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TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS BEFORE
THE CANADIAN RADIO‑TELEVISION AND
TRANSCRIPTION DES AUDIENCES DEVANT
LE CONSEIL DE LA RADIODIFFUSION
ET DES TÉLÉCOMMUNICATIONS CANADIENNES
VARIOUS BROADCASTING APPLICATIONS /
PLUSIEURS DEMANDES EN RADIODIFFUSION
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Conference Centre Centre de conférences
Outaouais Room Salle Outaouais
Portage IV Portage IV
140 Promenade du Portage 140, promenade du Portage
Gatineau, Quebec Gatineau (Québec)
March 27, 2007 Le 27 mars 2007
In order to meet the requirements of the Official Languages
Act, transcripts of proceedings before the Commission will be
bilingual as to their covers, the listing of the CRTC members
and staff attending the public hearings, and the Table of
However, the aforementioned publication is the recorded
verbatim transcript and, as such, is taped and transcribed in
either of the official languages, depending on the language
spoken by the participant at the public hearing.
Afin de rencontrer les exigences de la Loi sur les langues
officielles, les procès‑verbaux pour le Conseil seront
bilingues en ce qui a trait à la page couverture, la liste des
membres et du personnel du CRTC participant à l'audience
publique ainsi que la table des matières.
Toutefois, la publication susmentionnée est un compte rendu
textuel des délibérations et, en tant que tel, est enregistrée
et transcrite dans l'une ou l'autre des deux langues
officielles, compte tenu de la langue utilisée par le
participant à l'audience publique.
Canadian Radio‑television and
Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des
Transcript / Transcription
VARIOUS BROADCASTING APPLICATIONS /
PLUSIEURS DEMANDES EN RADIODIFFUSION
BEFORE / DEVANT:
Rita Cugini Chairperson / Présidente
Michel Arpin Commissioner / Conseiller
Richard French Commissioner / Conseiller
Barbara Cram Commissioner / Conseillère
Helen del Val Commissioner / Conseillère
ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:
Jade Roy Secretary / Secrétaire
Valérie Dionne Legal Counsel /
Joe Aguiar Hearing Manager /
Gérant de l'audience
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Conference Centre Centre de conférences
Outaouais Room Salle Outaouais
Portage IV Portage IV
140 Promenade du Portage 140, promenade du Portage
Gatineau, Quebec Gatineau (Québec)
February 12, 2007 Le 12 février 2007
TABLE DES MATIÈRES / TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE / PARA
PRESENTATION BY / PRÉSENTATION PAR:
Kenneth R. Schaffer 9 / 51
Diversity Television Inc. 62 / 433
National Broadcast Reading Service (OBCI) 171 / 1246
Avis de recherche inc. and All Points 276 / 1990
Faith and Spirit Media Inc. 285 / 2032
Pelmorex Communications Inc. 293 / 2070
CANAL Corporation pour l'avancement de 299 / 2098
nouvelles applications des langages ltée
INTERVENTION BY / INTERVENTION PAR:
Debwe Communications 308 / 2137
RJ Deverell Productions 315 / 2161
Young Diplomats 320 / 2182
Gord Hope 344 / 2284
Geoff Eden 355 / 2331
Charlie Macdonald 363 / 2370
Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians 377 / 2444
Penny Leclair 386 / 2501
Rogers Communications Inc. 393 / 2534
Shaw Communications 411 / 2639
Canadian Cable Systems Alliance 429 / 2742
Bell Video Group 444 / 2820
Gatineau Quebec / Gatineau (Québec)
‑‑‑ Upon commencing on Tuesday, March 27, 2007
at 0930 / L'audience débute le mardi 27 mars 2007
LISTNUM 1 \l 11 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, please. Ladies and gentlemen, order, please.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12 Bonjour, mesdames et messieurs, et bienvenue à cette audience publique.
LISTNUM 1 \l 13 Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to this public hearing.
LISTNUM 1 \l 14 My name is Rita Cugini. I am the CRTC Regional Commissioner for Ontario, and I will be presiding over this hearing.
LISTNUM 1 \l 15 Joining me on the panel are my colleagues Michel Arpin, Vice‑Chair of Broadcasting; Richard French, Vice‑Chair of Telecommunications; Barbara Cram, Regional Commissioner for Manitoba and Saskatchewan; and Helen del Val, Regional Commissioner for British Columbia and the Yukon.
LISTNUM 1 \l 16 L'équipe du Conseil qui nous assiste se compose, notamment, de Joe Aguiar, gérant de l'audience et gestionnaire de l'Analyse de la radio de langue anglaise; Valérie Dionne, conseillère juridique; et Jade Roy, secrétaire d'audience, auprès de qui vous pouvez vous renseigner sur toute question qui concerne le déroulement de l'audience.
LISTNUM 1 \l 17 At this hearing we will examine applications for new licences to operate specialty programming services with digital basic status, as well as the applications of existing Licensees for digital basic status.
LISTNUM 1 \l 18 This will be followed by applications to provide a new radio service to the Sudbury market.
LISTNUM 1 \l 19 We will then assess an application relating to a transaction that would bring about a change to the effective control of the Canadian Documentary Channel.
LISTNUM 1 \l 110 Finally, we will look at an application to renew the licence of Radio Station CKEY‑FM, Fort Erie and St. Catharines.
LISTNUM 1 \l 111 The panel will begin by studying the applications presented by Kenneth R. Schaffer, Diversity Television Inc., and the National Broadcast Reading Service Inc., for licences to operate a new national specialty programming undertaking with mandatory digital basic carriage.
LISTNUM 1 \l 112 We will then hear a presentation by Avis de Recherche and All Points Bulletin Incorporated, requesting mandatory digital basic carriage for their Category 2 specialty services.
LISTNUM 1 \l 113 This will be followed by presentations by Faith and Spirit Media Inc. and Pelmorex Communications Inc. These Licensees are applying for mandatory distribution on digital basic for their dual status analog specialty services.
LISTNUM 1 \l 114 Enfin, nous entendrons la présentation de la Corporation pour l'avancement des nouvelles applications des langages limités, ou CANAL, qui demande la distribution obligatoire du Canal Savoir au Québec et sa distribution en mode numérique à l'extérieur du Québec.
LISTNUM 1 \l 115 The panel will assess applications for mandatory digital basic carriage in light of the criteria set out in the Digital Migration Framework, Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2006‑23, which was issued in February 2006.
LISTNUM 1 \l 116 These criteria state, among other things, that Applicants must provide evidence demonstrating the exceptional importance of the service to the achievement of the objectives of the Broadcasting Act.
LISTNUM 1 \l 117 The Applicant must also demonstrate that its business plan and the implementation of its specific commitments are dependent on the receipt of broad national distribution on the digital basic service, and that the wholesale rate it is proposing would not make its service unaffordable to consumers.
LISTNUM 1 \l 118 Regarding the three applications for new services, the Exceptional Importance Criterion will be evaluated based on their proposed programming plans and commitments, as well as the unique contribution that would be realized by licensing these services.
LISTNUM 1 \l 119 The Commission invited comments on these applications and on the extent to which they have demonstrated that they meet the criteria set out in the Digital Migration Framework.
LISTNUM 1 \l 120 Information extraneous to the scope of this proceeding will not be considered by the Commission and it will not revisit the Digital Migration Framework as part of this hearing.
LISTNUM 1 \l 121 The Commission will only consider information that is relevant to the merits of the applications before it, using the criteria listed in the Notice of Public Hearing in reference to the Digital Migration Framework.
LISTNUM 1 \l 122 Next we will consider six proposals to operate a new English‑language FM commercial radio station in Sudbury. We will examine the applications in the order of Items 1 to 6, presented in the Broadcasting Notice of Public Hearing CRTC 2007‑1.
LISTNUM 1 \l 123 Some applications are competing technically for the use of the same frequencies.
LISTNUM 1 \l 124 Nous évaluerons les propositions à la lumière des objectifs culturels, économiques et sociaux énoncés dans la Loi sur la radiodiffusion et les règlements qui en découlent.
LISTNUM 1 \l 125 The panel will base its decision on several criteria, including the state of competition and the diversity of editorial voices in the market, as well as the quality of the applications.
LISTNUM 1 \l 126 It will also look at the ability of the market to support new radio stations, the financial resources of each Applicant, and proposed initiatives for Canadian content development.
LISTNUM 1 \l 127 We will then assess an application by the Canadian Documentary Channel Limited Partnership for authority to effect a change to the effective control of the Canadian Documentary Channel, and for a new licence to continue its operation.
LISTNUM 1 \l 128 The proposed transaction would see the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation increase its partnership interest from 29 to 82 percent, and the effective control change from Corus to the CBC.
LISTNUM 1 \l 129 Finally, we will examine an application to renew the licence of Radio Station CKEY‑FM, Fort Erie, and its transmitter, CKEY‑FM‑1 St. Catharines.
LISTNUM 1 \l 130 In January 2005, the Commission decided to renew CKEY‑FM's licence for a period of a year and a half. This decision was based on the station's non‑compliance with the Radio Regulations, 1986, and with certain conditions of licence.
LISTNUM 1 \l 131 The Commission was particularly concerned by the insufficient amount of local programming that had been broadcast on CKEY‑FM.
LISTNUM 1 \l 132 After renewing the licence, the Commission monitored the programming broadcast by the station on two separate occasions, which raised serious preoccupations with respect to the amount of local programming.
LISTNUM 1 \l 133 The Commission is concerned that the Licensee may be operating in a continued breach of its condition of licence. Therefore, as stated in Broadcasting Notice of Public Hearing CRTC 2007‑1, the Licensee is expected to show cause as to why a mandatory order should not be issued requiring it to provide a sufficient level of local programming to be deemed operating in compliance with its condition of licence.
LISTNUM 1 \l 134 I will now invite the Hearing Secretary, Jade Roy, to explain the procedures we will be following.
LISTNUM 1 \l 135 Miss Roy.
LISTNUM 1 \l 136 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 1 \l 137 Nous aimerions souligner quelques points d'ordre pratique qui contribueront au bon déroulement de cette audience publique.
LISTNUM 1 \l 138 Firstly, the simultaneous interpretation service is available during the hearing. Receivers are available from the Commissionaire outside the Hearing Room.
LISTNUM 1 \l 139 The English interpretation is on Channel 7, and French is on Channel 8.
LISTNUM 1 \l 140 When you are in the Hearing Room, we would ask you to please turn off your cellphones, beepers and Blackberrys, as they are an unwelcome distraction and they cause interference on the internal communications system used by our translators. We would appreciate your cooperation in this regard throughout the hearing.
LISTNUM 1 \l 141 We expect the hearing to take approximately one week. We will begin each morning at 8:30 a.m., starting tomorrow, and we will finish each day at approximately 7:00 p.m. or 7:30 p.m.
LISTNUM 1 \l 142 We will take one hour for lunch, and a break in the morning and in the afternoon.
LISTNUM 1 \l 143 We will let you know of any schedule changes that may occur.
LISTNUM 1 \l 144 Pendant toute la durée de l'audience, vous pourrez consulter les documents qui font partie du dossier public pour cette audience dans la salle d'examen qui se trouve dans la salle Papineau, située à l'extérieur de la salle d'audience, à votre droite. Tel qu'indiqué dans l'ordre du jour, le numéro de téléphone de la salle d'examen est le 819‑953‑3168.
LISTNUM 1 \l 145 Une transcription des comparutions quotidiennes sera affichée sur le site internet du Conseil peu après la fin de l'audience. Les personnes qui désirent acheter des transcriptions peuvent s'adresser aux sténographes qui se trouvent à la table à ma droite durant la pause ou directement auprès de la compagnie Mediacopy.
LISTNUM 1 \l 146 We will now proceed with the presentations in the order of appearance set out in the agenda. Each party will be granted a given time to make its presentation. Questions from the Commission may follow each presentation.
LISTNUM 1 \l 147 Now, Madam Chair, we will proceed with Item 1 on the agenda, which is an application by Kenneth Schaffer, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, for a licence to operate a national digital English‑language specialty programming undertaking to be known as Métis Michif Television Network.
LISTNUM 1 \l 148 The proposed service will be devoted to programming exploring the concerns of preserving the culture, language and heritage of the Métis people.
LISTNUM 1 \l 149 Appearing for the Applicant is Mr. Kenneth Schaffer, who will introduce his colleagues.
LISTNUM 1 \l 150 Mr. Schaffer, you will have 20 minutes to make your presentation.
*PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
LISTNUM 1 \l 151 MR. SCHAFFER: Hello, bonjour, tanjay. My name is Ken Schaffer. Thank you to Madam Chairperson and to the Commission for allowing us to appear today. It is our pleasure to appear.
LISTNUM 1 \l 152 My name is Ken Schaffer, and I am the founder of the Métis Television Network across Canada.
LISTNUM 1 \l 153 With me are Deb Schaffer and Richard Gustin from SCN, on our panel.
LISTNUM 1 \l 154 I would first state that I would like to apologize to the Commission in advance for any types of deficiencies that we may have run into in our presentation to you, with the exception that I have never been to a hearing, so I wasn't really sure of how this would all valuate and make its way out.
LISTNUM 1 \l 155 The fundamental reasons for us applying are:
LISTNUM 1 \l 156 To establish a Métis Television Network across Canada.
LISTNUM 1 \l 157 The Métis are in the Constitution, and we have fallen short, for some reason, of the complete Broadcasting Act, and I believe that the Broadcasting Act is a Canadian‑‑ it's a gem. It's a worldwide gem, not just a Canadian gem.
LISTNUM 1 \l 158 The application provides the opportunity for the Métis to showcase our proud history, as well as our culture and heritage. It provides the opportunity for all Canadians to learn about and understand the contributions, connections and diversity of the Métis and the Aboriginal people that it represents, that is forever part of history in the development of Canada as a nation.
LISTNUM 1 \l 159 The application will ensure the participation of Métis youth, elders, and a chance for the Métis to learn their native tongue, and basically bring back to life the original language of the Métis, which is the Michif language.
LISTNUM 1 \l 160 Within a decade, it is entirely possible that the Métis will be the largest population component within Canada's Aboriginal population. The reason I say that is because we have to take into account the non‑status representation. A lot of Métis people are considered to be non‑status Aboriginal or Indian people or Métis people.
LISTNUM 1 \l 161 So there are a lot of people who are not being represented within all of the broadcasting channels that currently exist.
LISTNUM 1 \l 162 MMTN, the Métis Michif Television Network, is an exceptional case. The Métis of Canada encompass many nations from North America, as well as abroad. The Métis history here in Canada is documented to have started in the early 1500s. There is nowhere else in the world that you will find the Métis Michif people.
LISTNUM 1 \l 163 We started our creation here, and only here; not like the First Nations, with their roots that can be traced back to migration from Asian, as well as other European countries, migrating to the North American continent.
LISTNUM 1 \l 164 MMTN can understand that the plan for the network is entrepreneurial, as this is and has been the prominence of the Métis people since their inception as a group of people here in Canada‑‑ since the integral voyage, if you will.
LISTNUM 1 \l 165 With that said, MMTN has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Saskatchewan Communications Network, in which the Saskatchewan Communications Network will play a key role in our launching and our success, to ensure that the mechanisms are in place, especially the technology, and the advice, of course, for us to handle and maintain the traffic reports and other considerations that are necessary to the CRTC.
LISTNUM 1 \l 166 We must point out that when immigrants come into Canada, there are a number of questions that are asked of them before they get their citizenship. Some of the interventions spoken against the Métis Television Network make reference to this. What happens is, they don't make the reference to it in a positive way.
LISTNUM 1 \l 167 We are part of section 35 of the Constitution, and there are three peoples listed within the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada. They are: the Métis, the Inuit and the First Nations People.
LISTNUM 1 \l 168 What that comprises is a number of countries. Just like Europe has a number of countries, and there are a number of countries within Asia, Canada has a number of countries within it, which were here before the establishment of Upper and Lower Canada, and, of course, Canada as it is today.
LISTNUM 1 \l 169 The Métis are definitely listed within the Constitution, under section 35(2). That means that, basically, we are distinctive. We are not the same as every other group. We are not White enough, we are not Indian enough to have certain status as quoted by the Canadian government.
LISTNUM 1 \l 170 With all due respect, MMTN needs to have the assurance and safeguards of 9(1)(h), which is the "must carry" designation, in order to successfully launch.
LISTNUM 1 \l 171 I think you are aware that we have already had one decision, which was 2002‑345. With that decision, we tried ardently, within a number of years, to gain access‑‑ and I must say that I am here, respectfully, to address you, the Commission, about this issue.
LISTNUM 1 \l 172 We have tried ardently to get that carriage, as designated in the original decision, 2002‑345. What we found was that we were unable to do that because of the gatekeeper‑type mentality of the broadcast distribution undertakings. This has left us in a situation where we have had no choice but to come to you, respectfully, and ask for the "must carry" designation.
LISTNUM 1 \l 173 I must point out, also, that I have an application in front of me for a Category 1 licence, which I obtained a number of years ago. I have never actually presented it to the Commission, but it is here, as well.
LISTNUM 1 \l 174 I believe that the framework of our operational plan will answer all of the questions in regard to the Category 1 licence, as well as our Category 2 licence for this undertaking.
LISTNUM 1 \l 175 As I said, MMTN has attempted for many years to gain commitments for carriage in order to be able to launch. Numerous BDUs in their interventions have suggested that the services can become Category 2's if they desire to access the system.
LISTNUM 1 \l 176 Historically, the unattainable gatekeeper actions of the BDUs, including Rogers and Shaw, have, in many ways, become an architect to our realization that "must carry" is a necessary approach in order to adequately service Canadians.
LISTNUM 1 \l 177 Ironically, prior to our application, they told MMTN that they would adhere, or at least honour the recommendations of the CRTC.
LISTNUM 1 \l 178 In other words, they will give us carriage only upon you making it so.
LISTNUM 1 \l 179 The CRTC made a historic decision with 2002‑345. I don't think you could have come closer to really filling our Broadcasting Act to completion, when it comes down to allowing that decision to go forward. That alone made Canada, in my opinion, a whole country.
LISTNUM 1 \l 180 Even though we have never launched the network, and there were unforeseeable problems to actually getting that launch, it must be pointed out that that was, I think, further proof of Canadian sovereignty and the will of the Commission to do the right thing in terms of licensing MMTN and having it launch as a network.
LISTNUM 1 \l 181 The Métis is the only group mentioned in the Canadian Constitution that does not have its own broadcasting and communications vehicles for preserving and protecting the culture and language of the Métis and non‑status people, unlike the French, Inuit and First Nations in the very same Constitution.
LISTNUM 1 \l 182 APTN has stated that they feel there will be a bit of competition, and I really do not believe that to be the case. I don't think our panel does. There is a lack of Métis representation on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. I don't know for what reason. That would have to be answered by APTN.
LISTNUM 1 \l 183 What we are saying is that the Métis Television Network will not be duplicating any services that the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network would be entertaining.
LISTNUM 1 \l 184 APTN and other broadcasters include Métis programming sometimes, but it is not really Métis programming. What they do is, they will allow anybody to produce on behalf of something they would call Métis‑specific.
LISTNUM 1 \l 185 I am the founder of the first ever Métis‑specific television series in Canadian history, and I started that 10 years ago. My first licence was given to me through SCN. So we were basically up and running before APTN was ever involved with us.
LISTNUM 1 \l 186 One thing that we have found for sure is this: When we have approached any other broadcasters or broadcast distribution undertakings about carriage, they have used APTN as a sword against the Métis people and the non‑status people here in Canada. Even if you go to another broadcaster with a Métis‑specific television series and say that you want to air it on their network, they use APTN as a scapegoat, as a weapon against the Métis people, by saying: You have to go to the Indian channel in order to get that program to run.
LISTNUM 1 \l 187 I really don't see the need for that when we have hundreds of broadcast undertakings, and each one of them, according to the Broadcasting Act and its wording‑‑ and we have to point out that the wording is there, and it states that these broadcasters should be taking the time and merit to produce and allow Métis producers access to their networks, but they are not doing it. It is just not being done.
LISTNUM 1 \l 188 This is, again, further reason why the Métis are searching for their own network. The thing is, it is for the benefit of everybody, especially the youth.
LISTNUM 1 \l 189 Again, the biggest obstacles for the Métis people seem to be that they are using other networks to stop the actual promotion of Métis‑specific programming.
LISTNUM 1 \l 190 I must point out that we have never done a programming call. We have never really actually put an ad out, or anything of that nature, asking all Métis and non‑status producers to apply to us for licensing, because we were not going to set it up to fail. We were not going to set up any of those producers to fail. We knew that we needed to have the "must carry" designation, or there was no way that we were going to license anybody under the current system. It would be derogatory, and it certainly wouldn't help anybody.
LISTNUM 1 \l 191 MMTN also would like to point out that, yes, we are in the situation of asking for the "must carry" because we do need those funds from the "must carry" designation to help and license other producers who would like to come forward.
LISTNUM 1 \l 192 Also, I would like to point out that a lot of people of the not‑so‑White‑‑ not‑White‑enough category of the Métis people are out there, and they really don't know how to fit into the current framework in Canada because the door has been shut on them. They don't even know how to present a proper production to the Canadian framework of production, because they feel that they don't fit within the system, and we would like to make that stop. We would like it to be a more positive thing, where everybody fits in, and everybody has the chance to speak their mind.
LISTNUM 1 \l 193 What I am talking about is that the Métis people are not just Indian people. Sure, we are part First Nations, but we are also part French, we are also part English, we are also part Irish, and we are also part Scottish. A lot of those types of programming do not hit our Canadian airwaves for some reason, yet everybody is supposed to be there to actually identify with that and make that happen.
LISTNUM 1 \l 194 It is a big difference from six years ago, when the Net licence was okayed by the CRTC. The mainstream media didn't believe that we would last that long and actually make it to the point where we would be standing here before you in a hearing, asking for "must carry". I don't think they thought this was going to happen.
LISTNUM 1 \l 195 We are trying to do our best, and we will try to make our best efforts to maintain all of the programming we can.
LISTNUM 1 \l 196 I have to apologize, again, to you for my lack of continuance in this‑‑ continuity.
LISTNUM 1 \l 197 I think what I would like to do is just say that we have come all this way, and we submit that our application could not be more applicable to the parameters of the "must carry" designation and what you would call‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 198 How is it worded? To entertain on an exceptional basis?
LISTNUM 1 \l 199 I believe that MMTN has met all of that criteria. As Métis people in Canada, we meet it probably more than anybody else in that way.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1100 I really don't want to ramble on. If I could, I would ask Richard to speak on a few things, because I have gone on and on, and I can't state my case any more than what I have, I don't think, right at this point.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1101 MR. GUSTIN: Good morning. I represent SCN, the Saskatchewan Communications Network, Saskatchewan's educational broadcaster.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1102 I am not here to speak to MMTN's business plan or their content. That is for Ken to answer. However, I am here to speak to the value of the co‑location agreement that we are discussing with MMTN and what this would do to facilitate their ability to get this service up and running.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1103 As many of you know, SCN has just built a new physical plant. We have one of the most advanced digital broadcast centres in the country. It would be very easy for us to add other services to that. So we would be very pleased to welcome MMTN to SCN.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1104 As well, we have accumulated a great deal of expertise in traffic matters, in working with the CRTC, so I think we have a very robust traffic management system that would certainly bring value to this service, as well as our familiarity with the broadcasting environment.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1105 The other thing, though, that I want to speak to is the issue of diversity. As many of the Commissioners know, SCN has been a strong proponent of regional voices and diversity in the Canadian broadcasting system, and I would note that, currently, the multiple channels owned by a small number of corporate broadcast groups do not guarantee the diversity of voices.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1106 A quick analogy that I noted in this morning's paper is that there seems to be a great scandal developing in the dog food industry, where we have one company making hundreds of brands of dog food, and all of them have become tainted. Dog owners are suddenly in a panic, because, although there are all of these brands in the supermarket, they are all from the same people and they are all corrupted.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1107 We have a similar situation in the broadcasting world, where we have dozens and dozens of channels, all of which seem to be focusing on showing "CSI Miami" and "The Simpsons".
LISTNUM 1 \l 1108 SCN is a strong believer that there need to be more voices in the system.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1109 Really, those are the issues that I wanted to bring to the table. We think that diversity in the system is important, and that there need to be opportunities for voices like what Ken is trying to do for the Métis people and the Michif language, and we strongly support this. We have worked with a number of Aboriginal and Métis producers over the years, and I must point out that, in SCN's experience, it was very, very difficult to get any kind of Aboriginal programming made prior to APTN coming on the scene, because SCN, as a small broadcaster, could not carry the weight of that responsibility alone.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1110 So getting more participants into the system enables more diverse voices to appear.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1111 We have about two minutes left, Ken. Do you have anything else to say?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1112 MR. SCHAFFER: Yes, I do, if I could, please.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1113 I would like to point out that we didn't have a lot of positive interventions presented to the Commission on this hearing, and that is basically because we didn't go to get any, because when the original application was sent in, it had, virtually, a number of different positive letters from all over Canada. There are about 70 different positive interventions directly in the actual application and the business plan, and we would like you to take note of them, because we included them in the actual application, rather than trying to get other interventions at this point.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1114 As I pointed out, we already have received a Category 2 licence, under Decision 2002‑345, so we are trying to further this and make it more positive, where we can actually launch and dedicate the service to the Métis people and people of Canada. We really want to do this.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1115 That is really all I have to say.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1116 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1117 Vice‑Chairman French.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1118 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: Welcome, Mr. and Ms Schaffer, and Mr. Gustin.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1119 Mr. Schaffer, in order to do full justice to your application, I would like to ask you some fairly specific questions, the object being to elicit from you some hard information that the Commission requires in order to be able to properly evaluate your proposal.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1120 MR. SCHAFFER: Yes, sir.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1121 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: We will take as read your cultural case.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1122 MR. SCHAFFER: Okay.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1123 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: Let's talk specifically about what you are planning to do on your proposed channel.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1124 How much programming in a week will be, in your mind, in English, French and Michif?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1125 MR. SCHAFFER: I believe that what we had done there was, we had thought that about 75 to 80 percent of the content would be in the English category, as, really, that is one of the first languages of the Métis. I guess that French would be one of the other languages, and then, finally, the Aboriginal component, which would be a smaller percentage at this point, and then we would make our best efforts to try to increase that as the years go by.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1126 I must point out that the Michif language is the most tricky out of all of the components to put together, as far as national languages are concerned.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1127 I make reference, for instance, to the State of Hawaii, in which the people of Hawaii will drive around their cities and look at a number of different street signs, like King Kameamea Avenue, Makapuu Bay, and all of these different areas, but they don't talk their own language. That is really kind of sad. It is not even taught in their own schools.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1128 In this case, the Michif language is one of those languages that has nearly fallen right off the map. So we want to dedicate a certain amount of time to try to bring back some of that, as well, and we hope to have as much programming in that area of the French‑English end of it, with subtitling where it is available.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1129 I hope that answers that question.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1130 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: Well, you have said that 75 to 80 percent of the programming would be in English, so let's talk about the other 20 percent, just to be clear.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1131 French would be 15 percent?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1132 MR. SCHAFFER: About that, yes. Ten to 15 percent, I guess.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1133 I forget what was in the actual application, but‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1134 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: It is not a test relative to what is in the application. You are here to describe what you are trying to do. So, please, tell us what you are trying to do as of now.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1135 If there is some flagrant contradiction with what you said before, please explain it, but you are free to tell us what you plan to do.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1136 At the moment, you plan to have 75 to 80 percent English, 10 to 15 percent French, and the balance, say, 5 percent to 10 percent, Michif.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1137 Is that fair?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1138 MR. SCHAFFER: That's fair, with, of course, our best efforts to increase that to up to about 25 percent Michif.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1139 Eventually, we will probably get into more of a relationship with the French language end of it, as we want to license a lot of French programming on the Métis Television Network, as well.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1140 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: Let's talk first about the Michif component, because you want to increase it, and it is part of your cultural mandate, I think.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1141 MR. SCHAFFER: Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1142 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: What percentage of people who self‑identify as Métis speak Michif?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1143 MR. SCHAFFER: I would have to say, from my previous experience in this, not a lot. Probably less than 2 percent of the overall population even speaks Michif.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1144 And that is the elder population. As they are gaining in age, this is slowly falling off the face of the earth.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1145 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: Would I be right that we are talking about 30,000 people who self‑identified as Métis, or is that too low?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1146 MR. SCHAFFER: That is way too low.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1147 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: What would it be?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1148 MR. SCHAFFER: About 800,000.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1149 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: Eight‑hundred thousand?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1150 MR. SCHAFFER: Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1151 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: Self‑identified.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1152 MR. SCHAFFER: Yes, according to the Canadian census.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1153 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: And about 2 percent of them speak Michif, as an estimate.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1154 MR. SCHAFFER: Two to 10 percent.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1155 It just depends on what regional area you are in.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1156 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: When you are broadcasting in English and French, you will be treating themes or content that will be directed specifically at Métis, or, more generally, at urban people of Aboriginal origin?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1157 What would the target audience be for your programming in English?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1158 MR. SCHAFFER: I believe that the target audience would be all Canadians in English. Overall, I think, we would be‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1159 I am trying to remember your question, I'm sorry.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1160 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: For your 75 to 80 percent of English programming, what would your target audience be?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1161 MR. SCHAFFER: I would say that the target audience would be the White‑‑ not the White, but the English‑language component, and youth, and then, of course, getting into that marginalization of the Michif language and trying to pull that more into the forefront, to re‑establish it eventually.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1162 But, yes, the majority would be English.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1163 My first language was English. My second language was Cantonese, and that was because I was five years old and we had an Asian family living next door, so I learned the language very quickly.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1164 And then, later on, my third language was French.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1165 And I never did learn my own language.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1166 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: Mr. Schaffer, when you program in English, you are targeting English‑speaking people.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1167 MR. SCHAFFER: Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1168 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: But that's a very big category. Help me a bit more.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1169 What kind of programming will this be?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1170 This won't be original programming. What kind of programming will it be?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1171 MR. SCHAFFER: No, we plan to do 75 percent or 80 percent original programming, with all of this, if not more.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1172 The point being that we are trying to grab into that area of Canadian broadcasting that is not being serviced right now, and that is a large area, especially within the Métis area.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1173 That's what we want to do. We want to bring that back to life.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1174 Like I say, the Métis people, a lot of them‑‑ and it depends on what region you are from. Some may be first‑language French‑speaking.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1175 So that is another situation where‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1176 I know this is frustrating, and I am sorry if I am not answering the question the way you want.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1177 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: It's not a matter of what I want, I am trying to help you, Mr. Schaffer, to explain it to us with some degree of precision.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1178 And, to be honest with you, I am not succeeding at the moment.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1179 MR. SCHAFFER: Okay. The Métis Michif Television Network intends to devote 35 hours of each broadcast week to Métis and other Aboriginal programming. That is really what we intend to do.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1180 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: But 35 hours can't be 75 to 80 percent of original programming, then, can it?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1181 MR. SCHAFFER: That's English. We are going to try to do as much‑‑ best efforts to doing that as we can.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1182 Again, it has been a real struggle to even get to this point, so...
LISTNUM 1 \l 1183 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: Yes, I am struggling, too, Mr. Schaffer. I know the feeling.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1184 You plan to do 35 hours of original programming a week in English.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1185 MR. SCHAFFER: We plan to launch a television network and do as much programming as we can that is Canadian content on a weekly basis‑‑ as much as we can.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1186 We wanted to do a 100 percent Canadian content television network, but, in the eyes of other experts we have talked to, this is very hard to do. It is hard to sustain 100 percent Canadian content.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1187 That is my answer, I guess. We are trying to do that. We have stated within our application process that we want to maintain a minimum of 80 percent Canadian content, and that would include all groups‑‑ the French, the Michif and the English‑speaking.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1188 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: All right. Of that 80 percent, what kind of programming would it be?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1189 Where would you source it from? What production houses would you work with? What kinds of themes would you deal with? What kinds of audiences would you be targeting?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1190 MR. SCHAFFER: We are going to try to target the average Canadian audience. We want to be a part‑‑ we want to participate in the broadcasting of Canada, and we want to contribute that by‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1191 Richard, maybe you could help me with some of this. You know more about the programming.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1192 If I could let Richard answer some of these questions...
LISTNUM 1 \l 1193 MR. GUSTIN: This puts me in a difficult position. I am not really here to speak to the content of the Métis channel. However, I think what Ken is trying to say is, he is interested in trying to do programming that is targeted to the concerns of the Métis community, obviously.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1194 Are you trying to do youth‑oriented programming in this?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1195 Will there be a youth component, Ken?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1196 MR. SCHAFFER: Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1197 MR. GUSTIN: Is there going to be public information programming that speaks to the concerns of the Métis community?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1198 MR. SCHAFFER: Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1199 MR. GUSTIN: Are you intending to do a news service‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1200 MR. SCHAFFER: Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1201 MR. GUSTIN: ‑‑ or an information component?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1202 MR. SCHAFFER: Yes. We believe that is truly missing from the Canadian broadcasting environment. News is definitely a priority, and youth is a priority, in terms of the people that we want to reach out to, as far as producers.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1203 And we want to reach the youth population within Canada to explain who the Métis people are.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1204 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: Let's talk about youth, then, Mr. Schaffer.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1205 MR. SCHAFFER: Sure.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1206 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: How many production houses have you been in touch with or do you know about who would be liable to produce the kind of programming that would address, I guess, Métis youth, if I am understanding this correctly?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1207 Is there a backlog? Is there an inventory of that kind of programming, or would it all have to be produced originally?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1208 MR. SCHAFFER: There are a couple of dozen programs that we could probably pull that have been produced by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and other broadcasters.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1209 The majority of it will be new broadcasting and new initiatives, I would suggest.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1210 That is the whole purpose, the whole idea.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1211 Because it isn't being properly serviced at this point, it just isn't.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1212 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: You are the leading Métis production house in the country. Am I right?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1213 MR. SCHAFFER: I would think so.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1214 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: How many hours of Métis‑relevant production would you do in a year in your production operation?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1215 MR. SCHAFFER: Based on the limiting of licensing and the limiting of dollars that are available, we only produce, really, two or three different types of programs per year.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1216 One is a full‑time series, which is the Métis Television series "Metcom", which stands for "The Métis Communications Program", and we have about 70 programs underneath our belt at this point.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1217 We are also reaching out and doing other programs, which are one‑hour documentaries and one‑offs.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1218 Other than that, to say the least‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1219 MR. SCHAFFER: Basically, we are evolving Aboriginal production. That is what we are doing.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1220 There is a lack of responsibility by the broadcasters to even look at Métis‑specific programming, even though it is in our Broadcasting Act that it should be there.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1221 When we approach the other broadcasters, they are not opening the door.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1222 SCN is one of the rare broadcasters out there that has actually looked at the Broadcasting Act and talks about it when we have discussions.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1223 MR. GUSTIN: If I could jump in on this for a second; one of the things that has been interesting to SCN over the past several years is the evolution of the Aboriginal and Métis production community that we are seeing, particularly on the Prairies.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1224 We are finding a number of new entrants into the community. The Aboriginal community has a strong oral tradition, so that young people embrace the nature of television production fitting into the strong oral tradition.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1225 So we see a number of new entrants coming into the field in this area.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1226 Unfortunately, with our limited resources, it is very difficult to support them to the same level as the aspirations of this community.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1227 MR. SCHAFFER: There is such a limited amount of dollars out there that it is hard to really say how many people are out there.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1228 There are the odd Métis programs, like, "La voix du Michif". Andrea Menard is doing some of this work in order to, of course, enhance Métis‑specific programming.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1229 Again, the bottom line is, there is a lack of money. There is a lack of money even in the Canadian Television Fund for us to reach out to.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1230 A good example is, we have not been able to produce the Métis television series for a number of years, and we would like to do it every year, and have 13 to 26 episodes per year done, just on that one episode‑‑ or one show, "Metcom". But, unfortunately, that doesn't happen.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1231 What happens is, we are forced to apply for a minimal amount of funding for the Aboriginal component. Then, of course, there is the evaluation process, which evaluates you out of the system, because of the limited amount of dollars.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1232 At that point‑‑ again, I come back to this‑‑ whereas we did start to do a production call and actually ask Métis producers to come forward, we got a number of different applications in for production‑worthy programs that we would be able to air. The problem is that, again, we were not a "must carry" and we didn't have the budget; therefore, we couldn't commit to any of those funds, and, at the same time, none of those producers could get hold of any of that First Nations money from Canadian Heritage through the Canadian Television Fund.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1233 It has been‑‑ I would tell you that, out of all the things I have ever done in my whole life, Métis television is probably one of the hardest things that I have ever done.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1234 And I am not here to make myself rich. What it really comes down to is, when I started the Métis television series "Metcom", that was the first ever Métis television series in the world, and when I did it, I was asked specifically by licensors and programmers, like SCN: What am I doing? Because nobody else has done this before.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1235 You are not going to have enough money to produce this.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1236 These are questions that are real coming out of licensors, and I had to agree with them.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1237 But I wasn't doing this to get rich, it was because I am an artist. This is the culture, the history. This is our people.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1238 One of the basic fundamentals that I ran into is‑‑ I have to tell you that I am the founder, also, of the job shops in this world, and what I have done is, I have found thousands of people who work in this country, and one of the major areas that is missing is Métis‑specific hiring practices in this country.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1239 One of the big holes that I saw was the fact that the Métis are missing from broadcasting. I wasn't seeing any Métis‑specific television. Nobody was producing it.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1240 Those are the obstacles that people have to overcome if they are going to be able to produce in this country. They need funds. They need licensing money, or it is not going to happen.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1241 Myself‑‑ I have to tell you that I have another 13 shows of "Metcom" coming up again. I don't know‑‑ if the doors don't open up with other broadcasters, then this show will no longer be around, either. It just won't. It can't survive with the limited amount of funds that are available, unless MMTN launches, which would help it. It would be, of course, a signature series.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1242 But, again, like I say, what is missing on the overall‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1243 I speak on behalf of all of Canada, realistically, because I have the knowledge in a Human Resources background, and there is a very large deficiency in this country when it comes to the Métis people being recognized or being helped to participate and enjoy the benefits of Canada.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1244 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: Mr. Schaffer, you have said that you plan to spend $8 million a year on program acquisition. Could you tell us what proportion of this would be spent on Canadian production and what proportion on foreign production?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1245 MR. SCHAFFER: According to the application that we have submitted, we have stated that we will try to go with 80 percent‑‑ make best efforts at 80 percent Canadian content. So the majority of that $8 million will be spent on Canadian content‑‑ 80 percent, and 20 percent would be available for reaching out to other mixed‑blood programs around the world.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1246 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: Mr. Schaffer, you have said that you want to operate on an 18‑hour broadcasting day.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1247 Is that correct?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1248 MR. SCHAFFER: Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1249 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: Do you intend to broadcast anything between midnight and 8:00 a.m.?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1250 Will you go dark? What would happen?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1251 MR. SCHAFFER: I am not really sure. I don't think that we, at this point‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1252 When we first launch, I don't think we are going to do a lot of broadcasting between those hours because of the lack, right at this point.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1253 We are going to have to build the production library as we go. Then, as we go, we would be able to look at that further, to fill those hours up.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1254 And we do want to. We want to operate on a 24‑hour basis, eventually, if at all possible.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1255 I know that most people probably use infomercials during those times. It is not definitely out of the question, I guess, but it wouldn't be my first preference.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1256 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: Let's go back to the need to rapidly build a library, and I have been trying to discuss that with you in a very precise way.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1257 How many hours of relevant production do you expect to have to find in the first year of your operation‑‑ original, Métis‑directed production?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1258 How many hours, or what percentage of your programming, and how much money will that involve?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1259 MR. SCHAFFER: That would probably involve every bit of the budget that we would be able to grab from the "must carry" designation.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1260 The full budget would be dedicated, primarily, to building that library. That is really what it would be.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1261 And we can only reach out right now to what is available through‑‑ what the broadcasters have done up to this point.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1262 When we were in Banff last year, I put out 300 different applications to various broadcasters, and I got no replies.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1263 So, from that point of view, yes, it will be a struggle to find that programming, but it's there. There is some programming that we can reach into. The rest of it will be Canadian content and new production.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1264 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: Could you name some of the production houses and the persons responsible that you would regard as the mostly likely people with whom you would work in order to develop this kind of production?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1265 MR. SCHAFFER: Well, you know, this comes down to broadcasters, I think, mostly, and the other broadcasters knowing where‑‑ and other people that are Métis around the country, within regions.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1266 I would hope that we could rely on some of what they have to be able to build that library, because, without it, we won't have a very big library.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1267 Other than that, we do have other people, like Delores Smith, who does a series called "Beyond Words". Andrea Menard does a number of different series. She is Métis, and very, very talented.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1268 Also, Derek Calderbank, and Professor Raoul McKay will be involved.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1269 There are a number of companies across Canada that want to get involved.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1270 I must say that I have had nothing but positive encouragement, and I have never heard anybody say that we shouldn't have this Métis Television Network. I have never heard that, except for in the interventions here, which is the first time.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1271 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: You have said that you would be broadcasting 80 percent in English, and at least 5 percent in Michif. That leaves 10 to 15 percent in the French language.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1272 Is there French‑language production relevant to Métis audiences?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1273 MR. SCHAFFER: I believe that is a large part of it.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1274 A lot of our history comes from the establishment of Canada, and that's where I come back to the original comments that I made to you. The Métis people are really the establishment people of Canada, and I think they should be recognized as that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1275 What that means is, we have a large connection to the French. We have a large connection to the Scottish and the Irish. And those components are continually left out.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1276 The French people are a definite part of our history. We wouldn't be in existence, really, if it wasn't for those groups‑‑ the French, the Scottish and the Irish, as well as the English.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1277 Then you have to take in the First Nations.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1278 So, no, we wouldn't be able to survive without French, as a network.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1279 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: Mr. Schaffer, can you name me a French‑language production directed at the Métis community?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1280 MR. SCHAFFER: No, I can't.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1281 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: Can you name me a French‑language producer that would like to produce for you in French for the Métis community?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1282 MR. SCHAFFER: No, actually, I really can't. I have never put out a call to actually have them do that, because I would never set them up to fail.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1283 Now I would like to do that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1284 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: Mr. Schaffer, if you are only going to cover 10 to 15 percent of your broadcast day in French, how is it that the quantum you would expect to gain from a subscriber would be the same in the French language as the English language?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1285 MR. SCHAFFER: I am not sure that I understand the question.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1286 Do you understand the question?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1287 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: You have asked for 15 cents a month per subscriber, have you not?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1288 MR. SCHAFFER: Yes, we have.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1289 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: That applies indifferently to the Quebec market and the English‑language market, does it not?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1290 MR. SCHAFFER: Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1291 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: Do you think it would be reasonable that a French subscriber should pay the same as an English subscriber, when the English subscriber is getting, on your count, five or six times as much programming as the French subscriber?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1292 MR. SCHAFFER: Yes, I do. I definitely do.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1293 I believe that there are a lot of inequities out there anyway. Why would we be, really, any different in that sense?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1294 When I look at the French‑English situation in the western part of Canada, I would be hard pressed to go into anybody's home in Saskatchewan and find them looking at CBC‑French, but French CBC is available, and it should be available to everybody across this country, just like the Métis Television Network should be available.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1295 The French‑‑ in other words, what I am trying to say is, if they had to deal with this on a payment basis, if the subscribers in Saskatchewan or Alberta, or whatever, had to pay for that French service, they wouldn't have enough money to operate. That is really what the bottom line is, because there wouldn't be enough people to back up that part of it.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1296 Then, again, like I say, the French have a right to their culture, their heritage and their language, and they should be able to listen to it across Canada the same as the Métis.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1297 And there are going to be inequities.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1298 I have to tell you that I don't have all of the answers to absolutely everything. We are a fledgling company, we are trying to launch.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1299 As we go, a lot of these answers will be a lot more apparent, and, hopefully, we will do a lot better job than what we have seen done in the past.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1300 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: Mr. Schaffer, you have based your subscriber revenue forecasts on the figure of 10.3 million subscribers, at 15 cents per subscriber per month.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1301 MR. SCHAFFER: Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1302 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: Unfortunately, the service for which you are applying is a digital service only, but you have covered both analog and digital subscribers in your business plan. This means that, at whatever quantum is finally determined, you will have, roughly, half the number of subscribers that are counted on in your business plan, meaning that you would get half the revenue.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1303 Could you explain to us, or clear us up on how you would adjust your business plan in light of the fact that you will only have half the number of subscribers that you have forecasted?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1304 MR. SCHAFFER: Well, I can only say that we plan to do about 64.16 percent in programming and production.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1305 I really don't have all of the answers that I think you would ask of me all the time, and I do have to honestly apologize. We are really trying to struggle. We have been struggling for the last seven years trying to launch this network.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1306 My finance person, Marty Kline, was supposed to be here today, and he would have been able to answer that a little bit better for me.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1307 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: Okay, Mr. Schaffer. I think we have probably reached the end of the questions that I would have for you. Thank you very much.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1308 MR. SCHAFFER: Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1309 I'm sorry that I couldn't be more specific about certain things.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1310 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Cram?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1311 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1312 Mr. Schaffer, you said to Commissioner French that there were 800,000 Métis. I am looking at page 7 of your presentation today, which you left us with. It is entitled "A Profile of Canada's Métis Population".
LISTNUM 1 \l 1313 Do you have that page?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1314 MR. SCHAFFER: I am trying to find it right now.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1315 Yes, I do.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1316 COMMISSIONER CRAM: It says, "Métis identity"‑‑ and this is StatsCan in 2001‑‑ "292,000."
LISTNUM 1 \l 1317 Where do you come with the 800,000?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1318 MR. SCHAFFER: I believe that the new census figures have been released now. I don't have them with me at present, but I am sure we could get them.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1319 What I am trying to say here is‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1320 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Mr. Schaffer, I am asking where you are getting the 800,000, because the next page‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1321 MR. SCHAFFER: Actually, I got it from Debbie. I thought that she was accurate, so I didn't know. I'm sorry.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1322 COMMISSIONER CRAM: The next page shows an increase of 33 percent‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1323 I'm sorry, that's 1996 to 2001.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1324 For now, I guess, we should be considering that there are only 292,000 Métis, subject to the new census?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1325 MR. SCHAFFER: To the new census.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1326 Also considering, of course, that a lot of people really don't know how to identify with that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1327 You know, I think they would like to‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1328 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I know, it is based on self‑identification.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1329 MR. SCHAFFER: Yes, and I think that a lot of people really don't know.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1330 Like I say, a lot of them are the French, the Scottish and the Irish, in that end of it, and they identify as being French, Scottish and Irish.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1331 And then, after the establishment people, you have the rest of the immigration to Canada, the river people, and then, finally, the trade establishment, and those figures, obviously, go up.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1332 And you will find, as we launch this network and get going, that those figures will change and Canada will gain a new identity because of that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1333 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I wanted to talk about launch. What I am hearing from you is, it will get better as time goes on, and you will know more as time goes on.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1334 What I want to know is, day one, when you launch, do you have any capital in order to pay for those launch costs?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1335 MR. SCHAFFER: Yes, we have actually done that. We have secured funds through the Indian and Métis Fund in Saskatchewan, as well as Prairie Financial, to help in the actual launching costs.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1336 So they are there, once we‑‑ but we have to, basically, have the 9(1)(h) designation before we can actually get that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1337 I have to be honest about that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1338 COMMISSIONER CRAM: My final question is, under the policy that we are working on, this migration policy right now, it says that we have to consider affordability. How should we look at affordability?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1339 I am saying, should we look at it as the StatsCan cut‑off poverty level, and affordability for somebody there?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1340 How do we decide what is affordable and what is not affordable?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1341 MR. SCHAFFER: I don't want to be ignorant or anything like that, but the word "affordability" is used in what context?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1342 That is what I am missing.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1343 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Under the policy, we are to consider the exceptional, national importance, et cetera, but we are also supposed to consider affordability in deciding who should have the status to go on digital.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1344 My question is, what frame of reference should we use for deciding affordability?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1345 MR. SCHAFFER: I think that the best way to look at this would be, if you look at the way the Métis people have been able to participate‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1346 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Mr. Schaffer?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1347 MR. SCHAFFER: Yes?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1348 COMMISSIONER CRAM: How do we decide affordability?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1349 Tell us what you think we should say?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1350 Should we be looking at a single woman under the poverty cut‑off level with two children? Should we be looking at that person and saying, "As a whole, the basic package, right now, is affordable, but one more cent means that it is not affordable"?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1351 What should we be looking at?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1352 Should we be looking at my colleague, who earns a fair bit of money?
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 1 \l 1353 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: But a lot less than before I took the government service.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 1 \l 1354 COMMISSIONER CRAM: How do we determine affordability?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1355 MR. SCHAFFER: That's a good question. I think that we can't afford not to have this channel.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1356 I think that, if we were to look at Stats Canada‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1357 Why would we look at Stats Canada?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1358 MR. SCHAFFER: Okay. So you are looking at Stats Canada to, then, evaluate what income levels?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1359 Is that what you are asking?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1360 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes. I am saying, how do we decide affordability?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1361 From what perspective do we look at it?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1362 We look all across Canada, and we find out what the basic cost would be for basic digital.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1363 MR. SCHAFFER: Right, yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1364 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Should it never go higher than $20? Is that the level?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1365 Because we have to consider this in the matrix.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1366 MR. SCHAFFER: Yes, I understand that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1367 That's why we have only asked for 15 cents at this point. We would like to prove ourselves as a network.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1368 And we don't believe that the 15 cents is too much at this point.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1369 Before we could ask for any more, we don't think that‑‑ we don't want to outprice ourselves, and we don't want to be unaffordable.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1370 We are, basically, serving the needs of‑‑ again, like I say, from a Human Resources perspective, a lot of those people are not as wealthy as, for instance, your colleague who is sitting there.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1371 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So your answer is, it's a cup of coffee, and we will, maybe, "cup of coffee" everybody to death.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1372 Is that really what it comes down to?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1373 MR. SCHAFFER: I think it is a little bit less than a cup of coffee, but I don't think there is really a dollar‑and‑cents figure.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1374 When you look at the CBC, for instance, coming forward and asking for another dollar on top of the budget they already have, we are not asking for that. We are asking for a minimal amount, 15 cents. We don't think that it's a lot of money.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1375 The much bigger question is, of course, if there was any more money involved, it would certainly be‑‑ it is up to the Commission, totally, to decide what people can afford and what they can't.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1376 I am only in a position to say that, for the lack of this type of Canadian programming, and that type of thing, we can't afford to go on without it any longer as a country. We need to work on that, and 15 cents isn't a lot.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1377 We would have liked to have had a dollar, too, because, of course, with a dollar, we could turn around and do a lot higher production quality and values and things of that nature.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1378 But, again, 15 cents, we thought, was not outrageous. It was about the same‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1379 We based this on the principle of APTN, when they started. We would like to prove ourselves. We feel that the Commission feels that APTN is a success, and we believe that they are a success. I have no problem with that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1380 APTN is a success. You have done a great job. Congratulations on that decision, because it has meant a lot to Canada. It's missing‑‑ it's a big missing part of it.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1381 And I don't think that 15 cents is going to break the average family. Even those on welfare would not be hurt by an extra 15 cents at this point.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1382 But, I think, if you are getting into a dollar or more, or whatever, I think that, then, you are taking that cup of coffee, and that's a lot out of some people's pockets. Other people, no, they can afford it.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1383 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1384 Thank you, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1385 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1386 Legal counsel.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1387 MS DIONNE: Mr. Schaffer, I only have two questions. You have made a commitment of at least 80 percent Canadian content. Would you accept this as a condition of licence?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1388 MR. SCHAFFER: We have done a lot of deliberating about that, and, yes, we would. We feel that we can do this credibly.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1389 MS DIONNE: You have made another commitment to broadcast a minimum of 5 percent of your programming in the Michif language. Would you accept that, also, as a condition of licence?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1390 MS. SCHAFFER: Not within the first year, but by the end of term we are trying to do that as a best effort. We want to make that a best effort to do that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1391 MS DIONNE: You mentioned by the end of term. When, exactly, in the term do you feel that you would be able to provide 5 percent Michif?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1392 Third year, fourth year?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1393 MR. SCHAFFER: I think we were looking at the fourth year. The fourth year and up is what‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1394 MS DIONNE: Would you accept that as a condition of licence?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1395 MR. SCHAFFER: Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1396 MS DIONNE: Thank you, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1397 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Schaffer, I just have one question. You said that you will target the average Canadian audience. Can you tell me how this service, as a whole, will reflect and portray the Métis culture, given your statement that you are going to target the average Canadian audience?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1398 MR. SCHAFFER: I believe that's a blanket statement on my part, to service that need of the average Canadian people.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1399 It is our goal to reach out to people, and have them participate. That's the most important thing. We have not been able to participate as Métis people, really, in the broadcasting world here, and we want to see that more.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1400 We want to see that, especially, through the development of reaching out to the establishment people again. We want to see their connection to it, from the Irish, the Scottish, and the French, and build that component, which is, I think, what will make this network really quite unique.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1401 THE CHAIRPERSON: But what efforts are you going to make to ensure that Métis people are on‑screen, so that, if I turn to your channel, I know that I am watching a Métis channel that is going to expose me to this culture?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1402 MR. SCHAFFER: May I answer that in a number of ways?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1403 One thing, for sure, is that, when I talk to the youth Board members‑‑ the youth Métis who are on this Board‑‑ they are very reflective on that question. One of the things they said to us was: We are Métis, but we are also Canadian. We should be able to produce what we want, however we want to produce it.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1404 So I don't know how we could turn around and actually try to mould something, or mould the creative thought of the producers out there.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1405 The youth would like to say that, even though we are Métis, we would like to film, for instance, concerts and things of that nature, from our perspective. That is really what it comes down to, we want to bring that perspective, and we will as part of the condition of licensing, because we understand that there will be conditions, and we will make our best efforts to make sure that it is Métis‑driven production.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1406 That's what it's all about. We want to reach out to those people, to have them participate in Canadian broadcasting.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1407 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. I hope your experience at your first CRTC hearing was a good one.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1408 I will now give you a couple of minutes to wrap‑up and give us your best argument as to why you believe we should license your service.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1409 MR. SCHAFFER: Respectfully to you, the Commission, I thank you very much for allowing us this opportunity to be here.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1410 The only thing that I can say is that, from my point of view, I want this to happen from a cultural identity of Canada‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1411 I want this to appear to be part of the framework of the Broadcasting Act, that it is completion, that it has met a certain completion, and that the Commission itself has made its best efforts, also, to realize that this Canadian identity is being lost.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1412 What I mean by that is, simply, without you, the Commission, there is no way this could go forward. I know that. I have been doing this for a lot of years, and it can be the most futile thing if there aren't those types of protections within our Constitution and within people like you at the Commission who will help us.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1413 We do not want to build a ghetto in Canada, if you will; we want to make it apparent that everybody can participate.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1414 The bottom line really comes down to the Commission's want. This is really a test, I think, for all of us to be here at this specific point in time, asking for this. It is one of those things that will determine‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1415 Quite frankly, even myself, I am curious as to what decision you will come up with, because I am struggling with what the Canadian identity really is sometimes, especially as a Métis person; not as a producer, but as a Métis person.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1416 In production, I could produce anything around the world that I want. I certainly wouldn't have to do Métis production. But from the point of view of filling that need and that void in Canada, I felt that it was imperative to do it.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1417 Without, again, the support mechanisms of the Commission, it would have to go to the courts, and the courts, then, would have to decide.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1418 Really, does everything in Canada have to go through the courts in order to decide, when we have responsible governments and responsible groups like you and us sitting here today, discussing these values of Canadian identity?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1419 When we look at it, every other country in the world, or every nationality, would like to have a television network, whether it be the Italian people or the Greek people. It doesn't really matter what part of Europe or what part of the world they come from, they all would like a channel, and they would all like to be represented.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1420 But yet, at the same time, if our Canadian Television Fund and our Canadian money continues to go into, for instance, the Italian people's production or the Greek people's production‑‑ they already have their own countries. They already have that production. They already have access to those productions that are done. Why do they need to use Canada as a launching ground, and our moneys in Canada for that purpose, when we really should be identifying with Canadian culture, Canadian reality, and trying to make thatthe aspiration, I believe, of where the Act is going.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1421 When you look at the Broadcasting Act, and look at the wording specifically, stating that‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1422 And if you look at all of these other networks that are supposed to be‑‑ and when they apply to you, they state to you that they are going to do their best efforts to make sure that Aboriginal programming is accounted for. It's not there. It's not apparent. There is no transparency.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1423 The only thing that I feel is transparent is what I am doing right now. I am sitting here, right in front of you, asking for transparency,
and to identify what Canadian broadcasting is, because we want to fulfil that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1424 I hope that I have said what you need.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1425 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Schaffer, Ms Schaffer, Mr. Gustin, thank you very much for being here.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1426 We will now take a 15‑minute break. We will resume at five minutes to eleven.
‑‑‑ Upon recessing at 1042 / Suspension à 1042
‑‑‑ Upon resuming at 1100 / Reprise à 1100
LISTNUM 1 \l 1427 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, please.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1428 Madam Secretary?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1429 THE SECRETARY: We will now proceed with Item 2 on the agenda, which is an application by Diversity Television Inc., on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, for a licence to operate a Category 1 national digital undertaking to be known as Canada One TV.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1430 The proposed service will be a national, English‑language, digital specialty programming service that will focus on Canada's ethnoculturally diverse, multicultural and multiracial society, with a particular emphasis on popular drama programming.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1431 Appearing for the Applicant is Mr. Paul de Silva, who will introduce his colleagues.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1432 Mr. de Silva, you will have 20 minutes to make your presentation.
*PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
LISTNUM 1 \l 1433 MR. de SILVA: Good morning, Madam Chair and Commissioners. I am Paul de Silva. My colleagues,Amos Adetuyi, to my left, and Alfons Adetuyi, to my right, seated in the first row behind our panel, and I have been working for at least the past five years for this chance to appear before you to start a new television service to be the catalyst for change.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1434 Canada One will be a permanent place for Canadians of all racial and cultural backgrounds.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1435 Before proceeding any further, please let me introduce the rest of our team today.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1436 Beside me is Jim Byrd. Jim, as you probably know, has vast experience in broadcasting, and was Vice‑President and head of CBC English‑Language Television for five years.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1437 We are delighted that Jim has agreed to assist with the Launch and startup of Canada One TV as Chief Operating Officer, if our application is successful.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1438 Beside Amos is Patricia Scarlett, President of Scarlett Media, a television and film distribution company focused on culturally diverse products.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1439 Going to the other end of this row we have Floyd Kane, Vice‑President of Creative and Business Affairs of DHX Media, a film and television company based on the east coast.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1440 DHX is our enabling investor in this project.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1441 Beside him, from the west coast, is Jennifer Ouano, from Vancouver's Elastic Entertainment. Jennifer, who was co‑creator and Senior Producer of Zed TV, is heading up our new media plans.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1442 In the second row we have our advisors. Starting from behind Patricia is Kaan Yigit of Solutions Research Group. Kaan, as you know, was the Research Director for the CAB's Cultural Diversity Task Force, overseen by the CRTC.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1443 Joel Fortune, from Johnston and Buchan, is beside Kaan.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1444 We have Wayne Albo, Executive Partner of Calcap, our financial advisors; and beside Wayne is Terri Wills from the Nordicity Group.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1445 Last, but not least, is Les Lawrence from DiversiPro, a consultancy specializing in diversity training initiatives.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1446 Quickly, please, allow me to note that we also have here today Michael Donovan, the Chief Executive Officer of DHX Media; Andrew Cardozo‑‑ no stranger to this room‑‑ a member of the Advisory Council of Canada One TV; and Mary Barroll, who is counsel for Diversity Television Inc.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1447 Thank you for the opportunity to appear to present our case for Canada One TV today.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1448 I would like to begin with a quote by the great African‑Canadian singer and activist, and member of the Order of Canada‑‑ and many of you know her music‑‑ Salome Bey.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1449 Salome said:
~ "Television more than any other medium, holds up the mirror in which Canadian society can see itself reflected. The television pictures are vital: they are in colour."
LISTNUM 1 \l 1450 I would like to screen our video for you at this point.
‑‑‑ Video presentation / Présentation vidéo
LISTNUM 1 \l 1451 MR. DE SILVA: Madam Chair and Commissioners, we believe it's time. It's time to add new voices, consistent diversity, new owners, and more authenticity to the Canadian broadcasting system for the 6 million visibly diverse Canadians‑‑ for everyone.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1452 The reason we are here today is straightforward. Canadian television, especially Canadian drama, does not adequately reflect all members of our society‑‑ in our view, not by a long shot.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1453 We know there are quite a few ethnic third‑language programming services in Canada. Local ethnic television stations reach out to specific communities in our larger cities. But if you look at the lack of mainstream, English, high‑budget, popular drama programs that actually reflect Canadian diversity, it is apparent that multilanguage ethnic stations don't bridge that gap.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1454 Under the Commission's new open entry approach for third‑language services, more third‑language programming, the bulk of it non‑Canadian, is available. This provides a choice to many, but it doesn't present Canadian society, and it's not multicultural.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1455 Turning to the English‑language broadcast sector, which is the sector we intend to serve, we had Solutions Research Group reprise its 2003 groundbreaking analysis of diversity on Canadian television. This time SRG focused on drama programming.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1456 We found little improvement in closing the gap in representation of Canadian diversity in drama programming, with the improvement being attributed, by and large, to the broadcast of one‑‑ that's right, one movie during the sample week.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1457 Just as important, we still find that visible minorities and Aboriginal characters are often relegated to secondary or background roles.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1458 Looking more deeply into the Canadian television production industry, the conclusion, once again, was that the industry does not reflect the diversity of Canadian society. Ekos Research estimates that only 13.4 percent of production industry personnel are from visible minority backgrounds. This is less than one‑third of the relative population in the largest urban centres, where most of the programming is being produced.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1459 This is a huge gap in the enjoyment of the opportunities made by our broadcasting system.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1460 The industry, therefore, is still not representative of Canadian society.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1461 On TV, we need a choice that will draw viewers from all ethnocultural backgrounds into the shared Canadian experience.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1462 This presents a challenge and an opportunity to be taken.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1463 How are we going to meet this opportunity? With great, diverse, original programming.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1464 I would ask Amos Adetuyi and Patricia Scarlett now to take you through our programming plan.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1465 MR. AMOS ADETUYI: Our plan is straightforward. We will show Canadians popular programs, inspired by Canadian society as it really is, and that speaks with an authentic voice.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1466 First, our schedule will feature drama programming‑‑ at least 60 percent. Why drama? Dramatic programs, whether whimsical, absurd, heart‑wrenching or hilarious, continue to be the most popular for Canadian audiences. Dramatic programming presents us an opportunity to tell our collective story as a nation, and to work out who we aspire to be.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1467 Drama programs are at the top of the TV hierarchy. If people from all cultural backgrounds deserve reflection on TV, and to be in the business of making TV, then they need to be present in the making of drama programs.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1468 Second, we will concentrate on high‑budget and high‑quality programs.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1469 Our focus groups made an obvious point. If a program isn't high‑quality in production values and content, then Canadians will not watch it. We need to acknowledge this fact upfront and make the best, not the most we can.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1470 Third, our original programs must meet two out of four diversity content points.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1471 Inspired by the familiar MAPL criteria for music, we have invented a measure for original content to qualify as diversity content.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1472 Two of the four key creative positions of producer, director, writer and lead actor will need to be filled by persons that are self‑identifying members of a visible minority group or an Aboriginal person.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1473 All of our original programming must achieve at least two out of the four points.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1474 Fourth, we will show Canadian drama in prime time.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1475 If we are serious about Canadians watching Canadian shows, then they need to be shown consistently, every night, in prime time.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1476 Commissioners, we estimate that by Year 5 of our licence period, this channel will increase the amount of original Canadian drama by more than 15 percent overall.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1477 Over to you, Patricia.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1478 MS SCARLETT: Fifth, all of our programming will be multicultural in nature. All programs, original and acquired, Canadian and non‑Canadian, must be consistent with the multicultural nature of our service.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1479 If a program does not speak significantly to the mandate of Canada One TV, it will not be shown.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1480 In my experience in the international distribution business, I can attest to the fact that there is an untapped supply of English‑language, non‑Canadian programming from other countries that is directly relevant to Canada's multicultural experience. This includes programs like "Karioki High" from New Zealand. You saw a brief clip in the video today. It tells the story of a diverse group of teenagers in a performing arts school, and the personal and academic challenges they face.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1481 Other countries, like Jamaica, a country whose national motto is "Out of many one people", Australia and South Africa have their own experiences in multiculturalism to tell and high‑quality programs to share.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1482 I think that Canadians from all backgrounds will be encouraged to learn that others are grappling with similar issues and to see those stories on TV.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1483 MR. AMOS ADETUYI: Thanks, Patricia.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1484 We will offer international programming, most of it originally in English, and a small amount subtitled, but the heart of the service will be original, new productions.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1485 Let me share with you quickly three ideas for original programs, of the kind that are not found in the system today.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1486 "Chinatown Cops" is a comedy series about Jay Walker and his partner Rick Shaw, two plainclothes veterans of Vancouver's Chinatown beat, and self‑proclaimed super cops.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1487 "Black Code" is a fast‑paced, heart‑stirring, six‑hour drama series that reawakens the adventures of Black Canadians from 1624 to the present day. This is not the Underground Railroad, and these are untold stories to most Canadians.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1488 "North South" is a gutsy, contemporary, half‑hour drama focusing on the lives of four Halifax families working in the construction industry. A pilot for this program has already been shot, to positive critical review, but it has not gone into production.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1489 All of these are great ideas. If Canada One TV existed, they would be in production today and on the air tomorrow.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1490 MR. de SILVA: Canada One TV will not work in isolation. We have established a Diversity Advisory Council with a clear mandate. We are pleased that Deepa Mehta, from Toronto, Karen Lam, from Vancouver, Michelle Williams, from Halifax, Sharam Tabet, from Toronto, Andrew Cardozo in Ottawa, and two new additions, Napoleon Gardiner, from Saskatchewan, a former director of APTN and a strong advocate for Aboriginal peoples, and Fo Niemi, from the Montreal‑based Centre for Action on Race Relations, have all agreed to join our council.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1491 We know that there is goodwill in the industry toward increasing diversity. This is why we will convene a regular Broadcaster Programming Panel to leverage all available opportunities to advance ethnocultural diversity.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1492 We are very pleased that John Galway, Executive Director of the Harold Greenberg Fund, has agreed to chair this panel to get the work started.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1493 Now, making the kinds of programs that we need, obviously, costs money, so I will turn it over to Jim Byrd to speak about our business plan.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1494 MR. BYRD: Thank you, Paul.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1495 Commissioners, the key commitment made by Canada One TV is to spend at least 65 percent of our previous year's revenues on Canadian programming. This is amongst the highest such commitment for Canadian programming expenditures by a specialty service.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1496 It amounts to an average expenditure of $26 million on Canadian programs each year, and $180 million over the licence term.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1497 This will have an immediate impact on the amount of high‑quality, multicultural programming in the system, and especially in the area of drama programs.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1498 To free up maximum expenditures for programming, we had to look carefully at two things: our overhead costs, and the costs of our non‑Canadian programming. Both of these have been kept down.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1499 Regarding overhead, it is now possible, through good partnerships and business arrangements, to access the infrastructure required to run a specialty service on a turnkey and relatively low‑cost basis. It isn't necessary to reinvent the wheel in specialty broadcasting, and we don't intend to do so.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1500 For non‑Canadian programming, we are targeting productions from largely untapped markets. Broadcasters in Canada and elsewhere overlooked this product, so it is relatively inexpensive.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1501 It is the competition for U.S. commercial series programming that drives non‑Canadian programming costs up. By avoiding this kind of programming, which is inconsistent with our mandate in any case, we can save much more of our money for Canadian shows.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1502 Of course, to support high‑quality productions we need a secure and consistent source of revenue. The 50‑cent wholesale fee we have proposed, coupled with wide distribution, perfectly fits the bill.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1503 It will provide a consistent revenue stream that can be directed immediately to Canadian production.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1504 MR. de SILVA: I would now like to ask Floyd Kane to describe another key part of our application: training.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1505 MR. KANE: I have worked in the film and television business in Nova Scotia for nearly 10 years, as a lawyer, writer and producer. On countless occasions I have been to sets and attended events where I was the only person of colour.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1506 At Canada One TV, the commitment to making opportunities for under‑represented groups in Canada is bred in the bone. Our focused efforts will be different from past initiatives.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1507 First, we will reach out differently. Our executives will assume direct responsibility for outreach, and will be accountable.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1508 Second, once we have encouraged people to get excited about our industry, we will keep them excited through a dynamic mentorship strategy that we have developed with DiversiPro, experts in the area.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1509 Third, we will reach out to our colleagues within the industry and our fellow broadcasters to strike strategic partnerships.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1510 Fourth, Canada One has made a multimillion dollar commitment to script and pilot development‑‑ more than $2 million to development initiatives over the licence term, and close to $5 million to pilot programs.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1511 Lastly, and most important, the training supported by Canada One TV will be focused on sustainability. Single initiatives can be helpful, but without continued support, and real opportunities in the end, many culturally and racially diverse people leave the system. Canada One TV will address that problem, especially by creating opportunities for challenging dramatic work.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1512 MR. de SILVA: Thank you, Floyd.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1513 A new media strategy is critical, as we know, for any television service today. I would ask Jennifer Ouano to take us through our strategy.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1514 MS OUANO: Canada One TV has the opportunity, from the starting gate, to respond to a new generation of content creators and consumers across all digital media platforms.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1515 Young Canadians, who, on the whole, are more culturally diverse than previous generations, want and expect as much entertainment at their fingertips as possible.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1516 This is a perfect match for Canada One. These days diversity is just a webcam away.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1517 We will give our audience the abilities to interact through online communities, to help shape our programs, and to upload content so that their stories can be seen and shared.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1518 Canada One will be a place to aggregate user‑generated content, edit it and present it professionally as a mirror to a wide audience.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1519 Much of this user‑generated content will appear on Canada One's flagship TV program, "On The Scene".
LISTNUM 1 \l 1520 It is a multiplying effect. The TV brand will inspire and encourage the creation of user‑generated content, and the opportunity to create this content will build audience loyalty.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1521 In addition, some of Canada One's programs will have an extended "on demand" life as suitable platforms roll out, letting the audience choose how they want their viewing experience.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1522 Through Canada One, the presentation of diversity in Canada will move together with the consumer trends and shifts in new media.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1523 MR. de SILVA: In conclusion, Madam Chair and Commissioners, we know that Canada is becoming more culturally and racially diverse every day. We know that soon, incredibly soon in demographic terms, a majority of the populations of our largest cities will be visible minorities.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1524 We know that, in a few years, it is expected that Canada's population growth will come primarily from immigration, and we know that there is a growing trend for the growth of so‑called "ethnic enclaves" in Canadian cities, as defined by Statistics Canada.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1525 In 1981 there were just six such enclaves in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. In 2001, according to StatsCan, there were 254.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1526 Canada One TV is the proactive response to this ongoing change. Canada One TV is a bridge between the so‑called "ethnic enclaves" and the broader multicultural Canadian society.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1527 We need to embrace the change we see around us and to lead Canada to what it aspires to be: inclusive, multicultural and tolerant‑‑ a flourishing cross‑cultural marketplace for the peaceful clash of differences, leading to the emergence of something new and profound.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1528 Clearly, we believe that Canada One TV is an exceptionally important service.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1529 Our service is targeted directly to showing Canada's ethnocultural diversity in all its richness.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1530 We look forward to answering any questions you may have.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1531 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. de Silva, and your panel members. Welcome.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1532 Mr. de Silva I will direct my questions to you, and then you may ask other members of your panel to answer.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1533 MR. de SILVA: Thank you, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1534 THE CHAIRPERSON: Firstly, I would like to start with understanding your application correctly. I really want to get my head around this.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1535 You are applying for a mainstream specialty service that will be primarily in English. Programming will be drawn from a number of categories, excluding news, reporting and actualities, sports, religion and game shows. You are going to focus on drama, but your distinguishing feature is the presence and portrayal of cultural diversity, both on the screen and behind the scene.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1536 Have I got that right?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1537 MR. de SILVA: That's a great summation, I think.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1538 THE CHAIRPERSON: With your focus on drama, are you asking us to consider this to be a drama channel for the specific reason of defining it as a specialty service?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1539 MR. de SILVA: I think we are asking you to consider it a multicultural channel, a specialty channel that has a special focus on representing the ethnocultural diversity, and specifically the visible minority presence in Canada, that will also appeal to a wide range of Canadians.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1540 THE CHAIRPERSON: Are you asking us, then, to classify this service as a diversity service, for the purposes of defining it as a genre?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1541 MR. de SILVA: My response to that is, if you are asking‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1542 Quite frankly, I wasn't aware that there was a special category called "Diversity Service" in the CRTC's Regulations.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1543 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's my point, there isn't.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1544 So are you asking us to add a new genre to the definition of specialty services?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1545 MR. de SILVA: My initial reaction would be that, if it is the Commission's desire to add a new genre to your range of services, as a diversity service, I would be very open to that, but I think I would like to consult with Joel Fortune on this question. He certainly has a broader range in terms of the regulatory implications of that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1546 THE CHAIRPERSON: I apologize if I didn't make myself clear.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1547 There isn't a prescribed list of specialty services; it's up to the applicants to come to us and define their service for us.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1548 I want to really get to the heart of the matter right at the beginning. You are saying that this is not a drama channel, necessarily.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1549 MR. de SILVA: Primarily drama, yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1550 THE CHAIRPERSON: Primarily not. So it is a multicultural, multi‑ethnic diversity channel.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1551 MR. de SILVA: Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1552 THE CHAIRPERSON: And that's how we are to look at this channel.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1553 MR. de SILVA: I would embrace the term "diversity" in that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1554 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Because in various places throughout the application, including your "Nature of Service"‑‑ and we will get into the details of your "Nature of Service" in a bit.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1555 On page 20 of the supplementary brief, you say that "Canada One TV's programming will be popular and mainstream in nature."
LISTNUM 1 \l 1556 That is quoted from your application.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1557 Could you elaborate for us on what you mean by that, bearing in mind that, essentially, that phrase could be used for just about any English‑language service?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1558 MR. de SILVA: Yes, Madam Chair‑‑ popular and mainstream.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1559 You raise an interesting question, which is terminology. We really faced this throughout our application. There are many changing terms, from "ethnocultural" to "diverse" to "visible minority" to "people of colour", et cetera. So terminology is very, very important for us.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1560 Popular, yes, because we want it to be popular with a broad range of people, but, specifically, this is a specialty application for ethnocultural diversities, as defined by the Equity Act, and specifically visible minority populations.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1561 In terms of the demographics of this, when we say "popular", our first target is the populations we have described. But we also believe that there is a very important role for sharing and building bridges with other communities, which would, I guess, include what is termed as the "mainstream" population.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1562 Also, to define the word "popular" a little further, we are not talking about fringe programming, we are talking about programming that will be produced with high‑quality production values.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1563 I should say that, as a team of people, Amos and his brother Alfons have recently produced a series called "Josie H" for mainstream television, so we have experience in that area, and we know how to produce popular programming, I would submit.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1564 In terms of mainstream, we believe that the visible minority population, as we have shown, in terms of its growing numbers, will be mainstream; if not now ‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1565 Again, that terminology is evolving in terms of what "mainstream" actually means.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1566 I hope that comes close to answering that question.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1567 THE CHAIRPERSON: You will have an opportunity to answer a few more in terms of your terminology, because in your "Nature of Service", as I said, in particular, you say that this service will reflect and focus on multicultural and multiracial themes and values, originate from ethnoculturally diverse sources, or be targeted to an ethnoculturally diverse mainstream audience.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1568 Let's take these one‑by‑one.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1569 What are multicultural and multiracial themes and values?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1570 MR. de SILVA: I think some of the programming that we showed in our video could address that question.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1571 Multicultural values, I think, are ones that have been defined many times in our legislation in Canada, those that reflect the wide diversity of our populations.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1572 Particularly, I think the Equity Act states that anything that is ethnocultural is defined as non‑English and non‑French‑‑ including non‑English, non‑French and Aboriginal communities.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1573 In terms of the Canadian definition of "multicultural", it would include for us all people. All of us make up Canada‑‑ all influences, in terms of both the founding nations, the Aboriginal people, as well as people coming from new countries.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1574 Canada is multicultural, so those themes and values that we all collectively have built to make Canadian society what it is are multicultural values.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1575 In terms of your question about sources, that is a key part of our application.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1576 In a sense, what we have shown is that the sources for programming‑‑ for instance, the study that we undertook with the Nordicity Group in terms of the key creative inputs for drama produced over a three‑year period through the CTF programming showed that‑‑ I believe it was 4.5 percent‑‑ and I would have to switch from my Word program to Excel in my mind, which sometimes is a little difficult.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1577 I am sure that Terri Wills, from Nordicity, could help us out with exact numbers.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1578 But only 4.5 percent had two out of the four key creative inputs.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1579 So when we talk about sources, we talk about programming that will be made by or made with a primary input‑‑ at least two out of four‑‑ from visible minority sources.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1580 I think that may answer the "sources" question.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1581 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will talk about programming a bit later on, and your diversity tool, but I want to take you back to "multicultural themes and values."
LISTNUM 1 \l 1582 Based on what you have just said, is there any difference between Canadian themes and values, therefore?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1583 MR. de SILVA: May I understand this question correctly?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1584 Are you asking if people‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1585 THE CHAIRPERSON: Aren't multicultural themes and values Canadian themes and values?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1586 MR. de SILVA: Absolutely. No question.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1587 THE CHAIRPERSON: Again, back to your "Nature of Service", what do you mean when you add "or to be targeted to an ethnoculturally diverse mainstream audience"?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1588 That broadens the scope of your "Nature of Service". Therefore, we can only conclude that you could just about put anything on this television service.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1589 MR. de SILVA: Yes, I can see that if it is interpreted that way.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1590 Maybe we will refer you back to our schedule, Madam Commissioner, on which we worked very, very hard. We took a snapshot, essentially, of our second‑year programming. I refer to our programming grid, and also to some of the samples we tried to show in our video.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1591 The type of programming we are talking about, particularly in prime time, is the kind of programming that you would not normally see on any Canadian service. There will be some programming, as we have said, because of the supply of Canadian programming that has multicultural themes. There is not a huge amount in inventory. There will be some that have been seen, and only chosen because they represent the values that we want to be represented.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1592 But, in our prime time, as Pat Scarlett can elaborate on a little further‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1593 And there is also the availability of these multicultural programs that people don't really know about.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1594 For instance, we all know, when we go to film festivals in Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax, that we will see wonderful programs that only show once and never get a screening again.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1595 There is this incredible wealth of programming that exists from countries that never show up.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1596 The final thing is, our original programming will come from those two out of four original programming, and the acquired programming I would like to pass over to Pat to elaborate on, very quickly.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1597 MS SCARLETT: For acquired programs, we have, in fact, scoured the country, coast‑to‑coast, looking at what is available that is Canadian content that meets our two out of four criteria.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1598 In fact, there is some programming available, but it is quite limited.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1599 What we have found is that, in fact, many of the rights are not available, because they are tied up with other broadcasters right now. However, we were able to find some Canadian content that meets our guidelines, and, as such, we are optimistic that we will be able to fill out those slots in the schedule with Canadian content.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1600 But equally important is the fact that there is a significant amount of programming in the international marketplace that is in the English language that reflects multicultural themes and talent on‑screen and behind the scenes, which I think would meet the mandate of Canada One TV.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1601 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1602 I will have more questions about the sources and the diversity tool, but I want to talk first about the presence gap, as you talk about it in your application.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1603 You used terms such as "urgent need within the broadcasting system for the provision of stories for, from and about the people who represent the changing face of Canada."
LISTNUM 1 \l 1604 You say that "visible minorities are virtually invisible on Canadian television."
LISTNUM 1 \l 1605 We do have the task force report.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1606 We do have the commitments from mainstream broadcasters to reflect diversity in their programming. They must provide to us annual reports.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1607 Just last week I received a copy of the RTNDA Diversity Code.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1608 Your own research shows that the presence gap has, in fact, become more narrow.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1609 Some intervenors maintain that all of the goals you have identified in your application are being met by what they do every day.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1610 Why do you feel that, without Canada One, the Canadian broadcasting system will always have this presence gap?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1611 MR. de SILVA: Madam Chair, you have raised several questions.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1612 Why is it urgent? Are we virtually‑‑ and when I say "we", I mean are we visible minorities invisible?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1613 The fact that your own CRTC requirement says‑‑ and it is very applaudable‑‑ that you require the reporting now of that has helped a great deal. I think it has opened up a lot of possibilities.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1614 And the Diversity Report you mentioned.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1615 Urgent‑‑ again, why do we believe it's urgent?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1616 The fact of the matter is that demographic change is happening so rapidly in Canada, and we have mentioned how important it is for Canadian television to reflect this reality.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1617 Drama, as we know, is the main source of popular entertainment and programming, and information.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1618 Without that, as Serena Voskrishna, our Director, pointed out, if we don't have a chance to tell our stories in prime time quality drama, we don't exist.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1619 Why is that urgent?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1620 I would like to refer to a recent article that was written by Allan Gregg in the "Walrus Magazine", which opened up a lot of our eyes to this.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1621 This issue of ethnic enclaves, and a growing disassociation, particularly by second generation Canadians‑‑ second generation Canadians from multi‑ethnic sources‑‑ is a really serious issue. It is how young people see themselves in this country, and how they see Canada.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1622 With a growing disassociation by young people, and new immigrants from the mainstream of Canada, this presents, potentially, a very serious social issue.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1623 So we do believe that the issue is urgent.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1624 I could expand on that if you like, but I think I have‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1625 THE CHAIRPERSON: Essentially, I want to know why you believe that, with the tools in place that we have‑‑ that is, the requirement of the broadcasters to meet their own diversity goals, and with the RTNDA devoted to a Diversity Code‑‑ why you feel that the current broadcasters are not up to the challenge of closing this presence gap.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1626 MR. de SILVA: I think one of the key words you have used, Madam Commissioner, without criticizing, because I always like to accentuate the positive, is that, yes, those requirements are important, but we have analyzed them, and in looking at them we realized that, while a lot of them are applaudable in terms of what they are attempting to do, they do not end up producing programs.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1627 Many of them are training initiatives. They are initiatives to reach out to the community. But the tangible result‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1628 And there is anecdotal evidence and there is statistical evidence, and the statistical evidence is very, very clear.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1629 Terri Wills from the Nordicity Group did a very serious evaluation of that, and I think, to answer your question succinctly, those stats speak volumes. So I would ask Terri Wills to talk about the actual representation and how that has changed.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1630 MS WILLS: We conducted a study, where we took a look at some analyses done by the Canada One team, which looked at Canadian television‑funded drama coded into the two out of the four point system. So we looked at the numbers of actors, producers, directors and writers producing Canadian drama.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1631 We then conducted a series of interviews with film commissioners, and major production houses across the country, to verify those figures, and we found them to be very accurate.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1632 What we found was that there is a higher representation amongst actors, as compared to producers, writers and directors.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1633 We are finding that there isn't necessarily an outlet for that type of talent to produce.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1634 We find that there are many at the junior levels, but because of the dearth of drama in Canada, it typically is very hard for entry level to move up the ranks.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1635 Therefore, we found that, if you were to commission under the two point system, it would increase, potentially, the level of producers and directors involved in production.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1636 MR. de SILVA: Thank you, Terri.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1637 The presence gap can best be described by the study that Kaan Yigit did, Madam Chair, and I would ask him to elaborate on that, please.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1638 MR. YIGIT: Thanks, Paul.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1639 Before I actually go there, what I would like to do is take the Commission through the fundamentals of the analysis and the numbers‑‑ the objective numbers that are verifiable in the process.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1640 Before I do that, I feel like I have been making the business case for diversity for a number of years. In fact, I think the first time that I was involved in a case like this was in 1992. At that time I wrote a report that analyzed the demographic future of Ottawa, because what is now Omni was extending its signal. It wanted to rebroadcast in this marketplace.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1641 Afterwards, in the mid‑nineties, I was involved with Milestone Radio, which owns and operates the first Black‑owned and operated station in Toronto, which has now an audience of over half a million people, which is the size of Hamilton, Ontario.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1642 I was there making the case for that station.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1643 With that background, I would like to give you some of the fundamental numbers.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1644 To add to Paul's point, it is really not about the system of failing miserably, it is simply large numbers and speed of change that we are dealing with. Whatever we have in place is good, but what needs to be there is a little bit more.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1645 Let me give you the fundamentals. The first number is 1 million. That is the number of new Canadians that come to this country on an every‑four‑year basis. That is the population of Calgary every four years.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1646 The second big number is the 4 million new Canadians since the mid‑eighties, basically, in family ages that are now having children. Some of the children are in their early twenties, as you saw in the video. Some of them are preschool, some of them are tweens.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1647 All of the population growth for Toronto and Vancouver will be coming from visible minorities, exclusively, in the next 15 years.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1648 If you look at the analysis like I did, you will see that it is absolutely flat in every other group except the visible minority groups.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1649 You know the other numbers, which are well publicized: 51 percent of both Toronto and Vancouver will be made up of visible minorities in 10 years.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1650 And, in that time period, the visible minority population of this country will be bigger than the population of Quebec.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1651 That is the big numbers part.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1652 When we did the 2003 report on diversity in Canadian television, which is some 400 pages‑‑ and you are familiar with it, of course, because the Commission was a participant‑‑ we looked at some 400 hours of programming. It would have taken us 15 days to watch it, if we had been watching it back‑to‑back. At the time, we produced a report, and the task force filed that report with the Commission. That report showed the presence gap.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1653 The numbers were as follows:
LISTNUM 1 \l 1654 In 2003, 13.5 percent of all dramatic roles were filled by visible minorities.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1655 In the primary roles‑‑ these are the money roles, basically, so the lead character roles‑‑ the representation was 10.3 percent.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1656 At that point, 18.5 was the benchmark for English‑speaking Canada.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1657 So the primary role gap was 2:1, more or less.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1658 Let's fast forward to 2006. We replicated the study under the same fundamental basics‑‑ and, in fact, this is obviously verifiable. Again, it is on the public record, the first and the second study. And we are doing head counting, so we are not asking questions of people which have subjective responses.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1659 Here is what we found.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1660 The primary character representation in Canadian drama went from 10.3 percent to 12.2 percent. That is including one movie that happened to appear on CTV during the sample period, which was "Hollywood and Bollywood". If we had actually taken that out, it would have gone down a bit further.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1661 THE CHAIRPERSON: What if you add "Little Mosque on the Prairie"?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1662 MR. YIGIT: That's on the CBC.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1663 As you will remember, Madam Chair, first of all, this was done in May 2006.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1664 Actually, that is a good point, because if we added "Little Mosque on the Prairie", the numbers probably would have gone up a little bit more, if that was available in the private sector.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1665 The issue is: How sensitive are numbers in which one program could make a substantial difference‑‑ a 10, 15 or 20 percent difference to the overall representation numbers?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1666 The key point that I wanted to make is, what happened in the two years was that the incidental character numbers went from 14.9 percent to 24.4 percent, in that period.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1667 So, basically, what happened was, there were more visible minorities as cab drivers, doormen, waiters and girl Fridays on‑screen in that period. That's where the change was coming from, but the primary numbers really didn't move all that much, only 2 percent.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1668 If you do a little bit of math‑‑ and I don't want to oversimplify the situation‑‑ to catch up to today's population benchmarks for the whole of English Canada, for primary characters, would take about 10 to 15 years.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1669 If you wanted to catch up to Toronto and Vancouver, it would take some 40 years plus.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1670 Of course, I am using that for effect, but the point is this: there has been improvement. All the research we have done, not for this application, but previously, in this report, said the same thing: people perceive that there has been progress, but that more needs to be done.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1671 Three years later, when we do a very similar kind of research, we find exactly the same thing, where the audience perceives that there is a gap, the content analysis shows that there is a gap, and the numbers show that the trajectory of diversity will be, more or less, in this line, because since 1991 our birth rate has been declining.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1672 That, combined, creates the context for us to say, objectively: Is this the only answer to fix it?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1673 Probably not. I don't know. The point is, the situation has gotten better, but a lot needs to be done, given what we are looking at.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1674 I'm sorry for that very long preamble, but I wanted to get the material on the record.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1675 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, that was thorough, thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1676 MR. AMOS ADETUYI: Perhaps, Madam Commissioner, I could sum up the way we look at the whole situation.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1677 We appreciate what is happening with the Diversity Report and the Broadcasting Act and the CRTC's sensitivity around diversity issues, and we look at that as a foundation that we can build on.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1678 But here we have the situation of a foundation, and there are 6 million diverse and Aboriginal Canadians standing outside waiting for this house to be built, and we are saying that Canada One TV is prepared and ready to build the ground floor, together with other broadcasters, and to act as an incubator and generate and seed the system to build this house.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1679 That is kind of the way we look at it.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1680 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1681 I would now like to move to the tools that you will use, as you propose in your application, to ensure that your application and all of its programming, Canadian and non‑Canadian, commissioned and acquired, is multicultural in nature, or is relevant to, reflects on‑screen, or includes tangible participation from members of Canada's diverse ethnocultural communities.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1682 I understand your four‑point system, your diversity content tool, and that, to qualify, a program must meet two out of the four points for writer, director, producer or star, or principal speaking role.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1683 Is there a difference in your measurement tool between star and principal speaking role?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1684 If I were to use an ensemble cast as an example, how do you determine who is the star or who occupies the principal speaking role?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1685 MR. de SILVA: That's a good question, and it is one of the questions that we did not anticipate in all of our rehearsals.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 1 \l 1686 MR. de SILVA: I would say that, if it was an ensemble cast, obviously we would have to use different criteria. But, usually, even though there is an ensemble cast‑‑ let's take a great show, one of my favourite shows on TV‑‑ American, unfortunately‑‑ "Grey's Anatomy" ensemble cast.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1687 In a case like that, I believe that four of the primary characters are of visible minority background.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1688 I would say that we just need one out of the four to quality.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1689 MR. AMOS ADETUYI: If I may add, to be fair to the way we looked at it in our research that Nordicity did‑‑ and that was analyzing three years of Canadian‑funded drama‑‑ when we were looking at those categories of producer, director, writer and actor, we looked at the ensemble in the actor category, and if just one actor was a person of colour, that got a point.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1690 And similar to the other categories, as well, in a whole series, if one of the directors‑‑ let's say there were 13 episodes and 13 directors. If one was visibly diverse, that got a point.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1691 That's the way we looked at it.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1692 THE CHAIRPERSON: The whole series got a point?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1693 MR. AMOS ADETUYI: Yes. In terms of the numbers we presented, that is how broad we tried to define it.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1694 MR. de SILVA: I should say that we still only came out with 4.5 percent representation, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1695 THE CHAIRPERSON: In your oral presentation, you said that this diversity content tool would be used for all original programming. Does that include non‑Canadian?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1696 In other words, will you use this tool to assess non‑Canadian programming and whether or not it meets your mandate?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1697 MR. de SILVA: That will be our first filter, to look for that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1698 Let me ask Pat to comment on that, because she has done a very thorough look at the availability of multicultural programming from the sources we mentioned.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1699 MS SCARLETT: Priority will be given to programs that meet the filter, but in the event that we find content that, for example, may, in fact, support the mandate of Canada One TV, but may not necessarily meet all of the criteria, they will also be considered. But that's in a secondary and exceptional situation.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1700 THE CHAIRPERSON: But because the diversity content tool is quite specific‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1701 MS SCARLETT: It is.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1702 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ how will you assess the programming that you just mentioned, that meets the mandate but doesn't necessarily fulfil the requirements of the diversity content tool?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1703 MS SCARLETT: This is what I am saying. We will give priority and will always seek to seek programming that fits that particular criteria, but in the event that we come across something‑‑ for example, the actors on‑screen are multicultural and multi‑ethnic and multiracial, but perhaps, on the production side, it was not produced by people of diversity.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1704 That's what I mean. It will be considered, but that would be a secondary and exceptional situation.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1705 MR. de SILVA: I would add, Madam Chair, that a key part of it is the thematic of the program‑‑ if the themes fit the themes that we want to portray.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1706 MR. de SILVA: I'm sorry, I am getting a signal from Joel to add to this, if we may.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1707 It's difficult with him being over my left shoulder.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 1 \l 1708 MR. FORTUNE: Good morning, Commissioners.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1709 I would like to refer you to something that the Applicant filed. It was in response to a Commission deficiency question. The date of our letter is January 9, 2007.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1710 We discussed, basically, how the filter would work and how we would go about evaluating programming to ensure that it met the "Nature of Service".
LISTNUM 1 \l 1711 There were some tools identified in that letter, and there are four of them. One was the representation‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1712 And this is when programs don't meet the two out of four primary diversity filter for original programs. This isn't for acquired.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1713 One key matter would be representation in speaking roles. That's very important.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1714 The second was, as Paul just said, the presentation of programming with themes and issues that are clearly related to multiculturalism and diversity.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1715 The third was, substantial creative input by diverse people into the production.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1716 And the fourth was at the ownership level of the production company. If there is substantial ownership at the ownership level.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1717 I think, in this response, and also in the supplementary brief, it was outlined that, together with these concrete tools, one of the functions of the Advisory Council is to see how these tools are working and find others to make sure that the service fits within its mandate.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1718 You will see, when you look at this letter, that applying these tools to the universe of Canadian programming that would be suitable for this service‑‑ there is not a great deal. There is enough to get it going, but when you look at the analysis in light of the programs that were selected, I think you can see where we are going.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1719 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1720 Will you accept as a condition of licence the application of this tool, starting in Year 1?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1721 MR. de SILVA: I take it, Madam Chair, that you are referring to the two out of four?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1722 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1723 MR. de SILVA: Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1724 THE CHAIRPERSON: You will accept it as a condition of licence.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1725 MR. de SILVA: Absolutely.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1726 THE CHAIRPERSON: Always look to the lawyer before you answer the "condition of licence" questions.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1727 MR. de SILVA: Always look to the lawyer.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 1 \l 1728 MR. de SILVA: I thought I had that one down, but obviously not.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1729 MR. FORTUNE: I would just clarify that the commitment is for original productions.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1730 MR. de SILVA: Oh, yes. Absolutely.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1731 I wouldn't dream of answering that question‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1732 THE CHAIRPERSON: So the use of the diversity content tool would be to assess original Canadian programming.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1733 MR. de SILVA: Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1734 I think that Pat explained clearly why that may be problematic with acquired programming, but for original programming‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1735 That is the very core of our application.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1736 THE CHAIRPERSON: Both produced in‑house and acquired.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1737 MR. de SILVA: Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1738 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1739 In terms of the details of your programming plans, you would commit to broadcast two hours of Canadian drama between 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, on average, each week, starting in Year 5, and three hours between 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. by the seventh year.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1740 Is that two hours each night, Monday to Friday, or is it two hours per week?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1741 MR. de SILVA: Each night.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1742 THE CHAIRPERSON: Each night.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1743 Does this include repeats?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1744 MR. de SILVA: I think, in the overall counting of the hours, it would include repeats, yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1745 Unless, of course, you would want to give us a whole lot more money to produce original programs.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1746 THE CHAIRPERSON: If you give us a whole lot more hours.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1747 MR. de SILVA: We can talk.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1748 THE CHAIRPERSON: We are not bartering here.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1749 MR. de SILVA: Not yet. Okay.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 1 \l 1750 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would you accept as a condition of licence that you will broadcast two hours of Canadian drama each night, Monday to Friday, beginning in Year 5?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1751 MR. de SILVA: In Year 5, yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1752 THE CHAIRPERSON: In terms of Years 1 to 4, in response to deficiencies, you said that the number of original Canadian content to be produced will rise from 63.5 hours in the first year to 106 in the fourth year.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1753 You also provided us with a chart, and I see "Original in‑house hours, 23; and Canadian‑acquired, 40.5."
LISTNUM 1 \l 1754 So, in view of the fact that you said that original Canadian content will rise from 63.5, do I take that 40.5 Canadian‑acquired hours to be all original?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1755 MR. de SILVA: I would ask Amos to respond to that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1756 MR. AMOS ADETUYI: I am trying to understand the question.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1757 Is it the relation between the original and acquired?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1758 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, because you made the statement that the original Canadian content to be produced will rise from 63.5 hours in the first year‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1759 MR. AMOS ADETUYI: Right.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1760 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ to 106 in the fourth year.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1761 MR. AMOS ADETUYI: Right.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1762 THE CHAIRPERSON: You then provided us with numbers between original in‑house and Canadian‑acquired, to come to the total of 63.5.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1763 MR. AMOS ADETUYI: Original in‑house.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1764 THE CHAIRPERSON: You had 23 original in‑house hours‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1765 MR. AMOS ADETUYI: Right.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1766 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ and 40.5 of Canadian‑acquired.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1767 Does that mean that the 40.5 is all original Canadian‑acquired programming?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1768 MR. AMOS ADETUYI: Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1769 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you will not be acquiring any existing Canadian programming?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1770 Because I saw "Moccasin Flats" on your video.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1771 MR. de SILVA: Is the question: Will we not be acquiring any Canadian previously‑made programming?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1772 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's right.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1773 MR. de SILVA: I think the plan is to acquire‑‑ I think the number of hours‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1774 Jim is going to step in.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1775 Go ahead, Jim.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1776 MR. BYRD: Madam Chair, if I could do it on a dollars' basis, what we have said is, in Year 1, in terms of original Canadian programming from the independent sector, we would spend $9.6 million.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1777 In terms of original Canadian programming in‑house, we would spend $3.5 million, approximately.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1778 And in terms of Canadian‑acquired, we would spend a further $3 million.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1779 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I appreciate that, but what I am looking for is the number of hours of never‑before‑seen Canadian programming that will appear on Canada One, which goes, of course, to the issue of diversity of programming on television and how much more diversity of programming you will be bringing to the screen.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1780 MR. de SILVA: I want to clarify that a number of those hours are our in‑house produced programming‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1781 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's the 23 hours.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1782 MR. de SILVA: The 23 hours, yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1783 THE CHAIRPERSON: So of the 40.5 hours, how many of those will be brand new hours to the Canadian broadcasting system?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1784 MR. de SILVA: All of those will be original hours.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1785 THE CHAIRPERSON: But that includes "Moccasin Flats".
LISTNUM 1 \l 1786 MR. de SILVA: No.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1787 THE CHAIRPERSON: That doesn't include "Moccasin Flats".
LISTNUM 1 \l 1788 MR. de SILVA: No.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1789 "Moccasin Flats"‑‑ and there will be other Canadian‑acquired programming that would have been seen previously.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1790 Joel can clarify some of this.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1791 MR. de SILVA: Madam Chair, we are going to walk through the original hours, to make it very, very clear what they are, year‑by‑year.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1792 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1793 MR. FORTUNE: Original hours, totally, are the 63.5 in Year 1, the 79.5 in Year 2, 95 in Year 3, and 106 in Year 4.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1794 Then, we wanted to look at the acquired hours?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1795 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1796 MR. FORTUNE: Acquired Canadian.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1797 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1798 MR. FORTUNE: Perhaps I could pass that onto Pat.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1799 MS SCARLETT: The acquired Canadian content will‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1800 Your question, I think, refers to never‑before‑seen Canadian content programming.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1801 Is that correct?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1802 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, that is the definition of "original".
LISTNUM 1 \l 1803 MS SCARLETT: Some of those programs‑‑ in fact, we are in preliminary discussions with independent companies about the possibility of them providing that content for us right now.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1804 THE CHAIRPERSON: Again, the number of hours that have been seen in the system‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1805 MS SCARLETT: Right.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1806 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ what will that yearly total be on this service?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1807 In other words, how many hours of programs like "Moccasin Flats" or "Josie H" will you be acquiring for broadcast on this service?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1808 MR. de SILVA: I see where the issue is, Madam Commissioner.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1809 We have not broken down section (d), which is Canadian‑acquired content, in terms of number of hours. We have a universal figure, an amount of $3 million for that, and that, of course, will depend on many of the deals we can make.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1810 As you know, the volume of what can be acquired depends on the age of the program and what output deals we can make.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1811 So the hours may fluctuate.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1812 That is why we chose an amount of $3 million, as opposed to breaking it down.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1813 But if you want us to come to an approximate number of hours, bearing all of those variables in mind, I am sure we could file that for you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1814 MR. AMOS ADETUYI: Yes, if we are not talking repeats, we can look at the grid, in terms of the Canadian‑acquired breakdown in hours.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1815 What do we have here‑‑ 49.5 Canadian‑acquired overall.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1816 THE CHAIRPERSON: That includes repeats.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1817 MR. AMOS ADETUYI: Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1818 MS SCARLETT: Yes, it does.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1819 MR. de SILVA: Yes, for sure.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1820 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is there a different repeat factor between your acquired programming and the original programming?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1821 MR. de SILVA: That would vary, according to how we schedule that, depending on seasonal fluctuations for repeats. Obviously there would be less in our prime winter months. February‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1822 My recollection of the programming schedules, when I did that at Vision TV, was that, obviously, the time of year makes a big difference.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1823 So that number would fluctuate in terms of repeats, but our overall plan would be to have as few repeats as possible.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1824 THE CHAIRPERSON: Since you do claim that there is this presence gap, that it still does exist, and that visible minorities are virtually invisible, what are your sources for acquiring Canadian programming that will meet the mandate, as you have stated?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1825 MR. de SILVA: That would be our acquisitions person, and I will hand it over, happily, to Patricia.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1826 MS SCARLETT: We have, in fact, developed a roster of independent production companies that are owned by people of diversity.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1827 For example, there is Hungry Eyes Production, and there is Shirley Cheechoo's company, Spoken Song. We have other companies, such as DHX, which is also producing. Again, they are focused on family and children's programming, but certainly will have some content that would work in our schedule.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1828 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1829 You say that you will solicit productions from independent producers that have evidence of a diverse ownership structure, wherein at least 30 percent of the production company is owned by members of visible minorities or Aboriginals.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1830 How do you define "ownership"?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1831 Is it share structure, voting interests, control?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1832 How do you define that 30 percent ownership in a production company?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1833 On what basis do you determine that they have an ownership interest, in other words?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1834 MR. AMOS ADETUYI: That would be share structure, and, typically, we are thinking a single‑purpose company, set up for the purpose of a production, not so much that it's the parent company.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1835 THE CHAIRPERSON: And would you accept as a condition of licence that 75 percent of all original Canadian programming will originate from independent sources not affiliated with Diversity Television Incorporated?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1836 MR. de SILVA: Yes, we will.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1837 MS SCARLETT: Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1838 THE CHAIRPERSON: My last set of questions will have to do with your business plan.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1839 You are proposing mandatory carriage on digital basic for a wholesale fee of 50 percent. What factors did you take into consideration to arrive at that wholesale fee?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1840 MR. de SILVA: Thank you, Madam Commissioner. That was one question that we did anticipate and rehearse.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1841 There are a number of factors, including my cable bill, I should say, which is now hovering around $75.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1842 I should say that an earlier reference to the income of Commissioner French and his relative ability to pay high cable bills notwithstanding, I think that mine may not be in that category by any means.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1843 But, in terms of evaluating the affordability, I suppose, and how we arrived at the 50‑cent figure‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1844 First of all, we moved from the process of "What do we need?" What do we need to make the kind of programming we are talking about?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1845 How do we deal with the presence gap, which we have talked about, and how do we produce high‑quality programming? What will it cost to do that?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1846 As producers of that kind of programming, we know, obviously, $1 million‑plus for a one‑hour show; $400,000 for a half‑hour show. Those numbers keep going up.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1847 Mind you, some of them are lower, possibly, by using new technology.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1848 In all of our focus groups that we did‑‑ and Kaan can speak to this‑‑ across the country, in every major city, they told us that the key to our service was quality.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1849 So we started off on that basis: What do we need in order to provide the kind of financing required for that?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1850 I will pass this to Kaan, who will talk about the actual 50‑cent question which you raised.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1851 MR. YIGIT: I will address the first part of your question, which is, when you actually talk to people about this kind of channel, initially there is some hesitation in responding: What is it going to be? How is it going to be?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1852 There is generally an assumption that if you are going to do Canadian programming of any kind‑‑ and this is an unfortunate public opinion‑‑ the general perception is that Canadian is equal to poor production values and/or low budgets.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1853 What happens when you connect that to diversity is, the response you get is: If it is going to be parity production values with the kinds of things that I watch, then that's great. If it is going to be low‑budget, then I am not going to watch it.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1854 That is, I think, what Paul was talking about.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1855 The second part of it is the 50‑cent piece. We haven't really looked at a price test of any kind, because that is not how people buy cable or services along these lines. But just looking at where we are with digital cable and DTH, looking at average bills of $60 or $65 a month, half of the population of that DTH/digital cable universe takes premium services and that kind of thing, so 50 cents works out to less than 1 percent of the total cable bill.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1856 The general consumer expectation is somewhere in the neighbourhood of a 2 to 4 percent increase in‑‑ not just cable, in every category that we look at.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1857 We all grumble, but life goes on, and we don't drop services.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1858 That is from the perspective of affordability.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1859 The second point is, the digital cable customer, the DTH customer, isn't exactly‑‑ they are not choosing between food and television. It is a higher than average income customer. Is it affordable at the rates that Paul suggested? More than likely.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1860 Would the cable customer want their bills to go up $3 or $4 a month? Of course not, but if it is kept, as I said, in the low single digits, on an annual basis, you are not going to see a lot of impact whatsoever.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1861 THE CHAIRPERSON: But in all of the research that you submitted with this application, you did not specifically ask the question as to whether or not the people that you were surveying would be willing to pay 50 cents a month for this service.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1862 MR. YIGIT: That's right.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1863 THE CHAIRPERSON: I would like to know, specifically, why you excluded that question.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1864 MR. YIGIT: We haven't asked that question for the six or seven years that I have been doing work in this domain, simply because I don't believe it is meaningful. People don't buy a channel for 50 cents. They don't really quite have the choice in the way that we kind of understand the sales process to work.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1865 The second part is, there are proxies in our research for a universal estimation. If you were to go into that idyllic space of "pick and pay", how many people would pay?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1866 If we go to that space, though, we probably should ask the question: How many people would pay for any of the channels out there?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1867 Let me give you an example.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1868 In the late nighties, early 2000s, I did a "pick and pay" type of simulation. I included 69 channels in the bundle that I tested. Twelve channels received 50 percent or more of the votes. Seven of those 12 were American services.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1869 Most of the channels that you see on your dial today, in basic or in various places, would not really pass the 20 or 30 percent threshold.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1870 The point I am making is, it comforts us when we ask the question, because we know how many people will pay this money, but the reality of it is that, in that sort of very, very liberal universe, most of the channels would not pass the threshold of consumer demand from a majority standpoint.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1871 Nielsen just released statistics, which were in the New York Times on Monday, and I think it would be instructive if I could take the time to work through that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1872 There are over 100 channels available to the typical digital cable/DTH customer. There are 15 favourites.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1873 Everybody's favourites are different.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1874 Those are the general parameters of the debate for me.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1875 MR. AMOS ADETUYI: Perhaps I could take it from another angle, as well, in what is driving the 50 cents, because this is the issue of diversity and representation in an equitable way.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1876 We looked at other models in the 30‑cent and 40‑cent range, and it wouldn't make a significant impact on the system, in terms of balancing the inequity that is there. It would take a huge amount of time to get to that balance of representation at the production levels.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1877 Then, to go on the higher side, above 50 cents, there would be the question of capacity. That was proved out through the Nordicity study, in terms of producers, directors, writers and actors who are diverse, who can come to the table and produce the content for this network.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1878 So it was a balancing act, and it settled at 50 cents.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1879 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is 50 cents the minimum that you would have to charge as a wholesale fee in order to make this service viable?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1880 Have you done any modelling to see, if that wholesale fee was lower, what effect that would have on your programming plans?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1881 MR. de SILVA: Yes. We have done various looks at it, and we have looked at what that impact would have on our ability to deliver the kind of programming and the quality and the volume that we have proposed.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1882 I should also say that Wayne Albo, and, in fact, Jim, can also add to that, in terms of the modelling that was done on a different fee.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1883 MR. BYRD: I would start quickly, Commissioner, and say that we did start with what the impact would be on the priorities of this channel, in terms of the programming we would deliver, and then we moved back from there.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1884 Wayne, you could probably talk to the detail.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1885 MR. ALBO: We ran the model at 40 cents, pushed through the numbers, and basically what happened was, obviously, our revenue would go down $55 million, but the way our structure works, for us to make a profit, our programming expenses expended would have to go down by about $60 million.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1886 Our revenue would go down $55 million, but what we would be producing and spending would have to go down more, because the fixed costs remain fairly constant, and we are not earning the margin.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1887 Really, in our view, because of the nature of the reinvestment of 65 cents on the dollar, the reduction from 50 to 40 would take out such a huge amount of the money spent on programming that it would sort of gut the programs we are looking to produce.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1888 THE CHAIRPERSON: What year would you be profitable in that modelling scenario?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1889 MR. ALBO: We would be profitable in Year 3, and the profits that we looked at were about exactly the same as what we had presented at 50 cents, except there is a delay in profitability.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1890 But the level of profitability, overall, would be the same.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1891 What we are trying to do is say: This is the profit. What has to give for us to remain‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1892 What really comes out of the system is programming expenses.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1893 MR. de SILVA: I should add, Madam Commissioner, that we also did a model at $1, but we rejected that pretty quickly.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1894 THE CHAIRPERSON: You made too much money?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1895 MR. de SILVA: No, it was‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1896 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm kidding.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 1 \l 1897 MR. de SILVA: We will leave it at that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1898 THE CHAIRPERSON: In your financial projections, your advertising revenues make up only 2 percent, increasing to 7 percent of your total revenues.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1899 Quite simply, why so low?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1900 MR. BYRD: Madam Chair, I think it is fair to say that some would consider our ad sales revenue a conservative estimate.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1901 We did, first and foremost, want to be realistic about what we could present to the Commission, in terms of the programming we could deliver.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1902 That was one factor.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1903 The other factor is‑‑ and I will ask Wayne to talk to some of the specifics‑‑ we are entering the broadcast milieu with a new channel, in a fragmented universe.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1904 We also had to factor in how quickly we thought our own marketing plan for the channel could roll out and have an impact, so that viewers could come to us, and so that advertisers could come to us.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1905 So that was factored into it.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1906 I also would like to point out to the Commission that what we are trying to do with this channel is position it for the long term. We are not even looking at this seven‑year licence period, we are looking far beyond that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1907 What we are trying to do is build the channel, and build it for future growth. In the mix of what we have presented to the Commission, you know that there is no return on investment over the early years of this channel. That is not our intent.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1908 You know that we have also committed that 65 percent of our revenues from prior years will get rolled back into programming, and our intent is to continue doing that through this initial licence period, to build the channel, so that it is ready for the second licence period, and substantial growth, we hope.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1909 I would ask Wayne to talk you through the specifics of that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1910 MR. ALBO: How we derived the revenue‑‑ and, you are right, it probably is conservative.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1911 We looked at the ad revenue per subscriber of a number of Category 1 digital services. The average was approximately 30 cents per subscriber for 2005.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1912 Because Canada One is a startup, we took 50 percent of that number, on a per subscriber basis‑‑ i.e., we have a lot more subscribers, so that increases the dollar amount.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1913 And the 15 cents, again, of the number we looked at, was very consistent with their startup types of revenues per subscriber.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1914 We then grew the revenue at 20 percent a year, and I think, at this point, the numbers are slightly conservative, but, again, given our model, the sensitivity isn't as great as one would expect, because 65 cents of all of the increases go back into programming.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1915 What we were trying to prove out is, at these levels, through conservative revenue projections, can we deliver the programming that is required to make this viable.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1916 We didn't believe that it was in our best interest to overestimate both subscribers and/or revenue and then say: Here is what we need to deliver the programming we need to make this a success.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1917 So I think that, yes, we probably were conservative throughout those numbers.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1918 THE CHAIRPERSON: My issue here, of course, is that this creates an absolute dependence on mandatory carriage, on subscriber revenue therefore.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1919 You are presenting us with an idea that is going to deliver high‑quality, compelling programming, which will speak to all Canadians, based on what you have said in your application, and here this morning, which presumably will draw an audience, which presumably will result in advertising revenues.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1920 I just want to be absolutely sure that we have here, before us, a business plan that has taken all of those things into consideration, and its ability to attract advertisers as well as viewers, and perhaps decrease the dependency, therefore, on a high subscriber fee.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1921 MR. de SILVA: Madam Chair, those are all, obviously, excellent points about the advertising revenue and the linkage, I guess I am understanding, with audience‑‑ a growing audience.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1922 I would like to actually say that, in terms of how we see this growing, obviously there will be a process of making our population‑‑ our viewers aware, slowly, on that basis.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1923 As well, the existing model for generating advertising revenue, as we know, is based on the popularity of American programming. We are not doing that in prime. We have made the decision to start with Canadian programming, programming that has not a built‑in audience, shall we say, for popular American programming. So it will take some time to make the service‑‑ one, to make people aware of it, and for that to build.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1924 We either had to rely on American programming and high advertising for our sources‑‑ not viable in this instance‑‑ or go with a situation where we were dependent on subscriber fees for providing the amount of financing we need to produce high‑quality programming.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1925 MR. BYRD: Madam Chair, if I could add, I think we all appreciate the concern about this. I just want to reassure you that we have said that the moneys will not go to the profit line. There will not be a return to investors in the early years.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1926 If we exceed those revenue targets, and we hope we do, our priorities would be to institute a second feed of the service, as soon as we possibly could, to better impact the whole area that Jennifer was talking about‑‑ our web, our new media‑‑ digital media technologies‑‑ and, as well, move up the timing of our Canadian programming, and do more of it sooner.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1927 MR. de SILVA: I would add that we really would like to add a second feed, because our population‑‑ our audience and our constituency in Vancouver, we believe, deserves that, and we would like to institute that as soon as we can, if there were the revenues to do that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1928 I believe that Wayne wanted to add a comment to that, vis‑à‑vis the financials.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1929 MR. ALBO: We also ran a model on what we believe to be an overly optimistic case, where we doubled the ad revenue over the period. So instead of $13.5 million, it ended up to be, roughly, $27 million.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1930 The amount that it made a difference, for reinvestment, on average, for the seven years, was about $450,000 per year, for each of the seven years.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1931 Relative to our production spending and all of our other spending, we didn't think it was all that material, given how we reinvest the money.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1932 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1933 On to subscriber revenues. You have a fairly aggressive growth projection, in terms of digital distribution, which goes up to 14 percent in Year 2.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1934 What are your plans, should the take‑up rate of digital distribution not increase at the rate you have projected?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1935 MR. de SILVA: I think we have made provision for that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1936 We will start with Kaan, and then we will move to Wayne, in terms of our financials.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1937 MR. de SILVA: We will go directly to Wayne.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1938 MR. ALBO: Would you repeat the question, please?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1939 THE CHAIRPERSON: What if the digital distribution that you have forecast in your application, starting with Year 2 at 14 percent, does not increase at that level?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1940 What are your plans in order to ensure that this service remains viable?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1941 MR. ALBO: I think what we would have to do, at that point‑‑ again, we are talking about timing, as opposed to the ultimate result. Our forecast, generally, is built around a model where we are going to have to tweak the expenditures, which would be mainly programming. We may have to finance some programming initially with a bank instead of funding.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1942 Our belief is‑‑ and you are 100 percent right, nobody can predict the actual penetration. What we have done is‑‑ the first couple of years is a little more aggressive. The real issue is managing programming dollars, to ensure that we can deliver the programs in the year.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1943 Because if we are right, the digital penetration, ultimately, during that period‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1944 Everybody thinks that they know where the end is, it's just when it happens.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1945 So we believe it is timing, and we can adjust through bank financing.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1946 THE CHAIRPERSON: But you will continue to accept, as a condition of licence, that 65 percent of your gross revenues will be spent on Canadian programming.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1947 And everybody looks to Joel.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 1 \l 1948 MR. de SILVA: That's why we have lawyers.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1949 MR. de SILVA: Could you give us a minute, Madam Chair?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1950 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sure.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1951 MR. de SILVA: The short answer is yes, but we would like to roll out the figures on how we have come to that, so I will pass it to Jim to do that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1952 MR. BYRD: The reason we can say yes, Madam Chair, is because the financials that we submitted to you, which we believe are full and thorough, were done on a cash basis, they were not done on an amortized basis.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1953 In effect, though, in practice, what we think will happen with the channel, is that we will start on a cash basis, simply because we are new, but we will move to an amortized basis, and that will help the issue that you just talked about, and I will let Wayne explain the details of that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1954 MR. ALBO: The commitment of spending, on a cash basis, 65 percent of the year's revenue, we can agree to from Day 1.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1955 But if we go to a full allocation basis, obviously we have nothing to amortize in the first year or the second year, so we can't hit the commitment.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1956 Given the fact that we are a startup, we need until at least Year 4 to hit the commitment of the 65 percent, if you want it on an accrual amortized basis.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1957 If you accept‑‑ and I do sit on the Accounting Standards Board‑‑ if you accept cash accounting, which, in this case, I think, is probably more representative of the nature of this business, because our revenue and our costs are matched, given the formula‑‑ if that was the method that was acceptable here, 65 cents would work.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1958 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1959 MR. de SILVA: If I may, I would also add, Madam Commissioner, that the old saying of having to cut your coat according to your cloth might apply here.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1960 THE CHAIRPERSON: My dad was a tailor, Mr. de Silva.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1961 MR. de SILVA: Oh! I did not know that.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 1 \l 1962 THE CHAIRPERSON: I did see your response to deficiencies with regards to the model and what that would look like, should the Commission not grant you mandatory carriage, but does that mean that you would not accept the licence, if we did not grant you mandatory carriage?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1963 If we licensed you as either a Category 1 or a Category 2 service, would you not accept the licence?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1964 MR. de SILVA: I think, Madam Commissioner, we would have to look at what could we deliver for that. How could we meet the core mandate of our service? Could we actually provide high‑quality, Canadian‑made drama that reaches out to the underserved marginalized communities with that kind of financial model?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1965 If there is anyone else who wants to jump in, obviously, they can do so, but the core of our service is to produce drama. We know what it costs. We know how the existing models in the television landscape in Canada work. It is either directly, from the CBC, an allocation from the government to produce drama, or it is running American programming in prime time, which then pays for the Canadian portion.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1966 I offer that as a response in terms of how we would have to look at it.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1967 MR. AMOS ADETUYI: Madam Commissioner, if I may add, Paul and I actually even had some brief discussion with a BDU satellite provider around that issue. He suggested that we get a regular licence, so to speak, and that he would negotiate and this would all work out quite well.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1968 But somehow I feel that that wouldn't happen in terms of what we need to accomplish here, what we are looking to do.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1969 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would you accept a licence if the CRTC decided that only Class 1 BDUs should be required to carry such a service?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1970 MR. de SILVA: I think the same principle would apply. We would have to look at what that would mean.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1971 Now knowing that your father was a tailor, Madam Commissioner, we know that there are economies that can be made in terms of both‑‑ it is sometimes the choice of an Armani suit and something that may be available at Tip Top Tailors‑‑ not to use brand names‑‑
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 1 \l 1972 MR. de SILVA: ‑‑ but I did.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1973 I will pass this over to Joel, to talk about what the specific implications might be.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1974 MR. de SILVA: We are going to huddle for a moment.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1975 THE CHAIRPERSON: All right.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1976 MR. de SILVA: I am beginning to feel a bit like Howie Mandel on "Deal or No Deal".
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 1 \l 1977 MR. de SILVA: We don't have the advantage of a Rogers phone, either.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1978 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm sorry, could you please repeat your answer?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1979 MR. de SILVA: I won't repeat the Rogers phone joke on Howie Mandel's show "Deal or No Deal". We don't have the advantage of that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1980 The answer is yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1981 THE CHAIRPERSON: You would accept a licence‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 1982 MR. de SILVA: On Class 1, because I understand that it is 80 percent of the BDU universe, so the numbers‑‑ again, we are back to cutting the cloth.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1983 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. de Silva, and your team, thank you very much. Those are my questions, but my colleagues will have more for you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1984 I will start with Vice‑Chairman Arpin.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1985 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1986 My questions will follow up on the financial aspects of your presentation.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1987 I note, in the financial statement that you filed, based on 50 cents and mandatory carriage, that you have positive PBITs right from Year 1.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1988 It seems to me that you have a rather limited risk in launching the service, because the investment will be paid back quite rapidly, I noticed.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1989 At least, that is what your model seems to show.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1990 Would you agree with me?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1991 MR. de SILVA: Yes. We can elaborate on that, though.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1992 The positive EBIT, obviously, is based on the fact that we have a revenue flow starting from Year 1 from our subscriber revenue, but I would ask our financial man to elaborate on that, please.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1993 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Obviously, you spend less than what you earn, so that will be the answer?
LISTNUM 1 \l 1994 MR. ALBO: The answer is yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1995 In the first year of launch, we lose $3.5 million on the startup, as we put forward.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1996 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Yes, obviously.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1997 MR. ALBO: We have in Year 1 a positive EBITDA, but we have a negative $2 million cash flow, because we have to fund receivables/payables.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1998 Again, that also assumes no fluctuation in the revenues, as pointed out by the Commissioner, or adjustments. Over a long period of time, basically, offering virtually a flat to marginal profitability, any fluctuation has potential huge swings.
LISTNUM 1 \l 1999 So, yes, we are budgeting a slight profit, but if there is much movement in revenue, there would be a big swing, and we do have to fund up to $6 million or $7 million of debt, in essence, of payables through our ramp‑up.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11000 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Also, would those be the reasons why, by Year 3, your PBIT‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11001 Throughout your seven‑year period, your EBIT or PBIT‑‑ whatever way you want to‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11002 MR. ALBO: Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11003 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: ‑‑ is always positive, but in single digits.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11004 I note that it starts in Year 1 at 3.9. In Year 2 it goes down to 3.2. In Year 3 it goes down to 1.9. In Year 4 it goes up to 3.2. In Year 5 it goes down to 1.4. In Year 6 it goes up to 3.3. And in Year 7 it goes up to 5.8 percent of PBIT.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11005 MR. ALBO: Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11006 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Could you explain to me why you have those types of variations going up and down?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11007 Is it the financing of the current accounts?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11008 MR. ALBO: No, it's primarily‑‑ if you trace the percentage of money we are spending on programming, we are spending more than the 65 percent, in general, year‑by‑year, and the fluctuation is coming out of our spending slightly more in certain years to build audience and programming.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11009 So it is really driven by putting the money back into the system through programming, as opposed to the funding of other issues.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11010 The whole concept is driven through programming, and that is where the incremental dollars are being spent, because we are spending more than 65 percent.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11011 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: A question that has not been debated here is more technical than financial, and obviously it has a cost. Will you be launching your service in the HD format or on standard digital?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11012 MR. de SILVA: We will be launching on standard digital. We certainly will be keeping a close watch on what happens in the HD world.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11013 The quick answer is, we will be launching on standard digital.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11014 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: You said that 65 percent of your programming will be Canadian. How much of it will be produced by independent producers, rather than the core‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11015 I understand the core programming, because it is programming that is available on the shelf from distributors.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11016 New drama, how much of it will be‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11017 You talk about original drama. How much of it will be produced by independent producers?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11018 MR. de SILVA: The vast majority will be produced by independent producers. We will adhere to the 25 percent related company rules, in terms of independent.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11019 And all other original drama will be produced by independent producers.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11020 MR. BYRD: In fact, Mr. Commissioner, all except 39 hours will be produced outside our house.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11021 MR. de SILVA: Right.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11022 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: I see.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11023 MR. de SILVA: And those 39 hours are the shows‑‑ the one show that, in fact, will feed into drama programming for promotion, background material, et cetera.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11024 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: How dependent will you be on access to the Canadian Television Fund for those drama hours‑‑ new original drama hours?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11025 MR. de SILVA: Amos, I see you clicking the microphone button.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11026 The answer is, it will depend on our negotiations with the Canadian Television Fund.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11027 As you know, the standard arrangement is, based on the previous year of a complicated actuarial thing‑‑
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 1 \l 11028 MR. AMOS ADETUYI: Formula.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11029 MR. de SILVA: The formula for marketing, licence fees, reach of audience, et cetera.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11030 I will let Amos talk about how we see our relationship with the CTF.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11031 MR. AMOS ADETUYI: Mr. Commissioner, I don't have much to add, other than, yes, we did have some discussions with the CTF about how one would figure out what amount of the CTF envelope a network like this would receive, and based on those discussions, we looked at a few of the channels out there and came up with a number, but in the first year there is no access to or use of the CTF.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11032 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Will it be only in the first year, or will it be in the first, say, two to five years before you could access any envelope from the CTF?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11033 How long‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11034 MR. AMOS ADETUYI: Depending on the timing‑‑ I believe that their cut‑off is January of the previous year, looking at the programming schedule‑‑ what went out over the air.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11035 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: The unavailability of an envelope for your service for the first, and maybe even the second year, how will that impact your business plan?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11036 MR. AMOS ADETUYI: As I said, in the first year it is not included, and in the second year‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11037 There is no envelope at all in Year 1. In Year 2 there is an envelope of $5 million that is estimated.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11038 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: So you are basing your service on a $5 million envelope for Year 2 for your service.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11039 MR. AMOS ADETUYI: Yes. Climbing to 8.8 in Year 3, and 10 in Year 4.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11040 MR. BYRD: Commissioner, if I could put it a different way, that is where we have parked the other sources of financing that we will need to complete these productions, but we are putting on the table, in any given year, a significant amount of money to trigger production.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11041 We hope it will come from the CTF, but if that is not possible, I think that the moneys we have on the table will intrigue producers to find ways to finalize the last piece of that financing.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11042 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: But that will mean that your licence fee will be much higher than it would have been if you had access to the CTF.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11043 MR. BYRD: That could be, or it could be that we find other alternative sources.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11044 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: And there are, obviously, other sources than the CTF, but the CTF seems to be the biggest one for the time being.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11045 You have shown us the "North South" program, and you said that it was a pilot. Was that pilot financed through the support of any fund, or was it financed only through DHX Media?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11046 MR. de SILVA: Floyd, do you want to speak to that?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11047 MR. KANE: Certainly, Mr. Commissioner. "North South" was financed by a licence fee from the CBC and provincial tax credits and federal tax credits.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11048 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: So "North South", which we have seen here, is not necessarily‑‑ is a program that may happen to be on Canada One TV one day, but it will be coming through acquisition rather than through original drama.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11049 Will the CBC‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11050 MR. KANE: I believe that what you have seen was a pilot that we produced for the CBC, and the CBC has passed on that pilot.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11051 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: I see. But, obviously, Canada One would be interested in pursuing‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11052 MR. KANE: That's correct.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11053 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: In your oral presentation, Mr. de Silva, you said that you were looking at a new media plan‑‑ and I think it was Ms Ouano who addressed the issue of new media‑‑ and you said that you were expecting that your programming would have extended life through various technological platforms.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11054 Obviously, this is something that every broadcaster dreams of, but it has not yet happened, particularly with independent production.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11055 What leads you to believe that you will be able to do what CTV or even CBC has not yet been able to do?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11056 MS OUANO: It is something that is in discussion. I know that Pat is looking at getting digital rights for some of the content that is acquired.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11057 As far as original production, we will also be looking at this, but considering recent deals that have been made by ACTRA and the difficulty to get these rights, it will be taken under consideration.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11058 We are also expecting to have user‑generated content that we may commission, which we might put a call out for, as well as original content that is produced for "On The Scene", which is the flagship program that we can put online, as well.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11059 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Thank you very much.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11060 Madam Chair, those are my questions.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11061 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11062 Vice‑Chair French.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11063 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: I would like to give you an opportunity to articulate a little more completely your basic claim on our attention and indulgence and support.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11064 You said a number of things that have helped me or have indicated to me sort of a beginning of an understanding of what you are trying to do. You said in the first instance that if people from diverse ethnic origins didn't see themselves on the screen, they "didn't exist".
LISTNUM 1 \l 11065 Maybe it's a rhetorical flourish, in which case, I guess, we can discount it, or it's a claim of some more serious nature, maybe an existential one that you can't really discuss, you just have to believe it or not believe it.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11066 I leave it to you if you want to comment on that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11067 The next claim you made was that you were going to solve a kind of social problem, which is that second generation Canadians from diverse ethnic origins are, apparently, disassociated.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11068 I guess I would take that to mean alienated.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11069 I would like to understand what you think your programming is going to do for that problem, if that is part of the basic argument.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11070 Beyond that‑‑ and I guess that here I am getting to the core‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11071 And staff is getting very nervous, because whenever I address these problems they get a lot of phone calls.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 1 \l 11072 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: Let me say for the people listening on the web that this is strictly me, the staff didn't pose any of these questions. I am just being my usual eccentric self.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11073 It seems to me that the constituency for which you are speaking, which, to me, is an attractive constituency‑‑ a kaleidoscope of the world that now has joined us in Canada and is part of our country, and I think that is fantastic. When I was in politics I defended that open‑door cultural and civic sense of what we are all about.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11074 But it does seem to me that, as a commercial enterprise, as a programming enterprise, you are basically addressing, or claiming to speak for, or claiming to meet the needs of, or claiming to represent a group of people whose only characteristic is that they are not demographically northern European.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11075 My puzzle to you‑‑ my question to you is, why does that constitute a sufficiently coherent programming proposition?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11076 What does it mean for a Filipino architect who lives in Vancouver to see a third generation Halifax Black man as a detective in a drama on your channel?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11077 What does it mean? What is it for? What is it about?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11078 I am not saying that you are wrong, I am just saying that it puzzles me. I don't get it completely, and I would like to offer you the opportunity to try to give me a little more of what I would take to be a little less rhetorical and a little more rigorous justification for what is at the core of the programming proposition and why should we indulge it in the way you have asked us to do.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11079 "Indulge" may be an unfair word.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11080 Why should we support it in the way you have asked us to?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11081 MR. de SILVA: Commissioner French, you have asked a lot of questions, and the moment you mention the word "existential", it makes us think about, in a sense, the very core of our application here. What is it that has really brought Amos and Alfons and myself, and the partners that we have brought together over these past five years.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11082 Your question strikes to the very core of why we want to do this service; why, as producers, we want to do this service.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11083 I will ask Pat, also, to contribute to this question, because it is a question that all of us who are involved in Canada One, and the development of it, feel very passionately about.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11084 The issue of alienation‑‑ I was trying to write some of the key words that you mentioned, and I think that was probably at the core of: Why would young people, why would anybody who is, as you put it, non‑European feel...
LISTNUM 1 \l 11085 I think that one of the key things is the question of the role of television in our society. Why is television important? Why do people need and want to see themselves reflected? And what is the danger, what is the fallout, or what happens when you don't see yourself represented?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11086 One of the things that comes to mind is a study that was recently released‑‑ and I think we have all seen it‑‑ by Professor Jeffrey Reitz, which talked about the disenfranchisement, the alienation, particularly of second generation immigration children, who don't feel a part of Canada.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11087 The statistical‑‑ taking it from the anecdotal and the existential feeling, there is now hard‑core statistical evidence to show that there is a growing disenfranchisement, a growing alienation of second generation citizens of Canada to our society.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11088 How important is that? What does that mean?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11089 If young people growing up don't see their interests, people who look like them reflected in the most important communications medium we have, what does that do to your image?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11090 First of all, what does it do to your self‑image?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11091 I am speaking here as a parent to some degree. I have two daughters who are visible minorities, obviously, and I see what they see on television, sometimes through their eyes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11092 And here we are getting into the more existential‑‑ this thing about alienation. If you don't see yourself, you don't exist.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11093 Serena Voskrishna said that, I think, very articulately right off the top.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11094 Very quickly, if I may, because you raised this important question; when I first came to this country with my parents in the early sixties, the visible minority population was very small, and there were five television channels, if I recall. There were three American and two Canadian.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11095 When we turned on our first television set that we bought, most of the programming was the kind that you could expect in the sixties‑‑ "The Tommy Hunter Show", "Juliet", "Wayne and Shuster", the "Beachcombers", and the "King of Kensington".
LISTNUM 1 \l 11096 While I didn't see a lot of people like myself on those shows, what I did get was a sense of Canada. What I did get was a sense of this country.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11097 Flash forward to today, when a young person arrives at Pearson Airport. They are immediately driven to Mississauga or Markham, or wherever. They may stop at the Quality Sweet Shop and pick up a Bollywood movie, and then they go to their uncle's place and there is Zee TV from India.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11098 The disassociation that is taking place, in terms of how people learn about Canada and become Canadians, is one issue, and the second issue is about seeing yourself as being a part of this country. That is why we believe it is an urgent issue.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11099 There is one particular program, I think, which might address that, which is in our schedule, and I would ask Patricia to elaborate on that point.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11100 Patricia, the "Fat Albert" case.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11101 MS SCARLETT: "Fat Albert" was an American program that was produced in the seventies, and it featured a cast of animated characters who were all African‑Americans. It was one of the first times on television that there was a series of this kind.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11102 The thing that I find fascinating about it is that "Fat Albert", in fact, has aired in over 100 countries worldwide.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11103 I think what children identified with was not‑‑ they did not look at the skin colour, it was the experiences of these characters that they could relate to.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11104 However, many of those kids in other countries around the world also connected with them, because here was somebody that looked like them, or close to the way they looked.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11105 The other thing in addressing Commissioner French's questions, or comments, or observations, is that Canada One is not only proposing to put people of diversity on‑screen, but behind the scenes as well, both in management and executive‑level positions.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11106 I think this cannot be underestimated and undervalued.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11107 I have worked in television, primarily in sales and distribution, for over 17 years. For much of my career I have been the only person of diversity represented at all of the major international markets worldwide.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11108 When you consider that the majority of television stations are based in Toronto, and that Toronto is said to be the most diverse and multicultural city in the world, how is that possible?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11109 With a service like Canada One, it is possible, I think, in a relatively short period of time, to change that whole picture in such a way that, in fact, there will be more representation.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11110 MR. de SILVA: We get fairly emotional about these things. We could talk about the left brain and the right brain.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11111 Kaan Yigit has done a tremendous amount of research on this, in terms of the actual demographic impact.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11112 So after Amos speaks to this, perhaps I could give you the less existential and the more statistical look at how this is impacting.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11113 MR. AMOS ADETUYI: I just wanted to share with Commissioner French my feelings about that sense of alienation that can happen when people aren't represented and aren't there, so to speak.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11114 I grew up in Sudbury. My father landed there from Nigeria, and he was actually the first Black man in Sudbury. Nobody had seen a Black man in Sudbury. Apparently they would touch his skin, and at night they believed that he grew a tail, in fact.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 1 \l 11115 MR. AMOS ADETUYI: That was some time ago, but, again, it still goes to a matter of knowledge. It is a matter of: What do you know? What do you know about another people? How do you fit in? Those sorts of things.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11116 Fast forward to today's high schools. I see my kids in a high school that looks like the U.N., and I think that that's fantastic, in terms of the people‑‑ they are sharing, they are in the community at that level.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11117 Again, what is the extent of that? Does that move into television, into the broadcast world? Do they see themselves there?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11118 The answer is no. So, how do they feel about that? Do they feel like the first‑‑ whatever kind of racial group in their community? They are not seeing themselves around.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11119 Then you take it out into the industry itself, following along on what Patricia said. When you are in a boardroom‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11120 My brother Alfons has been in the business for 20 years, and I have been here for a while, as well as Paul, and when you are in a boardroom and you are the only person of colour in that boardroom, you begin to wonder‑‑ and I am talking about the broadcasting boardrooms‑‑ you begin to wonder: Do I belong here?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11121 The answer, of course, is yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11122 Hopefully that will help to answer your question.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11123 MR. de SILVA: You asked specifically about the connection between a Filipino person in Vancouver perhaps seeing a Black person in Halifax on a cop show. That is a very big question, but I think the short answer, in many ways, is that we all see ourselves as being Canadians, and particularly people of colour. When they see other people of colour being represented on television, they see a place for themselves in Canadian society.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11124 Kaan...
LISTNUM 1 \l 11125 MR. YIGIT: I am not quite sure if it is the left or the right brain, but let me say a couple of things.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11126 One, in one of the surveys that we filed, when we asked the question around more representation on Canadian television, in particular in dramatic‑type programming, 84 percent of visible minorities that we interviewed said they would like to see more, and 46 percent strongly agreed.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11127 I could stop there and say: You know what? We could look at this and say, "Well, that's motherhood. Who is going to say `I don't want to see myself on television'?"
LISTNUM 1 \l 11128 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: What were the other 16 percent possibly thinking?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11129 MR. YIGIT: Exactly.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11130 Since 2003 I have been part of organizing and analyzing some 30 focus groups, across 10 markets, in Canada around this issue. Twenty of them were undertaken for the task force, and 10 for this application.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11131 We interviewed probably over 4,000 people in the same period on these issues, in nine languages, so that we could include people who are not typically included in your typical English or French opinion polls.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11132 I could categorically tell you that the issue of representation is around validation and self‑esteem.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11133 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: Do you want to go on, Mr. de Silva?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11134 MR. de SILVA: Would you like us to go on, Commissioner French?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11135 Does that answer come close‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11136 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: It is a conversation that we could have at great length, and this isn't the time to have it, but I wanted to give you the opportunity to articulate your point of view.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11137 I think that at the core of what you said is that people of diverse origins who are made to feel, in small ways perhaps, but important ways, that they are not a part of the country, as yet, or that they are not fully a part of the country, will feel more comfortable seeing certain programming, even if the program in question doesn't address their particular racial or ethnic particularity, but it represents a model of a society in which there is an inclusive ethic, in which everyone participates as an equal partner.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11138 It doesn't matter that the Filipino architect doesn't see a Filipino on the screen; what matters is that there is a view of Canadian society that is more congenial to his sense of belonging and his participation.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11139 I think that is what you said to me, basically.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11140 MR. de SILVA: I couldn't have said it better myself. Thank you for giving us the opportunity.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11141 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11142 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Cram.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11143 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11144 I want to go to your "Nature of Service", and I don't believe that I heard an answer, Mr. de Silva. It is "multicultural themes and values directed at an ethnocultural community." And an ethnocultural community was defined by what?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11145 You referred to an Act.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11146 MR. de SILVA: In the Employment Equity Act, I believe, is the framework, as well as the Multiculturalism Act.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11147 COMMISSIONER CRAM: What does the first Act say?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11148 MR. de SILVA: The definition of ethnocultural‑‑ and we have the language in our brief, I believe‑‑ is that any community that is not English or French is defined as ethnocultural.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11149 COMMISSIONER CRAM: My family lived in Germany. We were Yunkers. We went to Scotland. We joined the Highlanders. We stole a wife from England and a wife from Scotland. So I would be ethnoculturally diverse.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11150 MR. de SILVA: It sounds like, to me, you would be.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11151 COMMISSIONER FRENCH: We have felt that way for some time, Barbara.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 1 \l 11152 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Then, Mr. de Silva, you are not answering the question that was put to you by Commissioner Cugini.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11153 Your "Nature of Service" is so wide that you could morph into a CTV.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11154 MR. de SILVA: I don't think so, Commissioner Cram.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11155 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Listen. It says, "multicultural themes and values." You said that that is really Canadian values.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11156 MR. de SILVA: Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11157 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Directed at an ethnocultural community. It could be directed at a sixth generation Canadian, but a Highlander Scot and a Yunker class German.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11158 This "Nature of Service" is so broad that, if you had financial problems, you could turn into a CTV.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11159 Tell me why you couldn't.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11160 MR. de SILVA: Because I think that our promise of what we do, in terms of original programming and‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11161 COMMISSIONER CRAM: We can't enforce promises. You have to live up to your "Nature of Service". That's what we can enforce.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11162 I am asking you‑‑ there is no limit here on what you could do and how you could program, so how can we keep you to your very sincere feelings and beliefs? How can we keep you to that?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11163 What I am going to suggest is that, Mr. Fortune, you can come back to us with an appropriate "Nature of Service" that won't allow this service to morph into a CTV.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11164 MR. de SILVA: We will just take a minute to‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11165 COMMISSIONER CRAM: No, no. I am saying: Come back in Phase II or III or IV.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11166 MR. de SILVA: All right.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11167 If you would, could you allow us a minute, please, Commissioner?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11168 COMMISSIONER CRAM: You are allowed to think, yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11169 MR. de SILVA: Thank you for your patience, Commissioner Cram.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11170 To clearly define our target audience‑‑ and we have talked about the wide interpretation of "ethnocultural"‑‑ we have been very clear in our application and supplementary brief that our primary target audience is visible minority, with the age group we have targeted, 18 to 45, as well as the visible minority and Aboriginal population in that targeted age group.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11171 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I hear you. We can only enforce a "Nature of Service".
LISTNUM 1 \l 11172 So, as it stands, I cannot see any way of preventing you, should financial problems happen, from morphing into‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11173 I saw Mr. Brace around here.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11174 Not that there is anything wrong with CTV, but‑‑
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 1 \l 11175 MR. de SILVA: They run "Grey's Anatomy", and I am very thankful for that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11176 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I want you to take that away with you, and come back, if you can, with something that shows me that you have limited your "Nature of Service".
LISTNUM 1 \l 11177 MR. de SILVA: We will be happy to do that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11178 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Miss Scarlett‑‑ and I am so happy that I get to say that‑‑
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 1 \l 11179 COMMISSIONER CRAM: You were talking about the two out of four diversity index, and that would be: producers, directors, writers, and lead actors.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11180 And then you said that DHX is one of your rosters of producers.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11181 Do they have diversity producers? Is that the idea?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11182 Is it the individual producer?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11183 MS SCARLETT: Floyd Kane presently works with DHX, and he certainly is representative of a visible minority group.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11184 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So it's not the company that is the producer, it is the individual who is the producer.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11185 MS SCARLETT: That's correct, but the company, like DHX, for example‑‑ every time a production gets produced, a single‑purpose production company is established.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11186 So, quite reasonably, if they were following our guidelines, they would ensure that there would be somebody that is representative from the visible minority group.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11187 COMMISSIONER CRAM: All right. Thanks.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11188 Another question that you did not answer‑‑ and I want to be very precise on this‑‑ of your acquired Canadian programming, what percentage will be original programming?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11189 You were asked that question several times by Commissioner Cugini, and I never found out.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11190 MS SCARLETT: We did say that we had not worked it out on a percentage basis, we had simply assigned a dollar figure to it.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11191 COMMISSIONER CRAM: How many hours out of the total hours will be original?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11192 MR. de SILVA: We will just take a moment to clarify that, Commissioner.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11193 MR. FORTUNE: Commissioner Cram, if I may, what the Applicant has presented to the Commission is quite a detailed breakdown of exactly what hours of original programs will be produced, based on the assumptions they have made.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11194 Honestly, I have never seen that before in an application. Hour‑by‑hour, program‑by‑program, genre‑by‑genre is what has been presented to the Commission.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11195 And when you look at other licensing decisions, often you will see the Commission say, "And the Applicant has proposed to produce X hours of original programming."
LISTNUM 1 \l 11196 In response to what Commissioner Cugini asked, we had committed to come back with an indication of how many hours of acquired programming, per year, approximately, we would be looking at in our schedule for our acquired budget.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11197 Otherwise, the suggestion would be that we would present to the Commission the number of hours of original programs that this budget allows us to produce.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11198 Is that‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11199 A percentage, I'm not sure really‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11200 COMMISSIONER CRAM: It doesn't matter to me, hours or percentage.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11201 But, Mr. Fortune, with respect, this is a very exceptional process. We are looking at people requesting a very important status, so I think we owe it to the system to be very precise.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11202 MR. FORTUNE: I agree, and it is not that we didn't answer the question last time, it was that we committed to come back with an analysis.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11203 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you very much.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11204 Thank you, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11205 THE CHAIRPERSON: Legal counsel?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11206 MS DIONNE: Yes, I have a few questions.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11207 I would like to clarify the commitments.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11208 Following on CommissionerCram's concerns regarding the definition of "Nature of Service", you will come back to the panel with a proposed definition at the reply stage?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11209 MR. de SILVA: We will, on the "Nature of Service".
LISTNUM 1 \l 11210 MS DIONNE: As for the number of hours for acquired programming per year, when would you provide that to the Commission?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11211 MR. de SILVA: Later this afternoon.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11212 Would that be acceptable?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11213 MS DIONNE: Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11214 You have agreed to 50 percent Cancon overall. I see that, starting at Year 4, you propose 60 percent between 6:00 p.m. and midnight. Would you agree to have a condition of licence reflecting that?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11215 MR. de SILVA: Yes, we would.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11216 MS DIONNE: You have made a commitment of $2.1 million in script and concept development expenditures. As you know, this is an important part of creating programming. Would you accept this as a condition of your licence?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11217 MR. de SILVA: Absolutely. We see that as being a very crucial part of the development of our programming.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11218 MR. de SILVA: Our legal counsel is advising us that, obviously, our commitment to that number is based on our present plan of what our subscriber wholesale fee would be.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11219 So we would have to readjust that if there was another scenario that we were dealing with.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11220 MS DIONNE: Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11221 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. de Silva, you now have your two minutes to give us your best argument as to why you believe we should license Canada One.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11222 MR. de SILVA: Thank you, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11223 This is our opportunity to summarize our application, in some ways.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11224 First of all, we believe that there are three seismic changes taking place in Canadian society. First, we see a rapidly changing cultural and racial demographic across the country, but a television system that is not evolving, I think we have shown, fast enough, despite the various impressive steps that have been taken, mainly by the CRTC.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11225 Our central aim, Madam Chair and Commissioners, is to close that gap by including and reflecting Canada's diversity in the most‑watched genre of programming, namely, drama.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11226 As we have discussed, we will do this on Canada One, and a major part of our approach, as well, will be to be a catalyst and an incubator. So our efforts will go beyond the production of programming.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11227 We will train visible minorities to work in the independent production sector, and, thus, work with all broadcasters. A very key part is our outreach to other broadcasters to be a part of this.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11228 We will do this through shared windows, and we will ensure that our high‑quality diverse programming will show up, eventually, across the system.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11229 We believe that this channel will be a long‑term, stable solution to having more Canadian drama, especially drama that is diverse.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11230 Second, we see the rapid increase in the number of foreign third‑language services, which means that a growing number of Canadian viewers are being lost to the Canadian broadcasting system. This is serious, and we believe that we can play a role in changing that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11231 We will also be fighting to keep Canadian viewers watching Canadian programs, which will benefit us, as well as Canadian broadcasters at large, so that we will contribute to the overall system.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11232 We will do this by offering programming that reflects the lives of those who perhaps are being enticed to take their viewing habits offshore.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11233 Third, we see an increasing amount of concentration in the broadcasting industry, and the resulting reduction of a diversity of voices in the industry, and we believe that by introducing a new player, which is experienced, reliable, and well financed, we will ensure that there are new voices and diverse voices in the system.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11234 I think, Madam Commissioner, that those are our main points.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11235 We, I think, ultimately believe, in a way, that the confluence of our proposal, Canada One, and the Commission's digital migration policy, to some degree, in fact, is potentially a magic moment in Canadian broadcasting.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11236 I think we have an opportunity to really change the face of Canadian television by adding diversity to it, and providing a fresh, dynamic, and uniquely Canadian approach to dealing with a very, very important social issue.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11237 We see this as a confluence of social need and social policy, which could result in something uniquely Canadian, which would add a very valuable voice to the Canadian broadcasting system.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11238 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. de Silva, and the rest of your panel members, thank you very much.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11239 We will now break for lunch, and we will resume at 2:15 p.m.
‑‑‑ Upon recessing at 1315 / Suspension à 1315
‑‑‑ Upon resuming at 1415 / Reprise à 1415
LISTNUM 1 \l 11240 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, please.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11241 Madam Secretary.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11242 THE SECRETARY: We will now proceed with Item 3 on the agenda, which is an application by The National Broadcast Reading Service, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, for a licence to operate a national digital programming undertaking to be known as "The Accessible Channel".
LISTNUM 1 \l 11243 The proposed service will provide 100 percent of its programming in described video format. This programming will consist of news, information, drama, entertainment, and other television programming targeted to blind and vision impaired Canadians.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11244 Appearing for the Applicant is Gerald Weseen, who will introduce his colleagues.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11245 Mr. Weseen, you will have 20 minutes to make your presentation.
*PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
LISTNUM 1 \l 11246 MR. WESEEN: Good afternoon, Madam Chair, Vice‑Chairs, Commissioners and Commission Staff. My name is Gerald Weseen. In my day job, I am General Manager of Communications and Public Affairs at Nova Scotia Power Inc., but today I am here in my capacity as Vice‑Chair of the National Broadcast Reading Service.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11247 NBRS is a not‑for‑profit registered charitable organization. Our mandate is to enhance media access for blind and vision impaired Canadians, so that they may enjoy the same level and quality of information and entertainment as the general population.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11248 I am pleased to be part of the team that has designed, and will today present, a completely described open format television service, The Accessible Channel‑‑ to our knowledge, a worldwide first.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11249 The Accessible Channel is an immediate means by which we can achieve one of the key objectives of the Broadcasting Act, by making television and Canadian television programming truly accessible to Canada's vision impaired population.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11250 The Accessible Channel will, for the first time ever, provide blind and vision impaired Canadians with access to the same type of high‑quality, original and acquired programming, on one channel, that sighted Canadians have access to every day on hundreds of channels.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11251 I would like to start by introducing our team.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11252 Seated immediately to my right is Betty Nobel. Betty is Department Head of the Program for the Visually Impaired at Vancouver Community College. She is also a colleague on the NBRS Board, who serves as Chair of the NBRS National Program Committee.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11253 Seated next to Betty is Vanessa Carlisle, Assistant Managing Director of AudioVision Canada, or AVC. AVC is a division of NBRS and is the Canadian pioneer of description.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11254 Next to Vanessa is Valerie Hochschild, Creative Director for AVC. Val is an expert on the creation of described video.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11255 To my left is Stuart Robertson, of O'Donnell, Robertson and Sanfillipo, corporate counsel for NBRS and one of the first to be appointed to the board of The Accessible Channel.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11256 To his left is Kelly MacDonald, coordinator of the Voiceprint Local Broadcast Centre in Toronto. Kelly has been with NBRS for six years, starting originally as a studio producer.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11257 Next to Kelly is Deborah Graffmann, a broadcast consultant who helped us source programming for The Accessible Channel.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11258 Beside Deborah is John Stubbs of Stubbs Consulting, a broadcasting operations expert with over 35 years of experience. John examined the pass‑through of described programs and designed the technical aspects of our proposed service.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11259 In the second row, starting from my left, is Debra McLaughlin of Strategic Inc.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11260 Next to Debra is Duncan McKie, Senior Vice‑Chair of Pollara Inc., which was responsible for our consumer survey and recruitment of the focus groups.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11261 Beside Duncan is Rob Malcolmson, of Goodmans, our regulatory counsel.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11262 Finally, next to Rob is Rick Brace, President of CTV.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11263 I would ask Betty Nobel to begin.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11264 MS NOBEL: Thank you. Good afternoon et bonjour.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11265 The number of people who would benefit from described video to enjoy television and movies is, sadly, growing. According to a 2004 study released by the Canadian Association of Ophthalmologists, age‑related macular degeneration has accounted for vision loss and blindness in 2.1 million persons. Of course, that isn't the only cause of blindness and visual impairment.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11266 Our estimate, based on what we know today, is that the market for described video, including family members of the vision impaired, is between 3.2 and 3.8 million people.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11267 With a potential market of this size, it is shocking to find that even the limited amount of description that is being aired is a low or non‑priority for the majority of the cable and satellite companies. Whatever they may say to the contrary, the fact remains that many of the cable companies, and certainly Star Choice, make little or no effort to pass through described video.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11268 This was confirmed by direct testing of the pass‑through on programs that have description in several markets across Canada last summer.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11269 MR. STUBBS: Described programming is typically delivered on the Secondary Audio Program, or S.A.P. S.A.P. allows broadcasters to deliver the described soundtrack of a program on a secondary audio channel. In order for the S.A.P. soundtrack to reach the audience, however, the cable or satellite distributor must pass it through.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11270 Based on comments from blind and vision impaired Canadians, we investigated the availability of described programming in Canada, and what we found was of great concern. Within the systems we looked at, less than 26 percent of the described programming made available by Canadian broadcasters was passed through to audiences.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11271 Furthermore, the survey clearly indicated that information about where to find described programming is scarce, and often inaccurate.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11272 Compounding the problem is that the hardware needed to access described video, including set‑top boxes and television sets themselves, requires assistance from a sighted person to activate the S.A.P.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11273 MR. MacDONALD: For those who think that activating S.A.P. for a vision impaired person is not an issue, let us demonstrate the strong visual component involved in operating this option.
‑‑‑ Video presentation / Présentation vidéo
LISTNUM 1 \l 11274 MR. MacDONALD: It really isn't as easy as one might think when you can't see the menu.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11275 The Accessible Channel will offer 100 percent of its schedule in an open described format. That means, if mandatory carriage is granted, a vision impaired person like myself could access description any day, any time or anywhere they might be in Canada. This would be a first for me and many of my friends.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11276 With a commitment to 168 hours of description, The Accessible Channel will introduce over 8,000 hours of described programming per year.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11277 Putting this in context, approximately 3 percent of conventional stations, like Global's CHCH, is currently described. Compare this to The Accessible Channel, where 100 percent of our weekly program schedule will be described.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11278 Clearly, one of the most appealing aspects of the service is the fact that all description will be open. Every single program will be available in a format that can be received and enjoyed by the vision impaired‑‑ no special equipment, no S.A.P., no on‑screen menus, no need for assistance.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11279 MS NOBEL: Accessible means readily obtained and available for use. While NBRS applauds the efforts that have been made to date, it is clear that current described programming and delivery isn't sufficient.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11280 The Accessible Channel will increase the amount of described programming available immediately, without the need to alter existing licences. It will provide access to programming not currently considered available for description. It will increase description on many services through the reciprocal provision of described versions of programming. This will give the community expanded options in not only what they watch, but where they watch. It will provide new funding to the CTF to hopefully be used to increase the production of described programming. It will resolve a technical impediment‑‑ the difficulty in accessing S.A.P.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11281 MS HOCHSCHILD: More than mere words, more than mere narrative, description is a very specialized enhancement of the soundtrack. Through our unique approach to description, AVC produces a narrative description of a program's key visual elements that allows the audience to form a picture in their mind's eye of what sighted viewers see on screen.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11282 The process for creating description can be broken into four components. With my team of writers and producers engaged solely in the production of description, we write the script, voice the description, place the description to the video, and, finally, mix and master the sound.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11283 When each of these elements is done well, the result is a seamless production where original soundtrack and narrative are blended into one.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11284 Our talented describers and sophisticated sound mixing techniques make it so that the description doesn't detract from the original dialogue and sound effects. This way, we ensure that non‑sighted persons and their sighted friends and families can watch the same program together, without any loss of enjoyment for either.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11285 While description may appear to be a relatively straightforward exercise, the positive impact of this enhancement for the vision impaired cannot be easily measured. So, rather than attempt to explain it, we thought it might be helpful for you to have us provide a short demonstration.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11286 The following clip presents a crucial scene from CTV's mini‑series "Lives of the Saints", showing, first, what you and I enjoy; then, secondly, what a vision impaired person experiences; and, finally, how dramatically the addition of description can alter one's enjoyment of a program.
‑‑‑ Video Presentation / Présentation vidéo
LISTNUM 1 \l 11287 MS HOCHSCHILD: Extrapolate this small example to your favourite movie or must‑see television show and imagine how limited and frustrating your experience of this entertainment would be.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11288 With the exception of the four hours provided by major broadcasters per week, and the two hours provided by some analog specialty services, the first part of the video we played is what the majority of the current TV landscape is like for the average blind or vision impaired Canadian. Without the benefit of description, it is a confusing and marginalizing medium.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11289 MS GRAFFMANN: The Accessible Channel will be a branded specialty service that will provide new and quality described content to our audience 24 hours a day. As Kelly stated earlier, The Accessible Channel will introduce thousands of additional hours of described programming a year into the Canadian broadcasting system.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11290 Through programming agreements with Canadian broadcasters and foreign rights holders, The Accessible Channel will be able to provide access to the most popular television programming in a range of genres.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11291 We will provide something of interest to all members of the community. Most importantly, we want to provide the vision impaired community with access to the same popular programming that is available to the average Canadian and provokes those morning‑after water cooler conversations. We want to invite the vision impaired into this day‑after discussion.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11292 We will broadcast a broad range of entertainment programming, including the most popular categories, such as weekly dramas, comedies, documentaries and movies‑‑ all in an open described format.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11293 Where simulcast is possible, The Accessible Channel will pass through the entire program, complete with the commercials that the mainstream audience sees, protecting the financial investment in rights made by the Canadian broadcasters providing the service.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11294 And, for the first time, Canadian advertisers can be assured that described commercial content will be passed through. This will give our audience something they have long wanted, insight into the information that commercials provide.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11295 In addition, in order to provide reflection of the community in our on‑air content, we will eventually commission the creation of new Canadian programming. This programming will be created by independent Canadian producers and will feature themes and material which vision impaired audiences have indicated they would like to access.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11296 MS CARLISLE: Over the course of the past two years, Pollara surveyed the Canadian public three times to ascertain the level of support for this service. Once in 2005, and on two separate occasions in 2006, Canadians affirmed their support and stated that they would willingly pay to ensure unencumbered access to television for vision impaired Canadians.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11297 Two things are particularly compelling about these findings. First, the level of willingness to pay is consistently high across all studies. Secondly, the overwhelming majority of respondents supported a separate service, even though they were made aware that this would be on top of current broadcaster commitments to provide description.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11298 When asked if they would be willing to pay to support the service, over 75 percent, in all three studies, stated that they would pay 25 cents per month.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11299 Focus groups were conducted with vision impaired respondents to help define the service and identify any issues or concerns they might have. The findings indicate that there is unanimous support for increased description, open format, access to top foreign programs, and for basic carriage.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11300 This support was again confirmed in the intervention phase, where NBRS received over 100 calls of support and over 800 letters and signatories on petitions sent to our offices.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11301 In fact, this number does not include the many interventions from the community that continue to be sent to us as news of this application spreads.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11302 This is a huge show of support from a community that often feels they have no voice.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11303 MR. WESEEN: The proposal we have put before you today is a partnership. To make it work, The Accessible Channel will require the cooperation of producers, input from the blind and vision impaired community, and the goodwill of broadcasters.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11304 We have, in fact, established that all three requirements are not only possible, they are assured.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11305 I would ask Rick Brace to say a few words.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11306 MR. BRACE: Thanks very much, Gerald.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11307 CTV was approached by NBRS about whether we would participate with The Accessible Channel to provide our programming to be broadcast in described format.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11308 As we learned more about this truly innovative and worthwhile proposal, and the potential it has to make Canadian television accessible, we agreed to participate.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11309 But it should be made clear that CTV's program supply arrangement with The Accessible Channel is in no way an exclusive deal. In fact, we encourage other broadcasters to participate in this worthy initiative.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11310 In fact, the channel, at its option, can elect to take no programming whatsoever from CTV, if it so chooses.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11311 I should also state that our role on the Board is intended to be purely advisory. If the Commission has any concerns whatsoever with CTV having Board representation, we are willing to waive our right to Board seats.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11312 It is our hope that, with the participation of Canada's broadcasters, The Accessible Channel will soon provide the vision impaired community with access to the same popular entertainment programming available to all Canadian audiences.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11313 MR. WESEEN: The only thing needed to advance the integration of the vision impaired community into the culturally pervasive medium of television is the permission to broadcast, which we are seeking from you today.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11314 We hope that you will consider not only the needs and rights of this group, but our collective obligation as Canadians to ensure improved accessibility for people in the blind and vision impaired community.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11315 We trust that, upon examination, you will also agree that the concept of The Accessible Channel makes good business sense.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11316 NBRS is neither new to the discussion of making described video available nor in advocating that all of the elements of the broadcast system fulfil their obligation to make television accessible.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11317 We have a long history, both with the Commission and with the community, of presenting and pressing the need for this format and in examining solutions.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11318 The concept for The Accessible Channel has developed over a long period of time, and we believe it is the next logical step in the ongoing evolution of service to the vision impaired community.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11319 We do not propose The Accessible Channel as a substitute for current or even anticipated increases in the described video obligations of broadcasters; rather, The Accessible Channel will offer programming in addition to that already required.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11320 No one element of the Canadian broadcasting system bears the cost and social obligation to provide access to television alone. We all share in this.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11321 The Accessible Channel will assist the efforts of the Commission, broadcasters and BDUs in improving the accessibility of the Canadian broadcasting system by making significantly more described programming available, helping to overcome the barriers to accessibility, and heightening awareness of access issues.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11322 Section 9(1)(h) services are required to be of exceptional importance to the achievement of the objectives of the Act. The provision of programming accessible by the disabled is a plainly stated statutory objective. In our view, The Accessible Channel is the most efficient and effective means by which this important objective can be fulfilled.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11323 In closing, I think that the final words in our presentation should come from a member of the community we seek to serve.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11324 MS NOBEL: Ladies and gentlemen, licensing The Accessible Channel will be an opportunity for the Commission to take a leadership role in providing more meaningful access to television to the vision impaired community. With your support, The Accessible Channel will finally rectify the barriers to access constantly experienced by the vision impaired to much of the programming readily available to sighted Canadians.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11325 We thank you very much for the opportunity of presenting this to you, and for your attention, and we would be pleased to answer any of your questions. Merci.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11326 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11327 I would ask Commissioner del Val to ask the questions.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11328 For the benefit of the blind and vision impaired members of your panel, Commissioner del Val is seated to your far right.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11329 Commissioner del Val.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11330 COMMISSIONER del VAL: Thank you for your oral presentation, which I found to be very helpful. It will actually shorten the question period.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11331 These are the areas that I would like to cover. First, I would ask if you could help me set the scene of what programming the vision impaired have today on TV. Then we will move on to how, actually, video description is done. Then we will move on to costs, which will be followed by programming, and then the role within the system of The Accessible Channel.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11332 Lastly, I would like to discuss the wholesale rate and your business case.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11333 First, Mr. Stubbs, your research concludes that only 26 percent of the video described programming currently is being passed through.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11334 MR. STUBBS: That's correct.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11335 COMMISSIONER del VAL: I have noted your replies to the interventions. Did you ever calculate that if everyone were compliant, and 100 percent was passed through, how many hours of video described programming there would be in the system right now?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11336 MR. STUBBS: I didn't do that calculation, but for a conventional broadcaster, it is 3 percent of their schedule.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11337 If you took the regular over‑the‑air broadcasters, that would be the case.