wanted to hear their words and see their body language as
we visited some of Vancouver's newest emerging urban stages.
4813 We walked through the entertainment district, the
former theatre row that is now redefining itself by focusing on live
entertainment and the restoration of Vancouver's once great tradition of
4814 We visited the International Village, still under
construction in Chinatown, to talk about Vancouver's Silk Road, and to discuss
how the history of this marvellous heritage district is sacred as the capital
city to the vast Chinese community that has spread throughout the Lower
4815 We went to a small cafe in the heart of the Davie
Village, where larger-than-life entertainers spill off the stage, taking
performance to people gathered on the sidewalks.
4816 CHUM has stated its intent to take cameras into the
city's entertainment venues, from the Orpheum to the Chan Centre, to The
Stanley, to the Vancouver east side cultural community centre. Television
cameras will build excitement and audience for Vancouver's theatre.
4817 Hype has been the missing ingredient. And to be
crass, it's damn well time we got some.
4818 CHUM, I believe, has the taste to do exciting things
in this city, from the routine to the most unusual. Vancouver's cultural scene
needs the energy that television promises.
4819 I also want to make some comments about multi-ethnic
4820 As a former Vancouver city councillor, I learned the
dynamics of the city's huge ethnic media, most significantly the Chinese media.
The Chinese community currently supports four daily newspapers, three radio
stations, and two Pay TV stations. And because it focuses so strongly on the
Asian market, I want to add to the list the other relatively new and hardly ever
mentioned Bellingham TV station, KBCB, on UHF 24.
4821 KBCB programs to the ethnic markets exclusively from
5:30 to 11:30 p.m., and has just received FCC permission to boost their power
from 44,000 watts ERP to 3,300,000 watts. That station is just a power boost and
a newspaper ad away from becoming a major player in multicultural TV in this
town, and this town is its target.
4822 It is not a vulnerable antique like KVOS. The CRTC
needs to know this, because the Americans will do the job if we
4823 Despite the vibrancy of Vancouver's existing ethnic
media, there are significant gaps. I want to illustrate with a couple of
4824 I recently had dinner with journalists from the
Chinese print and electronic media. I was fascinated, frankly, by the diversity,
the number of people that were there at the table. I asked them to tell me about
the scope of the issues that they were addressing.
4825 The conversation moved from the conventional things
you would expect on to a discussion about Quebec, separatism, federal government
policy. And these reviews had heretofore been expressed in Mandarin and
Cantonese, but the general market in Vancouver had not heard them.
4826 Such views are sadly, and dangerously, locked into an
urban parallelism in the Lower Mainland because, as you have heard, the Chinese
community, at some 350,000 people, has reached critical mass sufficient to
conduct life as its own mainstream.
4827 Here is another story. A close friend of mine,
Canadian born Chinese. We are about the same age. We have known each other for
years. I was on the telephone with him, talking about these hearings.
4828 He interrupted me in the second sentence, in tears,
literally. He was crying on the telephone. He said: You don't know what you have
said. I am second generation Chinese, but I only speak English. I cannot tell
you how much I want to connect with my community, but I can't.
4829 Third story. Chinese New Year, Year of the Rabbit. I
was attending a celebration, sitting with my colleagues from Council, the School
Board, Chinese, and with some of the business leaders from the Chinese
community. I comment: "I guess everyone is going to the big party at G.M. Place
tonight." The answer came back: "Our kids don't want to go. It's not Canadian.
They don't want to see Hong Kong rock stars. They are going skiing, to the
movies, or just staying home."
4830 The CRTC heard descriptions of where ethnic
broadcasters might build bridges to address the underserved niches in the
marketplace. Four areas were identified: inter-cultural, intra-cultural,
4831 Let me repeat the phrase I used earlier: urban
parallelism. A dangerous condition in which an ethnic community achieves a
critical mass capable of supporting a separate existence. This is not
4832 Mention monster houses, separate schools, the tree
debate. These are, and were, issues that brought Vancouver dangerously close to
racism in the past ten years, and each one of these issues was nurtured by the
4833 These four categories share one common
characteristic. All can be addressed largely by the common denominator language
of English. CHUM Television cites the efforts of The Vancouver Sun. This
newspaper regularly translates items from the ethnic press or runs op-ed pieces
from journalists whose homes are in the ethnic media. Good but not enough. We
need television. It is the most powerful medium.
4834 As I am here in support of CHUM, I want to
communicate that I am impressed by the fact that CHUM has identified these
missing pieces. Their multi-ethnic programs are local; they are not from
Toronto. Their programs contain significant English content; they are not
4835 One last point. The CHUM model of replicating rather
than repeating programs, as is the standard network model, allows for true local
television but also offers the promise of a national reach. CHUM not only
develops local talent, but through its specialty channels such as MuchMusic,
Bravo!, Star, et cetera, it can showcase it nationally.
4836 Local, national, two points. But there is a third
benefit. By virtue of its stable of national specialty channels and via its
existing reach abroad, the CHUM urban model is unique in what it can do when it
combines the talent and dynamics of Toronto and Vancouver.
4837 Taken together, the nearly 8 million people of this
two-city market base arguable represent the most significant cultural force in
the English-speaking world outside the U.S.-U.K. cultural
4838 The three benefits, then, from Vancouver to the
Canadian broadcasting system is that CHUM alone can take Canada -- and I say
this -- it can take Canada prima facie, in your face, where other broadcasters
like CNN and BBC World already area. And that is to play to audiences well
beyond their nation states.
4839 Madam Chair, thank you very much for the opportunity
to appear in front of you. I have appreciated this opportunity, and if there are
any questions I would be happy to try to answer them.
4840 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you. I don't
think we have any questions.
4841 Thank you for participating in this
4842 MR. HERBERT: Thank you very much.
4843 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Madam
4844 MS VOGEL: Our next intervenor this afternoon is
Granville Entertainment Group, with Blaine Culling.
4845 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good afternoon.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
4846 MR. CULLING: Good afternoon to you. My name is Blaine
Culling. I am with the Granville Entertainment Group.
4847 The Entertainment Group is a loosely knit group of
companies centred in downtown Vancouver on Granville Street; hence the name. We
have nightclubs, restaurants, a hotel, a theatre, and some pubs and bars. I have
been very actively involved in re-energizing the downtown of
4848 Granville Street, for any of those who have been to
Vancouver 10 or 20 or 30 years ago, know the history of Granville. It was the
most exciting street in the city of Vancouver, then it ran down, fell on hard
times, became literally the poorest street. And now in the last five years, with
the help of the City Council and the Downtown Vancouver Business Association and
people working as individuals, we have re-energized it.
4849 We are missing only one thing, and that is the kind
of thing that Toronto has on Queen Street, with MuchMusic and Citytv. They use
the media to make an area come alive and make it exciting.
4850 There are people here in Vancouver, when they go to
Toronto the first thing they want to do is go down to Queen Street and go in
that little corner, the Speaker's Corner, and say whatever the heck is on their
mind, because they have seen it on television.
4851 That sort of thing is the kind of excitement. You
watch people in the street dancing. You watch people in the windows alive. That,
to me, is bringing the people and the media together. They are not like -- I
won't say which ones. Well, I was on an interview at the CBC the other day, and
I had to get through three different checks just to get in the building and
whatnot. Then they took me back because I didn't have the right pass. It looks
like a fortress.
4852 To me, today, in the year 2000, the media has to
relate to the people. We don't need to be out in the suburbs with fences around
it, or something. What excited me -- and I have worked for many years with Terry
David Mulligan when he was here with MuchMusic in Vancouver, because I own bars
and nightclubs. He is a very exciting person. He brought to me the kind of way
that Citytv and I believe the CHUM affiliate here in Vancouver, if it happens,
will be. It works with the people and is excited to support things. When they
give their word, you can believe it.
4853 I am not here because anyone is paying me or doing
anything. I came here three and a half years ago in front of the same committee
-- I don't think you were all here. Oh, Madam Chair was here. I can't say
anything bad now.
--- Laughter / Rires
4854 MR. CULLING: I thought at that time that you might
grant them the licence, and I was so excited about it. But I guess that wasn't
4855 Let me tell you something about those people. I
didn't know them at the time. I met them and I believed what they said, and I
came here to support them.
4856 Since that time, three and a half years, they could
have said basically: Goodbye, Vancouver. You didn't treat us well. So long. We
are going back to Toronto. They didn't. They kept in touch.
4857 When I talked to them -- and I don't want to say that
Moses Znaimer is like maybe Douglas MacArthur or anything, but it was clearly "I
shall return. I am coming back. Don't forget me and I won't forget you. I love
Vancouver. I believe in Vancouver. I support Vancouver, and I am going to be
back there at my first opportunity."
4858 And sure enough, they are here again today -- and
hopefully this time successfully.
4859 The other thing that they do is they support talent.
One of the things I have is called the Vogue Theatre. It is a beautiful theatre,
built in 1932. It is a heritage building. Its acoustics are spectacular,
world-class, on the same equivalent as Carnegie Hall. It is one of the most
beautiful acoustic buildings ever built in North America, and it is here in
Vancouver. It is exciting to showcase that building.
4860 We have had people like Sarah McLaghlan and world
famous people play there and sing there and dance there, and tell us afterwards
-- k.d. Lang reserved it for a whole week to put her show together and
afterwards told me: "I can't believe the sound. It's spectacular in
4861 What really needs to be done is that needs to be used
as a vehicle to be able to showcase Vancouver talent to the world. When I spoke
to CHUM, that is the kind of thing they are excited to do as well. They believe
that there are people in Vancouver who could be showcased to the world; that
this is an opportunity and perhaps a place to do it.
4862 What I am excited about is that I hope they choose
Granville Street, but wherever they choose to go they are going to energize and
excite that area. They are not just here, I don't believe, just to make money
and whatever. I think they are here to really and truly help our community and
help people here communicate with each other.
4863 I have a friend who the other day told me that his
favourite television station is in Chicago. I thought that is really sad, that
you should live in Vancouver and your favourite station is in Chicago. Can't we
do something here ourselves to make people believe and be excited in local
television? I think this is a chance. I certainly hope you give these guys a
chance. I truly believe that they will give their whole heart and energy into
making Vancouver more exciting in a media way.
4864 One of the things that also comes to mind here is the
fact that in Vancouver for so long we have really and truly, I think, missed the
opportunity to represent ourselves nationally.
4865 In fact, someone said to me yesterday, when I was
telling them that I had the privilege and the opportunity to come and talk to
you today -- I won't repeat it in exactly their language, but it was basically:
Oh, you are just wasting your time. They are not going to listen to you. And I
said why. They said: They are from Ottawa. Why should they care about us out
here? They don't care.
4866 Well, I don't believe that is true, and that is why I
did come today and why I am talking to you. I know you are from Ottawa or back
east -- not all of you; some of you are from here.
4867 But I believe that this is true. I believe that these
people are very sincere in coming here, and I believe that they will change the
face of broadcasting in Vancouver for the better. I think they will involve the
community, involve the people, and I think they will give us an opportunity to
create something that will shine not only in Vancouver, in British Columbia, not
only in Canada, but I think in the world.
4868 I believe that in the coming years it is going to be
very easy to communicate anywhere in the world, whether it is in television or
Internet or what, and the kinds of things that happen here in Vancouver I think
will be judged throughout the world.
4869 I am very excited about their proposals. I would like
to support them, and I certainly hope that you will too.
4870 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you for your
intervention. And we are not all from Ottawa.
4871 MR. CULLING: Oh good. I mean, there is nothing wrong
4872 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: We believe in Canadian
4873 MR. CULLING: Thank you.
4874 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: The next intervenor,
4875 MS ASSHETON-SMITH: Thank you. The next intervenors
are Christine Haebler and Scott Smith, Intervenor No. 28.
4876 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good afternoon and
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
4877 MS HAEBLER: Thank you for inviting me to intervene on
CHUM's behalf. My name is Christine Haebler, and I am here as a Vancouver
feature film producer. I will talk exclusively about feature films because that
is my field of expertise.
4878 I support this application for many reasons but
specifically because of CHUM's dedication to independent Canadian cinema, their
innovative and fresh contemporary approach to content, programming and
marketing, and because my personal experience with the station has been
4879 Five years ago, fresh from the clutches of the
American service sector, where I spent ten years in various capacities of
production, I decided it was time to become a film maker instead of somebody who
worked in the film business.
4880 There was very little in the way of any independent
production going on in B.C., but I was given the opportunity to produce a small
feature film being directed by a well-known film maker, Bruce MacDonald. It was
written by a local author here in Vancouver, and the film was set in Vancouver.
It was a story about a bunch of over-the-hill punk rockers trying to relive
their frayed and gritty days of glory.
4881 Broadcasters from Vancouver and the west were
approached. However, no one responded. It was too bold and too raw. We
approached CHUM Toronto and had a deal within a week. They liked it. It was
fresh, innovative, on the edge, and speaking directly to the 18-to-35 year old
demographic. And nothing else had been produced like it in Canada.
4882 The film "Hard Core Logo" was an overwhelming success
and earned us a handful of Geni nominations, including one for best director in
film. At every step of the way we were encouraged by CHUM, and Bruce was given
the freedom to express himself unencumbered by any meddling. And I was given the
support I needed as a first-time film producer.
4883 The next year I had another film story set in the
west about the social politics of a distinctive western suburban culture: the
philosophy of the inhabitants of a community that flanked a golf course. The
film was also produced in Vancouver by a new company I was associated
4884 The new company was actively developing a slate of
very interesting films. We went to the various local and out-of-province
broadcasters with our product. However, our material simply was not suitable for
their viewership. It was too independent, too stylistic and too alternative. And
besides that, they were not really set up for pre-licensing feature films, even
though this has become a mandate for activating public funds in British
4885 The government funding agencies were basically on
board for investing in our films, but we needed that broadcast licence to close
4886 Diane Boehme from CHUM was visiting Vancouver on her
quarterly visit to visit the film makers and producers here, and we had a
meeting where I introduced her to the new company. We spoke about our slate of
films and sent her home with an arm-load of scripts, all written by
4887 Within one week I had a deal on my second film,
entitled "Kitchen Party", and the company had secured a very good relationship
with CHUM in Toronto, as they had pre-licensed one or two other projects the
company had in development.
4888 They responded to the material, and we were in
business. For the next two films, a similar story ensued but this time I didn't
bother with any other broadcasters and went straight to CHUM.
4889 I don't want the speech to be about my career but to
highlight CHUM's commitment and ability to put out new ideas, embrace bold
ventures, and support film makers with a heart full of passion, determination
and innovative and compelling stories to tell.
4890 Canadian viewers have not been traditionally great
supporters of Canadian cinema, and CHUM is doing everything within their means
to change that. An important component of getting a film seen is marketing and
promotion, and CHUM has an innate understanding of the importance of this and
also an innate understanding of the fiscal constraints many of us film makers
face after the project is complete. They do everything in their power to help
market projects they license. They send crews from their program MovieTelevision
to come to the set and interview our actors and film makers. They air
commercials and trailers we create, and also help circulate videos or anything
else we create for soundtracks.
4891 I have sent many new film makers to CHUM who have
come to me regarding advice about their film, of which an astonishing number
have come back either to thank me, to tell me that their project had been
licensed, or at least CHUM's professional employees have a policy to assess each
project carefully and respond, with respect and good manners, to encourage
instead of discourage emerging talent.
4892 This brings me to the subject of how CHUM conducts
business. The deals are simple. They are executed with alacrity and ease.
Negotiations are friendly, to the point, and fair.
4893 The independent feature film sector has grown
exponentially since I started producing five years ago. A handful that we were
has now become in the eyes of the rest of Canada, and in some international
territories, a distinctive western vision.
4894 The talent here is evident and getting better all the
time. And I believe that, for the most part, we have CHUM to thank for
4895 I have with me a list of films that CHUM has
contributed to over the last five years: 34 feature films. And because I am
familiar with all of the titles, I am struck by the overwhelming diversity of
stories and themes throughout this selection.
4896 I am also struck, because half of these titles are
from Vancouver film makers, and that leads me to believe that in the last five
years CHUM has invested more in western Canadian film than any other broadcaster
across Canada. We have been extremely fortunate that CHUM elects to send a
representative out to Vancouver, as well as other cities in the west, at least
four times a year to keep abreast of what it is we are up to and to offer film
makers an alternative.
4897 CHUM is the only alternative in the entire country to
other broadcasters that follow a more conventional framework. CHUM constantly
explores risky new material, independent images and product that speaks directly
to a viewership that is looking for that alternative. It broadcasts distinctive,
creative, original programs that are essential components of the modern Canadian
4898 I understand that the CRTC is looking for a station
whose mandate it is to promote the multiculturalism of the new Vancouver, and I
can think of no other station who is not only capable but willing to meet and
challenge that criteria; to do it by enabling producers and creators to express
and produce a variety of programming with a distinct and unique vision and to
acquire quality and culturally relevant product that speaks directly to a
broader generational scope of viewers.
4899 Their aim is not to ghettoize multicultural
programming, but to create a foundation from which product that reflects the
diversity of an ever-expanding and evolving modern multiethnic society can
4900 CHUM has already made the commitment necessary to
support independent Canadian film production. And with CHUM's expenditure
commitment for development, pre-licensing and production will only help the
growth of British Columbia film makers and put them on a level playing field
internationally. If anybody has displayed the capability of rising to the
challenge of delivering us this wonderful opportunity for a new and exciting
station of our own, if would be Moses Znaimer and his fantastic team at
4901 Thank you.
4902 MR. SMITH: Hi. My name is Scott Smith. I am a
30-year-old director who lives here in Vancouver. I was raised here. I work in
both episodic television and feature films, and I am here in support of the CHUM
4903 My background, I hold degrees in film and business
administration from SFU, and I spent two years in Toronto attending the Canadian
Film Centre as part of their director residence program, during which time I
spent two years in Toronto and saw the impact that C-television had on the
4904 After that I made a feature film called "Roller
Coaster", which began with Diane Boehme, who was the first person I contacted,
and continues to be the first person I contact about any new initiative, and to
whom I refer everyone I know. And it ended with a very successful launch at this
year's Toronto Film Festival, in which City's promotional vehicle in the way
that they promote all Canadian films at the Festival was key.
4905 I am not here to talk about me or simply what CHUM
has done for me. I am just one person in a population of millions, and I think
that what is at stake is much bigger.
4906 I was at Whistler on the weekend. It was a sunny day.
It was a beautiful day in a beautiful setting, right in our back yard. The place
was crawling with Americans up for the weekend for the President's Day long
weekend. For the occasion Whistler had been transformed. There was a snow
sculpture of Mount Rushmore. There were staff dressed up as Jefferson, as
Lincoln, as Washington, all these American presidents, and lots of jokes about
the value of the American dollar.
4907 I want to know one thing, and it is: Why do we do
that? Why do we trumpet and cheer and beckon the Americans with images from
their own culture? Isn't that boring to them? How funny it would be for us to go
down to their country and be faced with images of Gretzky and Trudeau built out
of snow in order to entice us to come down.
4908 My question is this: Where was the Canadian voice?
Where was the display of our interests, of our images and of our
4909 This is what I believe. There are not enough people
championing the Canadian voice. We make the programming because we have set up a
system in which things get made. It works; things get made. We have content
regulations that insist that a certain amount of programming be Canadian in
nature. It works too, and we have Canadian programming on our television
4910 We have an industry that promotes itself well, but
within its own walls. What we don't have is a voice, or at least one that is
4911 We make our quota of feature films and television
programs every and in doing so create jobs and justify the existence of the very
well meaning bodies whose mandate it is to promote this. We pat each other on
the back and then we go home and start working again on the next
4912 Meanwhile, a population of 27 million people that we
live among go on with their lives, largely unaware of our existence, until some
of our faces and talent and energy end up in the U.S. Why? Because the U.S.
promotes its talent -- or rather, our talent.
4913 CHUM promotes talent -- yes, through Movie television
and StarTV; yes, through VideoFact and BravoFact; yes, through buying and
pre-licensing a significant number of feature films; and yes, by airing those
films in prime time. But more importantly, CHUM promotes talent to
4914 As I have stated in my letter, CHUM is interested not
only in what the audience wants to hear but also in what the artist wants to
say. And to know that, as an artist, is both inspiring and empowering, and there
is nothing more compelling than someone who has all of a sudden been given a
4915 Thanks for listening to mine. I hope you see fit to
support CHUM and, in doing so, support the idea of our collective
4916 I have one more thing I would like to add. I don't
want a station that doesn't make waves in the city. I want a station that, by
its own actions, demands that we pay attention to our own, that we celebrate
what is going on right here, right now, and we take ownership of our own
identity, even if we don't know what it is yet.
4917 What could be more exciting than that journey. Thank
4918 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very much to
both of you. Thank you for participating.
4919 MS VOGEL: Madam Chair, with your leave, I would like
to re-call, to see if the two intervenors in support of CHUM have arrived
4920 Is the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Victoria
--- Pause / Pause
4921 MS VOGEL: Chinese Women Entrepreneurs
4922 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: I think the Chinese
Cultural Centre is here.
4923 MS VOGEL: And the Asian Canadian Writer's Workshop at
the same table.
4924 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: It is the same
intervenor. They are sharing ten minutes together.
4925 MS VOGEL: Yes, that is correct.
4926 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
4927 MR. LEE: Madam Chair and Members of the Commission, I
just want to correct one thing. It is the Cultural Centre of Greater
4928 My name Hoy Lee and I am here to support CHUM's
application for a broadcast licence.
4929 I am a third generation Canadian with a Chinese
ethnic background. I have taught in the B.C. secondary school system. Also, I
have served in the Canadian Army and retired as Lieutenant-Colonel.
4930 I am appearing on behalf of the Chinese Cultural
Centre of Greater Vancouver and the Chinese-Canadian Veterans' Military
4931 I am presently a director and deputy chair of the
Cultural Centre. I also chair the Military Museum Committee.
4932 Today Vancouver and British Columbia is a rapidly
growing and diverse multicultural region. Even within our own predominantly
large Chinese population group we have basically three spoken languages:
English, Mandarin and Cantonese with many dialects. Our population group has
major groups from different regions of the world. I would like to point out some
of these: Southern China, with our pioneers; Hong Kong; Taiwan; Mainland China;
Singapore; South Africa; and the rest of the Southeastern Asia
4933 Besides regional differences, we have generational
differences: cross-generation and inter-generation.
4934 Chinese in Canada and the Chinese Canadians enjoy a
rich and extensive history of over 150 years in British Columbia. As an example,
Quesnel Forks. Quesnel Forks was a Chinatown located in our central interior of
this province. Most of us know of Chinatowns as a ghetto within a town or
4935 Quesnel Forks is unique because it is the only
free-standing Chinatown in Canada. In its prime gold mining days, Quesnel Forks
was populated with 90 to 95 per cent Chinese serving as the headquarters for all
the Chinese miners.
4936 CHUM is currently helping the Chinese Cultural Centre
by arranging to have on loan and displayed in our museum the oldest Chinese
wooden sign from Quesnel Forks.
4937 The Cultural Centre has started a project, with the
goal of restoring Quesnel Forks to its original state.
4938 A second example of our rich history, we have a
Lieutenant Commander, William Lore(ph). Very few know that Bill Lore, a Royal
Canadian Navel officer born in Victoria, B.C., was the liberator of Hong Kong
when the Japanese surrendered at the end of the second war. He was an
electronics expert to us, with military intelligence. When the Americans entered
the war, Bill Lore was posted or seconded to Washington, D.C. for approximately
4939 As the war shifted to southeast Asia, Bill Lore then
became the aid to Admiral Harcourt. And Admiral Harcourt was a commander of the
4940 At the time of the surrender Bill Lore was sent
ashore with a small landing party where he took the surrender from the Japanese
commander and liberated over 300 allied soldiers from the prisoners of war camp,
including over 200 Canadians.
4941 As you can see by these two examples, Chinese
Canadians have indeed enjoyed a rich history, and we feel that it is important
that only Chinese Canadians but all Canadians be aware of the history that has
helped shape this country and this province.
4942 CHUM can help the Chinese community accomplish these
goals in many ways. They can promote greater awareness of the Chinese history,
provide ethnic programming with subtitles to help bridge the generational
differences; provide ethnic newscasting with a unique cultural
4943 And what we see sometimes with the cultural
newscaster, I feel that that may be just a token example; whereas CHUM has
promised to employ people in all categories.
4944 Another way is to produce original and ethnic local
programming, as well as human interest stories; provide a showcase for Canadian
feature films and documentaries with, we hope, a Chinese focus.
4945 All I have mentioned here, all of this, will
certainly help us in furthering our aim of promotion, better understanding
between mainstream Canadians and other ethnic communities.
4946 In concluding my remarks and in speaking for the
Chinese Cultural Centre, we believe that Vancouver and British Columbia deserve
the best choice in order that the interests of the diverse and rich community to
be best served.
4947 Madam Chair and Members of the Commission, I hope
that with the few remarks I have made something to convince you for granting the
licence to CHUM in order that they can help us achieve our goal for better
4948 Thank you very much.
4949 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: I remind you that
there is ten minutes for the two of you.
4950 MS CHU: How long do we have?
4951 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Two
4952 MS CHU: Thank you for this opportunity on speaking on
behalf of CHUM's licence.
4953 I walked into a reception that I was invited to by a
friend, not really knowing that I was going to a CHUM reception, and heard Moses
speak and Monica and was overwhelmed by the way they spoke, what they spoke
about, and how they spoke from the heart. It resonated with me. I have lived in
this city for 25 years, and I haven't felt that kind of reflection that I
thought represented me and what I was about for a very long time.
4954 I went home and late that night I called my sister in
Toronto and said: "Who are these people that I just met? They seem wonderful to
me." She said: "They are. They have been doing this for 30 years in this town."
She is a film maker too. She said: "They have kept all their promises. They stay
on track. They do what we believe in every day."
4955 I was very excited to see that. I have lived here, as
I say, for 25 years and haven't felt that kind of representation in Vancouver at
4956 I come from the fashion industry, so it is my job to
have my finger on the pulse at all times. It is also my passion, and I love to
see that opportunity come to this city.
4957 I feel, from everything I have seen and heard from
the past track record of this company, that they will do this in every program
they do, in every subtitle they deliver, and in all the avenues they are going
to cover. I figure they will go into every aspect of this city.
4958 I would be very pleased if they came here, and I
would be hugely disappointed if they didn't.
4959 Thank you.
4960 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very much to
both of you for having participated.
4961 I'm sorry, but I would like to remind everybody. I
don't want to be rude, but we have established a rule for everybody, and it is
for fairness. I am asking everybody to collaborate to share the ten minutes, so
that we can keep to a rule that is the same for everyone. Thank you.
4962 Madam Secretary.
4963 MS VOGEL: I would like to call Chinese Women
4964 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Welcome.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
4965 MS CHU: My name is Ling Chu, President of the Chinese
Women Entrepreneurs Association. We are here to support CHUM-TV.
4966 As a business association, we believe that healthy
competition will bring better quality operations which will benefit the viewers
and consumers like us.
4967 My second point is that we are aware of how the power
of TV broadcasting can affect our lives, and if TV is a channel for us to learn
and communicate with the world then the TV screen will be like a knowledge
window for us. However, I have been living in Canada for over ten years, and I
cannot find our story, our face, from any mainstream TV.
4968 Our life, we simply do not exist being isolated from
society. If TV should act as a bridge to communicate with others, I only see a
one-way bridge. That is why we are very happy to see that CHUM is acting as a
two-way bridge so that we can all learn about each other and bring respect to
4969 As a woman, in the future I will be a mother. I would
like to see my children find their own identity in their story, their love,
their hate, and being included in mainstream TV, and to feel that they are being
included in mainstream society. We are all part of it, and the picture that I
would like to see from mainstream multicultural TV is like this picture that I
bring here today.
4970 People say a picture says a thousand words. I would
like to see multicultural programs on TV being shown, including all races, and
sharing a whole story together.
4971 You can look at this picture later. This poster was
delivered by the B.C. government. I hope that we can deliver this true spirit to
the TV industry.
4972 Thank you.
4973 MS WANG: My name is Jan Wang. I am a director of the
Chinese Entrepreneurs Association. I am involved with the B.C. Heritage Language
Association. I am one of the directors.
--- Technical difficulties / Problèmes technique
4974 ... can learn and speak and for different cultures,
especially with subtitles, and we can all join together with TV like a family
4975 Secondly, it will be local product, so it will bring
a lot of jobs, everything for local people.
4976 That is my main support for CHUM-TV. Thank
4977 MS YU: My name is Judy Yu. I am very pleased to be
here to voice my support to CHUM Television's application for a new Vancouver
local TV station.
4978 Today I am speaking as a consumer, a businesswoman, a
social conscious person, a Chinese Canadian, and most of all I am a true
Vancouverite. I have been here for 30 years. I was born in Taiwan. I was a
social worker for ten years, and I have been a realtor for the last 15
4979 In my working as a social worker or a realtor I come
across a lot of ethnic groups of people in the last 30 years. I feel that having
such a multicultural society is the greatest asset that Vancouver has, and we
should explore this to the fullest potential so that we can all enjoy the
uniqueness of this city.
4980 One of the avenues that we can utilize is our talent
communications. I see a tremendous improvement in the talent communication in
the last three decades, but I think there is still room to grow. When I see CHUM
television station proposal, I think it is quite exciting and has a few points
that are very important.
4981 Number one is the quality of our programming. It is
true that we have a lot of ethnic programs in the current stations, but most of
the programs are imported from these countries. But I think the people who put
them on somehow give me a feeling that they don't really understand the
4982 Sometimes we see the news on the program but when
they stop the program -- because maybe it is only half an hour or one hour
program, so they have to put a commercial so they have to stop. But where they
stop is so inappropriate, it makes no sense. It is like if you report sports and
you have a game going on, but you get the team but you don't get the score. It
doesn't excite me because I want to know the score.
4983 These are the kinds of things that I feel really need
to be improved. We don't have people who -- either it is a lack of editing skill
or it is a lack of understanding of the language. It is just a small thing, but
as a consumer it is a very important.
4984 Secondly, I think more programs need to bridge the
local and ethnic groups. In my work where I now see a lot of new immigrants I
feel that I myself have to do the bridging because I am here for 30 years and I
know a lot of sectors. I have to provide this information to my clients or to my
new friends. I think that sometimes they are not able to watch the mainstream
programming because there English is not as good or whatever, but also the
English speaking people would like to know more about Chinese activities but
they don't get a chance.
4985 So I think CHUM's ideas are very good.
4986 Also the more locally produced programs is very
needed. We have so many talented people here, not just a lot of newcomers but I
know in the film and entertaining kind of section and they are not able to find
a job because there is nothing for them to do here. They have the talent but
nowhere to explore.
4987 For these three reasons, I would like to support CHUM
Television's ideas. I hope they are committed to this, and I hope that would be
something that will happen in Vancouver.
4988 Thank you.
4989 MS CHANG: Madam Chairperson and Commissioners, my
name is Lu Chang, and the First Vice President of the Chinese Women
4990 I came to Canada 15 years ago from Taiwan, and I am a
banker by profession.
4991 The reason why I am here to support the CHUM
application is that basically as a businesswoman I totally agree with the
allocation of $30 million, in total, to promote a local production. As all the
members have stated, all we see on TV with the so-called local stations, a lot
of times what they do is probably import a lot of programs from other places,
namely the majority of them basically from the United States.
4992 There is very little chances for us to see really the
local produced programs. So as a businesswoman I would really like to see that.
I think that is a great opportunity to promote the employment equity as well as
what we like to see to implement the different type of ethnic
4993 That is the reason why we are here to support CHUM's
application. Thank you for your time.
4994 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very much to
all of you.
4995 Madam Secretary.
4996 MS VOGEL: Our next intervenor this afternoon is the
Canadian Ethnocultural Council.
4997 I would ask them to come forward, please.
4998 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Welcome; bonjour.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
4999 MR. DICK: Thank you, Madam Chair, Commissioners. My
name is Emmanuel Dick. I am the President of the Canadian Ethnocultural Council.
My colleague's name is Anna Chiappa, the Executive Director of the Canadian
5000 Some may or may not know that the CEC is a
non-profit, non-partisan coalition of over 30 natural ethnocultural
organizations. These organizations, in turn, represent over 2,000 ethnic
organizations across Canada.
5001 As a national organization with affiliates throughout
the country, the CEC has become one of the most prominent and vocal advocates
for multiculturalism, including broadcasting and media.
5002 The fundamental objective of the CEC is to secure
equality of opportunity, rights and dignity for ethnocultural minorities in
Canada, and this is in conformity with multiculturalism and bilingualism as
fundamental characteristics of Canada.
5003 The CEC is pleased to lend its support to the
application submitted by CFMT-TV and Rogers Broadcasting Limited for a
broadcasting licence to carry the multicultural and multilingual station and to
program it with LMTV.
5004 Over the years the CEC has made a number of
submissions to the CRTC in support of the multicultural reality in broadcasting.
Most recently, we made presentations in the context of the Commission's ethnic
policy review of third language and ethnic programming.
5005 The CEC strongly endorses the CRTC's statement of
industry principles on cultural diversity. Indeed, the CEC has and continues to
support the expectation that all conventional licences must make specific
commitments to more accurately reflect the presence of ethnocultural and racial
minorities in the communities they serve, as mandated in the Multiculturalism
Act and the Broadcasting Act.
5006 We are also pleased to learn that the Canadian
Association of Broadcasters is encouraging broadcasters to adopt best practices
that comply with this industry standard.
5007 However, we are here today in reference to the ethnic
broadcasting policy as we believe that it should be given primary consideration.
It is somewhat astonishing that in Vancouver, whose population is now only
second to Toronto as the most ethnically and linguistically diverse urban area
in the country, this service has not been provided and yet it is available free
of charge in large urban centres such as Toronto and Montreal.
5008 With the rapid increase in Canada's ethnocultural
population in the Lower Mainland and Victoria, a significant number of Canadians
now speak languages other than English and French. Given this diversity, it is
the position of CEC that the CRTC should encourage free and accessible third
language and ethnic programming that reflects Canadian values, as mandated under
the Broadcasting Act and ethnic broadcasting policy.
5009 In earlier submissions to the CRTC, the CEC has gone
on record stating that third language and ethnic programming must be expanded.
In fact, we support the idea of a national system of multicultural, multilingual
TV broadcasting, similar to the Australian Special Broadcasting Service. That is
a national multicultural, multilingual TV and radio station. Such programming,
created with Canadian values in mind, is an essential tool for all Canadians to
understand the complexities and interrelated nature of the local, national and
5010 Distinctly Canadian multicultural and multilingual
services are crucial for Canada to maintain its identity. This can be achieved
most effectively by providing ongoing community support and licensing for
multicultural, multilingual professional television station such as CFMT and
5011 CFMT is a successful broadcaster with 20 years of
experience. It was the first over-the-air multilingual television station and
the first to offer professional multicultural and multilingual programming of
the highest quality.
5012 LMTV can offer an important local perspective to the
Vancouver area, and because of this national link with CFMT it can also provide
a national perspective on issues linking one part of the country to
5013 As broadcasters, CFMT has demonstrated a commitment
to serving the diverse communities. This is evident by the relationship of
communities in supporting and working with them, and forging partnerships based
on mutual respect.
5014 The establishment of a Community Advisory Board is an
indication of that commitment. While others speak of diversity, CFMT practises
it on a daily basis. Diversity is its raison d'être.
5015 MS CHIAPPA: At the local level, LMTV will offer
information on activities and important events or programs for and about
ethnocultural groups. This is an immediate effect of offering positive portrayal
and images, which is especially important for children, particularly children
who are taking heritage language programs.
5016 I don't know whether you are aware, but in British
Columbia there are over 30,000 children who are learning heritage language
programs after school and on weekends. In addition, the B.C. Ministry of
Education has a language education policy which allows for the teaching of third
languages in regular classrooms.
5017 So the third language is vibrant. It is an important
part of the communities here, and it helps meet the generational
5018 When ethnic programming first emerged in local
communities through the local cable channels over 20 years ago, they provided
much needed information on local events, festivals and culture, and information
on immigration. Today local cable programs are still offering this, but the
reasons why communities continue to watch and support this have
5019 With the advent of new media and new technology, the
target audience of CFMT or LMTV is part of really a new communal identity based
5020 As the University of Ottawa Professor Karim Karim
says, it is really a hybrid of past alliances, the re-establishment of
relationships, as well as the experiences of negotiating real live in a new
country of settlement and interaction with other individual and groups in that
5021 The emergence of satellites, as well as the expansion
of the Internet and global online technologies currently offer, and will
continue to offer, programming which lack Canadian values and content and which
may be, in point of fact, more of a threat to Canadian sovereignty than any
5022 A Canadian balance must be provided through the
provision of free third language programming with broadcasters such as
5023 We are pleased that CFMT proposes to support and
increase and strengthen the documentary film making industry in TV. The support
of the talent and industry can fill a growing market which is currently being
neglected in Canada. For example, in Australia again, publicly funded Special
Broadcasting Services has half of the scheduled programming in more than 60
languages and employs 900 full and part-time staff. Two-thirds of all their
programs are purchased from suppliers from around the world, as well as
5024 Canadian third language documentaries, supported by
broadcasters such as LMTV, can offer similar product and compete in this
5025 LMTV will be a springboard for individuals seeking to
work in the cultural industry, especially for other cultural independent
producers and artists who have little opportunities in regular media.
5026 In addition to offering programs in different
languages, the CEC is pleased with the proposal that LMTV will offer programs
for youth and women, and will focus on multilingual news and information
programming. These will deal with social and cultural concerns of importance to
ethnocultural communities and will provide opportunities for citizen engagement
and help build social cohesion. It will help strengthen communities, giving them
a sense of belonging and unity to a Canadian whole.
5027 LMTV programs will benefit the local communities in
the context of a national framework. Its manifestation of support for democratic
pluralism and citizen engagement. It will inform, educate and offer a voice, as
well as give a voice, to the many ethnocultural communities. And by offering
coverage on national issues from an ethnocultural perspective, it will fill a
gap in media, creating a bridge between western and eastern Canada, perhaps
contributing to a better understanding of regional concerns, problems and
feelings of alienation.
5028 MR. DICK: The CEC is very excited about the
application. If the licence is granted, it is the hope that LMTV will continue
to set an industry standard such as the one that has been developed by CFMT. It
will offer new windows of opportunity, including one new means by which citizens
can be engaged in a national dialogue and unity.
5029 We have endorsed the concept of multiculturalism and
multilingual language broadcasting as we believe it is good for B.C. and it is
good for the country, both economically, culturally, and you can say also
socially. It is a vital part of the continued development of a Canadian identity
and a body politic which is committed to multiculturalism and democratic
pluralism. We see it as a source of strength, a new richness of and for Canadian
society, which makes ethnic communities from ghettoization to globalization, not
only by bringing the world to us by also by sharing our Canadian values with the
rest of the world.
5030 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very much to
both of you.
5031 Madam Secretary.
5032 MS VOGEL: Our next intervenors this afternoon are
Milton K. Wong and Barbara Brink.
5033 I would ask Barbara to come forward. Mr. Wong will be
joining us via videotape, and he will be available on the phone for any
questions that the Commission might have about his intervention.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
5034 MS BRINK: Obviously I am not Milton Wong, and I am
here to introduce him later in my presentation.
5035 I am an immigrant to Canada. I spent several years in
Ontario and then luckily I moved out here. I say luckily I moved out here,
because I think as a 17-year-old little did I understand the richness that I
would be faced with when I came to Vancouver. I don't mean richness in terms of
weather -- obviously, we are very blessed -- but I mean richness in terms of the
people that live here that make up such a wonderfully diverse
5036 I spent 12 years putting together a science centre,
but I have also been very involved in some of the changes that have happened in
our community. One of those that I am extremely proud of is I chaired the United
Way Campaign for two years and during that time we shepherded through a complete
change in the way agencies who deliver services to the community would function
in terms of being much more open and diverse, and also the cabinet changed its
face entirely in terms of the folks that were on the cabinet.
5037 Something else that I am also involved in is
something called Leadership Vancouver, which is a training program from emerging
leaders from the corporate, not for profit, and labour sector and we also
obviously have a total overlay of ethnic diversity within that class each
5038 I also chaired the 50th anniversary of the Canadian
Council of Christians and Jews, their conference that was held out here. But my
role today is to introduce you to Milton Wong, who has been a long-time friend.
He and I have worked on several projects together.
5039 Milton is probably known as being the father of the
Dragon Boat Festival, but frankly another role that I am equally proud of is the
role of that he played in the founding of the Laurier Institution, of which I am
also a vice-chair. It is a very small institution which is only ten years old,
but it does major research into the social and economic impacts of immigration
5040 We have had several studies of the years, and our
role, frankly, is to downplay the rhetoric or diffuse the rhetoric that often
surrounds some of these very emotional issues. We do a lot of research studies
based on that.
5041 The one thing that we have found through all this is
that the media is desperate for knowledge and often phone us and ask us for
quotes in many different issues around this area. And I can also say that I
think Canadians are desperate for this knowledge as well.
5042 It is for that reason that I personally support this
application, because I think it is extremely important, not only for the
communities that are here and the new communities, but frankly the larger
community at large.
5043 Lester Pearson said it beautifully and I can't say it
better, but I will paraphrase, that I think through education comes
understanding and through understanding comes peace. And I think that the more
we can understand, the better off this community will be.
5044 Frankly, it is a wonderful community to be in. It
sets the standard for many things that happen in Canada, and I would love to see
this television licence granted.
5045 Now we can watch Milt. He is marrying a daughter in
some other part of the world.
--- Video presentation / Présentation vidéo
5046 MR. WONG: Ladies and gentlemen, committee members of
the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, you have long
heard about the necessity for communication media to better serve and reflect
Canada's multicultural population. As committee members, you have also
participated in the movement of such discussion from theory to
5047 Thanks to the work of the CRTC, Canada can boast of
regulatory broadcasting policies which allocate airtime to ethnic broadcasting.
This is a clear example of policymaking that reflects need. It is affirmative,
ambitious, and responsive to population statistics and sociopolitical
5048 It is also policymaking that responds to everyday
experience. Our personal interactions bear witness to what policy aims to
accommodate -- namely, that the Canadian community is multicultural; that a good
portion of its members are multilingual; and that commonality of experience,
much more so than ethnic origin, hold us together as a people.
5049 Canada today is a tapestry. Our different identities
and cultural backgrounds weave together like various strands, strengthened in
unity, and rich in variance of colour. This metaphor is an apt description of
what it means to be Canadian. However, let us not forget, and recognize, that
metaphors cannot suffice to negotiate the difficulties of cultural difference,
and of national unity, that multiculturalism can introduce.
5050 It is for this reason that I speak before you today.
Media pull weight where metaphoric imagery cannot. Media are dynamic and
ever-changing, with wide circles of influence. Print, radio, television and
other telecommunications play powerful roles in the defining of shared
experience along national lines. We have come to understand this great potential
to influence us as individuals and a nation. It is within our reach to harness
that power, to the advantage of Canadian culture.
5051 But how? Can a multicultural television channel help
us reach out to our diverse population, synchronize communities and contribute
to national unity?
5052 That is the question that has prompted the thoughts I
want to share with you today -- and the question I hope to help
5053 The statistics speak plainly and persuasively: 17 per
cent of Canada's total population are immigrants. In Toronto, immigrants number
42 per cent of the total population; in Vancouver, this number is 35 per cent.
It stands to reason that Toronto and Vancouver lead the country in being the
most ethnically and linguistically diverse.
5054 Our nation has a long history of gingerly negotiating
the space between social tension and cultural richness. We have not always been
successful. Think of the collection of head tax on Chinese immigrants, or the
internment of Japanese Canadians during World War II, or residential
5055 Despite these shameful occurrences we persevered, and
in 1971 the former Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau introduced the Policy of
Multiculturalism to Parliament. Said Trudeau -- and I quote:
"National unity, if it is to mean anything in the deeply personal sense, must
be founded on confidence in one's own individual identity; out of this can grow
respect for others and a willingness to share ideas, attitudes and
5056 With that, the process of articulating our tolerance,
respect, and appreciation for diversity, became institutionalized.
5057 Since then, to improve our management of cultural
diversity, committees such as yours work to translate idealogy into policy and
policy into practice. Now we stand in an excellent position to actualize the
dictates of your ethnic broadcasting regulations.
5058 A multicultural television channel has remarkable
potential. First, it legitimizes cultural practice, not only for specific
cultural practitioners, but also in the eyes of others who may not come from
5059 Secondly, it teaches through the demonstration of
5060 Third, it is about access. Such a channel reaches out
to individuals and wields the power to influence and unify an otherwise diverse
audience. The great diversity of individuals who make up our social fabric can
only benefit from increased access and exposure to our country in
5061 Fourth and lastly, through a multicultural television
channel, Canadian society is provided a venue in which to openly endorse
equality, through the democratic recognition of the identities and collective
voices of ethnocultural groups. Television, like all media, sprouts ideas. It
permits voices, possibly heretofore marginalized, to be resurrected. It
represents the many ways of seeing and knowing in society. Through media, a
myriad of experiences can be represented and the promotion of an informed and
knowledgeable debate can be facilitated.
5062 In conclusion, let me assert my conviction that media
play a powerful role in the weaving of the political, social and cultural
tapestry of Canada. Media are not neutral technologies but real determinants of
the social fabric. As such, the potential of media to negotiate the multilingual
and multicultural challenges of Canadian society must not be undermined. A
multicultural television channel can be a forum wherein policy pushes through to
5063 Let us resolve to dedicate this channel to the
recognition and support of ethnocultural groups, and thereby foster a social
fabric of equality and justice in our multicultural society.
5064 Thank you.
5065 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very
5066 Madam Secretary, please.
5067 MS VOGEL: Our next intervenors this afternoon are
Joseph D. Sorbara and Brian G. Baynham.
5068 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good afternoon.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
5069 MR. SORBARA: Good afternoon. Madame la Présidente,
members of the Commission, my name is Joseph Sorbara. I am a partner in the law
firm of Tanzola & Sorbara in Toronto, and also a business person in Toronto.
I am the Vice-Chair of the Board of Governors of York University and the Chair
of the Advisory Board of CFMT-TV.
5070 With me today is Mr. Brian Baynham, who will
introduce himself to you more fully in a few minutes. He is a member of the
Rogers Broadcasting Radio Local Advisory Board here in Vancouver.
5071 My purpose in being here today is to assure the
Commission of the important and effective role played by the CFMT Advisor Board
and hopefully to give you confidence that the underlying philosophy of CFMT in
regards to advisory boards will enable the LMTV Advisory Board to play a similar
important and effective role here in the Lower Mainland and Victoria.
5072 I have been involved with CFMT since its inception,
and I have been the Chair of the local advisory board for over a decade. The
CFMT Advisory Board is representative of the communities that CFMT serves and
holds regularly scheduled meetings, and also special meetings are called with
members of senior CFMT management always in attendance to make the presentations
and to be questioned on the happenings at the station.
5073 So the advisory board is actively involved in the
life of CFMT.
5074 What does our board do? Our board reviews all
financial, operating and capital expenditure plans before they are presented to
the Rogers Broadcasting Board. We also review financial results, programming
results and sales results for each half year.
5075 It is my understanding that any matter going before
the approving board must be accompanied by a recommendation from the advisory
board, either in support of or against the matter coming before the
5076 The members of the board actively participate in the
strategic planning process. I am a member of the Long Range Planning Committee
of CFMT, as is one other member of the advisory board, but all members of the
advisory board are invited to any meeting of that committee.
5077 That committee was active in the strategic planning
process that led to the applications for the rebroadcasters in London and Ottawa
and that led to this application.
5078 We also provide advice and guidance on significant
programming strategy directions; that is, decisions which might rebalance the
amount of programming provided for various ethnocultural groups.
5079 Just over three years ago we had a very intense
discussion on this matter when the recommendation to reduce an hour of Italian
programming in favour of Chinese programming was brought before the advisory
board before it went to the Rogers board. The members of the advisory board, in
addition to examining the material that was provided there, made recommendations
and were insistent that there a manner in judging the response and perhaps
changing again if there was adverse reaction in the community.
5080 To my knowledge, no significant decision with respect
to CFMT has ever been taken without input from our advisory board.
5081 In addition, there are occasions when CFMT management
often contacts individual members of the advisory board to consult with them
informally on issues relating to the particular ethnocultural groups that they
5082 Based on my experience on the CFMT Advisory Board, I
am confident that the LMTV Advisory Board will play an important role in the
life of that station if you approve our application.
5083 Ms Jaffer, Mr. Loh and the other members of the
community who are on the board will have an exciting opportunity to actively
participate in the establishment and growth and development of a new
multilingual television station and to ensure that the needs and interests of
the ethnocultural communities that they represent are fully and effectively
5084 LMTV will be very fortunate to have the enthusiastic
input of Ms Jaffer and Mr. Loh in launching this new station and going
5085 I thank you for the opportunity of sharing my
experience with you with the CFMT Advisory Board.
5086 MR. BAYNHAM: As Mr. Sorbara indicated, I am a partner
at Harper Grey Easton, and I have been a member of the Rogers Broadcasting Radio
Local Advisory Board for over a decade. Prior to that, I was a member for many
years of the advisory board when it was owned by Selkirk
5087 I can advise the Commission that Rogers Broadcasting
is actively involved in this market. It knows and understands the broadcasting
environment. I can also confirm that the company is committed to an important
and effective role that can be played by local advisory boards.
5088 In my experience, Rogers Broadcasting and their
representatives that attend the meetings always welcome and act upon, where
appropriate, the views and recommendations of the advisory board. Meetings are
held regularly and are attended by local staff and representatives of Rogers
that attend from Toronto.
5089 In my experience, it is a very effective sounding
board for local input, and it provides the opportunity for the local station
representatives -- the station manager, the program manager, marketing managers,
and so forth -- to present their views about where the station is going and to
advise the board how they met their goals in the past.
5090 I have been on the board in one form or another for
20 years, and I can say that Rogers has continued the relationship that I had
with Selkirk and sees it as an important part of the local radio
5091 When Rogers took over one of the stations -- there
are three stations that are covered by the advisory board -- CKWX was a country
and western station. They changed it to an all news station, and that was a very
big change. The country and western format simply couldn't handle an FM station
and an AM station in the market, and by changing it to an all news station
Rogers has had a very big impact on the local news market here.
5092 The views of the board as to how news was different
in Vancouver than in Toronto was taken very seriously. The experience in Toronto
was very much business and stock market based. They found out when they came to
Vancouver that it was a lot more important to have weather and traffic; that
business and stock markets were not quite as important.
5093 The third station in the group is the Mountain FM
service. One of the members of the advisory board is a realtor at Whistler. He
comes down regularly from Whistler for the meetings. It covers the Squamish
area, Whistler and does its best it can to cover the Sunshine Coast.
5094 The people who operate the station rely very heavily
on that individual to advise about the very different market that is at Whistler
and the very different needs of the Squamish community.
5095 My experience has been very positive as a member of
the advisory board. I think, particularly with a multicultural TV station with
all the various groups in the community that it will endeavour to serve, an
advisory board is a very important part of the whole mix. I would urge you to
award this licence in favour of Rogers.
5096 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you.
Commissioner Cram has a question for you.
5097 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you. My first one is sort of
facetious: Is there anybody on any of these advisory boards who isn't a lawyer?
Ms Jaffer and the other gentleman who was on the Rogers board was also a
lawyer, and I think you, Mr. Sorbara, are the only one who isn't a Q.C. And this
comes from a former lawyer, so I think I am hyper-sensitive.
5098 Thank you for telling me about your experience. What
about the stability of the board in the sense that both of you have been on
these boards for a good long time? Are they changed, and especially in terms of
the ethnic station? Are the individuals renewed? How are they chosen?
5099 MR. SORBARA: Let me say that I am a Q.C. I just did
not put the initials on it.
5100 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Your letterhead doesn't say it.
5101 MR. SORBARA: And there are four members of our board
who are not lawyers as well.
5102 Our board has had two vacancies, which have now been
filled by a representative of the Punjabi community and a representative of the
Chinese community. There were also some appointments made, I think, about four
years ago, when Nalanie Stewart(ph) was put on our board to represent the South
5103 The ultimate decision, of course, of who goes on the
board is in the hands of the Rogers organization. They try to keep a balance,
and probably there is only myself and two others who have been on the board as
long as I have.
5104 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you.
5105 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very
5106 MS VOGEL: Our next intervenor this afternoon is the
Law Courts Education Society of British Columbia, Wallace T. Oppal.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
5107 MR. OPPAL: My name is Wally Oppal. I am here in my
capacity as the Chairman or the President of the Law Courts Education
5108 The Law Courts Education Society is a public legal
education society. Its mandate is to provide public legal education and a
greater understanding of the justice system to the members of the public and in
particular to describe and to better educate the public in the workings of the
5109 Very broadly speaking, its objective is to bridge the
gap between the courts and the members of the public.
5110 The programs of the society in general have a
two-fold objective. First, it is to inform the public about the rule of law in a
democracy and the obligations that go with the rule of law. Its objective is to
provide information to the public about the various levels of the courts, to
provide information to victims of crime, to deal with issues of spousal violence
to child abuse, alcoholism and issues of that nature.
5111 Secondly, the other objective is to sensitize those
people who work within the system about the needs of the changing public. The
public is demanding more and greater things from the justice system, and those
of us who work in the system as judges, lawyers and other professionals have a
duty to relate to a changing demographic society that we have here in British
5112 Since its establishment, the Law Courts Education
Society has been extremely successful. It has been the recipient of a number of
international awards, particularly in the areas of providing services and
programming for First Nations people who have historically had a distrust of the
5113 We have also provided areas of proactive approaches
towards spousal violence, youth at risk, young offenders, and more recently we
have been involved with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia in a joint
program to combat car theft and crimes associated with automobiles.
5114 Many of those programs have won international
5115 In 1994 the Government of South Africa asked us to go
to South Africa to assist that government after its initial election in
providing information and a report on how members of the public could access the
system in an emerging democracy. After we filed the report with them, they have
asked us to come back and to provide ways and advice as to how to implement the
recommendations contained in the report.
5116 Similarly, we have had trips to mainland China, to
Guatemala, to Montenegro and to other areas of the globe. Federal judges in the
United States have asked our society to provide them with a better understanding
of how to reach multicultural communities, how best to those of us who work in
the system do we make ourselves more credible and more understandable to the
community at large, particularly when it comes to women's issues, to issues
involving young offenders, and to issues relating to victims of
5117 The Society's work has become more relevant in a
changing demographic picture. I am sure this Commission has heard evidence that
the population of Vancouver is now 44 per cent visible minorities; two-thirds of
all immigrants come from Asia; 18 per cent of the population of this province is
now said to be visible minority.
5118 Nearly 50 per cent of the students in Vancouver
schools have English as a second language. Thus our work has become more
relevant and more important, because we go into the schools and we explain the
rule of law, and we explain to the children in the schools, the students in our
schools, the workings of the criminal justice system.
5119 Many newcomers who come to...
--- Technical difficulties / Problèmes techniques
5120 ...reprisal if they have come to testify in criminal
5121 Many newcomers are not aware of their legal rights
and we have gone into the immigrant and multicultural communities to address
those issues. The Law Courts Education Society is a society of eight
ethno-cultural communities in the greater Vancouver area and we learned that
there is a real significant lack of knowledge of our institutions in general and
the legal system in particular.
5122 In 1994 I headed a Royal Commission into policing in
this province. It was a commission that attracted very much attention. We had
over 1,200 written submissions. We had 57 days of public hearings, after which
we filed a report with government that contained over 300 recommendations, many
of those have now been put into practice or in legislation. The new Police Act
has been introduced in this province.
5123 But I want to tell you that there was a great
mistrust, and continues to be a great mistrust, in the police on the part of
many of the multicultural communities who come from societies where police are
not trusted. Therefore, the police were at a dilemma because they had a
difficult time in relating to communities after crimes were committed. They
would go into a community and they would learn that there would be a wall of
silence once they got there.
5124 So we recommended to the government of this province
that they adopt aggressive multicultural policies and better training,
sensitivity training for police, and also embark on an aggressive recruitment
policy so that we have more women and more multiculturalism presence in
5125 I am pleased to say that after our Royal Commission's
report was filed that the police, the RCMP, as well as the municipal forces,
have adopted many of our policies, including one for the -- they have a
domestic violence response team in Vancouver now. That is something that we
specifically recommended that where you have an instance of spousal violence
that the police attend, not only with a police officer, but with a person who
has an expertise in counselling so that we can address the root causes of these
5126 All of this is background to the fact that the Law
Courts Education Society is submitting to you, with great respect, that if you
see fit to grant another licence in this market, that licence be granted to a
station that is dedicated to multilingual and multicultural
5127 These issues of which I speak, spousal violence,
child abuse, youth at risk, aboriginal discontent with our institutions, are
issues that have to be dealt with. You see, by the time we in the courts deal
with these problems it is too late.
5128 We have to get into the multicultural communities,
and we have to explain to the multicultural communities and to the immigrants
who have come here, as to what they ought to do, how they can best trust the
system and how the system can work for them. We have to have victims of crime to
come forward and speak to our various agencies. There is no better way of doing
that than to have a media outlet that will provide a vehicle by which people can
come forward and lodge their complaints and their concerns.
5129 The ethnic print media has had a strong presence here
in this market for a long, long time. It is our recommendation, and I do so with
the greatest of respect, recommend to you that the next licence that is granted
in this market be granted to an outlet that is aggressively in a proactive way
dedicated to those ideals that I have alluded to here this afternoon. They are
most important, that in a civil democracy, in a civil society, where the rule of
law is something that governs all of us, that the newcomers to our society be
apprised of our rules. There is no better way of doing it than through this
5130 I thank you very much for allowing me the opportunity
to appear before you this afternoon. I would be pleased to answer any questions
that you may have.
5131 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: I think it is quite
clear, your presentation and your original intervention.
5132 Thank you very much.
5133 MR. OPPAL: Thank you.
5134 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: We will take one more
intervention. I think it is the one by telephone next.
5135 MS VOGEL: Our next intervener this afternoon is
Gurmant Grewal, Official Opposition Deputy House Leader. He will be joining us
by telephone this afternoon.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
5136 MR. GREWAL: Hello.
5137 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Yes.
5138 MR. GREWAL: Good afternoon, Madam Chair and the
5139 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good evening to you.
We hear that you are far away.
5140 MR. GREWAL: That's right.
5141 Let me begin like this, that my name is Gurmant
Grewal, as you introduced me. I am the Member of Parliament for Surrey
5142 Due to my busy schedule, as well as due to the long
distance, because I am on the other end of the country, and also due to these
boondoggles that we have to deal with here in Ottawa, I could not appear in
person before you today to express my support for LMTV.
5143 It would have been really nice if I was physically
present there. It would have been more interactive, the discussion we could
have, but it could not be possible. But I thank you for allowing me to testify
5144 Madam Chair, I am speaking on behalf of my
constituents and many British Columbians. My support for this application is
also informed by my own life experience.
5145 Let me briefly introduce myself. I was born and
educated in India. For the last 20 years I have some experience as a university
professor, manager, entrepreneur, a realter, and now a federal politician
representing the constituents of Surrey Central.
5146 I understand from my recent personal experience how
it feels to arrive in a new country. Canada is the third country in which I have
chosen my home, and I believe that this is my final country where I will be
bringing up my family.
5147 I understand that there is hope and optimism, also
there are challenges that the new immigrants have to face. There is a need to
support your family economically in a business culture that you need initially
to fully understand.
5148 There are competing social pressures on new
immigrants. On one hand, there is a desire to become more fully integrated into
Canadian society, and on the other hand, there is the desire to retain your
family's original culture. So you have to balance that and find ways to bring up
your family in a new country. It is a very challenging position. These forces
are all at play today in my riding and the new immigrants continue facing this
5149 As you may know, Surrey Central is one of the largest
constituencies in Canada in population because the population in this riding is
about 175,000 people. On an average, the population in Canada for each riding is
about 95,000. For the balance, between 95 and 175,000, is those people who are
new immigrants to Surrey.
5150 As you know, Surrey is the fastest growing city in
Canada. It is a part of the large urban and suburban area that is known as the
Greater Vancouver regional district. My constituency includes the communities of
Newton, Cloverdale, Guildford, Whalley, Fleetwood and Port Kells.
5151 So I can see that the growth in Surrey is being
fuelled largely by the new immigrants. Surrey has also the largest composition
of Sikhs outside of Segal in the world. My constituents, who are basically South
Asian people of South Asian origin and many other ethnocultural backgrounds,
currently have only very limited access to television programming that reflects
their community and their culture.
5152 Even though there are some multicultural programs
people have access to watch and listen, but they have little or no access to
Canadian television programming that offers them information about this city,
about this province and about this country in their mother tongue or from their
5153 Madam Chair, I know how much hard work that I do as
an MP, but there is very little information available to my constituents by way
of television. My constituents do not know too much about what's happening in
the country because of these barriers which I mentioned earlier. I believe that
LMTV if it is licensed to operate in B.C. will help overcome most of these
5154 There will be a number of benefits those people will
have. They will have access to better education. They will enhance their
knowledge about our country, about our province, about how the phone system in
their country works. They will get familiar with the national and international
5155 And also, this television system will be very much
helpful for people to understand various government systems and government
departments, and many social-cultural organizations, criminal justice system,
the taxation system and many other ways of learning. It will enhance the quality
of learning of the constituent.
5156 Also, Madam Chair, LMTV, as I understand, will
provide high quality television programming for many different ethno-cultural
groups. The number of hours of locally produced South Asian programs each week
will be very helpful to my constituents and people of British
5157 Now, this programming will be national and South
Asian news programming that will also be made available to viewers in Ontario. I
also understand that CFMT has established very effective consultative procedures
to ensure that members of the communities that it serves are actively involved
in program development.
5158 Madam Chair, I also believe that LMTV will have many
benefits for my constituents. For example, it will reflect or it will benefit
them from access to television programming that will truly reflect the
multicultural diversity of the society in which we live. Canada is the most
multicultural country in the world. We have people from each and every country
living in our country. I think this program will reflect the multicultural
diversity that our country has.
5159 Also, there is a big, huge need for positive and
balanced -- from social, economical and political perspectives, as I mentioned,
some of the things earlier. This programming, I hope, will facilitate
integration of various communities into the mainstream and help them participate
into Canadian society.
5160 When we talk about diversity, I think that this is
our asset to have diversity. Diversity is not our liability. But there is also a
sense in some people's minds that diversity is also contributing to a sort of
categorization in the communities where people live. In some areas there are
certain communities that dominate and there could be some foreseen problems
coming out in the future because of this categorization, the problem that I am
trying to express.
5161 We have a problem that can be solved, not by
segregating communities, but by integrating various communities. It can avoid
any racial tensions or problems like that, or any hate word, or other things in
the future if this kind of television programming is provided to the people. In
the long run, it will be a huge cost savings and progressive activity in the
5162 LMTV, as I understand, will create many new jobs. It
will contribute in creating new jobs, both at the new television system and in
the independent production industry.
5163 I have, Madam Chair, visited CFMT-TV in Toronto.
Based on that visit, I know that the staff at LMTV will reflect the
multicultural diversity of the community that it serves. It will offer people of
many different ethnocultural origins an opportunity to pursue exciting and
creative careers in the Canadian broadcasting system. LMTV also will provide
business people in my riding as well as in the greater -- GVRD -- with
the first real opportunity to use television advertising to reach their
constituents. It will diversify their marketplace. It will give them the
opportunities to reach to their consumers and clients more
5164 Madam Chair, and the Members of the Commission, I
appreciate this opportunity to appear before you to support the application by
CFMT for a new multilingual television station here in Vancouver.
5165 I strongly believe that the licensing of LMTV will
have many benefits on my constituents and for everyone who lives in the Lower
Mainland and British Columbia and Canada.
5166 I wish you well in the rest of this proceeding and in
5167 Madam Chair, I would be pleased to answer any
questions from you and the Members of the Commission that you may for
5168 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Well, thank you very
much, sir. We have no questions. Your support verbally today and in your written
intervention is quite clear.
5169 Thank you very much.
5170 MR. GREWAL: Thank you very much once
5171 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: And thank you for
having stayed late from Europe to be with us.
5172 MR. GREWAL: I think I am prepared to do anything for
my constituents and I feel pleased about that.
5173 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very
5174 MR. GREWAL: Goodbye.
5175 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: We will now pause and
take a coffee break and we will be back in 15 minutes.
--- Recess at 1614 / Suspension à 1614
--- Upon resuming at 1635 / Reprise à 1635
5176 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Welcome
5177 Madam Secretary, please.
5178 MS VOGEL: Thank you, Madam Chairperson.
5179 Our next intervenor this afternoon is from Omni Film
Productions Ltd., Michael Chechik, Brian Hamilton, Christian Bruyère; and from
Paperny Films Inc., David Paperny.
5180 Go ahead when you are ready, please.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
5181 MR. CHECHIK: Hi, my name is Michael
5182 As President of Omni Film Productions, a 21-year old
documentary television production company, I would like to add my name to those
supporting CFMT-TV's application for a new multicultural television
5183 Omni Film Productions began by making films on
wildlife and environmental issues and has evolved into one of Vancouver's
largest documentary production houses with offices located in Gastown. We are
the recipient of numerous international awards and are currently in production
for CBC's Witness series as well as "Champions of the Wild", the series for
Discovery Canada, and "Quiet Places" a series for the Vision Network.
5184 CFMT-TV's application will provide much needed help
for B.C.'s weakened documentary production community. Of B.C.'s independent
producers about 75 per cent produce documentaries. While there is an
explosion of interest in documentaries across Canada and internationally, these
are becoming increasingly difficult to produce. There are simply too many
producers, too many projects, chasing too few dollars.
5185 Specifically, our provincial funding agency, B.C.
Film, which routinely funds about 50 documentaries a year is now, with depleted
resources, only funding 10 documentaries. The Canadian Television Fund, another
source of funding, has a policy of heavily weighting the percentage of broadcast
licences to budget in evaluating projects, which discourages prestigious higher
quality programming that would appeal to an international market.
5186 Under these conditions, the documentary production
company has to adapt to survive. We are faced with two basic choices: One, to
work with the Canadian funding system to do lower budget shows for Canadian
audiences or reach out beyond Canada's borders to broadcasters and production
partners with projects that can be sold in the international market. In either
of these situations, CFMT-TV's documentary funding initiative will have a
significant impact by providing $4.5 million over seven years.
5187 Using Canadian funding sources, the LMTV licences of
up to $70,000 for only a B.C. first window and an Ontario second window, allows
the producer to cobble together other licences. Taken together, with perhaps a
national licence from a specialty channel, there may be enough in place to
trigger the Canadian Television Fund so that a higher-end international
documentary can actually be financed here.
5188 With a funding approach outside Canada, LMTV will be
one of the few broadcasters in Canada to licence documentaries by B.C. producers
on international stories of interest to their multicultural audience. These
films can be shot anywhere in the world and will have appeal in the
5189 Moreover, LMTV's market initiative of $45,000 per
year will encourage B.C. producers to travel to the international markets and
make the necessary contacts to sell their films.
5190 Finally, my experience with Rogers, in terms of their
promises and commitments, is that they do keep their word and deliver. It has
been our experience with Rogers' documentary fund and with interim financing
through the Rogers' Telefund. The fact that this commitment is written into
their application gives me further comfort.
5191 MR. HAMILTON: Good afternoon. My name is Brian
5192 I work as a producer and executive producer with Omni
Films, and over the past, about five years, I have been involved in about 30
programs, individual programs. About a half dozen of those I have played the
role of executive producer, which is a mentoring relationship where I am working
with an emerging director or producer with their idea, trying to bring it to the
5193 I brought an example of one of the programs that I
have been involved in. This is "Bitter Paradise: The Sell Out of East Timor" a
film that took the film maker almost 10 years to make due to the difficulty of
finding financing for single documentaries with internationally-related
5194 So I am here to really add my voice, of course, and
say why it is important not just to myself, but to a number of emerging
producers who I am working with or hope to work with, why the LMTV application
could make such a major difference. I really think it comes down to renewing
hope for the documentary production sector in British Columbia.
5195 In terms of the executive producing role that I have
played, if this film maker came to me today with the same idea, she would not
even get a meeting in my office. We would exchange e-mails and I would say:
"Listen, I am sorry. It is a wonderful idea, but I can't see how we could make
5196 It really is desperately difficult to make a high
quality single documentary that is speaking to Canadians about Canadian issues.
This particular film, although the subject is East Timor, it is the Canadian
government's complicity in the situation there. It is very much a story that
Canadians need to know about.
5197 These days, I am in the difficult position of really
being the bottleneck for emerging film makers who come to me with ideas. I get
two or three a week, and they say, "I have this promising idea. I really like
your advice. Maybe we can work together." I end up saying no and no and no, and
it's something that doesn't get seen. In the statistics it's not something that
gets seen, in lists of productions because the idea may begin in someone's mind
and stop when they get a lot of "no's."
5198 You know, I pass on colleagues' names to these people
saying: "Well, perhaps, Fred or Mary can help you." And when I call my
colleagues later, they are also saying no. The reason is that the economic model
doesn't add up now. The numbers just don't make it feasible to create high
quality single issue documentaries.
5199 What this application will make possible is,
therefore, hope that there will be slots, there will be demand. Rather than one
of these film makers accepting a job as a production coordinator on an American
service production, they will have their idea be given a chance to become
reality. It is very, very important that we take account of these ideas that are
in people's minds, but they don't have the support, and someone like me can
provide that if I have a partner in a broadcaster, especially based in
Vancouver. So that's wonderful.
5200 That's all I have to say.
5201 MR. BRUYERE: My name is Christian Bruyere. I am also
a producer with Omni Film Productions. For the past four years I have been
spending most of my production time on a series called "Champions of the Wild"
going around the world filming people who are working with wildlife.
5202 I support the positive intervention points expressed
by my Omni colleagues and I would like to just add a few points.
5203 With CFMT-TV's stated $3.5 million support for the
production of at least 50 new English-language documentaries, established B.C.
producers will have a chance to broaden our perspectives. We will have an
incentive to create quality programs which will deal with the issues, concerns,
and interests of the Lower Mainland and Victoria's vast multicultural
5204 Also, I understand that a large share of CFMT-TV's $1
million development fund will be going to support the development and mentoring
of culturally diverse B.C. film makers with strong documentary
5205 I feel that this is an important component in
supporting B.C.'s multicultural population. It will help members of the ethnic
communities learn the skills and techniques of documentary film making to tell
their own stories. I had the pleasure of mentoring a Hong Kong immigrant film
maker and helping her to produce a television documentary about the changes in
attitude of new Hong Kong immigrants as they adjust to Canadian
5206 In this program, called "New Happiness", when one new
female immigrant was asked to give an example of how things have changed for her
in Canada, she responded: "In Hong Kong I had to listen to my husband all the
time. In Canada, I only have to listen to him when he is right."
5207 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Which is rarely, from my
--- Laughter / Rires
5208 MR. BRUYERE: I also helped a Japanese and Canadian
produce a short film about a Japanese Elvis impersonator called "Heartbreak
5209 These were very rewarding experiences for me. In
producing these programs I gained valuable insights into other
5210 I believe many other British Columbians are
interested in who their neighbours are and where they have come from. Thus, I
believe that CFMT-TV will appeal to a general television audience as well as the
under served 54 per cent multicultural population of the Lower Mainland of
5211 To sum up, I feel strongly that CFMT-TV will be good
for the B.C. documentary production community. I trust Rogers. You know, they
kept their promises of financial support for the Canadian television production
community for the past 20 years. I am confident that CFMT-TV will appeal to a
substantial number of B.C. viewers, at least as many viewers as some of the
other new specialty channels that are currently being broadcast in
5212 Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to appear
in front of you to support CFMT-TV.
5213 MS HOFFMANN: Hi. My name is Stacey Hoffmann. I am
appearing on behalf of David Paperny and David Paperny Films. I am an associate
producer with his company.
5214 We are one of Canada's most respected documentary
production companies. We haven't been around as long as Omni Films, but we do
have a significant role to play here in the documentary community.
5215 We produce primarily Canadian history and biography
documentaries. Some of our recent programs include "The Life and Times of Henry
Morgentaler" for CBC, "Murder in Normandy" for History Television, "To Russia
With Fries" for CTV --
5216 MS VOGEL: Excuse me. I'm sorry to interrupt, but we
are past the 10 minutes, so if you could wrap up quickly it would be
5217 MS HOFFMANN: Okay.
5218 We have also been nominated for an Academy Award so
we -- I am echoing the same points as my colleagues on this
5219 We support the initiative of LMTV and the committed
dollars and support that the local documentary community here in
Vancouver clearly needs.
5220 Yes, that's my wrap-up.
5221 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very
5222 MS VOGEL: Our next interveners this afternoon are the
United Chinese Community Enrichment Services Society, or S.U.C.C.E.S.S., Lilian
To and Tung Chan.
5223 Would you come forward, please?
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
5224 MS TO: Bienvenue and good afternoon.
5225 My name is Lilian To. I am the Executive Director of
S.U.C.C.E.S.S. which is a non-profit committee service organization established
for 27 years to help immigrants integrate in the Canadian society.
5226 Wilfrid Wan who is our chair is not able to be with
us today, and I have Mr. Tung Chan here. Actually, Mr. Chan was the
vice-president of S.U.C.C.E.S.S.
5227 So I would just like to start giving you a little bit
of background about S.U.C.C.E.S.S. with a full name, which you mentioned
5228 S.U.C.C.E.S.S., in fact, currently is the largest
community organization in the Chinese community in B.C. We have a $10 million
budget. We service people throughout the Lower Mainland in 15 locations. Service
is provided by 240 professional staff with over 7,000 volunteers. Actually, we
served around 260,000 clients last year.
5229 However, our target groups are not just the Chinese
community. In fact, about 20 per cent of our clientele are from the
multicultural background, and actually about 50,000 of them are from -- you
know, they speak different languages as well. So we have a very strong support
from the community and very close contact. We are very keenly interested about
multicultural television broadcasting.
5230 Our pledge for support for LMTV's application may be
explained in three major perspectives.
5231 First of all, it is regarding accessibility to
services. We feel that, you know, with like very much a culturally diverse
community we need to establish a free, local television station devoted to
multilingual and multicultural programming.
5232 In the Chinese community, definitely, ethnic
programming is very important as a significant number of people in our community
do not speak English or are not proficient in the English language. So access to
information through television as ethnic television programming will help them
have a better understanding of Canadian customs and Canadian way of life, so it
would help them integrate in the community better.
5233 LMTV's proposal for enhanced multilingual news and
information programming is important. That desire has been expressed by a number
of people in our community.
5234 Currently, the Fairchild TV and the Talentvision
stations have served the Chinese community very well with ethnic programming in
both Cantonese and Mandarin. It is just that some of the viewers have to pay
additional subscription fees to gain access to these TV programs and this may
have deterred many immigrant families from accessing ethnic TV programming which
basically helps them integrate in the community, in the Canadian
5235 We estimate there are about 80,000 Chinese families
in the Lower Mainland, and about two-thirds of them may not be able to access
ethnic TV programming. With the recent influx of immigrants from China,
especially, we feel that there is less willingness to pay the subscription
5236 Also, of course, in the Census in 1976 it
shows -- in 1996 -- 8.5 per cent of the population in Toronto are
Chinese and 16 per cent of the population in Vancouver are of Chinese origin.
But in Toronto there is CFMT which serves -- provides free over-the-air
ethnic programming for the Chinese community and I think Vancouver is just fair
that we have free over-the-air ethnic television programs.
5237 The second issue has to do with diversity in
programming, that we need to provide choices for viewers. We realize that
not -- that many of the Chinese families here do subscribe to Fairchild TV
and it seems that there are some people who may prefer to have some choices in
Canadian television programs in third languages.
5238 Also, we look at the editorial diversity, that they
need a choice to hear editorial comments, say about the boat people, for
example, not just from maybe one ethnic TV programming channel that may be also
from the LMTV when established.
5239 A third issue has to do with the advantage of
5240 We support LMTV's proposal to broadcast 60 per cent
of its programming in various languages with the remaining 40 per cent in
English. They talk about developing programs to promote multicultural and
cross-cultural understanding which -- also they talk about programs which
will provide opportunities for cross-cultural communication and increased
understanding within the population at large.
5241 For the second and third-generation Chinese Canadians
like my son who cannot read or write Chinese, who can barely understand or speak
Cantonese, being able to access both the Chinese TV programming as well as the
English multicultural programming at LMTV would help, you know, give him a
better sense of identity in the community as well.
5242 So in general, we basically pledge our support for
LMTV as it provides a choice for viewers. It is free over the air which would
provide better access and also provides advantages of cross-cultural programming
for our multicultural community.
5243 Thank you.
5244 MR. TUNG CHAN: Thank you, Madam Chair.
5245 You have heard an introduction of me as a former
Vice-President of S.U.C.C.E.S.S. If you will allow me for a few seconds more
introduce myself. I understand it is customary, Madam Chair and Commissioners,
to establish credibility, so it is with that in mind that I am rattling away on
what I do. So with a heavy dose of humility and modesty, if you would bear with
5246 I am not only a former Vice-President of
S.U.C.C.E.S.S., I am also a former councillor for the City of Vancouver. I am
also a former President of the Vancouver Non-Partisan Association and currently
still a Director of the Non-Partisan Association of Vancouver. It is the current
governing party of the City of Vancouver.
5247 In the general community, I am currently Honourary
Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. I am also a member of
the Chinese Advisory Committee, Chair, and a former Director of the United Way
of Lower Mainland. I am also a member of the Development and Advisory Committee
of the Vancouver Foundation.
5248 In the Chinese Canadian community, I currently serve
as a chair -- and you might have some interest in this -- Chair of the Fairchild
TV Advisory Committee. I am Advisor of the Trident Enrichment Society and I am
also Chair of the Chuen Ying -- Honourary Advisor of the Chuen Ying Arts
Centre. I can go on and on but I will stop here in respect of time.
5249 What I want to do is that I want to establish that I
have contacts both within and outside the Chinese Canadian community.
Professionally, I am a banker. I am a Senior Banker with a chartered bank and
for the last nine years, I have been responsible for increasing that bank's
penetration of the Asian market in Vancouver.
5250 But I would like to point out one thing, though, is
that I am here today not speaking on behalf of any of the groups that I
mentioned to you, but I am here more a person interested in this event and
interested in the serving of the ethnocultural communities in
5251 You have heard a lot of talk about the changing
demographics of Vancouver, but I would like to put it in a slightly different
direction and spin for you to look at. In B.C., four out of five new arrivals in
the Lower Mainland were from Asian background. They tend to speak their mother
tongue at home.
5252 Give you some examples. Based on 1996 Census, the
ratio of English speaking to Chinese speaking home languages in Vancouver is
three to one. In Burnaby it is about four to one and in Richmond it is close to
two to one. Not only that, many newcomers between 1991 and 1995, roughly 50 per
cent of them coming into B.C. do not have the ability to speak English. So I
think it is important that Commissioners, that you note that there is a huge
need for more choice in non-English TV programming. That is the general aspect
5253 I have a personal crusade here too. I am speaking
also on behalf of my mother. Last Saturday my 80-year old mother was watching
TV, and she is very happy watching Fairchild TV. She knows that I am on the
Advisory Committee and Chair of Fairchild TV. She says: "Son, you have done a
really good job. Fairchild has done a really good job in giving me really good
programming. It is fantastic. But, son, I know you are also going to talk to the
CRTC about this application of LMTV. Tell them. Tell them that I want some
choice. You, who understand English, have 77 channels. I speak only
Chinese." She is 80, remember. She says: "I want some more
5254 So that is why I am here, speaking on her
5255 MS VOGEL: Again, I'm very sorry to interrupt but we
are well past the 10 minutes. Could you wrap up, please.
5256 MR. TUNG CHAN: Thank you.
5257 The other situation that I think is important, that
is that in the English programming I was involved with several programs and one
program in particular is broadcast in English. It is made for and by Chinese
Canadians in English to Chinese Canadians in English. It is called "Pender
5258 It is important that, as Lilian mentioned, that there
are people who are second generation that need to know more about their
community and need to know about their roots; that if the CRTC Commission see
fit to approve any new programming they should have a mechanism to encourage
them to produce English programming for not only the second generation, but also
for other people who speak English but who want to understand other
5259 You heard mention that the Vancouver Sun now
routinely translate ethnic newspapers into English and publish it. That idea was
from me. I wrote them the letter in 1993 when I was a councillor. I told them
that is a good idea and I hope that CRTC would also look into that and think
that is also a good idea.
5260 Thank you.
5261 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very
5262 MR. TUNG CHAN: I have some statistics here for
5263 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Oh, thank you. Tell
your mother that you talked to the CRTC with a lot of conviction. No problems
5264 Thank you, and thank you, madam.
5265 MS VOGEL: And could you drop your statistics off at
the table on your way by, please?
5266 MR. TUNG CHAN: I will do that. Thank you.
5267 MS VOGEL: Our next intervenor this afternoon is
5268 Could you come forward, please?
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
5269 MR. TOKMAKOV(ph): (Through Interpreter): Good
afternoon. I would like to use the services of my interpreter today to interpret
5270 We are, of course, aware of the time limits here and
we hope that you will understand that it is probably going to be a little bit
5271 I am very pleased that I am here in front of the
federal commission and will be able to speak my native language, which is
Russian. I hope that I will express the opinion of all independent producers who
had the opportunity to broadcast in their native languages.
5272 My name is Valeri. I am Valeri Tokmakov. I was born
in the former Soviet Union, in Moscow City. I am Russian by origin but not by my
image. I have nothing to do with Mafia, with criminal circles and with new
Russians, as you probably know this term.
5273 I have been working for television for 30 years. I
probably correct myself; it is not work, it is the style of my life. For 20
years I worked for the state, the former Soviet Union Television Committee. And
for the last ten years I have been working in Canada in CFMT.
5274 Today during the recess I was walking around Canada
Place and I looked at the fountain. There are two continents there: America and
Asia. So I found Cukotskij. They are our neighbours. It is very close to Canada.
Eighteen years ago I was in Cukotskij on my business trip, and I did some shots
with the military bases. There are a lot of nuclear submarines there, some
missiles and planes. They are the eastern border with the United
5275 So I was standing there looking at the United States,
and it was really a very difficult time, the Cold War time, and the Soviet Union
was in big isolation. At that time, if somebody would tell me that some time in
the future I would be sitting here and speaking in front of such honourable
commission, I wouldn't believe it.
5276 When we moved to Canada, I and my wife, who is also a
journalist, we were absolutely sure that we won't be able to do our profession
here. And when CFMT offered me this opportunity to broadcast in Russian, I could
hardly believe it. That is how my second biography started some time ago. So we
were accepted to Canadian Ethnical Journalists and Writers Club. We have been
working for ten years for Rogers' channel. The experience working with this
channel is really very helpful to work with the Russian community here in
5277 I know for sure that if any event is not broadcast on
TV, that means that this event does not exist for the community. It is a fact
that before I got the opportunity to...
--- Technical difficulties / Problèmes techniques
5278 ...because they need to earn for their living, for
their lives, for their apartments, for holidays, et cetera. So they have to
sacrifice a lot of things. And one of the sacrifices is language, the Russian
5279 Russians have a joke that Canada is kind of prison
with very good food in it.
5280 After the collapsing of the former Soviet Union, a
lot of people made the decision to emigrate to Canada. People who emigrate now
are not refugees any more, not those people who came here were not even to get
welfare. Now it is different immigration. It is professional immigration,
5281 Coming back to the Russian language, these people
come here and again they have to sacrifice their knowledge of Russian because
they need to go to get some job and of course they need to switch to English. So
the only opportunity for them is to read Canadian English-language newspapers
and see only English broadcasting.
5282 The information they can get only through Russian
channels. That is why the program we broadcast is really very popular among the
Russian community, and Russian people really look forward to any new program
that we introduce.
5283 I would like to give you some joke.
5284 New York, Brighton Beach, a lot of people from the
former Soviet Union live there, a big Russian community. So there are two
Russian friends just talking to each other. One Russian says: "I have been
working so hard trying to learn the English language, but it is so difficult I
fail." The other asks: "Why do you need to learn the English language? When you
go shopping, you meet the shop assistant who speaks Russian. When you need to
fix your car, you just see Russian person. When you need to see doctor, there is
a Russian doctor here. And even when you go to the restaurant, you see Russians
there." At that very moment a taxi stops just next to them. An American taxi
driver shows up and ask them something in English. Both Russians do not
understand and shake their heads. So the taxi driver left and the two Russians
look at each other and ask: "Do you think his English language really helps him
--- Laughter / Rires
5285 MR. TOKMAKOV: This is a joke, but if you think about
that, it is a very serious problem.
5286 In Toronto, in North York, a big Russian community,
lots of people who hardly can speak English live there. The same situation is in
Ottawa, in Montreal and Vancouver. I know that in Vancouver the Russian
community now is about 30,000 people. So my visit to Vancouver this time is also
because I would like to get some material about the Chinese immigration and
5287 MS VOGEL: I am sorry to interrupt, but we are past
the ten minutes.
5288 MR. TOKMAKOV: Two months ago the Russian community
was really shocked by the murder of a Russian teenager. What happened, the
police were really helpless because they couldn't really negotiate and
understand the situation without speaking to the Russian people. That's why they
addressed their program to get some information through their
5289 It was not the first time when Canadian police had to
address the Russian media to get some information. Canadian governmental
organizations and social organizations also very often address the Russian
community on some issues.
5290 I know that my time is limited. I would like to say
that when Canada gives every person the right of choice, I must say that this
country is really a great country. I would like to thank Canada for giving the
opportunity to such channel as CFMT to give opportunity to any nationality and
people of any origin to feel comfortable.
5291 Thank you very much for your attention.
5292 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Merci
5293 Madam Secretary, please.
5294 MS VOGEL: Our next intervenor this afternoon is
Gurnam Singh Ranu.
5295 Please come forward.
5296 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good afternoon.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
5297 MR. RANU: Good afternoon, Madam Chair and Members of
the Panel of the CRTC Commission.
5298 My name is Gurnam Singh Ranu. I am here today to give
my support to the proposal for a new multicultural and multilingual station LMTV
for the Lower Mainland and Victoria.
5299 My wife had a heart attack on Friday. She is in
hospital. I have come here for a short time to give my support for this
5300 As my background, I retired as a master of a high
school in India, and I had 31 years of wonderful and challenging years in the
education field. I taught English and social studies to the high classes for 31
years. I immigrated. I have a Masters degree in history, which includes European
history, British history, and in B.A. I did my political science and economics.
I have thoroughly studied the constitution of Canada in India. This is all my
5301 I have up to B.A. in Punjabi, my mother tongue, and a
Bachelor of Teaching degree that is of Indian origin.
5302 I immigrated to Canada in 1985 and worked in various
fields to support myself and my family. I worked as a farm worker, security
guard and interpreter and translator in English to Punjabi for the City Council
of Vancouver. And as a volunteer, I am deeply involved. I am a member of the
Special Advisory Committee on Seniors, the Vancouver City Council. I am a member
of the Cross Cultural Society Network. Also at the Sunset Community Centre every
Thursday afternoon for three hours about 100 Indo-Canadian seniors from the
Lower Mainland, including Coquitlam, Surrey, Richmond, North Vancouver and
Vancouver, meet and most of them do not understand what is going on here in
5303 They have a language problem. Although there are
programs, they are very little or short. So I think this void will be filled by
LMTV. I am their ears and eyes. I am very much interested. I read daily two or
three newspapers. I watch TV. I am interested in our background. But the second
generation want to know who is Ujjal Dosanjh, the new Premier of B.C., who is
Herb Dhaliwal. What are their roots?
5304 The second generation want to know. The seniors want
to know. But I think there is a void.
5305 I will quote from the Bible:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was
5306 Everything that has been made was made by God. The
same thing is said in the Holy Scripture:
--- Foreign language spoken / Langue étrangère parlée
5307 Our source is the same. We are the drop in the ocean.
We believe in fatherhood of the Lord and brotherhood of men. That is really what
5308 Every culture is allowed, but the difficulty here is
that when I watch TV programs with my wife she doesn't always wants to watch
because she does not understand. Most of the programs are in English. We want
our program, our history, our culture shown, which I expect LMTV will keep its
promise. We will be connected to our roots. We will also become a global
citizen, a true citizen of Canada. We will give true input to Canada if we
understand our neighbour, his language, his culture, and his way of
5309 I really support, if they keep their promise to
broadcast 60 per cent of their programs in ethnic languages. They show the
5310 I quote Einstein about Mahatma Ghandi:
"He was an ordinary man. He rose step by step, each step not bigger than the
ordinary man's step. When you see him on the heights of the glory, generations
to come may hardly believe that such a person ever walked upon this
5311 So they want to know how he rose step by step from a
millworker, from a saw mill worker, from a lawyer, to be a premier. They want to
know their roots and that will be great inspiration to the second generation.
They will be in touch with their mother tongue, also Canadian. They will be in a
true sense, not only a world class citizen, a global citizen. They can
contribute a lot, not only economically to this country, but also a rich
heritage which they bring to this country.
5312 So LMTV, I think, will provide all this which I
advocate. Thank you very much.
5313 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very much,
5314 Madam Secretary.
5315 MS VOGEL: I would like to call Nirvana Films, with
Sanaa Currim; Crossroads Productions Inc., with Carmen Henriquez and Denis
5316 Could you come forward, please.
5317 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good afternoon. We
remind you that you have ten minutes to share.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
5318 MR. PAQUETTE: Good afternoon. I am a partner and
producer in Real World Films. We are pleased to provide our support to LMTV's
application for a multicultural and multilingual station. We say this for two
reasons, the first of which I will discuss.
5319 My business partner Carmen and I met at film school
here in Vancouver five years ago, and fortunately for us we shared a passion for
telling real life human stories; hence the name of our company, Real World
5320 Although we grew up 6,000 miles apart, we have
learned that we are not so different. I am Métis from Winnipeg and she grew up
from Matouchi(ph) Indian descent in Chile. So it is not surprising that the bulk
of efforts are about examining cultures, about the differences in people and
about the need to speak in more languages than English.
5321 While socially introspective documentaries and films
are a passion and the success of Real World Films our ultimate aim, Carmen and I
have had no other choice but to build a parallel business -- one that produces a
broad sweep of corporate and educational media. Practically speaking, this is
what keeps us financially viable and has maintained our vision and belief in
Real World Films.
5322 Today we also produce a broad range of film, video
and interactive content. More importantly, we have witnessed first hand the
value and market potential of our ongoing programming and content in the global
5323 Since we are a fully English-Spanish production
company, our current business and prospects reside not just in Canada but
throughout Latin America and the Spanish-speaking world. We have come to realize
that the success of our business is not only about film making but about
bridging languages, cultures and international commerce.
5324 That is ultimately the first reason why we support
LMTV's application. They are prepared to recognize the value of multicultural
perspectives, support multilingual media, and create opportunities for film
makers that look at Canada from a broader perspective.
5325 They are in effect illustrating what has taken us
five years to learn. Canadian stories, Canadian film makers and Canadian
production companies can and should thrive in foreign markets. Canadian stories
are internationally marketable. LMTV's application doesn't just offer
multicultural values from our perspective; it offers opportunity.
5326 MS HENRIQUEZ: I am Carmen Henriquez, and I am a
partner and producer in Real World Films. As Denis said, I grew up in
Concepcion, Chile and until my early twenties I lived under a strict military
régime that didn't allow free speech, and governed with violence.
5327 Things are somewhat different right now, but the
facts remain. If I still lived in Chile, as a woman and film maker, I guarantee
you I wouldn't be doing what I have the privilege of doing in Canada
5328 Right or wrong, difficult or not, our company has
chosen to pursue stories and make documentaries we feel compelled to do, stories
that we believe in. However, because of the international flavour of our
company's identity, our documentaries sometimes run in direct conflict with the
existing guidelines for Canadian content.
5329 In short, we focus on telling the stories from a
profoundly Canadian perspective, not necessarily Canadiana. The challenge for us
then becomes how to fund stories that may be set internationally; more
importantly, how can we sell them in Canada?
5330 LMTV's application provides a fundamental outlet and
appreciation for the multicultural nature of our stories and of our country. In
short, they provide a concrete vehicle to let the unique nature of our film
making voice be heard.
5331 As an ethnic film maker, you have no idea how
important and how reassuring that possibility is.
5332 A great deal of the content we currently produce is
directed at ethnically and socially diverse audiences. For me, this was only
obvious. Not so long ago, I was a newcomer to Canada, and my Canadian experience
will always be different than my business partner.
5333 Our current Real World documentary is entitled
"Searching for Pinochet". In this one-hour television documentary, Denis and I
are chronicling my journey back to Chile to reunite with my family and my
country. Leaving Chile was not an option. I left 11 years ago because of
political persecution. But because the majority of this documentary won't be
shown in Canada, we face obstacles in selling and financing this show because it
is not overtly defined as Canadian content.
5334 But I assure you that you won't find a more Canadian
story, told from a more Canadian point of view. I am a taxpayer, married a
Canadian, own and operate a business here; and quite frankly, I can't imagine
life outside of Canada.
5335 I believe it is essential that we tell this story
since too many people in Canada take for granted what they are born into:
freedom of expression, gender equality, and as good a chance as anywhere else in
the world to make your passion a reality.
5336 "Searching for Pinochet" is my story. But I assure
you that there are hundreds of thousands of other Canadians who share the same
journey, the same perspective and the same gratitude I have on what it means to
5337 "Searching for Pinochet" is not a historical
documentary, nor is it a political story. It is a story of a family that was
forced to live through political discrimination, persecution, and imprisonment.
It is the story of my family.
5338 My point of view and our passion for this story
simply would not exist without my Canadian experience and my Canadian identity.
Unlike my years in Chile and now as a Canadian today, I know I have a say in my
destiny. It has taken me 12 years living as a Canadian to truly appreciate my
country's and my family's ordeal. That is why we want to make this documentary.
That is why we need LMTV.
5339 I would be lying if I said that, as documentary film
makers, we are not obviously attracted and motivated by LMTV's financial
commitment to their proposed documentary stand, but at the end of the day that
is not why we are here. They appreciate my story and understand the vital
overlay this has on Canada.
5340 We see LMTV's proposed licence as a vibrant
opportunity to expose Canadians to high-quality documentary programming that
speak to us in various languages and to share the multicultural fabric that I
cherish as Canada.
5341 MR. CURRIM: Good afternoon. My name is Art Currim of
Nirvana Films. With me is my partner Sanaa Currim. We speak today as independent
documentary film makers, as well as members of a visible minority.
5342 We have been producing documentaries and social
interest videos since 1987, first in India and now what you could call as
emerging Canadian film makers.
5343 Our projects have invariably been driven by a strong
social and political awareness. These values have been refined and tested
through our productions for the BBC, Oxfam and others.
5344 What is our point of view? We have always been
galvanized by issues of social justice and the abolishment of stereotypes.
Therefore, we have long felt the bitter irony and the injustice that visible
minorities in Canada have been disproportionately represented and type casted by
5345 As relatively recent immigrants, we face the
inevitable struggle to identify the similarities that we share with other
Canadians, even as we recognize the ways in which differ.
5346 MS CURRIM: Why do we feel the need for a
5347 Every culture needs a looking glass. Every ethnic
group has a history, a wealth of culture, expectations, and most of all an
identity. Television has the power, indeed the responsibility, to be that
5348 Some see the identity reflected in television.
Watching programs like "Anne of Green Gables", many see their backgrounds and
values strongly reflected, enhancing their sense of identity of similarity of
belonging. This is a welcome though limiting view of what constitutes Canadian
5349 All too often visible minorities see their cultures
parodied or stereotyped. Even worse, others are left unrepresented or receive
issue-based attention. When there are gang wars, temple conflicts, issues about
monster homes in Vancouver, the visible minorities are dragged into the
spotlight and then benched to await their next turn. The truth is visible
minorities are not outsiders.
5350 Over the last few decades the Canadian landscape has
changed. Sadly, television no longer accurately reflects our varied
5351 Canada is now home to a bewildering variety of ethnic
groups. Many of these cultures are thousands of years old and have much to
share. Again, the blending of cultures and challenges and issues this creates
requires a venue in which these issues can be examined and dealt with. Indeed, a
multicultural channel would be an ideal venue to raise awareness and
5352 Globally, countries are struggling with issues of
tolerance and acceptance. Our documentary about India and how the politics of
hate, greed, and corruption has destroyed the world's biggest democracy
highlights these issues. The relevance of such topics to our youth and future
generation decisionmakers is obvious.
5353 In Toronto people of varied ethnic backgrounds turn
to the multicultural channel CFMT to keep them connected. It is their window to
the world, a comfort zone that lends familiarity and a sense of home.
Vancouver's multicultural community needs this too.
5354 Many of our children today lack a cultural context
with which they can identify. At Christmas or Thanksgiving television plays a
crucial role, adding to the sense of excitement and family with stories, songs,
images and memories. Minorities, too, need a venue through which they may
communicate this excitement for their celebrations and festivals.
5355 Without icons and images to reinforce our cultures,
they risk extinction. Our children will be denied the validation and sense of
belonging, of knowing there are others who celebrate the same occasions, others
who identify with the same traditional music and dances, the same language and
5356 We grew up in Bombay, one of the world's most
multicultural and multilinguist cities and we speak seven languages. We cannot
stress the importance of television and understanding nuances of other cultures
and in reinforcement of language.
5357 MS VOGEL: Excuse me. We are past the ten minutes.
Could you wrap up, please.
5358 MS CURRIM: Sure.
5359 MS VOGEL: Thank you.
5360 MR. CURRIM: We are ambitious. We dream of an expanded
Canadian experience, of a Canada that has brought into the mainstream the
sensibilities that cultural minorities have had to keep to themselves too
5361 There are many Canadian stories that need to be told,
many cultures that need to celebrate their diversity, and many audiences who
need to be part of the changing face of Canada. But first we need agencies that
will champion this change.
5362 We believe that by laying the foundation for a
multi-ethnic station with its heady mix of cultures, views and emotions, the new
LMTV channel proposed by Rogers will be a move in the right
5363 Thank you very much for this opportunity. Good
5364 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Merci beaucoup; muchos
gracias; thank you.
5365 Madam Secretary.
5366 MS VOGEL: I would like to call Balwant Singh Gill to
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
5367 MR. GILL: Madam Chair and Members of the Commission,
good afternoon. My name is Balwant Singh Gill, and I am President of Gurnan(ph)
Sikh Temple Society here in Surrey, British Columbia. I am also the spokesperson
for 35 Sikh societies across the province. I am also a member of the Human
Rights Advisory Council of British Columbia.
5368 Mr. Malkit Singh Athwal of 1930 - 8171
Ackroyd Road, Richmond has asked me to appear before the Commission today on his
behalf because he is away and therefore not available and able to attend. Mr.
Adwal asked me to express to the Commission his wholehearted support for the
5369 Both Mr. Athwal and I have known for a long time that
the spiritual needs of our Sikh communities are not being met by the television
channels now available. This is especially the case in the Fraser Valley.
Occasionally when the media does cover our community, our views are often
distorted. Worse yet, our religious expressions are routinely curtailed and
5370 The CFVT application is like a breath of fresh air.
As a Christian broadcaster, the applicant, Trinity Television of Winnipeg has an
excellent record of extending goodwill to people of diverse religious and racial
5371 We appreciate their willingness to build bridges
across the religious and culture lines. We also applaud their sensitivity, the
spiritual and religious needs of the various faith communities. We are pleased
that CFVT will feature at least 18 hours of multi faith programming each week,
especially when that includes 12-1/2 prime time hours, Monday to Friday, and
other Saturday time slots.
5372 There are plentiful local talents within our
community who have both the skills and experience to produce programming that
will serve the needs of our people and bring credit to our Sikh faith. We are
excited about the opportunity to discuss our viewpoints on various religious
issues of our faith groups in a non-adversarial, non-condescending and mutually
respectful environment that CFVT will support.
5373 We are ready and willing to have our representative
participate in CFVT's programming balance committee to make sure that views are
exposed to the wide range of viewpoints on religious and other related
5374 Faith is a delicate and utterly important matter that
ought not be left in the control of thoroughly commercial interests. More often
than not, it is selfish profit motives that are the instigator of religious
conflicts. It is the commercial exploitation and manipulation of religious
differences that cause intolerance and unrest in society.
5375 About a year ago a religious television channel in
Ontario was approved by CRTC. Now Lethbridge, Alberta also has their local
5376 Members of the Commission, Mr. Athwal and I
respectfully ask that you approve Trinity Television's application so that we
too can finally have our own local television station in the Fraser Valley; so
that we can produce our own programs locally that meet the needs of our people;
so that we won't be left at the mercy of others who don't understand nor seem to
care about our needs; and so that programs produced back east are no longer the
5377 Thank you for giving us the opportunity to address
the Commission today.
5378 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very much,
5379 Madam Secretary.
5380 MS VOGEL: Our next intervenor this afternoon is M.Y.
5381 Would you come forward, please.
--- Pause / Pause
5382 MS VOGEL: I will re-call that intervenor
5383 I would now like to invite the Canadian Association
of Media Organizations and Jesuit Community Project to come forward with their
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
5384 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good
5385 MR. PUNGENTE: Good afternoon. I should correct a
misinterpretation. I am representing the Canadian Association of Media Education
Organizations and the Jesuit Communication Project. It is just a mistyping on
5386 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you.
5387 MR. PUNGENTE: It makes a difference; yes, it
5388 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Yes, because there is
another organization that has somewhat of a similar title. But there are no
Jesuits, as far as we know.
5389 MR. PUNGENTE: No. I am the only Jesuit in the room,
as far as I know.
5390 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Welcome.
5391 MR. PUNGENTE: Thank you very much, Madam
5392 My name is John Pungente, and I am a Jesuit. I am
also an educator, an author, a broadcaster, and for the past 35 years a media
literacy advisor, advocate and national and international advocate.
5393 I am here today as President of the Canadian
Association of Media Education Organizations (CAMEO) which counts the British
Columbia media education organization as a founding member. I speak on their
behalf with the support of the other members of CAMEO in favour of CHUM's
5394 CHUM television stands out as the major supporter of
media literacy in Canada. Media literacy -- which provides people with an
informed and critical understanding of the nature, the technique and the impact
of the mass media -- is now a mandated part of the Language Arts curriculum
across the country. Every school child will know about the media. And thanks to
the CRTC Commission for helping push this.
5395 This is no small accomplishment. Canada is ranked
third in the world, just behind Australia and Great Britain in this area. While
it is one thing to legislate this into existence, it is another thing to make it
5396 As we all know, the provinces, for various reasons,
have made significant cuts in funding to the schools and the schools have had to
turn elsewhere for help in this work.
5397 CHUM has been at the forefront of this, and CHUM's
support has taken many forms. Much of it has been developed over a number of
years in relationship with Canadian media education organizations across Canada
and with the Jesuit communication project, and for many years CHUM has been a
strong supporter of media education, first of all, through its programming:
MediaTelevision, MovieTelevision, MuchMusic's MuchMediaLit, Scanning the Movies
and special editions of The NewMusic.
5398 CHUM is also a founding member of Cable in the
Classroom. It encourages and supports media literacy work, and CHUM has provided
initial seed money to the National Film Board of Canada to start the Media
5399 CHUM began producing and distributing MuchMusic's
media education programming in the 1980s.
5400 CHUM has demonstrated time and again that their
interest in media education is a serious and concerned one. They feel that as
producers of media they have an obligation to help people understand the product
and become intelligent, informed consumers. Canadian media educators have been
fortunate in this partnership, which has been most beneficial to the development
of media education in Canada.
5401 CHUM's station in Victoria will help extend this
partnership. CHUM will begin this partnership by making happen that
all-important next step in media education on the Island -- the training of
teachers at the local level through workshops and summer or night
5402 CHUM has developed a model for a partnership between
media professionals and media educators that could take place in every other
country around the world. In fact, last spring CHUM was invited by UNESCO to
attend a conference in Vienna to explain to other countries just how this works.
That was a very successful meeting.
5403 Over the past ten years I have worked with the Island
teachers and given workshops in Victoria and Nanaimo and have spoken at length
with the need for teacher training with various B.C. Ministry of Education
officials and the British Columbia Teachers Federation.
5404 The need is urgent, and CHUM is helping to fulfil
5405 CHUM has demonstrated how this works with their other
local stations in Ontario, and I have been part of that. CHUM has also helped
out here in Vancouver and Victoria with workshops for teachers.
5406 CHUM works with educators to design study guides to
go with their programming, and this is most important.
5407 One of the most significant aspects that CHUM has
developed in media education to make this work is very simply to name a senior
executive in charge of media education. This is the first time this has been
done by any network anywhere in the world. This has been going on for a number
of years, and it is an historical and important step for media
5408 At the same time CHUM is working on a new project to
help train teachers through the use of the Internet, and CHUM is a major sponsor
-- in fact, the major sponsor -- for media education at a conference called
Summit 2000: Children, Youth and The Media -- which I am sure you know about,
Madam Chair -- that will be held in Toronto, and of which I am one of the
organizers. I am really very pleased to see CHUM as a supporter of
5409 There will be representatives, of course, from the
B.C. educational community there, and we are very pleased to announce that, as
part of the aboriginal component of the summit, two aboriginal teachers from the
Saanich Board on Vancouver Island will be there as presenters.
5410 This partnership between CHUM and Canadian media
educators across Canada has grown over the years since the 1980s. CAMEO looks
forward to developing this partnership even further in Victoria and across the
5411 Thank you very much for the honour.
5412 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you. Did you say
that the Summit was in Toronto?
5413 MR. PUNGENTE: Yes, Summit 2000 in Toronto May 13th to
5414 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: I thought it was in
5415 MR. PUNGENTE: No. There is another conference
following that. I would be happy to leave you with a copy of the program,
because we think the CRTC ought to be attending as well.
5416 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: I thought you were
referring to the one that will be held later on in May in Vancouver.
5417 MR. PUNGENTE: Yes. That is the week after ours. That
is a conference to sell people product. Our conference will bring together for
the first time the people who teach about the media with the people who make the
5418 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you.
5419 MR. PUNGENTE: Thank you very much.
5420 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Madam
5421 MS VOGEL: Our next intervenor this afternoon is the
Port Theatre, with Karen Killeen; and the Nanaimo Art Gallery, with Carmela
5422 Would you come forward, please.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
5423 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good
5424 MS TANG: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. My
name is Carmela Tang, and I am here as the President of the Nanaimo Art Gallery.
I am also President of the Centre for the Arts Nanaimo, and I am chair of the
Short-term Action Committee for the City of Nanaimo Downtown Strategy
5425 Roughly six weeks ago, in response to a widely
circulated public invitation, I attended a presentation by CHUM about this
application to you. I was very impressed by the knowledge of their team, not
only about the business of television, but about what they knew about the needs
of Nanaimo and the Island.
5426 These people had done their homework before coming,
but they were still interested in hearing more about us. After the formal part
of the gathering -- if there is anything formal about these people -- we all had
the opportunity to bend their ear even further. And then, to our great surprise,
three members of their team, including Mr. Moses Znaimer, accepted our offer to
stroll through the downtown core and to hear about our plans for its
revitalization, using arts, culture and entertainment as an economic driver, and
of course the role that CHUM could play in those plans.
5427 Their interest was genuine and their time was
5428 I must tell you that while I knew of CHUM TV and
their eclectic collection of stations, I had no information on their people. But
as we all know, we often learn about today's world of communications from our
children. It was my son who told me about Moses Znaimer and his accomplishments.
He called him the young people's media guru.
5429 My son's enthusiasm led me to research more about
this group, their commitment to relatively small local markets and the level of
follow-through on their promises; in other words, their track record.
5430 My findings have brought me here today before you,
supporting their application.
5431 One hundred and four new jobs: Nanaimo and the Island
needs that. Original local programming: we need that. Shows dedicated to
aboriginal B.C. issues: we definitely need that. A permanent Nanaimo bureau with
coverage of Vancouver Island news and events: we surely need that. Development
and promotion of Canadian feature film, drama, documentaries, local arts and
culture: boy, do we need that.
5432 They have offered several other things, and we need
5433 But in order to meet the needs of Nanaimo and
Vancouver Island, CHUM needs a licence for a Victoria-based TV station, and only
you can provide that.
5434 Our traditional economies on the Island are lost, and
our new economy of arts and culture, and in particular our unique brand of
Canadian culture from the Island is neglected. CHUM, with its affiliated
stations, promised to be the best media vehicle available to us to meet our
5435 Please help us to help ourselves by granting CHUM the
application. Thank you.
5436 MS KILLEEN: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. My
name is Karen Killeen. I am the General Manager of the Port Theatre in
5437 The Port Theatre is an 800-seat live entertainment
facility which just recently opened in the fall of 1998. The most important fact
I would like to share with you about the facility is that it was built through
the determination of a group of volunteers, who for over ten years officially,
and 25 years unofficially, fought to make this dream a reality for the citizens
of Nanaimo and a very large portion of the Island that we now serve.
5438 They built it. They raised the $12.9 million to
pay for it, and I have the pleasure of working for this incredible
5439 In only a year and a half of operation we have
surpassed our greatest expectations with respect to the number of events,
attendance and successful programming, including financially successful. We were
recently nominated in the category Best Performing Arts Venue Under 1500 Seats
in the country in the upcoming Canadian Music Week Conference to be held later
next week in Toronto.
5440 To have achieved all this without the benefit of any
television media exposure, editorial or advertising possibilities, is an
incredible feat in itself. I am here to tell you that Nanaimo desperately needs
the support of a station that will pay attention to its residents, that will pay
attention to its unique place on Vancouver Island....
--- Technical difficulties / Problèmes techniques
5441 ...relative to the grassroots of the neighbourhood in
which they reside. In October of 1999, Nanaimo's hometown artist, Diana Krall,
performed the last two concerts of her Canadian tour at the Port Theatre.
Through Bravo!, the CHUM organization produced a full special on Diana and her
roots. Included in this production were many Nanaimo faces and
5442 CHUM offered the Port Theatre the opportunity to
shoot a commercial spot, if you will, which will be aired throughout the
upcoming year. This spot, by the way, had nothing to do with Diana Krall, but
rather gave me the opportunity to nationally advertise our own upcoming events,
some of which were local and amateur events from our community that would never
dream of having exposure on this kind of level.
5443 Just last week I received word from a colleague in
Ontario who had just seen a spot. So for a theatre in a community the size of
Nanaimo, this is certainly unprecedented.
5444 Nanaimo's downtown core has experienced the same
deterioration common to many centres over the last few years. Our attempt to
breathe life into our city centre is demonstrated by our community creation of
the Port Theatre and the new arts development that my colleague Carmela has
described to you.
5445 Already the face of the city centre is changing. It
is becoming more colourful, more youthful, and more vibrant. The introduction of
a CHUM news bureau and the installation of a Speaker's Corner sets just the
right tone for our city centre. Not only will this contribute to the economic
growth of the downtown, but will also attract increased interest and
5446 Having spent time getting to know the CHUM
organization and some of its personnel, I can attest to the fact that they too
are definitely colourful, youthful and vibrant.
5447 In closing, I must express my respect for this
organization for a number of reasons. They approached our community honestly.
They did not promise things they knew they could not deliver. They conducted
very open community consultations. And most importantly, I saw firsthand and
experienced firsthand the respect they showed us.
5448 I have lived and worked in communities that have
benefited from their approach and professionalism, and I beg you to allow us to
do the same on Vancouver Island.
5449 Thank you.
5450 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very
5451 Madam Secretary.
5452 MS VOGEL: Madam Chairperson, I have been informed
that none of the intervenors that are remaining with regard to Item 4 are in the
room, but we do have intervenors for Item 5.
5453 Will we proceed with Item 5?
5454 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Yes, for another half
5455 MS VOGEL: Then I would like to invite High Road
Productions Inc. and Tapestry Films Ltd. to come forward.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
5456 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good
5457 MS YOUNG LEEKIE: Good afternoon, Madam Chair and
Members of the Board of the CRTC. It is my pleasure to appear before you today
in person to testify on behalf of Craig Broadcasting Systems application for
A-Channel on the Island.
5458 I followed the decisions of your Commission with
great interest over the years since their impact on our industry is so
incredibly profound. As an independent producer of film and television for over
15 years, I have had extensive experience with public and private
5459 In the summer of 1998 our companies was in the throes
of financing what is to date our most ambitious and expensive mini-series, "The
Avro Arrow". Our Manitoba co-producers and our company were trying to assemble a
multiple tier broadcast licence in order to maximize licence fee opportunities
for this kind of 100 per cent Canadian content.
5460 A-Channel's Drew Craig, previously unknown to us but
well-known in the province of Manitoba, came forward as a supporter of Canadian
drama and a nationalist and took an unprecedented step of sharing the licence in
a second tier position with the CBC through the A-Channel Drama Fund.
5461 A-Channel's second window licence, combined with
CBC's primary licence, enabled us to maximize the funding available for the 100
per cent Canadian content drama.
5462 With A-Channels' co-operative and innovative approach
to multiple licence funding, the enormously popular Arrow was made. In excess of
$7 million was spent in the province of Manitoba, employing several hundred
skilled technicians and craftspeople. A relative small portion of the A-Channel
Drama Fund represented a huge boost in the economy of the Manitoba film
community and also brought us an incredible mini-series that continues to sell
all over the world and give Canadians a chance to see themselves in a very real
5463 Two years ago, together with our Manitoba partners,
the Buffalo Gow(ph) Productions, we again approached A-Channel with yet another
Canadian classic, "Children of My Heart", a feature television movie based on
the novel "Ces enfants de ma vie" by Franco-Manitoban author Gabrielle Roy. This
is a project we had taken to both the CBC and SRC. The CBC said it was too
French, and SRC said it was too English. And A-Channel said: "Let's do it. This
is exactly the kind of project a Canadian film company should be
5464 This time, through the A-Channel's Drama Fund Craig
Broadcasting has taken the licence lead, and once again a truly unique Canadian
story will make it to the small screen.
5465 Ladies and gentlemen, it is a big, big movie from a
relatively small drama fund.
5466 It wasn't an easy road to follow. Cultural funds are
hugely over-subscribed, and too often regional productions miss out in the
shadow of the big series and bigger network demands. But A-Channel executives,
Drew Craig and Joanne Levy, believed in the project and the desire of western
audiences to see themselves in their stories.
5467 With their tenacious financial and moral support,
together we weathered two years of funding battles and two big disappointments
until the movie, which is now in the final stages of post-production, became a
reality in the fall of last year.
5468 The big winners here are the A-Channel audiences and
Canadian audiences, because eventually A-Channel will broadcast this and sell
subsequent licences so that it has a national footprint.
5469 Canadian audiences will see a classic Manitoba story,
with a classic Canadian cast, beautifully told and expertly rendered by
Manitobans, Albertans and some of us from Ontario who managed to squeak in under
5470 It is going to be a beautiful film. It is the kind of
film that we should be making year after year. And again A-Channel has done two
5471 A-Channel on the Island's application promises the
same kind of commitment to west coast drama and priority programming. They will
do it with long form drama; they will do it with episodic drama; and they will
do it with long form documentary. I have seen it firsthand.
5472 The A-Channel on the Island's Priority Program Fund
promises $11 million over seven years for drama and long form documentaries. I
can tell you that it will be a lot more than $11 million that will be
5473 If the performance of the A-Channel Drama Fund in
Alberta is any indicator, west coast Canadians will soon be seeing their own
stories in profound and lasting programming in the very near future.
5474 Vancouver Island, I know, is one of the most
appealing communities in the country. Its pristine ecology, its vibrant arts and
culture, and its spectacular beauty make those of us in the flat, cold midlands
green with envy. But when kids in Port Hardy or Tofino flick on their sets right
now, they are much more likely to see the violent brutality of inner city
Seattle or the empty values of Beverley Hills than a story that resonates with
the sights and smells and sounds of their own world.
5475 I think producers in this coastal area should be rest
assured that if A-Channel does get that licence, they will be telling their own
stories, and they will be telling them in a very classy fashion.
5476 Every time another A-Channel station starts up, the
community and audience it serves get more than their money's worth. The
A-Channel is filling an ever-increasing void in regional programming that is
being abandoned by the giant networks without a backward glance.
5477 The A-Channel imprint is fresh. It is distinctive. It
is youthful. It is original. And it is authentically true to its regional
audience. Vancouver Islanders will see themselves every day in the local and
regional coverage in news and talk TV and variety programming. And the coastal
region will very soon see themselves, as well as the rest of Canada, in the
5478 I have watched A-Channel move into Calgary, into
Edmonton, and into the Forks area of Winnipeg. They embrace the culture. They
find the needs in the ethnic community and they reflect them. They make very
young, very hip programming available in a local way.
5479 Today we are living in a world of cultural dominance
from the U.S. and other markets larger than our own, and the role of Canadian
broadcasters has never been more important. And in my opinion it has never been
more scarce. A-Channel continues to commit themselves over and over again to
5480 If we are to continue to grow and strengthen as a
country -- and you can see my arrow so you know how passionate a nationalist you
are dealing with, folks -- our kids, our audiences, and you and I need to see
ourselves in our own stories from our own lands.
5481 A commitment to A-Channel on the Island is a
commitment to the community of Vancouver Island, to western Canadian culture,
and to Canada as a healthy diverse whole.
5482 I believe in A-Channel's vision for a network. They
know their audience and they know their country. They are responsible cultural
citizens of the airwaves. Vancouver Island will benefit enormously by their
5483 I truly believe I represent a great portion of the
independent film community in asking you to please support their
5484 Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for your
5485 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very
5486 MS YOUNG LEEKIE: Do you have any questions of me
while I am here?
5487 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: No, thank
5488 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: We are going to put you down
--- Laughter / Rires
5489 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: The only question I
had was that arrow that I didn't know what you were talking about; I'm
5490 Madam Secretary.
5491 MS VOGEL: I would like to call the Alberta Motion
Picture Industries Association, please; Gerry Cook.
--- Pause / Pause
5492 MS VOGEL: Seeing no one move, I would like to then
call Smooth Productions, John Donnelly.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
5493 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good
5494 MR. DONNELLY: Good evening. Madam Chair and
Commissioners, my name is John Donnelly. I am a Vancouver-based concert promoter
and a producer of special events.
5495 My background includes 15 years as a performer, as
well as 15 years now on the business side of music. So I am familiar with
virtually all areas of the music business in Canada.
5496 I have had the opportunity to produce concerts and
events in literally all markets right across the country, and I have had a
chance to work with many broadcasters. I have worked with CBC and produced
specials for them. I have done series of events for YTV. I have worked with
MuchMusic many times over the years. And I have done lots of work with the
5497 I am here to speak on behalf of Drew Craig and the
A-Channel on the Island.
5498 Drew provided me with my chance to produce my first
television special many years ago, which was sold nationally and went on to win
a Canadian Association of Broadcasters Gold Ribbon Award for Best Canadian
Talent Development Program, way back in 1990. But we developed a relationship on
that show which has grown over the last ten years to include many specials,
corporate promotions and recently the launch events for the three new A-Channel
5499 Through these events and other projects I have
produced, I have had a chance to watch the development of A-Channel's
entertainment program and their promotion coverage.
5500 In September 1999, just recently, I produced a major
event in downtown Calgary which was sponsored locally by A-Channel; and as well,
it was sponsored nationally by MuchMusic. This show gave me a first-hand
opportunity to see the A-Channel entertainment team in action.
5501 They provided a promotional schedule for the event we
were working on. They helped us land some sponsorship deals. They featured some
of the athletes and performers on their Big Breakfast Show in the morning. They
did the five o'clock weather report from the top of our snowboard ramp that we
built in downtown Calgary. They broadcast entertainment reports on their six
o'clock news. And they went backstage for their ten o'clock wire
5502 So we really got support from them right across the
board. It was a two-day event, so they came back for more the next day. It was
really coverage above and beyond the call of duty, and I don't think this type
of coverage is even considered by other local broadcasters for conventional
5503 Yet this coverage was extremely important to us, and
I am pleased to report that this event was a huge success for us. What it did
was it provided a good example of the type of support that A-Channel can give to
local entertainment events.
5504 I have also produced and performed in shows on
Vancouver Island. I am intimately familiar with CHEK-TV. As any of the concert
promoters that work on Vancouver Island know, it is very difficult to obtain
television support for local entertainment events on the Island.
5505 I know that House of Blues Concerts and some of the
bigger players actually quite often overlook going to the Island because it is
so hard to get support for events, yet there is really a huge list of talent and
support for live music and for these types of events on Vancouver
5506 I went through the Pacific Music Industry database
this morning just to take a real look at it, and I found over 200 Vancouver
Island performers listed in the database, 26 large festivals, and 82 live music
venues on Vancouver Island.
5507 So there is lot of people working in this industry,
yet they have been really ignored by the local television for so long that they
don't even bother trying to contact CHEK-TV and get support for the
5508 CHEK used to have some features like Check Around.
They at one point had an Island-based video show, but these services were cut
5509 I think what is going to happen is that once these
promoters and artists discover the difference that a local station that is
committed to supporting the arts and entertainment can make, it is really going
to help boost the whole entertainment scene and the arts and entertainment
community on Vancouver Island.
5510 The Craigs have proven to me that they know how to do
this; they know how to take that energy and enthusiasm that they can put into an
event and really make it work for the community.
5511 I am aware of the plans that have put into place as
part of their proposals; their show "250" five nights a week, entertainment
coverage, arts and entertainment support, "Entertainment West", which will be
carried by all the A-Channel stations. Their "Big Breakfast Show" is a hit in
Alberta. It has just been launched in Winnipeg. I think it will be a hit and
good news for B.C. performers.
5512 I think that they are thinking of the right idea.
They have programming in place that could be very practical and provide support
to the arts community. I am aware personally of all the tremendous work that has
been undertaken by the Craig family and the results that they have
5513 A-Channel is really an exciting new concept. It is
the brainchild of Drew Craig. He has done an incredible job. And so soon it has
become an important part of the fabric of Calgary and Edmonton, and about to be
that way in Winnipeg.
5514 My personal experiences with the Craig family have
been nothing short of fantastic. They have provided many opportunities to me
personally and to my production company over the past ten years through both
their radio and TV holdings, and their word has always been true to
5515 It is my pleasure to provide this endorsement for
Drew Craig. I think he has a fantastic application, and I ask you to please give
it your full consideration. I think they will deliver a very strong and exciting
new station for Vancouver Island, and it will serve the Island first and
5516 Thank you very much.
5517 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you,
5518 Madam Secretary.
5519 MS VOGEL: Our next intervenor this afternoon is
Intrepid Theatre Company Society, with Joanne Wilson.
5520 Would you come forward, please.
--- Pause / Pause
5521 MS VOGEL: No one from Intrepid Theatre.
5522 Then I would ask Barry W. Kelsey to come forward,
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
5523 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good
5524 MR. KELSEY: Madam Chair, I don't know whether I am
last or second-last, but I don't feel this is the best spot on the calendar for
the day. I am just conscious that it is getting on to 9:30 for you folks, so I
will try to move through this as quickly as I can. But I am determined to get as
far down the road with my script as possible before the ten minutes are
5525 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: So are we. But you
will see that after the ten minutes we are very alert too.
5526 MR. KELSEY: I will be watching for that.
5527 Madam Chair, Members of the Commission, my name is
Barry Kelsey and I am appearing in support of the application by Craig Systems
for a new TV licence to serve Victoria and Vancouver Island.
5528 Until retirement four years ago, I served British
Columbia as Assistant Deputy Minister for Culture, Heritage and Recreation and
held that appointment for 12 years, from 1984 until 1996.
5529 Commissioners, I have viewed television service in
remote communities on Vancouver Island and in the Gulf and have been heartened
to be able to watch in those places the Northern Television Service which
appears to emanate from the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut. This
programming is very well done. It is interesting and it is unique.
5530 But in those same communities I was not able to watch
programming from and about Vancouver Island, reflecting the Island's uniqueness.
Why? Because there isn't any.
5531 The CRTC is to be congratulated for having licensed
the Northern Television Service. I personally played a small role in helping
establish Canada's northern broadcasting system in the late 1950s and 1960s. I
learned then, and I know now, how important locally-focused television is.
Without it, cultures wither.
5532 I particularly want to applaud the Commission for
having recognized that the uniqueness of the North could be reflected in
5533 But that is not Vancouver Island's
5534 I am intervening today as an Islander. We have a
large population but no television service reflecting that size. Our history is
unique within the greater context of British Columbia's history and that of
5535 When people came to Vancouver Island as its first
immigrants, they came directly from Europe, not from the mainland or from the
rest of Canada. Our key geographic features had already been named by First
Nations People and by Spanish and Portuguese explorers long before northern
Europeans arrived from around the Horn. Those names remain and they are on the
5536 We are the part of British Columbia that already has
treaties with the First Nations. But these things are unknown to
5537 Our three major First Nations groups speak languages
as different from each other as French differs from English and English from
Spanish. These first citizens number in the thousands of people on Vancouver
Island, yet they are invisible to television.
5538 We can see the whole world on the dozens of channels
available on our sets. We can even see meaningful programming from northern
Canada, at least in our small remote communities. But we cannot see ourselves or
5539 I believe the Craig Corporation's preparation and
research over the last several years, in Victoria and on the Island, has yielded
the licence proposal with the best chance of reflecting Island needs and Island
5540 The core of my presentation to you follows a fairly
standard form of argument -- assumptions, strategic considerations and
5541 First, then, my assumptions.
5542 My first assumption in looking at the competition
here is that the people of the Island and its related Gulf Islands are a
community. We are linked to each other by history, by treaty, by commerce, by
social services, geography, transportation roots, by cultural practice and by
custom. Yet in the national media that reach us, there are virtually no
reflections back to us of our uniqueness even though our population is larger
than Newfoundland's. This is true of the national press and of television and
radio, Arthur Black notwithstanding.
5543 My second assumption is that there is no reason to
think that this shortcoming will be acted upon by a new station owner if the
licence in play goes to program managers who always have one eye on the
Vancouver market. Nor can I assume that it will be acted upon if the licence
goes to a television service whose program decisionmaking rotates around a pivot
point in Toronto. Toronto as a gatekeeper for Island culture and Island
television is a challenging thought for my old mind.
5544 So my second assumption is that the best hope for
redress lies with a service focused entirely on the large population of the
Island, committed entirely to us, with major decisions made in most instances in
Victoria or on the Island, and in any case no further away than
5545 You have before you no seething western isolationist.
I spent much of my career with the provincial government, and before that with
the federal government, working with other provinces, working with the national
government, developing national programs in film, television production, sport,
publishing, music and other areas like film distribution.
5546 But a component of my second assumption is that the
Vancouver Island market, with its substantial economy, has seen large sums of
television revenue earned on the Island and then leave the Island in the form of
corporate revenues and profits, with no program investment back on to the Island
into the Island community and no contribution to its culture or its
5547 Some of this revenue could be used to make programs
that serve our needs, and Craig has committed to do so.
5548 To restate the shortcoming which the CRTC could
address, can address, through this decision: more than 600,000 Canadians -- in
fact, it is more like 700,000 Canadians -- who form a unique community on
Vancouver Island and its related Gulf Islands remain unrecognized and unserved
by an appropriate television service. As far as television is concerned, this
population is invisible to the rest of British Columbia, to the rest of western
Canada and to the rest of the country. Most importantly, as far as television is
concerned, it is invisible to itself.
5549 From the perspective of national communications
policy and national television strategy within that policy, this complex and
unique Canadian community, larger by far in population than Newfoundland, is not
5550 The strategic considerations I have examined before
concluding that the Craig proposal is best are as follows:
5551 Will the service be wholly Island based and wholly
committed to the Island population?
5552 Will the licensee commit sufficient resources to
support good programming from all over the Island?
5553 Will the licensee commit to reflect and support the
artistic and cultural growth of Islanders in its programs?
5554 Will the station reflect the First Nations People of
our Island to each other and to the wider community?
5555 Will the licensee make specific, credible commitments
to contribute to the long-term development of our economy by investing in
independent film and television production?
5556 And finally, how to the proponents' records of
achievement in western Canada accord with these strategic concerns I have
outlined and with the commitments thy have made to the CRTC in the
5557 Commissioners, I have looked at the proposals before
you and, given the assumptions I have described, the considerations outlined
above, and the information that is available to me, I have concluded that the
Craig proposal fits best with Vancouver Island's television needs.
5558 Craig is committed to a great deal of local and
Island programming for the entire Island area, which will showcase and support
Island arts and creativity, give visibility to First Citizens, spend large sums
to help develop independent television and film production, and make us visible
on television to ourselves.
5559 Finally, I would just like to return to my first
point. I support and I want to really strongly emphasize how much I applaud the
availability the remote northern communities of the Island this Northern
Television Service. It is really quite wonderful.
5560 But I commend to your consideration that it is time
to provide to these same towns, and to all the people on Vancouver Island, a
strong Island-based, Island-focused television service. I believe the Craig
A-Channel proposal is the best alternative.
5561 With that, I thank you very much. I hope you have a
5562 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: The same for you, sir.
Thank you for having participated.
5563 Madam Secretary.
5564 MS VOGEL: I would next like to call National Screen
Institute Canada, Cheryl Ashton.
--- Pause / Pause
5565 MS VOGEL: Seeing no movement, then I would like to
invite New Music West 2000 to come forward.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
5566 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good
5567 MR. HATLELID: Good evening. My name is Martin
Hatlelid. I am the General Manager and co-producer of New Music West, which is
Vancouver's annual New Music Festival and Conference, produced in conjunction
with the Pacific Music Industry Association. The event is now in its ninth
5568 For the modern rock industry, our event is the west
coast music event of the year. Last year's festival featured over 200 bands,
drew 15,000 people, received front page coverage from the Georgia Strait and the
Vancouver Sun, plus great reviews from many publications and media
5569 I am also a musician and a former Vancouver Island
resident. I am appearing today in support of Craig Broadcast's application for
A-Channel on the Island.
5570 I know firsthand that there is a huge talent pool on
the Island, and it is not just in Victoria. In my role with New Music West, I am
in touch with many local Island performers. Each year we receive over 1,000
submissions from artists hoping to be in our festival. Last year over 100
applications were from Vancouver Island, including some of the buzz bands who
attracted international attention at the festival: groups like Velvet, who are
signing with Si(ph) Records; Special Guests, being courted by Atek Records; Kilt
Lifters(ph), Limestone all are Island based and building strong local fan
5571 These artists are very vocal about the lack of
support they receive from CHEK-TV and how important it is to get support from
the local broadcaster. This is a consistent theme from literally all the groups
we work with, who come to play the festival and fight for media coverage of
their participation in the event.
5572 We have tried to get support from CHEK-TV for our
event, but we are never able to find an outlet for the station for
5573 Having met the Craig family during their application
to the CRTC three years ago, I watched with interest how they progressed with
the A-Channel and see how quickly they become established in the Alberta market.
I have spoken with many artists and touring groups and directed them to contact
A-Channel when they are going to Alberta. The feedback I have received about
A-Channel support for touring groups has been consistent.
5574 "The Big Breakfast" is open to having guest
performers. The entertainment reporters actually go the shows. These groups are
getting exposure from A-Channel, which is helping to build them a new
5575 Now I look with interest to see the plans they are
putting in place for entertainment coverage for Vancouver Island. A-Channel's
"250" will run each week night, dedicated to arts and entertainment, showcasing
both established and emerging talent. This show will be similar to their "Wired
Feature", which runs on Calgary's A-Channel station -- but better, I am told,
with more money pumped into production and coverage of events right across the
5576 "Entertainment West" is a good idea. This show is
proposed to originate from Victoria and will provide an outlet for B.C.
performers to be heard on all the A-Channel stations. It will also provide a
voice for guest performers visiting the Island to reach the entire prairie
5577 "The Big Breakfast" is a hit in Alberta and as a live
two-hour TV show relies heavily on live entertainment. This is good news for
B.C. performers. Any time they can support live music, they do.
5578 In fairness, I would like to mention that our
festival receives generous support from the media and music communities. We are
one of the few events which feature sponsorships by competitors, both Z95 and
CFOX support our event. HMV, Sam's and Future Shop support our event. Both
Roland and Yamaha support us, as does MuchMusic and VTV.
5579 We are, and remain to be, continually thankful for
our support from our partners and media sponsors and hope this intervention
won't adversely affect our relationship with MuchMusic.
5580 In closing, I would like to say that I think
A-Channel on the Island can, and will, help make a difference. The plans this
new station has put forward will help boost the entertainment community on the
Island and help these groups build a local fan base. It will bring a new element
to the table for TV viewers in B.C.
5581 I am pleased to provide my support for Drew Craig and
his team for A-Channel on the Island.
5582 Thank you very much.
5583 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very much,
5584 Madam Secretary.
5585 MS VOGEL: Our next intervenor this afternoon is
Victoria Independent Film Producers Association, Greg Mason.
5586 Would you come forward, please.
--- Pause / Pause
5587 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: We know that there is
one intervenor from this morning who is here, so I would propose that that
person will be our last intervenor for the day.
5588 MS VOGEL: That's fine. I would like to call Nathan
Cho, then, with CKTV, to make his presentation.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
5589 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Good
5590 MR. CHO: Good evening. Commissioners, my name is
Nathan Cho, and I am producer for Rogers Multicultural Channel and also Korean
programming provider for TalentVision.
5591 I have been working as a producer for the last five
years on both channels.
5592 I brought a tape here, but I don't think I will be
able to play this because of time constraints.
5593 The man sitting beside me is right now appearing as a
TV anchor for the Korean community, and we share news footage with CBC Vancouver
to let our viewers know what is developing in Canada. It is good for first
generation Koreans to integrate into Canadian society. Our show is remarkable
because viewers are increasing day by day.
5594 I would like to read what I have written earlier. You
have my paper there.
5595 I have two points of view. First of all is a business
point of view, because I have a business, a stake, and this licensing and our
decisionmaking process make a difference to me, whether my business may be at
stake or may not.
5596 Also, I would like to present the community point of
view, because I hear from people in my community about what is going on
regarding this licensing. They have shown some concern about this.
5597 First of all, I will read: Will the ethnic producers
working at the Rogers Multicultural Channel and TalentVision not be competing
for a livelihood against the producers working at LMTV?
5598 I believe that commercial advertisers and viewers
will shift away from TalentVision and Rogers multicultural channel.
5599 I am also worried that Rogers should shut down
Rogers' multicultural channel down the road, because it does not have as much of
an appeal as LMTV does. Then what should I do for a living after being laid
5600 Some of the producers on the Rogers' multicultural
channel that I talked to presented a similar case, saying that their businesses
are at stake.
5601 I will proceed to the community point of
5602 LMTV is talking about the synergy facts that are
created through networking between Toronto and Vancouver. I was here two days
ago and I heard that. But I am worried that LMTV should bring to the Vancouver
area such programs as are already being broadcast in Toronto. LMTV may say this
networking operation is necessary because local Korean programs may not be
produced in Vancouver for lack of funding. But this is not acceptable to the
Korean community in Vancouver.
5603 It is good to watch Toronto programs as a way of
understanding the Korean community in Toronto, but these programs should not be
shown as main programs on LMTV.
5604 Also, I would like to talk about this issue that the
ethnic programs should occupy prime time blocks on LMTV.
5605 LMTV should focus on local programs during prime time
hours. People of my community say that English programs can be viewed on all the
other channels. People also say that LMTV can be a truly multilingual channel
only if ethnic programs that are locally produced here in Vancouver were put on
those prime time blocks.
5606 I would like to wrap up my presentation. If you have
questions, I am ready to answer.
5607 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you.
5608 Would your friend --
5609 MR. CHO: Mr. Chen Kim(ph) is the anchor --
5610 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Would he like to
participate in the intervention?
5611 MR. CHO: No.
5612 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: It is because we have
had other intervenors two or three at a time.
5613 I am interested in knowing, from your experience and
your appreciation of the size of the community here, what you would see. I
understand your concern vis-à-vis the existing channels and the cannibalization
that can be done between them and eventually your business gets to be
challenged. But if we think about the community being served, don't you think
that it may help to have a choice?
5614 And in order to have a real choice, what do you think
should be the presence of Korean type of programs on the channel that is
5615 MR. CHO: I don't know. But what I hear -- I can't
stop but remember three years ago when they presented a similar case, and I was
deeply affected by their posture that they would take over TalentVision and
limit the number of Korean programming hours to half an hour. At that point in
time they said that. Now they have shifted their posture in saying this time
around they would have two hours rather than a half-hour show.
5616 I don't know what type of programs will be shown on
those two-hour blocks per week. My guess is they will bring the programs that
are already being put on the air in Toronto into the Vancouver area. The
programs that are being shown in Toronto may concern national issues, but I
think they are focused on the Korean community in Toronto only.
5617 My question is that if they are intent upon allowing
Korean programming hours in Vancouver, then they should focus on local issues.
Here we have about 30,000 Koreans, and a major portion of this population is
first generation Koreans. They have to still find the time to integrate into the
Canadian society, the way of life, Canadian manner of doing things.
5618 I think I am in a good position to allow them to see
5619 CFMT is talking about the subsidy of funding, and
they divided their programs between the ethnic programming and the English
programming. They say English programming it is because subsidize small ethnic
5620 I don't think there is merit in their argument. So I
am opposed to that.
5621 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: I understand that you
would be satisfied with the two hours if those two hours were to be local type
of programming that addresses the communities here.
5622 MR. CHO: Yes. And it should be in the prime time
blocks. If they allow the Korean community to be on prime time, that would be
good. English programs are not heartfelt by the Korean viewers. Most of these
viewers come home after work and they view the programs during those prime
times, between 6 o'clock and 11 o'clock. These are very essential
5623 I would like LMTV to dedicate these hours to -- not
all, but a considerable portion to the Korean community. Right now we are
programming 36 hours, in total, per week in Vancouver. This is quite a portion,
don't you think?
5624 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: I understand, too,
that what you are saying is you are not supportive of the principle of having a
portion that is ethnic programming and another one that is more of the
English-language model, especially when this is scheduled in prime
5625 MR. CHO: That's right. I can't buy that idea, because
I don't know about the true intentions of Rogers in presenting this case. Will
they go for a truly multilingual station? If that is the case, then they should
dedicate all of these prime time hours to local Canadian content programming. I
can contribute to that.
5626 But they say because of this funding issue they have
to allocate these hours to English American soap operas, and things like that. I
don't think that is right.
5627 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you.
Commissioner Grauer has a question for you as well.
5628 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you.
5629 You produce now for TalentVision and for the Rogers
5630 MR. CHO: Yes.
5631 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Do you do 36 hours -- where is
the 36 hours in Vancouver?
5632 MR. CHO: Exactly speaking, 14 hours of Korean
programming goes on TalentVision, and the remaining 22 hours go on Rogers
5633 The majority of these programs are imported from
Korea. But recently I have started contracting with CBC. We are very grateful
that the CBC producer, the executive producer -- her name is Sandra Goody(ph) --
she agreed with me on the idea that she will allow us to use their news
5634 I don't think the programs that go on right now
should be all from Korea. I think I should take as much programming hours away
from this 36 hours to dedicate them to local programming, such as CBC
5635 People respond greatly when they watch developments
in Vancouver, any topic, because they are not able to watch English spoken news
because of their limitations in English.
5636 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: So how much is local of that 36
5637 MR. CHO: Right now I think it is about three hours
only. So it is very small, like 10 per cent only.
5638 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Is it news programming
5639 MR. CHO: Yes.
5640 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: And that is what you do, is
5641 MR. CHO: Yes. But please...
--- Technical difficulties / Problèmes techniques
5642 ...had the CBC footage. It is very difficult to
produce. We don't have much resources. But that is exactly what the viewers
want. We saw that.
5643 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: So funding is the challenge for
you, then, is it?
5644 MR. CHO: Yes.
5645 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Thank you very much.
5646 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: Thank you very much,
5647 Madam Secretary?
5648 MS VOGEL: I would like to check to see whether a
couple of the intervenors who were to be heard earlier today from Vancouver
Island are in the room.
5649 Vancouver Media Directors Council...?
--- Pause / Pause
5650 MS VOGEL: Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce...?
--- Pause / Pause
5651 MS VOGEL: Those are the intervenors for
5652 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: So that concludes our
work for today. We will be here tomorrow morning at 8 o'clock to proceed with
the interventions to complete Phase III.
5653 Thank you. Good night.
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1900, to resume
on Thursday, February 24, 2000 at 0800 / L'audience
est ajournée à 1900, pour reprendre le jeudi
24 février 2000 à 0800