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Prière de noter que la Loi sur les langues officielles exige que toutes publications gouvernementales soient disponibles dans les deux langues officielles.

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Toutefois, la publication susmentionnée est un compte rendu textuel des délibérations et, en tant que tel, est transcrite dans l'une ou l'autre des deux langues officielles, compte tenu de la langue utilisée par le participant à l'audience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

              TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS BEFORE

             THE CANADIAN RADIO‑TELEVISION AND

               TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

 

 

 

 

             TRANSCRIPTION DES AUDIENCES AVANT

                CONSEIL DE LA RADIODIFFUSION

           ET DES TÉLÉCOMMUNICATIONS CANADIENNES

 

 

                          SUBJECT:

 

 

 

VARIOUS BROADCAST APPLICATIONS /

PLUSIEURS DEMANDES EN RADIODIFFUSION

 

 

 

 

 

HELD AT:                              TENUE À:

 

Delta Regina                          Delta Regina

1919 Saskatchewan Drive               1919, promenade Saskatchewan

Regina, Saskatchewan                  Regina, Saskatchewan

 

November 1, 2006                      le 1 novembre 2006

 


 

 

 

 

Transcripts

 

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

Contents.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Transcription

 

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

               Telecommunications Commission

 

            Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des

               télécommunications canadiennes

 

 

                 Transcript / Transcription

 

 

                             

              VARIOUS BROADCAST APPLICATIONS /

            PLUSIEURS DEMANDES EN RADIODIFFUSION

                             

 

 

 

 

BEFORE / DEVANT:

 

Barbara Cram                      Chairperson / Présidente

Michel Arpin                      Vice-Chair, Broadcasting / Vice‑président, radiodiffusion

Rita Cugini                       Commissioner / Conseillère

Ronald Williams                   Commissioner / Conseiller

Joan Pennefather                  Commissioner / Conseillère

 

 

ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:

 

Chantal Boulet                    Secretary / Secrétaire

Leanne Bennett                    Legal Counsel /

Conseillère juridique

Lyne Cape                         Hearing Manager /

Gérante de l'audience

 

 

HELD AT:                          TENUE À:

 

Delta Regina                      Delta Regina

1919 Saskatchewan Drive           1919, promenade Saskatchewan

Regina, Saskatchewan              Regina, Saskatchewan

 

November 1, 2006                  le 1 novembre 2006


                           - iv -

 

           TABLE DES MATIÈRES / TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

                                                 PAGE / PARA

 

REGINA - PHASE I

PRESENTATION BY / PRÉSENTATION PAR:

 

Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc. (AVR)                764 / 3743

 

Natotawin Broadcasting Inc.                       857 / 4245

 

 

 

REGINA - PHASE II

PRESENTATION BY / PRÉSENTATION PAR:

 

(no appearances)

 

 

REGINA - PHASE III

PRESENTATION BY / PRÉSENTATION PAR:

 

Rawlco Radio Ltd.                                 915 / 4596

 

Communications Management Inc.                    927 / 4655

 

Hospitals of Regina Foundations Inc.              971 / 4889

 

Paul Martin Communications                        975 / 4913

 

Neil Meckelborg                                   987 / 4979

 

MapleMusic & Open Road Recordings                 998 / 5034

 

The Good Brothers                                1003 / 5057

 

The Poverty Plainsmen                            1005 / 5067

 

Birdsong Communications                          1007 / 5074

 

Jennifer Jade Kerr                               1021 / 5149

 

Zbitnew and Associates                           1030 / 5186

 

Lighthouse To All Nations                        1036 / 5208

 

Shelan Schnell                                   1042 / 5231

 

Regina Evangelical Ministerial Association       1046 / 5248

 

Harvard Broadcasting Inc.                        1052 / 5277


                           - v -

 

           TABLE DES MATIÈRES / TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

                                                 PAGE / PARA

 

REGINA - PHASE IV

PRESENTATION BY / PRÉSENTATION PAR:

 

Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc.                     1067 / 5368

 

Radio CJVR Ltd.                                  1068 / 5374

 

Touch Canada Broadcasting Inc.                   1069 / 5381

 

Standard Radio Inc.                              1073 / 5403

 

Newcap Inc.                                      1082 / 5459

 

 

 

SASKATOON - PHASE I

PRESENTATION BY / PRÉSENTATION PAR:

 

Newcap Inc.                                      1090 / 5494


         Regina, Saskatchewan / Regina (Saskatchewan)

‑‑‑ Upon commencing on Wednesday, November 1, 2006

    at 0830 / L'audience débute le mercredi

    1 novembre 2006 à 0830

3735             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Order please.

3736             Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.  Today of course is day one of Gainer‑Gate.  Gainer has been punted from McMahon Stadium.  The province is in shock and awe.

‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires

3737             THE CHAIRPERSON:  As you know, of course ‑‑ and I'll give you non‑CFL speak ‑‑ the Roughriders' mascot, Gainer the Gopher has been expelled for the play‑off game this weekend.  The province is just aghast.

3738             Nonetheless, I'll pass it over to Madam Secretary.

3739             THE SECRETARY:  Thank you, Madam Chair.

3740             Good morning everyone.  We will now proceed with item 15 on the agenda which is an application by Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc., AVR, for a licence to operate an English and Aboriginal‑language Native type B FM radio undertaking in Regina.

3741             The new station would operate on frequency 96.1 megahertz, channel 241C, with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts, non‑directional antenna, antenna height of 146.2 metres.

3742             Appearing for the applicant is Mr. Lewis Cardinal who will introduce his colleagues.  You will then have 20 minutes for your presentation.  Please go ahead ‑‑ Mr. Hill will introduce his colleagues.  My apologies.

PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION

3743             MR. HILL:  Thank you.

3744             I'd like to say good morning to everyone.  It's very nice to be here before you today.  Chair, Members of the Commission, Commission staff, colleagues and broadcasters and ladies and gentlemen, my name is Jamie Hill.  I'm the president of the Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc.

3745             We are particularly excited about your appearance before the Commission today in support of our application for a new radio service for the historic city of Regina.  I would like to now introduce to you the members of the AVR team.

3746             On your far right is Lewis Cardinal, the vice president of AVR.  Lewis is an Aboriginal relations consultant to the City of Edmonton.  He is also the founder and president of the newly informed ‑‑ newly formed Indigenous Media Institute and the founder and co‑Chair of the Global Indigenous Dialogue.

3747             As well, Lewis is a recent recipient of the Alberta Centennial Medal for his work in diversity, multiculturalism, and human rights and is this year being honoured with the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Community Service.

3748             Beside Lewis is J. Robert Wood, AVR's management consultant.  Bob has provided management consulting services for some of Canada's largest broadcasters from coast to coast.

3749             Prior to that, he spent 17 years in the CHUM Group as national program director and manager of CHUM and CHUM‑FM.  He led the CHUM team in the establishment of FACTOR and was one of the first broadcasters inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame.

3750             On my right is Roy Hennessy, AVR's general manager.  Roy has served as general manager of a number of Standard and Moffat stations in Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.  He is a past president of FACTOR, has served on many industry boards and was recognized for his contribution to the broadcasting industry as a recipient of the first annual President's Award by the Ontario Association of Broadcasters.

3751             Beside Roy is Patrice Mosseau, AVR's program director and on‑air host.  Patrice has served on FACTOR selection committees and is a member of Canadian Women in Communications and is a multiple award recipient for her work in radio.

3752             Patrice is also very active in her community as vice president of the board for the Native Women's Resource Centre in Toronto.  She is a member of the Metis and Ojibwe Nations.

3753             And on your far left is Grant Buchanan of McCarthy Tetrault LLP, our legal counsel.

3754             As for myself, in addition to serving as president of AVR, I am a co‑founder of Knapp Media Inc.  We publish a magazine, the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian.  The magazine is the most widely circulated Native magazine in the world.

3755             Previously I served as communications and information systems analyst for the chiefs of Ontario and worked as a director of economic development for the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres.

3756             We would like to acknowledge the Saulteaux, Cree and Assiniboine people in whose traditional territories we are gathered today.

3757             We also want to recognize the Metis people as well as the kind people of Regina.  We would like to thank all of them for the graciousness we have been afforded so far.

3758             I would now like to begin our formal presentation.  The board of directors of AVR and I, are of one mind, that the building of a national network of radio stations that brings together the hopes and dreams of Aboriginal people is a necessity.

3759             We know that the Commission has heard from AVR many times on this subject and that the Commission has granted AVR a licence on each occasion that it has been requested.

3760             We know you have agreed with AVR's vision in the past and we respectfully ask that you do so again here in Regina.

3761             We are in the midst of creating the first national Aboriginal radio network in the world.  The Canadian Broadcasting system has the resources to allow this to occur and the Broadcasting Act says that when that moment arrives, service should be extended.

3762             As you know, AVR has a unique profile.  It is a national service with a national network licence, but it has a much bigger role to fill as the plan is to offer local service in many Canadian urban centres.

3763             The national network acts as a badly needed bridge from one Aboriginal community to another and allows for discourse, healing and the exchange of stories and events between Aboriginal people across the country.

3764             It is essential that the Aboriginal community here in Regina join the other Aboriginal communities across Canada in the AVR solution.  Regina has an estimated population hovering around the 200,000 mark, of which Aboriginal people number close to 10 percent or 20,000.

3765             In the 2001 Statistics Canada Aboriginal people survey there were 9,880 North American Indians and 4,110 Metis people.  The current national trend of migration of Aboriginal people to urban areas is a fast rising ‑‑ and a fast rising birth rate dictates an expected population surge in Regina now and in the future with some demographers predicting up to 50 percent First Nations population in Saskatchewan within a few generations.

3766             MR. CARDINAL:  There are 12 radio stations on air in Regina and virtually no Aboriginal presence on any of then.  Our new AVR Regina station will dramatically increase the diversity of radio programming in the market by immediately introducing a radio service dedicated to reflecting the needs and interests of Regina's First Nations, Inuit, and Metis communities.  This new service will be a tremendous benefit to those community members and a real alternative.

3767             It is difficult for me to contemplate a national Aboriginal service like AVR without Regina in it.  Moreover, there is a significant pent up demand for the programming featured on AVR.

3768             A research report conducted for AVR by Peter Doering Consultants in November of 1999, that survey of Canadians revealed a number of compelling statistics.  Canadians from coast to coast overwhelmingly approve of an Aboriginal national radio service.

3769             Indeed, the respondents from the City of Regina were 90 percent in favour of the AVR network.  A very large percentage of those Regina respondents agreed the following goals were important for AVR to achieve.

3770             First goal, provide exposure and support appreciation for Aboriginal culture.  Ninety‑seven percent of Regina respondents agreed with that.  Increase understanding between Aboriginal and non‑Aboriginal Canadians, 92 percent agreed with that.  Help sensitive ‑‑ help sensitize the wider community regarding the interests and concerns of Aboriginal Canadians, 91 percent.  Encourage Aboriginal self‑sufficiency, 90 percent.

3771             AVR is concerned about the great possibility of many Aboriginal languages becoming extinct.  There are between 53 and 70 known Aboriginal languages, but many are only used by elders and will die with them.

3772             In addition to the promotion of Aboriginal Canadian languages in the English language portion of this schedule, AVR will, as it does in every other market, ensure that no less than 2 percent of all programming during the broadcast week be spoken word programming in an Aboriginal Canadian language and no less than 2 percent of all vocal musical selections played during each broadcast week in an Aboriginal Canadian language.

3773             I am pleased to advise the Commission that last month, Mr. Ron Ignace, the Chair of the task force in Aboriginal languages initiative joined AVR's board of directors where his expertise will be greatly appreciated and will be invaluable.

3774             The two Aboriginal language conditions of licence mentioned above, together with the requirement that a minimum of 25 percent of all programming be spoken word programming, including news, and a minimum of 35 percent of all musical selections from category 2 be Canadian selections, played in their entirety, have formed the backbone of the regulatory underpinning of AVR's many services.  AVR meets or exceeds all of these thresholds and will continue to do so.

3775             Chair and Members of the Commission, for a national Aboriginal service to be effective, it must be able to both send and receive programming of relevance from a variety of communities in Canada and not just from Toronto.

3776             So we believe strongly in local Aboriginal content.  Moreover, it is vital that the Aboriginal community be able to access the service as Aboriginal people constitute an impoverished subset of Canadian society, free over‑the‑air local radio will remain their primary source for many years to come.

3777             Finally, it is worth recalling that AVR features virtually 100 percent Aboriginal programming during the broadcast week.  Ours is not a cross‑subsidy model.  We are a truly Aboriginal service each and every broadcast day.

3778             I would like to ask Patrice to speak more about after the programming plans for AVR Regina.

3779             MS MOUSSEAU:  AVR radio service in Regina will offer a varied programming menu.  AVR's programming will reflect the Aboriginal Canadian experience.

3780             Newscasts, public affairs programs and open‑line talk shows will all address the needs, interests, and concerns of First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Canadians, particularly those who live in large urban centres like Regina, where the Aboriginal population is growing at a much greater rate than the population at large.

3781             The network programming schedule will include full Aboriginal news reports, national phone‑in programs, a women's round table discussion, focus programs on language, youth, elders, health, et cetera, as well as specialty music programs featuring artist profiles, traditional music, blues, jazz, country, et cetera.

3782             The new AVR service in Regina will feature more than 32 hours of ‑‑ a week of local programming.  The showcase will be the Regina morning show which will air Monday to Sunday 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.  Among other things, this locally produced program will feature a variety of interviews, surveillance reports, Aboriginal music and local banter.

3783             AVR will broadcast a number of newscasts which will aggregate more than three ‑‑ thirty ‑‑ sorry, three and a half hours per week.  New story selection will focus on ‑‑ on events which impact Canada's urban Aboriginal communities, and that have been overlooked and under‑reported by other news sources.

3784             Additional priority will be given to providing a venue for the expression of non‑mainstream viewpoints on current matters of the day.  Source material from newscasts will come from Internet‑based, free news services, materials provided through cooperative arrangements with other local and regional alternative news sources and network‑produced reports.  Original reportage will increase with the developing capacity of the news department.

3785             AVR also proposes to create a three‑minute feature to be called Community Calendar, to provide a schedule of performances and other events taking place in Regina and surrounding areas.  In addition, the Regina station will be responsible for creating local programming for inclusion in network programming dealing with artist profiles, interviews, talent development, and concert reviews, et cetera.

3786             As noted earlier, AVR also proposes the same condition of licence requiring 25 percent of the broadcast week to be comprised of spoken word programs as it is found elsewhere on AVR services throughout Canada.

3787             In addition to the local programming already discussed, AVR will feature a number of national spoken‑word programs that will become available to Regina listeners.

3788             While spoken word will be a significant component of the AVR Regina schedule, the station will also feature a mix of primarily Canadian and worldwide Aboriginal artists in a broad range of genres.  Program hosts will provide informed commentary on the artist presented, along with a variety of education ‑‑ educational and entertaining Aboriginal Canadian perspectives on issues of the day.

3789             The widespread national availability of the AVR radio service has already dramatically increased exposure to the work of Aboriginal Canadian artists.  Encouraging an increased awareness of Aboriginal culture, AVR will play a leading national role in the development and radio exposure of Native musical and spoken‑word talent.

3790             AVR has already begun the development of a national archive of Aboriginal Canadian artists.  Currently there are 70 ‑‑ 7,500 individual selections performed by 658 artists and groups.  The majority of the programming on AVR is drawn from this growing and important resource.

3791             AVR's conditions of licence across Canada require that at least 35 percent of the musical selections on AVR be Canadian.  AVR actually does much better than this, playing somewhere between 45 and 60 percent Canadian selections all by Aboriginal artists.

3792             AVR's over‑delivery will be no different in Regina.  A recent monitor of AVR by the Commission staff indicated more than 46 percent Canadian selections.  However, many of the Aboriginal Canadian artists featured on AVR have not even yet been found on the Commission's current database.  This resulted in a finding of a lower percentage of Canadian spins than we know to be the case.

3793             AVR has since agreed to assist the Commission by confirming the Canadian content status of these Aboriginal Canadian artists who are not currently in the Commission's database.

3794             Once this extensive project is complete, AVR's Aboriginal Canadian content level will be found closer to 60 percent.  AVR will aggressively promote the involvement of Aboriginal Canadian artists through regular airplay, interview appearances, guest hosting and live studio performances.  AVR will encourage live music by offering extensive free promotion of the upcoming performances of Aboriginal artists.

3795             MR. HILL:  In closing today I want to thank the Chair and members and staff of the Commission and the other licence applicants who are our colleagues in the broadcast industry.

3796             We want to thank the indigenous people of this area for permitting us to gather on their traditional territory for these hearings and we thank the Creator for our blessings.

3797             The Broadcasting Act, section 3(1)(d)(iii) states that the Canadian broadcasting system should reflect the special place of Aboriginal people within Canadian society.

3798             Section 3(1)(o) of the Act states that programming that reflects the Aboriginal cultures of Canada should be provided within the Canadian Broadcasting system as resources become available for that purpose.

3799             The boards of directors of AVR gratefully acknowledge the support of Phil Fontaine, the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations; George Erasmus, co‑Chair of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal People; Perry Bellegarde, former Grand Chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations and the Regional Chief of Saskatchewan; Beverley Jacobs, president of the Native Women's Association of Canada; Vera Pawis‑Tabobondung, president of the National Association of Friendship Centres; Marg Friesch, coordinator of the Circle of Aboriginal Community Voices here in Regina; Don Ross, president of Premier Developments; and the 90 percent of the respondents to the Doering survey who live in Regina and who reported they fully support the need for a national Aboriginal radio service.

3800             We are also delighted to have received strong support from such stars of the Aboriginal Canadian music scene as John Arcand, Donny Parenteau, Eekwol, and Andrea Menard.  They understand the value of a national Aboriginal radio service both to their own development as musicians but also to the Aboriginal communities from which they come.

3801             Thank you.

3802             And we would be pleased to respond to your questions.  All my relations.

3803             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you, Mr. Hill.

3804             Vice‑Chair Arpin...?

3805             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Thank you, Madam Chair.  Thank you, Mr. Hill and your team.

3806             I will address my question to you, but you may ask where ‑‑ who you think is most appropriate to answer the question to the members of your team.

3807             I know that we ‑‑ at this hearing we will have the opportunity to see you two other times, but ‑‑ so I will, today, restrict my questions only to the Regina application.  I know that tomorrow we will have an opportunity to hear your Saskatoon application and on Friday we will hear your renewal.  I will want you not to refer to the current situation at CKV but to deal specifically with the Regina item so that we, for the record, have a complete understanding of your plan for Regina.

3808             So could you, as a first question, explain to the Commission why at this time in the evolution of AVR it is ‑‑ you have applied for a service in this market in Regina?

3809             MR. HILL:  Yes.

3810             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  I think you partly gave the answer in your oral presentation, but you may want to expand.

3811             MR. HILL:  Okay.  Yes, Commissioner Arpin, I guess the primary reason is we feel very confident and, you know, strong about the idea that this national radio service is extremely important to Aboriginal people and we think that it's a ‑‑ as important to the Aboriginal community in Regina as is important as any other urban city.

3812             The Aboriginal people of Regina do not have a radio service which speaks specifically to them which reflects, you know, back to them their Aboriginal identity.  So that is, I guess, the first reason.

3813             The second reason, I think, is the fact that, you know, when this has happened in the past with AVR that we are faced with a situation where potentially we may not be able to have the opportunity to achieve a licence in Regina for a very long time.

3814             So the fact that the call for the Regina licence has come about, we feel that we don't want to miss the opportunity to be able to broadcast into Regina to serve the Aboriginal population here.  And maybe Lewis can comment further?

3815             MR. CARDINAL:  Yes.  I just want to add to the comment of having the reflection of the Aboriginal voice brought back to the Aboriginal community here in the City of Regina.

3816             Cultural reflectivity is a very important part and process of strengthening our Aboriginal communities, and we know that if we can create that space and opportunity for the Aboriginal voice to be heard far and wide around this region, we will be contributing not only to the wellbeing of Aboriginal people in Canada, but also to the wellbeing of the community as a whole.

3817             MR. HILL:  Just to finish that answer, you know, one of the primary missions of Aboriginal Voice Radio is to improve the lives of Aboriginal people.  And, you know, we would certainly like the opportunity to help in that regard as much as we can as a national radio service for the community in Regina.

3818             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  So thank you.  One of the first question that is ‑‑ appears to be obvious, at least for the Commission, is how will you be able to finance the implementation of a new service for Regina?

3819             MR. HILL:  Commissioner, we've done projections which we have ‑‑ financial projections for several years going out, looking out, and we've submitted financial projections that show that we have the financial wherewithal as far as, you know, getting the Regina operation up and running and sustaining it.

3820             Our projections are very conservative and they're based upon revenue streams which are virtually guaranteed because they're long‑term commitments from broadcast benefit packages.

3821             We've also added advertising, and I guess there's some grant contributions where we would apply for grants, but we have extremely conservative advertising projections for a national radio service.  They're very, very low.

3822             So we wanted to give you a financial picture going out that is ‑‑ you can have a very high degree of confidence in because they're virtually guaranteed revenue streams.

3823             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  I don't think that those financial projections have been filed with the Commission, have they?

3824             MR. HILL:  I thought they did.  But for sure we can file them with the Commission and ensure that you have them if we haven't yet, but I was under the impression that we did.

3825             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Looking at ‑‑

3826             MR. HILL:  I believe we'd be able to give you those ‑‑ to you today.

3827             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Okay, fine.  Well, the ‑‑

3828             MR. HILL:  Maybe if I could just add that, you know, in the development of the AVR national network there is a sequence that we see, and that is the first thing is to develop the stations and get the financial wherewithal to put ‑‑ to obtain licences and put the stations on the air.

3829             The next thing is to improve the programming to a point where it's high quality programming and of course, following that, we would be able to develop a ‑‑ to a pretty strong sales effort once we do things as far as the programming and getting the stations on the air.

3830             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  The ‑‑ other than having financial projections that you have developed, the ‑‑ do you have the necessary documentation that will help us to understand ‑‑ well, we are certainly aware of the benefit packages that has been approved in the past, so we know that the Commission has approved a good number of broadcasters' proposal to support the development of AVR.

3831             But other than that, do you have any other documentation that supports the ‑‑ your ‑‑ they're ‑‑ your availability of funds?

3832             MR. HILL:  Well, you know, we put a lot of work into the financial projections to ensure that we were going to be on the mark regarding the financial future, so we can provide extensive information to the Commission and, you know, we'd certainly be willing to do that, Commissioner Arpin.

3833             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Yeah.  And obviously some of it will be filed on a confidential basis so there ‑‑ if you think that you require that these documents not be put in the public record, staff and legal ‑‑ our legal people will surely look at and advise if it is ‑‑ if it could be filed in ‑‑ under confidence.

3834             MR. HILL:  Okay.  We appreciate that very much.

3835             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  I know other than ‑‑ obviously you addressed the issue of capital expenditures, but then there's the operational expenditures of a transmitter, and you also have programming plans and you ‑‑ and pre‑launch operating cost.

3836             Do you have the ‑‑ do you have on hand the financing to do such an investment for the Regina application?

3837             MR. HILL:  Yes, Commissioner.  We have projected enough money.  As a matter of fact, moving out into the future year by year in the documents that we submit, you'll find that we actually are in a surplus situation moving out ‑‑ as we move out.

3838             And this ‑‑ these have taken into account getting the stations on the air and providing a level of service.  I have to say that, you know, the aspiration of AVR is to provide the most premium high quality service, you know, that anyone could provide for Aboriginal people.  And we do recognize that that is contingent upon finances, you know, having the financial wherewithal to do a premium service.

3839             What we've projected, I would say, is a moderate service because, you know, we wanted to indicate to you that we could do that with a high degree of confidence based upon virtually ‑‑ the ‑‑ based upon revenue streams that are almost virtually guaranteed.

3840             But I want to say that we do believe amongst the AVR team that we are going to out‑perform what the projections are that we're giving to you.  As you'll see, once you get a chance to take a look at the ‑‑ the advertising revenues, for instance, are extremely low.

3841             So we believe that we're going to, you know, have the financing to be able to, over a period of time, increase the quality of the programming that is coming into Regina.

3842             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Now, I notice in this morning's oral presentation that you have increased the local content from 25 to 32 hours of programming on a weekly basis.  They ‑‑ you're ‑‑ I know that the application was based on 25 hours and 51 minute of local programming.  Now, this morning, in your oral presentation you referred to 32 hours.

3843             We will surely have an opportunity to discuss later on the content of those 32 hours, but that means that you will probably need more staff than you ‑‑ what you have prepared because I notice that when I'm looking at your application, the ‑‑ I know that you have identified that you will need three programming staff, including one journalist, announcer for in excess of ‑‑ well, I have here now for 32 hours.

3844             You have also indicated that the roll‑out of the programming will be tied to a number of funding opportunities and initiative in which you have not elaborate ‑‑ but the ‑‑ well, we have all ‑‑ with respect to the funding initiative, other than the ‑‑ that the monies that you're getting through benefits and now you said "limited advertising revenues" and ‑‑ but you did mention grants.  What type of grants are you talking about and what is really available for AVR?

3845             MR. HILL:  Well, I think there are a number of grant opportunities, Commissioner.  We have been successful in the past in gaining both federal grants and provincial grants.  For instance, in Ontario we were provided with a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation of 180,000.

3846             So as we build the programming into each urban centre, we believe that we will be able to access provincial types of grants to help with the local effort, as well as to continue to access federal grants that would provide contributions to help with the entire national radio network.

3847             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  But when you are getting grants from one province, can you use the proceeds for ‑‑ to invest in another province?

3848             MR. HILL:  Well ‑‑

3849             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Because you mentioned the Ontario ‑‑ and Ontario program.  Could you use the proceeds of that program for Saskatchewan?

3850             MR. HILL:  Well, we believe that we'll be able to do that because we are going to provide local programming, and I think those grants would be specific to the local programming.  So as far as we know right now, we would be able to do that.

3851             I mean it's going to vary from each province ‑‑

3852             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Yeah.

3853             MR. HILL:  ‑‑ depending upon what their programs are, but ‑‑ yeah, Roy can ‑‑

3854             MR. HENNESSY:  The ‑‑ good morning.  The Trillium Foundation grant was specifically intended to be used for the development of an Aboriginal news department, which included news stringers in various regions of the Province of Ontario to ensure that we were reaching out to that organization.

3855             The application for that grant began before we had expanded our service, but they included the monies to be used to train and develop Aboriginal news staff as well as reaching out through the province, so a multi‑purpose application to that funding.  Those are the types of grants that we're seeking.

3856             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  We'll now get to the specific of your application and the note that ‑‑ well, staff is ‑‑ has noted some inconsistencies between your programming grid and other responses that we've got out of your ‑‑ in your letter dated August 4th, 2006, and I have a series of question.

3857             Among ‑‑ one of them is that you've stated that you will be offering a best‑of‑the‑week recap of your weekday morning show on every Saturday morning between 6 a.m. and 10 in your programming grid.  However, you have indicated that you will also offer best‑of‑the‑week recaps on Sundays.

3858             Would ‑‑ will you indeed be offering the same ‑‑ this recap program on Sundays or on Saturdays and ‑‑ or is it ‑‑ will it be a repeat of the Saturday program?

3859             MR. HILL:  Commissioner, if I could, I'd like to ask our program director Patrice Mosseau to respond to that.

3860             MS MOUSSEAU:  Yes, in fact we will be continue ‑‑ we're doing the best‑of morning show on both Saturday and Sunday.

3861             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  And is the Sunday a repeat of the Saturday or is it two different programs?

3862             MS MOUSSEAU:  We're looking at doing two different programs at this time.  Of course looking at funding, we may do a best‑of on both weekend days to start.

3863             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Okay.  Although your program grid does not express as much, you have indicated that you would be providing three five‑minute weekly review features on Saturday mornings.  Could you please confirm whether this in fact ‑‑ if it's the case?  And so could you also, please, provide us with a description of ‑‑

3864             MS MOUSSEAU:  Yes.

3865             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  ‑‑ these features?

3866             MS MOUSSEAU:  The weekly review features will be ‑‑ like, the best‑of top news stories from the week previous will then be inserted into our best‑of morning show for the weekends on the Saturday and Sunday.

3867             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  You've also indicated that you will be providing seven three‑minutes community calendar features between Monday ‑‑

3868             MS MOUSSEAU:  Mmhmm.

3869             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  ‑‑ and Sunday.  Will those ‑‑ these be seven day ‑‑ daily features or seven ‑‑

3870             MS MOUSSEAU:  It's very confusing.  We actually had a small typo there.

3871             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Okay.

3872             MS MOUSSEAU:  It says seven minutes.  I think at the chart that you're looking at, it's actually ‑‑ or sorry, seven minutes total.  It's actually 21 minutes per day.

3873             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Yes.

3874             MS MOUSSEAU:  So it's running seven times ‑‑ seven times a day.  It's a three‑minute program running seven times a day, seven days a week.

3875             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  So ‑‑ and is it the same feature that is repeated 7 times or 21 times or is it 21 different features or ‑‑

3876             MS MOUSSEAU:  Because different community events will be happening throughout the week, someone can be then updating that on a regular basis and refreshing it every couple of days.

3877             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  So at the end of ‑‑ in a given week, you ‑‑ what, you could be covering two, three different ‑‑ two, three or four different events and update those ‑‑ the feature as long as you move throughout the week?

3878             MS MOUSSEAU:  Absolutely.

3879             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  You also have indicated that you will hire three staff to fulfil the local programming commitment.  These commitment will include up to 49 community calendars, 15 weekly locally‑produced newscasts, 15 hours of morning show.

3880             And you've added more this morning, the compilation of the best‑of‑the‑week features, in addition to research and reporting, liaising with CKV Toronto and other station functions.

3881             In this light, could you please elaborate on the function of each of the staff members to be employed directly by the proposed undertaking?  And even before going there, since you've mentioned this morning 32 hours of local programming, maybe we could start reviewing those local programs so that we have a better understanding of what you ‑‑ what they are and then we could discuss staffing and the capability of this ‑‑ of these fairly limited number of people to do all that, that extensive work.

3882             MS MOUSSEAU:  Mmhmm.  The star of our local content, our local programming, is really the morning show.  That's four hours a day, Monday to Friday, and then the reviews that happen on Saturday and Sunday.

3883             The two people that we have working on the morning and with ‑‑ in addition to another person, they'll be also doing the news and the community calendar which can then be programmed and run into as local programming throughout the schedule in Regina.

3884             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  So the ‑‑ so say if I'm running the morning shows plus the two reviews that give us 28 hours, the ‑‑

3885             MR. HENNESSY:  Just ‑‑ sorry, please.  Just one quick thing, the difference that we've pointed out in the calculation of the community calendar between 21 minutes a week and 21 minutes a day ‑‑

3886             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Yeah.

3887             MR. HENNESSY:  ‑‑ that's what contributes to the adjustment up to the 32 hours and 17 minutes.  It's just reconciling the typo ‑‑

3888             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Okay.

3889             MR. HENNESSY:  ‑‑ against what was actually on the sheet.

3890             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Yeah.  Okay, fine.  Now, you think ‑‑ well, could you help us in understanding what will be the functions of the ‑‑ your local people?

3891             MR. HENNESSY:  Our roll‑out template that we will use to implement service in each of the markets that we move to commences with ‑‑ as was pointed out in one of the decisions that we received, primarily the service will come from the Toronto production centre initially and, as quickly as resources will allow, we'll introduce the local newsperson.

3892             And using technology, we can virtually create a news room in someone's home.  Mortars and brick are the expensive part of our business, and that's the last thing that we'll look at moving towards on a permanent basis.

3893             But if we start out with the newsperson in Regina, their responsibility will be to contribute news, commentary, interviews, content about newsworthy items that will be of interest to people in Regina and also people across the national network.

3894             This content will be packaged as part of the major newscasts and delivered back to each of the markets across the country.  If it's a story of particular interest in Regina, it will take a larger portion of the newscast than we would necessarily send to Vancouver or Calgary, if it's of more local interest.

3895             So the intent is to be 30 percent local, 30 percent regional and 40 percent national.  That's our goal for the content makeup of the newscast.

3896             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  And ‑‑

3897             MR. HENNESSY:  So we start with ‑‑ sorry?

3898             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Okay, so if I understand you right, you ‑‑ that new person ‑‑ newsperson will gather the information here, will produce his ‑‑ well, his newscast or his feature, whatever the ‑‑ they have to do, they will send it to Toronto, but it could ‑‑ but it will be on ‑‑ rebroadcast only in Regina or out ‑‑ on all the network?  The ‑‑

3899             MR. HENNESSY:  It will be included in the national newscast, but an extended version of that can be brought into Regina if it's of ‑‑

3900             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  And Regina alone ‑‑

3901             MR. HENNESSY:  ‑‑ more interest

3902             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  ‑‑ but aired ‑‑

3903             MR. HENNESSY:  And Regina alone.

3904             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  But aired ‑‑

3905             MR. HENNESSY:  We have the capability to do ‑‑ or we will have the capability to do that with the new master control system that we are on ‑‑ it's a delivery system that we will be installing.  We have the space in our facility in Toronto.  We're just waiting for the arrival of a few more dollars and we'll have that system in place where we can, from a central control, deliver the content to each of the stations across country.

3906             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  So your staff will not necessarily be, as you said, the ‑‑ it will work from their basement or wherever they ‑‑ they're personally located?  You won't necessarily have a Regina facility with studios and production facility?  It will be that ‑‑

3907             MR. HENNESSY:  At the outset, no.  That will have to be addressed as soon as we introduce the Regina morning show ‑‑

3908             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Yeah.

3909             MR. HENNESSY:  ‑‑ because we'll need a central location for guests, for artists, for the staff themselves to work from.

3910             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  But as ‑‑ but for ‑‑

3911             MR. HENNESSY:  A similar thing is ‑‑ will happen.  We are in discussions with the Weather Network and, very soon, we are going to introduce a national weather forecast and a more detailed local forecast that's ‑‑ which will be dropped into each of our stations.

3912             So again, using technology and relationship with the Weather Network, we will be able to provide travellers' weather ‑‑ and this is another way that we're dealing with the issue of the multitude of Aboriginal languages and that we're encouraging our morning show host ‑‑ the Inuit have 200 words for snow.  I can only think of about four, one of which I can use here.

3913             They have a large number of words, and we're going to encourage that type of use of the language to be included into the programming, so that it becomes an item of interest.  It becomes something that can be, in a humorous way, entertaining/educational, but it becomes a positive experience for people who are listening.

3914             Again, those sorts of things can be done from the master control and dropped into the individual locations.

3915             MR. WOOD:  Mr. Chairman, I might also mention that there would be a 1‑800 listener line.  There will be a news tip award line where we would pay $100 a week and $1,000 a year for the best news tip award.  There will be the AVR news correspondent in the community and there would be contact with the local Friendship Centres for more of the Regina input into the national service.

3916             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Now, that's the first stage, and it's in ‑‑ to start with the news gathering and news producing out of Regina.  Then ‑‑ and that will employ one person?

3917             MR. HENNESSY:  In the news position?  Yes.

3918             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Yes.

3919             MR. HENNESSY:  Yes.

3920             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Okay.  Then later, as finances are available, then you will ‑‑ you're planning to have a morning show, and it's when you will have that morning show that you will be also able to produce the best of the week and not before?

3921             MR. HENNESSY:  Correct.

3922             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Correct.  So when ‑‑ and how many employees will be involved in the morning show?

3923             MR. HENNESSY:  For the local production of the morning show ‑‑

3924             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Yes.

3925             MR. HENNESSY:  ‑‑ we'll have the newsperson, the morning host who is the anchor for the show does interviews, that type of thing.  There will be a producer who operates the morning show and works to edit, putting together a community calendar, a multipurpose position such as that.  And we also have a technician for the station that's on a service contract to maintain us technically.

3926             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  And that will ‑‑ at which stage of your development are you figuring out that you will be able to implement the morning program, so having local facilities?

3927             MR. HENNESSY:  As quickly as possible.  We are ‑‑

3928             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  And ‑‑

3929             MR. HENNESSY:  ‑‑ we are very much aware of our ‑‑

3930             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  And in your own words, what the words "quickly" means?

3931             MR. HILL:  Commissioner ‑‑

3932             MR. HENNESSY:  3/25 September ‑‑

3933             MR. HILL:  Commissioner, I think that we have been able to put together a very strong team that's very focused on the financing issue going forward.

3934             And as I had mentioned, we want to deliver a premium service and we took that very seriously.  And we know we have a national radio network to build and we have specifically hired people whose job it is to, I guess, you know, optimize our ability to achieve the type of financing that's required.

3935             MR. HENNESSY:  One ‑‑

3936             MR. HILL:  There are more people working on this than what is sitting here at the table.

3937             MR. HENNESSY:  One of the things that was mentioned was the low advertising revenues.  I think we should make a distinction between advertising and our concept of commercial advertising and what we are really attempting to create.  We do not see ourselves as a commercial competitor.  We don't believe we will be.

3938             We're not going to be comparing cost per point with the commercial operations in the market, but we do ‑‑ and we have one of our consultants, one of our friends, has had some conversations with national public radio and public broadcasting in the US.  And we're using that as a model and we have created presentation packages that we can take nationally or to large corporations in the communities we're serving, to seek funding ‑‑ not for advertising, but to support the development of a program of a feature, whether it's a feature on community welfare and health that could be sponsored by an organization of food producers or it's a wide open range or scope that we're going after to seek these dollars to help us fund and develop the programming.

3939             And they will receive the appropriate credits as you hear on public radio or you see on PBS, sponsored by the generosity of this foundation and that organization.

3940             We have a representative in Vancouver at this point in time.  We have a company in Calgary.  There's people there.  They've undertaken to develop this program across the prairies.  They've been concentrating on the oil towers in Calgary initially because it seemed like right ‑‑ ripe picking, but they're working in that area.

3941             And we have a consultant in ‑‑ who works out of Windsor who is also working to help us develop this in Toronto to go after corporations there.

3942             So it's a different sales.  It's a different product and it will be ‑‑ we don't see the money coming out of advertising budgets, more out of community relations, education and budgets of that nature that the companies have.

3943             So as we develop that, you know, quite possibly if the ‑‑ if it was a company in Regina, they would specify they wanted the money spent here, and we will be most accommodating.

3944             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  The programming plans that we are discussing now for Regina, except in Toronto, have you already start to implement part of it in the ‑‑ in other markets?

3945             MR. HILL:  Well, Commissioner, we've started to ‑‑

3946             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  To go on air?

3947             MR. HILL:  Yeah, we're working on it right now.  We haven't set a firm date.  Our intention was as soon as this hearing is finished, we're going to be into determining more of an exact time when we're going to be able to achieve those things, but we think that it's not too ‑‑ not very far into the future.

3948             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  And it ‑‑ but it's ‑‑ and you're following the same steps?

3949             MR. HILL:  Yes.  Yes.

3950             MR. WOOD:  Mr. Chairman, I might add that had there is no resistance on the part of AVR to provide local programming.  You do not have to drag us kicking and screaming to do local programming.  We fully appreciate the idea that local programming generates audience.  That will be a very high priority for AVR, and it's linked really, again, to when the funds become available.

3951             I think that we've dramatically understated the capability of the network to generate sales revenues through advertising.  And in part, I might ask Patrice to comment on some of the listener reaction we're getting ‑‑ not just from Aboriginal people, but from all people ‑‑ to the music that we're featuring on AVR.

3952             MS MOUSSEAU:  Our listeners in ‑‑ right now in Toronto, and actually we get listeners all across ‑‑

3953             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Can you just speak up please?

3954             MS MOUSSEAU:  Sorry.

3955             THE CHAIRPERSON:  I'm sorry.

3956             MS MOUSSEAU:  That's okay.  I get e‑mails and phone calls every day from our listeners in Toronto and across Canada, and actually around the world, and one of the things that they keep mentioning to me is the incredible music and programming that's on AVR that's completely unavailable.  There's no other station like that.

3957             And we want to be able to roll that out nationally.  We want everybody in Canada to be able to hear AVR.  We want all the Aboriginal communities across all the provinces, including Saskatchewan, to be a part of this national network.

3958             And I think if Saskatoon and Regina don't get the opportunity to add their voice to that network, I think it's going to do them a great disservice.  And the fact is, is that people like to hear us, and we want to be heard here as well.

3959             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Now, the local programming that we're talking about this morning, all of that will be ‑‑ in which language will it be?  In the ‑‑ in Cree, in Assiniboine or in English or ‑‑

3960             MS MOUSSEAU:  Shall I?

3961             MR. HILL:  We ‑‑ right now, Commissioner, we're broadcasting two languages that I guess are the languages in the cities where we have this happening.  The majority of the population ‑‑ and that's predominantly, right now, Cree and Ojibwe.

3962             I know there are other Aboriginal groups here and, you know, we would of course broadcast in languages that are the most relevant for each city.  So I know there are Assiniboine people here, Saulteaux, in addition to Cree predominantly, and there are other First Nations as well.

3963             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  We ‑‑ yesterday we heard there were some Dakotas as well in this city, and there was a fifth one, but we check around ourself, and I don't think it was ever mentioned.

‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires

3964             MS MOUSSEAU:  We have our spoken ‑‑ or our Aboriginal language requirement that we obviously are going to hit and probably exceed as far as language lessons actually having programming spoken in Aboriginal languages.

3965             But the thing is, is because we're going to have local talent here, they're going to ‑‑ have the ability not only to speak in English to their community, but to be able to use their own language commonly and make it something that's accessible and understandable, and then the people in the community can go, "Well, yeah, this is my language and I'm hearing it on the radio."  And that's going to have a lot of benefit to get people more encouraged to use their language and to learn more about it.

3966             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Will you be doing some things for the Metis community?

3967             MS MOUSSEAU:  Absolutely.  In fact we already ‑‑ we have a Metis show ‑‑

3968             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Yeah.

3969             MS MOUSSEAU:  ‑‑ right now in Toronto, which probably would roll out first, or take that national program, take it over into Regina and then look to the Metis community in Regina to contribute to that show.

3970             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Now, if things go well and over time we ‑‑ are you planning to hire more than three and a half people to operate your local programming contention?

3971             MS MOUSSEAU:  Well, one of the things about AVR is we're traditional storytellers, but we're using the best technology that we can find right now to do everything as quickly, as efficiently and as inexpensively as possible.

3972             One of the benefits of that is we can have DJs that are available and broadcasting nationally from anywhere in the country, so we could have X number of staff from right here in Saskatchewan as part of the national network.

3973             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Now, you haven't indicated that you will provide both locally‑produced and network‑produced spoken‑word programming including, like, a number of newscasts ‑‑ you know, well, we've already discussed my question.  I apologize.

3974             MR. WOOD:  Mr. Chairman, if I could just jump in?

3975             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Yes.

3976             MR. WOOD:  One comment about additional local reflection.  There has been great interest on the part of local community groups to come forward with programs that would be heard on AVR.  AVR would make that widely known, that such programming would find a platform on AVR and we would also approach organizations like the local Friendship Centre, for example, to find out if they wanted to produce a program that would be heard locally and, depending on the quality aspects of it or the program in its entirety, could be heard nationally.

3977             So it won't just be whether we have a large enough staff to accommodate local programming; there will be feedback and input coming from the community itself.  In fact, there's a fair amount of pent up demand for that.

3978             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Now, in the programming grid that you've provided us, you did mention number ‑‑ a good number of titles for network‑originated programming.  However, since very little information was provided in relation to these programs, I personally consulted your Toronto website so ‑‑ where I found the ‑‑ some descriptions for Red Tales, Women's Round Table, Art Review, Metis Health, AKA American Indian Living, and Heartbeat.  Could you confirm that the description of these programs provided on your website is current ‑‑ that currently is on your website, and I did check your website last week, so is this ‑‑ is that information still ‑‑

3979             MS MOUSSEAU:  Program ‑‑

3980             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  ‑‑ accurate?

3981             MS MOUSSEAU:  ‑‑ descriptions that are on the website are in fact correct.

3982             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  So it ‑‑

3983             MS MOUSSEAU:  Now, we ‑‑

3984             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  ‑‑ they are accurate?

3985             MS MOUSSEAU:  ‑‑ we do have a few more additions to make to the website.  We've been pretty busy.  Haven't had a chance to update it recently but, yeah, the descriptions there ‑‑

3986             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  But what ‑‑

3987             MS MOUSSEAU:  ‑‑ are correct.

3988             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  ‑‑ what is on the website is accurate?

3989             MS MOUSSEAU:  Yes.

3990             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Could you ‑‑ and getting back to your morning show that you're planning to have for Regina, could you describe for us the type of content you will ‑‑ you're looking to cover?  And you've mentioned local activities.  You've mentioned interviews, but could you give us more ‑‑

3991             MS MOUSSEAU:  This morning show is really going to be an opportunity for the people in Regina to have a showcase for their talent.

3992             One of the reasons why I'm so excited to come into this market is because the musical talent in this province is extraordinary.  We've had an opportunity to have several artists send their ‑‑ send us their CDs because they are really well‑known, like Andrea Menard for example, and she gets played all the time on AVR.  And there's a lot of regional musicians that haven't even had the opportunity ‑‑

3993             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  But she's played at ‑‑

3994             MS MOUSSEAU:  ‑‑ to hear about it.

3995             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  ‑‑ in many other radio stations as well.

3996             MS MOUSSEAU:  Yeah, she's fantastic.

3997             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Yeah.

3998             MS MOUSSEAU:  But there's a lot of hidden talent there, so on the morning show we have an opportunity for people to come in and be heard live and be heard in their communities, as well as news, weather, talk.

3999             We could have people coming in talking about Aboriginal leadership, local issues, perhaps provincial/federal politics, getting people involved in their communities, talking about the ability of people to get involved to learn languages.  Maybe there's local programs here that AVR can be promoting to promote the use of Aboriginal languages and bring that back into the community.

4000             I mean really the possibilities are endless as to what we can do for Regina with the morning show.

4001             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  The ‑‑ will the morning show be more spoken driven or more music driven?

4002             MS MOUSSEAU:  I see it probably about half and half.  A lot of music, a lot of talk ‑‑ I mean it's a variety show.

4003             MR. CARDINAL:  If you don't mind me adding to that as well?  In Edmonton, for example where I'm from, there is tremendous support from the community in wanting to do any number of programming possibilities that they can come up with.

4004             And so at this point, we're experiencing a real buy‑in from the Aboriginal communities, particularly in Edmonton, who are interested in providing support, in developing programming and programming ideas.  And I have to hold them back a little bit so that at least we're a bit more organized and ready for them when their opportunity comes.

4005             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Are you on air in Edmonton?

4006             MR. CARDINAL:  No, not yet.

4007             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  So the thing is that it's tough to have a program for the community when you're not yet on air.

4008             MR. CARDINAL:  Absolutely.  They're very excited about the opportunity that's coming, so that's what I wanted to reiterate.

4009             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  You wanted to ‑‑

4010             MR. HILL:  I just wanted to comment, Commissioner, that we did talk about some, I guess, themes that would kind of position AVR.  And the first and most important one in the spoken‑word portion is heritage and culture, Aboriginal heritage and culture, and Aboriginal values.

4011             We do have a show called the Wisdom of the Elders right now, and that type of, I guess, content would certainly take place as part of the morning show.  We're also very interested in promoting environmental issues because of Native people's respect for the land and for Mother Earth.

4012             We do have an aspiration of, I guess, fostering discussion around, I guess, issues such as economic development and, I guess, things that maybe some of the leadership ‑‑ Aboriginal leadership is involved in.

4013             We also are going to, you know, feature extensive programming about the arts, which is certainly a large part of Aboriginal culture.  And also education is one thing that we think is very important and it's ‑‑ one of the things that we want to promote as well.  And as Patrice said, you know, there's just a tremendous amount of talent in Saskatchewan and that would certainly comprise a significant portion of the morning show.

4014             MR. WOOD:  Just in order to follow up on that comment from Mr. Hill, to give you a kind of broad overview of where AVR wants go with its programming, in order to help improve the lives of Aboriginal people the focus would be, number one, on news every hour of the day, 24 hours a day.  We consider news very important.

4015             Secondly would be the national two‑hour telephone talk show every day, Monday through Friday.  And third would be 30 to 60 minutes of enriched public affairs programming each and every day.  That is what AVR ultimately hopes to do to harmonize what it's doing on all of its stations.  It will be an information rich service as the funds become available.

4016             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  The ‑‑

4017             MR. HENNESSY:  We talk about the national talk show.  There is a local component to that in each of the markets.  The technological developments that seem to be going at breathtaking speed, the company in Winnipeg that is selling us the master control and production facilities, they are also marketing a new product that will be on ‑‑ out shortly.  Hopefully we can be one of the first to use it.

4018             In effect it's a small production board which would go into the control room of each of our local facilities like in the facility in Regina where the morning show is produced.  It would also ‑‑ that's where we do the Regina portion of the national talk show.

4019             And the way this equipment is designed, by simply switching a knob, in Toronto the host and producer of the national talk show can bring in the Regina guest or the Regina host and guest, and all of the levels in production can be controlled from the one centre.  So again, using that will require less manpower and give us greater ability to get into each of these markets to deal with topics that are relevant.

4020             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Mr. Wood, in the ‑‑ you just mentioned talk ‑‑ just mention of news and the importance of news and news at every hour means that there ‑‑ what you're saying is you're thinking ‑‑ talking about having 168 newscasts a week.  Now for Regina, in your applications, you're talking about 15 local newscasts and 15 net ‑‑ network newscasts, so from 30 to 168 is somehow a water step.

4021             But regarding local news, what type of content are you ‑‑ will you be looking at?  Specific contents to the Aboriginal or newscasts about what's going on in the city?  Because it has some importance also for the Aboriginal population and ‑‑

4022             MS MOUSSEAU:  Yeah, we'll be looking at ‑‑ I think it's a two‑pronged ‑‑ sorry, it's a two‑pronged approach as taking a look at issues that affect Aboriginal people directly, perhaps news stories that are being maybe under‑reported by the mainstream news, as well as taking a look at news events, current events that mean something to Canadians at large.  But we can take a look at them from the Aboriginal perspective so that we can say, "Well, this is what Aboriginal people think about this particular issue."

4023             MR. WOOD:  Mr. Arpin, I just wanted to add also that the comment about the hourly news is not a local current Regina commitment that we're presenting to you.  It's simply where AVR wants to go ‑‑

4024             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  The ‑‑ that's ‑‑

4025             MR. WOOD:  ‑‑ in the future.

4026             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  ‑‑ that's what I understood.

4027             MR. WOOD:  Yes.  Also Mr. Cardinal has a comment also with regard to the dialogue that would occur amongst communities across Canada with the talk element of the programming.

4028             MR. CARDINAL:  Yes.  It's just important to note that the issues that arise within different parts of the nation also have a resounding effect on communities in the West, for example, the New Caledonia situation is not fully understood.  There is smatterings of information as the discussions that make their way informally into the community, but this kind of service for us to engage in the dialogue that is surrounding the issues that are pertinent to other Aboriginal communities across Canada is an opportunity for us to enter into a discourse that really lends to a deeper understanding, not just for ourselves but for Canadians as a whole when it comes to these kinds of issues.

4029             MR. HENNESSY:  We also ‑‑ we regard ourselves as being an inclusive organization, and the programming that we do is intended to invite people in to participate and learn, Aboriginal and non‑Aboriginal.

4030             One quick anecdote.  When we were working with the Trillium Foundation funds and had three in our news room in Toronto, and a couple of them were juniors and were being trained.  I walked into the news room one morning, and there was the usual black coffee and pounding away on keyboards.  I said, "Well, what's the big story today?"

4031             And there were a couple of mutterings about incidents that were totally Aboriginal in nature.  And I just smiled and I said, "I thought the fact that we have a new Pope was pretty interesting."  And I just left.  About 45 minutes, an hour later, the news director came in the door and said, "Listen to the newscast."

4032             And they ‑‑ it had started the wheel spinning about this idea being inclusive, and we ended up with a 20‑minute interview with one of the representatives of Six Nations who had been there when the Pope, who had just passed away, had visited Six Nations.  And there was a whole discussion about the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Aboriginal people; that's the type of thing that we want to do in each of the communities on an ongoing basis.

4033             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Now, in your programming grid that you have, you're suggesting to have a local newscast at 6 a.m., 8 a.m., and 1 a.m. and for a duration of five minutes each.  Will they be solely focused on local news or what will be ‑‑ or will they also contain national news materials?  Or what will be produced here in Regina and what will come from other sources?

4034             MS MOUSSEAU:  The Regina newscast, the ‑‑ we have the ability to draw from the national news, so they can look at the major stories of the day, include that into their local news broadcast.

4035             MR. WOOD:  Mr. Chairman, to the extend though that national stories are aired from the Regina news room, those will be developed with a Regina perspective.  So it will be Regina specific stories, plus the national stories from a Regina perspective.

4036             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  You have indicated that you intend to source the majority of your future programming, such as OOP(ph), Wisdom of the Elders, Turtle Highland Line(ph), Heart Review(ph), and other from AV ‑‑ from your network.  The urban Aboriginal experience in Toronto may differ quite significantly from the urban Aboriginal experience here in Regina.

4037             With this in mind, could you please comment on how these programs will be specifically relevant to Regina Aboriginal population?

4038             MS MOUSSEAU:  These programs although they are produced in Toronto are pretty general across the board.  For example, Red Tales, it's a literary review.  We're talking about books, but the fact is we're going to have the national network, and our hosts and our producers are going to have the resources of those other urban communities.  They're going to be able to submit content, submit ideas, and be able to work on these programs collaboratively.

4039             So perhaps the host is in Toronto, but we're really getting information and content from across the entire network.

4040             MR. HILL:  Commissioner, I think ‑‑ I believe that's one of the strengths of AVR is ‑‑ and this happens outside of the radio broadcast, is the exchange of stories and, you know, information amongst Aboriginal people across the country so ‑‑ and it happens in all different areas.

4041             You know, there are many things in the arts.  There are many things as far as the Native political leadership.  There are many things as far as the elders are concerned where there are national events and discussions, where there is a collaboration and exchange of understanding amongst all these various groups.

4042             And I think that's one of the benefits that the national radio network brings to local communities, is that what's happening in the other communities is ‑‑ there's an increased awareness in the local community and what's happening in other local communities, and I think that goes both ways, that ‑‑ that's certainly the ‑‑ you know, a local community ‑‑ the Aboriginal communities in Toronto could benefit from, you know, being engaged and hear what's happening in Regina.

4043             MR. CARDINAL:  Let me add to the ‑‑ to those points that you've made, Jamie.  The ‑‑ right now we know that there's over 60 percent of Aboriginal people that live in ‑‑ with ‑‑ within urban centres and we also know that across the country each of these urban centres, like Toronto and Edmonton and Vancouver, are faced with similar issues.

4044             One of the top five issues that are consistently brought forward by these Aboriginal communities is one of Aboriginal ‑‑ access to Aboriginal culture and history.  A lot of our urban centres are without access to these institutions of culture and ceremony, and these are very important in providing a sense of continuity and a sense of identity for Aboriginal people within the urban settings.  So when we talk about issues within Toronto, aside from cultural content in terms of languages and things like that, the essence and the basis of the issues are the same.  We need to access culture.  We need to also find out from our other relatives in different cities how they're dealing with those issues as well; employment, education and those issues are relevant across the country.

4045             How we're dealing with them are unique, and that in and of itself creates the opportunity for a wonderful dialogue in sharing and creating strategies to deal with these issues.

4046             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  The ‑‑ regarding to Aboriginal languages, I note that in your oral presentations you agreed to the existing conditions of licence that appear in all your ‑‑ the licence that have been granted to you.  So only to reiterate, so the ‑‑ you do accept the conditions of licence that they have been granted to your existing licence, that they could be ‑‑ that they apply for Regina?

4047             MR. HILL:  Commissioner, yes, we accept those conditions and we support them.

4048             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Yes, including the 25 percent of spoken word?

4049             MR. HILL:  Yes, including the 25 percent of spoken word.

4050             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  The ‑‑ now, are you planning to sell any advertising locally, and if yes, at which stage in the development of your service?

4051             MR. HILL:  No, we do not have any intention to sell local advertising.  It's ‑‑ our intention is to sell national advertising, so maybe that's a question that speaks to our impact on, I guess, local broadcasting.  And we don't expect that we're going to have any negative effect on local broadcasting, so we don't have any intention of selling local advertising.

4052             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Including the local component of your ‑‑ of the programming grid that you have proposed?

4053             MR. HILL:  Yes, including that as well.

4054             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  And now, as you know, we will hear today an application by Natotawin Broadcasting to operate also a type B radio broadcast programming undertaking.  Well, they are currently in La Ronge and they are applying for a rebroad in ‑‑ rebroadcasting facility in Regina.

4055             According to ‑‑ and you referred to the 2001 census, the Aboriginal population is approximately 16,000 people.  Some are saying that by today, it's probably closer to 20,000, but do you think there's room for two services to serve the Aboriginal population in Regina; one from your network and the other one from the La Ronge service who is providing a more regional service to Saskatchewan?

4056             MR. HILL:  Yes, Commissioner, the primary mission of AVR is to improve the lives of Aboriginal people.  And we support, with that idea, I guess, as much Aboriginal media availability as possible.  We do believe there are room for two ‑‑ two Aboriginal broadcasts in Regina.

4057             And I want to say especially in light of the fact that we have some demographic projections that indicate that within a couple of generations, that approximately half of the population of Saskatchewan will be Aboriginal people.

4058             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  The ‑‑ and how will your service ‑‑ I don't know if you have had a chance to look at the application of Natotawin, but how your ‑‑ if you do, could you tell me how the ‑‑ your service will defer from them?

4059             MR. HILL:  Well, I think that it's a difference between a national programming service and a local or regional program service.  I think that the thing ‑‑ Aboriginal Voices is virtually 100 percent Aboriginal.  Our intention is to, at a minimum, have ‑‑ or to play 50 percent of Canadian Aboriginal artists.  We are not aware that there are any other broadcasters providing any type of service like that.  We are not aware of any intention to provide a service like that.

4060             So I think that, you know, we're distinct as far as other Aboriginal broadcast services and I think ‑‑ and those are the two primary ways that we're almost all Aboriginal content, and it's a national dialogue and I think that certainly I would hope that Regina could be a part of that.

4061             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  The ‑‑ your service as ‑‑ and you mention it on numerous occasion, and it's also in your original application, is catering to the Aboriginal people in the urban centres.

4062             Obviously the ‑‑ Saskatchewan is more a rural community than an urban community.  How will your service cater to the Aboriginal of the ‑‑ of Saskatchewan?  And I'm also thinking here about Saskatoon, since obviously you'll be ‑‑ they will ‑‑ you will be working in tandem with those two stations ‑‑ how the Aboriginal of this province will feel served by an urban service.

4063             MR. HILL:  Well, one of the things that we have said previously and we still intend to go forward with the plan that we will provide all of our programming free of charge to, you know, any and all Aboriginal broadcasters across the country, so any regional broadcaster or First Nations‑based radio station will be able to download our programming free of charge.

4064             So I mean some of them may be interested, and we believe that they would be, and some have expressed interest in some of our national content just to, you know, provide something else.  I mean it's not available right now, but the ‑‑ you know, we would be able to provide a national content for them at whatever level they think is appropriate.

4065             So we have focused primarily in, I guess, our presentations on the urban Aboriginal people where more than half ‑‑ the statistics show that more than half of Aboriginal people do live in urban centres, but we fully intend to provide our service free of charge to any other Aboriginal broadcaster.

4066             MR. CARDINAL:  Maybe also add to that by stating, again, demographics around transmigration between First Nations and Aboriginal communities and urban centres.  They seem ‑‑ there ‑‑ there's a lot of going back and forth between the city and their traditional areas or their communities.  That number is consistent.  That means people are coming here and working, returning homes either on weekends or certain durations of time.  We also recognize that there's a huge population growth within the urban centres themselves.

4067             So in this way, AVR is providing an access to information that is not accessible in their remote communities nor their communities in general.  And I think that's one major contribution that AVR will give to the Aboriginal people in Saskatchewan.

4068             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Maybe it's the place to ask my questions regarding ‑‑ well, yesterday when Standard appear for a ‑‑ for their application to serve Regina, they referred to an agreement that had ‑‑ they had signed with AVR regarding a weekly news magazine that they are contemplating for the ‑‑ for this market, and now it's my ‑‑ could you say to us more about what that agreement is all about?

4069             MR. HILL:  Yes, I'd be happy to, Commissioner.  We have a great relationship with Standard, and Standard has been very good to AVR.  And what we'll be providing is some of our news content to supplement a weekend program that they will do.  So we think it's a great idea that will increase, I guess, the Aboriginal perspective on some of the events happening in the world that are coming into Regina.  Perhaps I could ask Roy Hennessy to provide another comment.

4070             MR. HENNESSY:  This conversation with Standard began when they were applying for licences in Fort McMurray and Grande Prairie, and we were contacted by the manager of the Edmonton operation, who was organizing content program development, et cetera.  And they asked, if they were successful in Grande Prairie or Fort McMurray, would we be able to supply content to be part of ‑‑ as it was explained to me, the ‑‑ they are planning a 90‑minute news magazine on Sunday mornings ‑‑ thirty minutes of that would deal with issues of interest to the Aboriginal community they were serving, or Aboriginals in the community they were proposing to serve ‑‑ and would we make content from our national service stations available to them for inclusion.

4071             That was the total extent of the conversation.  Given that we weren't applying in those markets and our mandate or desire to expand the awareness of Aboriginal issues, we agreed that we would supply that content to them if they were successful.  When they applied for licences here and Saskatoon, we were contacted again by Standard and said, "Would you see your way to it being possible for us to have the same content provided for news magazine shows in these two new licence applications?"

4072             I pointed out to them that we were applying for licences in that market but I'd ‑‑ and I discussed this with everyone involved in the licence application that ‑‑ and we agreed that we did not see that as a conflict or as a problem because, again, it addresses our mandate of getting Aboriginal information and awareness out to the general community.

4073             And it's quite conceivable that a number of people who would be listening to the Standard stations, if they're successful, would not listen to AVR.  So we would, again, be helping to increase awareness and we pointed out to them that we were applying for licences and that if we were ‑‑ both parties were successful, we would still be going to provide that information to them.  That's the total extent of our discussions with them to achieve our goals and in a way, I guess, help them achieve theirs.

4074             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Thank you.

4075             We'll now talk about the CTD, or Canadian Television Development Program.  We ‑‑ well, we note that your plans in terms of promotion of Aboriginal artists includes broadcasting Aboriginal music, the creation of CD/DVD package contributing to an annual talent showcase, and the broadcast of special events such as powwow.

4076             In light of your stance on conditions of licence regarding the broadcast of Aboriginal language/music, could you please indicate how such a position will impact the diversity of Aboriginal music to be broadcast?

4077             MS MOUSSEAU:  I'm sorry, can you actually rephrase just that last bit?

4078             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  The ‑‑ well, you have a plan for CD, producing CD and DVD, and you refer to it in your oral presentation that you have that still ‑‑

4079             MS MOUSSEAU:  Yes, the ‑‑ that album.

4080             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Right.  I'll ‑‑ and you have developed a music library of major importance.

4081             MS MOUSSEAU:  Mmhmm.

4082             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  And what my question has to do with is that ‑‑ would you please indicate how such a position will impact the diversity of Aboriginal music to be ‑‑ well ‑‑

4083             MR. HENNESSY:  If you're wondering about how this ‑‑ how our national library actually is going to impact Aboriginal talent in Regina ‑‑

4084             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Yeah.

4085             MR. HENNESSY:  ‑‑ I see in a multiple fashion, that we can accomplish that, but by having local ‑‑ even just starting with the local newsperson who makes us aware there was a large concert last night or there's a new band, has a new CD out, I've got an interview with them ‑‑ having that on‑the‑street contact as the beginning, then eventually through the morning show host and their relationship with the community, becoming an integrated part of it, they make the national network or the national library, the ‑‑ aware of these artists, arrange for interviews to be featured across the country, so it becomes a developmental tool for artists in Regina and even other stations across the province that might discover an Aboriginal artist in their community.

4086             If they get airplay on that local station and it's brought to us, we can then take that and accelerate it by including it in our library, which we hope to operate as an E‑commerce as well so we can facilitate the selling of downloads of these artists' albums because you certainly won't find them at HMV.  We are the epitome of emerging talent, so having the vehicles like the E‑commerce downloading capability would allow us to accelerate the development of an artist from Regina.

4087             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Your ‑‑ is your music library ‑‑ well, will your music library made ‑‑ be made available to other Native broadcasters or ‑‑

4088             MR. HENNESSY:  We see it as evolving into a resource for all Canadians, for everyone to access.  So if a broadcaster made ‑‑ was made aware of or wanted to access our library to download a track to feature in their playlist, that's part of the service that that library is intended to perform.

4089             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  You ‑‑

4090             MR. HENNESSY:  And they pay us 99 cents for it.

4091             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  I see.  Now, creation of CD/DVD and coverage of powwows locally here in Regina or in Saskatchewan, are ‑‑ at which stage of your development, do you think, that you will be capable to start covering and producing local material?

4092             MS MOUSSEAU:  Once our morning show is in place because we have ‑‑ like, I mentioned we're a pretty lean, mean machine here as far as technology goes.  We can just take them and put them right into that powwow and have them broadcast live from that event.

4093             MR. HENNESSY:  We are having discussions ‑‑ oh, sorry.  There we are.  We have been having discussions and are beginning planning to make our first appearance at the Calgary Stampede next year.  Sorry, Regina, but they'll probably win first.  But there is a very large Aboriginal segment to the Calgary stampede.  I lived there myself for four years.  I know the type of excitement that the Aboriginal celebrations contribute to the Stampede.  We intend to be live from there next year.

4094             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Well, you don't have to be sorry about Regina.  Our ‑‑ this really might ‑‑ might not have been released by that time so ‑‑

‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires

4095             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  So ‑‑

4096             MR. WOOD:  Mr. Chairman, just picking up on a comment that Mr. Hennessy made regarding the developmental support that AVR will provide, again, it's a point worth emphasizing, I think, that all of the artists featured on AVR are Aboriginal are that all of the artists are emerging because they've never before been heard.  And that, in a way, makes AVR a very distinct service because we believe it's the only service in Canada that is devoted to a music sound that is 100 percent Aboriginal.

4097             Most of the regional services and independent stations are featuring a fairly large component of commercial, mainstream, chart‑oriented music.  So whereas there's a component of mainstream music in those stations, sometimes very large, we are 100 percent Aboriginal.

4098             MS MOUSSEAU:  Sorry, may I just make one more comment?  One of the things about Aboriginal Voices Radio is ‑‑ that is enormous is that we are 100 percent Aboriginal in all of our music, and the fact is is that people are going to be hearing us and knowing that their people are making this music.  It gives them the opportunity to hear other sounds from across Canada, contribute to their own music.

4099             Recently I ‑‑ a friend of mine brought some kids with her out of Manitoba to Toronto to check out the local universities, to encourage them to ‑‑ for post‑secondary education, and they were listening to AVR for the first time and they were shocked because they couldn't believe how great the music was on our station.

4100             And, you know, one girl said, "You know what?  I'd had no idea Robbie Robertson was Aboriginal."  Like, these are things the community at large, especially the youth community, doesn't know.  And they can look at that as a source of pride, and Aboriginal Voices Radio will bring ‑‑ will be able to bring that to all of Canada.

4101             MR. HENNESSY:  One other quick comment with regards to the development of talent in Regina or the other markets that we serve as well.  We've had discussions of ‑‑ preliminary, but the idea has been discussed with an organization called Theatre D in Toronto.  They are refurbishing an old theatre and converting it into a high‑definition digital production centre that will also feature live performances, live talent.  They're opening on the 24th of November and they'll be featuring live performances with the ability to both video and record them.

4102             And the discussion ‑‑ to make it perfectly obvious, the discussion of an Aboriginal Idol type of show and production has got their interest, and that would be an opportunity where we could take an emerging artist from Regina or in Edmonton or in Calgary, have them perform in competition and be recorded and featured.

4103             And whether we can develop this into what also becomes a television feature as well, we don't know, but we have interest from the people involved in pursuing it.  These are the sorts of things that we think about, dream about and hope we can afford.

4104             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Well, Mrs. Chairman, I'm through with my questions.

4105             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you.

4106             Commissioner Pennefather...?

4107             COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER:  Thank you, Madam Chair.

4108             Good morning.  I have a question which is just for our understanding in terms of music, and don't interpret it as a COL or a specific question in that sense.

4109             But talking about the CD/DVD package under talent development and the project of ‑‑ as you did this morning, of including Aboriginal Canadian artists in the current database, et cetera.  Just as a general sense, the artists that you're talking about cover all the genre of music or are we ‑‑ you know, I am aware of some artists, but just so that we have a better understanding, we would be looking at artists in a variety of genre from rock right through to classical, I suppose?

4110             MS MOUSSEAU:  Absolutely.  Aboriginal artists across Canada are producing a wide variety of genre.  Everything, as mentioned, from hip hop to jazz, to classical, to rock, to pop, a lot of them are independently produced.  That's why there is ‑‑ unfortunately they don't necessarily all the time have the Cancon MAPL symbol on their back of their CD.  So there's research involved in getting, as I said, that information to us, and that's why there's sort of that discrepancy with your database, I believe, at the commission.  I think ‑‑ I hope ‑‑ does that answer your question?

4111             COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER:  And the artist ‑‑ yes, it's ‑‑ I imagine, too, that that same issue comes into play with other organizations such as FACTOR or other organizations where the classification is also being discussed, so that Aboriginal artists are classified according to their genre of music as opposed to being an Aboriginal artist.  Is that also a problem in terms of other organizations, like FACTOR, or any of the others?

4112             MS MOUSSEAU:  I'm not sure ‑‑

4113             COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER:  Are there getting ‑‑ in other words, are they being included as Canadian artists appropriately in other areas like FACTOR?

4114             MS MOUSSEAU:  I would think not because how are they possibly getting exposure if not through Aboriginal Voices Radio?  There isn't the distribution.  They aren't getting the commercial airplay.  They're not getting any media coverage.  There's not a lot of buzz.  If they're playing clubs, you know, they're slogging it away in these little tiny clubs, and maybe they're not getting the opportunity to come into FACTOR.

4115             Coming into Toronto, for example, for FACTOR meetings is a pretty expensive endeavour.  I don't think an Aboriginal artist from a small community may necessarily be able to do that.  So Aboriginal Voices Radio, as I see it, is the best vehicle for Aboriginal musicians to get their music heard nationally ‑‑

4116             COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER:  And then start the process?

4117             MS MOUSSEAU:  ‑‑ as well as on mainstream ‑‑

4118             COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER:  And can start the process that way?

4119             MS MOUSSEAU:  Absolutely.

4120             COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER:  And we're talking about artists singing or playing ‑‑ well, let's take singing; obviously playing something else, but the singing in both and, of course, if they're singing opera in Italian or German, but also Aboriginal languages?

4121             MS MOUSSEAU:  Yes.  Yeah, we actually play Aboriginal music songs in Aboriginal languages played by Aboriginal musicians right now.

4122             COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER:  Is it the majority of songs would be in English or in Aboriginal languages?

4123             MS MOUSSEAU:  The majority ‑‑

4124             COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER:  How does it break down?

4125             MS MOUSSEAU:  Yeah, the majority of the songs right now, I believe, are in English and that's because I ‑‑ I believe that Aboriginal artists are concerned about becoming commercially viable.  In order to do that, they want to sing in English.  More people will understand that.

4126             COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER:  Of course.

4127             MS MOUSSEAU:  Again with AVR, we have an opportunity to play those Aboriginal languages, those Aboriginal songs.  Perhaps you might encourage more of our artists to start, again, singing in their original languages.

4128             COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER:  That's sort of my point when saying ‑‑ I'm not talking about the 2 percent, but it is ‑‑ a component of the mandate of AVR is bringing that exposure but also that was access for the rest of Canada to artists singing in Aboriginal languages.

4129             MS MOUSSEAU:  Yeah.  I mean we hit our 2 percent to requirement, but that's not why we play the music.  The songs are fantastic, and they get ‑‑ include not just in those sections of our Aboriginal music programming, but it's also included in our main play lists.

4130             COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER:  A couple of other follow‑up questions from your discussion with Vice‑Chair Arpin, you mentioned the two‑hour national talk show.  Would it ‑‑ which would appear to be an open‑line show because I think people will be calling in, and that was your point in terms of a discussion about Regina as well.  Do you have or will you have mechanisms in place to ensure that you comply with the Commission's policy on open‑line programming?

4131             MR. HENNESSY:  Yes, the production facilities will be able to monitor delay the broadcast.  There will be a producer in place to monitor content and make sure that we're within guidelines.

4132             COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER:  A producer in Toronto?  Would that be the ‑‑

4133             MR. HENNESSY:  That will be the hub for the program.

4134             COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER:  Right.

4135             MR. HENNESSY:  But as I pointed out with the technology we've got, we'll be able to remote ‑‑ we can bring a guest in.  We could have the mayor of Regina discussing an issue, specifically bring him into the studio and be able to control his levels, monitor, run the delay and everything else remotely but still have the impact of having that person live on the air.

4136             MR. WOOD:  Also ‑‑

4137             COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER:  And local residents in Regina ‑‑ sorry, Mr. Wood.  You wanted to add something?

4138             MR. WOOD:  No, that's ‑‑ I'm sorry.  I was just going to say one of the most important components of a talk show is the person who screens the calls.

4139             COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER:  Yes.

4140             MR. WOOD:  So as the calls come in, somebody at headquarters will be screening the calls, not only for appropriateness to the subject, but for balance and to ensure that all points of view have a chance to be aired.  So we definitely will provide for that.

4141             COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER:  And local residents here would use a ‑‑

4142             MR. WOOD:  A 1‑800 line.

4143             COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER:  ‑‑ 1‑800 number?

4144             MR. WOOD:  Yes.

4145             COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER:  You also discussed the website program descriptions, and I think you indicated to my colleague that there were some descriptions that were to be added.  And in order to have a complete picture of the program descriptions for our purposes, could you supply us with the program descriptions and ‑‑ so we don't have to wait for the website?

4146             MS MOUSSEAU:  Absolutely.  I can provide you either a hardcopy or digital copy by the end of the day or ‑‑ whatever, by the week, whatever ‑‑ your choice, whatever you'd like.

4147             COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER:  Thank you.

4148             And just my last question is I hate ‑‑ Mr. Hennessy ‑‑ Miss ‑‑ do you want to pick up on that timing question, counsel?  Thank you.  Speaking of timing, I just wanted to get back to your "quickly as possible", Mr. Hennessy.

4149             And thanks to your discussion this morning, I think we have a better understanding of how you see this service, as Mr. Cardinal so eloquently said at the beginning of the discussion, a service ‑‑ an AVR without Regina is difficult for you to understand.  It's also important to ‑‑ for us to understand how the service would really fulfil the needs of the Regina audience and listeners.

4150             And so I come back to the question of ‑‑ I think I understand the thesis of how the local service would develop over time, but in terms of this being an application for frequency in the Regina market, could I ask you again to give us perhaps a more precise sense of when you feel that the morning show will be a Regina morning show, if I can put it that way, and the rest of the grid would in fact ‑‑ in addition to the talk show being a national show and the other national shows available, the concept of a Regina AVR service would be a reality?  Can you give us a better sense of the "quickly as possible"?

4151             MR. HILL:  I could comment on that, Commissioner.  I mean this ‑‑ it's a projection, and if I was to lay odds, I would say that by the end of a one‑year period of being granted the licence that we would be able to achieve pretty much the quality that we intend to.

4152             And I base that upon the fact that I've been on the board for a couple of years and I've seen great strides forward under not the best conditions.  And I think that we have an extremely talented team in place, that it's ‑‑ if I could, I think it's the best team that AVR's had so far.  Although there was a lot of talents that, you know, got us to this point, but we've tried to put a team in place right now that can move us on to the next level.  And from my awareness, I think that ‑‑ I mean I'm very happy with the way things are going at this point.

4153             And we've given you a conservative, I guess, projection on what we're going to do, but we're quite confident ‑‑ and we do that on purpose.  You know, we want to give you something that you can have a great confidence in.  But from what I know personally about ‑‑ you know, about AVR and the things that we're working on, I have a very high level of confidence that we're going to be able to, you know, deliver on what I would call, you know, the top programming that we could very quickly.

4154             COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER:  Thank you, Mr. Hill.  Thank you, Madam Chair.

4155             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Thank you.

4156             I just have a few questions.  Would you agree to a COL that you would not solicit local advertising?

4157             MR. HILL:  Yes, we would.

4158             THE CHAIRPERSON:  And given your high level of confidence, Mr. Hill, would you agree to a COL that you will be producing 30 hours a week of locally‑produced programming by the end of year two of the licence period?

4159             MR. HILL:  We will agree to the conditions of licence that you think are appropriate and we'll work vigorously to meet those.  And I want to say that we take these things extremely seriously and ‑‑

4160             THE CHAIRPERSON:  As do we.

4161             MR. HILL:  Yes.

4162             MR. WOOD:  Commissioner, if I could just respond to the condition of licence for local advertising?  In the event that AVR reaches the threshold that would enable us to do local advertising, we think that ‑‑ we would hope that the Commission would keep in mind that there are probably emerging Aboriginal businesses that might want to advertise on AVR.  That's the only comment I'll make.

4163             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Oh, I thought your model was sponsorship, and that's a totally different issue.

4164             MR. WOOD:  Well, it's ‑‑ whether it's ‑‑ whether you're calling it sponsorship or whether you're calling it advertising, within your regulation, effectively if there's a condition there that says we can't do that, then we shut out local advertisers who might want to advertise on the radio station, or sponsors.

4165             THE CHAIRPERSON:   Well, I don't know ‑‑

4166             MR. HENNESSY:  It's not our ‑‑

4167             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Mr. Hennessy...?

4168             MR. HENNESSY:  It's not our intention to have a retail sales force on the street competing with the commercial broadcasters.  Our focus is to generate funding to develop the network from those alternate sources that I pointed out, but the ‑‑

4169             THE CHAIRPERSON:  So on the understanding that sponsorship is not included in the concept of local advertising, will you agree to a COL that you would not solicit local advertising?  You're fully aware of the allegations of the fragility of this market.

4170             MR. HILL:  We'll agree to your conditions of licence and comply with them.

4171             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Okay.  And you will agree to a condition of licence that by the end of year two of the licensing term, you will be here and producing 32 hours a week of locally produced programming?

4172             MR. HILL:  If that is the decision of the Commission, yes, we will.

4173             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Well, will you agree to that or not?

4174             MR. HILL:  We would.

4175             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you.

4176             And as to your issue, Mr. Wood, of emerging businesses, I don't know if you heard this morning that SIGA, Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Association, has earned 40 million in profits, net profits.  And that, then, goes to my question to you, Mr. Hennessy.  Is there no thought of seeking out sponsorships from some of the not emerging, but already existing, very strong First Nation businesses in the West?

4177             MR. HENNESSY:  Absolutely.  Those are the types of organizations that we would want to talk to.  We have worked with, based on our ‑‑

4178             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Have you gone to Peace Hills Trust in Alberta?

4179             MR. HENNESSY:  No, we've been dealing with Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission and with the casino ‑‑ or Casino Rama.

4180             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Okay, yeah.

4181             MR. HENNESSY:  We've been dealing with them and they ‑‑ now again, there is a situation where they have not sponsored the program, but they have participated in programs dealing with addiction to gambling and have also purchased a campaign regarding responsibility in gambling.  So that's sort of a bit of a grey issue as to what is advertising.  It's not ‑‑

4182             THE CHAIRPERSON:  It's indeed unfortunate that you have received the opposition of the La Ronge Band which owns one of the very ‑‑ I'm going to say probably one of the top businesses in Saskatchewan, and that you've lost the confidence of the Prince Albert Grand Council because they also own one of the top ten businesses in Saskatchewan, so it's a ‑‑ it's unfortunate.

4183             At page 5 of your production of your presentation today, you've made this assertion that Canadians from coast to coast overwhelmingly approve of an Aboriginal national radio service, and I want you to review that assertion given the questions that Mr. Doering asked.  And if you look at page 29 of what he asked, I think you should be careful in using that assertion.  If you notice, what he said is, "I would like to ask you some questions about a concept for a new radio station in your city."

4184             Now, if you can tell me where it refers to an Aboriginal radio network, I would accept your assertion.  However, I only see three questions that he asked, and none of them refer to a national Aboriginal network.  So the demand, I agree, in Regina is high for an Aboriginal radio station.  And I wanted to talk a little bit ‑‑ I'm sorry, I'm not giving you time.

4185             MR. WOOD:  Commissioner, I'd just make a comment that we'd be more than pleased to follow up with a statement on that from Mr. Doering.

4186             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Yeah.  Well, unless there were other questions, it's difficult to see the basis for his conclusion.

4187             I wanted to talk what about I call reinventing the wheel and I'm having some concerns, as you may have heard yesterday about that too, not in relation to yourselves but in relation to other issues.

4188             Do you have any relation with APTN?  Because they have a terrific news‑gathering machine already in force.  Have you tried to set up any cooperative arrangements with them?

4189             MR. HILL:  Madam Chair, to tell you the truth, we've been so engaged in the initiatives before us and the challenges before us as far as getting our stations on the air, that we haven't had the opportunity.  We've certainly agreed that it is ‑‑

4190             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Because they've got a lot of resources, you know, in terms of people in the North and ‑‑

4191             MR. HILL:  Yes, yes.  And we've always thought that once we get to a certain point, that ‑‑ and that's the relationship building part and looking for partnerships and so forth where we can, I guess, mutually benefit from these relationships that we would do that.  But I guess we saw a sequence, and we were very much focused on getting our stations on the air and meeting our commitments.

4192             THE CHAIRPERSON:  And they also have ‑‑ Mr. Wood, they have a national talk show, and it would make imminent sense for me that ‑‑ if you would rebroadcast it, and simply because APTN sometimes doesn't have the station on the ‑‑ the spot on the dial under 20, I mean it makes sense to me that that would achieve some of your objective, and then you could build into developing your own in ‑‑ rather than redoing something.

4193             MR. WOOD:  Yes, I think that's absolutely correct but I also think there's such a pent up demand to express points of view ‑‑

4194             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Yeah.

4195             MR. WOOD:  ‑‑ from different regions of the country that ‑‑ and also, radio does deliver the component of access to our service on free over‑the‑air radio, so it's available to people who might not have access in certain workplace locations or, for example, in their vehicle.  There are a lot of programs that they wouldn't be able to access that are on APTN, and likewise.

4196             So if we were running the APTN service, it's ‑‑ it would certainly be a benefit to us, but it ‑‑ our programming would be of benefit to them as well.

4197             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Yes, I agree.

4198             MR. WOOD:  They receive a significant amount of revenue through cable fees and I think it goes with the territory that, if you have the revenue, you can generate high quality programming.

4199             And when AVR completes its financing and revenue plans, it too will provide high quality programming, but we certainly think there is merit in meeting with Mr. Larose and his staff and talking about those possible synergies.

4200             THE CHAIRPERSON:  And in terms of your library, it also seems to me like you're reinventing the wheel because, when you first appeared in front of us in Toronto, your panel consisted of Mr. Dave McLeod of NCI, one of the pre‑eminent ‑‑ I'm going to say ‑‑ experts on Aboriginal music in Canada, and he does the top 20 every week and certainly has been around Aboriginal music forever.  And I'm sure his library, if you cooperated, would ‑‑ could also build ‑‑ you could build together.

4201             Ms Mosseau, you wanted to ‑‑

4202             UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER:  Turn your mic on.

4203             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Like, I just constantly hear rebuilding, and it seems to me cooperation would be a far better way to go.

4204             MS MOUSSEAU:  If I can talk first about APTN?  APTN is an amazing channel.  It is ‑‑ it's absolutely needed to happen here in Canada, but right now ‑‑ at least in my opinion, and I think that's the opinion of most people that watch the shows that they have.  It tends to be very North‑centric.  They deal a lot with Canada's north and reserve communities, small communities' issues that they have to deal with on a daily basis.  Aboriginal Voices Radio is focusing on the urban Aboriginals.

4205             So right now when we look at creating our talk shows, we have to look at issues that are most affecting the urban Aboriginals.  And then, you know, perhaps in the future when we can look at a larger collaboration, when we can ‑‑ instead of separating urban Aboriginals, reserve Aboriginals, Inuit, the North, and the different provinces, we can end up in a position where we're all together as one.  And at that point APTN and AVR working together is ‑‑ it makes logical sense but, right now, we have to look at what our mandate is, and that is serving Aboriginal ‑‑ the urban Aboriginal.

4206             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you.

4207             You now have two minutes to convince us.

4208             MS BENNETT:  Sorry, could I just address a couple of housekeeping matters?  Sorry, just a few quick clarifications.  You said today that you would ensure that no less than 2 percent of all programming during a broadcast week would be spoken‑word programming in an Aboriginal Canadian language.  Is that a commitment by COL?

4209             MR. HILL:  That is a commitment we're prepared to make.

4210             MS BENNETT:  Okay, by condition of licence?

4211             MR. HILL:  Yes.

4212             MS BENNETT:  Okay, thanks.  Now, earlier you talked with Commissioner Arpin about filing financial projections.  My understanding is that there are no financial projections on the file, so could you file those today, maybe if you've got them with you, right after your presentation?

4213             MR. HILL:  Yes, we have them with us and we can file them today.

‑‑‑ Undertaking / Engagement

4214             MS BENNETT:  Okay.  And similarly with the program descriptions, if you could file those at the same time?  Okay.  And the last part was documentation on the availability of funds.  Would you have that information available today as well?

4215             MR. HILL:  The availability of funds, what was that referring to?

4216             MS BENNETT:  Well, you had a discussion with Commissioner Arpin about the various sources of funding that you are projecting, and I think you spoke with him about the possibility of filing some documentation ‑‑

4217             MR. HILL:  Oh, okay.

4218             MS BENNETT:  ‑‑ with respect to those sources?

4219             MR. HILL:  Yes.  Yes, but I don't think that we have all of that information today, but we can file that very quickly ‑‑ oh, we can?  Oh, okay.  Well, I guess ‑‑

4220             MS BENNETT:  Well ‑‑

4221             MR. HILL:  I ‑‑ I'm sorry, I stand corrected.  We do have that information with us and we can file that.

4222             MS BENNETT:  Okay, great.  Thank you very much.

4223             MS MOUSSEAU:  And I'll get that other document to you right away.  I just have to go print it.

4224             MS BENNETT:  Okay, thank you.  That's it.

4225             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Now two minutes.

4226             MR. HILL:  Thank you, Madam Chair.

4227             I'd like to, I guess, talk about the importance of AVR and then, if we have time in the two minutes, I'd like to ask Lewis Cardinal to finish up.

4228             The mission of AVR is to improve the lives of Aboriginal people, and we think that our role through radio broadcasting is a very important one to do that.  There's ‑‑ currently exists a market gap in Regina.  There is ‑‑ there is no radio broadcast that's specifically targeted to the Aboriginal community here, so that's one thing that we believe is very important in this consideration.

4229             AVR, in being virtually 100 percent Aboriginal, we believe that we are one of the leaders and will be one of the leaders in helping emerging Aboriginal talent, both spoken‑word talent and music talent.

4230             The dialogue that AVR would be able to provide regarding just a wide array of Aboriginal issues is extremely important to this community, and not only to hear the dialogue, but to participate in the dialogue as well.

4231             We would like to respectfully remind the Commission that it is in the Broadcast Act to provide for such a service as ‑‑ when that becomes possible.

4232             We will add to the diversity of the broadcasting here in Regina.  We are committed to preserving, protecting and promoting Aboriginal languages.  We believe that's extremely important to the Aboriginal communities across the country, as well as extremely important to the communities that are in the area here.

4233             And we don't believe that we're going to negatively impact any of the incumbents in any significant way, so I guess essentially that we believe we're an important piece ‑‑ part of improving lives of Aboriginals here in Regina.  And Lewis, if ‑‑

4234             MR. CARDINAL:  We're trying to reconnect our communities with each other.  I just ‑‑ as a part of our historical understanding of Canada, we know that the major urban centres across Canada were built upon these areas where indigenous peoples gathered, where many nations came together and celebrated and traded and did various kinds of business together.

4235             Regina, if it is not a part of the AVR network, will be a gaping hole for us because we find, and we know, that the importance of the voice of the Aboriginal and indigenous people here in this area is a very important dialogue.  Our elders are telling us that we have to take the opportunities and create opportunities for the Aboriginal people to have a chance to communicate again, as we did in times of old; gathering together and sharing our stories and learning from each other.  That's what AVR is about.  It's about relationships and it's about relationship building.

4236             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you, Mr. Hill.

4237             We will now take a 15‑minute break by my watch.  Set your time.  It is 25 to, so that will mean 10 to.

‑‑‑ Upon recessing at 1035 / Suspension à 1035

‑‑‑ Upon resuming at 1050 / Reprise à 1050

4238             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Order please.  I want to welcome you.  I want to, first, say that the time that we spent on AVR is ‑‑ may have seemed an extraordinary amount of time for one applicant.  However, we have three applications from AVR on this hearing; one for Regina, one for Saskatoon, and the third, their renewal.

4239             And the evidence we obtained was for the purposes of all three applications, so I don't wish anybody to feel that there was anything untoward about that time taken in questioning.

4240             Madam Secretary...?

4241             THE SECRETARY:  Thank you, Madam Chair.

4242             We are now ready to proceed with item 16 on the agenda which is an application by Natotawin Broadcasting Inc. to amend the licence of the Native radio program undertaking CJLR‑FM, La Ronge, Saskatchewan.

4243             The licensee proposes to add an FM transmitter at Regina to broadcast the programming of CJLR‑FM La Ronge in order to serve the population of Regina.  The transmitter would operate on frequency 90.3 megahertz, channel 212C1 with an effective radiated power of 43,000 watts non‑directional antenna, antenna height of 190 metres.

4244             Appearing for the applicant is Ms Deborah Charles, who will introduce her colleague.  You will then have 20 minutes for your presentation.  Ms Charles...?

PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION

4245             MS CHARLES:  Good morning.  (Native language spoken).

4246             My name is Deborah Charles.  I'm the chief executive officer for Missinipi Broadcasting and I'm here making a presentation to the Commission today.

4247             My colleague is Darrell Prokopie.  He's the director of sales and marketing, and we're here today to present our application.

4248             THE SECRETARY:  Please go ahead with your presentation.

4249             MS CHARLES:  Okay.

4250             COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS:  Can I get Darrell's last name again, please?  I didn't quite hear it.

4251             MR. PROKOPIE:  Certainly.  It's P‑R‑O‑K‑O‑P‑I‑E, pronounced Prokopie.

4252             COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS:  Thank you.

4253             MS CHARLES:  Tansi, edlanete, bonjour, good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the CRTC.

4254             First, I want to thank the Commission for giving me the opportunity to be here to speak to MBC's application for an RM rebroadcast transmitter to serve the Aboriginal listening audience of Regina, Saskatchewan.

4255             We at MBC believe that the quality news and informational spoken word in Aboriginal languages, programming and entertainment by way of our Aboriginal musicials and performance artists are two of the most important ways to expose urban Canadian listening audiences to Aboriginal culture, philosophy, ideas, opinions, music and artists, and hence expand their appreciation of Canada's diverse cultures and peoples.  That is why those elements are here ‑‑ are the core of our broadcast programs.

4256             MBC feels that the objectives for Canada's broadcasting systems are adequately addressed in the Broadcasting Act in that it states that programming and music should be predominantly Canadian and that the listeners should be provided with a varied and comprehensive programming from a variety of sources.

4257             MBC feels that the ‑‑ Canada's broadcasters have sorely neglected the Aboriginal variety of programming and have failed competently to respond to the needs of growing urban Aboriginal demographics, both here in Regina and elsewhere.

4258             The approval of our application so that they may provide Aboriginal language radio service to Regina area will go some way in redressing this oversight.

4259             MBC feels that the MBC/Natotawin application for a rebroadcast transmitter to carry our programs to the Aboriginal and non‑Aboriginal listeners of Regina is appropriate, and it is viable and, just as importantly, a culturally respectful response to a known need for a greater Aboriginal variety in quality radio programming.

4260             The Canadian Broadcast Act states that all programming should be of a high standard, balanced on matters of public concern, relevant to local communities, and reflect Canada's rich cultural diversity.

4261             MBC/Natotawin believes that in many respects it actually has been raised ‑‑ raising and indeed establishing the bar on the standards of the radio broadcasting relevant to the Aboriginal people on this ‑‑ of this country.

4262             I know that MBC is unique in its dedication to addressing those concerns relevant to the Aboriginal communities in ‑‑ of this province.

4263             It is MBC's view that it is only fitting that the CRTC would regulate Aboriginal radio with respect to the content offered in a manner similar to the regulation in place for non‑Aboriginal broadcasting undertakings, but we also believe that there must be an appreciation of inherent cultural differences between the Aboriginal and mainstream segments of society and how our people perceive and interpret what is offered to them over the airways.

4264             We at MBC seek to refine and improve the standards of broadcasting content directed towards our people, not to dismiss, abrogate or lower them.  Most importantly, we know that Aboriginal people want to hear Aboriginal broadcasters speaking and understanding their own language, providing them with radio programs that they can relate to and easily comprehend.

4265             Respectfully our application for a licence for a rebroadcast transmitter carries with it our commitment to honour in all aspects of news and information content and Aboriginal language usage and promotion of Aboriginal artists.

4266             I do not wish to speak at length about the quality of MBC's radio service in the short time available, but I have made provisions today to all the members of the Commission to receive a copy of my speaking notes here, and also other notes that clearly outline our high standard of service and historical commitment of MBC to the provision of the best of radio, all listeners Aboriginal and otherwise.

4267             Specifically MBC by its application makes the following commitments and guarantees:  MBC guarantees the Commission the daily provision of Aboriginally relevant newscasts, information and entertainment content.  MBC guarantees the Commission that it will provide significantly more dedicated Aboriginal language programming and the promotion of and airplay of Aboriginal artists and performance ‑‑ performers in the daily programs than any other radio station in the province can, could or would provide.

4268             MBC guarantees the Commission that it will provide these culturally and linguistically relevant broadcasting programs to the Aboriginal community of Regina in a professional and timely manner.

4269             MBC guarantees the Commission that it will ensure the inclusion of content of specific concern to Regina's Aboriginal residents and will foster ties with the Aboriginal community for its wellbeing and benefit.

4270             MBC guarantees the Commission that it will uphold to any ‑‑ all rules of the Broadcasting Act including a commitment to cover, fulfil the Canadian content requirements.

4271             With respect to five issues that the Commission stated they wished to address in their correspondence as at October 16th, two ‑‑ 2006, I received a letter and I'll go through them in point form the way it was written to me.

4272             In addition to the English, MBC utilizes three main spoken Aboriginal languages used in Saskatchewan; Cree, Dene and Michif in its program content and provides over 20 regularly scheduled dedicated Aboriginal language programming on a weekly basis.

4273             MBC also broadcasts Aboriginal language features throughout the day and during weekend programmings ‑‑ programs.  Our Monday through Friday Aboriginal language program ‑‑ programs are the daily Missinipi Achimowin program hosted and presented in the Cree and Michif languages, and the Dene ‑‑ and the daily Missinipi Dene Honi programming presented in the Dene language.  Both Achimowin and Dene Honi programs are inclusive of hourly newscasts, summaries that are inclusive of all local, regional, provincial, national and international news and are delivered in Cree, Dene and Michif in ‑‑ for our audience.

4274             Our Aboriginal language programming ‑‑ programs are also inclusive of open‑line presentations where listeners can voice their opinions in Aboriginal languages on a broad spectrum of issues.  The Achimowin and Dene Honi programs also deliver intensive informational content on topics that cover the gamut of Canadian Aboriginal listeners' interests in health, education, environment, justice, culture, languages, history and safety to major and minor political issues along with numerous other audience concerns.

4275             MBC has also hosted and aired hundreds of open‑line broadcast and talk show programming using Aboriginal language in the different dialects and provides in-depth, on location programming for community gatherings and events of importance to our audience.

4276             Through these and other distinctive programming approaches, MBC offers a platform for all ages to express themselves in their language and their dialects, and to be heard from elders to youth.

4277             MBC also presents its word of the day programming several times a day throughout the week, giving listeners the ‑‑ an opportunity to come to know, understand Aboriginal language used in everyday speech.

4278             MBC is prepared to offer expanded language programming to other Aboriginal language used in Saskatchewan as the opportunity presents itself.

4279             I'll just give the floor to him.

4280             MR. PROKOPIE:  Thank you.

4281             Aboriginal language vocal music.  MBC sponsors and promotes Aboriginal artists through consistent airplay 24/7 and significantly supports Aboriginal musicians and singers in the way that most matters, via our playlist.

4282             MBC will continue to promote Aboriginal artists to the people of Saskatchewan as we are the only broadcaster in the province that has demonstrated a commitment to Aboriginal talent by the simplest, most logical means available, and that is by playing their music for our listeners.

4283             Almost a quarter of music played on a daily basis on MBC is by Aboriginal artists, many of whom are locally based.  MBC has provided Aboriginal artist in northern Saskatchewan with their first opportunities to record their music and has actively been the catalyst and vehicle of our musician sponsorship through the provision of talent showcases and public performances.

4284             MBC has hosted Aboriginal talent searches that have been simulcast on our network since 1994 and we have sponsored and broadcast the Voices of the North talent show, an Aboriginal talent showcase.  MBC's talent search top prize is studio time and the songs are then broadcast on MBC.

4285             Over 100 performers have benefited from MBC's support of developing artistry through talent searches and showcases.  Additionally, MBC has spent its entire operational history as a promoter of national Aboriginal recording and performance artists as a matter of cultural respect and dedication.

4286             The reality is that MBC is the main provider of access to an audience for many Aboriginal artists and cultural producers.  We have presented their talent to the Aboriginal and non‑Aboriginal listening audience in Saskatchewan's communities for over two decades.

4287             Moving on to cultural programming.  MBC has a culturally attuned 28‑member staff, including a news and Aboriginal language production staff of seven, all of whom are Aboriginal.  The majority of them speak Cree, Dene or Michif, and some speak more than one Aboriginal language.  For more than two decades MBC has employed the majority of Aboriginal speaking broadcasters in Saskatchewan.

4288             Two of our staff have been chosen as national Aboriginal role models in the past 12 years.  We have an honour roll of over 40 board members and over 100 broadcast personnel coming out of the cultural milieu of Aboriginal society who have served and contributed to the growth of MBC as an organization over the past 22 years.

4289             MBC has created a legacy of unique cultural and linguistic heritage and its operations to date represent a genuine success story for the Aboriginal people of Saskatchewan.

4290             Our cultural programming covers and reports in‑depth on everything from Aboriginal spirituality, folklore, legends and stories, to traditional medicine use and Aboriginal food preparation and survival skills, along with the inherent viewpoints, opinions, ideas, and philosophy that they all entail.

4291             We are the only broadcaster in Saskatchewan to consistently cover Aboriginal trappers conventions and also to speak to the events and happenings surrounding all Aboriginal fields of employment, both traditional and non‑traditional.  We cover language conferences, elders gatherings, Aboriginal political elections and Aboriginal sporting events on the local, regional, provincial, national and international level.

4292             As an example, MBC began reporting live with its own reporters from the International Indigenous Games more than a decade ago.  We do all of this with a heavy emphasis on Aboriginal language use and presentation both by our staff and by the Aboriginal persons with whom we are actively engaged with in covering the story.

4293             We at MBC are mandated and entrusted to bring Aboriginal culture, languages, ideas, heritage and their perspective to the people of Saskatchewan.  It is an obligation we take seriously.  MBC is the radio media outlet of choice for most Aboriginal communities as well as the primary source of information for and about numerous Aboriginal organizations and individuals, and is an active participant in the public promotion of Aboriginal intellectual capacity and growth throughout the medium of radio by way of news, information, philosophy, political and social opinion, music, arts and culture.

4294             Our projected audience.  MBC, by its very nature, is a non‑traditional broadcaster and we have always avoided excessive commercial style, promotional and glamorization of our service and operations.

4295             In each and every community, we have grown to serve ‑‑ in each community that we have grown to serve, we have relied on the word of mouth of the Moccasin Telegraph in building and growing our audience, thus we project our listener numbers to be low to nominal in the initial stages of providing our programs to the Regina listening audience.

4296             We do not expect to see major shifts in listener demographics.  Our experience to date indicates that there will be an evolving awareness of what MBC has to offer the Aboriginal and non‑Aboriginal listeners and that there will be a corresponding, reflective positive rise in the MBC listening audience numbers.  We anticipate having a minimum of 20,000 listeners by the third year of operation.

4297             In making these loose projections, MBC has taken into account the expanding Aboriginal population demographics presented by Stats Canada and have balanced that with other known quantities such as the strength of our Aboriginal entities and organizations in Regina, and the participation rate and contact with urban Aboriginal society that they have experienced.

4298             Next we move on to our anticipated revenue projections.  MBC anticipates minimal economic revenues to be derived from its establishment of the Regina rebroadcast transmitter during its first two years of operation.  MBC does hope to reach a positive revenue flow from advertising sales by the third to fourth year so as the cover costs of the rebroadcast transmitter installation and its ongoing operational expenses.

4299             MBC seize its ‑‑ sees its responsibility to providing a service to the Aboriginal audience of Regina regardless of revenues, though by the end of the third year, as stated, we do anticipate a close‑to‑break‑even prospect.

4300             MBC has no immediate plans to pursue advertising revenues through active solicitation as there are no plans in place to hire a sales representative to be based out of Regina.  MBC will continue to utilize its four‑person sales team based out of Prince Albert to service the advertising clients of MBC.

4301             To provide exact revenue increments at this time would be quite difficult as we feel that any immediate gains will be derived from clients purchasing the MBC radio network and not necessarily the local Regina market.  This is held true during past urban expansions such as North Battleford and most recently Saskatoon.

4302             There is also the reality that MBC has only so much air time to sell.  We're dealing with one clock.  Because MBC is many things to many people, we need to make our advertising available to all we serve.  The small community event in northern Saskatchewan is just as important to MBC as a huge retail event in an urban centre.

4303             Now, I did include some projections for you.  These are probably on the aggressive side as we move into the third year.  At the completion of year one, I've indicated approximately $30,000 in revenue.  Keep in mind, we currently are getting some advertising dollars out of the Regina market as we speak.  Most of them are provincial type clients, but the billing does come to Regina, so we currently ‑‑ like I say, we're not starting from a point zero situation.

4304             At the completion of year two I've doubled that figure to show $60,000 in anticipated revenue and the completion of year three is when we are hoping to cover off our hard costs that we would incur through this expansion through the establishment of technology and the ongoing operations.  So at year three, I did pen that in at $100,000.

4305             I will pass it back to Deborah for her closing statement.

4306             Thank you.

4307             MS CHARLES:  Thank you, Darrell.

4308             In closing, may I say to the Commission that MBC has also ‑‑ has laboured through more than 20 years in building a community based Aboriginal radio network utilize ‑‑ utilizing highly skilled Aboriginal broadcasters and linguists to serve our people, my people.  Through a measured study approach we are growing in a meaningful presence for the Aboriginal radio audience in Saskatchewan and we trust that that will happen here in Regina for our people, my people.  So thank you.

4309             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you, and thank you for coming.

4310             I have a few questions for you, not that you didn't very completely and very well cover all of our issues raised in our notice.

4311             Now, do either one of you ‑‑ are either one of you involved in the programming side at all?

4312             MR. PROKOPIE:  Not to a great extent, but I'm sure between the two of us we could ‑‑

4313             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Okay, subject to the fact that you're not the experts?

4314             MR. PROKOPIE:  Right.

4315             THE CHAIRPERSON:  We just wanted to know ‑‑ you have old time music on Saturday and Sunday nights.  Do you know what it is?  Is it old rock?  Old country?

4316             MR. PROKOPIE:  No, it's old classic country.  It's the George Jones, the Buck Owens, the traditional country.

4317             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Mmhmm, okay.

4318             MR. PROKOPIE:  The Saturday mornings, yes, and Sundays.

4319             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Yeah.  And then you have on Wednesday night '70s and '80s music.  What kind of music is that?

4320             MR. PROKOPIE:  That is primarily of the rock nature.  That's more rock and roll.

4321             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Okay.

4322             MR. PROKOPIE:  And again, if I can maybe just interject, because MBC is many things to many people.  We do have a 5 to 95 year‑old demographic, so our programming tries to incorporate something for everybody over the course of our broadcast week.

4323             THE CHAIRPERSON:  And you do broadcast Aboriginal language music?

4324             MR. PROKOPIE:  Yes, we do.

4325             THE CHAIRPERSON:  How much would you say ‑‑ how much of it would you say you do out of the total music?

4326             MR. PROKOPIE:  Oh, I would really be shooting blind.

4327             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Okay.

4328             MR. PROKOPIE:  Over the course of a day, you know, I'm quite confident in saying that probably in the neighbourhood of half a dozen songs would be sung in the Aboriginal language, and quite often those are aired during our Aboriginal languages programming.  Not always; they could be requested during one of our two request shows that we have each day but probably in the neighbourhood of half a dozen per day.

4329             THE CHAIRPERSON:  And are those all Canadian, the Aboriginal songs, the language songs?

4330             MR. PROKOPIE:  Yes, they are.

4331             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Okay.  Now, right now, what kind of news coverage do you have of Regina?  Do you have a reporter down here?

4332             MR. PROKOPIE:  We do not.  There has been some discussions with some organizations and individuals to have them supply us information.  I know there are plans, once we get up and running and the Moccasin Telegraph takes effect and there is an awareness of ultimately putting some stringers or people into Regina to cover off those events, but discussions have started.  Nothing has been laid down in ‑‑ in ink as of yet, as we don't know where we sit.

4333             THE CHAIRPERSON:  When I saw this question that staff asked me to read, I was asking myself whether Saskatoon is really more the ‑‑ Saskatoon/Prince Albert/La Ronge is more the ‑‑ what would I say?  The ‑‑ well, Saskatoon particularly, the political capital because the FSIN is there, and so I was sort of thinking that coverage of the legislature here would probably be secondary to ‑‑ of interest to your listeners.

4334             MR. PROKOPIE:  Of the provincial legislature?  Yes, probably it would be secondary to our audience.

4335             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Yeah.

4336             MR. PROKOPIE:  If it was an FSIN Assembly that was being held here in Regina, we would be here as we were in Saskatoon just a week or so ago.

4337             THE CHAIRPERSON:  At the elections, right, yeah.

4338             MR. PROKOPIE:  Right.  We had two of our language announcers from La Ronge attend for the ‑‑ a few days and provide live programming for three hours each afternoon back to our audience in both the Cree and Dene languages.

4339             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Okay.  And so the kind of programming that you would do about Regina would consist of when it would be of an issue or an event of importance to the First Nations community?

4340             MR. PROKOPIE:  Primarily, yes.  When ‑‑ it doesn't have to be necessarily a breaking news story or something that has dire consequences, but just a story of interest that is not maybe high on the list of newscasts that you may hear elsewhere.

4341             Certainly once our stringers come on board, we will have a ‑‑ you know, a thumb on the pulse, so to speak, to develop that.

4342             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Do you follow the powwow circuit at all?

4343             MR. PROKOPIE:  We are slowly developing that.  Powwow is a relatively new phenomenon in northern Saskatchewan.  Powwows were not anything that existed and then ‑‑ I would have to go to Deb's expertise on this, but going back ten years, you probably couldn't find a powwow north of Prince Albert.  Now they're starting to happen.

4344             We don't necessarily follow the circuit in terms of providing programming from, but we certainly get involved through sponsorship of and promotion of.

4345             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Mmhmm, okay.  Now, your language programming, you say over 20 hours and the daily Missinipi Achimowin program is from 1 to 3 ‑‑ I've got your schedule here from the site ‑‑ Monday through Friday, am I correct?

4346             MR. PROKOPIE:  (Nods head yes.)

4347             THE CHAIRPERSON:  And then the daily Missinipi Dene Honi program, and that is ‑‑ I'm losing it.  I can't find it ‑‑ 3 to 4?

4348             MR. PROKOPIE:  That is correct.  I may also ‑‑ should interject.  That ‑‑ what you've just read, that's the network.  So the entire network receives those three hours of programming.  We do have the capability and we do split‑feed the far north communities, the Athabasca Basin which is basically Dene people ‑‑ speaking people, and we do provide them with their own special hour, and that happens between 2 and 3 each day.  So we split‑feed ‑‑ the last half of the Cree show, we basically switch over and we offer Dene programming to the far north, the Athabasca region.

4349             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Okay.  So Ray Campbell would start, in fact, an hour earlier?

4350             MR. PROKOPIE:  Correct.

4351             THE CHAIRPERSON:  And provide the two hours for the Dene area?

4352             MR. PROKOPIE:  Correct.

4353             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Okay.  And then ‑‑ I was fascinated by this.  You give the news in all ‑‑ in English, Cree, Michif and Dene?

4354             MR. PROKOPIE:  Yeah, we do.

4355             THE CHAIRPERSON:  And you do it by split feed or how do you do it?

4356             MR. PROKOPIE:  No.

4357             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Is ‑‑

4358             MR. PROKOPIE:  That ‑‑ that's network, network news.  So at 1 o'clock when our Cree show comes on board, they would do a top‑of‑the‑hour newscast that, you know, may be very similar to what was done during the 12 o'clock English informational hour.

4359             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Okay.

4360             MR. PROKOPIE:  And they'll read that news in the Cree language, and then that happens again for the Dene hour.

4361             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Okay.  And in both the Vern Lewis and Mike Durocher hour and the Missinipi Dene Honi hour, there's music and speaking?

4362             MR. PROKOPIE:  Yes, there's music and speaking.  The speaking can be anything from information whether it be again an event or a situation or a story that's out there, to just things of cultural relevance.  It's not necessarily chalked full of hard hitting information all the time.  It's of relevance to the audience that it's speaking to.

4363             THE CHAIRPERSON:  And would you have an idea of the percentage of music and spoken word in those hours?

4364             MS CHARLES:  I'd say 40 percent.

4365             THE CHAIRPERSON:  You have to put your mic on.

4366             MS CHARLES:  I'd say 40 percent in an hour.

4367             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Forty percent music?

4368             MS CHARLES:  Yeah.

4369             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Okay, mmhmm.  And then you have the 9 to 11 morning Cree on Sunday, and that's entirely in Cree?

4370             MR. PROKOPIE:  Cree and with some Michif thrown in there, yes.

4371             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Oh, okay, okay.  And you do broadcast a hundred and ‑‑ 168 hours week?

4372             MR. PROKOPIE:  We do.

4373             THE CHAIRPERSON:  What do you do at night?  What's your programming from midnight on?

4374             MR. PROKOPIE:  It's in‑house voice tracking, utilizing our own talent that we have on staff.

4375             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Okay, mmhmm.  So is that the only voice tracking you've got from midnight to six or is it ‑‑

4376             MR. PROKOPIE:  No, that is it.

4377             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Okay.  And any syndicated programming?

4378             MR. PROKOPIE:  We do, for our youth, carry a syndicated dance show on Saturday nights as part of our Saturday night house party for the youth and we do subscribe to a syndicated dance program that airs, I believe, between 9 and 10 on Saturday evenings.

4379             We have syndicated programming ‑‑ Paul Harvey, you know, as an example ‑‑ over our noon information package, so we have a couple of items that are syndicated, yes.

4380             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Mmhmm, okay.  Now, you've heard AVR and how they describe their programming.  Have you ever listened online to AVR?

4381             MS CHARLES:  No.

4382             MR. PROKOPIE:  I've tried.

4383             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Oh.  And ‑‑

4384             MR. PROKOPIE:  And no, I have not.

4385             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Have not been successful, okay.  Could you explain how you believe you are different from them, if you think you are?

4386             MR. PROKOPIE:  Well, I guess it starts at the grassroots.  MBC was created by the people of northern Saskatchewan, to fulfil a need that they saw was lacking in terms of the information that they were getting on a regular basis, who was giving them that information, was it coming from a First Nations perspective or was it not.  In the past, it was not.

4387             So MBC basically ‑‑ we don't make a move without our audience, the people that we serve telling us to make that move, and they tell us by way of e‑mail, phone calls.  They tell us by way of the delegates that they send to our annual general meeting from which our 11 board of directors is elected.  So they certainly pass on their concerns and what they would like MBC to evolve into through our board members, and that's passed on down through our CEO and senior management.

4388             We are very much focused on the people that we serve.  The information is of most importance.  MBC is about bringing people to the people.  We don't wish to be anything more than we've currently applied for, and that's a provincial network to service the Aboriginal population of Saskatchewan.  We're just ‑‑ we're ‑‑ Saskatchewan is our home.  The languages spoken are our languages, and those are the languages that we've mandated to protect and preserve through our form of medium.  Does that answer your question at all?

4389             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Yeah, I think so, yeah.  Do you think ‑‑ well, what would be the impact on you if we gave you a rebroadcast licence here and if AVR were also given a licence?  What would be the impact on you?

4390             MR. PROKOPIE:  That's a tough question, and I don't really know the answer to that.  I believe initially, like anything new, there's always a rush to check out what's new, whether that be turning the dial or tuning in through the Internet.  I ‑‑ you know, certainly there will be a learning curve by the audience and ultimately ‑‑ you know, they will ultimately decide what is going to best suit them.

4391             We feel that, again, through our programming, through our roots, through our governance that, you know, over time, we will ‑‑ we will be the Aboriginal broadcaster of Saskatchewan.

4392             THE CHAIRPERSON:  And I have asked myself I must say, time and time again if there is a difference between a "northern or rural Aboriginal culture and an urban Aboriginal culture", and I am ‑‑ I'm on two sides of this.  It seems to me the thing that brings you together is the same culture as you've always had, whether you're urban or rural.

4393             On the other hand, it may be easier to retain your culture if you are on a reserve or in northern Saskatchewan, north of Prince Albert, but do you think there is a different culture?  I don't ‑‑

4394             MR. PROKOPIE:  I don't know if the culture is different so much as how often and regularly the culture has gone back to or utilized.  I think the culture tends to maybe be lost in the urban centres because you don't walk down the street and see your friends and your neighbours who are speaking to you within the language.

4395             So I think quite often First Nations people who relocate from the smaller communities or northern communities tend to climatize to the surroundings around them.  I know that's not necessarily what they wish to do, and it's very nice to hear the comments that we get at MBC, is "Oh, I just love tuning into MBC because I sit back and I'm at home."  You know, so whether they've ‑‑ they're now in Saskatoon but they've come from northern Saskatchewan, it does allow that connection to maintain.

4396             But to answer your question, I think there is some culture lost.  It's not by design; it's just by environment.

4397             THE CHAIRPERSON:  And your ‑‑ the reactions you've been receiving in Saskatoon ‑‑ and you talked about people leaving ‑‑ you know, leaving home and then going to Saskatoon.  What about the kids that are born in Saskatoon?  What's the reaction to your programming?

4398             MR. PROKOPIE:  Well, what we understand is we have the best youth programming out there, and I heard that many times just last week when I was in Saskatoon for the assembly.  I don't know how many youth we had walk past our trade show display and said, MBC rocks.  Love your Saturday night.  It's not my kind of music, but I know it's music that cannot easily be found out there through other radio networks and other forms unless you go, you know ‑‑ or download a bunch of your favourite music and, you know, then you would have what we play.  But we have a youth on‑air person who is very interactive with the audience, and the feedback is very, very positive from the youth of Saskatoon.

4399             Just coming up, I believe this weekend, out of our ‑‑ our Saturday night house party DJ will be in Saskatoon MCing and hosting an event for the youth of Saskatoon that's being put on by an organization.  And MBC has come on board through sponsorship and supply ‑‑ supplying some talent there to do the MC duties at the request of the organization.  So we feel that we're making great strides with the youth in Saskatoon.

4400             THE CHAIRPERSON:  So ‑‑ and then do you think once you got them hooked on the evening ‑‑ on the Saturday evening you can then take them further in terms of getting back to the ‑‑ their culture?  Like, how do you do that?

4401             MR. PROKOPIE:  Well, it's certainly the hope that ‑‑ you know, I don't know if we can take them back, but lest we never forget.  And, you know, we certainly do things that, again, because they're youth, you know, it ‑‑ there's still a culture that surrounds what they're doing and where they've come from.

4402             And everything we do keeps referring back to the culture and where you've come from, living a positive, healthy lifestyle, respecting your elders, whatever the message may be.  You know, we plug away.  It's that constant drip of water that wears away at the stone.

4403             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Yeah.  And you were talking about the fact that your programming is sort of ‑‑ what's the word ‑‑ done based on demand.  So if you were down here, and I see on it ‑‑ I don't ‑‑ there's a ‑‑ on the fourth page of your presentation you were talking about Word of the Day and you say, "MBC is prepared to offer expanded language programming and other Aboriginal languages used in Saskatchewan as the opportunity presents itself."

4404             So the issue would be that somebody would e‑mail, write you or come to your meeting and say "I want programming in Saulteaux" or whatever ‑‑ Saulteaux, yeah ‑‑ and then you would try to do it.  Is that the concept?

4405             MR. PROKOPIE:  That's exactly the concept.  And as we speak here, you know, we're working towards even ‑‑ you know, barring some miracle that we don't get our application, we still plan on incorporating Saulteaux Word of the Day for our Saskatoon audiences.

4406             It's something that's been brought to our attention and it's something we're working towards and right now we're just trying to put the pieces in place and find out how we can best do it from a technical point of view.  And as ‑‑ so basically we are working towards incorporating the Saulteaux into our Word of the Day as we speak.

4407             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Mmhmm.  Tell me about this foundation, the Missinipi Youth Foundation.  It's created by Missinipi?

4408             MS CHARLES:  Yes, it is and it was incorporated in 1998.  And what we did is we incorporated Missinipi Youth Foundation and we offered scholarships to First Nations/Aboriginal people to attend university, U of S, U of R, First Nations University Canada, to take journalism.

4409             Now, we also offer small local community radio stations.  We offer training programs in their respective communities and then they start their local radio stations at that level, and then most of the time it's on our transmitter.

4410             However, back to your question, yeah, we've incorporated that a while ago and we continue to do that and we continue to offer scholarships, and that's part of the Saturday night program that we offer to the youth as well.

4411             THE CHAIRPERSON:  So the money comes from your profits?  Is that the idea, and it's put into the foundation?

4412             MR. PROKOPIE:  Yeah.

4413             THE CHAIRPERSON:  And then the scholarships are given out?

4414             MR. PROKOPIE:  (Nods head yes.)

4415             THE CHAIRPERSON:  So to date, how many scholarships in journalism or broadcasting have you given out?

4416             MS CHARLES:  Gees, I don't have ‑‑

4417             THE CHAIRPERSON:  And any number ‑‑

4418             MS CHARLES:  ‑‑ a number on that.

4419             THE CHAIRPERSON:  How many did you give out last year?

4420             MS CHARLES:  Seven.  Seven each year, and when we first started, it was one or two or three.  I haven't kept track.  However, I do believe there's about eight of them with degrees now.  And then I have ‑‑ the three I offered this year will be completing their degrees, so it's growing.

4421             THE CHAIRPERSON:  And do you give them a job or does the APTN grab them?

4422             MS CHARLES:  It depends what broadcasting, if they further into television or radio or print.  However, there is some that come on board with APTN.  I'm also on the board there as well.  But, yeah, we've recruited some of the students from that initiation.

4423             MR. PROKOPIE:  And that is probably our ultimate goal and objective is our in‑house recruiting.  There ‑‑ we find quite often there is a lack of trained broadcasters with an Aboriginal background.  And because we used to have, and still to this day, continue to have some difficulty in securing professional talent, we thought, well, let's maybe help create them by offering these scholarships to post‑secondary students who are going into a communications/journalism type field.  That may give us a bit of a pool to draw from down the years, so there was some very selfish background behind that as well.  We were hoping to utilize that talent.

4424             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Mmhmm.  Tell me, where are your offices?  Are they in La Ronge or on the reserve, on the band ‑‑

4425             MS CHARLES:  No, we're not on the reserve.  We're ‑‑ we got a head office and the ‑‑ in La Ronge on Industrial Drive.  We also have a sales and marketing office in Prince Albert.

4426             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Because what ‑‑ I was thinking that part of the advantage could be that you'd be tax free if you were on the reserve.  That would be an advantage for anybody in terms of recruitment, you know.

4427             MR. PROKOPIE:  It would, but it would challenge our governance, we believe.

4428             THE CHAIRPERSON:  All right.  I get your point, mmhmm.

4429             MR. PROKOPIE:  Again, our board is derived from members at large of the community, and to put ourselves with ‑‑ within a First Nation or a community, even if the ‑‑ even if it is a reality, the perception would be that ‑‑ where there's an affiliation that perhaps we could be nudged or pushed into a certain direction, so we've never aligned ourselves with any organization or group in that manner.

4430             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Mmhmm, you and NCI.  Now, MBC Television, I didn't realize there was a television portion of it, and it tells stories and shows to ‑‑ you know, shows to maintain culture.  What do they actually do?

4431             MS CHARLES:  I'll just get ‑‑ give you a bit of history.  Yateyaski(ph) Productions was incorporated in 1980 ‑‑ 1998, and we produce half‑hour documentaries by and for, about our people in northern Saskatchewan, so we're producing 13 half‑hour documentaries.  We air them on APTN as a national window broadcaster, and then our second broadcaster, our second envelope is SCN which is the regional broadcaster.

4432             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Right.

4433             MS CHARLES:  We air it.  However, we downsized it to six and we get our funding from Telefilm and other funders, so we're still doing it.

4434             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Okay.  Now you, Ms Charles, are on the board of APTN and so do you have some sort of a cooperative arrangement with them at all?

4435             MS CHARLES:  Yes, I am on the board.  I am appointed to that board.  We ‑‑ the ‑‑ there's ten organizations across northern Saskatchewan that are broadcasters, radio broadcasters, and their original vision was to have a national Aboriginal television.  So basically we gave it birth and so we have an envelope and a budget where we deliver that and produce those documentaries.

4436             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Mmhmm.  And do you receive any ‑‑ anything from APTN in terms of being able to use the news they've gathered or anything like that?

4437             MS CHARLES:  For regional news?

4438             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Mmhmm.

4439             MS CHARLES:  We've delivered some, but it's not consistent.  It has to be a national ‑‑

4440             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Relevance.

4441             MS CHARLES:  ‑‑ relevance.  Most of the news is regional for us.  However, we do carry national, and I'm in the process of working on a newscast from my office with a regional broadcaster, not a national, because we already have the national.

4442             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Okay.  And WAAB, Western Association of Aboriginal Broadcasters, you're a member?

4443             MS CHARLES:  Yes, I am.  I am a founding member.  A couple years ago I was ‑‑ incorporated a national group.  However, I changed that to the Western Association of Aboriginal Broadcasters, whereas the western groups come together and meet, which is NCI of Manitoba, MBC of Saskatchewan, AMMSA of Alberta, and NBT of BC, and we have been working together for the past year, face‑to‑face conference calls, and our first live broadcast is this Friday on the Aboriginal Peoples Music Choice Awards, so that's our first broadcast.

4444             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Oh, so you're going to all broadcast it?  Is that the idea?

4445             MS CHARLES:  Yes ‑‑

4446             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Oh, okay.

4447             MS CHARLES:  ‑‑ we will.

4448             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Okay, mmhmm.  And then you have plans for further sort of cooperation and that sort of thing?

4449             MS CHARLES:  Yes.  And the next live broadcast I would like to do is the residential school early release payments or their first instalment and the abuse that continues to happen with the elders, and none of it really went to healing, so that's the second initial broad ‑‑ live broadcast that I want to do.

4450             MR. PROKOPIE:  If I could just interject?  We are also currently, and have been for probably the last three, four months anyway, been airing a national top 30 Aboriginal countdown which is put together, produced, hosted by NCI but is delivered to the four ‑‑ the other three groups within WAAB, and we air that twice a week as well.  So that is also a WAAB initiative.

4451             THE CHAIRPERSON:  So he's up to 30 now?

4452             MR. PROKOPIE:  Yes.

4453             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Last time I talked to him it was 20.  Now, as ‑‑ I wanted to talk to you about your revenue.  As a percentage of the total of your revenue, how much does advertising consist?

4454             MR. PROKOPIE:  Well, I would need to let Deb address that one because also we do have fundraising, our bingo operations.

4455             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Your bingo, yeah, mmhmm.

4456             MR. PROKOPIE:  And I'm not sure exactly where those percentages lie.  Right now I'm thinking that it's probably along the lines of 50 percent, give or take a little bit.  Fifty percent would be advertising driven.

4457             THE CHAIRPERSON:  And the bingo is the other 50; is that ‑‑

4458             MR. PROKOPIE:  Yeah.

4459             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Oh, yeah.  So you're self‑sustaining?

4460             MR. PROKOPIE:  No, the ‑‑

4461             THE CHAIRPERSON:  No?

4462             MR. PROKOPIE:  ‑‑ we do get ‑‑ there is some national funding through NNBAP.

4463             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Okay, mmhmm.

4464             MR. PROKOPIE:  But that's been on a steady decline over a number of years, and we're certainly building towards 100 percent self‑sustenance.  We think that day is probably coming, and we've been building towards that for a while.

4465             If Heritage Canada came today and said that, you know, these monies would no longer be available, we could proceed with our day‑to‑day operations.  Right now it's not even covering our Aboriginal language announcers.

4466             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Mmhmm.  Tell me about your transmitter coverage of Saskatchewan.  You're not down in Swift Current, are you?

4467             MR. PROKOPIE:  No, we're not.

4468             THE CHAIRPERSON:  No.  Are you Estevan way, Weyburn way?

4469             MR. PROKOPIE:  Carlyle/White Bear.

4470             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Oh, right.  You are, yeah.  Okay.

4471             MR. PROKOPIE:  Carlyle/White Bear.  We're currently also in Keeseekoose, but I'm sure you've ‑‑

4472             THE CHAIRPERSON:  And those are all low power, right?

4473             MR. PROKOPIE:  Right.

4474             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Yeah.  Now ‑‑

4475             MR. PROKOPIE:  And we have just been recently approved for Yorkton for a rebroad.

4476             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Yeah.  North of Prince Albert is your coverage equivalent to or better than CBC's?

4477             MR. PROKOPIE:  Better than.

4478             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Any idea of your share of the market in Saskatoon?

4479             MR. PROKOPIE:  No.

4480             THE CHAIRPERSON:  No.  And is it fair to say that your numbers here, your revenue projections, Mr. Prokopie ‑‑ Prokopie, is close to what happened in Saskatoon?

4481             MR. PROKOPIE:  That would be a more aggressive pace than what has happened in Saskatoon.  And again, we haven't been actively soliciting advertising in Saskatoon.  Since our transmitter went up, we probably have five days of selling time there just because we've gone there to ‑‑ you know, to address something, whether it be at the FSIN or ‑‑ and, you know, we've made a call or two, but we just not have actively solicited advertising in Saskatoon.

4482             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you.

4483             That's all my questions.  Commissioner Pennefather would like to ask you some questions.

4484             COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER:  Thank you, Madam Chair.

4485             Just one question.  I notice in your letter of August 16 you talk about your ever expanding listening audience of over 100,000 in 60 locations and the Internet.  Can you give us a sense of the Internet and how many hits, what proportion of the audience is coming through the website or the Internet?

4486             MR. PROKOPIE:  The portion of our audience coming through the website would be very minimal.  And again, I'm not the technical expert, but I believe we have only 30 ports or something where only 30 people can be online at any given time.

4487             So as for our hits, I was quite surprised to hear that we are getting in excess of 5,000 hits a month.  I've ‑‑ no, I think I'm actually very low.  I heard this number from our technical person not long ago, and we were all very surprised at the number of hits we were getting on our website.

4488             I don't necessarily believe they're all going to the streaming audio.  We ‑‑ a lot of our news stories get put onto our website.  There's a message board.  There's some interactive stuff there, so our website is being very ‑‑ it being hit very regularly, but the percentage of our audience coming from it, I think, would be minimal.

4489             COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER:  Good distinction.  And they were just all in one line, so that's a very interesting distinction.  Thank you for that.  Thank you, Madam Chair.

4490             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Vice‑chair Arpin...?

4491             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  You ‑‑ you've been speaking about your youth programming and particularly what you do on the Saturday and you were talking about the reaction in Saskatoon.  I ‑‑ have you been able to measure the audience that you could get from non‑Aboriginal people in places like Saskatoon or Prince Albert?

4492             MR. PROKOPIE:  We haven't found the ruler yet that we can lay down and measure that.  Again, just by the requests we get, just by the number of messages on our message board on our website, we feel that that number is strong and continues to grows ‑‑ to grow.

4493             Again, everybody puts their pants on one leg at a time, so the music that the Aboriginal youth are grooving to on Saturday night is also the music that the non‑Aboriginal youth cannot access and find anywhere else, so we truly believe we've got a good portion of them.  Unfortunately, like, I cannot give you any measurement.

4494             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  But you know that you're getting a reaction from the audience and ‑‑

4495             MR. PROKOPIE:  We certainly know that, yes.

4496             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  And you could expect the same thing here from ‑‑ in Regina if ‑‑

4497             MR. PROKOPIE:  We're anticipating that fully, yes.

4498             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Fully.  Now, I've been looking at the financial report that you have been filing with the CRTC in which you're saying that you're probably somewhere 50/50 between local advertising and other revenues.

4499             Now, our reports are showing only other revenues.  Is it the ‑‑ we're trying to measure the performance of advertising in this country, and is it because you'd ‑‑ I really didn't investigate the question before coming to the hearing on this sort of material while you were talking, looking specifically at the information that I have, which is ‑‑ and is it the way it's reported or is it the ‑‑ a problem that you have in the reporting the ‑‑ to the CRTC not splitting what is advertising and what is other revenues?  Or is it at the CRTC that we have a problem?

4500             I'm just asking the question and looking at staff, if they also have an answer.  The ‑‑ are you aware of the type of report that you're sending on an annual basis?

4501             MR. PROKOPIE:  No, I can't say I'm fully aware.  Deb may be able to answer this more specifically.  I think maybe what may be happening is, within MBC we have a number of companies that all funnel back to MBC.  MBC is the mother ship.  I represent an organization Tucho(ph) Enterprises which is our advertising arm, our revenue arm.  We're here on behalf of Natotawin Broadcasting today, which actually gets the advertising that we sell on the air and provides our programming.

4502             So, you know, there's a number of revenue sources coming from the individual companies that ultimately end up in MBC, and that's probably what you're seeing.

4503             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  And then they do distribute that revenues to each of the units that MBC is operating?

4504             MR. PROKOPIE:  Correct.

4505             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  And that's why they will not consider it as advertising but will put it in the other revenue category?  That ‑‑

4506             MR. PROKOPIE:  Yeah.

4507             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Well, that satisfies my question.

4508             MR. PROKOPIE:  All right.

4509             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  Thank you.  Thank you, Mrs. Chair.

4510             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you.  Commissioner Williams...?

4511             COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS:  Thank you, Madam Chair.  I'm just reading through your information files to learn a bit more about Natotawin Broadcasting.  It says you own and operate over 70 broadcast transmitters throughout the Province of Saskatchewan that serve Aboriginal people.  The MBC network and its subsidiaries connect tens of thousands of people in Saskatchewan from geographically and culturally diverse communities with a highly professional distinctive Aboriginal radio service.

4512             How many people do you estimate or what percentage of the Saskatchewan population do you reach?

4513             MR. PROKOPIE:  I think in the big picture, you know, we're somewhere ‑‑ we truly believe ‑‑ in that 10 and 15 percent.  Now, as you move from region to region, that number could be as high as 95 percent.

4514             We know that there are in excess of 70,000 people north of the NAD line.  We feel ‑‑

4515             COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS:  What is ‑‑

4516             MR. PROKOPIE:  ‑‑ that was ‑‑

4517             COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS:  ‑‑ what is MAD?  Is it like the Mason‑Dickson line or something or ‑‑

4518             MR. PROKOPIE:  Oh, it's basically ‑‑ I believe it's called the north ‑‑ Northern Allowance District which basically divides the province into two.  If you're from north of the line, there's certain concessions there for you and such.

4519             Now, north of the NAD line, we know that there is in excess of 70,000 people living there.  As we go across to our urban centres, we know Prince Albert has, you know, 35,000 with an almost 40 percent Aboriginal demographic.  We know North Battleford, at 16,000, you know, has a strong representation.  We know Saskatoon, at 300,000, has ‑‑ I think they're quoting right now about a 10 or 15 percent Aboriginal demographic to their population mix.

4520             We truly believe and feel that we are able to speak, and are speaking, to a large majority of the First Nations people in Saskatchewan.  So we do estimate our listening audience at 100,000 plus.

4521             COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS:  Okay.  Missinipi, I guess that refers to the Missinipi River, if I remember my reading, and the way that people historically travelled and moved and shared information.

4522             What is Natotawin?  What's the meaning of Natotawin?  Why did you choose that name?

4523             MS CHARLES:  Missinipi means big water in Cree, and Natotawin means listen in Cree.

4524             COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS:  Listen?

4525             MS CHARLES:  Yeah.

4526             COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS:  Okay, I'll try to do my best.

‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires

4527             COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS:  There's been some discussion in this hearing on the economic state of the Regina and Saskatoon radio markets, the two largest communities in Saskatchewan, to absorb competitors or even just the healthy economic state of those communities from a radio advertising perspective.

4528             I note in your information and ‑‑ and I'm a little bit confused on your revenue side, as was Vice‑Chair Arpin, but that the PBIT that you reported for 2005 was 26 percent.  That's your profit before interest and tax of 26 percent, compared to a 7 percent PBIT for the Regina market and a 2 percent PBIT for the Saskatoon radio market.

4529             Why has your station become so popular and financially successful, given your extensive serving area and the many transmitters and the associated higher costs of serving so many communities?  Why do you think that is the case that you can operate so profitably being so widespread and serving so many?

4530             MR. PROKOPIE:  Well, I think first we should take that as a compliment.

4531             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Yes.

4532             MR. PROKOPIE:  We run a tight ship.  We don't have bodies just sitting around waiting for something to do.  We're very multi‑tasking.  We have people that wear many hats.  We have a very strong controller and a very strong board who ensures that our fiscal responsibility is something that is watched consistently.

4533             I don't know if I can add much more to that other than it's something that we pay attention to because, as I said earlier, we don't know if the few dollars that we currently get through Heritage Canada are going to be available to us down the road, and we need ensure that we have money to put up new transmitters in communities when requested.  We have money to help train a community radio station, so it's just ‑‑ it's good management, I believe.

4534             COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS:  What is your opinion of the economic state of the Regina and Saskatoon radio markets?  Is it, in your opinion, healthy, financially buoyant or is it financially weaker as some might suggest?

4535             MR. PROKOPIE:  I guess it depends on who you listen to over the last couple days would maybe determine what one really believes.  I think Saskatchewan, as a market itself, is relatively healthy.  I think with the ‑‑ the ever increasing First Nations demographic that's moving into the urban centres are obviously creating an economic effect that perhaps wasn't seen before.  It's become an ever powerful force within the economy, and we see that continuing to grow.

4536             You know, as for the actual health of the market of Regina, I don't think I'm really in a position to speak to that.  I know that we're not certainly looking to do anything to make it less healthy.

4537             As for Saskatoon, I think ‑‑ you know, you talk to people.  You see people.  You meet people.  I think everybody's quite satisfied with how things are in Saskatoon.

4538             So that's sort of the best uneducated answer I can give you is ‑‑ you know, I don't believe things are always as bad as we're led on to believe ‑‑ keeping in mind we are in Saskatchewan, and that's the nature of our beast.

4539             So, you know, I think through diligence and through providing the service that people want and providing good value in what you're presenting to them, the economics will take care of themselves providing that, you know, you're not greedy and don't have visions of, you know, making big money overnight.

4540             COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS:  Earlier this morning you heard AVR's eloquent presentation stressing the need for a national Aboriginal broadcaster, and they also indicated that they were supportive of your efforts throughout Saskatchewan.

4541             Do you think a national Aboriginal network would provide value to Saskatchewan Aboriginals similar to that provided by mainstream Canadian national networks, like CBC, to all Canadians?  Is there value in a national network, I guess is the question?

4542             MR. PROKOPIE:  I'm not sure if I see the value, and I try not to look at this through rose‑coloured glasses or with blinders on.  I'm not sure what the value would be.  I think, you know, we keep hearing in this day and age that traditional radio is in trouble because of the Internet and because of satellite radio and because of this and this and this.

4543             And I believe that the groups that have spoken to you over the last couple of days are saying there is a future in radio, and that's because we can still provide the local weather.  We can still talk about the community event that's happening down the street.  We still cover stories that have relevance to our everyday lives, and I think ultimately that's where our strength lies and perhaps maybe where some of the strength would be lost in a national network.

4544             COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS:  In your opinion, are the interests of rural and herbal ‑‑ rural and urban Aboriginals identical or are there some different interests given the different environments that they live in, in smaller and larger communities and in communities where they may be a dominant demographic in the population and in others where there may be a minority?  Are there differences?

4545             MR. PROKOPIE:  There definitely are some differences and as, you know, I had mentioned earlier, quite often when you move into an urban setting, a lot of the culture you grew up with is lost.

4546             But also when it comes to our programming, you ‑‑ we talked about MBC setting up at a trappers festival to provide programming.  Well, I can tell you there probably isn't a lot of people in Regina that make their living via the trap line anymore, so there is, you know, a cultural difference there.

4547             Commercial fishing, you know, we cover stories that pertain to commercial fishers and how their livelihoods are being affected on a daily basis.  Again, that's not a new story that perhaps has a lot of relevance to an urban Aboriginal or non‑Aboriginal here in Regina.  So, yes, there are certainly differences that we recognize.

4548             And I was asked earlier about the powwow trail.  You know, that is something that is very strong here in the south, so we do acknowledge the difference.  And as time goes on and where we see the need is, we will certainly fill that need.

4549             COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS:  Given the projected increase in Saskatchewan ‑‑ Saskatchewan's Aboriginal population, do you think Aboriginals may want some diversity in Aboriginal broadcasters, much like that enjoyed by the mainstream?  Like, there's plenty of choice in ‑‑ out of the larger centres.

4550             MR. PROKOPIE:  I'm sure that they may, but I also believe they appreciate and respect the trusted, and trust is something that needs to be earned not only in Aboriginal country, but across all cultures.  Trust is something that needs to be earned.

4551             And, you know, we really feel that we've addressed that trust issue and because people know that when they tune into MBC, they are getting the information as it was meant to be put out there and they are getting the information in a way that makes them feel good about what they're hearing, whether it be through their language or knowing that it's an Aboriginal broadcaster giving them that story.

4552             You know, I believe that that's ultimately what they will keep coming back to is something that feels good, makes them feel warm inside, and reminds them of home.

4553             COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS:  Many Saskatchewan residents we've heard over the last few years have perhaps retired or relocated for job reasons to neighbouring provinces.  Do you feel there's any need for your programming from Saskatchewan to be able to reach some of your expatriate community that may live in other parts of the country?

4554             MR. PROKOPIE:  No, we don't see that as a ‑‑ as an immediate need.  If the need's out there, you know, we do have the Internet and we also have our cousins in neighbouring provinces that we feel are doing a very good job with what they do, whether it's AMMSA Alberta, NCI in Manitoba.  We know that, you know, their mandate is very similar to ours and the reason they exist is very similar to ours and that our audience, if they were to relocate, would have a lot of their needs taken care of through those sources.  So, no, to follow our expatriates across the country and put up sticks right behind them is not anything ‑‑

4555             COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS:  No, no, I was thinking more along the lines of a national broadcaster fulfilling that role and you helping input to it.

4556             MR. PROKOPIE:  Well, I mean ‑‑ I think that's sort of what WAAB is looking at.  You know, I don't know if we'll actually go on the air as a national broadcaster, but we certainly share ideas and information and some programming so ‑‑ and I think the creation of WAAB was somewhat established to address this particular situation and what you're asking.

4557             COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS:  Okay.  If the Commission approved your application and also approved AVR's application, can you see synergies and opportunities to work together to better serve the Aboriginal communities of Saskatchewan and Canada?

4558             MR. PROKOPIE:  Well, I think, you know, I could answer that question based on what I believe, but I ‑‑ what I really believe, what would need to happen is a coming together of the minds.  We have never been approached by AVR to talk about perhaps creating some synergy amongst the two of us.

4559             I know some of the other groups across Canada that I've spoken to have not, so I don't think any of us are against anything.  Nobody can predict the future, but it all starts with a handshake and a meeting of the minds.

4560             COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS:  Okay, thank you very much.  That's my questions to Mr. Prokopie.

4561             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you.  Ms Charles, Mr. Prokopie ‑‑ I'm pronouncing that right?

4562             MR. PROKOPIE:  Prokopie.

4563             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Prokopie.  You have now two minutes to sum up for us.

4564             MS CHARLES:  Okay.  Well, again thank you for giving me the opportunity to be here to present my application.  Given the issues that we presented here today, I respectfully ask the Commission to approve my licence.

4565             And each and every day when we go to work we have to keep in mind our indigenous roots of who we are, what we're about, by/for our ‑‑ with Aboriginal people, and that's what I do each and every day.  And I do it for my people and my languages and the different dialects in each and every language and I continue to ‑‑ will work towards the southern ‑‑ incorporating the southern languages into the northern languages so we, as people, can come together and connect with each other again and with the land again.

4566             Thank you.

4567             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you very much.

4568             Madam Secretary, I don't ‑‑ I'm hoping we could get through Phase II in ‑‑ yeah, we could at least start working on Phase II.

4569             THE SECRETARY:  Thank you, Madam Chair.

4570             Therefore, this completes Phase I of consideration of items 10 to 16.  We can now proceed to Phase II, as indicated by the Chair, in which applicants will appear or can appear, if they wish, in the same order to intervene on competing applications.

4571             We've been informed that Newcap Inc. will not appear in this phase.

4572             I would now call on Touch Canada Broadcasting to come forward if they wish to intervene on competing applications.

‑‑‑ Pause

4573             THE SECRETARY:  I gather they're not appearing.

4574             Therefore, Radio CJVR Ltd. are the next applicant to appear if they wish.

‑‑‑ Pause

4575             THE SECRETARY:     They are not appearing either.  We will continue with the Aboriginal Voices Radio.

‑‑‑ Pause

4576             THE SECRETARY:  I've been informed that they will not appear.

4577             And finally, Natotawin Broadcasting can come back if they wish to intervene on competing applications.

‑‑‑ Pause

4578             THE SECRETARY:     And they choose not to, therefore, Mrs. Chair, this completes Phase II of the process.

4579             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Actually, Madam Secretary, it doesn't because the list is missing Standard.  So could you please ‑‑

4580             THE SECRETARY:  You are quite correct.

4581             THE CHAIRPERSON:  So could you call Standard?

4582             THE SECRETARY:     I stand corrected.  Standard Radio may come forward if they wish to intervene on competing applications.

‑‑‑ Pause

4583             THE SECRETARY:     And I think this completes the list, Mrs. Chair.

4584             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Then we may as well proceed to Phase III.

4585             THE SECRETARY:  Thank you.

4586             Phase III of the process is where other parties appear in the order set out in the agenda to present their intervention.

4587             I will now call on the first appearing intervener, Harvard Broadcasting, to come forward for their presentation.

‑‑‑ Pause

4588             THE SECRETARY:  Mrs. Chair, we will go to the next appearing intervener which is CIRPA.  If they are present, if they would come forward to present their intervention?

4589             COMMISSIONER ARPIN:  They said that they were only to appear once.

4590             THE SECRETARY:  Thank you, Mr. Vice‑Chair.

4591             So therefore, we will proceed to the following intervention which is a panel of two interveners, Rawlco Radio Ltd. and Communications Management Inc.  If they could come forward for your ‑‑ the presentation of your intervention?

‑‑‑ Pause

4592             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Ladies and gentlemen, just for information, we will be breaking at 12:30 as ‑‑ well, after you've finished your presentation, as there is a conference call so ‑‑ and then we will be coming back at 1:30 with questions from the panel of this panel.

4593             Madam Secretary...?

4594             THE SECRETARY:  I would ask that you introduce yourselves before you begin, and you will have ‑‑ just a moment ‑‑ 15 minutes for your presentation.

4595             Thank you.

PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION

4596             MS LEYLAND:  Thank you.

4597             Good afternoon, Madam Chair, Ms Cram, Commissioners Williams, Cugini, Arpin and Pennefather.

4598             Before we begin our presentation today, I'd like to introduce our Rawlco Radio team.  On October 18th, two weeks ago, we at Rawlco celebrated our 60th anniversary.  Rawlco was started by Gordon and Doug's father, E.A. Rawlinson, with the purchase in 1946 of CKBI Radio in Prince Albert.  We are still proud to own CKBI, along with 11 other radio stations in Saskatchewan.

4599             After 60 years of serving this great province, we know Saskatchewan and we know radio in Saskatchewan.  We are very proud of our home province.  We live here and work here because we want to.

4600             Let me introduce our group to you.  My name is Pam Leyland.  I'm president of Rawlco Radio.  I got my start in radio as a newsperson, then became a news director, a program director, a general manager, and now president ‑‑ all with Rawlco over the last 25 years.

4601             On my right is our CEO, Gordon Rawlinson.  One of his favourite sayings is that he's been in radio all his life, all the way back to the early days in Prince Albert.  Gordon has been a tremendous help and inspiration to me.

4602             Next to Gord is Ken Goldstein of Communications Management Inc.  On my left is Doug Pringle.  Doug is a legendary programmer and musicologist.  Doug knows a lot about all kinds of music, and his roots go back to when he started Canada's first album/rock station at CHOM in Montreal in the late '60s.  Doug has been with Rawlco for 26 years.

4603             If you have any questions about the music formats in Regina, Doug would be glad to give you his thoughts at the end of our presentation.

4604             Next to Doug is Kristy Werner.  Kristy is the program director for Z99 here in Regina.  Kristy is one of those bright young people we're always looking for at Rawlco; someone with smarts, drive, ability and passion.  She's also the person that makes our 20th annual Z99 radiothon for the Hospitals of Regina Foundation come to life.

4605             Behind me and to my right is Doug Rawlinson.  Gordon and Doug have been partners for about 35 years and have worked very hard together to make Rawlco a great radio company.

4606             To Doug's left is Karen Mains.  Karen is the person that makes our operation in Regina run.  Karen is our operations manager and the day‑to‑day operations of three radio stations fall on her shoulders.  Karen has been with Rawlco for 20 years.

4607             On Karen's left is Tom Newton.  Tom is the manager of our three radio stations here in Regina, Z99 FM, Jack FM, and News Talk 980 CJME.  Tom's background is programming and he started with us as an announcer 21 years ago, then became a promotion director, program director, and now our manager.

4608             Madam Chair, let me begin by welcoming the Commission and staff to Saskatchewan, a province of almost 1 million people.  It's noteworthy that if this hearing had been held way back in 1930, it could have opened with exactly the same statement, a province of almost 1 million people.

4609             For sociologists, Saskatchewan must be an interesting place to study.  It presents them with the perfect opportunity to answer a fundamental question.  If a province has virtually no population growth for 75 years, will the people be different from those living in a nearby province with surging population growth?

4610             Part of the answer is that human beings are very adaptable.  They adapt to the environment they find themselves in.  Further, they'll work very hard to turn what outsiders might consider to be difficult circumstances into something positive.  This is certainly what the people of Regina or, for that matter, Saskatoon have done.

4611             First, it must be admitted that many people do leave Regina and Saskatchewan every year for Alberta and other provinces but many also choose to stay.  They choose affordable housing over surging house prices.  They choose easy access over major traffic jams.  They choose a simpler, more pleasant lifestyle over a rat race.  And most importantly, they choose friendliness and neighbourliness over impersonal big city life.

4612             All of these things came through to me again when I read the more than 200 letters submitted as part of our intervention.  There's a sense in these letters that making Regina into a great place to live didn't happen naturally.  It only happened because many people worked very hard to make it happen.  There's a strong sense of concern that they don't want to lose what they've worked so hard to achieve.

4613             A lot of what is said flies in the face of conventional wisdom.  Usually if you offer people what, at least on the surface, appears to be something for nothing, they're going to say, "Of course I'll take it.  Why not?"  In fact "why not" is the focus of almost all of the letters.

4614             The leaders of community organizations have many concerns about the possibility of licensing additional radio stations in Regina.  One of their concerns is that their messages on radio will have less impact if there are more stations.

4615             As Eileen Janz, manager of marketing for the Saskatchewan Science Centre says, "Adding additional licences to this diluted market will impact our ability to reach radio listeners."

4616             They also fear that they will lose the close relationships they have with the existing stations, ones that have been developed over many years.

4617             Erin Marchuk at the Arthritis Society comments, "We value the support we receive and feel that the addition of more radio stations will jeopardize the relationships we've established."

4618             Something they count on is easy access to the stations for interviews when they want to publicize their events or fundraising campaigns.

4619             As Robyn Sullivan with the Regina Day Committee notes, "The Regina radio stations have always been quick to jump on board with generous donations of both on‑air advertising and interviews."

4620             Finally, some organization, like the Regina Hospitals Foundation, worry that the station sponsored fundraising campaigns will be less effective in a more fragmented radio environment.

4621             Conventional wisdom would also suggest that local businesses would welcome more radio stations.  The letters show that this is not the case at all.  For local retailers, more stations mean more fragmentation which will result in higher advertising costs and diminished impact.

4622             Jamie York at Island Inkjet states, "With the state of our Saskatchewan economy, it would be deleterious to my business interest to have to fragment my marketing budget even more with the introduction of yet another radio station."

4623             They also worry that more stations will change the close relationship they have with their advertising consultants who help them grow their businesses.

4624             Maxine Drelier of Travel Masters makes this point, "The radio station I deal with gives me great advice and service and I know my rep well."

4625             Finally, they don't like the idea of more station salespeople taking up their valuable time.

4626             Dennis Marvin at Clarica says succinctly, "I do not want to spend further dollars or deal with more radio reps calling on me."

4627             The concerns expressed in these letters are not superficial concerns.  In reading them, one can feel the sincerity.  The writers honestly feel that there is a special relationship between themselves and the radio stations, and they don't want to lose it.

4628             They're definitely worried that the CRTC will make decisions that will have a real detrimental impact on their organization or businesses.

4629             At the very heart of the matter is the reason people choose to live in Regina and not move to Calgary.  It's the neighbourliness and the sense of community, and they consider their local radio stations with their strong local roots to be an integral part of the community.

4630             Many work very hard to make Regina a better place to live and they feel their local radio stations are shoulder‑to‑shoulder with them every step of the way.  So if the local community organizations and businesses have real concerns about the licensing of additional stations, how do the listeners in Regina feel about their local stations?

4631             We commissioned a survey of 400 radio listeners to try to answer this question.  As the graphic shows, they're quite happy with their local radio service.  A high percentage indicated they were satisfied that they can get the local news and community information they need, and that the stations do a good job covering local events.  They recognize that the stations support Canadian artists and play their music.  Overall, there was a high level of satisfaction with local radio in Regina.

4632             Special mention must be made to the response to the question, "Can you listen to the music you like when you want to listen to it?"  The Internet, iPod, satellite radio and other forms of music distribution are changing the way people listen to music.

4633             While all the major music formats are available in Regina, it could be argued that there are narrow niche formats that are not present.  Yet, 92 percent were satisfied that they can listen to the music they like when they want to listen to it.  This certainly raised the question, just how much do listeners really feel the need for additional musical diversity?

4634             The role of Rawlco Radio in Regina raises further questions about conventional wisdom.  Many would say that in the absence of greater competition, broadcasters will only view the minimum required by regulation.  They will always choose higher profits over additional community service.

4635             In this light, let's take a look at what Rawlco Radio has accomplished.  Crazy is the term experienced broadcasters were using when Rawlco introduced News Talk eight years ago.  Small cities like Regina and Saskatoon are not nearly big enough to support this extensive, rather expensive programming.  And for a while, I have to admit it looked like they were right, but we soldiered on.

4636             And today News Talk has become absolutely essential to life in Saskatchewan.  The programs are like giant town hall meeting where the people across the province come together to discuss the issues of the day.  While we may never recoup the investment cost, I can report they are now nearly breaking even.

4637             MR. PRINGLE:  While doing an application for a new FM station in Edmonton, we came up with the idea for Project 10K20 where we provide $10,000 to 20 artists so that they can make a CD.  It has been a huge success in Edmonton and has really transformed the local jazz scene, and we are sure it's going to have the same similar impact on the local folk scene in Calgary.

4638             Now, when looking at this picture, we came to realize that there was something wrong.  We were doing Project 10K20 in Edmonton and Calgary because of CTD commitments, but in Saskatchewan, our home province, the need was perhaps even greater, so we decided to rectify the situation and announced its availability on our Saskatchewan radio stations.  The response was quite overwhelming.  More than 200 applications were received.  We ended up approving 29 of the applications and the resulting CDs are displayed on the board beside me there.

4639             One of the major benefits of Project 10K20 in Saskatchewan has been a huge increase in the amount of local Saskatchewan music we can play, so we have increased our minimum Canadian content to 40 percent of all of our FM stations in Saskatchewan.

4640             MS LEYLAND:  Community involvement, community service and super‑serving our listeners is the way we do radio.  The submitted letters tell the story again and again.  Outside recognition of our efforts can be seen in the 27 CAB nominations and awards our stations have received since 2000.  These award‑winning programs are just the tip of the iceberg.  Every day, and in almost every program, we're doing things to support the community and local community organizations.  It's the Saskatchewan way, and we certainly don't want to change it.

4641             Madam Chair, Members of the Commission, if there's one thought I can leave you with in our intervention it is this:  Saskatchewan is different.  Regina is not Fort McMurray, not Grande Prairie, not Medicine Hat.

4642             While we are all obsessed with trying to get the population over that elusive 1 million mark, the fact is we live here because we like it just the way it is.  We found that there are many benefits and advantages to living in cities with little growth.

4643             Of necessity, the people of Regina have found a way to make this a great city to live in; pulling together, working for a better Regina, and radio stations that play a leadership role in this endeavour is something special.

4644             Our radio revenues are not growing in Regina, and the stations are not highly profitable.  In fact currently national advertising is declining.  Nevertheless, there are no cutbacks and absolutely no reduction in our level of community commitment.  We don't want to have anything to do with the US model of cheap jukebox radio.

4645             We believe the letters and the survey results deliver a clear message:  The people of Regina like the radio they have today, and they don't want to lose it.  Madam Chair, we feel there should be no new licences granted in Regina.

4646             For a city of its size, Regina is extremely well‑served.  In fact it's over‑served when compared to markets like Edmonton and Calgary.  For some slight additional musical diversity, is it really worth risking the quality of radio that Regina now enjoys?  We think not.

4647             Thank you.  This completes our intervention.  Ken...?

4648             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Actually, if I can stop you right now and we will adjourn and then, Mr. Goldstein, you can give your brief presentation after lunch.  12:30.

4649             MS LEYLAND:  Thank you.

4650             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you.  Not 12:30.  Yeah, so you've got one second for lunch.  No, 1:30.

‑‑‑ Upon recessing at 1230 / Suspension à 1230

‑‑‑ Upon resuming at 1330 / Reprise à 1330

4651             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Order.  I just wanted to say one thing about Ms Leyland's comments about people moving to Calgary.  Given Gainer‑Gate, nobody's moving to Calgary.

‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires

4652             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Madam Secretary...?

4653             THE SECRETARY:  Thank you, Madam Chair.

4654             We will continue with the intervention of CMI, Communications Management Inc.  Mr. Goldstein...?

PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION

4655             MR. GOLDSTEIN:  Thank you, Madam Chair, Commissioners.

4656             In this proceeding from an economic perspective, there is essentially one fundamental question that needs to be addressed:  Do the economic indicators tell us that the market is capable of supporting a new commercial radio station?

4657             The report we submitted deals in detail with that question.  As you will have seen in our report, we tied our analysis very closely to the patterns of licensing and the comments the Commission made with respect to four other metro markets in which the Commission has considered new radio licences in the recent past; Kitchener, Halifax, Calgary and Quebec City.

4658             And we chose this methodology because of something the Commission itself said in its decision of August 10th, 2006, on the licensing of new radio stations in Quebec City.  In that decision, the Commission noted that the economic picture was not as positive as in many other markets and chose, therefore, to license only one new station with a speciality format.

4659             So we constructed a comparison of four markets in which licences have been granted and compared Regina and Saskatoon with those four markets and with the corresponding figures for all private radio across Canada.  After all, if indicators in Regina or Saskatoon are lower than in Quebec City, that should tell us something about the ability of these markets to support a new station.

4660             The results are summarized in our report and the results do indeed tell us that the economic indicators for the Regina radio market are not favourable to the licensing of any new commercial radio stations at this time.

4661             Let me briefly review a number of the key indicators.  First, population.  The Conference Board is projecting that Regina's population will grow by just 1.5 percent over the five years from 2005 to 2010, about one‑third the comparable growth rate for Canada.

4662             I noted that some of the applicants have made references to data from the Financial Post Canadian Demographics.  Here is what that source says about Regina's population:  "As of July 1st, 2005, 200,294 people; as of July 1st, 2006, 200,204 people ‑‑ a year‑on‑year decline of 90 people.

4663             Second, GDP.  The Conference Board is predicting that real GDP growth rates for Regina will decline from 2008 to 2009 and 2010, and those would be the first three full years of any proposed new station.

4664             For Canada, real GDP is projected to go up during that a period.  By 2010, the real GDP growth rate for Regina is projected to be about 25 percent lower than the growth rate for Canada.

4665             Third, retail sales.  We heard at least one applicant claim that Saskatchewan retail sales would increase 11 percent this year.  However, that claim is not supported by data from Statistics Canada.  The most recent data from Statistics Canada for the period January to August 20 ‑‑ January to August 2006 indicate a growth rate of 6 percent over the comparable period a year earlier, about half of what was claimed.  And the Conference Board is projecting that the growth rate for retail sales in Saskatchewan will be lower in 2008 and then decline further.

4666             If we focus on Regina and use data from the Conference Board, we see that the growth rate for retail sales spiked in 2005 and is projected to decline from 2008 to 2009 and 2010.

4667             The recent reduction in the provincial sales tax from 7 percent to 5 percent may have a modest short‑term effect, but that effect is unlikely to continue into the first years of a radio station in this market.

4668             Fourth, radio revenues.  From 1996 to 2003, private radio revenues in Regina and Saskatoon grew more slowly than was the case for radio in Canada.  Then from 2003 to 2005 there was a brief growth spurt.  However, based on the data for 2006 that we have seen, the growth spurt is over and private radio in Regina and Saskatoon again has a lower growth rate than radio across Canada.

4669             Fifth, radio profitability.  We have heard a number of statistics from applicants that purport to paint a rosy picture of revenues in the Regina market, but we have not heard any applicant deal with the other key factor, profitability, other than to dismiss its importance.  But the numbers are dramatic.

4670             Across Canada, from 2001 to 2005, the average PBIT for private radio as a percentage of total revenue was 18.2 percent.  In Regina, we estimate that the average PBIT for private radio from 2001 to 2005 was just under 5 percent, 13 percentage points lower than the figure for all of Canada.

4671             Can revenue growth be separated from profitability?  Is one more important than the other?  Of course not.  Both are important.  And the data tells us that after a brief growth spurt, radio revenues in Regina are growing more slowly while profit margins remain low.

4672             When we consider all of the factors together, we believe they deliver a single powerful message; the economic indicators do not support the licensing of any new commercial radio stations in Regina at this time.  And we believe it is also clear that the introduction of any new commercial radio station into the Regina market would push the PBIT level for the market into negative territory and would make it difficult, if not impossible, for current private stations to maintain their current high levels of community service.

4673             Thank you, I would be pleased to answer any questions you may have.

4674             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you.  Commissioner Cugini...?

4675             COMMISSIONER CUGINI:  Good afternoon, Ms Leyland and your panel.  Firstly, I'd like to apologize for the quality of my voice.  The cold bug has bit me, but I now have good drugs, so hopefully we'll get through this.

‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires

4676             COMMISSIONER CUGINI:  I just have a couple of questions for you, just to probe a little bit further into your comments earlier today.  I'm not sure if you were here physically in the room when Newcap presented their application for Regina, but I'd like to get your reaction to something that they presented.  And I'll paraphrase what they said just so you know what exactly it is that I am referring to.

4677             They compared the number of radio stations to the population in Regina, whereas they said that for every 34,000 people in Regina, there is one commercial radio station.  Moncton, New Brunswick, there is a city whose CMA is less than three‑fifths of Regina and is home to six commercial FM stations.  St. John, New Brunswick, 1 for every 18,000.  Brandon, Manitoba, 1 for every 10,000.  And Belleville, Ontario, 1 for every 18,000 residents compared to Regina's 1 for every 34,000 residents.

4678             I was wondering if I could get your comments and your reaction?

4679             MS LEYLAND:  Certainly.  I'll ask Mr. Goldstein to comment on that.

4680             MR. GOLDSTEIN:  I think that those kind of comparisons really don't tell us very much.  First of all, you could pick other markets.  You could pick Calgary, Edmonton ‑‑

4681             COMMISSIONER CUGINI:  Which you did in your report.

4682             MR. GOLDSTEIN:  Exactly.

4683             COMMISSIONER CUGINI:  So ‑‑

4684             MR. GOLDSTEIN:  And show precisely the opposite, that you could then use that to say, "Oh, look at the size here.  Look at the average number of people per station here.  Therefore, there are too many stations in the market.

4685             So I think that, as a first cut, I would say that I'm not sure that's particularly meaningful.  The part that bothers me, though, most about it is that one ‑‑ and by the way, I should say as an aside, I think the Brandon figure is very misleading because it doesn't include the rural area around Brandon, I don't think.

4686             But leaving that aside, the ‑‑ you compare us with Moncton ‑‑ or you compared Regina with Moncton or you compared the ‑‑ what other characteristics are present in the Moncton market is ‑‑ are you suggesting that one should import characteristics from these other markets into this market?

4687             In our report, for example, we noted that you have a situation in Regina and Saskatoon where you have very high levels of spending on programming because they have perfected what I think is a wonderful community model in these two markets.

4688             Now, if that market with the different average of population is now all of a sudden something we're holding up as a beacon to be emulated, should we go to the program spending levels of that market?  Should we go to the profitability levels of that market?  Should we go to the staffing levels of that market?

4689             So to simply say there are X number of people per station doesn't really tell the story.

4690             COMMISSIONER CUGINI:  And if ‑‑ I'd like to ask you, Mr. Goldstein, why it is that you included that same comparison in your study?

4691             MR. GOLDSTEIN:  Oh, I conclude ‑‑ include it only to show that you could pick numbers and show precisely the opposite.  I think I could probably find the words, but I think I probably said I don't think these are very meaningful and I then went on to say, "Let's do a more sophisticated analysis."  I believe there's actually a subhead in my study talking about a more sophisticated analysis.

4692             COMMISSIONER CUGINI:  Thank you.

4693             Ms Leyland, you may have heard us ask just about every applicant in these proceedings what are the factors?  Profitability we recognize is but one, but what are the factors that we, as a Commission, need to examine in order to determine whether or not a market can sustain another entrant?

4694             I would like to ask you what are the factors you look at and, if you can, perhaps even prioritize what those factors are when you want to enter, as Rawlco, into a new market.

4695             MS LEYLAND:  I think one of the factors that ‑‑

4696             COMMISSIONER CUGINI:  I'm sorry, I can't hear you.

4697             MS LEYLAND:  Oh, I'm sorry.  I think one of the factors that you might consider is music and the music that's presently offered in the community and the other formats that the applicants might want to make available.  I'd like to ask Doug to comment on the music formats that are in Sask ‑‑ or in Regina right now.

4698             MR. PRINGLE:  So if I could paint a brief picture of the formatic landscape in Regina?  Regina has all the four major formats currently in the market; rock, pop, country and news talk.  And in the case of the music formats, there are multiple signals available in each area.

4699             If you take the pop area, you have Lite who is an AC station catering to more the upper demographic of the pop audience.  And you have Z99 which caters more to the lower demographic.  So essentially upper and lower is covered in the pop side.

4700             If you take rock, you have a classic rock station, a pure classic rock station, Jack, which was ‑‑ as was mentioned by an earlier applicant although it has the name and the personality of the Jack format, it doesn't actually have the format.  It's a pure classic rock station.

4701             And then you have a mass appeal rock station, the Wolf that is geared younger, but they too play 40 percent classic rock.  Then you go to country.  We have two country stations.  We have an AM country station and we have Country 100 which comes in from Moose Jaw clear as a bell.  So in rock, pop and country, you have multiple formats covering all three of those musical genres.

4702             So I've got to be honest, when I first heard a call for the two markets, I was very curious as to what the mainstream broadcasters would come up with in terms of adding variety and musical diversity to the market and I was anticipating there'd be some pretty interesting category 3 submissions, so I was quite surprised actually that there were actually no category 3 submissions.  In fact, what was offered were just variations of what already existed in the marketplace.

4703             So just to quickly run through.  If you look at classic hits, well, there's already a station in the market that actually not only plays classic hits and has done for over 15 years, but has classic hits in their slogan.  Z99's slogan is, "Classic Hits and Today's Best Music".

4704             In addition to that, you'll find classic hits on Lite and you'll also find classic hits on Jack, so that format ‑‑ you know, that music is extremely well covered off.

4705             I was also interested to hear that there were no classic rock stations in this marketplace.  In actual fact, Jack is pure classic rock, and as I mentioned Wolf plays 40 percent classic rock.  To my knowledge, there's no market anywhere that supports three classic rock stations, so I don't really see where they would fit in.

4706             The submission for oldies was interesting.  Oldies has some challenges.  As you probably know, in Canada the format is going through some difficult times.  Stations have been bailing on the format.  There are less and less oldie stations all the time ‑‑ not just in Canada, the flagship oldie stations in the world.

4707             WCBS FM, they recently abandoned the format for a younger gold format, a format based in the '80s.  And of course in Canada we have the additional problem of hitting on the hit rule, so I think that would be a very tough go.  And the music in the market, I mean the tape that was played with the Beach Boys and the Beetles and Four Seasons, Lite plays a fair amount of that.  And of course the Canadian element is completely duplicated on Jack.

4708             The Canadian music from the '60s and '70s is ‑‑ you know, simply because there's not much great Canadian music from that era, it's duplicated on both the classic rock format and the oldies format.  I'm talking about BTO, the Guess Who, Neil Young.  All those guys, they're duplicated.  So I question how much of a hole, even if you could do it, there is for oldies in the market.

4709             And then the new country FM application, there already is a new country FM signal available to anybody who would like to listen to it in Regina.

4710             So as I look at what the market already has, which essentially has all the major formats covered in multiple, and then I look at what's being offered, I don't really see where there's much musical diversity.  I mean there's ‑‑ yes, it is versions of what is there, but I don't see any huge musical diversity being offered.

4711             MR. RAWLINSON:  Can I throw in one other comment as to what factors to look at?  I think that also it's worthwhile to take a look at what the existing radio stations are doing.  Are they providing good service or not?  Are they do ‑‑ doing a good job of serving their community?  Are they serving them well?  Are they running more than just jukeboxes or are they running real radio stations, real full‑service radio stations?  I think that's a factor to be considered, and I won't belabour that point, but I think that's a factor too.

4712             COMMISSIONER CUGINI:  Thank you.  Thank you very much.  Madam Chair, those are all my questions.

4713             THE CHAIRPERSON:  Thank you.

4714             Commissioner Pennefather...?

4715             COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER:  I have some questions for you, Mr. Goldstein, and I'll go back to the point that my colleague, Commissioner Cugini, raised regarding the comparison with other markets.

4716             Now, I'm in your report and I have to say that you did include that as one of the economic indicators.  You go on to discuss a more sophisticated set of comparisons with a different city comparison, but the question she asked you in reference to the comments from Newcap was really in relation to your choice to use comparisons with other metropolitan markets on page 4 as one of the indicators.  And I do say indicators, so you would ‑‑ we agree that there are a number of indicators that one uses.

4717             So on that where you, yourself, at page 4, have noted that one of the indicators that can be used is a comparison with other markets in terms of population, in your view what would be your estimate of the minimum population required to support a commercial radio station?

4718             MR. GOLDSTEIN:  Let me answer the first thing first by actually, if I may, read into the record what I said?

4719             I said some of the applications in this proceeding have included comparisons among Saskatoon, Regina and other markets for factors like the population per radio station.  This is a somewhat simplistic kind of comparison.  So the figures that I put in there was to illustrate that point.

4720             As far as asking the question of what is the minimum population you need to support a radio station, there is no answer.  And the reason there is no answer because it's not only the number of people, but it's where they're located.

4721             The minimum population in Hamilton is different than in Winnipeg, even though the markets are about the same size because Hamilton is sitting right beside Toronto, and Winnipeg has got a lot of territory around it.  So there is no simple answer to that question.

4722             COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER:  So you agree though it could be part of the mix of the discussions even though one would want to take a more sophisticated approach to it?  It still could be an indicator among others, but a less important one in your view?

4723             MR. GOLDSTEIN:  It's about the least important one.  I mean if you look at the amount spent on programming as a measure of the community involvement, if you look at the profitability, if you look at the trends, it also depends what direction you're moving in.  I consider it a highly simplistic kind of an indicator.

4724             COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER:  Thank you.

4725             Well, you will accept that just in the way this ‑‑ it is presented, I assumed that it was one of the indicators that you hoped to discuss.  And you go on to is ‑‑ to a more elaborate approach to that based on our decisions.  Let me take you to another indicator, which is page 6, your figures ‑‑ 6 and 7, your figures 3 and 4.

4726             And as I understand it, these figures are an estimate of program spending as a percentage of revenue, and also there's another column on PBIT as percentage of revenue and private radio.  And I'm looking at the percentage of program expenditures, a comparison of Canada to Regina and Saskatoon as you laid it out here, which clearly from your chart ‑‑ if I'm correct ‑‑ are higher than the average in Canada?

4727             MR. GOLDSTEIN:  That is correct.

4728             COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER:  Now, can you explain why ‑‑ what your rationale for maintaining that the Commission should refrain from licensing in markets ‑‑ in these markets in order to enable incumbents to maintain these clearly above average expenses and staffing levels?

4729             MR. GOLDSTEIN:  Well, I think that there's a short answer and there's a longer answer.  The short answer is, is if you fragment the market and drive the PBIT levels down, they won't be able to afford to maintain the same levels of program expenditure and community service.

4730             But I think this is actually a window into a very important, much larger discussion that we should be having here and we should be having in lots of places, and that is is that the stations in this province ‑‑ particularly in Saskatoon, in Regina and generally in this province ‑‑ have really developed a very wonderful model of community service.  It shows up in the higher spending on programming, and the reality is is it shows up in the lower profitability.  And ‑‑ sorry, go ahead.

4731             COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER:  Well, I think if we kept it, as you said earlier from ‑‑ in your remarks from an economic perspective, if we keep it to that, you would accept though those higher expenses is a factor we should take into consideration when looking at profitability levels?

4732             MR. GOLDSTEIN:  Well, I want ‑‑ I'm ‑‑ there is another important point to be added, and that is this, that the ‑‑ we've heard about the threat to radio, some of which is beginning to be felt, some of which is a little over the horizon from satellite and Internet and iPod and whatever.  The answer to that threat is precisely the kind of local emphasis that these stations are doing today.

4733             If you fragment the market, if you force them away from that, if you build them more into the jukebox mode