TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS
FOR THE CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND
TRANSCRIPTION DES AUDIENCES DU
CONSEIL DE LA RADIODIFFUSION
ET DES TÉLÉCOMMUNICATIONS CANADIENNES
SUBJECT / SUJET:
APPLICATIONS FOR LICENCES TO OPERATE NEW PAY AND SPECIALTY
SERVICES FOR DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION / DEMANDES DE LICENCES
VISANT LA DISTRIBUTION NUMÉRIQUE DE NOUVEAUX SERVICES DE
TÉLÉVISION SPÉCIALISÉE ET PAYANTE
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Conference Centre Centre de Conférences
Outaouais Room Salle Outaouais
Hull, Quebec Hull (Québec)
September 1, 2000 le 1er septembre 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
Applications for Licences to operate New Pay and Specialty
Services for Digital Distribution / Demandes de licences
visant la distribution numérique de nouveaux services de
télévision spécialisée et payante
BEFORE / DEVANT:
Françoise Bertrand Chairperson of the
Commission / Présidente
Andrée Wylie Chairperson / Présidente
Jean-Marc Demers Commissioner / Conseiller
Ronald Williams Commissioner / Conseiller
Martha Wilson Commissioner / Conseillère
ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:
Peter Cussons Hearing Manager and
Secretary / Gérant de
l'audience et secrétaire
Alastair Stewart Legal Counsel /
Peter McCallum Legal Counsel /
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Conference Centre Centre de Conférences
Outaouais Room Salle Outaouais
Hull, Quebec Hull (Québec)
September 1, 2000 le 1er septembre 2000
TABLE OF CONTENTS / TABLE DES MATIÈRES
THE CANADIAN COMEDY AWARDS 4558
THE COLLEGE OF FAMILY PHYSICIANS OF CANADA 4566
MARIE SAINT-PIERRE DESIGN INCORPORATED 4575
CINÉMA ESPERANÇA INTERNATIONAL 4579
DOMINO FILM AND TELEVISION INTERNATIONAL LIMITED 4582
Hull, Quebec / Hull (Québec)
--- Upon commencing on Friday, September 1, 2000
at 0830 / L'audience débute le vendredi
1er septembre 2000 à 0830
30717 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning. Welcome back to the fifteenth day of our
30718 Bonjour et bienvenue à notre quinzième journée d'audience.
30719 Monsieur le Secrétaire, s'il vous plaît.
30720 Mr. Secretary, please.
30721 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you, Madam Chair.
30722 Before introducing our first intervenor, I would just like to make an
30723 As we have already announced, there is a definite possibility that
Phase IV of this competitive process, the rebuttal stage, will start some time
next Tuesday afternoon -- that's the 5th of September -- rather than
30724 Applicants would be called, of course, in reverse order. Since KRG
Television has decided not to appear in Phase IV, they will, of course, respond
to our questions in writing. The first applicant to be called will be The Sports
Network. Then we would call The Justice Channel, Vision TV and so on.
30725 Of course, if Phase IV is moved forward, there is also a good chance
that the pay-per-view video on demand portion of our hearing may commence some
time on Wednesday, 6th September, rather than next Thursday.
30726 Applicants and intervenors involved in the pay-per-view VOD proposals
are now on notice.
30727 I would now like to introduce our first intervenor this morning, The
Canadian Comedy Awards, Mr. Progosh.
30728 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning. Before we proceed with this part of
Phase III, which is the hearing of interventions in support of one or more of
the applications, I want to reiterate what I said in my opening remarks at the
beginning of the hearing, which is that we may or may not engage in discussion
or questioning with supporting applicants, but we are interested in hearing
them. We want to hear as many as possible in the time we have. Therefore, we
want them to be assured that their presentation is going to be part of the
record and transcribed and added to their written intervention.
30729 Avant de commencer cette partie de l'audience, je veux rappeler aux
intervenants qui vont comparaître en appui à une ou plusieurs demandes que nous
n'aurons probablement pas le temps d'engager une discussion ou de poser des
questions à ces requérantes. Nous voulons les rassurer que nous sommes très
intéressés à les entendre et voilà pourquoi nous voulons en entendre le plus
possible dans le temps que nous avons à notre disposition et que vos
interventions seront transcrites au procès verbal et ajoutées évidement à votre
30730 Alors nous sommes prêts à procéder.
30731 We are ready to proceed now when you are ready.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
30732 MR. PROGOSH: As the creator and producer of The Canadian Comedy Awards,
I have come here to speak on behalf of Salter Street's bid for a comedy channel
for kids. There are several reasons why I support the concept of a comedy
channel for kids. There are several reasons why I support Salter Street's
30733 There are several things I think you should know about me to fully
comprehend what I am saying and why I wanted to drive all night after 18 hours
on set yesterday to be here this morning to talk to you.
30734 As an actor and as a person, I intend to be very passionate about
things and I tend to personalize things a lot. Making things personal and
passionate often allows people to dismiss what I am saying in business and
political settings. This is a business and a political setting, but you are
stuck with me for the next eight and a half minutes or so.
30735 I have been fortunate to make my living in the Canadian entertainment
industry since 1982 and support my family at the same time, which is a rarity.
Aside from two two-year stints in politics, two years here working with a
consulting firm as Progress Associates and two years on behalf of ACTRA as
elected representative chairing the Lobby and Legislature Committee and
Apprentice Membership Committee.
30736 I have worked in film and television. I have been a regular on a
series. I am currently a regular on a series being filmed by Sullivan
Entertainment for the BBC. I have also spent 18 years performing comedy standup,
sketch and improv, touring from coast to coast in Canada. Being a Canadian actor
also means I have also done the compulsory hellgate dressed up as a Canadian
30737 A year ago I formed a company called Higher Ground Productions with my
partner, Chaz Hay, and in one year we have produced a series called Inside
Country, a documentary for The Comedy Network about Elvis impersonators called
King for a Day, a CBC special called An Evening with Blue Rodeo and The Canadian
Comedy Awards and created the Canadian Comedy Hall of Fame.
30738 In short, I have been in front of them, behind the camera, I have been
in the political back room and I have been on the political front line and I
have toured from coast to coast as a comic. It doesn't make me smarter than
anybody else who has appeared before you. It certainly hasn't made me richer
than anybody else who has performed before you and it doesn't make me more
powerful than anybody else who has presented before you, but it does make me
uniquely qualified to talk about comedy to a political entity.
30739 Why a comedy channel for kids? I think you are all familiar with
Salter's presentation, a very impressive one with statistics and rationals that
makes me as an actor and as a father very proud and very hopeful, but I would
like to add two factors that they may not have stressed.
30740 Five to 17 year old people in this country are light years ahead of
where we were when we were their age. As a result, it is our responsibility to
make sure that they have stimulating educational and positive programming
focused on their development. We need to reach out to them and we need to listen
30741 The Salter Street bid clearly states, and I am quoting, that they are
to be a new vehicle to educate children in our cultural heritage and to
entertain them with quality programming.
30742 In a world where a great many, if not -- I won't say the
percentage, but a great many programming decisions are based on reaching key
market segments as defined by sponsors, this raison d'etre that I quoted from
the Salter Street bid for a kids comedy channel makes me as a parent very
30743 I think we can all face a fact here. None of our kids will ever be able
to watch a hockey game without advertising on the boards. They will never be
able to go to an event at an Ottawa Civic Centre or a Montreal Forum or a
Toronto Maple Leafs Gardens or a Pacific Coliseum. It is pretty unlikely that
they will ever get to go to a rock concert that isn't sponsored.
30744 It's nice to know that a responsible entity in this country has stepped
forward and applied to be a broadcaster and has designed a channel for the kids
and for the parents.
30745 Why Salter Street? Well, in the past few months we have heard from huge
conglomerates and corporations like Rogers and BCE who are pointing at each
other and saying things like "Well, BCE has ExpressVu and as a cable channel, we
got a cable network, and it's unfair competition", so I am a little passionate
30746 Suffice to say that by these companies' very structures and legal
operating procedures, the prime motivator for them has to be percentage increase
for shareholders. Do you think a company like Salter Street is forging an
industry in Atlantic Canada with that as their prime motivator? I don't think
so. I think it was heart and ethics.
30747 As a self-proclaimed comedy expert in this country, I am telling you
that Salter is comedy in this country. They are the beacon and the standard by
which the comedy community measures all others, and very few measure up.
30748 You have already heard about the awards of the shows like This Hour Has
22 Minutes and Codco and the great work that they have done, but what you
haven't heard is that they have a reputation in the comedy community for
treating people with professional respect. They let funny people be funny.
30749 They provided opportunities for actors, writers and directors to make a
living staying in this country. What is truly amazing is that they did it in
Atlantic Canada, and what is even more amazing is that they did it with respect
for the guilds and the unions that govern the entertainment industry.
30750 They have never tried to skirt around existing agreements. They have
never tried or asked for special discounts. They have never taken advantage of
those whose creativity is the basis for all broadcasting.
30751 And they have gone beyond that. They have forged ahead with two new
components, that they are going to involve creative people, especially the
young, and make them more involved right from the beginning of the network. It
is the new media component and their commitment to independent producers.
30752 You all know the presentation clearly outlined what they did about the
new media component. I refer back to my statement that 5-to-17-year-olds are
light years ahead of us. They are more familiar with the new media than we are.
They are more familiar with the Internet and computers than I will ever be. It
is very important that they have this.
30753 Every region, every age, every race through the new media will be able
to contribute, to criticize, to help develop and mould the station. It gives
kids and their parents a direct voice that can compete with the business of
30754 I would like to repeat that because I think it is really important: it
gives kids and the parents a voice that can compete with the business of
30755 The station will open doors and minds to opportunities and
communications and entertainment, and it will do so by making people laugh. Why
is it so important what they have done to an independent producer? This is a
fact. Salter Street can understand the independent producer like no conglomerate
can. They forged an industry where there was none, and in the process they faced
the same trials, tribulations and frustrations that all independent producers in
this country face: the challenge of getting their product on television.
30756 Despite the proliferation of specialty channels, it is still almost an
impossible task. I know this, because I produced the first televised Canadian
comedy awards and established the first Canadian Comedy Hall of Fame.
30757 The show was viewed by over 200,000 people on a specialty channel and
was watched by over 400,000 people on a major network at the 12:00 p.m. time
30758 It featured Dave Thomas, Martin Short, Jane Eastwood, Colin Mokery,
David Steinberg, Mike Myers and 20 more actors and comics, all paid actor
30759 Barbara Hamilton, John Candy, Wayne and Shuster, Dave Broadfoot and Don
Harron were inducted into the Canadian Comedy Hall of Fame. I am still to this
day having difficulty convincing the networks in this country that this show is
worth as much to this country as one hour of Survivor or Ally McBeal.
30760 Finally, I would like to say that I think it is an important network.
Salter Street should get it, even if it is just to provide a few laughs.
30761 In conclusion, from someone who has slugged it out in the comedy
trenches across this country for over 18 years: It sure would be nice to see
someone from our side of the tracks win one, just for a laugh.
30762 Thank you.
30763 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Progosh.
30764 I must say we admire your passion so early in the morning and after
such a long drive. We hope you have a good trip back. We appreciate the effort
you made in coming to make your presentation to us. Thank you.
30765 MR. PROGOSH: Thank you very much. Have a happy Labour Day.
30766 THE CHAIRPERSON: The same to you. And keep laughing.
30767 CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION: And make us laugh. It is important
30768 MR. PROGOSH: I will try.
30769 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.
30770 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you, Madam Chair.
30771 We will now hear an intervention on behalf of the College of Family
Physicians of Canada.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
30772 DR. RENAUD: Bonjour, mesdames et messieurs.
30773 Good morning and thank you for allowing us to present to you.
30774 I am Dr. Claude Renaud, Director of Professional Affairs for the
College of Family Physicians of Canada.
30775 I am here this morning to explain why the organization I represent
supports the health specialty television channel being proposed by Alliance
Atlantis Broadcasting and its partner, WebMD Canada; why we feel strongly that
the application for Health Network Canada, "the Healthy Choice", merits your
consideration and approval.
30777 Family physicians are on the front lines of health care. Our members,
working with other professionals, provide the services that are the primary-care
backbone of the system.
30778 For example, it has been estimated that family doctors meet 75 to 80
per cent of all the health care needs of the population right there in their
offices, without further referral. And that is in the context of a
multi-disciplinary care team.
30779 As well, family doctors typically reside in the communities which they
serve. They know their patients, patients' families and friends, and the
neighbourhoods and environments where their patients live and work.
30780 It is this close patient-doctor relationship that is at the heart of
our medical practice.
30781 It is this one-on-one relationship with millions of Canadians that
gives us a unique knowledge and understanding of the health care needs of the
30782 And it is from this perspective that we feel we can bring some comment
on the application before you today.
30783 Increasingly, Canadians are asking for credible, reliable, practical
health care information. The College of Family Physicians of Canada has been
responding to this growing need in many ways. For example, we have developed and
initiated a Patient Education Program. This consists of an extensive consumer
library of health care brochures, which are distributed broadly to patients
through our members across Canada.
30784 Illness prevention and health promotion messages are now a priority for
us. We are active in providing consumer information on subjects such as healthy
lifestyles for the prevention of heart disease, proper immunization and the
proper use of antibiotics.
30785 We are also exploring innovative ways to get this information directly
to Canadians, and to an even broader audience, through new technologies and new
30786 We are therefore familiar with and have reviewed many of the various
Web-based providers of health and medical information.
30787 In addition, the College recognizes the power of television in
delivering health information in a highly engaging, informative and interactive
manner. We ourselves are currently working with a partner to deliver medical
information via satellite television to family physicians in the form of
continuing medical information.
30788 As you can see then, our own priorities and programs are very much
aligned to what you are considering here today. We believe that Canadians will
benefit immensely from a television channel dedicated to providing them with
information, advice and insight to helping them gain a better understanding of
healthy lifestyle and helping them take on the responsibility for their own
30789 I have explained why CFPC endorses the creation and licensing of a
health specialty channel for consumers.
30790 I would now like to explain why we support this particular application.
Our College feels there are several important criteria, which should be used to
assess the merits of the various proposals. First, the quality and credibility
of the information. We would expect at a minimum that the information made
available to Canadians via this interactive channel be based on sound
30791 We are concerned with the proliferation of much of the information
presently on the Internet, a phenomenon which may put people at risk in terms of
their health. We must, therefore, try to ensure that all programming is offering
the most accurate, value and safe health information available, and that should
be in the context of our existing health care system, as part of that
30792 In this respect, we applaud Health Network Canada for establishing a
very impressive advisory board composed of 12 distinguished health care
professionals. We feel that this initiative, taken independently by the
applicant, will help ensure that the content of the programming is credible and
30793 In addition, Health Network Canada has indicated to us that it would
welcome our participation as a possible content provide and/or reviewer. As a
body that is responsible for accrediting the post-graduate programs in family
medicine in all 16 Canadian medical schools and for certified family doctors in
this country, we feel that we can play an important role in contributing to this
exciting new venture.
30794 The second criterion, another very important criterion which we feel
the CRTC should consider in awarding a licence is the track record of each of
the partners. As I mentioned earlier, the College of Family Physicians of Canada
is itself exploring new ways to deliver health information and we are therefore
familiar with the major Web base providers.
30795 We are most impressed with WedMd. It is the largest such site in the
world, and we feel that it has the technological experience and capabilities as
well as the health information resources and tools, along with the capacity t o
develop original Canadian content, all of which will be so critical to the
success of this new proposed channel.
30796 We note, also with satisfaction, that the parent company of Alliance
Atlantis Broadcasting is Canada's largest independent production and
30797 A Canadian television channel dedicated to health information
programming will demand a high level of original production in this country. The
reason is simple. Much about our health care is distinctly Canadian. For
example, which prescription drugs are approved for use in Canada and there are
other examples, not the least of which is our universally accessible high
quality health care system of which we are all very proud.
30798 Thirdly, we feel that timelines is an issue. We noted earlier that
Canadians are increasingly seeking this kind of information and that a specialty
television channel would be of enormous benefit. However, long delays in the
provision of this service would force consumers to seek alternative,
30799 We are confident in the ability of Health Network Canada to deliver
this service in a timely manner.
30800 Enfin, le Collège des médecins de famille du Canada attend avec
impatience la création de ce nouveau canal spécialisé dans la santé et espère
qu'il sera bientôt disponible au Canada.
30801 Nous savons par le biais de notre expérience clinique quotidienne qu'il
y a une demande importante et croissante pour l'information santé ciblant
directement les consommateurs.
30802 C'est une initiative importante qui sera bénéfique à la santé des
Canadiens et Canadiennes. Elle sera bénéfique si l'information est crédible et
fiable, si ce service a accès aux ressources médicales et préventives les
meilleures au monde tout en étant adapté au Canada et aux besoins spécifiques
des Canadiens et Canadiennes et si cette ressource devient disponible dans un
avenir proche, aussi un élément critique parce que, comme vous le savez, il y a
énormément de concurrence et la concurrence souvent n'est pas de ce côté-ci de
la frontière, mais de l'autre côté.
30803 For all these reasons, CFPC is pleased to support the application by
Health Network Canada. It represents a potentially invaluable asset in helping
Canadians become better informed about their health.
30804 We believe that the best health care consumer is a well-informed
consumer and we are committed to encouraging the development of initiatives,
initiatives such as Health Network Canada which provide the best health
information and programs to the Canadian public.
30805 Merci beaucoup.
30806 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Nous vous remercions, docteur Renaud. Heureusement, vous
ne nous avez pas demandé de vous indiquer ce que nous avions mangé pour déjeuner
avant de nous présenter devant vous.
30807 DR. RENAUD: On pourrait en parler, si vous voulez.
--- Rires / Laughter
30808 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Je ne pense pas que vous vouliez le savoir.
30809 DR. RENAUD: Non, d'accord. Mais je ne vous dirai pas ce que j'ai mangé
moi non plus.
30810 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Nous n'avons pas de gruau, je peux vous assurer
ça -- sauf dans les muffins.
30811 DR. RENAUD: En autant qu'il n'y a pas trop de gras saturé, ça ne sera
pas si mal.
30812 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Nous apprécions beaucoup que vous ayez pris le temps de
venir nous parler. Sans doute que vous avez une vie occupée et que c'est un
effort pour vous. Nous l'appréciions beaucoup.
30813 DR. RENAUD: Ça me fait plaisir.
30814 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Nous vous remercions.
30815 DR. RENAUD: Merci, Madame.
30816 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.
30817 MR. CUSSONS: Thank you, Madam Chair. I am going to change our order
slightly and invite an intervenor to come forward on behalf of Marie
Saint-Pierre Design Incorporated.
30818 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Bonjour, Madame Saint-Pierre. Allez-y quand vous êtes
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
30819 Mme SAINT-PIERRE: Madame la Présidente, membres du Conseil, Mesdames et
30820 Je vais me présenter. Tout d'abord, je suis Marie Saint-Pierre,
créateur de mode. J'oeuvre dans le domaine depuis 13 ans à mon compte.
30821 Je suis ici pour soutenir Perfecto, la Chaîne, une chaîne dédiée à la
mode et au design.
30822 Je distribue mes collections de prêt-à-porter féminin à travers un
réseau de boutiques spécialisées au Canada, en Europe et au Moyen-Orient. J'ai
aussi deux boutiques, une dans le quartier de Yorkville à Toronto, et une à
Montréal sur la rue de la Montagne.
30823 J'ai présenté mes collections à Paris, New York, Singapour, Montréal et
Toronto sur une base régulière, et pour ceux qui ne sont pas familier avec mon
parcours ou qui ne me connaissent pas, j'ai joint à ma présentation une copie
des faits saillants de ma carrière.
30824 Par contre pour ceux qui me connaissent de vue, c'est probablement
attribuable à Perfecto, MusiquePlus et D que vous me reconnaissez. Depuis 1992,
Perfecto et D ont joué un rôle exceptionnel dans le développement de la mode
québécoise et plus particulièrement dans sa reconnaissance auprès du grand
30825 Très souvent lors de sorties je suis fascinée de voir l'impact des
reportages télévisuels qui m'ont été accordés -- en fait, on me reconnaît.
Le processus d'éveil que MusiquePlus a engendré a des répercussions importantes.
La jeune génération plus particulièrement s'intéresse dorénavant plus à
l'univers de la mode et du design qui, soit dit en passant, est leur univers
30826 Avec un contenu diversifié et international, Perfecto et D ont réussi à
positionner de façon dynamique le design québécois et canadien.
30827 Une station totalement dédiée à la mode et au design, moi j'y crois.
Elle confirmera la place prépondérante qu'occupent ces secteurs dans nos vies de
tous les jours mais aussi dans notre économie. Au-delà du glamour, la mode fait
partie de notre identité culturelle. Elle exprime nos sensibilités, notre
rapport aux autres. Elle est communication.
30828 Une station mode-design 24 heures pas jour, j'y crois. Pionnier dans le
domaine de la diffusion spécialisée, MusiquePlus/MuchMusic a déjà ses entrées
dans l'univers de la mode internationale. Sa programmation très diversifiée
exprime bien sa compréhension du milieu. Lors de mes rencontres avec les gens de
MusiquePlus, j'ai pris connaissance du projet dans son ensemble et plus
particulièrement la programmation. L'émission Les plus beaux Perfecto, par
exemple, saura inscrire les dix dernières années de la mode d'ici dans une
histoire, une histoire que la mode n'a pas vraiment.
30829 A elle seule, cette émission a contribué de façon spectaculaire a
l'évolution des présentations des défilés des créateurs canadiens et québécois,
non seulement en les diffusant, mais en instaurant par le fait même un calibre
de présentation visuelle, en plus son rôle de banque d'archives qui m'a servi à
plusieurs reprises lors d'entrevues ou d'émissions souvent je demande à
MusiquePlus de me prêter les vidés des défilés afin de soutenir le contenu
visuel de ces entrevues-là qui sont diffusées sur d'autres chaînes de
30830 La mode au Québec est dans une période d'adolescence. Nous avons
beaucoup de chemin à faire afin de nous positionner à l'échelle internationale
et la façon la plus sûre d'amener cette industrie à maturité est de la faire
connaître d'un large public et de l'intégrer au quotidien.
30831 La réalisation de ce lien essentiel entre le public et la création
repose sur les médias. Aujourd'hui le public qui s'intéresse à la mode ou au
design sous toutes ses formes est rationné.
30832 Avec son expertise et ses antécédents, Perfecto, la Chaîne saura tirer
son épingle de jeu et satisfaire un public de plus en plus assoiffé.
30834 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Nous vous remercions, Madame Saint-Pierre. Nous
apprécions beaucoup que vous soyez venue nous faire une présentation, et
j'espère que vous n'aurez pas de commentaires à faire sur nos toilettes.
--- Rires / Laughter
30835 Mme SAINT-PIERRE: Je ne suis pas ici pour ça.
30836 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Avant c'était le médecin et le petit-déjeuner,
maintenant c'est la mode et nos toilettes.
30837 Mme SAINT-PIERRE: Non, pour ça on charge.
30838 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Merci.
30839 Mme SAINT-PIERRE: Merci.
30840 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Au revoir. Merci beaucoup.
30841 Monsieur le Secrétaire, s'il vous plaît.
30842 MR. CUSSONS: Madam Chair, I would now like to call on Cinéma Esperança
International to present its intervention, please.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
30843 MR. BENNETT: Good morning, Commissioners. It is a pleasure for me to be
here. My name is André Bennett. I am the Chair, President and CEO of my company,
called Cinéma Esperança. I have dedicated the last 17 years of my professional
life to cinema. Before that I was an academician. I was a teacher.
30844 Historically I have had the honour of helping to quick-start the
careers of several Canadian talented filmmakers, including Atom Egoyan, "Family
Viewing", "Speaking Parts", Guy Maddin, "Tales from the Gimli Hospital",
"Archangel", "Careful", Bruce McDonald, "Road Kill", "Highway 61", and Patricia
Rozema, "I've Heard the Mermaids Singing".
30845 It was always a pleasure working with these people. I love to work with
Canadian and international cinema.
30846 I want to support CHUM's licence proposal for a new independent film
broadcasting channel. I think it is critically important.
30847 There is nowhere in the world at this point in time that provides the
public, whether it is the Canadian public or other publics, with world-class
cinema, whether the movies come from Canada, France, the Far East, South
America -- whatever.
30848 The closest experiences we have had to this point are the Sundance
Channel and the Independent Channel in the United States, but there is really no
broadcaster that is committed to providing world-class movies that you get to
see at such places as the world film festival in Montreal, the Toronto
international film festival and the Vancouver international film festival.
30849 When you attend Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, you immediately
experience waves of people wanting to see movies -- blocks upon blocks of
people wanting to see the most obscure film from somewhere in the world, and
also in Canada.
30850 We need a service that will provide the Canadian public with something
they do not normally get to see; that is to say, world-class cinema.
30851 I am really excited about the CHUM proposal for an independent channel.
I think it is critically important -- critically important.
30852 I am also incredibly enthusiastic about CHUM's commitment to -- it
promised licence fees of over $250,000 for the next 10 new independent Canadian
features. This is really important for the development of the Canadian film
30853 My commitment is to both Canadian and international cinema. As such, I
need venues. I need venues to broadcast my films after they have been released
theatrically. This is why I am so excited about what CHUM proposes.
30854 My greatest ally to date has been Bravo!. Thanks to Bravo! the Canadian
public has seen many of my films, which would probably never have been broadcast
otherwise. They have an astute staff of programmers. I am especially thankful to
Paul Gratton, who is a real cinéphile.
30855 I have nothing but glowing remarks to say about this proposal. I think
it is really critically important, not for me, but for the Canadian public.
There is too much stuff that is happening that is basically repetitious,
30856 Certainly with this licence not only would Canadians be able to see
world-class film, they would be able to see world-class Canadian films.
30857 I have been waiting for this kind of thing to happen for many, many
years. I cannot support it strongly enough. I have been waiting for it all of my
professional life in the cinema world.
30858 Thank you very much.
30859 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Bennett, for your presentation. We
appreciate the effort you made to come and speak to us.
30860 Mr. Secretary, please.
30861 MR. CUSSONS: Madam Chair, I would now like to call on Domino Film and
Television International Limited to present its intervention, please.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
30862 MS RITTER: Good morning. My name is Jeanne Ritter. I am President of
Domino Film and Television International Limited. We are a small company. We
handle only Canadian productions. We distribute across Canada and around the
world. We have a catalogue of approximately 70 productions, virtually all of
which are theatrical feature films.
30863 We launch about three pictures theatrically in Canada a year. Among our
recent theatrical launches are "Full Blast", which was the first Acadian feature
film shot -- it was the first Canadian film shot in French outside Quebec.
It was the first film for Rodrique Jean and it has been winning prizes around
the world. It was launched in both subtitled English and original French
versions. It is an important film. This is the kind of film that the Indie
Channel will be able to provide an excellent showcase for.
30864 The other productions in our catalogue include Darrell Wasyk's "Mustard
Bath", the multi-award winning documentary feature by Peter Mettler called
"Picture of Light", which has played in 30 Canadian cities over the last several
years, and "Skin Deep", which was a co-production with the National Film
30865 We have worked with a lot of first-time directors and we believe that
we provide a very carefully tailored marketing approach to Canadian films. I
believe that we are the only Canadian distribution company that handles
exclusively Canadian productions, and we very much support the application by
CHUM for the Indie movie station.
30866 The films that we represent are very often low budget films, films that
are made with the passion of a filmmaker's whole being, and we believe that that
is an important element in Canadian production.
30867 We are reluctant to see too much exposure being given to what are
really generic kinds of pictures, where you can't tell whether it was shot in
Vancouver or the States, where you really have an ersatz kind of product. That
is not the kind of picture we handle. We have a lot of films that are
marginalized because of either cultural or sexual orientation, or because they
are documentaries aimed for theatrical launch.
30868 I wanted to speak a little bit about the confusion that could arise if
we have an independent film channel which is showing short documentaries as
well. We believe that films like "Picture of Light" have a real place on an
independent film channel. But if we were in a position where the programmer was
also programming productions such as Lulu Keating's "The Moody Brood", which we
also represent, which is an hour documentary which has been shown on "Rough
Cuts" on the CBC, the problem of mixing the documentary shorts and the
theatrical features is that the documentary shorts are going to be very much
shortchanged in terms of licence fees.
30869 We really support the concept of an independent documentary
station -- channel -- dedicated to documentaries, and the feature
films channel presenting just features.
30870 We realize that in Canada we are producing about 60 hours of theatrical
features a year. As a result, we are quite content to see a slightly lower
percentage of Canadian features on an independent channel.
30871 André has spoken clearly about the importance of seeing films from
around the world and closing off the opportunities for the majors to completely
control the industry.
30872 One of the reasons I decided when we established ourselves in 1983 to
handle only Canadian productions was because I came out of the commercial
structures. I worked for Paramount twice. I worked for Disney. I worked for
Astral, where we were doing productions and the distribution and marketing of
productions which were really American in all -- even at Astral, in all but
name very often.
30873 I found that I needed to be able to involve myself passionately in my
work. The first time I worked for Paramount we promoted -- I was Director
of Publicity and Promoted, we promoted the second of the "Friday the 13th". When
I went back to work for Paramount again some number of years later, I promoted
the eighth and ninth "Friday the 13th".
30874 I wasn't in a position to set up my own company at that time. I didn't
have those resources available to me, but I resolved that when I did have a
choice I would not be involved in major studio productions in any way in the
30875 I think that André also has made a choice to devote his energies and
his commitment to productions that normally don't fit into that slot where 95
per cent or 98 per cent of our viewing time around the world is devoted.
30876 I think if I had anything else --
--- Pause / Pause
30877 MS RITTER: I would like to speak a little bit about my relationship
with CHUM. When I first set up my company, Jay Switzer, who was programming for
CityTV at that time, was very supportive and, subsequently, when Bravo came on
line, Space Channel came on line, when Paul moved from the OFDC to the CHUM
organization, I continued to feel that I had friends. I continued to feel that I
had people who understood my vision and my perspective and who went out of their
way to support it.
30878 The level of knowledge that Paul brings to programming has always been
incredibly impressive. The perspective of supporting smaller structures, the
idea that you don't have to have immense conglomerations of companies who are
interrelated and buying back and forth between groups that are owned virtually
by the same structures I think is important. CHUM has always supported smaller
distributors, has always opened their doors and carefully examined what people
were doing in the industry.
30879 I can't think of anyone who would be better able to run an independent
film channel. Their concept of investing up to $280,000 or licence fees up to
$280,000 per independent Canadian production will open doors for many filmmakers
who these days are having difficulty putting together their financial
30880 It will be a valuable way to ensure that there is a growing industry,
that the young people who are moving into directing have the option of having
other structures for support.
30881 The importance of making sure that the programming isn't just what has
been certified by CAVO, but in fact represents diversity perspectives, the
cultural multiplicity of our country, as well as other countries, and isn't just
the homogenized version of culture that we are fed so often I think cannot be
30882 I would like to thank you for taking the time to listen to my opinions.
I very much appreciated the invitation to come. Again, I very much recommend
that you seriously obviously weigh the alternatives, but I would say that there
is no doubt in my mind as to who should receive this licence. I think that CHUM
should be given this licence.
30883 Thank you very much.
30884 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Ms Ritter, for your
30885 MS RITTER: Did you have questions?
30886 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, we don't. You were crystal clear.
30887 MS RITTER: Thank you very much.
30888 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
30889 Mr. Secretary, I think we will take a 10-minute break now.
30890 Nous reprendrons dans dix minutes.
--- Upon recessing at 0920 / Suspension à 0920
--- Upon resuming at 1038 / Reprise à 1038
30891 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Nous allons terminer maintenant puisque les intervenants
qui étaient à l'agenda ne se sont pas présentés.
30892 We will adjourn now for the weekend since the remaining intervenors on
the agenda have not indicated that they would appear this morning.
30893 We will then resume at 8:30 on Tuesday morning with the rest of the
Phase III intervenors. We remind applicants that we will proceed with Phase IV
30894 Alors nous reprendrons à 8 h 30 mardi matin et nous rappellons aux
requérantes que nous débuterons avec le reste de la Phase III mais que tout
probablement nous nous engagerons dans la Phase IV dès mardi.
30895 Alors bon week-end à tous.
30896 Have a happy weekend.
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1040, to resume
on Tuesday, September 5, 2000 at 0830 / L'audience
est adjournée à 1040, pour reprendre le mardi
5 september 1998 à 0830