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
|33 Gerrard Street West
||33, rue Gerrard ouest|
|July 4, 2000
||le 4 juillet 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
Broadcasting Applications and Licences/
Demandes et licences en radiodiffusion
|BEFORE / DEVANT:|
||Chairperson / Présidente|
||Commissioner / Conseillère|
||Commissioner / Conseiller|
|ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:|
||Gérant de l'audience|
||Legal Counsel /|
||Secretary / Secrétaire|
|33 Gerrard Street West
||33, rue Gerrard ouest|
|July 4, 2000
||le 4 juillet 2000|
TABLE OF CONTENTS / TABLE DES MATIÈRES
|Presentation by Mr. Bowland
|Presentation by CFMT-Rogers Broadcasting Limited
|Presentation by Mr. Colle
|Presentation by Ms. Shakir
|Presentation by Mr. Nunes
|Presentation by Mr. Lai
|Presentation by Mr. Viccari
|Presentation by Mr. Suekulovski/Ms. Chiappa
|Presentation by Mr. Grammaticos
|Presentation by Mr. Suppiramaniam
|Presentation by Mr. Siu
|Presentation by Mr. Yancoff
|Presentation by Ms. Petroff
|Presentation by Ms. De-Anjelis
|Presentation by Mr. Di Iulio
Toronto, Ontario / Toronto (Ontario)
--- Upon commencing on Tuesday, July 4, 2000 0900 /
L'audience commence le mardi 4 juillet 2000 à 0900
1 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the CRTC
Public Hearing to consider the renewal of Rogers Broadcasting Limited's
television broadcast licence for Toronto, Ottawa, and London, and the renewal of
Playland Broadcasting Limited's FM radio licence for Parry Sound.
2 A number of non-appearing items concerning new broadcast licences are also
included on today's agenda.
3 My name is Martha Wilson and I am the Regional Commissioner for Ontario. I
will be presiding over this hearing. I would also like to introduce the panel's
other members, National Commissioner Andrew Cardozo and Andrée Wyle, Vice-Chair
4 CRTC staff assisting us at this hearing are our Legal Counsel Donald
Rheaume, Hearing Manager Michael Amodeo, and Secretary Diane Santerre.
5 If you have any procedural questions at all, please do not hesitate to
speak with them.
6 The first item on the agenda will be the application from Playland
Broadcasting Limited to renew its radio licence, expiring August 31, 2000 for
CKLP-FM Parry Sound.
7 We will examine a number of issues pertaining to the licensee's compliance
with the Radio Regulations 1986. These issues include Canadian content levels
and the provision of logger tapes.
8 The second item on the agenda will be application from Rogers Broadcasting
Limited to renew its television licence for CFMT-TV Toronto and its transmitters
in Toronto and Ottawa.
9 The applicant wishes to maintain licence conditions governing following:
10 Minimum amounts of ethnic programming; The number of distinct ethnic
groups served, and the number of ethnic programming broadcast languages; Minimum
amounts of Canadian programming; Minimum number of broadcast hours devoted to
non-Canadian and conventional English-language programs.
11 Rogers Broadcasting also requests an exemption from the Commission's
Ethnic Broadcasting Policy by proposing 50% Canadian content levels during the
broadcast day, instead of the required 60%. The
applicant also proposes Canadian content levels of 40% during the evening,
instead of the currently required 50%.
12 Playland Broadcasting Limited will first present its radio renewal licence
application followed by questions from the panel.
13 The panel will then hear the second item, the application for renewal from
Rogers Broadcasting Limited, followed by interventions.
14 Rogers will then have the right to reply to all interventions received.
15 The proceedings of this hearing will be transcribed and filed on the
public record. To ensure that the people responsible for recording the
transcripts are able to provide an accurate record, I would ask that, when you
speak, you press on the small white button on the microphone in front of you.
This activities the microphone.
16 However, in order not to create interference, we ask that when you are not
speaking, you please turn the microphone off. The red light indicates whether or
not the microphone is on or off.
17 I would also ask that you please turn off your cell phones during this
proceeding -- I am sure you can appreciate that unexpected noises can be
distracting for both the applicants and Commissioners. This has happened quite a
few times in recent history. Your cooperation in this regard would be greatly
18 We hope to complete this hearing today and may sit past 5:00 p.m. this
evening if necessary. I will advise you regarding our schedule as the hearing
19 I will now ask the Hearing Secretary, Diane Santerre, to explain any
additional procedures to be followed and to call the first item.
20 MADAM SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
21 I would just like to remind each applicant that they have 20 minutes to
present their application, including audio/visual presentation, and for all
intervenors it is 10 minutes.
22 The transcript will be available the CRTC website seven days after the
completion of this hearing.
23 I would like now to invite Playland Broadcasting Limited to present their
application to renew their broadcasting licence for the radio programming
undertaking CKLP-FM Parry Sound expiring 31st, August, 2000.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
24 MR. BOWLAND: Good morning, Chairperson, Martha Wilson, National
Commissioner Cardozo, Andrée Wylie, Legal Counsel Donald Rheaume, Secretary
Diane Santerre and Hearing Manager Michael
25 It's lonely up here.
26 THE CHAIRPERSON: You could have brought a friend.
27 MR. BOWLAND: At first I thought I would simply cover the infractions
mentioned in licence renewal information provided by the Notice of Public
28 However, this is a hearing not only into those infractions, but of the
performance overall of CKLP towards a renewal of its licence, and to that end I
thought I might provide a quick summary of how we got to where we are and how we
29 Frankly, I still think this is the best kind of radio there is and the big
guys, the amalgamated giants, have lost sight of community broadcasting.
30 I came out of high school in London, Ontario and in 1960 and went right
into then CKOX-AM in Woodstock, Ontario, a station that has since lost all its
community identity to an amalgamated giant.
31 My job was that of assistant engineer and studio operator. Soon I was on
the air as junior announcer.
32 I did stints at CHOW-AM in Welland, CFOR-AM in Orillia, CKNX-TV Wingham,
CKVR-TV and CHAY-FM in Barrie. My duties ran from rock jock, music director,
program director, technical director, news director to operations manager.
33 While working for CHAY-FM the opportunity came up to purchase the 250 watt
AM repeater of the Huntsville station in Parry Sound in 1983. The station was
owned by Joe Duchesne, the then owner of the Huntsville station CFBK-FM.
34 I put together a small company-partnership of five people, did a market
survey and proceeded to put the process in motion to purchase the station.
35 To my knowledge we submitted the first successful FM First Service
application the CRTC licensed.
36 First Service allowed for near AM regulation during a period when FM
regulations regarding programming and commercial activity were much more
demanding. However, our application brought us very close to being a full
fledged FM station and that was because we knew that it would be necessary to
accept all of the regulations encompassing foreground and mosaic programming if
the station was to grow, and grow we have.
37 On purchasing the station in March of 1986, we immediately began the
process of converting to an FM station which was on the air in June of 1986 at
3000 Watts, a 12 fold increase in power.
38 All of this was done on a shoestring budget, used equipment, some
purchased, some begged.
39 Three years later, after an uncomfortable tenancy on a Bell Telephone
owned communications tower, we built our own communications tower.
40 A year after that we moved out of the damp cramped basement of the small
office building we were in to a large second floor office space.
41 We were still operating with the used equipment and scouring the basements
of friendly broadcasters for more. There is no way we could have done it
42 Just about this time the bottom fell out of the economy and the bank
advised us not to write any more cheques. But, we scraped through and went on
with the original plan of becoming a 50000 watt station.
43 We had intentionally taken a frequency which would allow for the power
44 And from the beginning the station was a CBC affiliate. That fact created
some of the difficulties encountered with the power increase.
45 CBC had originally indicated they would provide an alternate full time
transmitter for their programming. That did not come about immediately and we
had to resubmit our promise of performance, losing a year in the process.
46 Another difficulty in our history was encountered when it to renewing a
lease at the second location. A renovation for another tenant in order to keep
it in the building created a great deal of discomfort for us with no
consideration for our needs. We decided to move again. It was actually a
blessing in disguise.
47 The move into a much newer building and a raw floor space allowed us to
design the station for the most ideal configuration. (I have included a magazine
article I wrote for Dialogue on the project as part of the handout).
48 This led to some original thinking for layout, use of technology and
people's traffic patterns.
49 The planning for this move occurred
during fall of 1998 with the actual move taking place from the end of
November to the end of February, 1999. The old lease was up at the end of
50 While the new location was being built we began tearing the old location
apart since some of the ingredients were going to be moved on an 'as needed'
basis by the people performing the construction and engineering.
51 The tearing apart began in November of 1998 as we were going into one of
the busiest months of the year, both for programming and revenue. December,
52 Studio equipment was being disassembled. At the same time we tried to
create the illusion for the listener that it was business as usual with normal
53 The station had just broadcast the annual Santa Claus Parade, the date on
which we introduce Christmas music to the format. Then the CRTC asked for an
analysis of our music and certain logger tapes.
54 As I explained to Suzanne Dufour, she was the chief of the Monitoring
Branch of the CRTC, the request could not have come at a worse time of the year,
let alone a worse time as far as the physical situation of the station was
55 The change to Christmas music used to be a convoluted process with our
previous computer music system which took some fine-tuning after Christmas
formats were invoked.
56 To add to the problem associated with the request for logger tapes,
equipment was being turned on and off, and power was being disrupted from time
to time to various pieces of equipment.
57 The logging recorder was one of the pieces of equipment which was being
affected. If an interruption didn't take us off the air, we didn't worry about
58 The logger, because of its location during this period, fell into the
category of out of sight out of mind much of the time.
59 To compound that problem, the tape we have been using fell into the beg,
borrowed and stolen equipment group mentioned earlier. We never had a "logging
tape reader". We do now.
60 The new location allowed us to rethink how the logger should be located
and set up. It is located in plain sight in the control room right beside anyone
who uses that room and the control room is a combination on-air and production
61 That means people are constantly around the logger and are aware of it all
day long. Additionally we have all new tape for the logger. Hopefully that will
take care of the drop out that may have been occurring as a result of the old
62 Because of the Y2K bug we had to install a new on-air computer system with
updated software and that required a new music selection system.
63 This one will allow us more versatility when it comes to creating enough
formats to cover a period like Christmas with an entire cover set of new music
64 When this problem was first brought to our attention by the CRTC request
for tapes and music self-analysis, we went back to previous spot checks during
SOCAN reporting periods and found our Canadian content, 6:00 a.m. to midnight,
was at or above the level required.
65 So what is a typical day like?
66 Most of the time I arrive at the station bout 8:30 in the morning, unless
I'm filling in on the morning show or early news shift.
67 First, are there any fires to be put out, technical, people problems,
complaints, you name it, the buck stops here.
68 Onto coffee and the newspaper, just in case the wire missed something
that's being said about our coverage area.
69 Head to the control room to lay down voice-tracks for the program I've
heard from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
70 Correspondence time. Telephone call-backs, e-mails, regular mail, faxes.
Find time to talk to the morning show host, the News director,
Sales director. Is everything unfolding as it should? It's about noon, time
for a quick lunch at the station.
71 And any number of things can take up the rest of the day. Examples: check
out the transmitter (which should be done once or twice a week), help with
installation or updating of software or hardware (which seems to happen more and
more often), visit a client, chase down dollars from someone trying to avoid
paying the bill and maybe some time to read up on new technology, regulation and
other items that are changing the way we do radio almost daily.
72 I've even chased down squirrels in, not on, in telephone broadcast wires.
73 Last fall strange noises were coming from our transmitter. These noises
consisted of cross talks, stereo drop out, screeching and squawking and at first
we thought we had a problem with our old transmitter.
74 It had not been without problems in the past, but we seemed to be able to
patch things up and it behaved for a few more months.
75 This problem would not go away and after about a day we realized the noise
was coming in on the broadcast lines, as well as we could tell the noise was not
coming out of the studio.
76 Bell started to investigate, but in our neck of the woods finding the
right person to trace this problem is not always easy. Fully three days after
the problem first surfaced, a multi-pair cable which ran through some trees and
branches was found to have red squirrels storing food in, and stripping
insulation from a, junction box.
77 Another day to repair the damage and add moth balls. But that's one of the
stories I could tell you.
78 Meanwhile, we had decided that it was time to also consider a transmitter
replacement. Consideration led to doing it. That took up most of last fall.
79 Then came Christmas. The usual mad rush to take care of programming, Santa
Claus parades, and once again because of Y2K change in on-air software and to do
that new on-air computers.
80 We recorded almost 3,000 selections to hard drive starting in November,
brought the new program up and married the traffic interface to it.
81 Result, total chaos from Boxing Day to New Year's Eve. We didn't want to
make any changes before then because that would have introduced the dreaded
Christmas music situation to the mix.
82 At the last minute everything began to work moderately well. My wife and I
83 There was no melt down. However, it wasn't until well into January that
the new software programs really began to perform as described by the supplier.
84 We're still fine-tuning the music and adding more to the mix, primarily
Canadian content, but the problem is to find just the right material for the
middle-of-the-road station without sounding redundant
or playing mediocre artists for the sake of their Canadian content.
85 There's lots of country and plenty of rock harder, but our sound is
lighter and, therefore, more difficult to fulfill.
86 Besides our regular M.O.R. mix we also program an oldies show Saturdays
evenings from 6:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. and a Sunday morning swing show of music
primarily from the 40s and 50s from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
87 Finding qualifying Can-Con for these programs can be quite difficult
especially if it is to fit the big hit image of the other selections being
88 We don't make a lot money from these programs, but continue to believe we
should provide the diversity for the broad audience in the area.
89 Let me tell you about some of the service aspects of the station.
90 First and foremost, we provide news on the hour around the clock, all
newscasts from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. are local, others are from Broadcast news.
91 In addition, we produce two half-hour news magazine programs a day at
12:30 noon and 5:30 in the afternoon. These programs consist primarily of
interviews done in an as-it-happens style.
92 We have two full-time news people generating these newscasts and all the
local newscasts contain local material.
93 Local for us is anything in the districts of Parry Sound and Muskoka,
that's from the French River south to and into Simcoe County and from Georgian
Bay to Algonquin Park.
94 We filed more locally written stories to Broadcast News/Canadian Press
than almost any other station of any size in Canada.
95 I believe local news, more than any other ingredient, is the key to a
small market survival. For years I worked in news as a TV anchorman and as a
radio news director.
96 I also spent a number of years as the Central Canada Director for Radio
with the Radio and Television News Directors Association of Canada.
97 I know the thirst for information in the small towns of Ontario and Canada
when there are few sources of that information.
98 It's the reason, I believe, we have some of the highest reach numbers for
our central market in Canada, an area with a radius of more than 60 kilometres
around Parry Sound.
99 We provide detailed weather every hour, with general 48-hour forecasts,
marine weather, five-day outlook and road conditions. Our economy rises and
falls depending on the weather.
100 Every hour bulletin board items are scheduled. Events of a non-profit
nature taking place throughout the broadcast area.
101 Each year the station is involved in a fund raising golf tournament that
contributes about $10,000 to the local hospital, so far about $50,000.
102 Then there is the annual Big Brothers and Sisters Radiothon. They take
over the station for a day and raise about $8,000 in advertising revenues and
pledges. The past the Kinsmen Club has also raised funding for cystic fibrosis
research in the same manner.
103 This will be the second year of the station's involvement in bringing
together volunteers and private enterprise to raise funding for the Bobby Orr
Hockey Hall of Fame and an adjoining arts centre.
104 Through a celebrity golf tournament about $50,000 was raised last year. A
similar amount is expected this year.
105 We award a bursary to a deserving graduate of the music classes at our
local high school. The school has consistently won awards across North America.
106 And it's all done with a full-time staff of nine, including myself and my
wife, Dorothy, who looks after the books and spells off on traffic.
107 These people are loyal, long termers who are here for the lifestyle
rather than the dollars.
108 Part-time people include fill-in news, news correspondents and technical
support for studio transmitter and computer technology.
109 This level of radio is demanding but rewarding from the standpoint of
110 You have to work hard for every dollar and our best month is December and
it is busiest simply because of the programming demands.
111 The next busiest time is spread out from about the first of May to
Thanksgiving, with July and August being the heaviest months.
112 This past weekend is one of our biggest money makers and it's all hands
113 Civic Holiday weekend will be the last chance to bring in the year, after
that we're trying to get a start on the next fiscal and Broadcast year.
114 Over the years I have been president of the local Chamber of Commerce
twice and currently serve as treasurer.
115 By the way, I have researched and written all our applications for
purchase, licence for FM, power increase as well as any other correspondence
required by the CRTC.
116 Add to that application for a licence for Barrie, Ontario in the late
80s, it was one of six, the licence was awarded to Doug Bingly and Rock 95.
117 I write all my own intervention material related to situations in our
broadcast coverage area.
118 So as you can see, never a dull moment. Once in a while there is a whole
weekend away and even Rare he occasion when we can risk a whole week for a
120 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Bowland.
121 Thank you for the history of your radio career and your station, as well
as the information on your philosophy of radio and your accomplishments.
122 I appreciate the challenges that you face as a small operator, and you
are correct when you say -- when you said at the beginning of your presentation
that a licence renewal is a time to talk about accomplishments as well as
infractions, although I have to say that you wouldn't be here if it weren't for
123 So it's good to know what kinds of things you're doing for your
community, but you are here for a very specific reason.
124 You're appearing before us today following repeated non-compliance of
with certain conditions of licence, and with sections of the Radio
Regulations, 1986, in force prior to the recent amendments related to new
provisions contained in the commercial radio policy.
125 Specifically, the Commission renewed the licence of CKLP-FM in 1997 for a
three-year term due to non-compliance of its conditional licence regarding the
level of hit material broadcast during the week of March 12th to 18th, 1995.
126 During the current licence term a monitor of CKLP-FM revealed that the
station broadcast 26.1 per cent of Canadian content in category 2 music which
constitutes apparent non-compliance with performing paragraphs 2.2 3 of the
Regulations, which requires a minimum of 30 per cent Canadian content in
category 2 music over the broadcast week.
127 As well, the analysis revealed that the logger tape furnished for
Saturday the 28th of November, 1998 lacked any of the day's programming, an
apparent breach of subsection 8(5) and 8(6) of the Regulations.
128 Now, you've gone through quite a detailed explanation of the reasons for
that, but public notice for this hearing stated that you should appear to show
cause why a mandatory order should not be issued with respect to your
129 As you may be aware, the Commission has on a number of occasions issued
mandatory orders for repeated non-compliance.
130 Do you understand what a mandatory order is and what the consequences of
not abiding by it are?
131 MR. BOWLAND: I had asked someone, but I found out exactly what the
situation is, yes.
132 THE CHAIRPERSON: Perhaps I'll have our lawyer Donald Rheaume just review
for you exactly what the mandatory order is and what the consequences are.
133 MR. RHEAUME: Should I do this now?
134 A mandatory order essentially is an order from the Commission that can be
made, an order of the Federal Court, which means that if you're in breach of
such an order, over and above any kind of action on your licence, can mean a
suspension, ratification or prosecution, you can be the subject of contempt
charges if this happens.
135 So it's serious business, as one could say.
136 Do you have any comments on that?
137 MR. BOWLAND: No, that's exactly --
138 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is that your understanding?
139 THE CHAIRPERSON: That was my understanding, yes.
140 MR. RHEAUME: Thank you.
141 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thanks, Don.
142 Mr. Bowland, you have been in the radio business for a long time, and
based on your comments this morning, you clearly remember the days which are
long before my time as a regulator when radio operators had very onerous
regulatory requirements you mentioned, a couple of them foreground programming,
mosaic programming, there were requirements with respect to spoken word in news.
143 You were in the radio business during those days?
144 MR. BOWLAND: Correct.
145 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you know what it's like to operate a station when you
have burdensome regulation governing everything that you do.
146 I imagine it must have been a very demanding time during which to be a
radio operator when you had all those regulations.
147 MR. BOWLAND: It took a lot of thought in order to be able to perform all
of the -- in fact, I think some of the regulations were good for radio.
148 I think some of the ones that were dropped performed a good service for
radio and I was actually surprised when a lot of them were dismissed.
149 For example --
150 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you weren't glad when they were dismissed; you
151 MR. BOWLAND: To some degree, but not entirely.
152 And as an example of that, we still carry out what is known as mosaic
programming even though we don't have to, a lot of stations dropped the mosaic
programming immediately, but I thought it served a good purpose and we continue
to provide a foreground news program which was originally designed to meet
regulations but it worked so well that we kept on doing it and continue to do it
to this day, even though it's an added expense, even though we could get -- we
could do away with it and probably save quite a bit of money, but I think it
would be a disservice to the community if we did.
153 THE CHAIRPERSON: I guess the point that I'm trying to get at is, that
when those really burdensome regulations were eliminated there were really only
two of consequence that remained, and those two relate to Canadian content and
154 And I mean, I'm happy to hear that you continue to do mosaic programming
and some foreground programming, but I guess it concerns me a little bit that
you would be involved in doing programming that's no longer required and that
the two things that are required under the Radio Regulations have fallen by the
155 MR. BOWLAND: I don't think that they fell by the way side, I think that
our situation at the time prevented us from meeting the regulations
appropriately. I'm not saying that what we did was right or that we shouldn't
have kept a closer look at what we were doing at the time, but we were going
through a stressful situation at the time and it led to some things falling by
156 I don't think that that will happen in the future considering once the
move was made we made provision to make sure that these kinds of things
157 Now, nobody's a hundred per cent perfect and I don't know that in the
future we will be, but we'll certainly try and we have made provision to meet
the regulations more appropriately considering what we've done now to try and
prevent any fault in the future.
158 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, I guess you know what goes through my mind is the
fact between your last licence renewal and this one you've been non-compliant
not only with the Radio Regulations but also with your condition of licence with
respect to hits.
159 And I would have thought that following your non-compliance on your last
licence renewal, you're on a short-term renewal, that you would have been more
vigilant this time around.
160 In fact, you went from bad to worse, it's a condition of licence now,
we're talking Canadian content, which is really the central reason for us to be
161 MR. BOWLAND: I appreciate that.
162 At the time that the hits situation occurred it was generally widely
known that the regulation was going to change and we were being fairly vigilant
about our hits, but I think maybe knowing that the regulation was about to
change it wasn't very long after that check was done that they did in fact
change, though we dropped our guard on the hits.
163 Now, that was that situation and this is this situation.
164 In this situation, as I've said, the SOCAN and others, one of the worst
times that you can ask for anything from our station, not from the standpoint of
regulation, but more from the standpoint of what's going on in the station in
terms of stress level and the amount of work that's being done by a small staff
when they want documentation on lists of music and things of that nature, that
November/December is probably one of the worst times that they could possibly
ask for lists of music.
165 And the time that the CRTC check came, not only was it that busy time of
year, but also we were in the process of, as I said, tearing the place apart
literally to try and prepare to move to another place.
166 And I must say that my comfort with my landlord at the time was not very
good and we just come through a very stressful period with them as well because
they had torn the building apart and we couldn't move out of it in order to
escape what was going on at the time.
167 THE CHAIRPERSON: I appreciate that, but why would you be tearing out your
168 MR. BOWLAND: I wasn't really tearing out the logging equipment, we were
working around the control room where the logger was located.
169 It was located in such a manner that if any power interruption occurred
the logger would drop out. From time to time the logging did drop out.
Particularly the loggers --
170 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you knew that?
171 MR. BOWLAND: We knew that it could happen, but we weren't constantly
watching it to see that it wasn't dropped out, i have to frankly say that,
because the logger was situated in a manner that made it difficult to see.
172 It's not in that situation any more, but we were frankly just pulling
plugs out of the walls and plugging them back in.
173 And if you had seen the wiring mess that we had in that place prior to
the move, it was pretty messy and if you pulled one thing out you might disturb
something else, even though we were -- as we were trying to stay on the air at
the same time?
174 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you have an engineer.
175 MR. BOWLAND: I'm it.
176 THE CHAIRPERSON: I have to tell you, Mr. Bowland, in reviewing the list
of non-compliant radio operators, I notice that a large percentage of the
non-compliance occurs with the community radio operators which are basically run
by volunteers and, I guess in some ways that's understandable, but I am having a
hard time understand -- I did run a television station myself for a channel --
I'm having a hard time understanding how a commercial radio operator with
resources and staff, full-time staff - I acknowledge the fact that you may have
a small staff - would have such a hard time fulfilling those requirements.
177 I mean, you've got two requirements, Canadian content and logger tapes.
178 You know, I know when I was running the channel that I ran I made sure
our logging machine was in a place where everybody could see it and check it and
everybody knew we had to do that, not just for regulatory purposes but also for
insurance purposes in case anybody decided to sue us. So there was another good
179 So I'm just -- I'm having a hard time understanding it.
180 I appreciate everything that you're saying but, you know, with all the
other radio operators in the country and with respect to Christmas, you know,
great, but Christmas comes every year and you've been in the business for a
really long time, so how is it that, you know, Christmas poses an ongoing
problem in terms of meeting your Canadian content requirements?
181 It's tough. I mean, you're an experienced operator, you've been in the
business since 1960, I was three.
182 MR. BOWLAND: Thank you.
183 When we purchased the system that makes our music selection we didn't
realize it had limited opportunity for a number of formats.
184 We found out that when we changed over to Christmas music it was always a
week of weakness and you hit us on the week of weakness because we had to really
rebuild the formats each time we went to Christmas music.
185 And over the period of a week we would do the fine-tuning which would
bring it up to the appropriate Canadian content.
186 The Santa Clause Parade, strange as it may sound, which occurred the
Saturday before is traditionally the time the station beings playing Christmas
music, not a whole lot of it but enough that it upsets the system.
187 We started almost the middle of November because that's when they hold
the Santa Clause Parade and we have to begin at that time because that's when
the business community more or less demands that -- if we're going to make a
buck at Christmas, then it's because we're playing some Christmas music to
create the atmosphere of Christmas on the radio.
188 And by changing over the format at that time, which was in the last week
of November, it caused a problem with that system.
189 It wasn't long before it was back up to normal and I say it's coincidence
that the tapes were asked for at that time.
190 And as for the logger tapes, yes, the logger was in a bad position,
especially during the scuffle of moving or preparing to move the station, and I
admit without any reservations that the logger should have been better situated
and it should have been attended to in a better manner, but it was a pretty
messy and strange place and pretty stressful at the time when we were performing
this preparation to move to better quarters.
191 And, frankly, a lot of this was taken into consideration when we did move
to the new quarters to make sure this doesn't happen again, because I don't want
to be here any more than you want me to have to be here under these
192 THE CHAIRPERSON: Did you purchase new logging equipment when you moved
into your new facility?
193 MR. BOWLAND: Yes, we did.
194 THE CHAIRPERSON: You did.
195 MR. BOWLAND: We would only had one logger up until that time, now --
196 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you have a back up now?
197 MR. BOWLAND: Now we have two and, for that reason, we're not unable to --
we were unable to monitor, for example, any tape that we wanted to look back on
and when CRTC asked for tape I would basically pull the tapes out of the rack
and sent them on.
198 Now that we can listen to them and make sure that they are in fact --
they are -- they do have material on them and look for the faults ourselves.
199 THE CHAIRPERSON: So can you listen to them while they're recording to
ensure that the logging equipment is working properly?
200 MR. BOWLAND: Yeah, we have a way of monitoring that.
201 THE CHAIRPERSON: And do you run both logging machines at the same time?
202 MR. BOWLAND: No, we don't.
203 We have acquired a second logging machine, both for back up and to be
able to read tapes to make sure they did have material on them for spot checks.
204 THE CHAIRPERSON: And how do you know if your logging machine is
205 MR. BOWLAND: It has a monitor built into the machine which allows you to
tell whether it is recording in actual factor or not.
206 THE CHAIRPERSON: And how often is that checked?
207 MR. BOWLAND: Several times a day.
208 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
209 And you also said that you replaced your tape.
210 I think you said in your August 13th letter to us that your tape was at
the delicate stage?
211 MR. BOWLAND: That would be an understatement.
212 THE CHAIRPERSON: And why is that?
213 MR. BOWLAND: Well, because we had used used tape and, to our knowledge,
the tape was working and working well, but we felt, considering it's age -- now
some engineers will tell you that tape never wears out, we've been using this
214 THE CHAIRPERSON: No engineer I know.
215 MR. BOWLAND: Well, I'll give you a name, but he said he didn't think that
the tape should wear out under normal circumstance.
216 However, the tape was old and we decided, yes, this is the time when we
should replace all of the tape.
217 We have replaced all of the tapes and have spare tape in case any is
faulty, for example, so if a week were called we would have spare tape to
replace it with, all brand new.
218 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
219 I want to turn briefly to the Canadian content.
220 MR. BOWLAND: Mm-hmm.
221 THE CHAIRPERSON: Who's responsible for programming and formatting--
222 MR. BOWLAND: Basically I am.
223 THE CHAIRPERSON: --at your station?
224 MR. BOWLAND: Basically I am.
225 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you said that you bought a new music selector
226 MR. BOWLAND: Yes.
227 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Because I noticed when I reviewed our staff
analysis of your content, both hits and Canadian content, that there were quite
a few errors in them, there were songs that were listed as Canadian content that
weren't, there were songs that weren't listed as Canadian content that should
have been and the same for hits.
228 Who's responsible for monitoring those levels on an ongoing basis?
229 MR. BOWLAND: There's two of us who -- I am one and there's another fellow
in the station who performs the duty of -- you would give him the name music
director I guess, makes music selections, particularly with today's music and
more recent music, and I guess between the two of us we try to keep tabs on what
is Canadian and what isn't.
230 THE CHAIRPERSON: And how do you do that?
231 MR. BOWLAND: We use The Record as one guide, we don't subscribe to all of
the publications, mainly as a budget situation.
232 We use --
233 THE CHAIRPERSON: Maybe if you cut back on that mosaic programming.
234 MR. BOWLAND: The mosaic programming.
235 THE CHAIRPERSON: You could afford a guide.
236 MR. BOWLAND: The mosaic programming doesn't cost anything, it takes a
little time but it doesn't cost anything.
237 There's a book that's put out which has -- it's put out in Canada which
lists most music and indicates whether it's Canadian or not, and we primarily go
238 THE CHAIRPERSON: In your August 13th letter you asked if the CRTC has a
master list of Canadian music that you could subscribe to, which we were unable
to do because of copyright reasons, but I was just wondering why you would wait
until you were in non-compliance to pursue other sources that might help you?
239 MR. BOWLAND: I think I've asked that question before of the CRTC and
wondered why that list wasn't made available.
240 If everybody was playing in the same field; that is, as far as the list
is concerned, it would make it a lot easier, I would think, for radio stations
and particularly ours.
241 The Record seems to be the best publication for our purposes on an
ongoing basis and the magazine -- or the book, the name of which I can't think
of right off the top of my head, but it's a book on mainly music and lists
almost any recording by any artist and it also shows to what degree it complies
with Canadian content.
242 And we find that that's a useful book as far as history is concerned,
that is, older recordings. And since the station plays music that goes back to
the 40s right through to the present, it's important to have a device like that
to be able to check whether something is Canadian content.
243 And some artists, particularly older ones going back into the 40s and 50s
are not listed in that book and it's hard for us to decide whether they, in
fact, should be considered Canadian or not.
244 THE CHAIRPERSON: Since you were found in non-compliance, have you pursued
any additional sources that might help you track your Canadian selections?
245 MR. BOWLAND: We have updated the magazine -- I call it a magazine, the
book that provides that information and we continue to subscribe to The Record.
246 We find that those are the best two written pieces of material to use for
this purpose, but, no, we haven't subscribed to say RPM or some other magazines.
247 THE CHAIRPERSON: Because I'm just looking for some assurance from you
that you've taken appropriate steps.
248 MR. BOWLAND: I think we're looking a lot harder at the existing
information that we do have.
249 In the previous application, I will point out, that we had listed a song
that was considered Canadian by us and at the time the CRTC said that it wasn't
and, in fact, we proved that it was, and so it works both ways.
250 We noticed that in the last analysis that we've made a similar assumption
on a recording and, in fact, it was wrong.
251 THE CHAIRPERSON: To the best of your knowledge at this moment, is your
station's programming in compliance with the regulations and your conditions of
252 MR. BOWLAND: Absolutely.
253 THE CHAIRPERSON: And with respect to the possible issuance of a mandatory
order as outlined in the Notice of Public Hearing, do you wish to provide any
further evidence to indicate the station is now and will remain in compliance
with the regulations and its conditions of licence?
254 MR. BOWLAND: I think all I can say is that we've done everything we think
is possible in order to make sure that our logger tapes are recording all the
time and that they're recording properly and that we have a back-up situation to
take care of them.
255 We have a better music system in place now which can handle the anomalies
like Christmas and things of that nature.
256 And, frankly, as a result of this exercise, we've been far more careful
about how those formats within that system work.
257 THE CHAIRPERSON: And will continue to be, I suspect?
258 MR. BOWLAND: I should hope so.
259 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you have any questions?
260 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Just one.
261 Mr. Bowland, when we hear community stations, as the Chairman indicated -
and of course, their reasons are usually they use volunteers and it is very
difficult and it is a different situation when you're speaking to a commercial
broadcaster - is your answer this morning not an unconditional yes, or it's
difficult do most of it myself, we've done everything we can.
262 When we ask you whether you were in compliance last week and next week,
is your answer an non-conditional yes?
263 MR. BOWLAND: I think I said earlier nothing is a hundred per cent, but at
this moment in time I would say yes.
264 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: That's not non-unconditional.
265 Are you saying it's impossible for the Parry Sound station to be in
compliance because these requirements are too difficult?
266 MR. BOWLAND: I don't think the requirements are too difficult, we have to
be more vigilant with what it is we have and how we use it.
267 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: So if we ask you: Are you in compliance this week, will
you be in compliance next week; what's the answer?
268 MR. BOWLAND: Yes.
269 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: It is not the end of the world that is required to keep
logger tapes and to be in compliance, and if you can't do everything yourself
you may have to get your son or your daughter to help, but it has to get done.
270 Thank you.
271 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Bowland.
272 MR. BOWLAND: Thank you.
273 THE CHAIRPERSON: Does legal counsel have questions?
274 MR. RHEAUME: I do not.
275 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
276 Thanks, Mr. Bowland.
277 Madam Secretary, if you would call the next item.
278 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
279 I would like now to invite Rogers Broadcasting Limited to present their
application to renew and to amend their broadcasting licence for the television
program undertaking CFMT-TV, Toronto, its transmitters expiring 31st of August,
280 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, welcome.
281 Mr. Sole, Mr. Viner, you can begin whenever you are ready.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
282 MR. SOLE: Good morning, Madam Chairperson, Members of the Commission.
283 I'm Leslie Sole, Executive Vice-President of CFMT.
284 With me today, to my right, is Tony Viner, President, Rogers Media;
Madeline Ziniak, Vice-President and Executive Producer, CFMT; Viddear
Khan, Program Controller, CFMT.
285 In the background from your left, Robert J. Buchan, legal counsel for
this application; Paritosh Mehta, Independent Production Co-Ordinator; Tom
Ayley, Chief Financial Officer; James Nelles, Vice-President of Marketing;
Melanie Farrell, Director of Business Development, Language Sales.
286 Helping us this morning, at yet another table, is Malcolm Dunlop our
Director of Sales and Kelly Colasanti our Vice-President of Operations.
287 On behalf of the 190 full-time employees at CFMT it's a pleasure for us
to appear before you this morning and present our renewal application.
288 We would like to begin with a brief video that highlights the many ways
in which CFMT reflects and serves our local community.
--- Video presentation / Présentation vidéo
289 Canada, home of the world's first and longest running multilingual,
multicultural television system.
290 CFMT continues to be the role model to other broadcasters from around the
291 CFMT is award-winning diversity television known throughout the world and
recognized here at home.
292 Rising from the brink of bankruptcy in 1986, to a vibrant public service
in our 21st year, CFMT has undergone a remarkable turnaround in a remarkably
short period of time.
293 Today, with transmitters in Toronto, London and Ottawa, CFMT produces
more Canadian content, more local community reflection and more inclusive local
productions than any other private licensee in Canada, 1,000 hours each year,
reaching over 22 ethno-cultural groups.
294 Every weeknight, CFMT offers Portuguese, Italian and Cantonese language
news, live and with a Canadian focus on local, natural and international issues.
295 Programs such as the award-winning Courage to Stand, and Leon Bibbs, A
Step Ahead, are just some of the productions that promote unity and harmony.
296 Programs such as Hong Kong In Transition, an 18-hour live broadcast with
Canadian reporters in Hong Kong and from coast to coast nationwide here at home.
297 The Macau Hand-Over, Tiannamen Square, 10 Years Later, and Sat Sri Akaal,
A Celebration of 100 Years of Sikhs in Canada.
298 CFMT has provided communities and organizations with more than a million
dollars annually in public service announcements, free production and free air
299 CFMT's partnership with the Department of Canadian Heritage was
manifested in the national award-winning Violence Hurts Us All in 16 languages.
300 The public service that is done by CFMT is invaluable.
301 CFMT was first again in a partnership with the National Archives marking
an unprecedented contribution to multilingual television in Canada. We are a
television station that is committed to multicultural TV in the most favoured
viewing time periods.
302 CFMT is committed to ethnic communities in the core of prime time. In the
8:00 to 10:00 time slot over 90 per cent of the programming is ethnic and over
75 per cent is Canadian. This is the highest level of core prime time Canadian
in all of private English television. And on the weekends when people are home,
we are 80 per cent ethnic all day Saturday and Sunday.
303 The Canadian broadcast industry prides itself on the inclusion of
independent producers, CFMT has nine independent producers on the air, all
receiving free air time and all receiving production development grants from
--- Italian spoken / Langue italienne parlée
304 CFMT has also featured Canadian drama merging with new languages,
recently adapting the TBA International Science Series into five different
305 Placing multilingual television on an equal footing with conventional
CFMT recapitalized facilities, studios, control rooms, cameras, increased
their post-production and editing facilities, master control and tripled their
306 CFMT continues to invest in the future and is developing the industry
through its dynamic scholarship program at Ryerson Polytechnic University.
307 CFMT-TV, 21 years of reflecting the circumstances and aspirations of all
308 CFMT, a commitment to the people of Canada, we bring you the world at
309 MR. SOLE: As you can see from the video, we have worked very hard over
the term of the licence to ensure that CFMT provides the highest quality, most
community responsive multilingual and multicultural television service.
310 We are deeply gratified that over 500 individuals, companies, public
interest organizations and elected officials have endorsed our efforts by
intervening in support of the CFMT renewal application.
311 CMFT has fully complied with and often exceeded its conditions of
312 For example, CFMT is required by
condition of licence to provide programming in 15 different languages,
directed towards 18 different ethno-cultural groups each month.
313 On average, we provided programming in 18 different languages and served
20 different ethno-cultural groups.
314 CFMT is required by condition of licence to provide 75 per cent ethnic
programming between 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. We have averaged well over 90 per
cent ethnic programming, and at least 75 per cent Canadian ethnic programming
during this time period.
315 We have met all of the expectations established by the Commission in our
last renewal decision.
316 CFMT increased its expenditures on Canadian programming by almost 40 per
cent over the term of the licence.
317 We substantially increased our support for Canadian independent ethnic
producers. We now provide programming for nine independent ethnic producers and
employ a full-time independent ethnic production coordinator.
318 We increased the number of hours per week of closed caption programming
on CFMT from 17.5 to 62 hours, including all of our news programming, with the
exception of Chinese for which there is no captioning technology currently
319 We expanded the John W. Graham Multicultural Scholarship Program to
provide full scholarships for the entire four years for eligible candidates.
320 Excuse me.
321 The members of the CFMT Advisory Board of Directors continue to be
predominantly of ethnic origin.
322 Over the term of the licence, CFMT has provided an average of seven hours
of Type B programming, three hours more per week than the expectation
established by the Commission.
323 In addition, CFMT has made the conditions of licence and expectations
established by the Commission for its rebroadcaster serving Ottawa and
324 We have appointed Ms. Anna Chiappa, a resident of the Ottawa area to the
CFMT Program Advisory Board. As well 9888we have actively encouraged members of
the ethno-cultural groups in Ottawa to participate in the CFMT program
325 Our priority throughout this licence term has been to improve and
strengthen CFMT's ethnic programming and particular our Canadian ethnic
programming. That will continue to be our priority over the term of a renewed
326 MS. ZINIAK: Our viewers have told us that it is very important that
ethnic programming have the same high production quality as the programming on
conventional Canadian television stations.
327 They believe that second class programming makes them second class
citizens in their own eyes and in the eyes of others.
328 In response to that concern, CFMT made substantial investments over the
term of its licence to improve the quality of its programming.
329 We acquired new digital production facilities, built new and more
attractive sets and hired the best on-air talent.
330 We significantly enhanced our ability to cover local issues and events in
331 We now have eight local full-time field production crews and 11 digital
cameras for use by our video journalists.
332 In addition, our news bureaus in Ottawa and Queen's Park ensure that we
can bring our viewers an ethno-cultural perspective on all provincial and
333 We further enhanced community reflection by adding a number of
ethno-cultural groups that CFMT now serves on a regular basis. For example,
these groups now include Polish, Armenian and Mandarin.
334 Almost half of the groups that we serve have prime time programs
including Cantonese, Mandarin, Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, South Asian, Italian
335 We significantly enhanced the diversity of our Canadian ethnic
programming by establishing strong working relationships with ethnic producers
336 We give these producers full access to our production facilities, along
with extensive technical and program management training. We also provide them
with grants for the acquisition of equipment.
337 Our viewers are interested in events and issues in their homeland
countries, in particular, they want coverage of those events and issues from a
Canadian ethno-cultural perspective.
338 Over the term of this licence, we have responded to that demand by
providing more news and public affairs programming, including more coverage of
international news for more groups.
339 As well, CFMT regularly provides special coverage of major international
340 For example, we provided 18 hours of live coverage of the Hong Kong
341 We also provided special coverage of other events that were very
important to ethnic Canadians, but which did not attract the attention of the
mainstream Canadian media, such as the Beatification of Padre Pio, the Portugal
World Expo, the Roman Catholic Jubilee and the Macau Hand-Over.
342 For the Macau Hand-Over we provided trilingual coverage in Portuguese,
Cantonese and Mandarin.
343 We have explored many other techniques to increase access to our
programming by more groups.
344 We have experimented with multilingual broadcasts using SAP and with
alternate language radio broadcasts.
345 Over the term of the new licence, we will continue to undertake a wide
variety of initiatives to further increase the quality and attractiveness of our
ethnic programming and to reflect local communities.
346 For example, we will increase our commitment to the broad service
347 In January 2001, CFMT will introduce independently produced Canadian
ethnic programming for members of the Arabic and Vietnamese ethno-cultural
348 As well, in the very near future, we expect to introduce a series of
Legacy programs for members of the black community.
349 We will provide more extensive coverage of events and issues in
ethno-cultural communities in the Ottawa area.
350 To do so we will spend $1.5 million over the term of the new licence on
the operation of the CFMT Ottawa news bureau.
351 The bureau will have the resources necessary to cover both national
issues and local community events.
352 In addition, CFMT will provide at least 100 hours of cross-cultural
programming every year.
353 We agree with the Commission that ethnic broadcasters have a special
responsibility and a unique ability to provide programming that promotes
communication between ethno-cultural groups.
354 MR. SOLE: There have been many significant changes in the environment for
ethnic broadcasting since CFMT's licence was renewed in 1992.
355 The ethnic media market has become much bigger and much more competitive.
There are now many more ethnic television, ethnic print and ethnic radio
356 We projected in 1992 that there would be a significant increase in the
ethnic advertising market in Canada. The ethnic television advertising market
alone has grown by over $14-million.
357 We expected at that time that CFMT would take a larger share, or at least
hold its share of this larger market. In fact, CFMT now has a smaller share.
358 Over the term of this licence, our national ethnic advertising revenues
have increased. However, most of the growth in the ethnic television advertising
market has been in the retail sector, and all of that growth has gone to ethnic
359 Both Telelatino and Fairchild have aggressively entered the retail ethnic
advertising market. They have much more inventory to sell at low prices that we
360 As a result, our ethnic advertising revenues have not increased over the
term of the licence. We have had to work very hard just to stay in the same
361 We expect competition to become even more intense over the term of a
renewed licence. In the greater Toronto Area alone, there are now nine radio
stations that provide ethnic programming and four Canadian ethnic specialty
362 The new ethnic broadcasting policy allows conventional television
stations to increase the amount of ethnic programming that they provide.
363 In addition, there are 47 applications for new third language category 2
specialty services currently before the Commission.
364 We anticipate there may also be requests to place more foreign third
language programming service on the eligibility list.
365 As such, notwithstanding the significant ongoing improvements in CFMT's
ethnic programming, we do not anticipate that it will generate substantially
greater advertising revenues over the term of the new licence.
366 CFMT, like other Canadian over-the-air television broadcasters, will
continue to be dependent upon foreign non-ethnic programming to generate the
revenues to support its Canadian programming.
367 MR. VINER: In Public Notice CRTC 1999-117, the Commission established a
new policy and regulatory framework for ethnic broadcasting in Canada. You
arrived at that policy following extensive consultations all across the country.
368 We believe that policy provides a solid foundation for ethnic
broadcasting in this country for many years to come. CFMT was guided by the new
policy as it prepared this renewal application.
369 The ethnic broadcasting policy places strong emphasis on reflection of
the local community, on the broad service requirement and on cross-cultural
programming. All of those elements of the policy are addressed in this
370 The policy also reaffirmed the validity of the 60% ethnic and 40% foreign
non-ethnic business model.
371 In this renewal application, we are proposing that the conditions that
are currently attached to the CFMT licence be carried over into the new licence.
Those conditions contain two variances to the general rules in the new ethnic
372 First, CFMT is seeking to retain the variance whereby it is allowed to
provide 50% Canadian content over the broadcast day rather than 60%; and 40%
Canadian content in prime time rather than 50%.
373 This variance allows CFMT to acquire and broadcast a limited amount of
high quality third language television programming.
374 Our audience enjoys this type of programming and wants to have access to
it. This programming is a very effective way to attract audiences to CFMT and to
the Canadian programming that it provides.
375 Second, CFMT is seeking to retain the variance that requires it to
schedule 75% ethnic programming between 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.
376 This variance serves two purposes: It ensures that CFMT serves its ethnic
viewers during the core prime time period when the majority of the viewers are
available, but it also ensures that CFMT will not compete with conventional
television broadcasters during the core prime time period when those
broadcasters generate the majority of their advertising revenues from U.S.
377 We believe that these two variances are reasonable and offsetting.
378 In return for the right to provide a limited amount of foreign third
language television programming and a lower Canadian content requirement, CFMT
provides predominantly Canadian ethnic programming in the core of prime time
from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
379 These two variances, combined with the other conditions attached to its
licence, have allowed CFMT to provide a high quality, community-responsive,
multilingual and multicultural television service over the current licence term.
380 We believe that this same package of variances and conditions will allow
CFMT to perform equally well over the term of the renewed licence and would be
the best and most effective way to ensure that CFMT contributes to the
achievement of the objectives of the ethnic broadcasting policy.
381 Madam Chairperson, Members of the Commission, we appreciate this
opportunity to review our past performance and to set out for you our plans for
382 We welcome any questions that you may have for us.
383 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Viner, Mr. Sole, Ms. Ziniak for your
384 Commissioner Cardoza will be handling the questioning -- the lion's share
of questions, although Vice-Chair Wylie and I may have a couple of questions to
tack on at the end.
385 And before I turn it over to him to begin his questioning, I just wanted
to mention that we did provide the Applicant this morning with a couple of
summaries of financial information with which Commissioner Cardoza can question
386 The sheets were provided for ease of reference for the Applicant, but
they do fall under the confidentiality rules and they will not be made available
on the public record.
387 So I just wanted to put that on the record, that the Applicant's have
received those sheets and Commissioner Cardoza will be questioning on those I
believe for the most part.
388 And I'll let Commissioner Cardoza begin his questioning.
389 At some point we'll stop and take a short break, and then come back and
finish up before lunch.
390 MR. SOLE: Terrific.
391 MR. CARDOZA: Thank you, Madam Chair.
392 Mr. Sole, Mr. Viner, Ms. Ziniak and Mr. Khan.
393 What I'll do is go through the questioning in four general areas which
will be -- I'll start with programming; and then talk about the general
financial situation; third, the comparison to other broadcasters, primarily
other ethnic broadcasters; and lastly, the cost of ethnic programs.
394 And I'll just remind you, from my perspective, that the purpose of the
questioning is really to try and get as much information for us on the record
and for our information.
395 This is not an interrogation. If it feels like that, I apologize, but I'm
bound to pursue over the course that I've set and I hope you don't mind.
396 The sound is okay? You can hear me fine?
397 MR. SOLE: I can hear you fine. Thank you.
398 MR. CARDOZA: Sometimes these rooms are not as we desire them.
399 We notice there's a little room where we meet which has beautiful windows
on the other side but we can only look at the real world during our breaks.
400 Let me start by asking you very generally how you would define CFMT in
401 MR. SOLE: In one sentence, CFMT is a uniquely Canadian privately-owned
television service that serves the broad cosmopolitan and ethnic market of
402 MR. VINER: You know, if I could add to that, Commissioner Cardoza, even
though I can never be as succinct as Leslie can.
403 MR. CARDOZA: We'll put a comma there.
404 MR. VINER: To me, CFMT is unique in all of the world. We have visitors
from across the world, from Italy and from France, from Australia and from the
United States, all of whom want to understand how we can provide quality of
service that we currently provide to 22 different groups in 18 different
languages, all within a commercial context without government subsidy or grants.
405 And so I would think my view of CFMT, frankly, is that it's a unique
product of the Canadian broadcasting system that occurs nowhere else, not only
in Canada but in the world.
406 MR. CARDOZA: And how does your English language programming fit into that
407 MR. VINER: English language programming we have long acknowledged, like
every other conventional broadcaster, Commissioner, provides -- is the engine
that pulls the train. We've used the analogy frequently.
408 But our English language programming is the programming that provides the
necessary financial resources in order to ensure that we have the highest
quality, most competitive Canadian ethnic programming.
409 The economics of CFMT are pretty simple: We lose some money on our
Canadian produced ethnic programming because we want to make it of the highest
410 We make a little bit of money on our ethnic acquired programming,
although the numbers are small, and we have ethnic acquired programming to
attract viewers to our Canadian produced programming.
411 And, overall, we make a little, we lose a little money or break even on
our ethnic schedule.
412 On the rest of our schedule, we pay all of the overheads, pay for the
cameras, we pay for the sales, we pay for research, we pay for programming
development and we provide a return to the shareholders.
413 So that's sort of the economic model on which CFMT is based.
414 And, like other conventional television stations, we know there are
audiences for that English language programming that we acquire and schedule on
CFMT, and most often we repatriate those audiences who might otherwise be
watching them on border television stations, and we use that money to support
our Canadian produced programming.
415 I should point out that when I talked about the model just then, when I
said that we lose money and we make a little money on the ethnic, it's important
to note that I'm talking about direct costs;
that is, the cost of acquiring ethnic produced versus the revenues that it
416 There is no overheads in those -- in those particular costs. The 40% of
our schedule pays all of our other costs, all of the overhead costs.
417 MR. CARDOZA: So that's primarily the economic perspective and the role of
the English language programming.
418 But I'm wondering in the way you think of how a viewer looks at CFMT,
they're not concerned about the economics of it necessarily, they see a range of
419 So how do you think you position your channel overall, its overall
programming from the perspective of how the viewer is going to see it.
420 Does that fit in or is it too --
421 MR. SOLE: Are you specifically --
422 MR. CARDOZA: The English is part of the programming. Do you see that the
viewer looks at that as a package, or does a viewer look at it in two segments?
423 MR. VINER: I think the viewer looks at it in a number of segments.
424 People view television programs, although I think frankly our television
station has a greater individual identity than other television stations.
425 You know, Leslie may wish to comment on this, but unlike many other
conventional television stations who can use foreign programming to pull
audiences to their Canadian programming, that's an advantage that we don't have
simply because we might have an English language program followed immediately by
a Portuguese program.
426 The ability to pull those viewers across is based on their ability to
understand the language.
427 Leslie, do you have anything to add?
428 MR. SOLE: I think the homogenous view is difficult to quantify or even to
429 The combination of our English schedule outside of an economic model is
not designed, nor do I believe other Canadian stations are, to be harmonic.
430 So we have a certain image in the Cantonese community, we have another
image in the Armenian community, in the Italian community, et cetera, et cetera.
431 Our English programming's image is designed to, as Tony described, get
the highest possible audiences to provide the best possible financing for our
432 When I'm describing CFMT to students, I'll say that like Global uses
Friends and Seinfield to bring you Traders and other Canadian drama, CFMT
chooses to use the Simpsons and Frasier to bring 22 groups homeland and
primarily Canadian content.
433 So it's very difficult to explain the range of service because within
each one of those groups the image is slightly different.
434 The Italian image in some peoples' minds is of an older demographic. On
the other hand, the Chinese is a baby boomer demographic, and most recent
immigration from eastern Europe is even a younger or Russian -- is a younger
435 So the umbrella of how we position the station is a Canadian service for
third culture Canadians or third ethno-cultural Canadians that drives its
economic engine, as Tony said, from programming the most popular U.S.
436 MR. CARDOZA: Okay, thanks. At first you had a quite a bit of trouble with
my question, but I think your answer has usefully answered what I was trying to
get at and I thank you for that.
437 Now, I have a couple of more questions on the English part and I'll come
back to the other language programming as well, which I would like to get some
more information on.
438 With regards to the English then, are you looking at it issue on its own;
is there a certain type of programming that you would define, can it be defined
by genre, by age that you're trying to appeal to or gender; is it more comedy,
is it more family or anything of that kind?
439 MR. SOLE: Currently it's comedy and television is cyclical. You've heard
every Applicant say that.
440 The trend -- we are in the syndication business and we go to NABET and to
the LA screenings looking for audience and advertiser attractive syndicated
programming, best described as non-network or rerun programming that will allow
us to attract the highest audiences.
441 I have to tell you that in the last seven years it's been talk shows and
comedy that have served us, not necessarily in that order, best.
442 But we don't consciously have a programming philosophy. We are not a
station that pursues 18 to 34-year-old women or any sort of microdemographic, we
have to pursue a broad audience.
443 MR. CARDOZA: It doesn't make more sense from the perspective of you
selling your advertising of being able to have a loyal group of people that are
going to come to you and you can turn around to your advertisers and say: This
is who we --
444 MR. SOLE: 18 to 49-year-old adults, that would be the advertising by the
demographic, we would appeal to adults under 50.
445 MR. VINER: I think that Leslie has touched on that although we don't have
a definitive strategy necessarily or philosophy, the strategy has been, the tact
has been to acquire comedy programs and then talk show programs generally
through the day.
446 MR. CARDOZA: Right.
447 MR. VINER: And I think we have been successful, Jim can tell us, but we
do attract by and large a younger audience than the other conventional
television stations to our English language programming.
448 MR. NELLES: That's correct, Tony, are generally are quite strong in the
adults 18 to 34, as it was noted earlier, it is the advertisers who ultimately
determine who they're after and adults 18 to 49 probably would be our key and
very broad demographic.
449 MR. CARDOZA: One of the things we've been talking about at the
Commission, and including in our new television policy of last year, is
requiring the English language broadcasters to reflect the cultural diversity of
450 Let me just ask you about your English programming, recognizing that it
isn't Canadian and, therefore, wouldn't necessarily be reflecting the discussed
451 Do you sense that, or do you pay any attention to how your English
language programming reflects the diversity, let's say, of North America?
452 MR. SOLE: Yes. We are, and primarily because it's U.S. programming in all
likelihood it will be more representative of urban American markets, not that
they're not applicable but, as you said, we're attracted to programming that
does have a broader cast.
453 We're attracted to talk shows that do have a broader constituency and
these are in our case because we need to generate the audiences, I would define
them as tie breakers.
454 Sister Sister is a young skewed situation comedy of which we could have
chosen from three or four areas, but because we felt that all of these programs
would perform at about the same level, the tie breaker was the fact that they
were two African American twins.
455 Montel Williams was chosen over Liza Gibbons because he brings somewhat
of a ethnic perspective to a talk show host.
456 So I wouldn't say that we pursue American ethno-cultural or
diversity-based programming, but in the case where we can, it's certainly the
decision that we tend towards.
457 MR. CARDOZA: Is it something one should expect of CFMT if the programming
in other languages is catering to diversity very centrally, so overall there is
no question that your station does reflect diversity more than anybody else; is
it fair to expect that your English language programming would actually pursue
that actively, not necessarily the programming but at least somewhere along the
458 MR. VINER: Well, Mr. Cardoza, I think Leslie has indicated the times in
which we can pursue it.
459 Reality is though that we can't bid for programming against other
460 And we have to weigh in the balance whether or not, what our English
language programming provides, I think that we would come down on the side, not
without some sense of balance, or perspective, but we would come down on the
side that what is crucial to this station is its language programming, and it is
key to us to generate revenues through our English language programming in order
to ensure that we have the highest possible quality language programming.
461 We have 190 people at CFMT that work at CFMT. Every single one of those
people is involved with our language schedule. What our -- now, they're not
involved with our English language schedule, you know, we buy English language
programming once a year, we turn over the sale of it to a third party agency.
All of our production people, all of our sales people, all of our traffic,
everything is involved in that language schedule.
462 So we would come down on the side of producing, you know, not without
limit, but producing enough revenues that we can continue to provide the highest
quality language program that's possible to do so.
463 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
464 Two more questions with regards to English programming, but they're sort
of crossing over into the area of multicultural stuff, and I'm just wondering
whether you have considered having programming that would be in English but of
primarily a multicultural character, either talk shows or other kinds of
programs that would deal with the diversity of the viewership of Toronto, Ottawa
465 MR. SOLE: I'll ask Madeline Ziniak to respond.
466 MS. ZINIAK: Thank you.
467 We value, sir, with the importance of cross-cultural communication, we
hear this from communities that we work with and we have throughout the
seven-year licence term of our several specials that we have done with the help
468 For example, the most recent documentary, The Courage to Stand, that
dealt with hate crime on the internet was one most recently.
469 We have done specials as well where we worked in cooperation with the
Chinese business community as well the South Asian and the Italian business
community as far as the mayoralty debate. So that was in English as well, where
issues are shared by communities and as communities work together.
470 And we have been able to do this in the form of specials and
471 We also produced unprecedented, a Greek Macedonian debate, first time
ever this was produced in English, where the two communities came together and
debated what's in a name as far as those communities were concerned.
472 Toronto City Hall is not able to bring these communities together. And
this is where we went beyond being a television station.
473 And so we have responded when possible to such issues in the form of
specials and documentaries.
474 MR. SOLE: And, Commissioner Cardoza, I would add to that that we're
encouraged by the new policy, by 117.
475 It encourages ethnic broadcasters to do more cross-cultural programming
up to 10% in the English language, and in our in chief this morning we have made
a minimum commitment of a hundred hours a year.
476 We think this is an important dimension as the new Canadians come from a
multiplicity of source dialogue is going to be critical, so we are encouraged by
the new policy.
477 And we are embarking on a program policy that is ratified, as we said, to
do at least 100 hours a year and they would be talk shows and -- they would be
more than talk shows, but that's the one form where differing groups have an
opportunity to air their opinions on Canadian circumstances.
478 MR. CARDOZA: Is there anything more you can say about that, the hundred
hours of the two hours a week?
479 MR. SOLE: On average it would be two hours a week. We think it would be
more intense during electoral periods. We think that issues that are undefined
today naturally come up in ethno-cultural communities.
480 Part of it will be discussing with independent producers and our own
producers what they see this new opportunity to look like and, honestly, the
rest of it will be able to react with the seven-day news department, to
developments that we found out to be the most important, developments of
481 Where something happens in a specific community and it needs more than a
sound bite on Channel 9, it needs a half hour.
482 Madeline was modest in bringing together the difficulty in bringing
together the two leaders of these two differing communities.
483 We'll be able to do that on a much more fluid basis, and I wouldn't
venture to say what those conflicts or opportunities might be, but I think we
can be assured that they will be there and we'll have the opportunity to respond
484 MS. ZINIAK: If I can add also, we have seriously looked at different
pilots that we've considered such as a meet the ethnic media, meet the press.
485 We know that the ethnic media here in Ontario does not have an
opportunity to discuss issues in a forum where they can actually share a debate
and we've taken a look at this as well.
486 MR. CARDOZA: And have you ever thought to having a regular weekly
program, I think either the kinds of program that you've mentioned, Ms. Ziniak,
in terms of a dialogue between the Greek and Macedonian communities is awfully
useful, but it also strikes me there are things every week that happen, weekend,
which may not be conflicts between groups, but issues such as racism,
immigration, those sorts of things.
487 MS. ZINIAK: We have been working with the Canadian Ethnic Journalists'
and Writers' Club in discussing coverage of forums, working with different
departments in Canada as well and looking at foreign issues, international and
488 So that is right now in discussion. And certainly this is the only
organization that brings together both print and electronic media and this is --
our objective is to be able to be a further vehicle for the expression of such
489 MR. SOLE: The 100 hour estimate included a weekly show yet untitled and
490 We expect that there would be 50 hours of - and these are minimums - but
50 hours of, I don't want to say opportunistic, but currency-based programming
and seeking to put together a weekly hour that would be there on a regular
491 But it's not formatted and I can't quite describe it, but it is along the
lines of what you're talking about.
492 MR. VINER: Meet the Press was taken.
493 MR. CARDOZA: We can do better than the Americans.
494 MR. VINER: There's no question, Commissioner. But I think that captures
the flavour, you know, of Madeline's great participation in the Canadian Ethno
Journalist Association and we thought that provides a forum to do exactly as you
describe, which is, there doesn't have to be a crisis, there is an opportunity
for several journalists to get together around a round table in English and
describe and discuss the issues that are occurring in the various communities
that are of common interest or, frankly, of specific interest so that others
will have a better opportunity to understand what's going on.
495 So that's part of the sort of 50 of the hundred hours we were proposing.
496 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
497 Yes, certainly as Ms. Ziniak mentioned, there's certainly an issue of
current matter on timing that we've heard about, anyone who has watched on CFMT.
498 One other question in terms of English and multicultural. To what extent
do you currently have bilingual programming or programming for particular ethnic
communities that may be either in English or in English and another language,
and I'm thinking particularly not just for English-speaking ethno groups such as
Caribbean groups, but say communities who have another language but a second
generation, whatever, who don't speak a whole lot of their own language and want
programming in English?
499 MS. ZINIAK: We have -- what we have done is we've approached this in a
variety of ways.
500 For example, our nightly newscasts in Italian, Cantonese and Portuguese
have English bullets and this is there for those, No. 1, who perhaps don't have
the fluency of the language or for intergenerational audiences.
501 We also of course do programming like for the South Asian community
perhaps which is bilingual, it could be in Hindi and in English.
502 We've also done interviews with individuals who perhaps could not command
the language as well, let's say in Armenian or Polish, and we have incorporated
interviews and have actually had translation there in their language or vice
503 So there's a variety of ways that we have been able to approach this.
504 MR. SOLE: We did a series called Jump Cut that explored that exact point.
Where would predominantly English-speaking Italians find themselves on an
emotional or entertainment scale with all things Italian, and I think we did 26
half-hours, and that was done in English with what would be called common
currency Italian that a second and third generation person might understand.
505 We're delighted that category E is now in our purview and we were
somewhat limited by A, B, C, D, E in terms of making these investments.
506 So I think that what we've done a lot of it and English is used by many
ethno-cultural groups either in splashes or in bites and we do not edit it out,
we leave it in. We think it's not uniquely Canadian but particularly Canadian
that some words don't translate.
507 So I think you're going to witness, in the case of CFMT and the new
broadcast policy for ethnic television, a growth in that area.
508 MR. CARDOZA: Okay. I've got a few questions on third language
broadcasting which is, of course, the core of what you do and certainly one of
the things that comes out in the interventions, and I think it's been said a
long time about CFMT is that what you would have provided is third language
programming with quality, that it's moving away from the blue and pink flood
lights in the background to something which is more substantive, which may still
have flood lights in the background but does deal with issues more seriously,
has a lot of stuff out on the street on coverage of events and so forth.
509 Could you describe for us a little bit of what you do in terms of how you
get these programs going and perhaps describe for us one of your flag ships or
your most improved programs?
510 MS. ZINIAK: No. 1, I think it's key to have the issues at hand and we do
this not only hiring the best people we can, but also using our advisory
committee. And this is a resource as far as research and really keeps the pulse
of the issues from the community so that we're right on the money as far as
kinds of issues that we deal with.
511 Very important also for us to be able to have the languages that are most
important for our schedule.
512 Our schedule is a fluid entity and we try our utmost to be most
reflective of the languages that are best served to the communities.
513 An example of emerging communities that we've worked with for many, many
years is the Polish community.
514 This was a community that we started looking at and finally did produce a
pilot and this program now is a success story, where we actually were ahead of
the game as far as the demographics that we knew that there would be a lot of
immigration coming forward, a lot of dynamics from the community that should be
reflected, and also one should say that also there is a compelling business
story to that as well.
515 And on the international scale as well, we have had the opportunity where
Polish broadcasters have sought to use our stories because they're interested in
what the Diaspora -- the Polish Diaspora are doing in certain issues.
516 So that is in one way a success story.
517 MR. VINER: Just a problem with a public hearing, of course, is that it's
not the time to hid your light under a bushel and Madeline is modest about her
518 I think Polish is a good example, but there is -- in every one of the
smaller language groups that we have on the air are examples.
519 On average Maddy and Paritosh would work with the various groups, just to
describe the process, for up to a year and a half to try to get them in a
position where they can -- they're prepared to go on the air that they have got
sufficient content, sufficient performers and talent, support from the
520 And it's important that -- to Maddy and to the group, that journalistic
standards are maintained, that it's not sort of a singular point of view and
work closely with our program advisors in order to ensure that programming is
521 What we've done recently in the last two or three years is we have
provided smaller groups with the opportunity to make our schedule in perhaps a
522 That 13 weeks usually enables them to produce some good programming, to
have good community support, but they are small enough groups that they frankly
can't sustain a 52-week program on our schedule.
523 Going in they know that they're going to have 13 weeks and they are going
to try to produce programming, maintain those programs and then perhaps come
back the following year.
524 That way a 52-week time slot can be devoted to four different groups, and
also those -- it's not just the biggest groups that make the schedule, it's
smaller groups who have the appropriate infrastructure, language retention and
those issues - which Paritosh can explain to you on how we make the decisions -
but I think Tamil, Polish, Ukrainian, Russian are all examples of the success
stories, Commissioner, as you describe them, that CFMT has achieved and that
that's really under the leadership and responsibility of Madeline who, along
with Paritosh, works extraordinarily closely with these groups.
525 I would only say that it's interesting that 500, as you alluded to the
500 odd interventions that we've received in support of our renewal, I think is
indicative not only of the wide-spread support that we have throughout the
community, but also to the balance that Madeline and Leslie and others have been
able to achieve.
526 Because, as you know, in many of these communities it is a difficult
thing, there are different groups and every one wants access to the air, and
because Madeline and CFMT has been fair and balanced and transparent, there's
very little discontent among all of the language groups that we serve or that
are available throughout southern Ontario.
527 MR. METHA: Can I also add that the
the decision process is defined by CFMT's ethnic policy decision.
528 Commissioner, I receive about 300 proposals every year and what I look
for in response to these proposals, one is language, second is culture, third is
link to the homeland, fourth is immigration patterns, fifth is availability of
talent to the particular community, and sixth is the commercial infrastructure.
529 You only find this with the Commission and by applying these particular
criteria we have been very successful so far.
530 MR. CARDOZA: Okay. And so when a proposal comes in, are you also looking
at people who can do that, or with some kind of experience and how much support
can you give them if they don't have it or they just have a bit of experience.
531 MR. MEHTA: We take the proposals through the entire stage.
532 Once -- normally what happens when a community or a person calls in, it's
generally by a telephone call, I take the producer through the entire process of
what it means to come on television. We look for talent within the particular
community. I dig through the entire process of what we look for in the proposal,
we require a demo tape, what the demo tape should consist of.
533 Everything, try to -- and also, we also teach them what the broadcast
policy is, whether they need a C number.
534 All this process we look for and we take this entire process.
535 MS. ZINIAK: One of the opportunities that we do have, No. 1, is to assess
the potential who is out there both journalistically and talent, and from that
base we take them in and train them and develop them as talent, and that could
mean anything from conditioning to the Canadian values of broadcasting and
working that in jointly with perhaps some of their experiences from other
536 MR. VINER: We do our best to try to train people.
537 We can't always find people who are skilled in their on-air presence
within a particular language group, so we try to train them.
538 And we're proud to say that many of the people that we have trained and
started at CFMT are sprinkled throughout the Canadian broadcasting system as
richer and more successful television stations hire them away from us, but --
539 MR. CARDOZA: Name no names.
540 MR. VINER: We name no names, but seriously we're happy with that. And I
think that that training extends also incidentally to the non-on-air side, to
camera people, to technical staff, where we'll hire people who have perhaps had
experience in another country but because of language difficulties or whatever
aren't able to be available to be hired for other television stations, and we
take them on.
541 And we also do an extensive amount of training. So it's something I'm
542 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
543 I notice from your application that you list 18 distinct ethnic groups
and 15 languages, but I think I heard somewhere 22 or something.
544 MR. VINER: That's the condition of licence, Commissioner Cardoza, is 15
545 MR. CARDOZA: Right.
546 MR. VINER: But you will hear 18 and 22, which is 18 languages and 22
different groups, and if you took a cumulative number of groups and languages it
would be 28 different groups and I'm not sure how many different languages.
547 I think what we tried to demonstrate is that we consistently outperform
our conditions of licence and we have taken seriously the broad service mandate
that's enshrined in the new ethnic policy, but something that we have been doing
for a number of years.
548 MR. CARDOZA: How do you make those decisions to ensure there's always
more demand than you can put on the air.
549 MR. VINER: Well, I'll ask Paritosh to elaborate, but I think as he
started to say that he gets 300 different applications and we have -- annually,
and we try to work with people, we don't just sort of get the application and
say: Okay, that's yes and okay that's no.
550 To those people, we try to work with them, we try to get them to
understand what our objectives are and try and help them, bring them along so
Maddy or Paritosh at any time have maybe five or six or seven groups in the
pipeline who are beginning to understand the process.
551 You know, we give them grants to buy equipment, we train them on the
various equipment, we tell them what the journalistic standards are.
552 But perhaps Maddy or Paritosh can outline the criteria that we've used,
frankly, for the last -- '85, ever since 1985 or 1987, the last 21 years.
553 And, as I said, I think that they're all balanced and they're fair and
554 MS. ZINIAK: Before Paritosh gets into the criteria that we've been using
as the ethnic policy procedure, I just want to use an example as far as the
programming that we have that evolved and one of the groups is Russian.
555 We were speaking to the Russian producers for several years, we suggested
because this was new to the market that perhaps they try the community channel.
556 They did so, they were at the community channel for a few years and as
they evolved and had a better handle on both the market and the audience, then
we incorporated them into our schedule.
557 So CFMT-TV is part of the evolution, if you will. We know that many begin
in media either from print or radio, community programming and then develop into
a commercial broadcaster.
558 And this certainly minimalizes the risk both for the producers, the
ethnic producers as well as ourselves. And we've done that with several
communities, and we're happy to say that they're on our schedule and have fared
559 Now, Paritosh will certainly go through the exact criteria.
560 MR. MEHTA: Thank you, Madeline.
561 Commissioner, as I mentioned earlier, we look for language and for
language in particular we look for extent and need for a language retention in
the particular community.
562 For culture we look for the extent of diversity that is there in a
particular community. We look for origin, language, where the language comes
from, geographical proximity of the language to a specific neighbourhood.
563 We look for the link of homeland, what the respective communities'
strengths and sentiments and emotional attachments, what information from the
564 We look for immigration patterns, population base and immigration
patterns of language of specific communities, reasons for immigration, date of
immigration, size of community, large enough to attract advertising.
565 We also look for, as I mentioned earlier, talent within the particular
566 A lot of times there are many smaller communities who want programs but
there are very few journalists from that particular community who can report
from that, you know, for their concerns and that is a concern for us.
567 We take them through the process and we -- I coach them on how they need
to go through the entire process.
568 We also look for commercial infrastructure, whether there's a strong
retail base to attract advertising.
569 And as I mentioned earlier, we have filed this for the Commission and we
have been very successful so far in applying this criteria.
570 MR. VINER: The thing -- one of the differences I'd just like to draw your
attention to, Commissioner, between CFMT and many conventional television
broadcasters is that we don't have brokered programming, we don't sell the time
to someone who then takes the complete responsibility to sell advertising, and
we feel that we lose control in terms of -- in terms of ensuring that there's
balanced editorial. And so I think that's a distinct difference in the decision
that we made.
571 You know, arguably it would be more profitable or easier for us simply to
accept brokered programming, and that generally when you look at some of the
brokered programming - I don't mean to be critical - but generally when you see
third language programming on conventional television that's brokered
programming, it's been sold to that producer by the television station and that
television producer produces the best show they can and tries to get as much
money as they can, and we don't do that.
572 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
573 What are the -- you talked about nine independent producers. How are they
different from non-independent?
574 MS. ZINIAK: Independent producers are those who have produced and use
facilities, a majority of the facilities outside of CFMT-TV.
575 Many of them have come to us from other stations and they produce the
program in their language and have the ability also to have second windows
perhaps in other stations.
576 So they have a first window perhaps in CFMT-TV and try to do other
577 And I should say also that we try also to assist them by providing
grants. Most of the grants have gone towards technical development for
578 As well as being able to, for example, create openings for them that are
of excellent quality and of a competitive nature.
579 As well as being able to share footage perhaps that we have from an
international news source.
580 And also we embrace them in a sense that if we do hold editorial board
meetings with leaders -- political leaders across the country, we invite them
and it's all seen as part of CFMT-TV.
581 But certainly as independents, they have freedom and flexibility to do
what independent producers do.
582 MR. CARDOZA: So these are not dramatic series not drama series, the same
type of programming which is a top news format?
583 MS. ZINIAK: Mainly public affairs kind of programming.
584 MR. CARDOZA: These are being done independently.
585 In terms of recruiting people to do programs, to what extent does
community cable help, whether it's Rogers or Shaw in this area? Is there ethnic
programming on the community cable channel which are graduated or moved to CFMT?
586 MS. ZINIAK: Yes. We've had, I mentioned Russian recently. We've also had
the same experience, for example, with the Armenian community and in the Ottawa
area when we were having community outreach sessions with both the Somalian
community and Arabic community, that was one of the places that we looked to to
see where there was already an involvement and an education with broadcasting or
cable casting, and this has proven to be very much an evolution and one that has
served us very, very well.
587 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
588 MR. SOLE: Madeline is from cable television, Commissioner Cardoza.
589 MS. ZINIAK: And proud of it.
590 MR. CARDOZA: And I'm glad somebody is.
--- Laughter / Rires
591 I had an illustrious career there one time too.
592 Let me ask you about PSAs. You mentioned The Courage to Stand, which I
suppose was a PSA program or documentary, but the Violence Hurts Us All, was
that a series of PSA programs?
593 MS. ZINIAK: Yes, that was a project that we're very proud of, in case
others say I'm too humble about things, but certainly this was a project, a
partnership that we formed with the Heritage Department and we were part of the
Family Initiatives Violence Committee that identified the desperate need for
communicating and conditioning specifically ethnic communities to Canadian
morays and values, specifically that violence is not acceptable.
594 The challenge there was, No. 1, was to produce a PSA in 16 languages and
then to be able to broadcast this PSA across the country where necessary.
595 So the Federal Government did indeed identify the need for this kind of
communication and it was part of an education process.
596 We did this. The commercial production station, commercial production
unit at CFMT-TV produced this. CFMT-TV was the first to donate over $500,000 in
air time, and this actually kicked off many other language stations as well as
commercial broadcasters, English and French broadcasters, to donate air time.
597 And we made this PSA available to specialty services as well as
traditional broadcasters. We worked with both the CAB and the CCTA to make this
598 And I think the Heritage Department did an assessment and have
ascertained that this PSA has been on more than 15,000 times across Canada in 16
languages and we have seen and heard from, for example, the Peel Regional Police
that we have effected woman coming forward and actually recording violence in
599 MR. VINER: Commissioner Cardoza, I would also, this was a tremendous
achievement by Madeline and CFMT, but routinely the United Way, charitable
foundations throughout the Greater Toronto Area rely on CFMT to reach that very
crucial audience segment that is not reached by conventional television and we
frequently transcreate commercials or public service announcements in order to
ensure that those important messages reach smaller audiences.
600 MR. SOLE: And I would just add that one third layer, and that is that
Madeline has talked about things of general public service to all Canadians,
Tony has talked about public service that's available to all Canadians but not
communicated to ethno-cultural groups, and the third layer is that there are
causes and there are public service organizations within ethno-cultural groups
that strongly need our support that aren't as famous as United Way or National
Violence campaigns but are very important to the Greek or to the Armenian
community in terms of fund raising in their neighbourhoods and community.
601 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
602 The John Graham scholarships, you mentioned they had been expanded I
think it was on the video. What does that mean?
603 MR. SOLE: Ryerson went to three to four years and our costs went up by
604 MR. VINER: Which we were happy to do.
605 Paritosh is a graduate of Ryerson and was a recipient of the scholarship
and if he's -- and we believe he is representative of the quality of those
scholarship winners. We're delighted with our investment.
606 MR. CARDOZA: He must have taken a good question on answering questions at
public hearings. He's doing well.
607 MR. SOLE: It's a mandatory course I believe.
608 MR. CARDOZA: One question on the Queen's Park bureau.
609 How does that work? Surely you don't have 16 people in different
languages working there, do you?
610 How do you -- like, what do you do there to provide material to different
language shows and how many different languages will be interested in a hot
story out of Queen's Park?
611 MS. ZINIAK: We've identified it's extremely important to communities and
it works very much like our Ottawa bureau where we have senior correspondents
who are there, who are able to identify the key issues necessary for our nightly
newscasts or even our weekly newscasts and we actually ask politicians, for
example, if they're able to, to express their opinion or answer in the language
that they're able to speak, and we've been able to capture many issues in
612 If not, we also get, of course, answers in English that our reporters
then either on site or at the studio will tailor to the language necessary.
613 But our senior correspondents are able to ask questions and our
politicians answer in languages that are appropriate.
614 But this is very much often a one-station story type of thing which I
would mean that we would be able to get the answer and then we introduce it and
discuss it or analyze it by particular reporters in that language so we're able
to incorporate the answer in a variety of shows.
615 Politicians certainly enjoy this, they see themselves sometimes in eight
different languages, and it's a benefit to the issue as well as to the reporter.
616 We also have the capability to go live when necessary and we think it's
also very important for Queen's Park to see and hear different journalists in
different languages and that's I think all part of the evolution in Canada as
well for multilingual media to integrate with traditional media.
617 MR. SOLE: And I think we ask different questions.
618 MR. CARDOZA: But might you have somebody who - this is really getting
picky but just for my curiosity on this - might you have somebody going around
asking questions in English say and then a particular MPP responding in the
language they are looking for?
619 MS. ZINIAK: Yes, that is precisely it. We've had -- we've also had senior
correspondents who are lucky enough to do the beat, like Enzo Dimauro who would
actually ask in Italian where possible, the same with Chinese reporters and
620 So that is the way --
621 MR. SOLE: That is done. David Battistelli will say to a
Cantonese-speaking MP, I'm going to ask you this question in English and I would
appreciative it if you would answer it in Cantonese, and that's how it works.
622 MR. CARDOZA: I've certainly seen him at work and I'm glad he hasn't posed
his questions to me in that way, but I could see how that would work.
624 One question on the schedule.
625 You've talked about the 8:00 to 10:00 period as being 75% Canadian/90%
626 Does that mean that three, or three of the four-half hour slots within
that are ethnic Canadian and the fourth will be ethnic foreign?
627 MR. SOLE: The schedule that's in our application is a half hour of
Italian, this is Monday to Friday, sir, a half hour of Italian news from 8:00 to
8:30, an Italian serial drama which is imported and one hour of Chinese news,
which is Canadian.
628 The only other hour of non-Canadian program takes place on Saturday
between 8:00 and 10:00 and it's the first half of a Chinese movie.
629 So you have two and a half plus the one hour of movie, three and a half
hours of non-Canadian but it's all ethnic.
630 MR. VINER: The reference I think on the tape, Commissioner, was it's over
90% ethnic. Over the course of a year there is, you know, times when it's not
and that's sort of Monday through Sunday I believe, Leslie.
631 So you know, we're almost a hundred per cent ethnic, but...
632 MR. CARDOZA: Okay. So to go back to the schedule that you've filed with
your application, the eight o'clock Studio Aperto is --
633 MR. SOLE: Canadian-Italian.
634 MR. CARDOZA: Okay. And Tellenovella is Italian?
635 MR. SOLE: Yes.
636 MR. CARDOZA: And the Chinese Newsline is...?
637 MR. SOLE: Canadian. And the remainder of the programming is Canadian with
the exception of 9:00 to 10:00 on Saturday which is the first hour of an
imported Chinese movie.
638 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
639 That's the seven days?
640 MR. SOLE: That's the seven days, and that's where we get the 90%. It's in
excess of 90, but...
641 MR. CARDOZA: Right. I wonder if I could stop there. I have got a few more
with regards to programming, and then we'll go to financial segments, if that's
okay with you.
642 Madam Chair.
643 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner.
644 We'll take a break until 20 minutes past 11:00, 15 minutes.
--- Upon recessing at 1103 / Suspension à 1103
--- Upon resuming at 1120 / Reprise à 1120
645 THE CHAIRPERSON: Welcome back.
646 Commissioner Cardoza, will pursue his questioning.
647 MR. CARDOZA: Thank you, Madam Chair.
648 Welcome back.
649 As I said, I'll go through just a few more programming questions.
650 First, one of the things I've been curious to understand is how Rogers
Communications Inc. works in terms of their relationship with Rogers Media and
651 For example, I assume you know Mr. John Tory and others, and in our
relationship with you, you're separate licensees, so we tend to deal with each
652 But one of the things that has come to us and is primarily more in the
local Ottawa area, is an issue of carriage where as you're aware that Telelatino
is not available in Ottawa and black television moved from analogue to digital
653 Is there an opportunity for you Rogers Media, and CFMT in particular, to
make a case to Rogers Cable if it's in your interest or if you think it's
worthwhile, to have those type of programs more available to viewers in the way
they are, say, in the Toronto market or is there an element of there being
competition with Telelatino?
654 MR. VINER: Commissioner Cardoza, as you'll hear Ted Rogers say on a
number of occasions that each of his divisions, each of the divisions of Rogers
Communications which include wireless, cable and media each have their own
separate boards of directors and their own separate financing, and although we
cooperate with one another, it is the business imperatives of each division that
655 I'm not -- I don't know anything about cable, I really and truly don't.
656 I believe that the issue that you referred to with respect to Ottawa has
far more to do with the availability of channels on the Ottawa cable system
because of the number of French channels that are also required to be carried,
but I have to qualify that and say I absolutely don't know.
657 With respect to anything that Media might do, the companies are
completely separate and, you know, I know and like and respect and think John
does a wonderful job, but issues such as carriage, they will do what they have
to do in order to ensure the success of the cable company, and I will do what I
have to do in order to ensure the success of the media company.
658 And those, as I say I'm responsible to a separate board of directors, I
have separate financing. So I'm really, you know, I have a different group to
whom I report.
659 Now, we try to do -- we try to cooperate on promotional issues and other
areas, but that's -- we don't have any other -- our business imperatives are the
exclusive purview of the individual divisions.
660 MR. CARDOZA: So as part of the Rogers family you don't play a role in
either sensitizing them or talking to them about relations?
661 MR. VINER: Sure. You know, we talk to -- I talk to John and we would talk
to cable as they would talk to us about issues, but ultimately the decision with
respect to those kinds of things are related to their own business imperatives.
662 We have had discussions, you know, about whether or not they could carry
Telelatino and I think that they will tell you that -- what they tell me is that
it's a channel capacity issue but, beyond that, Commissioner Cardoza --
663 MR. CARDOZA: I'm not asking to define them, I'm just asking what your
role has been in this process.
664 MR. VINER: We -- you know, I'm sure I would do things differently if they
could persuade me to do them, and I'm sure they would do some things differently
if I could persuade them to do them, and it doesn't always work out that way.
665 MR. CARDOZA: Keep trying.
666 Let me ask you about the suspensive condition of licence with regard to
sexual portrayal and violence.
667 In a general way can you tell me how you define your relationship with
CBSC and tell me whether they perform a useful service for you as a broadcaster?
668 MR. VINER: I think I'll let Maddy respond since she is both responsible
for our programming and on the CBSC board.
669 MS. ZINIAK: As a member of the Ontario Region of the Canadian
Broadcasters Standards Council, I have to say that CBSC plays a key role in
determining and contributing to the complaints process and I think in respect to
our interest of course at CFMT and as a member from the broadcast arena, my
interest is that ethno-cultural issues and issues such as defamation as it
refers -- as we take a look at different codes is important, and I'm personally
happy to contribute in areas such as that.
670 I think as an arm's length body, both the membership of broadcasters and
private members is very useful in adjudicating different complaints.
671 MR. CARDOZA: I wonder sometimes whether the presence of the CBSC doesn't
serve a flip service that wasn't intended, where a broadcaster might run a
certain program that is questionable or problematic and/or whatever and say,
I'll keep running it until CBSC tells me there's a problem with that.
672 Is there that kind of possibility that the suspensive condition of
licence becomes one where the broadcaster can suspend their judgment and leave
it to the CBSC to define the parameters, or do you define your own parameters?
673 MR. VINER: Well, I think I'll let Maddy and Leslie expand on this,
Commissioner Cardoza, but I would say this we're in the audience business and
we're very responsive to our audience, and long before a complaint would reach
the CBSC it would reach us and we do our very best to respond reasonably.
674 If a viewer writes us a letter we respond, and we don't wait for it just
to go through the machinations especially as it relates to our language
675 Maddy and Paritosh work very closely with our programming advisory
council to ensure that the programming we either acquire or produce is fair and
balanced, as I said earlier.
676 So we do maintain our own standards. But it is -- I think all
broadcasters are sensitive to censure by CBSC but they're also sensitive to
their own audiences and response their own audiences have to their own
677 MR. SOLE: On this changing process I would make one comment, if this is a
general question on how it is it working.
678 What may appear to be happening is when we get a complaint that had
formerly gone to the CRTC it will go to the council before it comes to us.
679 So in the past where we would get direct response from the Commission on
a complaint, it now goes to the Broadcast Standards people and then it comes to
680 So I don't think -- it's a process where we're not waiting for something
to happen, it just goes through one more step before it gets to the licensee.
681 MR. CARDOZA: Is that a delay from your perspective?
682 MR. SOLE: I think I couldn't comment. I think the viewer in some cases
feel it's, you know, it's two layers instead of one, but as Tony said, we have
an obligation internally that if someone writes to us about the contents of our
programming, without regard for any governing or regulatory body, we respond.
683 MR. VINER: I think it's important to note that generally we get
684 Generally, not always, generally people who want to complain about our
programming or some aspect of our programming pick up the phone and Maddy fields
685 So we have a pretty good sense of where the complaints are.
686 MS. ZINIAK: Actually we do have a viewer response line that we monitor
regularly and our information program coordinator listens and monitors these
complaints and usually the viewer, if it's a negative, you know, sometimes we do
get positive as well.
687 MR. CARDOZA: Yeah.
688 MS. ZINIAK: They would tell us, you know, I'm not happy and perhaps I'll
write to the CRTC.
689 So we do have interaction with many of the viewers at that point.
690 MR. CARDOZA: And your third language program also has been and will been,
as you're requesting, subject to CBSC?
691 MS. ZINIAK: Oh, yes, very much so.
692 And if I can add, it's been a valuable experience for the committee for
the Ontario Region for me to be able to share a lot of the standards in
defamanation and, of course, the codes are inherently there, but also to
supplement that kind of information within ethnic communities, for example.
693 MR. CARDOZA: Program line-up that you've got currently, looking at the
latest TV Guide, say in the 10:00 to eleven o'clock period is what you're
intending, is the kind of programming you're intending, like Frasier and Third
694 MR. SOLE: Yes.
695 MR. CARDOZA: Yes.
696 MR. SOLE: You mean this coming fall?
697 MR. CARDOZA: Yes.
698 MR. SOLE: Yes, it will be three situation comedies.
699 MR. CARDOZA: A couple of questions about closed captioning.
700 You mentioned that you've exceeded what we expected in the last licence
renewal. We noted I think that you had 17 1/2 of the time and we wanted you to
do a bit more, and you've done 62 hours per week.
701 MR. SOLE: Yes.
702 MR. CARDOZA: I noticed in the application there was a reference, 'all
news reports made by its news anchors would be closed captioned'.
703 Can you explain to me what that means and whether it's the whole program
or just the parts that have news and anchors, or just give me a sense of what is
704 MR. SOLE: The technology that we use to prompt our news and our news
anchor allows us easy live or virtually live closed captioning by using the
script and playing it underneath the anchor.
705 That's what we mean by the anchors are captioned.
706 MR. VINER: Perhaps Kelly Colasanti, our Vice-President of Operations can
respond to this question.
707 MR. CARDOZA: I think you answered the question, I'm not understanding the
answer necessarily, I guess the technical --
708 MR. COLASANTI: I guess the question is if our newscasts are captioned,
they are using a newsmaker system that does the captioning for us.
709 We also use real-time captioning that we sub-contract out to a broadcast
captioning firm that does that real time as well.
710 MR. CARDOZA: And the captioning is in the language of the program?
711 MR. COLANSANTI: Yes.
712 MR. CARDOZA: So if you wanted to do -- I think Ms. Ziniak you were
talking about subtitles in a different language to make it more understandable,
you then run into a problem with captioning?
713 MS. ZINIAK: Yes, that is correct.
714 We've had some very good success stories, for example, with Portuguese
language captioning where we have overcome the difficulty of the cedillas. Now
we actually caption that all in large letters.
715 There are some technological challenges for Cyrillic alphabet and
Chinese, for example, as well.
716 So if we take a look at different fonts for different alphabets, that is
the technological challenge. But Roman, we're able to do this with Roman.
717 MR. VINER: Mr. Cardoza, I've just -- because of the closed captioning, we
can't do subtitles in English, so Maddy I think has described how we do the news
bullets in English--
718 MR. CARDOZA: Right.
719 MR. VINER: --which makes it more accessible, and we've also -- the
Macau Hand-Over is an example of a program where we employed the secondary audio
program where we actually broadcast in three different languages.
720 So I just -- if you were getting at the access issue that's how we try to
tackle that because we have the requirement to provide closed captioning in the
language of broadcasts.
721 MR. SOLE: The process of real time subtitling, which I think was the
third part of the question, it's an Italian broadcast with Italian closed
captioning for Italian hearing challenged viewers and what's the possibility of
adding English to the bottom text, that's not here yet.
722 It's possible. There are two fundamental problems, firstly of all there
is not, as Kelly said, real-time captioning depends on a number of links and
until real-time captioning is able to go from Italian to English instantly we
won't be able to subtitle newscasts.
723 We've heard that there will be internet technology and this is a bit of
futurism stuff in the next 10 to 12 years that will read and translate in less
than a second, and we're monitoring that technology closely.
724 MR. COLASANTI: We've done a number of things as well, if I may add a
little more to that.
725 We did a test at one point where we took Italian subtitling captioning
and tried to translate into English and because of the actual delay in the
process it didn't make any sense, but we worked with broadcast captioning on
726 And also for Chinese, we've purchased a Chinese character generator to
allow us to do opening captioning subtitling as well.
727 MR. CARDOZA: So of the 62 hours that you do currently is in Italian,
Portuguese and South Asian news; is that correct?
728 MS. ZINIAK: Yes..
729 MR. SOLE: And English.
730 MR. CARDOZA: And which English programs?
731 MR. VINER: Virtually all the American programming.
732 MR. CARDOZA: So they are all captioned too?
733 MR. VINER: Yes.
734 MR. CARDOZA: And you're beginning to get something in Chinese I
735 MR. COLASANTI: No. We have a Chinese character generator that allows us
to do <TER> subtitling, it's not closed captioning. There is no technology
that currently allows us to do Chinese characters...
736 MR. SOLE: Canada and the United States are somewhat advanced. When we buy
programming from -- and programming produced in other languages there just
doesn't seem to be the same impetus behind serving hearing impaired people in
other countries and, therefore, the technology is...
737 MR. CARDOZA: So does that make you somewhat of a leader in the language.
Is that what you're doing?
738 MR. SOLE: In terms of closed captioning, I'd say yes.
739 MS. ZINIAK: I'd say yes in general.
740 MR. CARDOZA: I think the lights out from the bushel.
741 She's really showing off now.
742 Okay. General financial viability,
A few questions in that regard.
743 If I go to the profitability figures that we have from you, I notice
there was a considerable jump in your PBIT from '98 to '99 and the first thought
that comes to mind is congratulations, well done, and then yet another success
744 What would you attribute this to being over this one-year period that you
would have an increase?
745 MR. SOLE: I can talk from a general operating point of view and then Jim
might give you some background on the revenue.
746 We had concurrently three successful situation comedies at the same time
for the first time in the Simpsons, in Frasier and in Third Rock From The Sun,
and what happens, and this is, it's congratulations and it's all a great deal of
747 So when that happens, you'll see that -- when you have three in a row
like that revenue reflects it, and that revenue went to the bottom line.
748 Jim, do you want to mention what the market was like to in '99.
749 MR. NELLES: In '99?
750 MR. SOLE: Right.
751 MR. NELLES: '99 was by all measures a very strong year certainly for us.
752 As Leslie's mentioned, we were the beneficiaries of some very strong
rating performance, we've noted before, adults 18 to 49 and adults 18 to 34 as
being important, and last year ratings in those demographics came across very
753 And so it was natural that we would bundle up in terms of English
language revenue there.
754 On the third language side, however, with the movement of a lot of retail
competition we noticed that numbers were down a little bit.
755 But certainly for English last year was a great year.
756 MR. CARDOZA: Is part of that the general economic situation as well that
you've got more advertisers available to you?
757 MR. VINER: Commissioner, that's absolutely correct.
758 Last year was by all standards I think a pretty good economic year.
759 I think that certainly the conventional networks I believe did well, and
specialty services I think I'm correct in saying had a good year, and we were
able to jump on with some rating point performance because in that particular
area, of course, it is driven by ratings, we were able to have a good year as
760 But it is a bit of an exception over the seven-year period but we are
certainly very pleased, sir.
761 MR. CARDOZA: And to what extent does London and Ottawa help you from the
perspective of national time sales?
762 MR. VINER: I think London/Ottawa are helpful to us, certainly from the
English sector. I would say that most of the stations in southern Ontario ALSO
have distribution through much of southern Ontario, so we're all sort of on a
competitive platform that is somewhat similar.
763 We don't have anywhere near the number of prime time ratings that those
competitive stations would have, so we may not reflect or be able to monetize
our distribution quite as much as they would.
764 MR. SOLE: My explanation -- sorry.
765 MR. CARDOZA: Just to finish that part about national time sales, I'm not
thinking just of the economic conditions in London and Ottawa, but the fact that
you've got three major centres, does that make you more attractive for national
time sales from the adviser's point of view?
766 MR. VINER: Yes, it does. Certainly our distribution in Ottawa and London
767 As I say, our competitive stations emanating out of this market are
certainly there. We do not have the ability to sell local, of course, though in
any of those markets--
768 MR. CARDOZA: Right.
769 MR. VINER: --so we would not be...
770 MR. CARDOZA: Your local time sales are for Toronto?
771 MR. VINER: Are strictly Toronto, that's correct.
772 It's important to note that rather than necessarily providing us an
advantage though, Commissioner, it sort of puts us on an even footing with
Global and CITY and CTV and Chum and ONtv, all of whom have the same
distribution that we do.
773 MR. SOLE: I was going to describe it much the same way.
774 It's not what they have done so much as what it would be like without
them. We're allowed to take our advertising to market and offer the same
markets, so that keeps us in the same price value range.
775 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
776 I had a question on how advertising is sold and to what extent your
programming, when you're selling advertising for your English programs, to what
extent the presence of your programs in other languages is an asset?
777 When you go to sell your advertising in English, to what extent are you
able to deliver a larger product to the advertiser that where they could
advertise on English as well as on the other language programs.
778 MR. SOLE: That's an initiative that we take very seriously. We endeavor
to market CFMT in third language as well as English all the time.
779 The reality for many of the advertisers and certainly for advertising
agencies is that they look at their English language purchases quite differently
than they look at their third language purchases.
780 When they look at English language they tend to use the currency of
Neilson and BBM viewing trends and all that sort of thing.
781 That's not available to us from the standpoint of third language sales.
There we have to use research that attempts to denote who our viewers are,
perhaps their consumption habits and those sorts of things and there just aren't
the economies of scale to have sufficient people meters, if you will, or diaries
in Portuguese community or the Italian community or many of the other
782 So we wind up having to certainly raise the flag at all opportunities,
but we really have to push business development. And Melanie Farrell may wish to
comment on that. She's charged with working with national advertisers, agencies,
clients in an effort to encourage them to and to help them into third language.
783 MS. FARRELL: We actually have a national sales force that is specifically
dedicated to presenting to national advertisers the benefits of advertising in
languages. There is three people, myself included, and we do about 300
presentations a year.
784 MR. VINER: It's important, Commissioner Cardoza, our greatest source of
frustration that the reality is that the presence of our ethnic schedule does
not assist in the sale of advertising time to traditional advertisers, no matter
how frequently and we do all the time make presentations on the ethnic diversity
available in southern Ontario and the importance of that market and Melanie and
Jim and Malcom, we've done research that showed the consumption patterns of
various ethnic audiences, but as Melanie will tell you it's an uphill battle.
785 We are able to convince certain advertisers, and we're proud of those
advertisers that we've brought on stream, that they should advertise in our
language programming, but almost in every case they've done that as a special
out of a special budget, promotional budget or a trial budget, an experimental
budgets and the churn for those advertisers in language sales, the moment they
run into a sales problem or recession or downturn in the economy, that's gone.
786 We can't -- we have been unsuccessful in persuading them that they should
use CFMT as a regular important crucial part of their ongoing strategy.
787 And, as you know, television is a national sales medium. And, unlike
radio, which is 75/25 and radio 75% local, 25% national, it's the opposite in
788 Until we are able to persuade all of those advertisers to advertise on
our language schedule in a regular, recurring, frequent way, then we'll have
trouble generating revenue from that schedule.
789 What happens, of course, is that, you know, general cutbacks occur and an
advertiser will say: I'm going to cut my schedule, my advertising schedule by
10% and what they do is they cut us 100% first our language schedule, that gets
cuts first and then they cut back in conventional media, in conventional
790 So it's a struggle. We do our very best but it's a struggle.
791 MR. SOLE: I would add one thing, and this is a question that has come up
in our own business meetings.
792 We have two are distinct islands of revenue, the 60% ethnic schedule and
the 40% conventional schedule. We are unable to, because of the language of the
creative material, and as Tony and Jim have said, the marketing plans of the
various advertisers, exploit them together.
793 Where a regular, or a normal or conventional, station CFTO or Global or
CITY can take the revenue and the advertiser interest generated from a
high-rated American simulcast and create revenue for the Canadian content by
developing packages, we do not have that advantage.
794 We're able to take various elements of the English schedule and package
them together and even less so, but in some cases we can do that in the ethnic
795 So the idea that a car manufacturer would buy some non-ethnic U.S. and a
portion of Cantonese or Italian news is highly unlikely.
796 In the case of our competitors, it is very common place because you have
to buy both to get the high-rated one.
797 MR. VINER: But I should add, we try. We offer to transcreate commercials,
we offer to take the creative and transcreate it into a language and we have
been successful in some regards, and we also try to produce different
commercials for them themselves.
798 But it's an uphill battle.
799 MR. CARDOZA: Can I take you to the definition you provided to us in your
April 10th letter which was the response to the deficiency question, page 6 of
800 Just a couple of things on this. In the first columns, 1998 to 1999.
801 MR. VINER: Commissioner, I just want to clarify, is this the ethnic and
non-ethnic and advertising revenues and program costs, 50% of the total is that
802 MR. CARDOZA: That's right.
803 MR. VINER: Yes, thanks.
804 MR. SOLE: Just while we're flipping through our pages I just wanted to
make sure we all were on the same page.
805 MR. CARDOZA: So that first column is program costs; am I right?
806 MR. VINER: Yes, I believe so.
807 Tom, are you there?
808 I'm going to ask Tom Ayley our Chief Financial officer who prepared this.
809 MR. CARDOZA: And the second column is program revenues. Okay.
810 MR. VINER: That's fair.
811 MR. CARDOZA: I just wanted to understand a bit more the figures between
'98 and '99 if you can come down to those, the programming costs went, for the
ethnic Canadian programming, went from 33 to 40% and the revenues went from 16
812 We did some calculations out of that by using the real figures and coming
out with a percentage at the end of that which showed the margin for the
Canadian ethnic programming went from -7% in '98 to -56% in '99.
813 So it's quite a considerable increase in the margin with regards to
Canadian ethnic programming and I'm just wondering what would account for that.
814 THE CHAIRPERSON: Excuse me, Commissioner Cardoza is referring to one of
the sheets you were given earlier this morning.
815 He's referring to both sheets. So if you have both of those sheets in
front of you, I think it will be helpful.
816 MR. CARDOZA: Yes, it's the sheet you've got there.
817 So if you use that second sheet, so you go to the end of the page, the
third last column on the right-hand side value.
818 MR. VINER: Under margins?
819 MR. CARDOZA: Yeah, under margins.
821 MR. VINER: Yeah.
822 MR. CARDOZA: If you go to the third last column, your figures show -7% to
823 In my experience, and I understand this isn't a rare occurrence, but at
time of licence renewal sometimes broadcasters show some very sorry figures just
about the time of their licence renewal, and I just want you to assure me that
that's not what this is, that this is -- that these figures do reflect the
reality in that you're not just trying to ward off this over zealous regulator
trying to get more blood out of a stone.
824 MR. VINER: Commissioner Cardoza, I think Maddy and Leslie may want to
825 I think on a going forward basis we're showing that that 40% level is you
know 39, 38 throughout our licence renewal period.
826 We did do a special, Courage To Stand, we're very proud it. To be honest
with you, we didn't think of it in terms of our licence renewal treatment.
827 We had an extension during that time and we did a Courage to Stand as one
of our programs that was unusual because of this issue that had occurred in
828 So that was a circumstance driven by our service to our audience, not by
any requirement for licence renewal and there may be -- I don't know what the
specific other -- I can remember that one.
829 MS. ZINIAK: What we found is that what was very effective was to be able
to have the flexibility to respond with specials.
830 Mr. Viner did indicate one. We had others where we specifically reacted
to key issues in the community, we embarked on doing special series as well, but
also sort of one-shot specials. Like we did Diwali for the Hindu community and
others, and Eads, for example.
831 So different specials that we did once and we found that this was a very
effective way, both from an audience point of view, and also had maximum or
interesting impact all around, one can conclude perhaps with advertisers piquing
832 MR. SOLE: I would also say that some of the margin on that investment
isn't here yet.
833 We did 52 half hours of a vegetarian South Asian cooking series that
would be expensive up front but would be good for a number of years. It's,
Quite Evergreen. So it would cost a lot of money in the year of production,
but will return in the next four or five years.
834 We did a series called Gwai Lo Cooking, that would be expensive in the
up-front part but would have revenue in 10 years to come.
835 And those would have been exceptional expenses on a normal basis.
836 So that I think are the large investments.
837 There were two or three Evergreen programs, Sat Sri Akaal is good for a
number of years in terms of broadcasting.
838 MR. VINER: I think it's important, though, Commissioner Cardoza, we used
a phrase in our presentation which is 'running harder to stay in the same place'
and Leslie indicated that, you know, that the biggest language groups, which are
Italian and Chinese, they are the biggest, they have the most revenue potential,
are being serviced well and aggressively by Telelatino and Fairchild, and also
those are the groups that have the most newspapers, the most radio, the most --
so that's the most competitive.
839 And we are having to spend money and program development both in
producing programs for Polish and Tamil and areas where there are smaller
language groups, Korean, Japanese.
840 We'll give you all the examples if you'd like them. But the issue is that
these are both expensive to produce and unlikely to produce revenue or not as
likely to produce revenue as the larger groups.
841 So I think that this -- what we're looking at is a change, we're not
complaining about it but I think it's a change that has occurred in the
marketplace that we're reacting to.
842 MR. CARDOZA: So the one-year increase in costs that we're looking at and
the one-year decrease in the margins, I have a hard time understanding whether
-7 to -56 is an increase or a decrease, but it's something very big.
843 Is that due to all these factors, the one-time shows that you've been
doing, or is it the advertising, or is it the competition where the others are
catching up to you?
844 MR. VINER: I think it's fair to say it's a combination of the three
things that have been mentioned.
845 One is the specials that we've done that are unique.
846 The second is the investment that we've made in programming to see if we
can produce programming that we can sell elsewhere or that will appear in our
schedule in years to come.
847 And the third is just the changed revenue potential given the larger
number of groups that we're attempting to serve.
848 MR. CARDOZA: And of the first two there was more of that type of
programming done in '99?
849 MR. SOLE: There were over 150 hours.
850 We did a joint venture with a company that's now called now TBA
International Motion in Quebec to take a science series, sir, as we mentioned on
our tape, and put it into five different languages.
851 We would not normally do 125 hours of programming but the opportunity was
there and so the investment was made.
852 As for the other series I mentioned, if -- to take a financial overview
of all of the elements because we're recalling specific things.
853 I might ask Tom to try and put a summary answer on this in terms of money
854 MR. AYLEY: Thanks, Leslie.
855 There's two basic elements that cause the change, and assuming we've got
all the average numbers in all the right places, because this isn't normally how
we do our accounting, so we had to go back and put these in this order.
856 But the first thing that caused that change is a drop in revenue of
$1.7-million or something and costs did go up by about a million dollars, and I
think we heard how that happened
with all the special projects we had.
857 We had also taken some special initiatives to try and be more competitive
in Chinese with some new talent programs, we expanded to six nights a week with
news, et cetera, about that time and there's always a little lag in revenue
whenever you do something like that.
858 I think the Asian flu kicked in just about the time that we were trying
to make some efforts in our Chinese language programming that stifled us.
859 And we were also coming up, 1998 was the World Cup year and our sales are
always better on all of our programming in our European languages when that
860 So if you notice I guess it's the fourth or fifth column over, there was
a huge drop in revenue from year to year.
861 MR. CARDOZA: Mm-hmm.
862 MR. AYLEY: Indicating that the programming was causing the biggest change
in the margin, and then Tony and Leslie have mentioned an increase in expenses
that we incurred as well.
863 We initially -- I just have one comment, it goes to your opening remarks.
That we had initially thought we were going to have a licence renewal of course
in 1999, not 2000 and under no circumstances have we gone in to do anything with
the books, per se.
864 I hadn't looked at this report, to be honest with you, that closely when
we prepared it and when I saw the actual numbers for the early years that
indicated that there was potentially revenue in excesses over our basic costs of
doing Canadian programming. I was very surprised because that is news to me.
865 My hunch is in preparing this for you that -- the source information for
you, that we may have some Canadian English creeping in here that is causing the
older numbers to look better than they were. That's my only thing I can come up
with, so I spoke to our --
866 MR. CARDOZA: Are you speaking of Canadian?
867 MR. AYLEY: Well, we're speaking of Canadian ethnic here.
868 MR. CARDOZA: Right.
869 MR. AYLEY: And I think some Canadian English revenues in past years may
have just got in there somehow.
870 I don't know how I might have done that.
871 MR. CARDOZA: And which would have been...?
872 MR. AYLEY: To make early years look better than they really are.
873 MR. CARDOZA: Which would have been the Canadian English programs?
874 MR. AYLEY: Like the interest specials that we do and some of the programs
that we do that may be a lot of this as English.
875 MR. CARDOZA: Non-ethnic.
876 MR. AYLEY: Non-ethnic.
877 Because I was surprised when I saw these numbers, that there's certainly
no way that we make any margin ever on any of our Canadian-produced programming.
878 MR. CARDOZA: With regards to second windows, who are the second windows
things that you are planning with some of the shows you mentioned that are
available to CFMT?
879 MR. SOLE: We now have come to a distribution agreement with Motion
International, if I can call them that because I'm not too sure TBA is going to
be called TBA again, MIPCOM, so we have a multi-year agreement for the
international marketing of the science show that goes into effect this fall and
we will receive a percentage for our transcreation of that material.
880 The Carsey Werner International Distribution Company has been selling
Veggie Table, initially in Southeast Asia. We've had two sales, one in Sri Lanka
and one in Malaysia.
881 The Gwai Lo Cooking show has just begun to be marketed through the
internet and on a domestic basis in Canada and in terms of licence agreements,
they are in third-party hands.
882 We are optimistic that our friends at Global will be taking a window on
Veggie Table for the prime network some time in the next 24 months.
883 MR. CARDOZA: That's in -- what language is it in?
884 MR. SOLE: English.
885 MR. CARDOZA: It's English.
886 MR. COLE: It's a vegetarian cooking show that focuses on meatless diet
hosted by two South Asian women with a great deal of South Asian influence in
terms of the cuisine.
887 MR. CARDOZA: Yeah.
888 And does the multilingual channel then, a station in Montreal provide a
second window on any --
889 MR. SOLE: Yes, they do. They are running some of our programming. They've
had a very difficult time paying for it, as you might imagine.
890 We have a great deal of affection for the trouble they're going through,
being formerly a troubled station ourselves.
891 So you will see a broad range of our Canadian content, and in cases some
imported programming that we have national rights to on CJNT.
892 MR. CARDOZA: Okay. Can I just come back to this long sheet one more time,
and just go over the last -- the third last column again looking at the whole
span of it.
893 What I note is from 1992 to 1998 for the Canadian ethnic programming
margin has been around -- ranging between 14% and -7%; whereas for the
2000/20007 projections and the new licence it ranges from -27 to -37.
894 Are you saying that from here on in you're expecting -- how would you
explain why you're expecting this considerable negative margin for the next
licence period as opposed to the current licence period?
895 MR. VINER: I think Tom touched on it. We haven't -- so far as I know we
never made a positive margin, Tom, on Canadian produced programming.
896 Did you suggest a reason?
897 MR. AYLEY: The only program that I can recall that on a consistent basis,
because occasionally there will be some changes, but on a consistent basis would
be our Chinese news, it's an hour long, it's prime time -- core prime time and
it is a good revenue driver and occasionally it will cover its costs, its direct
898 The others just do not. We have just invested so much in them that the
small communities and small population bases that we serve, it's impossible and
that's why I apologize again for -- when I see the numbers that are here from
1992 to 1998, I know I must have done something wrong when I was giving you some
899 I may have -- I must have included some Canadian revenue that was not
ethnic but would have come from our user repetition. That's the only thing I can
think of, what we know.
900 I checked with our controller who is with us today and we both looked at
that this with the same thought that the last year, particularly because of our
investments that we're making, and looking at 199 -- at 2000 and ahead, that
this is more typical of how we see it internally in our management statements.
901 And so we've just forecasted basically a similar trend as Leslie was
alluding to earlier, we're serving smaller groups, we're developing our South
Asian which takes a lot of money to invest in programming to get the credibility
you want for both advisers and viewers. So that this trend I think is what we
will see in the future.
902 MR. SOLE: I would describe it from an operational point of view, and I'm
not great with specific numbers.
903 We are going to have spend more on Canadian ethnic programming in the
next licence period to stay relatively in the same revenue position. That would
be my summary of it, and the assumption that went behind it.
904 We cannot step back on the advancements that we've made in our Canadian
production and we wanted to be realistic in view of the competitive environment
and advertising sales.
905 So I think that's why these are -- they somewhat stabilize between 27 and
37 here on a rolling basis, and I think we're looking at a television station in
Ontario with an established reputation and an absolute base quality that has to
be maintained and a revenue picture that is not quite as aggressive as the cost
906 MR. CARDOZA: So are you saying that the figures should have been in the
-27 to -37 for the first licence period too?
907 MR. AYLEY: That's how I would see it absolutely, yeah, and I would
appreciate the opportunity actually to meet after just to straighten it out
because this I don't think is representative of our margins.
908 And whether we have inadvertently excluded some element of revenue or
cost or misallocated it in doing our numbers, I can't say off hand but this is
all -- but our total Canadian expenditures, for example, right off the CRTC
return for 1999 are less than the number that is shown here.
909 So there's obviously some English Canadian that's been put in there or
I'm not sure, and I apologize for that, but we -- I've mentioned to CRTC staff
earlier that we have worked very hard with CRTC staff over the years to make
sure that we are doing our accounting properly for all of our costs because
there was an issue in 1986 when Rogers took over as to the true meaning of
Canadian content and ethnic content and dollars and cents associated with those.
910 So we spent a great deal of effort for many years filing annual returns
and reports with the CRTC that were based on various criteria that we had agreed
911 I think it was Doug Wilson at the time, but to make sure that we were
doing it right and I think Doug even pointed out a few areas where we could add
some Canadian content that we hadn't.
912 So I really must apologize for that because we've -- it's not our history
that we know.
913 MR. CARDOZA: Okay. One question on the English programming that you're
considering at this point, the hundred hours that we talked about earlier.
914 That would come -- your proposal is that that would come out of the 60%?
915 MR. SOLE: Yes, yes, that would be part of the cross-cultural 10%, if I
could call it, ethnic English.
916 MR. CARDOZA: And is that possibly a revenue generator?
917 MR. SOLE: There's nothing to indicate that it will perform in any
material way better than other ethnic programming, but it will be easier to
promote. We are optimistic that it should have possibly broader advertiser
918 So we haven't factored in our projections any additional revenue as a
result of that being in English, but we think it will be more audience
attractive over time once we establish the programming.
919 MR. VINER: The truth of the matter is that particular type of programming
doesn't attract huge advertiser interest and we're not looking at it on that
basis as a huge revenue generator for the station.
920 MR. CARDOZA: Depends who you get on the show sometimes.
921 MR. VINER: It does.
922 MR. CARDOZA: How much entertainment and how much content?
923 MR. VINER: You're absolutely right.
924 MR. SOLE: It really depends what they say.
925 MR. CARDOZA: And what they say.
926 Okay, a couple of questions on comparison to other broadcasters.
927 You talk about the presence of Telelatino and Fairchild. Given that there
is some difference in distribution certainly for Fairchild and for certain
cities for Telelatino, can you account for the amount of harm, if I can use that
word, or the degree to which they have affected your sales?
928 MR. SOLE: It's quite simple.
929 Fairchild and Telelatino, compared to CFMT, have massive amounts of
ethno-specific inventory and, as a result, they're able to offer advertisers a
great deal of frequency at a very low cost.
930 And particularly in their ability to sell retail advertising where price
is very important, if we were to sell our commercials at those advertising
rates, our financial position would be less positive than is illustrated here.
931 So they have a relatively inexpensive consistent supply of homeland
entertainment that they can buy more cheaply than we can because of the number
of hours they'll buy.
932 They then can take that programming to market, both nationally but
particularly on a retail basis, and sell it at very inexpensive volume rates
and, over the course of the year, increase their sum advertising in both
Italian, Spanish and Cantonese and Mandarin. I meant to separate those two.
933 But that's how it seems to be working.
934 We are losing clients because they can get more commercials for a much
935 MR. VINER: And against the largest language groups. They provide
excellent programming that attracts audiences and they can sell it at a cheaper
rate than we can because they have more inventory.
936 I'm not whining about that, it's just the reality of the marketplace. And
that is what is forcing us to try to develop other language groups on our
937 MR. CARDOZA: How many hours less would you have now as compared to say
five, four years ago in Italian and Cantonese and Mandarin?
938 MR. SOLE: As a total they would be about the same. They're a little
different from each other than they were, but I think Viddear can give you the
939 Do you mean compared to '92?
940 MR. CARDOZA: Well, from what I understand you said that you've reduced
the number of hours of programming in Italian and Chinese languages; is that
941 MR. SOLE: We have rebalanced them.
942 If we take those two largest most economic appealing groups, they are now
more in balance than they were when we renewed this licence last time, but the
total hours of the two groups in sum would be about the same.
943 MR. VINER: We have reduced the number of hours of Italian language
programming and we have increased the number of hours of Chinese.
944 Still, you know, relatively speaking a very small percentage, again I'm
not complaining, but a very small percentage of inventory versus Fairchild in
the case of Chinese. In the case of Italian we have half an hour less; is that
945 MR. SOLE: Yes.
946 MR. VINER: On a nightly basis
947 MR. CARDOZA: Monday to Friday?
948 MR. VINER: Monday to Friday. So we've reduced it, we've increased our
949 But I think the comment remains, relative to the specialty services we
have a very small proportion of inventory to sell to advertisers who are
interested in those particular language groups.
950 MR. CARDOZA: So do you have the number of hours that you have reduced
Italian from, say, five years ago.
951 Is that one that is handy?
952 MS. KHAN: I don't have the number of hours in 1992 per se, but I've got
hours that we're doing now and the current schedule per week.
953 Total number of hours in Chinese would be 19 hours, that's Cantonese and
and in Italian it's 15 hours.
954 MR. CARDOZA: And do you have the hours for a previous year, going back a
955 MR. SOLE: I think the difference in the last five years is there's three
and a half hours less Italian and there are three hours more Chinese.
956 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
957 I'd like to move to the last subject which is cost of the ethnic
958 In the '92 renewal the Commission encouraged you to decrease your
reliance on foreign conventional programming and to increase the amount of
959 Overall your profit margins are looking quite nice, and by reading the
intervenors' comments I get a sense that the people really like what you provide
in terms of multilingual programming and that if I hear this and hear what we've
heard in our ethnic policy review of last year people want more.
960 So if the Commission were to increase the level of ethnic programming
that you would provide what would you suggest?
961 For example, more Canadian ethnic programming or foreign ethnic
programming or more evening or daytime?
962 Is there a way to do it with least negative effect on you, such as
963 MR. VINER: Commissioner Cardoza, this is an issue that we've wrestled
with and I want to try to be helpful to the Commission.
964 If the Commission requested us to increase the percentage of Canadian
ethnic programming, you know, we could do it. We've requested that we remain at
50% for the reason I outlined in my presentation, which is that we want to have
ethnic-acquired programming to play in prime time to attract audiences and to
provide lead-ins to our Canadian programming.
965 With respect to our conventional English language programming, you're
looking at these numbers, look at 1999 and, you know, I have to say that we are
already at a significant disadvantage to our competitors who sell English
language conventional programming.
966 If you looked at -- Leslie and Madeline and the others have done an
excellent job this year in a very unusual year to provide English language
programming that's been profitable to us.
967 That hasn't been the case over the course of the last seven years
necessarily and it's important to note that when we did our projections last
time we missed them for the first five years, we were wrong for the first five
968 And I don't suggest that we're going to be wrong for the next five or
over the course of our licence renewal, but we need -- so we could increase our
ethnic Canadian. It would be very, very difficult for us to reduce our foreign
969 We're already, as I said, disadvantaged with respect to our competition.
We already have a limited amount of inventory.
970 If we aren't so fortunate in acquiring shows that attract audiences, then
what happened in 1995 when our PBIT was minus a million dollars and on exactly
this model, on exactly this model, that year would have been disaster.
971 So the television business is by no means certain. We can't control what
other broadcasters do. We can't always guarantee that we're going to be
972 So, as I said earlier, the economics are fairly simple: We lose a lot
money on our Canadian produced, we make a little bit of money on Canadian or on
ethnic-acquired and everything else is all of those program development, all of
the investment we've made in digital, all of our overheads, our accounting, our
sales, our research are all paid for and are returned to our shareholder, are
all paid for out of that foreign conventional.
973 If we don't reach a critical mass of ratings point we drop off the chart.
974 Other broadcasters can, as Leslie has pointed out, can use their Canadian
inventory to bundle with their American or their foreign in order to provide
advertisers with across-the-board advertising campaigns and we can't do that. We
already are squeezed in that regard. We aren't able to leverage our language
programming against our foreign programming.
975 So the suggestions, we could increase our Canadian ethnic, we prefer not
to, but we understand it's popular and we could do that.
976 You may -- so that's one area that we've indicated that we could have
some flexibility. I would prefer not to do it for the reasons I've outlined. We
could do it.
977 You know, the other -- I think the important thing to note too,
Commissioner Cardoza, is not only do we have this 40%, we have this prohibition.
978 MR. CARDOZA: Can I just ask you to wait a second because --
979 MR. VINER: We have this prohibitions between 8:00 and 10:00 core prime
time and for the reasons that I've tried to outline, that's a key condition.
980 It guarantees and assures the Commission and the communities that we will
broadcast in languages in core prime time between 8:00 and 10:00.
981 In fact, as Leslie has pointed out, we average greater than 75% Canadian
in that corridor,
where our conventional competitors would be -- the highest conventional
competitor would be 25% Canadian in that corridor.
982 That's the heart of prime time and where the vast majority of the revenue
generating capabilities occur.
983 So not only do we have 40%, but we have -- but also we have 40% that's
limited to the fringe areas of the schedule.
984 So we have an inventory constraint at 40% and we have scheduling
985 So I don't know if I've correctly answered your question.
986 MR. CARDOZA: Let me just sort of get at a couple of other things.
987 In terms of ethnic programming during prime time, say 6:00 to 10:00, 6:00
to 11:00, you've set aside 8:00 to 10:00 as being the ethnic block.
988 Is there any room to expand that block?
989 MR. SOLE: We've set aside 8:00 to 10:00 Monday to Friday and all of
Saturday and Sunday night.
990 MR. CARDOZA: Right.
991 MR. SOLE: And so as we -- our turn around mission was to run ethnic
programming when people were home and when they could watch it.
992 So, as Tony said, the offsetting variances to the policy are that between
8:00 and 10:00 the audience is at home and on Saturday and Sunday evening the
audiences are at home, and I would make a case that in ethnic television all day
Saturday and Sunday as a result of Canadian history and ethnic television are
considered relatively good times, and in the case of Saturday and Sunday we're
in excess of 80% ethnic.
993 And in the case of 8:00 to 10:00 like we're 90% ethnic seven days a week,
and then other than an hour on Sunday we're a hundred per cent ethnic on
Saturday and Sunday night.
994 MR. VINER: But in answer to your question, if we were to lose a half an
hour of conventional foreign programming outside -- you know, we expand 8:00 to
10:00, I think is the way you put it, I think it would destroy the flexibility
that CFMT has.
995 And to take half an hour from prime time would substantially hurt the
996 You know, again, 1999 is a bit of an anomaly and maybe we're going to be
right on our forecasts, and maybe no other Canadian television station is now
going to increase their ethnic programming although they can under the new
ethnic policy, and maybe Fairchild and Telelatino aren't
going to get broader distribution or improve their service or maybe, you the
digital -- the 47 applicants for digital won't have a name hacked on us.
997 We've tried to be optimistic in our going forward, but there are -- and
we understand the Commission's desire for us (a) to provide better Canadian
programming, but I think that what you heard both in the interventions and in
the people that appeared before you, is what people seek is quality of
998 And we've been able to provide that quality of programming because of the
way in which this balanced model occurs, and we have never hesitated to invest
in our language schedule because of it.
999 But I'm just concerned, terribly concerned that this model which I think
is the jewel of Canadian broadcasting system, and I really believe that would be
endangered because 1999 was a very good year, 1995 we lost a million bucks. You
know, that can occur as frequently as the other.
1000 MR. CARDOZA: Okay. So there isn't a half hour or an hour say from after
5:30 before 8:00 or after 10:00 that you think would be most appropriate for
additional ethnic, whether Canadian or foreign ethnic?
1001 MR. VINER: Commissioner Cardoza, I don't want to appear to be
uncooperative or intransigent, it's just that -- could we take a half an hour?
1002 Sure, but I think that it would so affect the importance of our
schedule, which is the language, our ability to produce high quality language
schedule to invest in all of the things that we've talked about that -- and so
disadvantage us with respect to our conventional competition, we have you know
virtually hundred per cent English inventory to sell, that we would drop off the
radar screen that by simply an arithmetic saying: Well, you know, if you took a
half an hour you'd lose this much money.
1003 I think that the loss that we would suffer would be exponential. We
wouldn't be a viable advertising alternative in many ways for advertisers and
for advertising agencies.
1004 And it's possible that the effect of dropping half an hour here or there
would have a significantly greater impact on the financials of the station than
simply by sort of multiplying what the margin is by the number of hours.
1005 So I think there's a real danger.
1006 MR. CARDOZA: What's the prospect of taking this 100 hours that we're
talking about, that you've talked about, as being over and above the 60%?
1007 Because it would have a larger audience ability, greater accessibility
to people who speak English and, therefore, a larger reach.
1008 MR. VINER: On a 6:00 a.m. to midnight basis?
1009 MR. CARDOZA: Yes, on a 6:00 p.m. to midnight -- well, put it at 6:00
a.m. to midnight or 6:00 p.m.?
1010 MR. SOLE: It would have the same impact financially as taking away a two
and a half hour comedy.
1011 MR. CARDOZA: Why two and a half hours?
1012 MR. SOLE: The hundred hours, I'm using round numbers because I'm -- a
hundred hours a year over 50 weeks is two hours a week, that's the situation
comedy is two and a half hours a week.
1013 So it would be --
1014 MR. CARDOZA: Sorry.
1015 MR. VINER: Look, Commissioner Cardoza, again, I just -- I think the
likelihood, I think it would be good programming, but the likelihood, the
reality is that we wouldn't draw anywhere near the kind of audience that
entertainment programming would draw.
1016 And I think I said earlier, I think we would do this as part of our
mandate to serve our communities and it's important programming, but it's not
necessarily the type of programming that draws huge audiences and advertisers
and, again I'd like to be cooperative, there are, you know, as I said, I think
we could go up to 60% Canadian but our ethnic-acquired would suffer somewhat.
1017 But we are sort of - I don't know how - I need to stress this, that we
are just sort of on the edge with respect to our English language schedule now.
1018 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
1019 Let me leave you with a few things that I'd like to get an answer from
you, and they're sort of a mathematical quiz, but I'm anxious, I understand the
impact of it, I'm not just doing it as a mathematical thing.
1020 I thought Mr. Ayley would be most interested in providing us the answer
and I will just give this to you, perhaps you can come back to us at the end of
the day with a reply to the answers, unless legs you can provide them off the
1021 But can you estimate for us how the following type of changes would
affect ad revenues or programming expenditures for the following four scenarios.
1022 No. 1 an increase of ethnic programming from 6:00 p.m. to midnight or
between 6:00 p.m. and midnight from 50 to 60%.
1023 And increase of ethnic programming between 6:00 a.m. to midnight from 60
1024 An increase in Canadian content between 6:00 a.m. and midnight from 50
to 60 and an increase in Canadian content between 6:00 p.m. and midnight from 40
1025 If you could provide us with the costs of those. And here's a fourth --
fifth issue as well, and this goes to the other page we had circulated and
provided to you, which was that one which had some information that's public and
some that's confidential.
1026 And talk about replacing one hour of non-ethnic U.S. programming with
one hour of foreign ethnic or Canadian ethnic programming.
1027 MR. VINER: Thank you, Commissioner Cardoza.
1028 We have only -- we have a bit of a problem with the second sheet, so
that you're aware that there's an issue with respect to this sheet.
1029 MR. CARDOZA: Yeah, that's fine.
1030 MR. VINER: It might have a significant impact on those number.
1031 MR. CARDOZA: Did you want me to repeat anything?
1032 MR. SOLE: Just the last two, the replacement of one hour U.S. in what
context daily, monthly? Replace one hour.
1033 MR. CARDOZA: Per -- can you do per hour?
1034 MR. SOLE: Well, do you mean what's the impact of taking one hour of U.S.
out and replacing it with one hour of Canadian ethnic and/or --
1035 MR. CARDOZA: Or foreign ethnic.
1036 MR. SOLE: Okay.
1037 And the second replace was...?
1038 Was that an and/or?
1039 MR. CARDOZA: No, it was replacing the one hour non-ethnic U.S.
programming with either foreign ethnic, question 1, Canadian ethnic, question 2.
1040 MR. SOLE: Okay.
1041 MR. VINER: The way in which we buy programs, just to be clear though,
you know, this means -- this would likely mean we would buy two fewer half hour
strips, is that --
1042 MR. SOLE: I take the revenue from a typical hour.
1043 MR. VINER: Okay, I just wanted to be sure of that.
1044 MR. CARDOZA: If it helps to provide a half hour cost on that last
1045 MR. SOLE: Okay, thank you.
1046 MR. CARDOZA: That concludes my questioning.
1047 Thank you very much.
1048 THE CHAIRPERSON: Vice-Chair Wylie.
1049 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: I have some questions, thank you, Madam Chair.
1050 You know why you are here, in 1992 the Commission asked -- said that it
would monitor whether over the seven-year renewal if there were indicators that
would allow it to think that it could require you to increase the Canadian
content and increase the amount of ethnic programming, and since then the
Commission has allowed you in 1995 to do infomericals and has given you the
possibility of retransmitting over the air in Ottawa and you implemented a
transmitter there in 1993 and also in London, Ontario.
1051 And, Mr. Viner, you made a comment you may regret by saying you put us
on an even footing with CTV and Global which leads me then to ask why can't you
do 60/50 Canadian content?
1052 MR. VINER: I think it's a reasonable question, and I think that the
reason, what offsets -- what doesn't put us on the equal footing with Global,
Commissioner Wylie, is this 8:00 to 10:00 lack of flexibility in scheduling
which Global and CITY and the others do not have and is the largest source of
1053 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: I was of course being facetious. Usually it's somebody
else on your team who makes these unfortunate comments.
1054 So I'd like to understand better how the mechanics of the financial
information work. Can you hear me, it's flickering?
1055 And first I'd like to ask Mr. Ayley, when you talk about that some
English programming has crept in in the last two or three years, do you do any
Canadian English programming that isn't ethnic?
1056 MR. AYLEY: Primarily --
1057 THE CHAIRPERSON: I think we have a little problem with the sound system.
1058 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: We can hear you. Can you hear me?
1059 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mine is also flickering.
1060 MR. VINER: And I don't know if this is a comment on my participation,
but mine won't go off.
--- Laughter / Rires
1061 THE CHAIRPERSON: Let's just take one minute and try and figure out
what's happening with the sound here.
1062 Maybe now would be an appropriate time to take the lunch break. That
will give us some time to figure out.
1063 I hope that you all can hear me, since I don't have a microphone.
1064 SPEAKER: Yes, you do.
1065 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh I do now. I don't know if we all do.
1066 I think we'll take the lunch break and just check out the sound system
at the same time and we'll come back in one hour.
1067 It's quarter to one by my watch, so we'll come back at a quarter to two.
--- Upon recessing at 1245 / Suspension à 1245
--- Upon resuming at 1345 / Reprise à 1345
1068 THE CHAIRPERSON: Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen, and I'm hoping that
our sound system will work for the afternoon without further interruptions.
1069 Vice-Chair Wylie you may proceed with your questions.
1070 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Thank you, Madam Chair.
1071 I was asking you whether you sell commercial ads in interstitial
1072 MR. SOLE: No, directly we do not.
1073 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: But presumably there's a cost to producing them.
1074 MR. SOLE: The interstitial programs?
1075 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Yes.
1076 MR. SOLE: Yes.
1077 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: I want to ask you some questions using this sheet that
you were given and you seem to have a bit of a problem with it.
1078 When I look at the ad revenues, and by the way I'm quite aware that this
is confidential material, I won't use exact numbers and I won't even use
1079 The advantage of having it before you and you know what the differences
when I say there's a difference.
1080 When I add -- if I look at your returns for 1998 and 1999 and the ad
revenues here it's correct, it adds up.
1081 MR. AYLEY: That's correct.
1082 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: And are you saying that these sheets don't allocate
the cost of producing interstitial and, therefore, skews the numbers.
1083 What is your problem with these sheets?
1084 MR. AYLEY: Okay. We had a quick look at it at break, myself and our
controller, and we noted that in the programming cost area included in the
numbers on the long sheet are items such as commercial production music licence
fees and you might say the big programming number, and we have tended to use the
line on the application -- on the annual return that says total Canadian
1085 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Yes. But are you suggesting that the percentage
allocation here of ad revenues to the categories of programming on this sheet is
wrong, that the calculation has been made against the total revenues as opposed
to the ad revenues?
1086 I don't have a calculator so I didn't do it.
1087 I assume that the staff that use -- you provided the percentages.
1088 MR. AYLEY: Yes, we did.
1089 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: And you provided the exact numbers?
1090 So you're saying that when it says 7% allocated to this and that the
percentage allocated is calculated against total revenues rather than only ad
revenues; is that it?
1091 MR. AYLEY: Let me just check that.
1092 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: And, if so, it's a very small difference; isn't it?
1093 MR. AYLEY: Well, in some years.
1094 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: In the scheme of things.
1095 MR. VINER: Commissioner Wylie, I hope we're talking about the same page.
We're talking about this particular --
1096 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Well, no, no. I have questions related to this page
across where numbers were taken and the staff calculated percentages. I want to
question from this page.
1097 Were you not given a long page like this?
1098 MR. VINER: Yes, yes, we were.
1099 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Okay. And if I look at the revenues for -- well, let
me provide a context.
1100 It's not perfect to look at '98 to '99, it's not, but it's certainly
more of an indication of direction for us than projections.
1101 And if we look at your revenues they have increased and it would also
seem to me that since you were given Ottawa/London there would be increase in
1102 And you answered, well, we're not allowed to sell local, but that's not
where the major increase is.
1103 The major increase is in national sales and it would make sense that it
would take a while for that to show and then eventually it shows.
1104 And that's what we're discussing here is, given that you're allowed to
do infomercials and there's a healthy sum generated slowly since 1995 and there
is an increase in national sales columns by whatever you mentioned, you had
three very successful American programs, it could also be Ottawa/London.
1105 And what we're looking at, to be fair, is: Should you get closer to the
policy and have a smaller exception to it. So that's the context.
1106 So I don't understand the answer, we can't do local in Ottawa/London
because the increase in local from your revenues is the usual increase but
there's a big jump in national.
1107 So these are the numbers.
1108 The ad revenues that were used on this sheet, unfortunately I did not --
I had the application with me but I did not compare. But what you're saying is
that the percentage, for example, in the very first line after ad revenues where
it says percentage of ad revenues allocated to Canadian ethnic, foreign ethnic
U.S. and then programming costs, that the staff calculated these or you
calculated these percentages against the total revenue rather than the ad
1109 MR. AYLEY: We did the ad revenues.
1110 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: And that skews the number?
1111 MR. AYLEY: We did advertising revenues.
1112 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: You would agree with me that it would not be a major
change in the percentage, and given that I'm not going to attach my questions to
the exact percentage, the percentage of other revenue under sales indication, et
cetera and other is relatively small as a ratio of the ad revenue.
1113 MR. AYLEY: It's approximately five to 10%.
1114 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Yes, okay.
1115 So there would be a slight in the calculation -- a slight change in the
percentage because the calculation is not made against the total revenue number
which is what you did, or --
1116 MR. AYLEY: It's the other way around, we did just advertising revenue
and the long
sheet you're looking at includes --
1117 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Includes all revenues?
1118 MR. AYLEY: Other revenue.
1119 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: I see, okay.
1120 MR. AYLEY: But the impact is not --
1121 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Is not -- is -- certainly directionally is not very
1122 Now, have you tried to -- let me ask you first. When you applied for
transmitter in Ottawa and one in London, do you recall whether you had
anticipated additional national revenues as ad revenues as a result?
1123 MR. AYLEY: I believe we did, yes.
I don't recall those numbers offhand, but...
1124 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: And did you ever -- and when you were preparing for
this renewal, did you attempt to identify what could be attributed to London and
Ottawa and whether it matched your projections when you applied?
1125 MR. AYLEY: I did not do that, no.
1126 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: And do you have any idea of what that would be?
1127 MR. SOLE: Commissioner Wylie, what's happened in the ensuing years with
ONtv, CITY and others having Ontario distribution, is that our national revenues
are blended throughout that region.
1128 There's a rate structure for national advertisers that now includes
those markets as a pre-assumption.
1129 There is very little information on national advertising for London or
for Ottawa. So when we talked about a leveling, we talked about CFMT being in
the same geographical competitive rate structure as the other Ontario systems in
the Golden Horseshoe.
1130 So it is virtually impossible for us to say as a result of London and
Ottawa our sales have increased by this percent or that percent.
1131 What's happened is Ontario is bought in the same fashion that Toronto
used to be bought. So it's difficult to isolate what the effect of those two
markets would be on any of the television systems.
1132 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: But as a broadcaster you say that your national
revenues increased because it was a lucky year and you had three successful
1133 Can't I also say you may not be selling as much or as well or at the
same price if you didn't have London and Ottawa today?
1134 MR. SOLE: Yes.
1135 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Yes, okay.
1136 So you can't sort it out, but most broadcasters would say, as you say,
that CITY-TV, ONtv that this is a benefit that probably translates into better
1137 MR. SOLE: Yes.
1138 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Along with the successful American programming?
1139 Okay, yes.
1140 MR. SOLE: It would be the sales of those American programs that would
1141 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Right.
1142 Now, if we look at this long sheet, I'd like to understand it better,
and I take -- we certainly are thankful for the amount of information you have
given us and separating the allocation and the program costs, and I take your
point as well, Mr. Ayley, that there is a difference because of the fact that
the calculations may have been made in one case against advertising revenue only
and in the other against all revenues. But I'm trying to see whether we can make
anything from this.
1143 And when I look at the difference between '98 and '99, was quite an
increase in revenue and a small increase in the programming costs for Canadian
ethnic programming, and a substantial decrease in your U.S. non-ethnic
programming costs or expenditures, and for ethnic programming, when I look at
that column, I assume it's foreign programming that is not conventional; that
is, is ethnic programming; would you agree?
1144 There's Canadian ethnic, foreign ethnic and U.S. non-ethnic; right?
1145 MR. AYLEY: Correct.
1146 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: In both the U.S. or ethnic -- sorry, foreign column
there's a decrease of some importance in the cost of programming.
1147 And despite that your revenues have a substantial increase.
1148 MR. AYLEY: That --
1149 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Okay. So -- well let me finish.
1150 Why can't I conclude from that that the direction you're going into due
to your cleverness as a broadcaster seems to be that even if you reduce the
amount of money you spend on foreign programming, you're so successful at what
you buy that despite an increase in the Canadian you still make more money.
1151 MR. AYLEY: Start with the foreign costs.
1152 CFMT is slightly different than other stations, we commit to programs
for 10 years at a time in some cases.
1153 And what happens is in the first year of the program we amortize a large
amount of our commitment and that decreases from year to year.
1154 So what you're seeing between '98 and '99 is programming that we've
owned for a longer time that has less amortization impact on our expenses and
without adding new programming.
1155 If you go to 2000 and you add - and I'll give you an actual example -
Third Rock From The Sun, that number will be begin to come up again.
1156 So programs like Frasier are most expensive in their first two years and
they become less expensive in the ensuing years, yet if the ratings remain the
same, the sales are maintained.
1157 So unlike Global or CITY or other stations that buy programming on a per
week basis, on a per hour basis every year, our U.S. programming costs go up and
down depending on the age of the syndicated properties.
1158 MR. VINER: I think, Commissioner Wylie, you can see that pattern merge
if you look over the course of our actual.
1159 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Yes. Why don't you walk me through that by using that
column, U.S. non-ethnic beginning in '92.
1160 MR. VINER: Yeah. Well, we prefer perhaps not to use numbers, but what
1161 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: No, no, you don't have to, just show me the years to
indicate your point.
1162 MR. VINER: Well, what Leslie -- yeah, we're up 20%, one year down 20%,
up you know 40%, down 40, up 10, up 20, down 30.
1163 The amortization to which Leslie referred is that we take 50% the first
year, 30% of the cost the second year and 20 the third.
1164 And so our programming amortization follows this pattern. We're always
-- occasionally Leslie invites me on buying trips and we're not as successful
every year. So, you know, we have to write off a program. We take all of the
write-off against that programming because we drop it from the schedule, that
1165 And so rather than amortize the cost over several years we just write it
off in that year and that results in a huge swing in our costs for
foreign-acquired -- U.S.-acquired programming.
1166 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Now, if I look at your revenues it wouldn't
necessarily translate into a similar increase in revenues.
1167 See, what we're looking at here is a decrease in programming costs which
is only about half of the increase in revenues, and it leads me to believe that
you're improving your situation and possibly because Ottawa and London is
kicking in, plus your greater experience, your ability to program and do it
better and make more money than you did in 1995, your terrible year.
1168 MR. VINER: Commissioner Wylie, just to be clear though, if we take a
program like the Simpsons and it runs for three years and it attracts two rating
points every year, it's the same show but our costs attributable to it fall each
year because we take a larger write-off in the first year than we do in the
second or third, the result is that our revenue can stay the same and your costs
1169 Now we constantly have to refresh the schedule and not all programming
works that way. You know, a lot of them decline, the revenues decline with the
cost and some of the margins relatively stay the same.
1170 But that's how the seeming anomaly can occur that our revenues can stay
the same or increase.
1171 If, for example, the rating point you were getting $500 a rating point
in one year and $550 the next and you had two rating points in a show you could
-- your actual revenue could increase but your costs would decrease even if it's
the same show.
1172 I'm sorry if that's a bit of a long winded answer, but...
1173 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Why is it that you buy for 10 years because it's a
better deal? Financially.
1174 MR. SOLE: That's the way it's sold. When you by rerun programs you buy a
number of original episodes and a number of plays of each episode over a
duration and generally six years is the shortest cycle that's sold and up to 12
1175 That's the way they've been sold long before we were in business.
1176 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: But I still find it difficult to reconcile this
decrease in programming costs and the substantial increase, more than has been
seen before, in your revenues between '98 and '99.
1177 Some of it must be attributable to a better economic situation in
Ontario, and also to the addition, I think it was about 35% addition to your
potential audience, because if you say: Well, yes, better economic but we want
the exception anyway for seven years because that may not last, then of course
my reaction is: Would you rather a short term?
1178 So that if we decide in our lack of wisdom to increase your Canadian
content or your ethnic content we can at least check whether you're doing poorly
because the indicators were not anything we should have relied on.
1179 MR. VINER: I'm not sure how I answer all of those questions.
1180 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: No, no, it's only one question.
1181 Do you think that the answer -- the indication is here is that you're
improving your situation.
1182 There are a number of factors that would lead one to believe that that
makes sense because since we last saw you we allowed you to do infomercials,
there's a healthy sum being generated, we gave you a transmitter in London and
one in Ottawa, so those would normally indicate that your situation would
1183 I understand your reservations about the way programming is purchased
and it is true that there are sometimes decreases in years that you pointed out,
but if it's the Ontario situation economically that is better for everybody,
therefore it improves your situation as well, but you say: Don't rely on these
indicators because this may not continue, take our projections instead, forget
the historical '98 to '99 it's a blip, then my reaction is: Well, maybe what we
should do is increase it for a few years, give you a short-term renewal and look
to see whether it is a blip and you're now having a problem.
1184 And in any event, even if you had seven years and you had a problem you
can come back to us.
1185 MR. VINER: Commissioner Wylie, our expanded distribution didn't occur
between '98 and '99,
1186 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Yes, but Mr. Viner, we all know it takes a while for
it to show up, you don't just get your transmitter going in a new area, which is
like a new station, and record increases right away.
1187 It would make imminent sense that we would see them a few years later.
1188 MR. VINER: Yes, conceptually I think that's true. I don't think we
particularly have any evidence to suggest that it's just kicked in in that year.
1189 I think that there are other broadcasters who have similarly expanded
their reach who perhaps aren't doing better and there would be other reasons for
1190 I'm not denying that the expanded reach has been helpful. I think that
the expanded reach has been helpful for us for three or four years to be
perfectly honest, not last year.
1191 I think as I've tried to explain poorly, I'm afraid, that one of the
reasons that we've become more profitable is that we have roughly the same
schedule delivering roughly the same ratings points at a higher cost per point
and lower cost.
1192 I think that is the largest contributor to our success, and I'm sorry
that I haven't been able to explain that very well.
1193 But this -- the way in which our system works, because we are mostly
syndicated on the English side, is that our programming costs decline over time
if - and Leslie has referred to the fact we have got three successful shows, so
we haven't had to write anything off - and so it's shown a large disparity.
1194 Is that a result of increased distribution? Yes, but I think the larger
factor is the one that suggests that the economy has done better and we've been
lucky. We haven't written off any shows, and I'd like -- I think we're better at
things than we were before, but I don't want to bet that we'll be that lucky
1195 And, you know, what has happened is that other conventional television
broadcasters have aggressively moved into this area and very frequently outbid
us, so we have to be nimble and agile, and I think that's the reason.
1196 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Of course when we look at programming costs that
affects percentages, but there's a real increase in revenues beginning in 1997
and 1998 and dramatically, you know, continuing between '98 and '99 which is a
real increase in revenues at that point, it has nothing to do with programming
cost, that's the amount of money you're taking in.
1197 It's when we start calculating percentages that your comments are
obviously valid and seem to be shown over the manner in which you buy
programming, but your revenue stream is increasing and which would lead us to
question whether you can't ramp up closer to the policy in Canadian content
because it is an exception you have.
1198 It's an exception that you had in 1992 and we forewarned that we would
look at whether you couldn't come closer to the policy rather than establishing
a policy that is 10% and giving you an exception 10% lower in Canadian content
when you appear to be doing well.
1199 So I would like to discuss with you and give you the opportunity to tell
us what it is that could work; either it's a ramp up that is ratcheted according
to how well you're doing, whether we should have a short-term renewal to test
whether we're expecting too much?
1200 What is it that you -- and you don't have to answer right away, but that
you would be prepared to find is the most appropriate way of the Commission
getting closer to the policy further from an exception in light of the numbers
we have before us?
1201 Because you may indeed get something that is not livable. So in case,
what is it that would be more workable, more fair, we'd take into account the
risk, because the numbers of your revenues don't...
1202 So you've discussed with Commissioner Cardoza a number of ways in which
this could be done.
1203 Obviously the Commission's interest is for you to be closer to the
policy. You are the jewel. We will be hearing shortly probably an application in
Montreal where they have a hundred per cent ethnic and we'll have to discuss
there what the rule is.
1204 Well, is the rule going to be the 10% less than the ethnic policy in
Canadian content, because that's what is imposed here with healthy revenue
1205 So help us do something, if we do anything, all of this is hypothetical,
but if we were to do something what would make sense. You know what the policy
is the 60/40 ethnic which, of course, the more ethnic the better, but Canadian
content is 60/50 and you are, as you mentioned, all over Ontario like everybody
else, why can't you do closer for that policy requirement?
1206 And if we are to ramp it up, what would be a sensible way of doing it
and there's many ways of doing that.
1207 That's it, Madam Chair.
1208 MR. VINER: Thank you, Commissioner Wylie. I appreciate the spirit in
which your question is asked.
1209 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: I'm not sure.
1210 MR. VINER: I do appreciate it, I'm sincere.
1211 Two things I'd like to mention because you mentioned that our real
revenues were ramping up over the last number of years, and I agree with that,
although I would refer you to the first five years where they ramped down. I
think that that can happen too, so just...
1212 The other issue, and you referenced the policy, and we appreciate that,
and we acknowledge that what we've asked for is a variance from that policy.
1213 But, again, I would like to say that the other variance from policy that
we've requested because we think it's important, is that we be limited in the
English language programming that we schedule between 8:00 and 10:00.
1214 But having said that, perhaps we should think about this because Leslie
is concerned I'll give away the store.
1215 But I had already said that, you know, we could do 60% Canadian over
time, it would require us to drop some ethnic-acquired.
1216 If you ask me what a sensible way to do it and the Commission didn't buy
our argument the reason for our request, I think that I would be prepared to
suggest that we would go to 60% over the course of our licence so that at the
end -- conclusion of our licence we would be at 60%.
1217 The problem with a short-term renewal or coming back is that, you know,
we get to 1995 and we come before you and you say it's a blip. We get to 1999
and I come before you and say it's a blip.
1218 And so I think that overall if we could move to 60% I think we could do
that by the end of the licence term.
1219 The ethnic-acquired programming in prime time is key to us, it's
important for the viability of the station and I would prefer to be able to play
that -- to schedule that in prime time.
1220 So if you're asking me what I would like and would be sensible is to
keep that at 40% over the course of our licence and examine that at the
1221 So I'm trying to be helpful.
1222 I don't want to do it, I don't think it's good for the station, I don't
think it's good for the system. This is my opinion because I think our current
economic model serves the viewers because it allows them to have programming
from their homelands in a limited way, which they like.
1223 It enables, frankly, the economic model to work. It's the only economic
model that works, it's the only one, it's the only one that's ever been proven
1224 And, frankly, you're interested in protecting the other broadcasters,
but it keeps us out of their territory in terms of what we're going to bid on
1225 So we always felt that our flexibility with respect to Canadian content
scheduling is offset by our inability to schedule English language programming
at a time where most other Canadian television stations derive 60% of their
1226 And we don't have that opportunity. We're an independent stand-alone
station. We have no opportunity to amortize our Canadian programming over other
markets. We have no opportunity to buy in conjunction with other Canadian
television stations. So we are disadvantaged in several ways.
1227 So in the spirit of cooperation that would be my proposal, if we could
go up by, you know, an appropriate amount over the course of seven years.
1228 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Mr. Viner, the 8:00 to 10:00 can't I turn your
argument around and say: It's actually a sign of your cleverness to put ethnic
programming at that time because your station is in such a situation that you
would probably have difficulty purchasing programming and go head-on-head with
1229 I suppose you're going to say you could have the advantage of
substitution as well.
1230 But in a sense, isn't that one of the -- yes, it is a concession to the
regulatory system to do it during 8:00 to 10:00, but is it not also a clever
way, financially or commercially to schedule an ethnic broadcaster, an ethnic
station; isn't it, to not go head-to-head during those hours with the Globals of
the world or CTV if they're actually programming high powered American programs.
1231 MR. VINER: I suppose that you will likely say you lose the simulcast
opportunity and you'd be right, you've been most complementary, Commissioner
Wylie, on the intelligence of my management team, I think I should be rightfully
excluded from your remarks.
1232 I would only say this, that this same management team, given additional
flexibility between 8:00 and 10:00 --
1233 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Could do other things.
1234 MR. VINER: --could do an awful lot of other things.
1235 And so I think that given the track record and the group here, if we
were allowed to have flexibility between 8:00 and 10:00 in our English language
programming that we could find ways in which we would significantly improve our
1236 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Yes.
1237 I have heard you say that Saturday and Sunday in an ethnic station is
unlike a conventional one, still good broadcast time and surely there are other
ways of increasing Canadian content without jeopardizing the 8:00 to 10:00,
which is, you know, economics obviously, don't want to do one thing at the
expense of another, which is also the direction of the policy.
1238 But I repeat, to allow the exception up to 10% would be basically saying
that our policy of expecting 60/50 Canadian content is wrong because your
numbers are healthy, and to say that we should only request 50/40 is going to
put a new ceiling to the Canadian content contrary to the policy.
1239 MR. VINER: Commissioner, I understand that. I note that the policy does
allow the Commission the opportunity to change the Canadian content by
1240 But I take your point.
1241 We believe that originally these were offsets because of -- for all of
the reasons that I have stated. However, if it was the Commission's wish for us
to move to 60% over the course of our licence, I believe that we could
1242 I would like it to be staged only because we've made commitments to
acquire programming that we can't get out of, and I would also ask that the
Commission consider maintaining the exception with respect to the prime time, at
least as an offset to that 8:00 to 10:00, because if we're -- we really do need
the ability to program acquired ethnic in prime time.
1243 It seems to me that it's -- that the system would not be well served to
force us to have both limited flexibility between 8:00 and 10:00 and then
provide us no flexibility on Canadian in prime time.
1244 That to me would be very, very difficult. But if we could go to 60%
overall over the course of our licence in a staged way, we would find that
1245 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Thank you very much.
1246 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Viner, you said a few minutes ago that CFMT is,
when you look at what's with CJNT with a 100% ethnic programming model and it
hasn't worked, and as Commissioner Wylie said: We'll be entertaining an
application from them probably in the not too distant future, and that CFMT
really is the only successful model that you've developed since you took over
1247 I wonder if you can just refresh my memory. During our ethnic policy,
our ethnic broadcasting policy review, what position did you argue with respect
to Canadian content?
1248 You said at the beginning of the hearing that you thought it was a good
policy and it provided a good foundation, but you are running the only
successful ethnic or multicultural channel in the country and are you're making
the argument that it's successful because of that exception.
1249 MR. VINER: That's correct.
1250 THE CHAIRPERSON: So do you remember what position you argued during the
ethnic broadcasting policy.
1251 MR. VINER: Leslie.
1252 MR. SOLE: I don't think we made specific comments on Canadian content.
1253 We argued that the -- and I'm one of the few people that have been
around since the beginning, the original conditions of licence were co-authored
between the new owners of CFMT and the Commission and that's where this set of
unique conditions came from.
1254 Our basic message at the ethnic review was that our model served us well
and that 60/40 was a functional and supportive system, that was fair, in the
context that every broadcaster gets 40% U.S. and that we felt the future of
ethnic television in Canada would be developing high quality Canadian content.
1255 I don't think we commented on the levels of Canadian content.
1256 MR. VINER: You know, I think, Commissioner Wilson, this CFMT is the
result of a collaborative process as Leslie has said and, you know, extremely
1257 There are -- we have a broad service mandate, we have to serve smaller
communities. Other Canadian stations have to invest in drama.
1258 We've got lower Canadian content and in return we've got an inability to
access the most profitable time periods for U.S. simulcast.
1259 It's a balance that's worked extremely well.
1260 CFMT was not a financial success; CJNT has not been a financial success.
The predecessor to Talent Vision was not a financial success.
1261 So our model seems to work and I think it's worked well and I think that
we've discharged our mandate.
1262 So I don't believe we have -- I think our position at those hearings was
that 60% ethnic/40% foreign was a model that had worked and I don't think we
particularly addressed Canadian content, although we would not ask for
production in Canadian content.
1263 THE CHAIRPERSON: It seems to me though that if you come here and
Commissioner Wylie has already questioned you on this issue, but you come and
say we'd like to maintain the 50/40 exception for the balance of the licence
term, that because you are the only successful multicultural channel in the
country, that de facto becomes the policy, as she said, it becomes the ceiling
not the floor.
1264 So that's where I'm trying to -- I'm trying to understand.
1265 MR. VINER: You're quite right, Commissioner Wilson, the policy doesn't
say anything about 8:00 to 10:00, so that's an exception as well.
1266 The policy doesn't say anything about 8:00 to 10:00.
1267 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mm-hmm.
1268 MR. VINER: So if you said, Mr. Viner, we expect you to live up to the
policy and the policy is 60%/40%, 50/40, no 8:00 to 10:00, that would be
1269 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
1270 Let me just ask you a couple of other very short questions.
1271 Couple of things that you said could affect your performance, your
revenue performance in the future. One was other broadcasters doing ethnic
programming under the ethnic broadcasting policy that you're aware of, are there
any other broadcasters besides CITY-TV doing ethnic programming?
1272 MR. SOLE: Yeah, there's -- from time to time CHEX will have a program
1273 THE CHAIRPERSON: Where is that?
1274 MR. SOLE: Peterborough.
1275 THE CHAIRPERSON: Peterborough, okay.
1276 MR. SOLE: Hamilton has been in and out of doing ethnic programming.
1277 It's -- right now CITY is the only consistent broadcaster that does
bartered programming on the weekend through a local radio station, but there are
other -- in this period Channel 11 had ethnic programming, and we think that as
we all watched Canada change the temptation to do Canadian content in third
language is covered, it will be entertained, it will at least be looked at.
1278 THE CHAIRPERSON: Even though from your model it doesn't make money?
1279 MR. VINER: Well, brokered programming does make money.
1280 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's true.
1281 MR. VINER: And you can sell the time and get Canadian content.
1282 MR. SOLE: Sorry, the licensee makes money on brokered programming with
1283 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, that's a good point.
1284 I just want to ask you one other thing. One of the other factors that
you mentioned was specialty channels and their effect on your ability to
generate revenues through your third language programming, particularly for the
Italian and Chinese communities.
1285 In Vancouver you applied for a station very similar to CFMT, at 21st
February, 1999 Public Hearing that application was heard.
1286 In a letter dated November 26, '99 pertaining to that application you
said that you didn't contemplate having any quantitative effect on the financial
performance of Fairchild or Telelatino.
1287 Why is it the opposite in Toronto?
1288 MR. VINER: It's just that, we don't have any quantitative --
1289 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, but you're saying that they will have an effect on
1290 MR. VINER: Right. And so in Vancouver where they're established it's
even a higher hill for us to climb.
1291 So our Vancouver correspondence was that a station like ours that serves
15, 18 groups will not have a material financial effect on a large ethnic group
like Chinese that has in excess of a hundred hours.
1292 The economics will always be in their favour when it comes to selling
air time to Chinese advertisers.
1293 THE CHAIRPERSON: So in Vancouver.
1294 MR. SOLE: Vancouver.
1295 THE CHAIRPERSON: In Toronto though you're saying that they will have an
impact on you.
1296 MR. SOLE: They have had an impact on us. And in Vancouver, if they can
have an impact on us here where we exist and are established, we are saying we
would have no impact on them where they were established in Vancouver, we would
not hurt their business case.
1297 MR. VINER: Just to be clear, Commissioner Wilson, we're losing to them a
1298 They can flood the market with inventory, provide audience attractive
programming, entertainment programming from the homeland.
1299 So, you know, they can have an effect on us; we're having trouble having
an effect on them. So, yes, they can certainly, you know, as I say, flood the
market with inventory and have an attractive programming.
1300 So I don't think that because they have an effect on us that necessarily
the opposite is necessarily true.
1301 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
1302 Thank you.
1303 I think Commissioner Cardoza has one additional question.
1304 Oh, sorry.
1305 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Sorry, Mr. Cardoza.
1306 THE CHAIRPERSON: Everyone is eager to talk today.
1307 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: I just want to be sure, Mr. Ayley, that I understand.
1308 This sheet I believe was produced from the numbers at page 6 of the
deficiency letter response; is that correct, dated April 10th?
1309 MR. AYLEY: Yes.
1310 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Now, you'll notice there that it does say in defence
of the staff percentage of total ad revenues which is what the staff has used to
calculate the sideways sheet I've just given you, correct?
1311 MR. AYLEY: Well, I don't believe so.
I think the information --
1312 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Well, do you have page 6?
1313 MR. AYLEY: Yeah, I do.
1314 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: It says percentage of total revenues, and I believe
these are the percentages that were used.
1315 MR. AYLEY: Of advertising revenues.
1316 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Yes, of advertising revenues.
1317 Is what you're telling me now that it should have been percentage of
total revenues, that you calculated the percentages from there and, therefore,
there's a discrepancy with our percentages up and down?
1318 Is that what I understood you to say?
1319 MR. AYLEY: No, I'm saying that it says advertising revenues but the long
form includes other revenue.
1320 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: I don't think so.
1321 The long form, I did the calculation, if I added national revenues,
local revenues and infomercials I get that total.
1322 MR. AYLEY: I've excluded infomercials.
1323 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Ah.
1324 Well, why shouldn't that be revenues?
1325 MR. AYLEY: Well, because it's identifiable as either--
1326 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Okay.
1327 MR. AYLEY: --English or ethnic.
1328 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: So that's the only difference. It's not -- I had
misunderstood that you had calculated it adding in syndication and so on. It's
only -- infomercials are excluded from this figure?
1329 MR. AYLEY: On our numbers, yes.
1330 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: So then when I apply that to that other sum there's a
1331 What I wanted to satisfy myself with, Madam Chair, is there anything
else that you find wrong with this sheet?
1332 MR. AYLEY: There was some discrepancy as well in terms of what
programming costs were, where we have limited our -- when we did our percentages
we limited our numbers to the line on the annual return that says total Canadian
programming aired, for example, and We did not include commercial production or
music licence fees or write-offs, and that's--
1333 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: And this will be --
1334 MR. AYLEY: That will have an impact on application.
1335 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: And this would be operating --
1336 MR. AYLEY: And I think the staff has tried to give us the benefit of
doubt by going right to the bottom, but really...
1337 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Right. So anything else that --
1338 MR. AYLEY: That's the only thing I've noticed so far.
1339 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Apart from that and I think we agreed that the
variations would not--
1340 MR. AYLEY: Not that great.
1341 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: --be very large, that the directional -- the
direction of the expenses and revenues with the comments that were made to us to
explain some of them would approximate, but I just want to make sure we take
your comments into consideration.
1342 MR. AYLEY: I would still like to look at the earlier years a little bit
when I get home.
1343 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Yes, and reply since you have the sheet with you, you
may want to make sure that we are with you as to how this works.
1344 Thank you. Thank you.
1345 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Cardoza.
1346 MR. CARDOZA: Yes, Madam Chair, just one follow-up question, Mr. Viner,
in your conversation with Commissioner Wylie.
1347 On the issue of going to 60% Canadian content over time, over the course
of the licence term, I just want to understand, would that Canadian content be
regular English or would it be ethnic programming?
1348 MR. SOLE: To put it in Canadian content, this is -- let me be a bit
1349 This seems to be an effort to have CFMT come in compliance with the
policy of 60% Canadian content and 50% prime time.
1350 What we're suggesting is to accommodate the Canadian, which will cost us
more money, we will have to eliminate the programming that has the lowest yield.
1351 And as Tony mentioned earlier, in our case, like other licensees, the
40% of U.S. programming that runs Canadian conventional television, we would
need that or this would be more than a discussion of a few dollars, it would be
millions and millions of dollars without that.
1352 So if we were to go to 60% Canadian content and 50% in prime time, or as
Tony suggested 60% overall would be more comfortable for us with no change in
prime time, there still -- in that case, there still would be some ethnic
1353 But on the policy as it's written in all likelihood the thing we would
remove from the schedule would be ethnic foreign.
1354 MR. VINER: My guess is that it would be language programming,
Commissioner Cardoza, but I was trying to respond to a question that
Commissioner Wylie posed and tried to be constructive and I didn't specify
because I don't have a business plan for it.
1355 We're an ethnic station and so my first thought is, my instinct is that
it would be language programming, but I haven't thought it through thoroughly
and as I, just to repeat, my request because we have that other prime time
prohibition, that we consider maintaining 40% even if we went to 60% over the --
40% in prime time.
1356 MR. CARDOZA: And would that not drop your overall ethnic amount? If you
increased Canadian content and dropped the foreign ethnic, would that Canadian
content be English language?
1357 MR. VINER: Well, my guess is it would not be but if you're asking me,
have I done the math...
1358 MR. CARDOZA: No, I understand you haven't done the math because we asked
that question. Now, you may have anticipated my question.
1359 MR. VINER: I didn't anticipate just that question, which is my fault not
1360 Look, my guess is that we would add language programming. We don't have
1361 MR. SOLE: We are by policy bound to 60/40.
1362 The new Canadian content would in all likelihood be Canadian ethnic
1363 MR. VINER: I don't know how we could do it in any other way.
1364 MR. CARDOZA: So all you'd be doing is replacing the Canadian ethnic
1365 MR. SOLE: If we were to try to compete with the other broadcasters with
main stream English Canadian content, we would be disadvantaged at a multiple of
levels, we don't have the average market, we don't have the news gathering.
1366 So in all likelihood we would extend the brands we have.
1367 MR. VINER: The likelihood is that we would lose some of the
ethnic-acquired but I think we could come up with some alternative programming,
given time, if that was the Commission's requirement, we would do our very best
to honour it, would honour it.
1368 MR. CARDOZA: I understand. Thanks.
1369 Thank you, Madam Chair.
1370 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner.
1371 Legal Counsel, one question?
1372 MR. RHEAUME: Just a couple of clarifications.
1373 What was referred to as the long page, a bunch of numbers, left to
right, your projections for 2000, I notice that you have your accountants and
your numbers people here, are you in line to meet those projections, if I could
ask, they're confidential numbers of course.
1374 MR. AYLEY: I believe so.
1375 THE SECRETARY: Your microphone, please.
1376 MR. AYLEY: Yes.
1377 MR. RHEAUME: The ad revenue?
1378 MR. AYLEY: Yes. But the problem I'm having with qualifying that,
unfortunately, is that we do calendar year financial statements, but the fall
was in pretty good shape, so I would say yes.
1379 MR. RHEAUME: So we're roughly 10 months in the year.
1380 MR. AYLEY: Yeah.
1381 MR. RHEAUME: So you would be in line to meet these projections?
1382 MR. AYLEY: Yes.
1383 MR. RHEAUME: How do you arrive at the projections?
1384 MR. VINER: Excuse me. We're not -- just to be clear, we're on the
calendar year though, just...
1385 Okay, fine.
1386 MR. RHEAUME: I appreciate that.
1387 How does one arrive at projections for year 2004, let's say, what are
1388 Because I notice, I'll tell you the point of my question is, I notice
that you have some pretty flat years in your projections until 2007, some are
good, some are average, some are relatively flat.
1389 How do you arrive at those?
1390 MR. AYLEY: The basics that we have use in the application, I think were
put in the application, because it's a seven-year period we just use inflation
as a starting point and looking at recent behaviour in programming costs we have
seen it coming in programming costs as well we have seen it coming in from the
U.S. as well as our assumption, we would have a similar 10% ethnic component or
foreign ethnic component, and looking at increased buying that's going on in
general really we doubled the inflation for a lot of our programming costs and
for revenue, I guess we were somewhat aggressive given the amount of competition
that's on the horizon, we did retail I think at a half point above inflation and
national is physically one point above inflation.
1391 So they should appear fairly steadily through there.
1392 I don't recall making many changes to that.
1393 MR. VINER: And I think just to add to that, that would be aggressive,
aggressive if you looked at conventional television.
1394 All of the growth in television advertising has come because of
specialty services at the expense of conventional television, so...
1395 MR. RHEAUME: But surely, Mr. Viner, you'll agree that if we look at
1998-1999, and you explained that's an exceptional year, one could not construe
the projections and that revenue as conservative, as aggressive I would probably
call it more cautious than --
1396 MR. VINER: Jim, what's the experience?
1397 MR. NELLES: In terms of looking at the last couple of years, we were the
beneficiaries, as we alluded to before, of some good rating point performances.
A couple of rating points in two and a half hour shows incremental could
basically account for the advertising difference between '98 and '99.
1398 As we look ahead, and if I look at the most recent revenue numbers from
the television bureau both for the Province of Ontario, Toronto and for Canada
in general, as Tony alluded to, retail advertising is down considerably,
national spot advertising is flat and specialty is up significantly, I believe
up about 11% and that includes conventional network.
1399 If one isolates specialty out of conventional network, it's even more
1400 So that would probably be one of the reasons that hopefully we would be
constructively cautious as we look out.
1401 And the other aspect of course is that for the most part our competition
bundles services, and so it's lonely Local when you're stand-alone and when
other services can combine some of their various elements, then they will just
be all that more competitive.
1402 MR. RHEAUME: Mr. Viner, is it fair to say that if you meet these
projections you don't have a problem with the 60% Canadian over the licence
1403 MR. VINER: If we meet these projections we don't have a problem in the
way I've described it.
1404 Certainly, as you can say, we don't have a problem. Our profitability
will suffer. I think we made that clear.
1405 If we meet the 60% and are able to maintain the exception that I've
indicated, we'll be hurt less, so...
1406 MR. RHEAUME: What would be the suggested formula to go from the current
level to 60% over the licence term, because we're talking a condition of
1407 MR. VINER: Sure.
1408 MR. RHEAUME: --we might as well discuss it.
1409 MR. VINER: Sure. We're going to have a chance. I mean, if you'd ask me
I'd say 10 divided by 7.
1410 But I haven't, you know, sorry, I haven't given it greater thought than
1411 MR. RHEAUME: Well, maybe you can come back in rebuttal.
1412 Something else maybe you want to consider when you come back.
1413 MR. VINER: 1.1427 something, I think is the number.
1414 MR. RHEAUME: You're an accountant.
1415 MR. VINER: I'm not. I sell television time for money.
1416 MR. RHEAUME: The non-Canadian non-ethnic programming, you have a
conditional licence that allow you to go to a maximum of 40% for the day and 50%
in the evening, 60 at night, but you're not using anywhere near that over the
last three years, so why would you be so insistent that this has a crucial
significance for your operation.
1417 MR. VINER: Thank you for the opportunity to clarify that. Leslie.
1418 MR. SOLE: We are using it. If we're referring to this long sheet that
the non-ethnic U.S. is 35%.
1419 MR. RHEAUME: Go ahead.
1420 MR. SOLE: The assumption made in the footnote that the 218.5 hours is
put in with Canadian non-ethnic programming, it really is intrinsic and critical
to that 35% and the numbers work something like this:
1421 That 35% by show title, by half-hour time slot results in 40% U.S.
1422 What's happened here is the interstitial has been isolated and removed
because it's Canadian content. What it is is Canadian content that bridges U.S.
1423 So if you take the term Canadian ethnic and make it truly Canadian
ethnic, you take the term foreign ethnic and make it foreign ethnic and you take
non-ethnic U.S. and make it English non-ethnic you end up back near 40%.
1424 And that interstitial, now as I said there's no revenue from it, it's
used because American programming allows more commercial units than Canadian.
So that's where that 35% may be somewhat misleading.
1425 MR. VINER: If you thought Frasier was a half-hour show and it really
isn't, but you thought it was, and you put together all your half-hours you will
see we use the full 40%.
1426 MR. RHEAUME: I see. And that's for the last three years I guess.
1427 The problem that I'm referring to, a letter was sent to you in January
to Mr. Sole where we actually give you figures according to your own logs.
1428 MR. SOLE: Yes.
1429 MR. RHEAUME: And you agreed with those figures.
1430 MR. SOLE: I agree that 35% of our programming is non-ethnic U.S. on a
minute count, yes. On a minute count.
1431 MR. RHEAUME: Are your interstitial under five minutes?
1432 MR. SOLE: Yes.
1433 Now, Jim is Night Life under five minutes?
1434 MR. NELLES: Yes.
1435 MR. VINER: But how this interstitial occurs you couldn't take blocks of
it and monitor it. An American program runs from 7:00 to 7:30 and it's two
1436 MR. RHEAUME: I understand.
1437 MR. VINER: So we agree with the number, but it's impossible for us to
sort of put it -- to take it somewhere else, it's a function of the U.S.
1438 MR. RHEAUME: Closed captioning.
1439 What percentage of the English programming is closed captioned
1440 MR. SOLE: Kelly or Viddear, maybe you have that. Viddear's got it.
1441 MS. KHAN: It's a hundred per cent.
1442 MR. RHEAUME: Thank you. That's it for now.
1443 Thank you, Madam Chair.
1444 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Legal Counsel.
1445 Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that's it, and we'll see you back a
little bit later after the interventions.
--- Pause / Pause
1446 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. We're going to proceed now to interventions.
1447 ...some sort of a delay, we thought we'd be getting to this a little bit
sooner, and there is going to be a slight change in order of two of the parties
who are here to intervene on the Rogers application have requested to be heard,
sort of moved up the schedule because they have prior commitments that they have
to meet. So we are going to do a slight re-arrangement.
1448 So, Madam Secretary, maybe you could call the first appearing intervenor
in the revised order.
1449 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
1450 So now we'll hear Mr. Michael Colle, then we'll follow up with the
Armenian Community Centre and we'll go back to our schedule as indicated in the
agenda for today.
1451 So, Mr. Michael Colle, please.
1452 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sorry to keep you waiting Mr. Colle. I know you were--
1453 MR. COLLE: No problem.
1454 THE CHAIRPERSON: --hoping to be heard a little closer to two
1455 Proceed when you're ready.
1456 MR. COLLE: Okay, fine...
1457 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sorry.
1458 Maybe I could just remind the intervenors, because many of won't have
been here this morning when I went over how to operate the mike, but in order to
assist us in the transcription of the proceedings of the hearing we need for you
to have your microphone on and you do that by pressing the white button and
you'll see a little red light on, also a big red light on around here, and when
you're finished, if you could please turn it off.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
1459 MR. COLLE: Okay, thank you, Madam Commissioner and Commissioners.
1460 Thank you for the opportunity to be her.
1461 I am the member of Provincial Government for the Riding of
Eglinton-Lawrence here in the City of Toronto. The Eglinton Riding is
essentially in the Yonge Street corridor going west towards Caledonia, so it's
right in the heart of the City of Toronto. And I am more than pleased to be here
today supporting the CFMT's application for licence renewal.
1462 My riding has a population of over 110,000 people. It is wonderfully
diverse community of communities that mirrors the diverse multicultural mosaic
of Toronto and the Greater Toronto region.
1463 Renowned institutions like Villa Columbo and bay the Baycrest Centre
reflect a community that is rich in culture and contrast.
1464 On every street one hears, sees and smells the delightfully unique
diversity from the four corners of the world.
1465 CFMT, with its reach to so many language groups, helps connect new
Canadians of all backgrounds and helps all of us to share with pride in our
roots and in the rich tradition of others.
1466 Just the other day this happened. I'm getting flowers for our
anniversary, as anecdote I stopped into a florist who happened to be of Korean
origin and the husband and wife said: God, we're so happy to see you in the
evening, the eight o'clock news. I said, but that's in Italian. They said: Oh,
we watch it anyways, we find out what's going on.
1467 So I think there's an ability to sort of cross-mix viewers here because
of the friendliness and the impact of the news at 8:00 p.m.
1468 My daily work as an MPP is clearly enhanced and aided by CFMT. Their
news broadcasts are an excellent source for resource of the citizens of the GTA
whose first language is not necessarily English and helps them to keep abreast
of provincial issues such as health care and education which affects them all
1469 As an MPP I do not have resources to communicate and update all my
constituents in their first language. Yet because of CFMT's commitment to
reaching out to all Canadians in the GTA and providing this public service, my
constituents remain informed.
1470 I get this feedback quite constantly and people say: Well, we know that
there is an issue with health care, we know there's an issue with education and
I find they saw the issue on the evening news broadcast on CFMT. In fact the
comments I get back are almost as frequent with CFMT newscasts and programs as
it is on the main stream channels. So I know it's reaching real people on a
1471 CFMT is the most valuable link for myself and all who want to feel part
of the political process.
1472 Our society is dependent on a well-informed public. The key to CFMT's
success is that it is inclusive and reflective of the interests and aspirations
of so many new Canadians that do not have English as a first language.
1473 As Canadians we sometimes take for granted how seamless the blending of
our 130 languages and cultural groups are.
1474 CFMT is one of the contributing factors to the success of the bringing
together of the many rich cultures that make up this city, this province and
1475 And I think as a citizen of Toronto and of Canada, I'm very proud of the
fact that we've been a melting pot, a mosaic, a great experiment that works
wonderfully well and I think we can challenge any country in the world in terms
of our ability to do that.
1476 And I think one of the players in this is our ability to communicate to
a variety of groups who feel inclusive and feel part of it rather than excluded,
and this happens without fanfare, it happens quite regularly on a routine basis
and it's one of the reasons, I think, we're able to again live together in a
City like Toronto in such harmony.
1477 CFMT helps make all of our new Canadians who have made a home here feel
that in Canada they are respected and are making a positive contribution.
1478 In closing, I'm certain one does not have to restate the crucial role
television plays in forming opinions and attitudes.
1479 Without question, CFMT is a most positive force for good in my community
and for the good of the rich diversity it represents.
1480 And just in conclusion, again, most of my daily work deals with people
who have concerns about their hospitals, have concerns about the air they
breath, have concerns about public transportation, and as elected provincial
politicians I find it a very effective way of communicating these concerns and
solutions and debate through a station like CFMT, I could not do it.
1481 Again, I do not have the resources and elected officials to do that by
mail or other ways or by news letters.
1482 One way of getting information out to people is through the news
broadcast. CFMT who are there at Queen's Park almost every day, they're passing
on what transpired at Queen's Park, getting that out to people and getting
comments from elected officials about the news of the day.
1483 So it is to me a very low-cost, effective way of letting people know
what we're doing as a government, what we're doing as elected officials and I
certainly feel that it's an integral part of my communication strategy with the
people I represent and people right across Ontario that I represent on various
1484 That is my submission. I thank you for the opportunity to give that.
1485 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr.
1486 Follow my own advice about the microphone.
1487 Thank you, Mr. Colle.
1488 Commissioner Wylie.
1489 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: We certainly appreciate, Mr. Colle, you taking the
time to come here.
1490 You mentioned that you found the proceeding interesting. How long have
you been here today?
1491 MR. COLLE: I came in about 1:30 for the afternoon session.
1492 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: And would you share for us what you found interesting?
1493 MR. COLLE: Well, what I found interesting is that what strikes a real
balance between trying to keep Canadian content at the same time is the
challenging efforts of CFMT to bring across the ethnic broadcasting at the same
time and at the same time make it financially viable.
1494 So I know the challenges the Commission has in terms of its mandate and,
on the other hand you have got real viable business entrepreneurship mandate
that CFMT has, and I think sometimes we take that kind of challenge for granted.
1495 But I know how difficult it is to balance all those competing interests,
but I do want to say at the outcome of all this that we do have this strength in
our community as a result of the CRTC's efforts to make CFMT viable and it's
there and it's really an integral part, especially seniors, people that really
have this way of feeling that they are part, and their frustration level -- and
it's there every night for them and I think it's very, very reassuring for them
that this is there for them to sort of access.
1496 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Well, considering your understanding of what's going
on after lunch you've already passed Broadcasting 101.
1497 MR. COLLE: Okay, thank you.
1498 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: But, Mr. Colle, in balancing between these two
interests as much, I think programming as possible and as much Canadian
programming as possible, I would gather for your interest as an elected
official, as much Canadian programming as possible would be of interest to you
personally in communication with your constituents.
1499 MR. COLLE: Oh, definitely, because the one thing that underlies, you
know, all of our sort of reasons for being involved publicly is that we know
that we are next door to a guy and somehow we have to focus on the fact that we
1500 And I think the Canadian ingredient is critically important and more
than ever with the internet and everything.
1501 But I think one of the ingredients that makes us Canadian much more than
the Americans, and I know we always have this conversation with our American
cousins that are of Italian heritage is our celebration of our ethnic diversity.
1502 That is one thing that makes us uniquely different than the Americans
and that's why we have to combine, to push both agendas because I think they are
intrinsically linked as being very Canadian.
1503 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Well, we thank you very much and, again, we apologize
that it was later.
1504 MR. COLLE: Thank you very much.
1505 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: But considering you now have a new degree on your CV,
you shouldn't complain.
1506 MR. COLLE: Thank you for listening and your attention.
1507 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you for being with us.
--- Pause / Pause
1508 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary, may we have the next intervenor.
1509 THE SECRETARY: The next intervenor is the Armenian Community Centre.
1510 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon. I know you, Mr. Babikian. Nice to see
1511 MR. BABIKIAN: Good afternoon.
1512 A few months back we made a presentation on preserving the ethnic
language programming and I had the pleasure to be -- to come here and make
another presentation on behalf of our program, our community.
1513 I'm speaking on behalf of the 40,000 Armenians in Ontario and our
program is very important to our community, that's why we wanted to have the
opportunity to be here.
1514 And, once again, my apologies for changing the schedule because I have
to drive to Ottawa today, and tomorrow we have a round table discussion with the
Minister of Multiculturalism, so that's why I want to rush with a bit, if you
1515 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's a good reason.
1516 MR. BABIKIAN: Anyway, CFMT - the call letters speak for themselves,
Canadian First Multicultural Television.
1517 CFMT has demonstrated over and over it's commitment to all the
communities it serves.
1518 First as a Canadian and second as a Canadian of Armenian descent, I urge
you to renew CFMT's licence.
1519 Like most of the Canadians who make up this great mosaic called Canada,
if you look back a hundred years into my family tree you will find them in
Armenia. Toronto has a large Armenian community -- there are 40,000 Armenians
throughout Ontario and CFMT is the only station that makes it possible to keep
them all informed and unified.
1520 The same can be said for the dozens of other ethnic groups who rely on
CFMT to reach their communities.
1521 Let me give you a brief account of our history with CFMT. In 1993 we met
with Madeline Ziniak and on August 29, 1993 we started "Hai Horizon" a half-hour
Armenian program on Rogers Cable, community channel 10. However our relationship
with CFMT goes back to January, 1989 when CFMT did not have any Armenian
programming on the air. They reacted to the Armenian earthquake and went live
with a special telethon for the victims of the earthquake.
1522 Again in February, 1995, Hai Horizon and the Armenian community
broadcast a live three-hour marathon from the Rogers Communications studio.
1523 We are grateful for the dedication of the producers, coordinators and
technicians who came in on a Saturday to make our telethon a successful one.
After three hours, we raised $104,000 for medicine and clothing for the children
of Nagorno Karabagh.
1524 When the spiritual leader of all Armenians, His Holiness Catholicos
Karekin II visited
Canada for the first time, Hai Horizon and CFMT enabled 40,000 Armenians
throughout Ontario to witness that visit.
1525 On October 4, 1997 we had our first broadcast on CFMT Channel 47, Cable
4, reaching a much wider audience. We have large communities in the southern
Ontario towns of Hamilton, St. Catherines, Cambridge, Guelph, London and
Windsor, as well as Ottawa. We cover major functions in those areas and they get
exposure they have never experienced before.
1526 Hai Horizon is the only province-wide Armenian program and CFMT is the
instrument that connects all those communities through our program.
1527 Over the years, CFMT has gone out of its way to help our program deliver
late-breaking news concerning Armenia by sharing footage with us. For instance,
when the attack on the Armenian parliament took place, CFMT gave us its footage
within hours of the attack and helped us put together a new program for that
1528 CFMT also invites us from time to time for editorial meetings with
political leaders and for example, when the leader of the PC party Joe Clark
visited CFMT, we had an impromptu interview with him thanks to the technical
assistance of CFMT.
1529 Not only is CFMT devoted to the numerous ethnic groups it serves, but it
always maintains its high level of production and appearance.
This past year CFMT helped us update our equipment with a generous grant, and
as a result our program has a much better look, and is superior in quality.
1530 Hai Horizon has a great working relationship with Madeline Ziniak and
Paritosh Mehta, who are always very helpful. This is a great asset to us and as
a result our program has steadily improved.
1531 Ethnic communities starve for news from their homeland, and as major
news networks deal only with hot issues of the day, the news our communities
crave for are left out. For instance, the only time there is any news about
Armenia is when there is a natural disaster or armed conflict.
1532 When Armenia elects a new president, the major news stations in Canada
make no mention of it. But for the 40,000 Canadian Armenians living in Ontario
that is newsworthy.
1533 CFMT makes that exchange of news possible and I'd like to thank them on
behalf of the Armenian community...I'd like to thank you for giving us a voice
and I hope you are able to continue your great work.
1534 Thank you.
1535 I would like to add one more thing and this is personal input.
1536 From the input that we get from our viewers from Ontario and other areas
of Toronto and Ontario, the 9:00 to 9:30 slots on Saturday morning, it's
becoming like a tradition to the Armenians, everything stops in the Armenian
community, all the major organization churches, they start programming all their
activities around that 9:00-9:30 because they know that the community is there
watching that program. That's their only outlet for the news and their community
1537 So that is why I think renewing the licence for CFMT, keeping our
program, and hopefully by renewing our licence even the half-hour program it's
not enough for our community, we would like to extend it for another hour so we
can cover other aspects of our community life. We are limited and hopefully
we'll be able to do it in the future by your help and CFMT's help.
1538 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Babikian.
1539 I just have one quick question for you. You said just now that you would
hope that the amount of programming available to your community would increase.
1540 I think you were here for some of the discussion that we had with CFMT
about how their financial model works with the cross-subsidization from
essentially the U.S. programming, the U.S. strict programming to the ethnic
programming and if they're going to increase the level of Canadian ethnic
programming then they would have to get rid of something else.
1541 Would you like to see that happen?
1542 Are you comfortable with that economic model?
1543 MR. BABIKIAN: Well, this is something that we have to work out with the
management of CFMT.
1544 I am not expert on how they are going to run the programming and how
they manage and we already -- from the beginning we indicated that in the future
we would like to see our program time extended to an hour because, to be frank,
I mean right now in our various communities competing with each other to cover
their own news item and, unfortunately, sometimes we are limited and not
everyone gets the appropriate coverage.
1545 And to do something like that, to extend our program, we need to sit
down and coordinate and cooperate with CFMT and their management on what is the
best way to accommodate the needs of our communities and their needs, also the
financial viability and other aspects of the programming.
1546 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much and drive safely.
1547 MR. BABIKIAN: Thank you
1548 THE CHAIRPERSON: You should just beat the rush hour--
1549 MR. BABIKIAN: Right.
1550 THE CHAIRPERSON: --out of Toronto. That's probably the longest
part of your journey.
1551 Madam Secretary?
1552 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
1553 The next intervenor is the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
1554 MS. SHAKIR: Thank you for giving me this opportunity. I am new to this
and I'm nervous and notorious for not sticking to my notes, so I'll try to stick
to it, but as I hear other people, I suddenly realize that I have wrote perhaps
a very personal and formal deposition.
1555 At Salvation Newsweek, my five minutes came to history and fame, and I
was quite shocked when I worked there. I was there for about seven months just
volunteering just for the heck of it.
1556 And I realized in those seven months I had access to excellent
technology, I had access to amazing, you know, communications related training
and at the same time I had -- I was the first one to get newscasts about South
Asia. That I was wonderful, like the gentleman before me said, it wasn't about
disasters and it wasn't about, you know, assassinations and earthquakes or
whatever the horrible thing that can possibly happen and I had a great
opportunity for doing something which I personally remember very fondly which is
that I was able to produce a show, to make a little, I don't know what you call
it, sort of a five-minute little blush on the 50th anniversary of India and
1557 My children, because they are Canadian born, for them to see their mom
standing there talking about 250 years of independence from India and Pakistan,
relate it to Canada and the Canadian experience, which I want to do for their
sake, was a great experience, they got to see their mom and at the same time it
made sense for them.
1558 So having said all of that...
1559 THE CHAIRPERSON: They were more impressed to see you on the screen than
1560 MS. SHAKIR: Absolutely, absolutely.
1561 It helps even more when my son's friend who is Chinese said: I saw your
mom on Chinese news. And so my son was most impressed like, now you're appearing
in Chinese. You talk Chinese? No, I don't talk Chinese.
1562 But there is joy of working at a place where other people pick up the
things that you do.
1563 So here I am on behalf of the
Council of Agencies Servicing South Asians (CASSA) to support CFMT's request
for renewal of its license.
1564 Now I'd like to tell you a little bit about us.
1565 CASSA is an umbrella organization of approximately sixty (60) social
service agencies, groups and individuals providing services to the diverse South
Asian communities in the Greater Toronto Region.
1566 A quick note as to who is South Asian. A lot of time South Asians are
not a hundred per cent sure as to whether they are South Asian. That's probably
because it's a diverse group and not one community, I'd like to call it South
1567 Basically we're talking about people in Nepal but then also people of
South Asian origin descent who are coming from East Africa, South Africa,
Mauritius, but then again also South Asian descent, people coming from the
Caribbean called Indo-Caribbeans and of course other diverse South Asian
communities in Europe and North America, so it's a pretty diverse group that I'm
talking about and purely in terms of statistics which is important in terms of
1568 A quick demographic profile of the community: According to the 1996
census, there are 192,580 South Asians in the City of Toronto, 329,840 in CMA
Toronto, which is Census Metropolitan Area, there are approximately 670,590
1569 Thus, South Asians constitute the second largest visible minority group
in Canada at 2.4% of the total population.
1570 However, in Toronto, South Asians are 24.6% of the total visible
1571 An irony of it is if you look at the history of South Asian immigration
to Canada it is actually -- the second largest South Asian established
population is in Vancouver. The Premier is a glowing example of how well the
South Asians are doing in B. C. because that is the first place the South Asians
1572 So the two main centres of South Asian population are Toronto and
1573 Almost half of the total South Asian population in Canada live in the
CMA Toronto area.
is why we believe it is in the public interest to ensure that CFMT continues
to offer high quality, professional ethnic/multilingual programming.
1574 Our members provide services in English, Urdu, Hindi, Gujrati, Tamil,
Bengali, Farsi/Darrii and Punjabi to the ever growing South Asian community,
just to mention some of the South Asian languages.
1575 These services include settlement of new immigrants, assistance in
dealing with family violence and child abuse, seniors support and
health programmes, legal assistance, health education including HIV/AIDS
education, sexual orientation counselling, education counselling, anti-racism
work, hate crime, and the provision of social, recreational and educational
1576 CASSA is a community-driven organization. The mandate of my organization
is that it is a community driver to provide advocacy and other support for its
member agencies, to ensure that the social service needs of the South Asian
community are met, and to play an active role in eliminating all forms of racism
and discrimination from Canadian society.
1577 Our objectives are:
1578 To provide a support network and assist in information sharing for
member agencies and others serving the community.
1579 To be an advocate for member agencies in the community for all the
important issues affecting them.
1580 To be a point of reference for community organizations, government
agencies and policy-making organizations dealing with the needs and issues of
1581 To represent the community in dealing with all levels of government to
ensure its needs and point of view are heard.
1582 And that's one of the reasons why I'm here.
1583 To provide community development and education support to member
agencies and the community as needed.
1584 To promote and encourage volunteerism in the South Asian community.
1585 As well as assisting the community in dealing with all forms of racism,
hate crime and discrimination and to assist in eliminating it from Canadian
1586 Given that South Asians constitute the second largest population in the
Greater Toronto Region and across Canada, access to a television channel that
provides them an opportunity to have their concerns raised on their behalf is a
crucial component of their sense of belonging.
1587 Furthermore, the South Asian community is characterized by several
distinct languages, as I pointed out earlier and, therefore, access to a channel
that produces multilingual programming is crucial to that sense of belonging.
1588 CFMT's South Asian news programmes also give the community a chance to
catch up on the latest development in South Asia as well as focusing on the
immediate issues facing them in this society.
1589 The high quality of programming and the professionalism of programming
allows the South Asian community members to gain invaluable experience in the
field of communications by either working at the CFMT offices or by
participating in their programmes.
1590 Also the tremendous effort made by CFMT programmes to develop and
broadcast Canadian content means that: (a) it provides the large and diverse
South Asian population in the GTA to have access to high caliber electronic
media to showcase their talents, contributions, issues to the rest of the
1591 And I think this is very important. I would like to point out that it
helps create the civic and national roots for immigrant communities by
highlighting the reality of their new Canadian identity.
1592 And I think that is very important, as the gentleman before me pointed
out, for immigrant groups, particularly like the South Asians who, although have
been here for almost a hundred years, some of them have only been here about 10
years, so the links to their country back home can make life quite palatable.
1593 And so to have a channel where you can access both newscasts from back
home as well as to Canadian realities is a very positive experience.
1594 Having access to multi-ethnic programming at CFMT is also an invaluable
asset to advocacy groups like CASSA because to have our voice heard at CFMT
South Asian programmes allows us to what I call "mainstream" our concerns and
reach a broader audience.
1595 It also does something else which I'm trying to do on my own as an
umbrella organization, which is to provide a forum to build inter-communal and
inter-ethnic solidarity because of all the multi-ethnic groups work in the same
1596 It helps communities to realize that some issues cut across ethnicity
and thus build broad based understanding and consensus among us, particularly as
a society which is as diverse as Canada.
1597 When all the multilingual and multi-ethnic choose to focus on the same
issue, it gives it legitimacy while allowing the groups to share information
with each other that may otherwise remain within isolated communities.
1598 So as opposed to ghettoizing communities which would be totally -- you
know, have your own little ethnic channel to have a channel with different
community groups dealing with the same kind of issues and even sharing
1599 So, for instance, you know if I'm, you know, South Asian airing news
that may be related specifically to the Chinese community but which may be of
interest to the South Asian communities, I think that helps create those
linkages that perhaps otherwise may not be created.
1600 The other thing that I would like to end with, and the reason why I'm
here, to recommend the renewal of licence for CFMT and which to me is very
important, and that is that multiculturalism in Canada has been around for a
long time but at times it feels symbolic, at times it feels like tokenism.
1601 What it does not do is, Canadian diversity does not get realized in a
material sense and to me CFMT and a program or a station of that caliber to
carry multilingual programs is, in a sense, giving it certainly legitimacy that
Canada is not just English/French, Canada's English, French and God knows how
many other different languages.
1602 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms. Shakir. Somebody mentioned there was 130
1603 MS. SHAKIR: Yes.
1604 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm very interested by the points that you made about
the fact that having all the different communities programming together at CFMT
helps the various communities that some community's issues cut across ethnicity
and that's building amongst the communities here in Canada.
1605 That was a very interesting point that you made.
1606 How many hours per week of the CFMT schedule are promoted to schedule
programming from the South Asian community?
1607 MS. SHAKIR: There was a South Asian week, religious week, I know there
is an entertainment show as well that CFMT runs.
1608 Is there anything else?
1609 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would it be a couple of hours?
1610 MS. SHAKIR: Five total hours I know that I watch religiously which is
the news, South Asian Newscast week.
1611 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's real important to television, that's CFMT, as Mr.
Babikian said from the Armenian community Centre, you make a point to watch that
1612 MS. SHAKIR: When I was working at CFMT for a while I noticed that a
two-minute slot and I thought two minutes, I'm a researcher and advocate for us,
two hours is nothing, so two minutes seemed like a paltry sum of time that
they'd allocate to their newscast item.
1613 I realized that those two minutes had more impact than a 200 page paper
I used to write that no one would read. I though, oh my God this is a whole
different ball game, I have to get back on.
1614 And I realize now I'm back in the social service sector too where I'm
more comfortable in that two-minute slot, the minute I need it I call CFMT news
weekly, guys, you have got to cover this.
1615 And, for instance, when the new education policy and when they were
trying to talk about sexual abusive children and putting limitation on teachers
on how behaviour should be in terms of protecting the children being abused by
people in authority, they wanted an opinion.
1616 I thought this is a great opportunity for CASSA not just to be an
advocate for the South Asian communities and very pivotal to the South Asian
community, but to talk about something that bothers us as well because we are
Canadians, our children are going to school, this policy affects us as much as
the poverty demonstrations on Queen's Park.
1617 THE CHAIRPERSON: It sounds like you haven't really given up your
producing days even though you say you've gone back into the social sector.
1618 MS. SHAKIR: The thing is CFMT carried that news, our interview and I got
so many phone calls from people saying we helped that we are South Asian and
CASSA has opinions and, yes, we agree or don't agree or whatever.
1619 So I think the opportunity is phenomenal in terms of balancing of
content which is what you're trying to do there.
1620 I mean, I'm not an expert on it, all I know is that it should not go
and, if necessary, it should be increasing and made more economically viable but
definitely it should not go.
1621 THE CHAIRPERSON: I don't think there's any risk of that.
1622 MS. SHAKIR: Good.
1623 THE CHAIRPERSON: I want to ask you a quick question about South Asian TV
or the Asian television network in the Toronto area have been offering ATN, I
guess is the actual --
1624 MS. SHAKIR: That's on...
1625 THE CHAIRPERSON: On digital cable.
1626 MS. SHAKIR: Right, but not everybody has access to it.
1627 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, you have to pay--
1628 MS. SHAKIR: Yeah, exactly.
1629 THE CHAIRPERSON: --for it. So is it your sense that members of
your -- of various South Asian communities find their programming, the ATN
programming to be of similar value as CFMT, or do you think it's a real
disincentive that they have to pay for that and perhaps pay for the channel on a
monthly basis in order to get it?
1630 MS. SHAKIR: I think --
1631 THE CHAIRPERSON: I don't know if you have talked to any of the members
of your --
1632 MS. SHAKIR: No, just by virtue of being South Asian myself and walking
around in communities and talking to people, people with money will get whatever
they want and so they will get ATN but not everybody has money.
1633 People find just paying for the cable very, very expensive let alone
getting dishes and digital this or that or whatever.
1634 So to my mind I know for sure that people have access to ATN but not
everybody has access to ATN and a large proportion of the population doesn't
because not everybody is financially in a position to do so.
1635 But in spite of the ones that do have ATN, I know for sure a majority of
them watch South Asian NewsWeek for instance or--
1636 THE CHAIRPERSON: Hollywood Boulevard.
1637 MS. SHAKIR: Because they like Carinova or whatever. I like him. Whatever
1638 To my mind I think with the South Asian --
1639 THE CHAIRPERSON: Why do you watch Mel Gibson movies?
1640 MS. SHAKIR: He's good looking, that helps.
1641 But, you know, the South Asian NewsWeek has a certain, there are other
purely ethnic programs that also have news but South Asian NewsWeek seems to be
ample certainly for professionalism and authenticity, they have up-to-date
newscasts, good footage, they are able to access footage that other people
1642 Other people are having to react to main stream news. South Asian
NewsWeek is able to create its own, in a sense it has that potential to create
its own little space. That is not to say they will not borrow from CNN or
whatever, but they have the facility to do so in much faster time, electronic
media being what it is, it's all about how fast you can do it, how well you can
do it and I think it's professionalism majority of people do not watch.
1643 THE CHAIRPERSON: The point I was
trying to get at with you because you were talking about the possibility of
having the programming available on CFMT is available off air.
1644 MS. SHAKIR: Yeah.
1645 THE CHAIRPERSON: You don't have to have cable to get it.
1646 So I guess I was just trying to get a sense from you as to the
importance of having this kind of service available over the air in a community.
1647 MS. SHAKIR: I think it is tremendous. I mean, I don't think the majority
of the South Asian population cannot -- the majority of the people who are
living in the City of Toronto, I mean people living in the 905 area, maybe they
can afford it but not everyone in the 416 area can afford it and I think it's
good to have access to something that is available without having to dish out
money every time.
1648 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mm-hmm.
1649 MS. SHAKIR: It's not just entertainment.
1650 THE CHAIRPERSON: Ms. Shakir, you said this was your first time here. You
did a very good job.
1651 MS. SHAKIR: Thank you very much.
1652 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary?
1653 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
1654 The next intervenor is the Portuguese-Canadian National Congress.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
1655 MR. NUNES: Thank you for having me distinguished Commission members.
1656 My name is Fernando Nunes and I am the Great Toronto Area Director of
the Portuguese-Canadian National Congress, and I am here today to lend our
support for the renewal of the broadcast licence of CFMT-TV (Channel 47).
1657 The Portuguese-Canadian National Congress is a national organization
which works to provide a voice to the approximately 300,000 Canadians of
Portuguese descent - often referred to as "Luso-Canadians" - who are scattered
throughout our country.
1658 By virtue of our work on the preservation of the Protuguese language and
culture, we also serve the many individuals from the former Portuguese colonies
who are interest in - or identify with - the Portuguese language.
1659 For example, people from Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verge, East
Timor and Portuguese Guinea to name a few.
1660 The Congress is governed by over 20 Directors and Delegates, who are
scattered across seven provinces and 16 Canadian cities.
1661 Some of the issues in which the Congress recently been involved include:
undertaking the first national study ever conducted on Portuguese-Canadians;
hosting a national youth conference; making presentations to the Royal
Commission on Learning and the Foreign Policy Review Committee; meeting with
officials from the Provincial and Federal Governments; including two Ontario
Ministers of Education and the former Premier of Ontario; working on an ongoing
basis with other Portuguese-Canadian organizations and the two Toronto School
Boards in community initiatives that support the improvement of our children's
education; and lobbying our Canadian Government for a humanitarian intervention
in the troubled nation of East Timor.
1662 Now, of these activities, one of the most important for our community is
the ongoing support
of the Portuguese language and culture. In fact, in the recent national study
which was undertaken by our organization, the defence and promotion of the
Portuguese language and culture was one of the major issues which was raised by
the Luso-Canadians who were consulted.
1663 Now, this was a project which saw the realization of 18 nation-wide
focus groups, as well as the distribution of a survey to Congress members, to
250 club members, associations, media and churches. And the issue of the
promotion of our language was of particular concern to those individuals in the
smaller or more isolated communities such as, for example, Hamilton, Sudbury and
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and in the Ottawa/Hull Region, (amongst a number of
1664 Now, in this respect CFMT-TV provision of Portuguese language television
programming represents one of the most important cultural and linguistic
supports that is available to our community.
1665 In fact, the station is the de facto prime instrument for the promotion
of the Portuguese language and culture in Ontario.
1666 Not everyone in the Luso-Canadian community reads Portuguese-language
community papers, or listens to Portuguese-language radio. Yet, everyone watches
Channel 47, including those in the Brazilian, Angolan and Cape Verdian
1667 CFMT-TV has also provided an invaluable service to the social and
cultural cohesion and continuity of our community.
1668 Having Portuguese-language television programming and, particularly,
locally-produced programming, which can both inform as well as showcase our
community to its various populations, is essential to create a sense of
belonging and well-being amongst the Portuguese in Ontario.
1669 It is particularly important to the development of a sense of community
within the scattered regions that I've mentioned.
1670 CFMT-TV's news and current affairs programs very effectively showcase
the community to itself, by producing leading-edge programs which appeal to all
ages, and by informing the community of events and occurrences which are of
relevance to the Portuguese-Canadians of Southern Ontario.
1671 One example of this is the increasing success of the annual June 10th
Portugal Day Parade and Celebrations, an event which celebrates Portuguese
culture in a very public fashion, and one which could not have been possible
without the wide-scale support and coverage by CFMT-TV.
1672 Another important issue which arose from our national study is the
problem of the community's isolation from the affairs of Canadian society and
the need to promote a greater integration of all Portuguese-Canadians into
mainstream Canadian life.
1673 In this regard, the provision of local Portuguese-language news and
current affairs by CFMT-TV has been the primary instrument which has broken down
the isolation of many in our community and which has helped them to participate
more fully in the affairs of this country.
1674 Over the years, we have a concomitant increase in the knowledge of many
community members regarding the various political, economic and social events of
Canadian society and their increased participation in political and cultural
1675 This has been largely due to the existence of Portuguese-language news
and cultural affairs services on CFMT-TV. This station's Portuguese-language
current affairs program, Hora H, marries visually-appealing footage to
comprehensive narrative on important current issues, and follows up with
interviews with experts drawn from the community, who help to discuss the
influence of these events on the lives of most Luso-Canadians.
1676 Now, this program, more than any other, has helped to educate the
members of our community to the various issues which have arisen in mainstream
Canadian society over the years, and has helped to instill the idea that
Portuguese-Canadians need to be involved in the discussion surrounding these
1677 The result of this has been an increased knowledge amongst community
members concerning current political issues and a subsequent increase in the
numbers of people who are voting and becoming Canadian citizens.
1678 Another example is the entertainment program, Lamire, which features
modern music and culture and which appeals to a young audience.
1679 This program makes use of footage of current recording artists,
different location shots, and an eclectic mix of Portuguese, North American and
foreign artists, in order to help redefine and modernize the views of many young
people regarding Portuguese culture.
1680 It also showcases current urban culture to more traditional viewers and,
in this respect, helps older Portuguese-Canadians to better appreciate and
integrate into modern society.
1681 Another important issue which was highlighted in our national study was
the need to promote the furthering of education amongst the Portuguese-Canadian
community, and particularly amongst those of the second generation of
Luso-Canadians, who are reported to be underachieving in disproportionate
numbers. In this respect, CFMT-TV has assisted organizations such as the
Congress, to raise awareness in its news programming of the need for young
people to stay in school.
1682 Some of their innovations, such as sending out "roving reporters" to ask
ordinary community members their opinions on timely topics - such as the
education issue - and given a sense of voice to a previously voiceless segment
of our community and have given a greater credibility to pressing issues, which
had previously been the domain of professionals in our community.
1683 CFMT-TV has also become a leader in promoting the education of the
community's children, by virtue of another initiative, CFMT-TV is preparing a
pilot for an innovative new children's show for the Portuguese community, one
which is designed to assist the Portuguese community and parents to prepare
their preschool and early school-aged children for the primary grades.
1684 A show such as this has long been the dream of those individuals in our
community who are involved in education.
1685 This show will help to raise an appreciation of the Portuguese language
among young Luso-Canadian, Brazilian and Portuguese-speaking, Afro-Canadian
children. It will assist Luso-Canadian parents to become more involved in their
children's educational development. It will also contribute to a social
marketing campaign that was recently initiated by a coalition of community
associations, which include the Congress, has got together to promote early
childhood education amongst Portuguese parents.
1686 Lastly, as the first children's show to be produced by CFMT, it will
become a model for similar programming to the other linguistic communities.
1687 Yet, none of this would be possible if the shows that were produced did
not also appeal to viewers. The quality and professionalism of local
Portuguese-language programming on CFMT-TV is comparable to - and in some cases
superior - to other local English-language television broadcasts.
1688 Thankfully, long over are the days when ethnic language programming was
considered technically to be second rate, and I think that's largely due to the
efforts of CFMT-TV.
1689 In conclusion, the Portuguese-Canadian National Congress wholeheartedly
endorses the renewal of the broadcast licence of CFMT-TV and welcomes the
addition of the new Portuguese-language children's show to their line-up.
1690 Thank you.
1691 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Nunes.
1692 Commissioner Cardoza.
1693 MR. CARDOZA: Thank you, Madam Chair. Thank you, Mr. Nunes.
1694 You've mentioned a couple of shows in detail which is very helpful, Hora
H and Lamire.
1695 What is your experience with Portuguese novellas, is that a lot of
coverage of news and so forth? Did you talk to them.
1696 MR. NUNES: Well, Portuguese -- the Brazilian novella on Portuguese
television, is that right?
1697 MR. CARDOZA: There's a program from 4:00 to 5:00.
1698 MR. NUNES: That would be the Brazilian novella.
1699 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
1700 MR. NUNES: It's extremely popular in the Portuguese communities and it's
something that's first of all very useful because it sets - it gathers the
audience to watch the newscasts program, first of all.
1701 Secondly, the novellas are -- what are the most popular shows in
Portugal today, the Brazilian novellas are.
1702 So it links communities here to communities in Portugal in the sense
that people here know what they are talking of, watching in Portugal, and I
think it gives us a sense of continuity, sense of communities to people and I
think it's great.
1703 I mean Brazilian novellas are considered the best in the world and I
think it's a wonderful example of entertainment for people in their own language
which they otherwise wouldn't have.
1704 MR. CARDOZA: So is this more of a soap opera type --
1705 MR. NUNES: Exactly, but it's more than what we would consider to be soap
opera in the North American sense.
1706 For example, in the North American sense they might not have location
shots everything is done in the studio. The Brazilian novellas are done on
location, different locations.
1707 They explore different themes than Canadian, than North American
1708 For example, there's a novella coming up that is -- that focuses on
Italian - I'm phrasing - to Brazil and problems that a lot of Italians
encountered on immigrating and I've heard that it's just wonderful. I've heard
it from people in Brazil and Portugal and I think it's soon going to be coming
1709 And I think something like that is always useful for the community here
to see what other immigrants experienced in other lands, in other countries.
1710 MR. CARDOZA: Sorry. Just to be clear, we are talking about an
entertainment dramatic series like a soap opera but more newscasts kind of
affair, or is it a combination?
1711 MR. NUNES: There are different things. There is novella, there is news
which is called Telrevision, this is what is currently a phrase show, there is
Lamire which is I guess I would call modern culture.
1712 MR. CARDOZA: So where's the most news about, either the portion that's
Canadian community or Canadian news, which program would that come from?
1713 MR. NUNES: It would be the news which is Telejournal and it would be
Hora H which is the current affairs show.
1714 So they might, for example, feature let's say education today, which I
mentioned the Minister of Education has come down with new directives, they
would deal with it on the news and then on the weekend on Hora H they would do a
piece with original footage with interviews with experts from the community who
are involved in education, man on the street interviews, getting the community's
opinion and I think I'm particularly impressed by the man on the street
interviews. I think that's really brought a segment of our community into the
debate that is often not dealt -- not brought into the debate when you're
dealing, for example, just with interviews with experts in a study.
1715 So it brings home the immediacy of certain issues to a person on the
1716 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
1717 Now, with the children's program you mentioned, do you know where that's
going to fit in?
1718 Is that going to be part of one of the current programs or is that going
to be another --
1719 MR. NUNES: I don't know. I don't know the details of that yet.
1720 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
1721 MR. NUNES: This is Something that I know is in the planning stage and,
like I said, people have been involved in the education issue in the community
such as myself. I think that something like this has been sorrily needed for
many years in your community.
1722 MR. CARDOZA: So would I take it, I shouldn't take it -- where would I
place you in the context of those who feel there is enough programming in this
case in Portuguese language; is there enough, would you like to see more?
1723 MR. NUNES: Well, I think that the way it is now I think there's a good
1724 I think to be fair to the other communities we have to allow other
communities also the air time and I'm cognizant of the issues of Canadian
content versus American content.
1725 I think we all have a stake and this station remains very viable and
strong, so I think the way it is now is a good balance, although I mean if we
were -- as people say, if you win the lottery, you know, you'd like -- there's
something that you would wish for, of course you'd wish for more television,
more Portuguese-language television, but I think the way it is now is a good
1726 MR. CARDOZA: Thank you very much for being here. Thank you very much.
1727 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Nunes.
1728 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
1729 The next presentation will be done by the Association of Chinese
1730 THE CHAIRPERSON: No. 39.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
1731 MR. LAI: Good afternoon, Madam Chair, Commissioner Wylie, Commissioner
1732 My name is Wilbert Lai. I'm the President of the Association of Chinese
Canadian Entrepreneurs. On behalf of our association I would like to endorse the
licence renewal of CFMT-TV.
1733 Our association is a non-profit organization incorporated in 1994 and
currently has about 200 members. Our mission is to assist Chinese Canadian
entrepreneurs in starting up their business and to promote entrepreneurs through
business seminars, exhibitions and other activities.
1734 Together with our other community partners, we hold two major annual
events for the Chinese Canadian entrepreneurs and the Chinese community as a
whole, which has a population of about 400,000 people in the GTA Area.
1735 Other than us, the annual Chinese Canadian Entrepreneur Awards is
jointly held by the Centennial College, Ministry of Economic Development and
Trade, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ming Pao Daily News. This is a major event for
1736 CFMT is the TV sponsor for this event. Its coverage and in-depth
interviews for the event have successfully assisted us in attracting nominations
which have led to a meaningful competition.
1737 The process has enshrined our belief that Canada is a land of equal
opportunities for people of all backgrounds. As long as we try, work hard and
with the right information, each one of us will have a chance to succeed.
1738 CFMT, with its fine Chinese programs like Chinese Business Hour and
Mandarin Wide Angle have helped us, not only to communicate that message, but
also to broadcast useful business information and know-how in their regular
1739 They are the prime example of being an excellent provider of relevant
information with a user-friendly approach due to their use of Cantonese and
Mandarin programs. In fact, I can see the usefulness of similar Chinese
programming in other major cities like Vancouver.
1740 Also, the Chinese Canadian Entrepreneur Business Conference we hold
every year, together with the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto, and 13
other Chinese associations and community agencies, is aimed at all Chinese
Canadians from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
1741 Other than the hundreds of participants attending this business seminar
and trade show annually, the coverage by CFMT has facilitated the awareness of
the resources available from the governments, educational institutions,
community agencies and the business community to assist entrepreneurs for their
business start-up and growth.
1742 CFMT has set a high standard for the role of a community media to assist
the people who need the information the most. They have contributed meaningfully
and the act speaks for itself.
1743 In conclusion, from the standpoint of the Association and an average
Chinese Canadian who wants to know more about business or to reach the resources
available to assist them to grow, CFMT's very fine quality programs have played
a major role.
We totally support and endorse their licence renewal.
1744 The Chinese business community will not be the same without them.
1745 Thank you.
1746 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Lai.
1747 Mr. Cardoza?
1748 MR. CARDOZA: Thank you, Madam Chair.
1749 Thank you, Mr. Lai.
1750 Just a couple of questions on how you see the community developing with
a special eye to programming on CFMT and programming on Fairchild.
1751 Do you find that there is competition in programming between CFMT and
1752 Is there enough -- are there enough vowers to go around?
1753 MR. LAI: I find both of them useful.
1754 I think it goes back to why do you want to be entrepreneurs and why the
information is so important.
1755 Entrepreneurs create jobs, entrepreneurs not only from China, from
Portugal and everywhere, they drive economic activities and when a new
entrepreneur comes to Canada they have dedication, they have some capital
know-how, the thing they like the most is information.
1756 So maybe Fairchild, maybe any other agency, maybe CFMT all of them play
an important role in complementing each other.
1757 And the more available information will be, the better off for all
Canadians. And I personally think economic activity can drive all the
communication and integration of all cultures.
1758 MR. CARDOZA: And how about for advertising dollars; is it fair to assume
that Chinese Canadian entrepreneurs are advertising both on CFMT I suppose
during Chinese-language programs and on Fairchild?
1759 MR. LAI: I think so from what I see.
1760 MR. CARDOZA: Okay. Are they competing for dollars?
1761 MR. LAI: I haven't done a survey of that, but I would imagine that
that's possible, yes.
1762 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
1763 MR. LAI: I imagine that, but see people want to reach the similar
targets and when they see advertisers appearing there, yes.
1764 MR. CARDOZA: And before the two services, from the point of view of the
viewer, as Commissioner Wilson has pointed out a little while ago, CFMT is
available to everybody, it's on basic cable and it's also available without
cable; whereas Fairchild is a stand-alone that you buy after you have cable.
1765 Is there a difference in cost?
1766 Do you sense that in the Chinese Canadian communities in the Greater
Toronto Region, most Chinese Canadians can't afford to subscribe to Fairchild,
or does CFMT play a prime role in providing Chinese-language programming to
people first and foremost and those who are wealthier can subscribe to Fairchild
1767 Is that a fair assumption to make?
1768 MR. LAI: I don't think the subscription plays a big role in terms of
selecting the channel there.
1769 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
1770 MR. LAI: Of course CFMT is available on basic channel and very wide area
and for us, the Association of Entrepreneurs we want to reach as wide as
possible, like for example from our competition denomination process we can
reach as far as Niagara Falls and arenas coming out from there.
1771 So in terms of reaching a wider scope there CFMT plays a good role and
Fairchild, I don't know how far they reach there into Southwest Ontario. Of
course, we have a certain concentration in GTA area.
1772 MR. CARDOZA: Thank you. Those are my questions.
1773 Thank you very much, Mr. Lai.
1774 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Lai.
1775 Madam Secretary?
1776 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
1777 The next intervenor is the Canadian Ethnic Journalists' and Writers'
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
1778 MR. VICCARI: Madam Commissioners, Mr. Commissioner, thank you for
letting me appear today.
1779 My name is Ben Viccari and I'm speaking on behalf of the members of the
Canadian Ethnic Journalists' and Writers' Club and I respectfully request on
their behalf that you grant the application to renew CFMT's television licence
1780 I personally am a writer and editor of Canadian Scene, a non-profit
multilingual news and information service for ethnic medica which began
publishing in 1951, but I appear before you today as President of the Canadian
Ethnic Journalists' and Writers' Club.
1781 We are an organization of some 200 editors, publishers, broadcasters,
reporters and freelance writers from print.
1782 We were found 22 years ago because there was no existing inclusive
organization for people in those professions processing.
1783 The single other association was for the publishers of print media
1784 We hold monthly meetings to expose our members to the views of
politicians, community leaders and other makers of public policy and to enable
members to exchange ideas and opinions. On frequent occasions, some winners have
come from mainstream media, writing or broadcasting on subjects affecting
ethnicity or racial harmony.
1785 Ethnoculturally, ours membership represents origins from every continent
with the exception of Antarctica and shares a common dedication to helping their
communities better adapt to life in Canada.
1786 We don't have to look very hard to find highly valid argument for the
continuation of such a valuable service as CFMT-TV offers. Supporters of this
application came from our members from print, radio and other television
enterprises because they realize we are all travelling down the same road -- a
road with signposts that tell us the way to understanding and appreciation of an
immigrant's new home is through third language communication.
1787 I think we are all agreed that continuing immigration is necessary to
the future of Canada. And that the sooner an immigrant becomes an informed
person, the sooner he or she becomes an informed citizen.
1788 A glance at the ethno-cultural makeup of the province CFMT serves and
the percentage of recent immigration from countries where neither English nor
French is widely spoken is sufficient I think to convince you that any service
that offers such multilingual communication is valuable to the future of Canada.
1789 Myself as an ardent believer in the policy of multiculturalism as
expressed and vigorously supported by successive governments since 1971, I am
well aware of how, over the past decade, the vast improvement of CFMT's quality
of programming and extension of reach, has contributed toward an appreciation of
what this country means to those who come here from other parts of the world.
1790 As multiculturalism today has evolved from earlier and simpler beliefs
into an expression of diversity and citizenship making Canada unique among
nations, so, too has CFMT evolved.
1791 I feel well qualified to remark on the present quality of CFMT's
programming since I was first acquainted with the station back in 1976 when as a
partner in a public relations firm, I assisted the then management to introduce
its intention to establish a multilingual station, to make a formal presentation
to CRTC and to stage the gala opening.
1792 I'm sure you will have realized by my foregoing remarks that like our
members, I am highly supportive of Canadian multiculturalism and it is
gratifying to me to see how a fine and imaginative ideas has over 21 years grown
into a thoroughly professional expression of broadcasting at its best and good
1793 This is obvious not only from the quality of its multilingual
programming, but from multicultural programming in an official language like the
anti-racism documentary, The Courage To Stand. The outreach programs to schools
that CFMT has undertaking with this documentary are highly commendable and
provide a valuable learning tool to help counter the vicious propaganda of
1794 There are the English-language documentaries reflecting particular
cultures such as Diwali and Sikhism. And just two years ago, Hong Kong in
Transition presented live in Mandarin, Cantonese and English documented a moment
in history that was another landmark in Canadian broadcasting.
1795 Returning to multilingual programming, CFMT produced in partnership with
the Multiculturalism secretariat of the Department of Canadian Heritage a series
of public service announcements to the effect that "Family Violence Hurts us
1796 Add to this the recent pioneering announcement that CFMT has begun a
partnership with the National Archive of Canada and you will, I believe, see
that CFMT's participation in the total community with quality programming goes
well beyond the "call of commercial duty".
1797 There is every reason to congratulate CFMT on being named Television
Broadcaster of the Year by the Ontario Association of Broadcasters. This was no
mere anointing of a TV system for "doing a good job" but a genuine accolade for
setting new standards that - to my mind - well qualify Rogers Broadcasting to be
granted not only a renewal of its licence but for receiving a licence to
broadcast in British Columbia.
1798 And as ethnic journalists, my colleagues and I would applaud the
increased opportunities for employment a Vancouver-based, multilingual Rogers
operation would afford us.
1799 In the current issue of the University of Ottawa Gazette, there's an
article by Tom Lougheed which reminds us that Sir Wilfrid Laurier never said:
"The 20th Century belongs to Canada",
but that what he says in a 1904 speech to the Canadian Club was:
"the 19th Century was the century of the United States. I think that we can
claim that it is Canada that shall fill the 21st century."
1800 Lougheed goes on to quote historian Chad Gaffield's views on this
statement. Canada's prospects weren't bright in 1904, but hope lay in the vast
amount of free land available. The road to be travelled was uphill but it
offered to hard working people from peasant countries the opportunity for a
better future -- an opportunity they seized gratefully.
1801 Today, says Gaffield:
"If we look at the year 2000 from the perspective of the year 1900, it
is....astonishing that Canada finds itself at the top of all sorts of scales,
referring to the rankings such as the United Nations quality of life indices."
1802 And he goes on to say:
"The importance of the ethnic, cultural and social diversity of Canada that
has been enshrined in this country's identity now overshadows the value of
natural resources such as the free land available at the beginning of the 20th
1803 No one has been bold enough to assert that the 21st century belongs to
Canada, but Gaffield insists that this country can teach the world a lot about
how to live peacefully in the global village being shaped by technological
"Although natural resources are still important to us, we are attempting to
run with a culture that has turned out to be very helpful in terms of the
Gaffield concludes, and to my mind this is just another justification for our
national policy of multiculturalism.
1804 CFMT offers us the opportunity to understand one another a great deal
better and to welcome the way it gives to those who are (or will become)
citizens by their own choice an essential understanding of Canada and all it
1805 Respected commissioner, on behalf of the Canadian Ethnic Journalists'
and Writers' Club, I sincerely trust that after reflection on the value of the
huge contribution CFMT-TV has made to multilingual, multicultural broadcasting
you will grant renewal of the system's licence.
1806 Thank you.
1807 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, sir.
1808 Commissioner Wylie.
1809 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Mr. Viccari, any question I might ask would only take
away from your most complete and articulate submission, so I won't ask any.
1810 Thank you very much.
1811 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary.
1812 THE SECRETARY: The next presentation will be done by the Canadian
1813 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon. Mr. Hagopian, I presume?
1814 MR. SUEKULOVSKI: No, not at all.
1815 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Suekulovski, I know you, nice to see you again, but
you will introduce yourself to the Secretary.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
1816 MR. SUEKULOVSKI: Absolutely.
1817 Good afternoon, Madam Chair and Commissioners.
1818 I'm here representing our President, Art Hagopian, who's out of town;
likewise, he is on his way to Ottawa for a meeting tomorrow.
1819 My name is Lou Suekulovski, that's spelled S-u-e-k-u-l-o-v-s-k-i, and
I'm a member of the Executive Board of the Canadian Ethnocultural Council and
with me today is our Executive Director, Anna Chiappa.
1820 THE CHAIRPERSON: Welcome to you both.
1821 Thank you for the spelling.
1822 MR. SUEKULOVSKI: You're welcome.
1823 We would like to thank the CRTC
for giving us the opportunity to appear before you once
again, this time in support of the application by Rogers Broadcasting Limited
for renewal for the broadcasting licence of CFMT-TV for Toronto, London and
1824 Our organization, the Canadian Ethnocultural Council, as some of you
will already know, is a coalition of over 30 nationally-based ethnic
organizations across Canada, working together toward furthering the
understanding of the multicultural, multiracial reality of Canada.
1825 The CEC is a non-profit, non-partisan organization, and its members
represent a cross-section of ethnocultural groups across Canada.
1826 MS. CHIAPPA: (Technical difficulties / Difficultés techniques)
1827 The CEC's objectives are to ensure the preservation, enhancement and the
sharing of the cultural heritage of Canadians, the removal of barriers that
prevent some Canadians from participating fully and equally in society and the
elimination of racism and the preservation of a united Canada.
1828 Since its inception, the CEC has advocated for the recognition that
multiculturalism, as is bilingualism, is a fundamental characteristic of Canada.
1829 Over the years the CEC has presented its views on various proposed or
existing policies and legislation and regulations governing the Canadian
broadcasting system with the position that the broadcast system must be
reflective of Canada's racial and cultural diversity and that it be accessible
to various ethnocultural communities.
1830 As stated in our letter to the CRTC, CEC supports CFMT's application for
a licence renewal as we believe that it has become a pillar in the Canadian
broadcasting system symbolic of Canada's many ethnocultural communities and also
symbolic of how Canada's rich diversity is part of the recognition of Canadian
values, as Prime Minister Chrétien recently stated in Germany, where
multiculturalism and bilingualism are considered partners.
1831 As the Canadian society becomes increasingly diverse, all members of its
population must be provided with fundamental access to programming which is in
keeping with the intent of Canada's multicultural commitments as outlined in
Section 27 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, The Multiculturism Act and
Section 3.1 of the Broadcasting Act.
1832 CFMT arises out of this unique Canadian historical framework, where
multiculturalism is recognized as being fundamental to our identity and
is why we believe it is in the public interest to ensure that CFMT continues
to offer high quality, professional ethnic/multilingual programming.
1833 The CEC's member organizations have continuously supported programming
which reflect Canada's ethno-racial diversity as well as third language
programming which is easily accessible and of good quality.
1834 In many ways CFMT has proven that it can bring multiculturalism
programming in to the main stream and make it a successful reality resulting in
increased demand for programming and more services, including those communities
which feel they are currently being under-serviced. This is especially so for
communities in Ontario which are newly emerging and which represent a
significant number of the population (ie: Spanish, Arabis and Vietnamese).
1835 At the same time, there is equally a need to ensure that smaller
ethnocultural communities also have a degree of service.
1836 The CEC supports, in principle, the need to increase the number of
communities that CFMT serves as well as the languages for delivery of its
1837 We would also like to see more Canadian content. But we also recognize
that this requires resources, which are difficult to find in an increasingly
challenging and competitive broadcasting world.
1838 The CRTC's Ethnic Broadcasting Policy recognized this dilemma and
acknowledges the lack of support to ethnic television producers.
1839 Until such time as there is an established fund, as suggested by the
CRTC in the ethnic policy to support ethnic television production, this goal of
an increased service may be hard to reach, given the financial considerations
for producing quality programming.
1840 That, is in part, why the CEC supported the much anticipated LMTV
application for the Vancouver station because it would provide greater
opportunity to bridge some of the expenses associated with the expansion of
services to new communities currently not well served or not served at all.
1841 MR. SEKULOVSKI: We note that the with increasing cultural diversity and
change in technology, this will become more of an issue. The question of access
needs to get addressed, as does the question of increasing programming. The CFMT
has been a leader in multicultural programming. In this regard, it has provided
some interesting approaches to scheduling to ensure that production costs are
covered and we recognize that it is a major challenge to keep this balance. Part
of this also requires that communities are consulted and CFMT's Local Advisory
Boards are an important aspect of involving communities finding solutions.
1842 As echoed and reinforced in CRTC's Ethnic Broadcasting Policy, the CEC
continues to believe that quality rather than quantity in ethnic programming is
important; that Canadian content is paramount, especially with respect to news
and information, and this also applies to how foreign newsfeeds which must be
interpreted and analyzed in a Canadian context; and furthermore, there is a
place for homeland (foreign) programming (homeland programming is important for
entertainment with communities who do not have access to cable or can't afford
to subscribe to ethnic specialty or pay television). It is also an option to
1843 CFMT's identity is very much tied to the multicultural presence as
primarily reflected in Ontario. It has also developed a solid presence through
its community outreach, especially with respect to news coverage of community
events which are often neglected by the "mainstream media". And it has provided
an alternative source of valuable information on current affairs to a target
Canadian audience which would not normally have this information readily
1844 Its partnerships with Canadian institutions, such as the Department of
Canadian Heritage Family Violence Prevention Campaign, are equally demonstrative
of this continued recognition of its corporate responsibility to the community.
It has covered events and forums which the regular media has not. Most recently
it covered the CEC's forum on Multiculturalism and the Canadian Constitution
with Supreme Court Justice Iacobucci. Its recent donation to the Canadian
Archives is also a testament to the valuable contribution it has made to Canada.
1845 As a strong deliverer of ethnic programming, CFMT has made its mark in
the Canadian life and the broadcasting world. It has become an integral part of
the Canadian mosaic and it must be given a licence to continue to provide a
valuable service. That is why we believe it is in the public interest to ensure
that CFMT continues to offer quality, professional ethnic/multilingual
programming for which it has developed a uniquely Canadian presence.
1846 In conclusion, I'd like to emphasize personally speaking, not to have
CFMT on the airwaves will create a tremendous void in the lives of many, many
1847 And on behalf of the CEC, we thank you for the opportunity to share our
thoughts with you.
1848 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Sekulovski and Ms. Chiappa.
1849 And, Ms. Chiappa, I understand you're going to be more actively involved
with CFMT from here on in as a part of their advisory board.
1850 MS. CHIAPPA: I'm looking forward to it. If I can support the
understanding of multiculturalism, I'm willing to do that.
1851 THE CHAIRPERSON: You are certainly well qualified for that position.
1852 I want to turn you to the written intervention that you filed with the
Commission on the 2nd of June, dated the 2nd of June, and it that intervention
it seems to me in the remarks that you've made today that perhaps you have taken
a bit of a step back from that intervention.
1853 It's on page 2, you talk about how CFMT has shown that
ethnic-multilingual programming can be competitively sound and that CFMT has now
the opportunity for augmenting its ethnic programming and you suggest that the
ethnic programming be increased to 75%.
1854 Now, I assume that you're referring to the 60%/40% split and suggesting
that it be taken to 75%.
1855 MS. CHIAPPA: Certainly I think we're talking about an ideal world and I
think as an organization, and many people have voiced it here this morning and
even CFMT voice it this morning, we would love to have 75%, that's the goal that
we would like to support; however, I think we have to take into account the
situation in terms of being able to cover the expenses with respect to
1856 It is in a unique position. If we compare the situation in Montreal, for
example, the market is limited but yet each particular community has a right to
1857 And as an organization you can say, yes, that would be wonderful to have
75%, but perhaps there's a way of finding some kind of resources collectively to
be able to offer an increase in programs to various communities and increase
1858 I'm not prepared as an organization -- we're not prepared to tell CFMT
how to do it because we just don't have the answers either.
1859 We sat this morning through the presentation and we heard some of the
dilemmas. One of the possibilities would have been to take a look at the
situation in Vancouver to see how there might have been opportunity to share
some of those expenses and that may not happen.
1860 So I think there's a lot to look at in the future in terms of
competition but, at the same time, the community want quality program.
1861 I think 75% just for the sake of 75% is perhaps asking too much if it's
going to take away the quality of programming.
1862 THE CHAIRPERSON: I thought with what we heard from CFMT this morning is
true, then their foreign programming is very definitely cross-subsidizing
production of the Canadian ethnic program in particular.
1863 MS. CHIAPPA: Mm-hmm.
1864 THE CHAIRPERSON: And I mean, if one were to express -- to make a
decision on all this and look at the numbers a little more closely, I guess when
I read that it didn't -- it wasn't phrased as in an ideal world we'd love to
have this but we recognize that that's difficult, sort of model to support.
1865 And as we've seen from what's happened in Montreal with a hundred per
cent and as we've concluded in our Ethnic Broadcasting Policy the 60/40 split
was an appropriate split in terms of financing the kind of quality programming
that you're talking about.
1866 So I just -- I guess I was interested to hear the qualifications that
you offered in your remarks today.
1867 MS. CHIAPPA: Well, I'm not sure whether it's a qualification. As you
know, we're not directly involved in looking at the facts and figures. What we
know we can talk about.
1868 It's proven to be a successful station, it's proven to meet the needs of
many of the communities and, yes, we would like to have that increased, but we
are not in a position to say: Well, you know, is it going to be able to be
1869 This past few years people have been speaking about its professionalism,
its quality of work and we hope to continue, we hope that it will continue to
provide that kind of service.
1870 But not at the risk of, you know, 75% be wonderful but not at the risk
of loss of what it has already.
1871 THE CHAIRPERSON: You also talked about the importance of Canadian
content, and we heard from one of the earlier intervenors about not only the
popularity of usefulness of the international novellas that are shown in
Portuguese and Italian.
1872 Would you like to see more Canadian content at the expense of the
foreign ethnic programming, or do you think it's important to have both in the
1873 MS. CHIAPPA: Well, I think it's important to have both. Perhaps it's an
opportunity for novellas in third languages, perhaps we could...
1874 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm not sure what you mean by novellas in a third
They are in a third language; are they not?
1875 MS. CHIAPPA: No, produced in Canada.
1876 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, produced in Canada.
1877 MS. CHIAPPA: In terms of Canadian content.
1878 THE CHAIRPERSON: Canadian novellas.
1879 MS. CHIAPPA: I think that we need to a look at in terms of what's
available in terms of providing the kind of support to CFMT to provide Canadian
content which is of interest to the communities they serve.
1880 THE CHAIRPERSON: Those are all my questions.
1881 I just wanted to clarify that one point. But thank you very much for
being with us.
1882 I appreciate your comments.
1883 I think we'll take a 15-minute break.
1884 I just wanted to mention to the intervenors remaining, we were an hour
and a half behind schedule but we've had very succinct intervenors up to now, so
we're more or less back on track, I think we're one short.
1885 So we will be sitting past five o'clock depending on the succinctness of
the next intervenors, and that's not a hint, just a comment.
1886 But we will take a 15-minute break and we'll come back at 25 minutes to
--- Upon recessing at 1620 / Suspension à 1620
--- Upon resuming at 1638 / Reprise à 1638
1887 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary, would you call the next intervenor,
1888 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
1889 The next intervenor is the Canadian Order of American Hellenic Education
1890 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon. Please begin whenever you're ready.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
1891 MR. GRAMMATICOS: Good afternoon, Madam Chair, Commissioners.
1892 My name is Demetre Grammaticos and I am outgoing President of the AHEPA
organization, the chapter in Toronto.
1893 On behalf of our members of our organization, I am present here today to
request the renewal of CFMT-TV's broadcast licence in Ontario.
1894 AHEPA, American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, not
Philanthropic, in Canada is an organization with a membership of thousands in
chapters from coast to coast.
1895 Its goals are to promote Hellenic ideals of education, philanthropy -
and that's where philanthropy comes - civic responsibility, family and
1896 As a charitable organization, we have contributed thousands of dollars
for the creation of Hellenic Chairs at universities, most recently $30,000 to
York University, and award scholarships to students who excel in high school and
1897 Also as a charitable organization we have donated, and continue to
donate, thousands of dollars every year to Toronto Sick Children's Hospital,
Ontario Special Olympics, Children's Wish Foundation, and other charitable
1898 Since the introduction of multiculturalism policy in 1971 in Canada,
Canada has become the envy of the world as a model country to live in, a country
where citizens are treated equally regardless of their race, religion or colour.
1899 Furthermore, the environment here not only promotes diversity but also
provides the ethnic groups with the opportunity to preserve their culture. An
integral part and the cornerstone of the multiculturalism policy is the
retention of the mother tongue or the "comfort language" of its citizens,
especially within the ethnic communities.
1900 The Greek community believes that a television station like CFMT is
vital in promoting and safeguarding the rich cultural heritage of this great
cosmopolitan province and country.
1901 Thousands of Canadians of Greek descent depend on CFMT to stay informed
of Canadian news as well as news from Greece, delivered in the Greek language.
1902 CFMT's coverage of local issues and community events help keep our
younger generation informed while, at the same time, identifying their Greek
language and culture.
1903 My own family is an example. The only time my two children who watch TV
together is when the Greek program "Edo kai Tora" is on.
1904 As well this programs are a very effective way to promote Canada and
Canadian values and principles to newcomers and integrate them in their adoptive
1905 This is especially true when it comes to local news through which we can
find out about events in our local communities and analyze local issues.
1906 A perfect example of this is when CFMT arranged and televised, "What's
in a name", a debate on the Macedonian name dispute. It was a controversial
issue, and getting both parties together was unprecedented.
1907 Many have tried, including City Hall, but CFMT was able to pull it off.
1908 The show was extremely professional and at the same high quality like
the rest of the programs.
1909 CFMT's Greek programming has also played a key role in our fund raising
efforts over the years, both through announcing upcoming events through the
public special events announcements and reporting on them. This is just one of
the important functions that the programming services.
1910 CFMT also deserves praise for monitoring and hiring Greek-Canadian
journalists to work on their programs. They in turn serve as positive role
models for the youth as well as enhancement of the community's self image.
1911 All in all, I strongly believe in CFMT's licence renewal because:
1912 1. They have consistently demonstrated their strong commitment to the
welfare and interest of the multicultural community of Ontario;
1913 2. They set pace in establishing the highest standard in the quality of
1914 3. They provide unbiased reflection of the opinions and views of the
Greek community; and,
1915 4. They are indispensable communication vehicle to the ethnic
communities of Ontario through their extensive coverage of ethnic community
activities and social and cultural events.
1916 Finally, the Greek community hopes to continue to depend on CFMT-TV for
many years to come.
1917 Thank you.
1918 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Grammaticos, and thank you for pointing
out the error in our listing of your organization.
1919 Commissioner Cardoza.
1920 MR. CARDOZA: Thanks, Madam Chair. Thanks, Mr. Grammaticos.
1921 I just have one question.
1922 I'm somewhat familiar with the debate on the what's in the name issue. I
wonder if you can just give me a bit more information about the format of the
debate that was conducted and how it was shown.
1923 MR. GRAMMATICOS: Certainly.
1924 It took some years ago but the format was that there were two main
speakers which they introduced themselves and they spoke a little bit in their
own language and then in English they exchanged views and positions.
1925 MR. CARDOZA: Okay. And this was with an audience or was this in studio?
1926 MR. GRAMMATICOS: In studio.
1927 MR. CARDOZA: And your sense of it was that it was watched and useful to
the understanding of the controversy?
1928 MR. GRAMMATICOS: It was watched by many people and comments were pro and
con for many weeks and months afterwards.
1929 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
1930 Thank you, that's all I wanted to ask.
1931 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Grammaticos.
1932 MR. GRAMMATICOS: You're welcome.
1933 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Chair -- excuse me, Madam Secretary, I'm the
1934 It's late in the day, you can tell.
1935 THE SECRETARY: The next intervenor is Ceylon Broadcasting Inc.
1936 THE CHAIRPERSON: You may proceed whenever you're ready, sir.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
1937 MR. SUPPIRAMANIAM: Madam Commissioners, Mr. Commissioner, ladies and
gentlemen I'm Srinivasan Suppiramaniam, Executive Produce TV Ceylon.
1938 I feel privileged to make this presentation in support of renewing the
licence of CFMT-TV, its commitment to my community in particular and the role
played in promoting Canada's ideal of multiculturalism.
1939 No one can doubt that Canada's vision of multiculturalism offers a fresh
hope for humanity, and in this, we are all active participants being
broadcasters and the communicators of traditions that are unique to the various
communities that constitute the Canadian society. We have set ourselves goals
for a new generation to pursue and cherish.
1940 The cultural roots are the most nourishing factors of any society and
these are enshrined in the respective languages of our society, the religions,
customs, beliefs, traditions and philosophies that have ordained them through
the ages. If one should tunnel under a large tree and lop off its roots, it will
surely die. This is why language programming in the Canadian context is key to
its multicultural ideal and which makes the role of the CFMT-TV all the more
1941 The Tamils in Toronto, let alone Canada, are a visible minority faced
with just about every challenge that a new community faces as recent immigrants
to this country. Without reflecting on the politics of Sri Lanka, let me
emphasize the fact that a large majority of them came to Canada out of sheer
1942 They had hardly any preparation to live in a land with customs and
traditions so different from their own. Many were not even able to communicate
in either of the two official languages of the country they adopted as they new
home and the homeland of their children. Very soon it also became evident that
the parents and the children were living in two different worlds both compulsive
to them in many ways.
1943 In the world of the parents it was important to keep the roots in good
order which was eastern in character. In that of the children, survival demanded
adjustments and even compromises but it also had great promises to bring about a
greater understanding between the two worlds and for Canadians to seek out a
1944 This is the challenge that inspired us to embark on Kallapam Tamil
Cultural Television Network of the community channel 10 of Shaw and Rogers Cable
a decade ago and later the commercial enterprise TV Ceylong of the Ceylon
1945 When we began the Kallapam service, the Tamil community was a small one
and hardly anyone had any idea that it will grow into such numbers as today.
There was confidence that Sri Lanka's political problems would be solved and
most of the people who came to Canada would return. But this was not to be;
Canada has now become home to nearly 200,000 Tamils and the community has
virtually ingrained in the Canadian society.
1946 Just like any citizen, Tamils too expect their Canadian citizenship to
have the full weight of its meanings. Broadcasting of educational, information,
cultural and entertainment material are very much part of this expectation and
it would be wholesome only if these are conducted principally in the language
that is close to their hearts. It also gives a sense of pride and dignity to
1947 As for the younger generation many of them increasingly Canadian born,
this becomes a treasure chest of traditions and customs that will instill a
great ideal of inspiration in them. During the 10 years I have worked with my
community especially the young people, I have had the feeling that the young
people have greatly benefited from our efforts and
1948 It has also given them a sense of tremendous satisfaction that Canada is
a home they share with children from many different cultures and they are able
to share their own rich traditions with them as well. This would not have been
possible but for the support we, as well as others, have received from the CFMT.
1949 In a way these programs are bridge-builders across the cultures and this
reality is seen wherever our children are today; in schools, camps, sports
fields, training grounds and occasions of celebrations like Canada Day and other
1950 I have to, at this moment, make a pointed reference to the grant that
was availed to us by the CFMT for equipment purchase and being the key factor in
founding the TV Ceylon enterprise. Such a support also helped us to focus on
certain problems that the Tamil community has been confronted with, particularly
violence within families and the consequences of them. The Tamil community has
responded so positively to these efforts, we are even more challenged to meet
their needs; for a new community, there are many.
1951 Our ideal is a total commitment to Canada and to enable our people to
become good citizens of this country proud of their culture and traditions and
ready and willing to share them mutually with their Canadian brethren.
1952 Thank you.
1953 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Suppiramaniam.
1954 Commissioner Wylie.
1955 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Thank you.
1956 You mention in your written intervention two half-hours weekly and then
you go on to talk about a half hour on Saturdays.
1957 Is there another half-hour sometime in the week?
1958 MR. SUPPIRAMANIAM: On Shaw Cable.
1959 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Oh, I see. One half hour from CFMT.
1960 MR. SUPPIRAMANIAM: One is on Shaw Cable.
1961 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: And one on Shaw -- on the community channel.
1962 MR. SUPPIRAMANIAM: Shaw community channel.
1963 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: And the half hour on CFMT on Saturday, that is
produced by the group you are associated with?
1964 MR. SUPPIRAMANIAM: Yes.
1965 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: With equipment in part supplied by Rogers?
1966 MR. SUPPIRAMANIAM: Not that's my own equipment and earlier I was
produced by Rogers Cable on the community channel.
1967 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: And at that time you were provided equipment by
1968 MR. SUPPIRAMANIAM: Yes.
1969 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: And so you and the group who are involved are involved
still in producing the program?
1970 MR. SUPPIRAMANIAM: Yes.
1971 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: So you cut your teeth or started on the Rogers
1972 MR. SUPPIRAMANIAM: (Nodding)
1973 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: And then graduated to CFMT.
1974 MR. SUPPIRAMANIAM: Yes.
1975 It's a great pleasure to have. Most of the time ten o'clock, 10:30 our
people are sitting in front of the TV.
1976 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Waiting for it. So that's appointment television for
1977 MR. SUPPIRAMANIAM: Yes, yes.
1978 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: For the Tamil community.
1979 Well, we appreciate your coming to speak to us.
1980 MR. SUPPIRAMANIAM: Thank you.
1981 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: And taking the time to stay, even at this late hour.
1982 Thank you very much.
1983 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
1984 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
1985 I would like now to invite the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater
Toronto to present their intervention.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
1986 MR. SIU: I only have a couple of lines on this page so it's not a long
1987 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's what they all say.
1988 MR. SIU: Yeah, and I will be quick.
1989 THE CHAIRPERSON: You may begin whenever you're ready.
1990 MR. SIU: Madam Chair, Madam Vice-Chair and Mr. Cardoza, ladies and
gentlemen, my name is Steven Siu, I'm the executive director of the Chinese
Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto.
1991 I'm speaking at the CRTC hearing today on behalf of the Cultural Centre
to show our support for CFMT's licence renewal application.
1992 May I first start by telling you briefly what is CCC.
1993 The Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto, in short CCC, is the
leading cultural organization of the Chinese community.
1994 Our mission is to act as a bridge between the Chinese Canadian community
and other communities and to promote understanding of Chinese culture and other
cultures and traditions.
1995 Founded more than 10 years ago, we have right now 23,000 square foot
main building consisting of a resource centre, an art gallery, a number of
studios and classrooms and an office.
1996 We will start our $8.5-million Stage II development in two to three
years which will include a multi-purpose auditorium and a Chinese school.
1997 We came to be the technically most advanced cultural centre in North
America not without a reason.
1998 We were recently given over $120,000 by the provincial government to
develop an internet portal for over 40 organizations in the Chinese community.
So that means we are well supported by the government to develop the high-tech
1999 Furthermore, CCC works with many other Canadian organizations to present
special events to the community. They include the Royal Ontario Museum, The Art
Gallery of Ontario, other museums, The Caravan, The Toronto Arts Council,
Scarborough Arts Council, school boards and universities.
2000 Many of our activities are supported by corporations like IBM and IBM is
our technology partner, Air Canada and other major airlines, major Canadian
banks and financial institutions.
2001 I'm here to show the support to CFMT's licence renewal over the past few
2002 Personally, I have arrived in Canada about a dozen years ago and I've
witnessed the development of CFMT, in fact when I first arrived in the Toronto I
thought that the CFMT is not up to the standard, but right now I would say that
CFMT has set a high standard for its Chinese TV programming. It has built a
strong news and program team, interviews many new programs including a weekly
Chinese movie which has become so popular in the Chinese community.
2003 And for major events such as Hong Kong's Changeover, it also arranged
the broadcast so to help to keep the Chinese in Toronto very well informed.
2004 The Chinese programming is very important since Chinese is the most
spoken non-official language, there is more than 700,000 people speaking it
every day. This was the figure given by Statistics Canada I think about three to
four years ago. The number right now may even be greater.
2005 It is estimated there are more than 350,000 Chinese-Canadians in the
Greater Toronto Area and my friend Rupert of the Chinese Entrepreneurs
Association just mentioned 400,000. It's between that, 350 to 400,000 in the
Greater Toronto Area.
2006 And the Chinese community in Toronto has close links with Hong Kong and
other Chinese communities in Asia.
2007 In Hong Kong, the Hong Kong you know, about 100, 150,000 Canadians take
Hong Kong as their temporary home, you know they live there, work there and earn
their money and send their money back to Canada. I think that's most important.
2008 The Chinese community has increased a lot over the past 10 years. Even
though the figure from Hong Kong has dropped significantly since 1997 since the
hand-over to China, but we have lots of people coming from China and Taiwan
that's the recent trend.
2009 So China, Taiwan and Hong Kong together are still the main source of
2010 CFMT has helped the immigrants to immigrate into the Canadian community.
The station not only keeps us well informed of what is happening in Canada but
helps convey government messages, it helps promote community events and gets
immigrants to get involved in community activities.
2011 To cite an example, I think you all saw a news article about the
genetics findings in the Toronto Star by Dr. Chiu (phoen) a few days ago. It
impressed me so much that CFMT produced a program last weekend, a few days
immediately after the announcement.
2012 They interviewed Dr. Chiu (phoen) and also arranged a discussion forum,
and they invited several people to attend the discussion forum to express their
views on how the findings affect the future of the human beings.
2013 I think, you know, that's a very timely issue and they took the right
2014 CFMT's Chinese programs have become part of our daily life. Because it's
a subscription-free TV channel, no one wants to pay of course, the Chinese
community relies greatly on CFMT's Chinese Newsline for Canadian news and news
from Hong Kong, Taiwan and China.
2015 Its programs such as Chinese Business Hour and Mandarin Wide Angle Lens
provide the necessary business and cultural information to the community.
2016 You know, for the Chinese artists, we know they frequently got invited
to the program to have their first appearance or second appearance there before
they had appearance in the mainstream television stations.
2017 We think CFMT shares the same mission as the Chinese Cultural Centre of
Greater Toronto, that is, how to bridge the cultural gap and strive for racial
harmony in a culturally diversified community.
2018 So we support their application.
2019 Thank you.
2020 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Sui.
2021 You said in your written intervention that CFMT has served as a main
source of intervention for the Chinese community for many years and you say the
same things in your remarks.
2022 Are you familiar with Fairchild Television? You made comments about,
2023 MR. SUI: I'm sorry to say that I'm very familiar with the media --
Chinese media in Canada.
2024 THE CHAIRPERSON: You are sorry to say that?
2025 MR. SUI: Because before joining the Chinese Cultural Centre I worked for
the Hong Kong Trade Office which is something like Hong Kong's Consulate General
in Canada. I worked as an information officer there.
2026 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mm-hmm.
2027 MR. SUI: And my duties were to liaise with the media.
2028 So I know Fairchild Television, I know CFMT and the three Chinese mainly
newspapers in Toronto as well.
2029 THE CHAIRPERSON: That was an unpleasant experience.
2030 MR. SUI: In fact no, no, no, that's a good experience with the media in
Canada especially with the Chinese media.
2031 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is it your sense that -- one of the comments that was
made by CFMT this morning was that Fairchild Television, the two major
communities that CFMT has traditionally served are the Italian and Chinese
communities, I think the South Asian communities are beginning to grow in size
as well, but CFMT mentioned this morning that both Telelatino and Fairchild
television are beginning to have an impact on the kind of programming that they
can offer those communities, that the channels are taking away advertising
revenues and viewership.
2032 Is it your sense that CFMT is still the main source of information or do
you think people are turning more and more to specialty niche programmers like
Fairchild in order to get their information?
2033 MR. SUI: I think if you talk about coverage of course CFMT because it's
a subscription-free channel it has far more viewers.
2034 THE CHAIRPERSON: Except for the basic cable rate.
2035 MR. SUI: Yeah, than Fairchild TV. Personally I cancelled my Fairchild
subscription about two weeks ago because I had to pay about $40 a month. I
considered that was quite expensive.
2036 But the uniqueness -- we cannot disregard the uniqueness of the
Fairchild TV because it's, you know, full-time Chinese TV station and just also
the only national TV station in Canada which use Chinese as its broadcasting
2037 There has been very keen competition between the two stations, that's
for sure, both stations are fighting for advertising, the money, but I think
right now the two stations have strike a balance, you know, each of the stations
got their fair share of the market.
2038 So if you ask me whether there should be one more station, TV station in
Toronto definitely my answer would be no, but looking at the present situation,
I think the present situation is ideal.
2039 THE CHAIRPERSON: So it's your sense then that -- I mean, do you ever
foresee a day when CFMT could back away from its Chinese programming or its
Italian programming since there are other channels in the market, even though
they're not over the air?
2040 MR. SUI: My understanding --, I don't know whether the CFMT people might
correct me if I'm wrong, my understanding is that CFMT is making money on the
2041 In fact there has been a demand from the Chinese community asking
whether they should increase the air times for Chinese programs and the Chinese
programs are quite popular.
2042 THE CHAIRPERSON: So there's a good market there for them?
2043 MR. SUI: So there is a very good market.
2044 THE CHAIRPERSON: Even though Fairchild is in the market?
2045 MR. SUI: Yeah, even though. And that's the reason also why the Chinese
community can afford to have three daily newspapers because the money are coming
not only from the Chinese community but also from our supporters, the supporters
our organization like the major car companies, GM, Ford, major airlines, they
are all contributing to the Chinese advertising market trying to get more
2046 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, that's very interesting because, again this
morning we heard CFMT talking about the challenges they face in getting national
advertisers to target to third language communities so, but you're saying that
the Chinese community in the Toronto area for sure would be mature enough that
the national advertisers would go after them as a distinct market?
2047 MR. SUI: Yes.
2048 THE CHAIRPERSON: Just one final quick question.
2049 In your presentation today under what is CCC, you say it's a place to
promote the understanding of the Chinese --
2050 MR. SUI: That's the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto in short.
2051 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
2052 You say it's a place to promote the understanding of the Chinese culture
and other cultures and traditions.
2053 What are the other cultures and traditions?
2054 MR. SUI: The other cultures are all, you know, the multi-cultures in
Canada. So we work with various communities, we work with - people hate to use
the word sometime - we work with the mainstream. I usually try to distinguish
the Chinese and the Canadian.
2055 We work with all the communities. That's why, for example, we took part
in the Caravan a couple of years ago, even last year but this year because of
some financial problems we withdrew this year, but we've been a great supporter
with Caravan, that's a multi-cultural event, and we are going to take part in a
small cultural event which is called the Cultural Fest later this month in the
2056 So we try to get involved not only in the mainstream Canadian activities
but also work with other groups like, you know, Italian. We also got an
invitation from the Italian Festival to present a Chinese performances in their
2057 We do these kind of things all the time.
2058 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for being here and for your
2059 MR. SUI: Thank you.
2060 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
2061 Madam Secretary?
2062 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
2063 The next intervenor is Bill Yancoff.
2064 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Yancoff, you can begin whenever you're ready.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
2065 MR. YANCOFF: Thank you very much.
2066 Madames et Messieurs, Honorable Representatives of the CRTC my name is
Bill Yancoff and I produce the Macedonian Heritage program on CFMT-TV.
2067 I truly support the renewal of the licence of CFMT-TV. It's a great
honour for me to be able to address you today on behalf of a station that I'm
very proud of.
2068 CFMT-TV is indeed a leader in ethno-cultural programming in the world.
And, as I have elaborated to you in the past, sets an example for the world to
follow vis-a-vis multilingual broadcasting.
2069 CFMT-TV has brought multilingual programming to the forefront and is now
a significant part of the mainstream media in Ontario.
2070 Whereas the stereotypical view of ethno-cultural programming is
traditionally songs and dances and news from the homeland, CFMT-TV took the bold
and right step forward to making multilingual broadcasting a Canadian entity, no
different from the CBC, CTV or Global with the only difference being that the
presentation is in languages other than English or French.
2071 When the government unveils a new budget, CFMT-TV is there.
2072 When Honk Kong was returned to mainland China CFMT-TV provided extensive
live coverage. When the Toronto Blue Jays won the World Series, CFMT-TV was
2073 CFMT-TV is also a leader in investigative reporting. For example,
CFMT-TV reporter Happie Testa's award-winning report on vandalism in the
Woodbridge area exemplifies the fact that CFMT-TV and its fine news department
led by Renato Zane
uncovers stories that other networks have ignored or just not aware of.
2074 CFMT-TV's commitment to the Macedonian community is second to none. My
foray into the world of ethno-cultural television began in 1988 as producer of a
Macedonian show on CITY-TV and its CHIN international programming.
2075 However, CITY-TV brokered their time to me through CHIN and it was very
difficult to garner advertising revenue to cover the costs.
2076 On the other than, I went to CFMT-TV because its financial model was
extremely fair and enabled me to independently produce Macedonian heritage with
2077 CFMT-TV welcomed me with open arms and recently the Macedonian Heritage
program celebrated its 10th anniversary on the station.
2078 It definitely works to the Macedonian community's advantage to have a
program on CFMT-TV. The station has done a number of things to assist our show
from providing us with new, professionally produced openings, to receiving
grants for new equipment, CFMT-TV consistently does everything possible to make
sure the quality Macedonian program is presented on a regular basis.
2079 In addition, CFMT-TV regularly airs public service announcements on all
of its shows for cultural events in the Macedonian community and for those who
have special needs.
2080 One example of assistance that was truly appreciated by all in the
Macedonian community was the assistance to Suzanna Kozacevich. This youthful
Torontonian's life was changed for ever when she found out she had leukemia and
needed and bone marrow transplant.
2081 When I informed CFMT-TV's Vice-President and Executive Produce, Madeline
Ziniak of the need she immediately arranged for stories to be aired on many of
CFMT-TV's programs in a multitude of languages to help find Suzie a donor.
2082 Madeline Ziniak has assisted our show in a variety of ways and we thank
her for that.
2083 Unfortunately, a donor hasn't yet been found, but Suzie is still alive
and well due to a daily regiment of vitamins and care. Hopefully a donor will be
2084 The trauma of the ordeal precluded Suzie from being here today but she
is indeed very thankful for CFMT-TV's assistance over the years.
2085 CFMT-TV has bent over backwards to help Macedonian heritage. When a
regular ENG person cannot cover an event, CFMT-TV's news department allows us to
use footage of material that they have videotaped at an event.
2086 CFMT-TV regularly allows all of the independent producers to take part
in editorial board meetings with prominent Canadians. Two recent examples are
meetings with Dalton McGuinty and Joe Clark. The meetings were both enlightening
and provided our programs with added news coverage.
2087 I must also thank the Executive Vice-President of CFMT-TV, Mr. Leslie
Sole, for his great assistance and support over the years. I have a great deal
of respect for Mr. Sole and his great understanding of ethno-cultural
programming in Canada and his dedication and assistance for all of the programs
2088 In closing, I absolutely urge you to extend the licence of the world's
leader in multilingual programming, a station that exudes professionalism and
Canadian pride and which assists new Canadians in the sometimes difficult
process of adapting to life in a new country while fostering good Canadian
citizenship and harboring great relations among the many ethnic groups in this
great country of ours.
2089 While our neighbour to the south has an exclusive melting pot policy,
thanks to the CRTC and stations like CFMT-TV, which carries out its mandate
better than anyone else, we all live together in peace and harmony in Canada,
making it the envy of the world.
2090 Via blagodarime, Merci beaucoup.
2091 Thank you.
2092 I also have a couple of other points just to elaborate on some other
things that I've heard thus far since arriving.
2093 As we heard from our fellow co-producer show from the Armenian show
about asking for more time, absolutely we would definitely want more time but
what has to be understood is the challenge of producing a half-hour show for a
community like the Macedonian or the Armenian community.
2094 It's very difficult to produce a show as far as the costs, even though
Channel 47, CFMT-TV has helped us much, much more than for example when I as at
CITY-TV as far as a very, very good financial model to help our show.
2095 So I would absolutely say to you that while that may be of course all of
our wish to have more air time, when it comes to the situation that we are in we
ought to be very thankful. I mean, I'm very thankful, the Macedonian community
who watches the show all across the province, they watch us in Windsor
regularly, they watch us in Hamilton, Ottawa, all across the whole province and
they wait for that show to come on the air.
2096 If it wasn't for CFMT-TV, I don't think we'd have a Macedonian show on
the air right now and we just definitely wanted to tell you that for our
community the station has been being very, very helpful and basically we're
very, very proud to be affiliated with a professionally produced multilingual
2097 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Yancoff, you're clearly very passionate
about what you do.
2098 MR. YANCOFF: Thank you.
2099 THE CHAIRPERSON: And about CFMT.
2100 MR. YANCOFF: Thank you.
2101 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm going to turn you over to Commissioner Cardoza.
2102 MR. YANCOFF: Thank you.
2103 MR. CARDOZA: Well, indeed very passionate and very articulate on your
views on this.
2104 I recall your campaign with regards to Suzanna Kozacevich a couple of
years ago it is now and congratulate you on those efforts.
2105 Could you just give me a little bit of information about your show and
the kind of things, kind of information--
2106 MR. YANCOFF: Sure.
2107 MR. CARDOZA: --you provide during that half hour.
2108 MR. YANCOFF: What we focus on mostly is goings on in the Macedonian
community in the Canada, regular events that take place in the community, fund
raising efforts for people like Suzie, Suzanna Kozacevich on a regular basis.
2109 We also make a great effort to interview people that make a difference
in Canadian life, you know, for example we participated recently in the Mel
Lastman multilingual press conference and from that event we were able to get
useful footage, you know, to be used on our show.
2110 What we do is we focus more on the Canadian-Macedonian community with,
of course, we do give news from Macedonia, what's going on back home, but our
main focus is on the Macedonian community in Canada, and of course helping new
Macedonians who come Canada to not be ashamed of their Macedonian heritage or
roots, but at the same time to adapt to a new life and to also foster the
Canadian ideals, and we try to promote that on a regular basis.
2111 MR. CARDOZA: Okay. I'm trying to get a sense of for you the producer
2112 Is it fair to say you've got two, three, four segments within that half
2113 MR. YANCOFF: Yes.
2114 MR. CARDOZA: Where you've got different --
2115 MR. YANCOFF: We have one segment that's generally community news and
news from Macedonia, we have another segment which is mostly musical songs of
Canadian-Macedonians, occasionally we have songs from back home and we also have
-- we also have quizzes where we give away prizes to get people calling in and
feel like they're a part of the show.
2116 We also have segments where we ask people their opinion.
2117 We also do something as far as going to many of the events that are held
throughout Ontario in the Macedonian community and we cover them on a regular
basis to make the people who spend countless hours volunteering for various
events, to make them feel like they're a part of the show.
2118 And I think that's -- CFMT they offer us that opportunity.
2119 MR. CARDOZA: And your show, is it correct that you're on at 4:30 on
2120 MR. YANCOFF: We're on at 1:30 on Saturdays presently and then we have
also had the 4:30 on Saturday segment as well.
2121 MR. CARDOZA: But --
2122 MR. YANCOFF: But right now we're 1:30 to 2:00 on Saturdays.
2123 MR. CARDOZA: And what if you have 4:30, is it a rerun or just a regular
2124 MR. YANCOFF: Our regular time is 4:30 to 5:00 but during -- there's been
some other programming during the summer, so we have the Sunday from 1:30 to
2125 So what we do is we inform the community beforehand of the change,
whenever there is a change, which happens infrequently but people are watching.
2126 I mean, our show now is watched I mean by many, many -- not only the
Macedonian community. You've got to remember that there's also cross-cultural
2127 There's a lot of people who understand Macedonian who, for example, may
speak Serbian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Russian, Ukrainian and other languages, they
watch our show and it just amazes me sometimes that I get people calling us even
who are not of Macedonian descent and who watch the show.
2128 MR. CARDOZA: And when you have a change of time you're able to maintain
your audience and move them from one spot --
2129 MR. YANCOFF: Absolutely. Absolutely.
2130 MR. CARDOZA: So churches don't have to change mass time or whatever?
2131 That covers my questions. Thank you very much, Mr. Yancoff.
2132 MR. YANCOFF: Thank you.
2133 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Yancoff, I have a quick question for you.
2134 MR. YANCOFF: Sure.
2135 THE CHAIRPERSON: You were talking about Mr. Babikian from the Armenian
Community Centre and how it would be great to have more time but the costs of
producing that extra half hour.
2136 What costs are involved for you?
2137 MR. YANCOFF: Well for us it's about 45,000.
2138 THE CHAIRPERSON: 45,000...?
2139 MR. YANCOFF: A year to produce a show, you know, including all the
costs, and that's -- you know, that's just for the production costs and it's
2140 You know, people don't realize that --
2141 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you pay that or CFMT pays that?
2142 MR. YANCOFF: Yes, but CFMT-TV is very fair as far as the air time,
they're very, very fair as far as, you know, what they charge us.
2143 So we're able to produce on CFMT-TV because they've been very fair from
2144 When we were at CITY-TV we had to pay not only for the production costs
but even much, much more for the air time, and that's why we had to leave, we
just couldn't keep the show going.
2145 That's why we had to go to another station.
2146 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you're not paying for air time but you're paying the
2147 MR. YANCOFF: We're paying for -- a very, very good rate for air time.
It's very, very little, and the main thing that we pay for is the production
2148 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you are paying something for air time?
2149 MR. YANCOFF: Yes, but it's a very minimal fee. It's very minimal.
2150 THE CHAIRPERSON: How minimal would that be?
2151 MR. YANCOFF: Well, it's about, I'd say about, in a few hundred per month
I'd say, it's very minimal.
2152 THE CHAIRPERSON: And then they help you out in what way?
2153 MR. YANCOFF: In every aspect. They help us out for example, as I've
mentioned to you before, we're privy to many, as I said for example, guest
speaker, editorial board meetings.
2154 In addition, last year they gave us a grant where we were able to help
our show with equipment for the show and that helped us out a great deal as
2155 Not only that. I'd like to stress the availability of people from
CFMT-TV like Madeline as I mentioned, like Paritosh Mehta who I didn't mention
in my speech who's independent production coordinator.
2156 They're always available to give advice, if I have a question or a
problem I give them a call and there's been situations where I've needed help
with something or a suggesting about airing a piece or something, they're always
2157 I didn't have that when I was at CITY-TV, it was just basically, here's
the time here's the money, give us the money, the show goes on the air and that
was basically it, so...
2158 THE CHAIRPERSON: How do you raise that money?
2159 MR. YANCOFF: We do it mostly through commercials.
2160 THE CHAIRPERSON: So do you sell the commercials during your half hour?
2161 MR. YANCOFF: Yes, yes.
2162 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do they sell any commercials during your half hour?
2163 MR. YANCOFF: During my half hour, yes, they have one and a half minutes
and I have four and a half minutes.
2164 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
2165 MR. YANCOFF: But as I said, I'd just like to once again say that without
CFMT-TV I don't think there would be a Macedonian program that could be watched
all across the province.
2166 J'ai oublié beaucoup de mon français à l'école mais j'aime la langue
française, mais je ne peux pas parler comme ça.
2167 LA PRÉSIDENTE: C'est parfait.
2168 MR. YANCOFF: Okay.
2169 THE CHAIRPERSON: We understand English here too.
2170 MR. YANCOFF: Well, I like to say that we're not only English.
2171 Thank you.
2172 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much Mr. Yancoff.
2173 Madam Secretary?
2174 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
2175 The next intervention is the Multicultural History Society of Ontario.
2176 THE CHAIRPERSON: Welcome Ms. Petroff.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
2177 MS. PETROFF: Thank you, Madam Chair, thank you Commissioners, it's a
pleasure to be here.
2178 On behalf of my colleagues at the Multicultural History Society of
Ontario I'm very, very pleased to be able to make this oral presentation in
support of the application by CFMT-TV for licence renewal.
2179 Since its establishment by the Provincial Government in 1976, the MHSO
has become a leading centre for the study and documentation of multiculturalism,
migration and ethnicity. One of our present aims is to understand how best to
implement the good fortune of receiving so rich a share of human talent from
throughout the world.
2180 The Society values the opportunity to have worked closely over the years
with CFMT-TV and to share the role as an advocate of the economic and social
value of ethnic diversity to Ontario.
2181 The success of CFMT in giving every individual and group the dignity of
being taken seriously as a bearer of culture and history is one of its most
2182 We believe that CFMT-TV, as Canada's leading producer of heritage or
ancestral language programming has a good record in establishing and maintaining
links with a range of Ontario communities as they exercise the right to define
their own existence and to retain what they wish of one world while taking their
place in a new one.
2183 We, therefore, endorse the request for licence renewal by CFMT-TV so
that it can continue to explore and realize broadcasting's potential for
increasing cross-cultural cooperation, improving racial harmony and advancing
2184 And I wrote that with one program very sharp in my mind. I've
established a very great affection of a brilliant piece of programming, and that
is the cooking show that comes on at Sunday night at 8:30 and since I have a tin
ear for languages, if I mispronounce it I mean no harm, I think it's Gwai Lo
Cooking in which it intrigued me to have an Anglo-Canadian crown attorney to
come forward and to take on the task of making eggs benedict or pizzas, it says
something remarkable about this country.
2185 That we are nation that sees fit to hold up its tomato plants with
broken hockey sticks; you don't see it in New York, you don't see it Naples.
2186 Well, I think it's dare say that you don't see a district attorney in
the United States conducting a similar show. It says something for we as a
people, as a nation that a professional who, with probably a full working load,
would see fit to conduct this show with a great spirit of humour, to go forth
and master a language like Cantonese - and since I have a tin ear for languages,
I have nothing but the greatest respect for being able to tackle that - and to
go forward with kind of humour and understanding.
2187 And, may I say, that to watch it at Sunday night at 8:30 which is prime
time TV, and although I'm not a broadcaster, I know that that's prime time, I
look forward to it.
2188 So in a way, I think it bodes well
for Canadian content, and that is absolutely unique Canadian content,
something very distinct that you won't see on the CBC or the other mainstream
2189 But I think it, in a nutshell, says that we as a people and citizens of
a middle power we have to play taller than we are, and by God, we do and we do
it 24 hours a day, seven days week, and I think it's exemplified by clever,
clever broadcasting like that.
2190 So I'm very pleased to have appeared. This is my first time of hearing
before any commission, and I'm very pleased to do so and believe strongly in the
work of the broadcaster.
2191 Thank you.
2192 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms. Petroff.
2193 Commissioner Wylie.
2194 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Dr. Petroff, you say you have worked closely with
CFMT-TV over the years as coordinator of community outreach--
2195 MS. PETROFF: Yes.
2196 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: --Multicultural History Society of Ontario.
2197 Community outreach is a different organization from the Multicultural
2198 MS. PETROFF: Oh not at all, not at all.
2199 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: It's the same?
2200 MS. PETROFF: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.
2201 I am a historian by trade, I come from a discipline which, until a few
years ago, thought that there was no one worth interviewing below the ranks of
Jack Pickersgill, and as a historian, I have to interact with communities.
2202 For example, in our building we have over 9,000 hours worth of oral
testimony, one of the largest collections in the world, that means you have to
go out to the community, reach out, build trust and understanding, and to say
that indeed that your experiencing, your face, your -- must appears on museum
walls, must appear in Canadian textbooks.
2203 So very truly as a historian in community outreach the job is absolutely
2204 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: So this communities outreach is particularly involved
in multicultural history?
2205 MS. PETROFF: Multi-cultural --
2206 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Not outreach in the sense of social services or
2207 MS. PETROFF: Oh, not at all.
2208 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Okay. I was wondering if it was a subset of something
2209 MS. PETROFF: No. As a matter of fact I could say one recent project that
we have looked at and have prepared for Status of Women Canada is writing a
report, looking at experience of Tai women sex trade workers looking at their
experiences in the criminal justice system, immigration, so we are moving into
the world of policy.
2210 Indeed, for us, I mean that is kind of a natural evolution. We have to
build a historical base of material as libraries, archives, historians and other
scholars have saw fit to ignore for many, many years.
2211 Now that we have built that cache of materials and you begin to analyze,
and you begin to write and academic dialogue then goes forward, then I would say
I come from an institution that firmly believes that scholarship has to get a
2212 You can't just write things for the enlightenment of a few other
scholars that you would discuss things over brandy or tea or whatever and it's
done. We happen to believe if it's worth knowing, it's worth sharing and, more
important, it has to be put to work to make lives better for us as a people, as
citizens of Canadaen and really citizens of the world.
2213 So it's that natural evolution. We've grown incrementally and taken on
responsibilities as we have felt that we were able to handle them.
2214 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Now, that I understand better your role, how do you --
what is the bridge with CFMT?
2215 You say you have worked closely over the years with them. Well, do you
speak directly to their programmers or --
2216 MS. PETROFF: Yes, I have had a very long collegial working relationship
with Madeline Ziniak.
2217 For one thing, we are a publisher, we are an exhibitor, I've made sure,
and Madeline has been aware that I keep her and the network informed of the
latest writings and materials, both by scholars and produced by the communities.
2218 As we have produced our own events, for example, we had a very
successful launch of an exhibit called Growing Cultures, we provide the
intellectual content for the Royal Ontario Museum for a wonderful little
exhibit, exhibit hall that they call the heritage gallery of Canada's peoples.,
2219 As part of that exhibit launch, CFMT would come and cover it, bring a
host of reporters. Growing Cultures looked at immigrants and their gardens. And
so who best to have this broadcaster show the opening, help to broadcast the
2220 Shall we say help to diversify the audience of people that will click
through the turnstiles at the Royal Ontario Museum. They are part and parcel of
getting the word out and our responsibility is to them is to alert them with the
latest in information, you know, the scholarly world is coming forward and
activities in the communities that they generate.
2221 Because there's -- I would say ethnic communities of course are not
static and there's many levels within an ethnic community, intellectuals
academics, artists and so on that we have established a relationship with. So we
provide that kind of heads up. So we help each other trade off our various
expertise and it's been a very rewarding relationship.
2222 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Have you built those bridges with our other ethnic
2223 MS. PETROFF: We have tried to.
2224 I have tried to -- any broadcaster that asks me or -- well, actually
film makers, writers, producers, a whole host of people, if I think that they
are doing good work or I hope that they will start to do good work, I try and
sit down and help them out.
2225 I've tried to advise CITY-TV on, for example, their broadcast -- their
sort of rules and regulations, codes of conduct and stuff for their own
employees. They brought that before me, I reviewed it, I gave some advice.
2226 So as an institution, we're prepared to help anyone that comes in
through the doors with whatever question they may have.
2227 If we don't know the answer, we try and move mountains to find out who
does know the answer and to set them forward.
2228 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: I meant more ethnic broadcasters such as the
Fairchild, Telelatino, not conventional broadcasters who do--
2229 MS. PETROFF: Oh, okay.
2230 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: --ethnic broadcasting but who are ethnic
broadcasters like CFMT is, albeit a specialty channel.
2231 MS. PETROFF: Yes, CHIN Radio has, we have assisted them when they'd
phone up. For example, we are the publishers along with University of Toronto
Press of the encyclopedia of Canada's peoples, and so it's not surprising to
have, let's say CHIN Radio phone up and say: Well, what these stats, or what's
the latest word, or what are the numbers, or what does this policy mean or so on
and so forth.
2232 We're like sort of I guess a fount of information and so we have had --
we've tried to assist stations like CHIN Radio, anyone who asks.
2233 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Thank you, Dr. Petroff, for participating in our
2234 MS. PETROFF: Thank you.
2235 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
2236 Madam Secretary?
2237 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
2238 The next intervention will be by the
National Congress of Italian-Canadians.
2239 THE CHAIRPERSON: Ms. De-Anjelis.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
2240 MS. DE-ANJELIS: Thank you, Commissioners.
2241 First off, I'd like to apologize for not having written copies of my
notes. I'm here sitting in for Gregory Grande who is the President of the
National Congress of Italian-Canadians (Ontario Region) who is sitting in for
Josephine Palumbo who is one of the Vice-Presidents at the National level.
2242 My name is Debra De-Anjelis I'm speaking on behalf of the National
Congress of Italian-Canadians where I serve in the capacity of
2243 The National Congress of Italian-Canadians (Ontario Region) is appearing
here today to strongly support the renewal of CFMT's licence.
2244 The National Congress of Italian-Canadians is an umbrella organization
representing approximately 1.2 million Italian-Canadians living in Canada.
2245 The Ontario Region of the National Congress of Italian-Canadians is an
incorporated, non-profit organization which represents over 650,000 people of
Italian background residing in the Province of Ontario.
2246 It's primary functions are to deal with issues of interest to
Italian-Canadians which have a province-wide impact to oversee the creation of
new districts and to coordinate their activities so that they may be developed
in a more comprehensive and coherent manner.
2247 The National Congress of Italian-Canadians' overall objectives are to
represent, promote, act as an advocate for Italian-Canadians and to foster the
evolution of a better Canada through mutual understanding, good will and
cooperation between all Canadians.
2248 So with our objective so closely related to the goals and quality of
programming that CFMT has provided to the Italian-Canadian community,
it is no surprise that we are strongly supporting the renewal of CFMT's
2249 CFMT, like no other station, has shown its commitment to Canadian ethnic
content with outstanding shows like Studio Aperto, Solo Musica, the ever popular
tellenovellas, election coverage cover from a community perspective, and just to
mention a few.
2250 On a personal note, in my home no one goes near the TV from eight
o'clock to nine o'clock p.m. It's nona's and moma's time, my grandmother and
mother's time to watch Studio Aperto until 8:30 and from 8:30 to 9:00 the ever
popular tellenovellas like the one now on, Marilena, that keeps coffee
discussions among the ladies quite heated.
2251 And it's not only their generation that is watching CFMT. My brothers,
sisters and partner try never to miss the shows like Solo Musica, and Noi Auge,
our connection to our identity.
2252 CFMT programming offers to many Italian-Canadians the opportunity to
stay connected to
stay connected to what is happening in Toronto, Ontario and the world in
their native tongue.
2253 It helps them to keep up to date to the issues in the community, like
health care, education, and it gives them the opportunity to go back to their
homeland even if it's just for half an hour while they watch the different shows
2254 For my generation it's a chance to connect with our roots, to understand
better what it means to be an Italian-Canadian living in Canada.
2255 It is critical that the Italian language programming continues to make
our Canada a truly multicultural society.
2256 NCIC (Ontario Region) recognizes the contribution that CFMT-TV has made
to the community in the past 20 years. CFMT represents the multicultural mosaic
that constitutes the very fabric of the city.
2257 CFMT reaches many ethno-cultural communities and helps newcomers
understand and adjust to life in a new country.
2258 For all the above-mentioned reasons, NCIC (Ontario Region) endorses
CFMT's broadcast licence renewal application.
2260 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thanks Ms. De-Anjelis.
2261 I had prepared my questions assuming it would be Ms. Palumbo here from
Ottawa, so I'm just going to reorient things a little bit here.
2262 Are you located here in Toronto?
2263 MS. DE-ANJELIS: Yes, I am.
2264 THE CHAIRPERSON: Are you familiar with Telelatino?
2265 MS. DE-ANJELIS: Yes, I am.
2266 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah. It's fairly widely available I guess on cable.
2267 MS. DE-ANJELIS: It is, except I don't have cable.
2268 THE CHAIRPERSON: But you can get CFMT over the air?
2269 MS. DE-ANJELIS: that's right.
2270 THE CHAIRPERSON: Have you ever watched Telelatino?
2271 MS. DE-ANJELIS: I have.
2272 THE CHAIRPERSON: And how does their programming compare to the kinds of
programs that you're very attached to on CFMT.
2273 MS. DE-ANJELIS: From my point of view, they have a more -- it's more
based in the homeland which is Italy; whereas CFMT provides shows which have
Canadian content and are more relevant to my generation as an Italian-Canadian
living in Canada versus some of the shows that Telelatino shows, some of them
which have no real relevance to myself.
2274 But for a generation like my Dad they like to Telelatino, my dad and mom
2275 But CFMT is more accessible to them because they don't have cable
either, so it's a luxury to sort of watch it at somebody else's house when a
soccer game is happening or something like that.
2276 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you all go over and pull up a chair.
2277 MS. DE-ANJELIS: Yeah.
2278 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. I guess that's -- let me just ask you this: You
were talking about the tellenovellas. I know, I have a close friend who lives
just down the street from me, she would die before she would miss that, she
watches it every neither.
2279 But what do you think the reaction would be if we were looking for more
Canadian content from CFMT; what do you think the reaction in your community
would be if we took off - not we - but if CFMT took off some of their foreign
ethnic programming like the tellenovellas?
2280 MS. DE-ANJELIS: My mother would probably go out and rent them somewhere,
she'd probably pay to see them.
2281 There would probably be a great concern in that aspect. It's like free
right and it's something that connects not only my mother, I watch it sometimes
because it gets to the time where I'm in front of the TV, but my grandmother as
well, you know, which night not be able to have this sort of connection with her
2282 The one that's showing right now is quite interesting I think. But I
don't know, I'm sure there would be a huge outcry, I guess.
2283 THE CHAIRPERSON: Actually Commissioner Cardoza has just indicated that
he has one question for you.
2284 MS. DE-ANJELIS: Sure, I'll try.
2285 THE CHAIRPERSON: But those are my questions.
2286 Thank you.
2287 MS. DE-ANJELIS: You're welcome.
2288 MR. CARDOZA: I just have one question for you from a longer term
perspective and from your discussion here you straddle, or you're aware of
various generations within Italian-Canadian community, and I'm wondering in the
longer term what your sense is about the sense of future Italian language
2289 To what extent is there, in your case, third generation or perhaps the
next one to come familiar with the Italian language, to the extent that they
want Italian language programming.
2290 And does television play a role in that maintenance of the language, or
is it going to disappear over another generation?
2291 MS. DE-ANJELIS: Well, that's a humongous worry that will happen, that's
why I'm working on a volunteer basis with the National Congress of
Italian-Canadians because I do see that as a trend.
2292 If we don't work right now with the young generation, I speak Italian,
my sister speaks Italian because my grandmother insisted, but my brother and my
other brother they don't speak the language.
2293 Television does play a humongous role because when you're in the car
most of my generation is listening to music, they're not listening to radio
shows and couple of minutes that they do have access to the television then you
know that would be a great opportunity for them to actually hear their language
and connect some way to their roots.
2294 Right now the shows we watch is like Solo Musica, sometimes I watch
Studio Aperto, just to brush up on my Italian as well, but Solo Musica, once
again, it's not only Italian music and it's -- you know, it's Canadian music and
it's Latin American music as well.
2295 But there isn't any real -- so you would be watching it if you were
interested in music, which is great, it's awesome, but there's no real
2296 Like in the ideal world, I would love to see a show where young people
would be talking, young-Canadians would be talking about their issues with other
young-Canadians, but that's an ideal world.
2297 But I'm afraid if we don't go down this path we may lose altogether in a
sort of, maybe not this generation but the generation after me will totally lose
our language if we don't get more shows that, you know, outreach our roots like
the language or, you know, that sort of cultural stuff.
2298 MR. CARDOZA: And in terms of music, where do people get Italian music
because the Italian musical scene is the sort of pop rock, very dynamic in Italy
and in North America?
2299 MS. DE-ANJELIS: Well, we buy the CDs, we listen to FM station that CHIN
has, we listen to that as well. That's where people get their music and we watch
Solo Musica too.
2300 MR. CARDOZA: Okay, thanks very much.
2301 MS. DE-ANJELIS: You're welcome.
2302 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms. De-Anjelis.
2303 Madam Secretary?
2304 THE SECRETARY: The next interveners will be Sunny Ray and Tanya
2305 MS. BEDROSSIAN: It's almost good evening, Madam Chair, and Members of
the Commission, but we're --
2306 THE CHAIRPERSON: Welcome.
2307 MS. BEDROSSIAN: But we're going to be presenting together or I'll
probably go first and Sunny will go second.
2308 My name is Tanya Bedrossian and I'm a freelance producer, I've been
working in television for the last six years, and the reason I'm here today is
to support of course CFMT-TV's licence renewal.
2309 And the reason I guess the way I got involved with CFMT was back in 1991
I received the CFMT Rogers scholarship for my studies at Ryerson's radio and
television arts program, and that was a tremendous support to me financially and
also it gave me a great sense of accomplishment and confidence to finish the
program and to go on working in television.
2310 And also I wanted to mention, being of Armenian descent myself, first
generation, I definitely watch the Armenian program that was mentioned earlier
Hai Horizon and my parents watch and grandmother and it definitely hits many
different generations, different backgrounds and it's a huge resource to know
what's going on in the community and people are watching it, and talking about
it and taping it because it's nine in the morning on Sundays.
2311 And I think it's an important part of Canadian television that CFMT-TV
is providing, that doesn't exist anywhere else for the Armenian community being
so small. And it's nice to see them support it and I would like to see CFMT's
licence to be renewed.
2313 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
2315 MR. RAY: Madames, Messieurs and Honourable Members of the CRTC, Madam
2316 My name is Sunny Ray, I direct and produce television commercial spots
and I'm here to support CFMT's application to renew its broadcast licence.
2317 I'm the recipient -- one of the recipients of CFMT's multicultural
scholarship that provides students like ones at Ryerson who study radio and
television with an opportunity to focus on their studies, and because the
scholarship pays the entire tuition for the entire four years regardless of the
amount of the tuition, because over the past four years, as you know, the amount
of tuition has increased dramatically in fact.
2318 I graduated in 1999 and the tuition almost doubled the amount. So I was
very grateful to have the opportunity to have won the scholarship, I guess to
have my education paid off, and it was a great help because I just arrived in
Canada in 1991.
2319 And there was two main reasons why I'd like to support CFMT television
during these proceedings, because first of all, having arrived in 1991 and
having gotten my admission to university in 1995, four years later, I didn't
have Canadian experience, I had like a language barrier.
2320 The program itself, it's a four year program, it's very intensive, it's
very language oriented, literature oriented.
2321 So for me to totally focus on my studies, it was very important and
that's what gave me the opportunity to earn my degree in four years like
2322 The second thing was the fact I got major experience in television
production, and because of that I got a great start in my career and one of the
things that I wasn't quite aware of last year, for example, I directed and
produced two television spots one for Canadian Women Communications and the
other for diabetes, that's for its foundation and they were just a commercial
spot to feature some public personalities and diabetes and I got to go to New
York and do this and that.
2323 So that was -- oh, by the way, yes, this commercial for diabetes it
aired nationally for six months and I didn't quite realize what I had
accomplished at the time. My friends were saying, you know, your commercial's on
the air, you know, you should be excited, you know. And it's slowly sinking in.
2324 Because I guess I was thinking there I was, I guess, a kid from
university, just graduated from university and I had my commercial on the air.
2325 But it's all due to thanks from CFMT because the kind of experience I
got there, the contacts and there's much to be said about the company itself,
the culture within the company, about the people.
2326 I have seen people getting married. I think it's the whole environment
getting married, getting better promotions.
2327 So it's a great company to be associated with from different
2328 Now, as a member of the Russian community, I'd like to --
2329 THE CHAIRPERSON: I was just going to say, maybe I should get a job
2330 Anything is possible.
--- Laughter / Rires
2331 I'm sorry.
2332 MR. RAY: No, it's great. Because I just wanted to mention as a member of
Russian community, having CTV-TV used to carry -- right now CTV-TV carries mixed
TV and now it carries Russian Waves. There's two Russian programs, on CTV-TV
it's mixed TV; on CFMT it's Russian Waves.
2333 So the new program that they've produced, the Russian program, it' very,
I find if I can, if I might share my opinion, it's very I guess refreshing and
the news that they provide us with it's very current, it's not weeks or two
weeks late, I guess it's because of the satellite feed that CFMT has, but I
would like to share the delight of the Russian community with the kind of
program that CFMT provides.
2334 I know it's a fact. So that's really it, I'm really thankful to CFMT for
giving me the opportunity to study at the university and I guess giving me the
jump start in my career.
2335 MS. WYLIE: Are you married?
2336 MR. RAY: No, I'm looking.
2337 THE CHAIRPERSON: She is.
2338 Sounds like you made the most of your opportunity, Mr. Ray.
2339 It's nice to have you both here and listen to all that enthusiasm, and
I'm going to turn you over to Commissioner Cardoza.
2340 MR. CARDOZA: Thank you, Madam Chair.
2341 I thank you both for coming.
2342 Scholarship programs are very important and the one that CFMT has run is
an important one, so it's quite appropriate and impressive that you've taken the
time to come here to the hearing to talk about those scholarships and what you
have gained by it.
2343 Have you both graduated at this point?
2344 MS. BEDROSSIAN: Yeah, I graduated in 1994.
2345 MR. RAY: 1999.
2346 MR. CARDOZA: Okay.
2347 And have you gotten jobs in the area, in the field of broadcasting?
2348 MS. BEDROSSIAN: Yes, I've been working in broadcasting for six years in
television, and although I did get experience at Rogers Community Television in
multicultural broadcasting, I haven't actually worked in multicultural
broadcasting since I've been working in entertainment, movies and music, but I
would like to do my by part --
2349 MR. CARDOZA: Broadcasting is good. Can I ask where?
2350 MS. BEDROSSIAN: Oh, I've worked -- actually I worked in Hong Kong for a
year for Channel B which is part of Star TV News Corp as a producer for a music
video request show.
2351 I worked for two years at CTV on ENow as a producer, and right now I'm
working for the Life Network for a movie review show.
2352 MR. CARDOZA: My sense of a scholarship program of this nature, you seem
to be a bit apologetic that you're not in multicultural broadcasting and I don't
think that's necessary, I think one of the purposes of scholarships of this kind
is to have people from ethno-cultural communities get into broadcasting and if
it's accomplishing that then it's accomplishing a great deal.
2353 Mr. Ray, you have had working experience with CFMT as well?
2354 MR. RAY: That's right.
2355 MR. CARDOZA: Is that while you were at school?
2356 MR. RAY: Yes.
2357 MR. CARDOZA: So during the scholarship you don't have to work at CFMT,
that was a separate thing for you.
2358 MR. RAY: Well, no, I didn't have to work. I just decided to volunteer at
first partially to get some experience but also to thank the station for what
they had done for me and they sort of decided after the first summer, 1995,
after I worked there for about three or four months they decided: Well, okay,
this guy is too hard working, we've got to pay him, he can't volunteer anymore.
2359 So they just put me on the payroll and from there on in, I don't know --
it happens, true.
2360 So then they hired me on different projects. It's more freelance
employment per project basis.
2361 So ever since then I got the tremendous experience with senior producers
2362 MR. CARDOZA: Well, evidently this program produces opportunities for
networking, meeting the right people more than probably was anticipated at the
beginning of this scholarship program.
2363 Thank you for being here and sharing all that with us.
2364 MR. RAY: Thank you.
2365 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you both.
2366 Madam Secretary, we are moving right along.
2367 THE SECRETARY: Our last intervenor for today is Villa Charities, Inc.
2368 THE CHAIRPERSON: No. 15.
2369 Any time you are ready.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
2370 MR. DI IULIO: Thank you. I started my speech by wanting to say good
afternoon. I will say good evening, Madam Chair, Commissioners, ladies and
2371 I hope you haven't saved the least for the last.
2372 I hope to be brief and I'm sorry for keeping you here again as I did
last time, Mr. Cardoza.
2373 THE CHAIRPERSON: We enjoy this.
2374 That's why we're in the jobs.
2375 MR. CARDOZA: It's true.
2376 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: That's why we're not married.
2377 MR. DI IULIO: My name is Pal Di Iulio, I'm the Executive Director of
Villa Charities and some of you may know that who have not heard of Villa
Charities may have experienced some of our other activities such as Villa
Colombo, Home for the Aged,
Colombo Centre Community Centre Facility, Vita Community Living Services for
the Mentally Handicapped and Caza Del Zotto and Caboto Terrace apartment for
2378 All of this is part of this charitable non-profit organization that's
located at Lawrence and Dufferin which serves, and I won't bore you with numbers
and statistics, but many, many people on a large tract of land. It's been around
for many years.
2379 I'm here as well because I'm a past member of the Canadian
Multiculturalism Council but I have been for many years a member of the CFMT
Community Advisory Committee.
2380 I have both watched the CFMT parade for 20 years and I guess on many
occasions because of the public nature of the organization and I guess my
position I have been part of that parade on CFMT.
2381 I am before you to support Rogers Broadcasting CFMT-TV application for
2382 I want to inform you that CFMT has always been most cooperative and
generous in providing our organizations with a vehicle to communicate our
message to our community and to the greater Toronto
2383 I would venture to say that our organization which started in the early
70s and the growth of CFMT which started in the late 70s runs parallel.
2384 CFMT needs a good news story, Villa Charities needs a camera and a
microphone to spread the gospel. I would like to think that it has been mutually
beneficial and successful partnership.
2385 I call it piazza TV. We've got the piazza, we've got the people, they've
got the microphone, they've got the TV camera.
2386 Our history with CFMT is not a recent one it goes back many, many years
in fact in the years of Mr. Iannuzzi the original founder I guess along with
many others of CFMT was both padre, padrino and padrone of CFMT.
2387 Things have changed somewhat incorporated over the years, but have
changed and have both grown in quality.
2388 Changed because from my perspective, from my parents, from my community
there is less Italian programming - that's not a complaint, just a reflection of
what I see - however, that program is there of a higher quality and it's locally
produced, which is important for me and the kind of tribe that I guess that I
guess I somewhat represent, that is a local Italian-Canadian tribe as opposed to
that tribe of my cousins on the other side of the ocean.
2389 What I meant to say, within that is that although I'm somewhat
disappointed that there is less Italian language program, I fully understand the
changing ethnocultural dynamics of Toronto. As a result, these changes perhaps
at this point in time means that other groups need CFMT to do what it did for
the Italians over 20 years. It helped them feel comfortable in a mainstream
Canada, while at the same time not negating their heritage, their worth, their
participation and participatory everything.
2390 I realize of course that the
Italian community is as multi-general and as complex as the greater
community, yet CFMT has attempted and in many ways found time and occasion to
touch them all.,
2391 For example, specials on Padre Pio, Jean Chretien in Italy, and live
coverage of the Roman Catholic Jubilee in Rome were particularly touching for
seniors, for seniors particularly but in general for everyone.
2392 What was particularly different or special for and attractive to younger
a cross-general generation were Solo Musica and Jumpcut over the years.
2393 And what's important for people such as myself who want to be in the
know, who want to be on top of politics is of course the daily news coverage on
Studio Aperto and the in-depth election coverage from a community perspective
during the provincial and federal elections.
2394 I think it's important that CFMT is there somewhat in your face, at the
street corners, at the piazza, at the Colombo Centre, to me that's very, very
important of inclusion and participatory democracy for people who may have felt
as immigrants when they got off the boat, I think they feel extremely somehow
comfortable and proud that they too are reflected. Sometimes a tooth is missing,
the hairs are gone, but they're there on TV speaking their minds.
2395 I won't even mention about CFMT being somewhat a leader in the coverage
of soccer and live on-the-spot reporting. I think after this weekend it's
probably an overkill and I'll try to downplay that.
2396 I personally know that seniors and youth both enjoy CFMT, especially
when it chooses community focus groups from our campus to preview the
2397 What happens is I get a call from someone at CFMT and they want 20
seniors of this age, or 20 youngsters of this age and they want to put them
2398 Because, as I say, we're a marketplace, we're a piazza of people, we
somehow get these volunteers and they participate. And they preview and they
really feel proud to be the first ones to have seen three tellenovellas that
somehow, eventually next September are going to be making it on TV.
2399 That's a badge of honour to be included there.
2400 And I personally don't necessarily enjoy these, although somehow my
78-year-old father is now falling in love with some of the characters that are
2401 What I find both beautiful and confusing is how soap operas,
tellenovellas filmed in Portuguese in Brazil dubbed in Italian in Italy are
broadcast in Italian in Canada. What a wonderful country.
2402 I want to particularly highlight the many public services that CFMT
participates in. I think that this is what everyone here is talking about
participation, everyone is talking about understanding, everyone is talking
about and feeling part of each other.
2403 I think that's very, very, very important.
2404 I'm the father of three children. One of my children a 13-year-old,
plays on a soccer team with 18 members representing 10 different countries or 10
2405 And I get high when the little Portuguese kid says: I saw you on TV last
night, or when the South American one says the same thing.
2406 And if I appear on TV it's usually during the Italian language program.
There is some spill over, some communication and some appreciation.
2407 There are other groups with which we share this wonderful thing called
Toronto the meeting place.
2408 I believe that CFMT has done a good job from my community perspective
and Rogers Broadcasting deserves to have its CFMT licence renewed.
2409 Thank you very much for waiting for me and allowing me to make my
2411 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you for waiting for us, Mr. Di Iulio.
2412 I'm going to pass you over to the Vice-Chair of Broadcasting,
2413 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Mr. Di Iulio --
2414 MR. IULIO: You can call me Pal, Madam. Let's get on a first name basis.
2415 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Is that what happens at CFMT?
2416 MR. DI IULIO: This late in the night, yes.
2417 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: I think we want a job here, I'll have to speak to Mr.
2418 Tell us what the difference is between padre, padrino and padrone.
2419 MR. DI IULIO: Well, literally translated it means -- padre is father,
padrino is Godfather, padrone is owner and is really based on a film where many
years ago a young man had a father who was both his padre, padrino, padrone, the
father literally controlled everything that that young man did and young boy did
and somewhat when a new enterprise comes to be, the creator of that enterprise,
in this case Mr. Iannuzzi I guess, operated his particular TV station in that
particular mode, as many successful businessmen or sometimes not successful
2420 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Or women.
2421 MR. DI IULIO: Sorry, I didn't -- in this case it was a man.
2422 VICE-CHAIR WYLIE: Thank you, Mr. Di Iulio and thank you for waiting for
us, and we certainly appreciate your participation.
2423 THE CHAIRPERSON: That concludes our interventions for the day, actually
for this hearing and the next phase is reply by Rogers Broadcasting to all the
2424 I'm just wondering if you would like to proceed directly to rely or do
you need a few minutes to prepare, or what's your pleasure?
2425 MR. VINER: We would be happy to reply immediately.
2426 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
2427 MR. VINER: Madam Chair.
2428 MR. VINER: In the interest of your time.
2429 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Di Iulio.
2430 Don't know if you can read your own handwriting.
2431 MR. VINER: I'm quite sure I can't.
2432 THE CHAIRPERSON: You don't want to?
2433 MR. VINER: Happy to.
2434 Madam Chair, we'd like to take this time to both respond to the
interventions and to reply to Commissioner Cardoza's earlier questions, I think.
2436 MR. SOLE: So it's been a delightful afternoon.
2437 We'd like to thank all the intervenors, and especially the people that
took their valuable time to be part of this regulatory process today. We thank
them for their kind comments and their support and their open and honest
2438 Before we go to questions on the interventions, because we believe that
they were somewhat extensive and somewhat supportive, that to agree with people
that think we should be renewed I think is understood, so I would ask Tony to
take the time now to answer Commissioner Cardoza's earlier inquiries.
2439 MR. VINER: Commissioner Cardoza, we have tried to estimate the total
financial impact that the four scenarios which you have outlined would have on
2440 Unfortunately, straight arithmetic calculations, which we intend to give
you, fail to take into consideration the linked and interdependent way in which
all television programming is sold.
2441 When acquired programming, whether in third language or English, is
reduced or eliminated it has an exponential impact on the entire commercial
attractiveness of the station.
2442 We've tried to estimate this impact conservatively and I would urge the
Commission to seek independent verification if they feel that we have a vested
interest in overstating the various impacts of the described changes on CFMT.
2443 So to your questions:
2444 No. 1, what happens if we increase our ethnic programming from 50% to
60% 6:00 p.m to midnight.
2445 The reduction in our other programs of course would be in
U.S.programming and that would be reduced by 4.2 hours per week or 20% of the
U.S. prime time total.
2446 The arithmetic impact of such a move would be to be reduce our PBIT by
2447 However, we estimate that the real impacts of this reduction would be to
reduce our PBIT closer to 50% because the loss of this inventory would put CFMT
well below the critical mass of audience delivery enjoyed by our immediate
competitors, including WUTV the Fox affiliate in Buffalo.
2448 In fact, we believe that WUTV would be the chief beneficiary of this
2449 In terms of advertising buys, we already get the leftovers from Canadian
conventional stations. With a further reduction in our inventory, WUTV would
occupy that position.
2450 Question No. 2:
2451 What is the impact if we were to increase our ethnic component to 70%
from 60% overall.
2452 Our answer: This would represent a reduction of 12.6 hours in U.S.
2453 The amount of revenue loss would reduce our profitability arithmetically
2454 However, the real impact for the reasons described in my response to
question 1 would be to render the station completely unprofitable at our current
2455 Question 3:
2456 What would happen if we were to increase Canadian from 50% to 60%
2457 Well, we would be required to reduce our acquired programming, whether
U.S. or ethnic, and replace it with Canadian-produced ethnic.
2458 Arithmetically we estimate this reduction of acquired programming and
addition of produced programming would reduce our PBIT by approximately 25%.
2459 Question 4:
2460 What if we were to increase our Canadian content from 40% to 50% in
prime time, and I have assumed for the purpose of this response, Commissioner,
that the question is the context of an overall 60% requirement.
2461 In this scenario we would see, in addition to the losses cited in
response to question 3, the loss of our ability to package sales on acquired
ethnic prime time programming with our Canadian-produced ethnic, as well as the
loss of the audience lead-in necessary to maintain audience levels in our ethnic
2462 We estimate that such an increase in prime time Canadian would further
reduce our PBIT to about a half of its current forecast level.
2463 As I stated earlier, it's crucial that we maintain some flexibility to
schedule ethnic acquired programming in prime time.
2464 Final question:
2465 What would happen if we were to replace one hour of U.S. programming
with one hour of Canadian ethnic programming or one hour of ethnic acquired
programming and what would be the difference?
2466 The answer: On the Canadian-produced ethnic we would have, of course,
lose all of our margins and incur additional production costs.
2467 On ethnic acquired we would lose 75% of our margins.
2468 Commission Cardoza I would emphasize again that our projections for the
next seven are just that, they're projections. In the first five years of our
last licence period we missed every single projection yet maintained our
2469 The impact that I have described will only be true if we achieve these
levels without an economic turndown or increased competition which could mean
that that impact is a great deal more serious than described.
2470 Legal Counsel has asked me a question with regard to the introduction of
higher Canadian content levels over the term of our licence.
2471 As always on sober second thought, Mr. Sole has suggested that if we
were to make such a change, if you were to make a such a change, that we be
given until 2002 to disengage from our current commitments and then adjust our
CANCON by 2% a year over the remaining five years of the licence.
2472 Just a final word.
2473 CFMT has undoubtedly been a success and I have referred to it as the
jewel of the Canadian broadcasting system.
2474 It is a extraordinarily balance. It will be -- when we change that
balance, we'll have changes in unknown consequences.
2475 I understand the Commission's point of view, but I also believe that
there is a wonderfully successful, the most successful in my opinion, experiment
that the Commission has ever undertaken and it's successful, and I would urge
the Commission to think long and hard about the possible consequences of changes
in our delicate balance of conditions of licensing.
2476 I'd also like to thank you for the time that you've spent and we've
engaged in an interesting and you've been most courteous in your questioning and
we're most appreciative.
2477 We'd be happy to answer any further questions that you might have.
2478 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Viner.
2479 That concludes our proceedings for this hearing.
2480 Thank you very much for being with us.
--- Whereupon the hearing concluded at 1820 /
L'audience se termine à 1820