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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
THE BROADCASTING APPLICATION BY ROGERS MEDIA INC.,
ON BEHALF OF 1708487 ONTARIO INC., 1738700 ONTARIO INC.
AND CHUM TELEVISION VANCOUVER INC. /
LA DEMANDE EN RADIODIFFUSION PRÉSENTÉE PAR ROGERS MEDIA INC.,
AU NOM DE 1708487 ONTARIO INC., 1738700 ONTARIO INC.
ET CHUM TELEVISION VANCOUVER INC.
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)
August 30, 2007 Le 30 août 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
THE BROADCASTING APPLICATION BY ROGERS MEDIA INC.,
ON BEHALF OF 1708487 ONTARIO INC., 1738700 ONTARIO INC.
AND CHUM TELEVISION VANCOUVER INC. /
LA DEMANDE EN RADIODIFFUSION PRÉSENTÉE PAR ROGERS MEDIA INC.,
AU NOM DE 1708487 ONTARIO INC., 1738700 ONTARIO INC.
ET CHUM TELEVISION VANCOUVER INC.
BEFORE / DEVANT:
Konrad von Finckenstein Chairperson / Président
Rita Cugini Commissioner / Conseillère
Helen del Val Commissioner / Conseillère
Elizabeth Duncan Commissioner / Conseillère
Stuart Langford Commissioner / Conseiller
ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:
Jade Roy Secretary / Secrétaire
Stephen Millington Legal Counsel /
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)
August 30, 2007 Le 30 août 2007
- iv -
TABLE DES MATIÈRES / TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE / PARA
PHASE II (Cont.)
INTERVENTION BY / INTERVENTION PAR:
Canadian Film and Television Production 230 / 1368
Manitoba Motion Picture Industry Association 261 / 1539
ACTRA 292 / 1741
REPLY BY / RÉPLIQUE PAR:
Rogers Media Inc. 306 / 1813
Gatineau, Quebec / Gatineau (Québec)
‑‑‑ Upon commencing on Thursday, August 30, 2007
at 0925 / L'audience débute le jeudi
30 août 2007 à 0925
LISTNUM 1 \l 1 \s 13581358 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11359 Madam Roy.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11360 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11361 Now we will hear from the Manitoba Motion Picture Industry Association, the Canadian Film and Television Production Association, and the Alberta Motion Picture Industry Association.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11362 We will start with the Manitoba Motion Picture Industry Association.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11363 Please introduce yourselves. You will then have ten minutes for your presentation. Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11364 MS WALKER: We would actually like to let the CFTPA go first, if that's okay with you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11365 THE SECRETARY: No problem.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11366 MS WALKER: Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11367 THE SECRETARY: Please introduce yourselves. You will have ten minutes for your presentation.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11368 MR. MAYSON: Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11369 Mr. Chair and Members of the Commission, my name is Guy Mayson and I am the President and CEO of the Canadian Film and Television Production Association.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11370 With me today is Mark Musselman, Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs at Serendipity Point Films. Mark works with Robert Lantos, producer of notable Canadian theatrical feature films such as "Fugitive Pieces" and "Eastern Promises", both of which will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival next week, as well as "Men With Brooms", "Where the Truth Lies", "Being Julia" and "The Statement".
LISTNUM 1 \l 11371 Mark is co‑chair of the CFTPA's Feature Film Committee.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11372 Yesterday we had Julia Keatley of Keatley Entertainment and co‑chair of our Broadcast Relations Committee with us, but unfortunately she was not able to stay an extra day and has returned to Vancouver.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11373 The CFTPA staff member with us today is Mario Moto, Senior Director of Broadcast Relations and Research.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11374 As you know, the CFTPA represents almost 400 companies that create, finance, produce, distribute and market feature films, television programs and new media content for new digital platforms.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11375 The CFTPA supports Rogers' acquisition of the Citytv stations, with conditions. The Rogers organization has made significant contributions to the Canadian broadcasting system over the years, not only through its ownership and operation of broadcasting services, but also by helping to fund high‑quality Canadian programming through such initiatives as the Rogers Telefund, the Rogers Documentary Fund, the Rogers Cable Network Fund, the OMNI.2 Independent Producers Initiative, and the recently announced Rogers Wireless Production Fund.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11376 We are encouraged by general comments made by Rogers in its application as to its plans to revitalize the Citytv franchise.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11377 Canadian independent producers look forward to an expanded relationship with Rogers as it works to enhance the unique contribution that Citytv stations have made to the Canadian broadcasting system over the years.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11378 At the outset, we would like to commend Rogers for stepping up to the plate, and replying to interventions, and increasing its commitments to priority programming and independent production under the Allan Waters Canadian Content Initiative.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11379 Rogers' pledge to allocate all of the funding under this initiative and the Script and Concept Development Initiative to priority programming is very welcome.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11380 We also welcome the additional minimum $2 million in benefits.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11381 We are pleased that Rogers has provided some greater clarity as to how it intends to allocate production and development benefits by committing a minimum of 65 percent from both the Allan Waters Canadian Content Initiative and the Script and Concept Development Initiative to Canadian drama programming.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11382 We are also pleased that Rogers has agreed to a limit of 10 percent overall programming overlap between the Citytv stations and the OMNI ethnic stations, in order to ensure that services remain distinct, and that the eight hours of priority programming broadcast each week by the Citytv stations be distinct from the English‑language priority programming broadcast each week on the OMNI stations.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11383 We urge the Commission to make those Conditions of Licence.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11384 While we applaud Rogers for addressing some of the concerns expressed in our written intervention, we believe that it has fallen short on some fronts. Although we are pleased that Rogers has increased its independent production commitment under the Allan Waters Canadian Content Initiative from 75 to 85 percent, we continue to believe that all priority programming funded by benefits should be produced by independent producers.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11385 As we stated in our written intervention, we believe that is the best way to ensure that proposed production benefits are truly incremental, to require that 100 percent of it be independently produced.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11386 This is particularly important given that the Citytv stations have always produced significant amounts of programming in‑house.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11387 Also, given Rogers' commitment to allocate 100 percent of funding under the Allan Waters Canadian Content Initiative to priority programming, it is still not clear as to where this leaves support for new media ‑‑ and we assume it is in addition to Rogers' commitment to priority programming.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11388 We urge Rogers to provide more details about its intentions in these key areas, specifically how new media initiatives will support or complement television projects.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11389 Mark...
LISTNUM 1 \l 11390 MR. MUSSELMAN: Good morning. Just before referring to my prepared notes, I would be remiss if I didn't respond to David Brady's unfavourable comments regarding Telefilm Canada's support of the Canadian feature film industry, and the entire Canadian feature film and television production community, not to mention the tens of thousands of Canadians who work, day‑by‑day, to create Canadian content.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11391 Mr. Brady challenged us to name five films that anyone had ever heard of, and I am going to do that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11392 "Men With Brooms", a $4 million film that we produced at Serendipity Point Films, which received incredible success right across the country.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11393 "Eastern Promises", David Cronenberg's film, which Guy mentioned, is having its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, which will also open the San Sebastián Film Festival this year.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11394 "Being Julia", a film we produced, for which Annette Bening received a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11395 Denys Arcand's "The Barbarian Invasions", an Academy Award winner.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11396 "Trailer Park Boys" did $4 million in box office last year.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11397 Kevin Tierney's "Bon Cop, Bad Cop", an English‑French production, the highest Canadian grossing film of all time.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11398 And Sarah Polley's directorial debut, "Away From Her", which has already generated $2 million in Canadian box office, and worldwide critical acclaim.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11399 That's seven. I won't go on. There are many more, and you know them.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11400 Rogers has demonstrated a long‑standing corporate commitment to the financing of independently produced documentaries through, for example, the Rogers Documentary Fund. We strongly support any initiative that would extend this financial support to the broadcast of more Canadian documentaries.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11401 Shelf space for documentaries on Canadian airwaves is at a premium, and hours of original documentary programming have decreased since 2003 by at least 5 percent.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11402 As such, Rogers' commitment to supporting independently produced documentaries is crucial to ensuring the ongoing sustainability and survival of this genre in this country.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11403 We strongly believe, however, that Rogers' proposal to broadcast more Canadian theatrical documentaries should not come at the expense of Canadian dramatic feature films. In our view, Rogers should increase Citytv's commitment across the board to all Canadian feature films, regardless of genre.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11404 As the Commission has heard from many feature film producers, both in this and other recent CRTC proceedings, the English‑Canadian feature film industry in this country is currently in a state of crisis.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11405 The theatrical feature film sector in English‑speaking Canada faces a unique set of commercial challenges that must be overcome if feature films are to achieve a pride of place not only in the domestic theatrical exhibition market, but also within the Canadian broadcasting system.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11406 The lack of financing to ensure that each year a critical mass of quality English‑language theatrical feature films is developed, produced and effectively promoted across the country is one of the biggest challenges facing this sector.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11407 Now more than ever the existence of a Television Broadcast Licensing Agreement is a critical part of the production financing structure of Canadian independent feature films.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11408 Around the world, with the sole exception of the United States, feature films simply don't get made unless there is a broadcast partner. Canada is no exception.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11409 Citytv has historically been the only Canadian conventional private broadcaster to have consistently and meaningfully played a role.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11410 We firmly believe that Canadian broadcasters must provide greater support ‑‑ that is, financial support, marketing support, promotional support ‑‑ in addition to broadcast for all genres of Canadian feature films that are intended for initial release in theatres, with subsequent exploitation on their broadcast services.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11411 In our view, the Commission has a very important role to play in this area, and, beginning with this particular proceeding, can help to lay the groundwork for a viable and sustainable financing environment for English‑language theatrical feature films.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11412 If Rogers is serious about maintaining a prominent place for Canadian feature films on a revitalized Citytv, which is their stated objective, then it is going to take a real commitment and real money. As such, we believe that, in order to avoid the dilution of the support which has historically been provided to this particular sector of the industry by Citytv, specific monetary commitments should be required of and provided by Rogers with regard to the support of development, production, promotion and broadcast of Canadian theatrical feature films.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11413 MR. MOTO: As we stated in our written intervention, the CFTPA is not opposed to consolidation in the broadcasting sector, within limits, provided sufficient safeguards are put in place to mitigate concerns about gatekeeping, undue preference, or other anti‑competitive practices potentially associated with increases in vertical and/or horizontal integration.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11414 As a highly vertically and horizontally integrated company, the potential for Rogers to engage in anti‑competitive behaviour with respect to its dealings with independent producers is significant.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11415 Accordingly, the CFTPA has suggested several measures or safeguards to mitigate the potential for such behaviour.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11416 Chief among these is that Rogers be required to enter into a Terms of Trade Agreement with the CFTPA on behalf of Canadian independent production companies as a condition of approving the transaction.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11417 As we stated in our submission to the CRTC's Diversity of Voices Proceeding, concerns regarding high levels of horizontal or vertical integration can be addressed through effective Terms of Trade Agreements that establish a fair and transparent framework for the negotiation of licensing agreements between broadcasters and independent producers, with some accountability to the Commission.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11418 This is critical in an era of consolidation in which large corporate broadcast and multimedia groups control both conventional and specialty television channels, various distribution platforms, and have aggressive multiplatform distribution strategies.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11419 The CFTPA submits that the CRTC's concerns about the potential for vertically integrated companies to engage in preferential treatment continue to exist, and, in fact, are even greater in an environment with the ever more powerful broadcasting groups, especially those that control programming undertakings, production companies, and distribution undertakings, or any combination of these.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11420 We believe that the potential and, indeed, economic and business pressure for these companies to engage in anti‑competitive behaviour and preferential treatment with respect to the acquisition of rights for content is significant.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11421 As Canadian broadcasting licensees continue to consolidate, the CFTPA is concerned about the potential for an even greater imbalance when individual independent producers are negotiating program licensing contracts with powerful vertically and horizontally integrated broadcasting groups such as Rogers.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11422 Never has the pressure from broadcasting groups on producer rights been greater. This is why we are looking for the Commission's support to ensure a fair and more balanced partnership. This is why we need substantive Terms of Trade Agreements.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11423 Rogers has had a good relationship with independent producers over the years, and we fully expect ‑‑ or hope ‑‑ that will continue. That's why Rogers' silence on Terms of Trade in its reply to interventions was somewhat disconcerting to us.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11424 We were happy, however, to hear Rogers acknowledge yesterday that multiplatform rights have a value, and that Rogers will pay for that value.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11425 Given that this goes to the heart of the need for Terms of Trade, Rogers' acknowledgement should make it easy for it to commit to a negotiated Terms of Trade Agreement with the CFTPA.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11426 MR. MAYSON: The Broadcasting Act recognizes the role of independent production within the Canadian broadcasting system ‑‑ its producers, based in every part of this country, who have the passion and the ability to create high‑quality content that speaks to our own culture, values and interests, that tells Canadian audiences our own stories. This is where program diversity originates.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11427 In an increasingly competitive broadcasting environment, broadcasters' future success will depend on providing audiences with the best programming possible. It will mean making serious commitments to original Canadian programming, because the foreign content is going to be easily accessible in many different ways.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11428 We believe that big broadcasting groups should bear bigger responsibilities. Rogers can well afford to contribute more to the development, creation, scheduling and promotion of priority programming, including theatrical feature films. Canadians deserve no less.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11429 Given Rogers' support for the independent sector over the years, we are hopeful that it will, over time, develop on this front. As Rogers stated in its application, this is its time to build upon its contributions to the Canadian broadcasting system and its investment in high‑quality Canadian programming.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11430 "We truly hope that the best is yet to come with respect to Citytv," to use Rogers' words.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11431 Thank you for your attention today. We would be pleased to answer any questions you may have.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11432 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. I wonder, Mr. Musselman or Mr. Moto, whether you can reconcile for me the conflict that I see. Both of you put forward one priority, but different things.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11433 Mr. Moto, you say that a Terms of Trade Agreement with the CFTPA is an absolute priority, and you would like to see Rogers, basically, being the lead.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11434 Mr. Musselman, you say that "We believe a specific commitment" ‑‑ and you added in your oral comments ‑‑ "monetary commitment should be made by Rogers with regard to development, production, promotion and broadcast of Canadian theatrical feature films."
LISTNUM 1 \l 11435 You can't have two priorities. Which is 1 and which is 2?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11436 MR. MUSSELMAN: Since I am the only one here that pays a membership fee, mine is obviously the priority.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 1 \l 11437 THE CHAIRPERSON: I am not being facetious. You can appreciate that we have to decide what we can legitimately impose on Rogers and what we cannot, and if we have to choose between these two priorities, which one should we choose?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11438 MR. MUSSELMAN: Thank you, Commissioner.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11439 I don't see a conflict. The point about encouraging Rogers to commit to specific targets ‑‑ thresholds ‑‑ for the disposition of their benefits package is, I think, important, not only in terms of what the Canadian independent production industry can expect, but also in terms of accountability and transparency.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11440 We heard a lot yesterday in the Rogers' presentation about the need for flexibility, and, being in charge of financing feature films in this country, I know what that means.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11441 But in order to ensure that the obligations you place on Rogers through this proceeding are effectively met, I think we need guide posts along the way to ensure that commitments are met on a timely basis, and one can't do that by simply leaving a pool of funds of tens of millions of dollars and leaving it to our friends at Rogers to dispose of that as they see fit.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11442 Now, the feature film ‑‑ I was speaking about feature film. The concern raised by the Feature Film Committee was that, in the entire initial submission by Rogers, feature film was never mentioned specifically. I could say that "film" is not a four‑letter word, but I would be wrong.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11443 We need to hold Rogers accountable to the commitments they make, and we would like that to be stated in their conditions.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11444 Mario's comment was with respect to ‑‑ if I may, Mario ‑‑ it was with respect to the monetization of different ‑‑ one of the issues was the monetization of different rights, and we have been trying to bring Rogers to the table to negotiate a Terms of Trade so that individual producers are not subjected to individual and inconsistent negotiations.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11445 Forgive me, I don't see a conflict, unless you are referring to the conflict of determining which of those two issues is a priority for the Commission.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11446 THE CHAIRPERSON: That is how I posed the question, and I gather that you are saying both, and I was asking specifically for you to rank them 1 and 2.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11447 MR. MUSSELMAN: The second goes to the implementation ‑‑ the practical day‑to‑day implementation of the commitments that Rogers makes. The details.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11448 The former, I think, was simply a more general statement regarding the need for thresholds that allow us to ensure that Rogers is accountable.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11449 MR. MOTO: Mr. Chair, if I could, the short answer to your question is, I don't think we place any one greater priority over the other. We think they are equally important.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11450 THE CHAIRPERSON: All right. Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11451 Rita...
LISTNUM 1 \l 11452 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11453 Throughout both your written intervention and your oral presentation today you used the term "theatrical feature film" and, at other points, just "feature film".
LISTNUM 1 \l 11454 Just for clarity, are you opposed or in support of the inclusion of movies of the week in the Condition of Licence, as it currently reads?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11455 MR. MUSSELMAN: We are in support of ensuring that commitments are made with respect to both, but we think it's important for the Commission to be sensitive to the fact that movies of the week ‑‑ as Ted East mentioned yesterday, movies of the week are fundamentally different animals than theatrical feature films.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11456 Like Steve Hedges yesterday, I am primarily involved in theatrical feature films.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11457 If the Commission has more questions about the distinction between theatrical feature films and movies of the week, I would be happy to answer those questions.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11458 However, as far as my submission, theatrical feature films and feature films are to be understood as interchangeable.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11459 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you for that clarification.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11460 You are opposed to the increase from 10 to 20 hours of documentaries per year?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11461 MR. MUSSELMAN: Absolutely not. No, we ‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11462 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: You are not opposed to that increase?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11463 MR. MUSSELMAN: Absolutely not. We are supporting that increase provided that Rogers is not simply taking from one pocket and putting it in the other. We would like to see an across‑the‑board augmentation of Rogers' support so that the support currently available to feature films is not decreased in order to support the increase of documentary support.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11464 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Is it therefore your suggestion that the commitment should increase to 120 hours? Is that your bottom line?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11465 MR. MAYSON: I think the key point we wanted to make was the definition of theatrical needed to be clearer in terms of the programming requirement, the 100 hours of programming, so that there was some concession made to theatrical films and understanding what those were so that the requirement could not simply be filled by MOWs and documentaries. Nobody is trying to take anything away from any of those other categories. We want to see theatrical features recognized more clearly in the programming requirement and also in the financial commitments that Rogers is making.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11466 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Are you therefore suggesting that the commitment should within the 100 hours therefore a minimum to theatrical feature films?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11467 MR. MAYSON: I think that would go a long way to clarifying the issue. I think that this will definitely come up I think, you know, down the road and I think it is a definitional issue and I think it needs to be clarified now.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11468 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And you know, of course, my next question is going to be do you have therefore a suggestion as to what that minimum should be?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11469 MR. MAYSON: What the definition of that ‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11470 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: No, what the minimum should be within the 100 hours per year, the minimum number of hours that should be dedicated to theatrical feature films as opposed to MOWs and documentaries. I know 20 is documentaries, we have 80 left to play with.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11471 MR. MAYSON: Yes. I think it is a great question and I think there is two aspects to it; I think we would like to introduce a concept of original programming being included in that as well, so there is some concession to new programming being made. And in terms of an actual hour commitment, I think we would be looking for something at least equal to the documentary commitment, if not greater.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11472 So it is something that you would have to look at the actual availability of product from year to year. But the original is a very important concept and which I think needs to be clearer so that we are talking about the screening of new original programming of theatrical features and relating it to at least the same level of documentary.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11473 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Okay, thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11474 MR. MOTA: Commissioner Cugini, just to clarify. You mentioned 20 hours of documentary. The current requirement is 10. We know they are trying to go to 20.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11475 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Right.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11476 MR. MOTA: So I am assuming you are talking post‑transaction if the Commission is ‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11477 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Right, should the Commission agree that 20 hours is a great idea, we are trying to figure out what to do with the rest.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11478 THE CHAIRPERSON: And just to clarify if I understood you. You want to say 20 hours minimum of original feature films? That is how I interpret your request, Mr. Mayson.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11479 MR. MAYSON: Yes, I would, yes. At a minimum, yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11480 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Again, you make the point, both in your written intervention and in your oral presentation today, regarding the promotion of feature films. We know that distributors have a commitment to promoting feature films if they want to get people into the theatres and so the box office goes up for those feature films. We know that it is in the best interest of the broadcasters when they broadcast these Canadian feature films to promote the fact that those shows are on the air so that they get viewers coming to those feature films on their televisions.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11481 What more do you propose that broadcasters do in the area of promoting feature films?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11482 MR. MUSSELMAN: There has been a fair bit of discussion of late with respect to ways in which to make television broadcasters' involvement in the support of promotion, marketing of feature films more attractive. And one of the areas that has been under discussion with not only the free television over‑the‑air broadcasters, but also with the pays as being a reworking in certain circumstances where it is warranted of the traditional release windowing structure such that CityTV, to use this particular example, would have a broadcast opportunity much sooner than is currently available under the traditional windowing.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11483 So they would have, for instance, a right to one broadcast during a defined window of the Canadian pay window. That would then allow them, in theory, to contribute heavily to the promotion of the theatrical feature film, an investment monetarily in the marketing of a theatrical feature film because they are receiving a payoff much sooner than they would normally under the current windowing procedure. That is one thing that we are exploring at present.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11484 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And what form would that promotion take? You know, when we think of promotion you think of the billboards, you think of the ads, you think of interviewing the starts on magazine shows ‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11485 MR. MUSSELMAN: All of the above, all of the above.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11486 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Just so I understand, and what you are saying is that broadcasters just aren't doing that enough currently?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11487 MR. MUSSELMAN: Well, they are not doing that at all quite frankly, because they have no interest in doing it because their first broadcast is customarily four years later. So what is the incentive for City to start investing meaningfully in the promotion of the feature film release four years previously? So the idea is let us incentivize City to invest in the promotion of the feature film, the interviews at the time of the commercial theatrical release, the prints and advertising, commercial time, all with a view to getting their return on that money much earlier and, therefore, it is much more meaningful.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11488 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Okay, thank you for that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11489 THE CHAIRPERSON: Please, can you explain that to me? I am sorry, I don't understand that. If it is four years down the pike that it is going to be shown on TV, what do you expect City to do today for something that will be shown ‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11490 MR. MUSSELMAN: Well, that is exactly the point.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11491 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I know. But, I mean, I understand the problem, I don't understand your solution.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11492 MR. MUSSELMAN: The solution is to provide CityTV with a broadcast opportunity much earlier than four years down the road, so that they would be entitled to a broadcast opportunity, one or more to be negotiated during the traditional pay window, which is effectively immediately after video release.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11493 THE CHAIRPERSON: And who would do that?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11494 MR. MUSSELMAN: Who would do..?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11495 THE CHAIRPERSON: We don't get involved in the negotiations.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11496 MR. MUSSELMAN: No, my response was to the Commissioner's question as to what opportunities would there be for CityTV to contribute to the promotion of Canadian theatrical feature films.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11497 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, you went further, you said they should be incentivized. I am trying to figure out who is going to do the incentivizing.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11498 MR. MUSSELMAN: The Canadian producer will do the incentivizing by negotiating with the pays and with other platforms in order to ensure that the conventional broadcasters are provided with an earlier broadcast opportunity.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11499 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, thank you for the clarification.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11500 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: I mean, that is quite a monumental feat, because now you are talking about changing the orderly marketplace as, you know, you started to say it before, theatrical release, DVD, pay, speciality, conventional sometimes is interchangeable, but I mean that requires an industry‑wide cooperation in order to achieve this goal.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11501 MR. MUSSELMAN: That is correct.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11502 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And again, I mean, I think that one of the things our Chairman was getting at is what role do we have in this laudable mission that you have put forward?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11503 MR. MUSSELMAN: I can't speak to what role the Commission would have. I certainly know that, for our part, we are working hard with our traditional partners, including pay and conventional broadcasters, to try to workout a scenario in certain situations where it is warranted. Certain feature films, there would be no interest, others, there might be. But we are working to find those opportunities whereby there is a win/win both for the pays and for the conventional.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11504 MR. MAYSON: If I can just add there, Commissioner Cugini. I think what the Commission can do is what we were talking about earlier in terms of clarifying the requirements. If there is actually a requirement to produce and distribute and broadcast some original programming each year. I think the deal will follow.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11505 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Okay. You have spoken of terms of trade and you brought forward this position to us on a number of occasions. You were here yesterday, I am sure you heard Mr. Strati's response to that question that, you know, Rogers will work with the industry on achieving, hopefully, a terms of trade with the CFTPA. I would just like to get your reaction to what Mr. Starti said yesterday.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11506 MR. MAYSON: Well, we were very pleased to hear that actually. Again, in going to the Chairman's comment earlier I think, on the priority issue, I think our main point with the intervention was to ensure that ‑‑ at least bring the terms of trade issue to the fore in this hearing and ensure, as the Commission has already indicated in its policy review document, that they are expecting over‑the‑air broadcasters to have terms of trade in place. We very much welcome that direction I must say.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11507 We just wanted to make sure that Rogers was aware of that one. We have had some discussions informally with Rogers. We know that part of their reluctance to address terms of trade was actually not quite understanding what it is exactly and so we will be initiating discussions with Rogers on terms of trade.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11508 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Excellent, thank you. Just one final question. The comments that you make with regard to priority programming and the commitment to how much of the priority programming will be produced by independent producers. Seventy‑five per cent, I grant you, has sort of become the industry standard for the amount of priority programming to be produced by independent producers. Rogers has stepped that up a little bit to 85 per cent.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11509 You know from past discussions in proceedings like these that we continually hear from broadcasters, we need some flexibility, we need to be able to hang onto the rights to some of the programming, so that they can be exploited on other platforms.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11510 Once again, can you just elaborate on your rationale for asking that that be increased now to 100 per cent?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11511 MR. MAYSON: What I would say right off the top, and it goes a lot, I think, a lot of the discussion you were having yesterday on the CTF versus self‑directed or long or short‑term funds that Commission del Val was talking about. To us, the key, the reason we are talking about 100 per cent going to independent production is really about ensuring incrementality in the benefits money, making sure that that money goes clearly to productions that have been commissioned outside the ‑‑ not in‑house production.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11512 In that way, it seems to me, you have got a much greater rationale for both monitoring how that money is spent and ensuring that it is incremental to what ongoing program expenditures might be within the organization. So it is more of an accountability measure as much as anything. It may sound self‑serving, but obviously we feel the best production is done by independent producers.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11513 But, to us, the big rationale is about ensuring incrementality in the benefits money. And there is nothing stop, within any production that is done with independent producers, that the normal sharing of rights will go on. To us, it is about ensuring incrementality.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11514 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And you obviously don't feel, therefore, that going from 75 to 85 per cent is incremental enough?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11515 MR. MAYSON: Our benefits in our policy document ‑‑ our own approach to benefits in that area, we think it should be 100 per cent. And so obviously, we welcome the move to 85, obviously, but we think it could be 100.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11516 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11517 Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, those are my questions.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11518 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Helen, do you have a question?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11519 COMMISSIONER del VAL: Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11520 I just want to clarify, from where do you feel the Commission's mandate to require theatrical release feature films come from? I understand from drama, I understand original, but where do you think our mandate to require theatrical released films comes from?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11521 MR. MAYSON: In terms of this application, I think CityTV has a programming requirement for movies. We think it comes back to a definitional question which Mr. East raised yesterday about what is a theatrical film, how it is different from a movie of the week. And we think it is important for a company like City which has done great work in the past.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11522 We are not saying that City has not at all participated in theatrical features, they have been very active in that area. We wanted to bring that to the fore, that it should be clear in the programming requirement that theatrical features should be part of that and ‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11523 COMMISSIONER del VAL: I understand that, but do you have any specific legislation you can point to that says that the Commission's mandate includes feature films that are released in theatres and that in our broadcasting mandate of what is shown on TV that we actually have the authority to require that what is shown on TV must be also suitable for theatrical release? Where does that power come from?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11524 MR. MAYSON: Well, we would argue that and it does come back ultimately to the Act and then the responsibility. One of the objectives of the Act is ensuring that there is a significant portion of production that comes from the independent sector. Theatrical features I think are often seen as ‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11525 COMMISSIONER del VAL: But, that is for broadcasting, that is for TV. But where does it come from that says it has got suitable for theatres?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11526 MR. MAYSON: I think our point is that theatrical feature films are an integral part of the broadcasting system and should be promoted through the broadcasting system. It is as basic as that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11527 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, well you are pushing the envelope. You appreciate that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11528 Our mandate is the broadcasting system, it's not the exhibition of films in theatres.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11529 And, you know, we can use the broadcasting system to promote certain things, but you want to make it a requirement of the broadcasting system that they show theatrical films 100 percent ‑‑ original theatrical films you said.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11530 MR. MAYSON: I think we looked at the City application ‑‑ I guess there are sort of two points there.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11531 I think that you will probably hear from us more on this down the road at licence renewal time. We would like to see theatrical features being recognized more as an integral part of the production sector, and therefore as part of the broadcasting system, too, and how can that synergy be created.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11532 Because City actually has a programming requirement for movies, we thought it was appropriate to raise it at this time.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11533 THE CHAIRPERSON: All right. Thank you very much.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11534 There being no further questions, I thank you for your intervention.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11535 Madam Roy.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11536 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11537 Now we will hear from the Manitoba Motion Picture Industry Association.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11538 Please introduce yourselves. You will have ten minutes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11539 MS WALKER: Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11540 My name is Tara Walker. I am the Executive Director of the Manitoba Motion Picture Industry Association.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11541 Before we begin, I would like to introduce Vonnie Von Helmolt, the co‑chair of our Policy Committee and an Emmy Award winning independent producer.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11542 She has over 20 years of experience in film and television production.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11543 Recently, Vonnie produced the Gemini‑nominated "Ballet Girls" for Bravo, and "The Tails of the Magic Flute" for the CBC.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11544 Thank you for inviting us to appear before you today.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11545 In a month, MMPIA will celebrate its 20th anniversary. It's a remarkable time for Manitoba's independent production community. We have reached a new pinnacle of growth and achievement.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11546 The last 20 years have witnessed the phenomenal expansion of our industry. We have gone from half a million dollars worth of production to $114 million.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11547 We also employ approximately a thousand full‑time positions, with steady work.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11548 Manitoba boasts an incredible depth of creativity, and the talent is surprisingly rich for such a small population.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11549 Our arts community is internationally known through the work of our writers, visual artists, musicians, dancers, film and television makers.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11550 Made‑in‑Manitoba productions have won many Geminis, Genies, two Emmys and five nominations for Oscars.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11551 This year we boast seven films in the Toronto Film Festival, and we were proud to hear of 17 nominations for Geminis just this week.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11552 Further, Manitoba embraces diversity and entrepreneurship. We are the birthplace of both APTN and WTN, and, of course, the birthplace of media moguls under or behind CanWest Global, the A‑Channels, Moffat Communications.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11553 In short, we see ourselves as fertile ground for the kind of community‑based, trail‑blazing programming that Citytv was built on.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11554 Ivan Fecan said in his appearance before this Commission: "Citytv was bold and innovative, culturally diverse, and intensely local."
LISTNUM 1 \l 11555 Our written intervention states our support for Rogers Media's purchase of the City stations based on their stated desire to maintain that community orientation of the programming ‑‑ its style and street smarts, as they put it ‑‑ together with their commitment to bring stability and security to the Citytv stations.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11556 We commend Rogers for committing to use their resources and their experience, especially with HD, digital television and their wireless networks ‑‑ in their words, "To further evolve the local service and local programming that the Citytv stations provide in their communities, and to support their new programming initiatives."
LISTNUM 1 \l 11557 MS VON HELMOLT: However, we are somewhat concerned that Rogers does not, at least in the Manitoba producers' experience, have the vision or track record with conventional broadcasting to offer or execute a proposal that truly values the unique Citytv model.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11558 Should Rogers not commit to the level of local involvement, originality and long‑term investment that Citytv requires to bring it back to its original programming philosophy, it will merely create a pale shadow of the mainstream networks, and there will be nothing added to the Canadian broadcast spectrum, or possibly even Rogers' bottom line.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11559 As the CHUM experience shows, drifting toward the middle does not work in the current broadcasting environment.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11560 As Ivan Fecan put it during the April hearing, homogenization destroys value.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11561 Jay Switzer and Roma Khanna have eloquently testified to the difficulty of maintaining a cutting edge vision for a network in the face of profitability requirements by a parent company, without the necessary resources to fully develop that vision.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11562 I am heartened by Diane Boehme's presence here for Rogers, if this is an indication that Rogers is prepared to give Diane the power and resources to develop and implement a unique vision for Citytv programming.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11563 Diane, sistered with Bravo and the Citytv stations, gives us the confidence that perhaps the original vision for Citytv could be resurrected and implemented.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11564 Roma Khanna described it well: "The heart and soul of the Citytv brand is about reinvention, in any given moment of time, risk taking, innovation and doing something differently."
LISTNUM 1 \l 11565 MS WALKER: Secondly, we feel strongly that real regional involvement by the broadcasters is key to the health of the broadcast system in Canada.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11566 The shift from local ownership of the broadcasters in our region to consolidated, Toronto‑based, mega corporations has resulted in a disconnect with our production community and the broadcast decision‑makers.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11567 In the CTV‑CKY, CanWest‑WIC, CHUM‑Craig Media deals, short‑term benefits packages resulted in periods of elevated involvement, particularly for CTV, but long‑term investments into our region are doubtful.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11568 With the Craig Media benefits, few dollars flowed, compounding the sense of marginality felt by Manitoba's production community.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11569 Rogers' track record for working with regional independent producers is neither long nor deep. We canvassed our community and, of the 40 producers we reached, only one had been fortunate enough to have developed a relationship with OMNI.10, the Rogers station in Manitoba.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11570 Rogers stated in their response to our intervention: "We do work with a large number of independent producers," and further, "We understand the importance of supporting the production of high‑quality Canadian programming throughout the country."
LISTNUM 1 \l 11571 In Manitoba's case, this doesn't ring true. The OMNI.10 schedule shows a distinct absence of independently produced Manitoba productions.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11572 We note that Rogers has committed to fulfil the Craig Media benefits by 2011. Respectfully, this is not enough. We ask the Commission to require a more definite commitment from Rogers, to demonstrate how they will work with independent producers outside Toronto.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11573 MMPIA is not recommending a guaranteed regional spend, but we are requesting that the Commission require Rogers to demonstrate how the regions will be well represented in the priority programming on the Citytv stations.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11574 We only have 15 hours of local programming in the Winnipeg CHUM right now. We would like to have the 31.5 that Edmonton has, and that would be a good start.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11575 Currently, there is a CHUM development officer in Edmonton, but we respectfully point out that the physical distance between our cities apparently discourages the kind of community involvement that we have seen with the Citytv western development office in Winnipeg.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11576 It has now, sadly, ended, as the Commissioners might already know.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11577 It is obvious to us that the broadcasters' regional offices play a really key role in creating strong relationships with the independent regional producers. So, in our submission, MMPIA strongly encourages Rogers to locate decision‑makers in all of the regional production centres impacted by this transaction ‑‑ that would be Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11578 Specifically, we have requested a seven‑year commitment from Rogers to a Citytv development office, and development officer, empowered to use the Craig and the Citytv benefits packages ‑‑ and, of course, located in Winnipeg.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11579 MS VON HELMOLT: Thirdly, we will address the benefits.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11580 We feel that since this deal affects the four western markets, these new benefits dollars should be targeted to these centres ‑‑ to Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11581 Our members are concerned that the benefits dollars could be concentrated, with fewer producers, in central Canada, and will not reach the regional producers we represent.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11582 MMPIA does encourage the Commission to put in place requirements to spread the benefits equitably across the seven‑year period, and to target the four regional centres.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11583 MMPIA also recommends that, as a Condition of Licence, Rogers be required to spend the tangible benefits from CHUM's acquisition of Craig Media at an accelerated rate, with yearly targets.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11584 The Manitoba and Alberta industries have been waiting since 2004, as I am sure you know, for the Craig Media benefits to flow, and with the ending of prior regional benefits, such as the CanWest Independent Producers' Fund ‑‑ CWIP ‑‑ and the CKY‑CTV benefits package, there is a critical scarcity of funding resources specifically for our Prairie Region.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11585 MS WALKER: We in Manitoba have such hope ‑‑ after this period of massive changes to our broadcast environment ‑‑ that Rogers will deliver on that promise that the best is yet to come.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11586 Our community is vibrant and creative, and we would be excellent partners for an evolved and thriving Citytv.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11587 We are excited by what this increased access to Rogers' resources might mean for Manitoba's independent producers.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11588 On behalf of our members in the heart of Canada, thank you for giving us this rare opportunity to address you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11589 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11590 You mentioned that you have been waiting for the Craig benefits to flow since 2004, and they haven't. What is the explanation that you have received from City?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11591 Presumably you have looked into it and wanted to see those benefits flow.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11592 MS WALKER: We can only guess.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11593 I would assume that it related to the financial situation that CHUM found itself in.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11594 THE CHAIRPERSON: I see.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11595 Stuart, do you have some questions?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11596 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11597 I am finding a bit of a disconnect, and it may just be the words. You know, it's hard to get them all into ten minutes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11598 The first part of your opening statement just told us ‑‑ I thought it was Hollywood North. You had movies, you had awards, everybody is working, there's a thousand people, the movies are coming out of the woodwork ‑‑ everything is great. The sun never sets in Manitoba.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11599 And then we get to the end, and there is a critical scarcity of funding and the sky is falling.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11600 I would like to find out what the situation is there. If there are a thousand people working and winning awards and having a wonderful time, how bad is it?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11601 MS VON HELMOLT: You have to understand that the impact of the loss of CWIP and the loss of the Citytv‑CKY benefits is going to be felt fairly shortly.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11602 Obviously, all of this money would have flowed, so all of this production would have happened.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11603 What is going to happen in the next year ‑‑ who knows ‑‑ because the funding sources are definitely drying up.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11604 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: How long can we keep this going? In the end ‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11605 I mean, I sit up here and I feel a huge helplessness sometimes. That's probably not what you want to hear.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11606 Sure, when somebody is buying something and there are millions on the table, we can pressure them and say, "Share it across the country. Be good. Let everybody have a piece of the action."
LISTNUM 1 \l 11607 But, particularly as things consolidate, we are going to run out of purchasers. There's just not going to be these piles of millions. Unless the Demerais family decides to get into television, there just aren't that many players out there with that kind of funding available.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11608 So when is it that you folks fly on your own, with the kind of general regulatory idea that gives some production to independent production, get it out of house, the sort of general spirit of the Act?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11609 There has to be a time, doesn't there, when we just ‑‑ even if we want to, we don't have the tools any more.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11610 There are no more big deals. There is limited funding at Telefilm, CTF, whatever.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11611 What are you doing in your association to prepare for that day?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11612 MS VON HELMOLT: First of all, what we are talking about is simply getting our fair share of what's already out there, and I think that is what we would like the Commission to address at this point.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11613 In terms of the future of funding for the Canadian television industry and for independent producers, I would suggest that we cross that bridge when we come to it.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11614 And, yes, I agree with you, maybe there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Maybe all of the funding in the Canadian film industry and Canadian television will completely dry up. Maybe the television broadcasters will never have any profits to share. Maybe we will just have an entire country based on American programming, or on the internet.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11615 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: If I may say so, I think that's a bit apocalyptic.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11616 MS VON HELMOT: Well, that's my point. Yes. I don't think that's going to happen. I don't think that the Commission is going to let that happen and I don't think that it's in the best interest, you know, nationally, obviously, or of the Canadian Television Industry, of course it's not.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11617 We need to see ourselves and they recognize that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11618 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: With respect, though, I think you overestimate us, and which is gratifying because most people don't, you know, read any newspaper. But I am saying to you that there must be a time or at least it seems to me when excellence of product is what's going to be your tool, and it may be ‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11619 MS WALKER: Absolutely.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11620 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: ‑‑ and it may be your only tool, we can insist. We are not going to completely walk away from this. We have a stated mandate in the Act to do something for independent production and we work hard on that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11621 MS WALKER: Hm‑hmmm!
LISTNUM 1 \l 11622 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: We have a stated mandate to promote Canadian content. So, it's not going to all dry up and all be American because that we can try to stop and we do try to stop.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11623 But how far do we go down the line? We've heard from your colleagues, they want us to actually get into contract building. That's pretty ‑‑ that's pretty detailed.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11624 I mean, that means we are sort of walking in and saying: okay, we are the third person at the table here and this is what the terms and conditions of your contracts are going to be and we're going to negotiate that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11625 And now you are saying: help us out in the future, but it seems to me there must come a time when your industry ‑‑ and I am not trying to be patronizing ‑‑ it's just that I look down the road and I don't see the big pools of extra money. There will always be money because we will insist on 60 per cent Canadian content at least, so there will always be some money.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11626 MS WALKER: Hm‑hmmm!
LISTNUM 1 \l 11627 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: But if the big pools of extra money dry up and we can't just squeeze it out of them, we don't have that kind of power, we are not a taxing authority.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11628 Do you really want the CRTC to get involved in working out your contract agreements and then parcelling it out?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11629 You know, that could backfire on you if we say we'll give some to Newfoundland and ‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11630 MS WALKER : Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11631 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: ‑‑ Newfoundland has terrible producers that year and Manitoba has great ones.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11632 MS WALKER : Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11633 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Do you see the problem we have here?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11634 MS VON HELMOT: I do. Just to address the contract issue, with all due respect, I don't believe that the CFTPA is asking you to negotiate the contract. I think what they're asking you to do is make sure that a contract is negotiated. That's quite different.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11635 MS WALKER: That there are different terms.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11636 MS VON HELMOT: Yes. That's quite different actually. And in terms of the pots of money, as I say, Canadians' own producers and television producers are amazingly innovative and imaginative too.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11637 MS WALKER: Resourceful.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11638 MS VON HELMOT: And a resourceful group of people and I think that they will find other places to ‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11639 The thing is if they are given enough money to create quality product, that not only is appealing to Canadians, but as it has historically been appealing to other countries, then the possibility of sales to other countries which currently, at least in my case, isn't fabulous because I am in the performing arts section, but in many cases sales to other countries can be made, which will enable you to then make a product which is still uniquely Canadian, but which is still enormously appealing to the U.S.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11640 I'm thinking of play things like Corner Gap, for example. So, you know, quality will out and with quality comes funding.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11641 So, you know, I am not particularly worried about that. I think we're perfectly capable of creating quality programming.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11642 What I think we do need, however, is the ability to have the funding to create that quality programming in the first place so that you then have something to go to the marketplace with and create those relationships, so that when you next come to them and go: hey! I have this idea, it's not done yet, but they already know that you're capable of creating something with quality that they would like. And then, they are prepared to take a chance.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11643 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: We hear you and I don't want you to go away depressed, but I do feel our constraints somewhat and I think it's fair to share them with you that we can't ‑‑ there is only so far we can reach into your lives and probably that's a good thing for you folks in the long term.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11644 I just have one last point. I was flipping through your very nice book that you provided us with and on page 96, I found a stick‑on, somebody is supposed to phone Steve Dennings in Thunder Bay and the phone number is here, so I ain't phoning Steve, I'm telling you right now, so ‑‑
Rires / Laughters
LISTNUM 1 \l 11645 MS VON HELMOT: Sorry.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11646 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: You might want to pick this up afterwards.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11647 Those were my questions, Mr. Chairman.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11648 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Helen, you had another question?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11649 COMMISSIONER DEL VAL: Thank you, Ms Walker and Ms Von Helmot.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11650 I am not sure whether you were here yesterday when I was talking to Rogers about some of the ‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11651 Oh! Part of their application says that ‑‑ I forget the exact working, but they will encourage proposals from the different regions and we did get into a discussion about whether they would be any targeted or funding for ‑‑ any specific allocations for the different regions.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11652 I take it you weren't here?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11653 MS VON HELMOT: We were flying here at that time.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11654 COMMISSIONER DEL VAL: Okay. That's all right.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11655 MS VON HELMOT: We were really sorry to miss it actually.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11656 COMMISSIONER DEL VAL: No, no.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11657 MS VON HELMOT: And what did they say when you asked that question?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11658 COMMISSIONER DEL VAL: No. I believe the answer was that, no, there is no ‑‑ there will be no specific targets, but I can't remember the exact wording that basically there would be some inherent, I remember that word, allocation.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11659 So, I take it you would not be ‑‑ what do you call it ‑‑ relieved with a response like that on ‑‑ that we would rely on the sort of inherent allocation of the funding?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11660 MS VON HELMOT: Like we've said in our presentation that we don't recommend a guaranteed spent, but we think that deeper relationship needs to be developed and the mechanism or vehicle for that is often development officers within the region with real over relationships can be formed and we would hope that with that would come an allocation from the benefits package to spend within that development officers area.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11661 I think that's really the route for ensuring that there are regional voices on the broadcast.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11662 COMMISSIONER DEL VAL: Thank you. I would be very interested in hearing Rogers' reply to your specific suggestions.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11663 MS WALKER: And so would we, except we will be on a plane. We will have to look at that later.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11664 COMMISSIONER DEL VAL: Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11665 THE CHAIRMAN: One last question regarding this development officers. I see you make a very big point about it and suggesting it needs to be there, point out that CHUM's officer is in Edmonton, which is a long way from Winnipeg, et cetera.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11666 If Rogers takes you up and actually puts a development officer, would you go so far as to say that's a legitimate use of spending the benefits money, paying for their benefit officers?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11667 MS VON HELMOT: It depends on how much power that development officer has. If they're just a figure head and they are not really able to distribute the benefit money, then, no, it's going to make any difference.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11668 I think that ‑‑ I mean, I would love to see a development officer in every centre. I don't know that that's realistic, but what I would really like to see is a lot more of whoever the decision‑maker is, making regular scheduled visits to those centres and making sure that they do find out who the people are there who are working, who the independent producers are and what they have, what their strengths are, which is the kind of thing that can only be done in person.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11669 You just can't do it from one city.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11670 MS WALKER: We make an example of the CTV western development office and the number of our submissions to you and, unfortunately, that office is closing this year.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11671 But the kind of community involvement that that development officer had and engendering involvement with producers right down to emerging levels, bringing them into the CTV family and all the way up to a national level has been phenomenal.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11672 The impact in our community has just been phenomenal.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11673 MS VON HELMOT: In fact ‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11674 THE CHAIRMAN: But what I actually asking you a very crucial specific accounting question. If Rogers says, okay, you want to have a development officer in Winnipeg, I'll put one there and that will cost me hundred thousand dollar a year and that's the benefit money that I am spending because by having the officer there, he will have to develop the relationships you're talking about and that will be in the finances produced, more excess of your producers to CITY.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11675 Would you feel that was a legitimate way of spending benefit moneys?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11676 MS WALKER: I believe so, but I even had a chance to talk with our community which generally we get a chance to do before. That's exactly what CTF did. It allocated a part of its benefits package to the creation of that office, with some development moneys and programming moneys as well and the community has been fully supportive of that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11677 So, I can only guess that if we go back and discuss it more definitely they would agree.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11678 THE CHAIRMAN: Okay. Thank you very much.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11679 Okay. We have one more intervener, madame Roy?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11680 THE SECRETARY: Yes. And now we will hear from Alberta Motion Picture Industries Association. Please introduce yourself and you have ten minutes.
+++ PRESENTATION BY ALBERTA MOTION PICTURE INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION
LISTNUM 1 \l 11681 MR. BROOKS: Thank you. Good morning. Commissioner Langford, I wonder if I could get that number for Steve Dennings? Or maybe we can do it at the break.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11682 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: It's 807‑625‑3096.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11683 MR. BROOKS: Thank you very much.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11684 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Steve is standing by.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11685 MR. BROOKS: Thank you very much.
Rires ‑ Laughters
LISTNUM 1 \l 11686 MR. BROOKS: Mr. Chairman, commissioners, first let us thank you sincerely for this opportunity to talk with you today.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11687 My name is Alan Brooks, I am the Executive Director of the Alberta Motion Picture Industries Association, also known as AMPIA.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11688 With me today is Jean Patenaude, one of our board members and President of his own company, sharing visions Reveree Inc. based in Edmonton.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11689 AMPIA is a non‑profit association that has proudly represented Alberta's independent production community now for over 34 years from producers, directors and screen‑writers to cinematographers, composers and now new media producers.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11690 AMPIA's mandate is to ensure the continued growth and development of Alberta's film television and web based production industry at all creative levels.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11691 We're actually excited about Rogers' purchase of the CITY‑TV stations and their commitment to maintain the innovative CHUM brand originality.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11692 From Rogers' response to the comments from interveners, we notice a great deal of concern regarding the challenges of keeping the CITY‑TV stations profitable.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11693 While we do not disagree that the world of broadcasting is changing, we believe the Canadian economy in general and the Alberta economy in particular, is quite strong.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11694 On behalf of our members, we must disagree with the Rogers' response that some of the Craig benefits should be stretched to 2011. It has been three years since these benefits were approved, but the original plans for the expenditures made much earlier.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11695 AMPIA recommends that these long overdue Craig benefits be paid out within a shorter time frame, following approval of this application.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11696 While we support Roger's acquisition of the CITY‑TV stations, we still remain concerned about their commitment to regional production initiatives, specifically Alberta and Manitoba where three of the five CITY‑TV stations reside.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11697 We respectfully suggest that Rogers has outlined for the Commission their long range plans for encouraging priority programming from producers in these regions.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11698 Rogers also makes a request to the CRTC and AMPIA finds this troubling. Rogers has proposed a 4.2 million dollars originally designated for production in Red Deer and Lethbridge be re‑directed to support other local programming initiatives for its CITY‑TV stations in Western Canada.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11699 AMPIA is naturally concerned that dollars that were committed to Alberta will now be spread across four provinces. We respectfully recommend that these dollars be re‑directed to remain in Alberta.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11700 AMPIA welcomes the much needed funding marks by Rogers for evolving bridge financing, but recommends that this funding be put to use immediately through the loan guarantee program of the Alberta Cultural Industries Association.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11701 This is not for profit organization created in partnership with Heritage Canada and directed in part by AMPIA, offers loans and loan guarantees for companies in the cultural industries and could accept applications for bridge financing almost immediately.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11702 Jean.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11703 MR. JEAN PATENAUDE: Good morning. So, like our colleagues at this table, we also strongly believe that its independent producers from regions like Alberta who provide through diversity to the Canadian broadcasting system, creating and producing a wide range of programming that serves the needs and interests of all Canadians.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11704 In reviewing the new initiatives by Rogers, we agree that the Banff World Television Festival is an event dedicated to the exploration, discussion and celebration of content for television and related platforms across many genres.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11705 While AMPIA does not question that this is an important world television market, the truth is that the programming and executive decisions for the festival are controlled by a company located in Toronto and does not directly benefit the production industry in the provinces where the CITY‑TV stations are located.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11706 Contributing to the Banff TV Festival does not necessarily mean that you are investing directly into the production industry in Alberta.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11707 Just to be clearer on this point is we are thinking of the Edmonton Film Festival, the Calgary Film Festival, le Festival de télévision de films francophones Cinemaction at Fort McLeod, all these festivals would also be appropriate for support by Rogers and be more directly supportive of Alberta producers.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11708 AMPIA is also very supportive of Rogers' commitment to continue having a development officer in the region, but we would like to be reassured that this executive will not be focused only on the Craig benefits. We believe that decisions on the new benefits should also be decided regionally by someone who has the authority to move projects forward and not simply be a drop‑off point for applications that are forwarded to head office in Toronto for final decisions.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11709 I want to add that Diane Boehme's involvement at this time with Rogers reassures us in her understanding of this particular request of the importance for us to have a local representative.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11710 MR. BROOKS: MMPIA has given its support to the Rogers application and believes that we can be a valuable partner for Rogers in creating a network of channels that truly reflect the views and the lives of Canadians from all parts of Canada.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11711 MMPIA welcomes the opportunity to work more closely with Rogers with a view to delivering true value for their investment.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11712 Again, thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today. We are pleased to answer any questions you may have.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11713 THE CHAIRPERSON: It sounds like the second paid commercial for Diane.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 1 \l 11714 THE CHAIRPERSON: Tell me, you say you think that the Craig benefits should not be stretched to 2011. Should they be stretched at all? I mean, let us be realistic, it is a new owner, new companies, they are taking over City, they have new plans for them, etc. You have to stay to the original schedule. When they are adopting a new business plan it seems to me somewhat unrealistic.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11715 If you say stretching to 2011 is too long, what do you think would be realistic thinking? If we approve this and, you know, by October or so for the first time Rogers will be actually running the show.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11716 MR. BROOKS: Well, I mean, we are really pleased certainly that Rogers is going to be the new owner because certainly of the depth of the company. Our problem is that the Craig benefits have been promised and promised and not delivered and we would like to see that happen sooner rather than later. I would think, to be realistic, we think maybe three years.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11717 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11718 Stuart, I believe you had some questions?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11719 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Yes. I think we have canvassed a lot of the sort of regional call here and I don't want you to feel we are giving you a short shift. But something that Mr. Patenaude said right in his opening sentence struck me and I would like to clarify it. And I am not splitting words here or being semantic, you said, Mr. Patenaude, "We strongly believe that it is independent producers from regions like Alberta."
LISTNUM 1 \l 11720 Now, this is slicing the pie thinner and thinner. I used to think of, and forgive me I will probably have people shooting me or something, but the prairies as a region and, you know, kind of central Canada as a region, the Atlantics as a region. Am I just showing my age here? In your minds as producers, are you seeing the splits coming down to provincial sizes now?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11721 MR. PATENAUDE: Well, it is a perception in this country that we have regions and then when we address Western Canada we put all the provinces in the same bag. It is not true. Manitoba is different, Saskatchewan is different, Alberta is different, B.C. is different. We are all different. Yes, we are in the west, and I think that is more the point I was trying to make. You know, we are all different in our own and not to just lump us all together, oh yeah, they are in the west.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11722 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Right, I understand that and I can appreciate. I mean, I don't want to be call a central Canadian, it doesn't ring any bell in my mind or my sense of what did Joyce call it, in the smithy of my soul, it rings no bell.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11723 But I want to refer back to a question the Chairman asked the folks from Manitoba, and that is it seems to me that if you do slice these regions up even smaller and start thinking it would be good to have, for example, a development officer in each province, that is a lot of money going into administration that isn't going into final product, the sort of stuff you make. Is that the route you want us to go?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11724 MR. PATENAUDE: I think the point we are trying to address, and Vonnie touched on it, is yes, we want a representative in the west now. You know, we would like to have it in Edmonton, but if that person is in Regina, is in Vancouver and in Winnipeg, that is fine too.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11725 But this person has to be, one of us, has to be aware of what is going on, has to be able to bring to the table in Toronto why certain decisions have to be made and why certain things should move forward. That is really the crutch of the whole thing, that person to be knowledgeable of what is going on.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11726 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: And the notion of regularly scheduled visits from one overall development officer, which therefore would be cutting the amount of cost going into administration ‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11727 MR. PATENAUDE: I understand the cutting of costs, but we need someone from where we are, that is really important, someone that understands us.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11728 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Okay.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11729 MR. PATENAUDE: If it is someone from the Maritimes with that position coming to us ‑‑ I am sorry, it is just someone that is in the west, someone that understands what is going on and ‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11730 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: There is good fishing in Lake Winnipeg.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11731 MR. PATENAUDE: Oh yes, there is.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11732 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: We hear you. Thank you very much.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11733 Those are my questions, Mr. Chair.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11734 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Are there any other questions? No.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11735 Thank you very much.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11736 MR. PATENAUDE: Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11737 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Roy, do we have anymore interveners?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11738 THE SECRETARY: We have one last appearing intervener.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11739 I will now ask ACTRA National to come to the presentation table.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11740 Please introduce yourself, and you have 10 minutes. Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11741 MR. HARDACRE: Merci. Bonjour and thank you. Mr. Chairman, commissioners, my name is Richard Hardacre, I am a Canadian actor. I trained at Canada's National Theatre School in Montreal and I have worked proudly in this industry in Canada for 26 years, I am dating myself. I am the elected President of ACTRA.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11742 I am joined here, on my left, by Mr. Garry Neil who is ACTRA's Policy Advisor.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11743 Before starting, I would like to thank you, Mr. Chair and the commissioners, and your staff for this opportunity to speak with you about the concerns of more than 21,000 professional performers, the members of ACTRA, and to urge you again to take concrete steps to require the production of more and higher quality Canadian drama programs and feature films beginning with this application in front of you now.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11744 Before I begin I would like to commend the Commission, if I may, on your recent CTV Globemedia decision. And I would also like to commend you on your deliberations that have been cause for the postponement of the CanWest Global application which, in our opinion, shockingly challenges Canadian foreign ownership limits. So thank you for these decisions.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11745 To our intervention today our union, you may know, represents English‑speaking artists whose performances in movies, television shows, radio, sound recordings, new media production entertains, educates, informs Canadians and global audiences. But as an actor who chooses to live and work Canada sometimes I feel like an endangered species these days. None of my colleagues ever assumed that success would be easy, we have no entitlement to that. However, we never expected it to become impossible.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11746 While we have never had abundant opportunities with a great supply of high‑quality Canadian films until just before the beginning of this decade, actors in this country at least had a reasonable chance to work in Canadian television drama.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11747 Unfortunately, beginning with the CRTC's 1999 television decisions, we have witnessed a precipitous decline in the number of television drama programs and series. And as the Commission I am aware well knows, this decline is not simply reducing work opportunities for performers like me and other Canadian actors, writers, directors, producers and technicians, it is not just about the loss of work opportunities, it is also eroding our ability to tell Canadian stories which many of us consider to be a profound cultural concern.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11748 So we will reverse this decline. I am convinced we can reverse this decline and we can begin to create the high‑quality and popular movies and television dramas that Canada can make only when, together, the CRTC, the Department of Canadian Heritage, and our industry work together to create a comprehensive strategy that puts 10‑point content Canadian feature films and television dramas at the heart of cultural policy in our country.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11749 And quite respectfully, Mr. Chairman and commissioners, please make no mistake to be successful, any strategy must include the CRTC reinstating strong regulations requiring Canadian broadcasters who use public airwaves and benefit from myriad other public policies to financially support, to appropriately schedule and aggressively promote Canadian drama.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11750 This current application by Rogers Media to acquire the five City television stations provides an opportunity we see for the CRTC to take a small step forward and to establish a new standard. In our written intervention ACTRA did not support this application on the grounds that the proposed benefits package failed to commit specific benefits to independently‑produced 10‑point Canadian drama.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11751 I must admit, we were pleased with the response of Rogers Media to our intervention. In its August 13 letter Rogers stated it agreed with ACTRA and committed to provide a minimum of 65 per cent of the Allan Waters Canadian content initiative and 65 per cent of the script and concept development fund to Canadian drama programming, including feature films.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11752 Further, Rogers committed to allocate all of the funds to priority programming and to provide 85 per cent of the funds directly and exclusively to Canadian independent producers.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11753 Well, this response really clearly goes a long way towards the ACTRA position and we seek only two additional steps; that 75 per cent of the Allan Waters Canadian content initiative and the script and concept development fund be allocated to drama programming and that these funds be directed exclusively to 10‑point Canadian productions. If Rogers takes these additional steps ACTRA would now support the application despite some lingering doubts, which I will touch on in a second.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11754 This then creates an opportunity we see for the CRTC to establish with this decision a new standard for future benefits packages. We maintain that the appropriate percentage of tangible benefits must be calculated on the full value of the transaction with no discounting for debt acquired, assets to be divested or inherited benefits obligations. In this case, Rogers Media has paid or will pay $375 million for the CityTV stations and proposes to pay benefits of 10 per cent of this value.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11755 It is also outlined how it will pay all remaining benefits relating to the acquisition of CKVU from CanWest Global and the acquisition of several stations from Craig Media. And a minimum of two‑thirds of total benefits should be allocated to 10‑point Canadian drama programs produced independently of the broadcaster.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11756 Please allow me to reiterate, Mr. Chair, that benefits packages alone we cannot see as reversing this catastrophic decline in television drama, since those benefits packages are time limited and modest when compared to the scope of this problem.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11757 We firmly believe that the Commission still needs to reintroduce overall spending and scheduling requirements for all broadcasters, as we have told you last December in your review of the over‑the‑air television. And as we will tell you again with complete respect and with every chance we get, we will tell you until these steps are taken.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11758 THE CHAIRPERSON: Nobody has accused you of being inconsistent on that.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 1 \l 11759 MR. HARDACRE: Thank you. Returning briefly to the Rogers application. We remain concerned about the implications of media concentration for Canada's broadcasting system. We fail to see how OMNI's scheduling of National Football League football, Law & Order, King of the Hill, a raft of recycled American shows fits the ethnic broadcasting mandate of OMNI Television. So consequently, we are very concerned that programming overlap between CityTV and OMNI will now make this situation even worse.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11760 But if Rogers makes the additional commitments relating to a 10‑point drama formula, we will agree to address those concerns in other forums, starting with the CRTC's diversity of voices hearings that we are looking very much forward to attending just a few weeks from now here in this room.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11761 That wraps it up. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and commissioners. We would be very happy to respond to questions. Any technical questions Mr. Neil is very quite capable of responding. And if you have anything, I would be pleased. Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11762 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. That is a pleasure to hear such a clear and precise presentation. I mean, there is no doubt in our minds what you want. Whether we can grant it to you is a different story.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11763 MR. HARDACRE: Understood.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11764 THE CHAIRPERSON: Elizabeth, do you have some questions?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11765 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: I have a couple of questions arising from your comments this morning.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11766 With respect to the increase to 75 per cent, why 75? Is it just an arbitrary number or is it ‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11767 MR. HARDACRE: No, it is not arbitrary. Mr. Neil will respond to that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11768 MR. NEIL: We are arguing that, in fact, the new standard for benefits should be that two‑thirds of the benefits, the total benefits package, should be devoted to Canadian drama. If you have 75 per cent of the two components of the Rogers package that relate to production that creates the overall roughly 66 per cent of the complete benefits package that would go to drama. So that is where the 75 per cent comes from.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11769 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Okay, thank you. So it is just more than Rogers has committed to do?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11770 MR. HARDACRE: Yes, it is a calculation that we say would work to help make 10‑point drama.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11771 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Okay.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11772 MR. NEIL: In the diversity of voices matter ACTRA has prepared an intervention and we have argued that, as a policy, two‑thirds of benefits packages should go to drama. That is what we are suggesting to the Commission should be the policy. To create that in this situation would require the 75 per cent of the two components of the Rogers package that relate to production.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11773 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Okay.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11774 MR. NEIL: So it is not arbitrary in that sense. It is consistent with the position we have expressed in the other matter.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11775 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: And that, of course, will be dealt with at the diversity hearing.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11776 MR. NEIL: Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11777 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Okay, thank you. I am reluctant in a way to enter into the discussion on the 10‑point drama, but I am concerned just sort of on the surface. It seems to me that restricting Rogers to 10‑point drama might limit opportunities for programming for Rogers and for other producers. Not all dramas are going to be 10‑point.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11778 MR. HARDACRE: Well, thank you for that question. I understand not all dramas would have to be 10‑point. We are concerned about a Canadian cultural future. We are not concerned so much about productions that can be made in this country that are service productions that broadcasters may acquire. We are talking about the Canadian content requirement that we would like to see in primetime.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11779 We were somewhat alarmed by the report from the taskforce concerning the Canadian Television Fund that the fund could consider productions that would have only eight points. Somewhat alarmed, I mean, eight points would mean that the production would lose either its Canadian director, its Canadian writer or its Canadian lead actor quite possibly if a broadcaster decided to buy a production like that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11780 So for the purposes of this intervention today, we are primarily concerned with reversing the trend that has devastated our industry. We have gone from a 1999 level of drama programs of 13 one‑hour programs down to about an hour and a half currently. Our members are working, members of all the unions are working right now because there is a massive upsurge in service foreign production that the Americans are putting into all over the world because they are preparing for what they see as an inevitable strike of the major unions in the United States next year. So they are stockpiling massively right now.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11781 But Canadian production is not, it can't because the broadcasters don't have to buy it or to produce it or to licence it. We see absolutely no reason to say Canadian content needs to be diluted in anyway below the 10‑point formula.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11782 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Thank you. In your written submissions you did make comments on the suggestion that Rogers would use 10 of the 100 hours, feature film hours, for documentaries.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11783 MR. HARDACRE: Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11784 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: And you didn't mention it in your comments this morning, so am I to assume that you are satisfied with the other comments the other presenters have made and your written submission, you don't want to add anything?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11785 MR. HARDACRE: I wouldn't add anything.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11786 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Are you still advocating that position?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11787 MR. HARDACRE: Yes. Garry may have a comment.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11788 MR. NEIL: Let me use that opportunity perhaps to address, if I could, Mr. Chairman, a couple of the comments to a couple of the questions that were posed to the previous panel.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11789 I ran out to your helpful staff and got a copy of the Broadcasting Act, because it seems to me that those questions relating to where the Commission's authority comes from to regulate theatrical feature films or to regulate requirements for local and regional production, it is very important to understand that the Commission does have that power and it seems to me it flows from two things.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11790 Article 3 in the Act, of course, establishing the broadcasting policy for Canada says that the broadcasting system should encourage the development of Canadian expression by providing a wide range of programming that, amongst other things, reflects Canadian artistic creativity by displaying Canadian talent and so on.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11791 And then the programming provided by the broadcasting system should be varied and comprehensive, be drawn from local, regional, national and international sources and include a significant contribution from the Canadian production sector.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11792 Now, inherent in that, if you understand that the Canadian film and television production industry is an integrated industry, that actors can work as easily on a feature film or on a Canadian television drama, that technicians earn their stripes working on Canadian feature films, foreign feature films, Canadian television programs, reality programs, whatever. When you understand that the industry about which the broadcasting policy is talking is an integrated industry, then feature films are very much part of it, whether they are released theatrically initially or and then subsequently on television or whether they are made for television.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11793 And then in section 9, of course, the powers of the Commission include the power to issue licences subject to such conditions related to the circumstances of the licensee that the Commission deems appropriate for the implementation of the broadcasting policy.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11794 In Article 10 the Commission may, in furtherance of its objectives, make regulations prescribing what constitutes a Canadian program for the purposes of this Act and respecting the proportion of time, standards of programs and respecting such other matters as it deems necessary for the furtherance of its objectives.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11795 So taken as a whole, it seems to me very clear that the Commission has authority in these matters.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11796 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Thank you for that. Have you actually put a dollar figure on the 10 hours if we allowed the 10 hours, you know, what that would cost the film feature section?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11797 MR. HARDACRE: No, we have not.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11798 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: No? Okay, thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11799 Those are my questions, Mr. Chairman.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11800 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Let me just say that I don't necessarily agree with your legal interpretation, that is a very bold interpretation you put forward. But obviously, neither you nor I will decide it. If it ever comes to an issue it will go before the Court.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11801 But going back to the 10‑point Canadian programming. Just so I understand, because you are taking a different slice than the others who talked about feature films and movies of the week. If I understand it, 10‑point would apply to movie of the week just as much as to feature film, right? You could have produced a movie of the week and complied with the 10‑point requirement?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11802 MR. HARDACRE: Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11803 THE CHAIRPERSON: I beg your pardon?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11804 MR. HARDACRE: Yes, yes. Television movies, yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11805 THE CHAIRPERSON: All right, so you are not focusing on that difference that your other colleagues made. You want to make sure a 10‑point rule is maintained and honoured by Rogers and others?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11806 MR. HARDACRE: Yes, for dramatic programming, yes. Canadian‑scripted programming, yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11807 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, thank you very much.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11808 MR. HARDACRE: It is our pleasure to be here.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11809 THE CHAIRPERSON: I believe that is the end of our interveners. We will then take a 15‑minute break and then we will hear from Rogers.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11810 MR. HARDACRE: We thank you for the deliberations of the Commission on this. Thank you very much.
‑‑‑ Upon recessing at 1054 / Suspension à 1054
‑‑‑ Upon resuming at 1113 / Reprise à 1113
LISTNUM 1 \l 11811 THE CHAIRPERSON: Let us resume.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11812 Mr. Viner, and your colleagues, you have heard what other people have to say about your submissions, so we are waiting anxiously for your response.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
LISTNUM 1 \l 11813 MR. VINER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11814 Our comments this morning will address three specific issues in response to Commission requests and intervenor presentations.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11815 First, we will identify minimum annual spending requirements for all of our production and development benefits commitments.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11816 Second, we will discuss local news, particularly for Citytv Vancouver.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11817 Finally, we will discuss the benefits of self‑administered funds to the Canadian broadcasting system.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11818 Issue No. 1, the annual minimum expenditures:
LISTNUM 1 \l 11819 As we discussed yesterday, Rogers does have a strong record of meeting our benefits commitments in a timely fashion. Although we do not think they are necessary, we are prepared to propose annual minimum expenditure amounts for the Citytv and Craig Media benefits.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11820 They are as follows:
LISTNUM 1 \l 11821 For Citytv, a minimum of $3.5 million per year for the $33.5 million Allan Waters Canadian Content Initiative.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11822 A minimum of $240,000 per year for the $2 million development portion of that initiative.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11823 And a minimum of $120,000 per year for the new development envelope proposed for documentary producers.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11824 For Craig Media, a minimum of $2.5 million per year, as it relates to the approximately $12.5 million in priority programming initiatives.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11825 Issue No. 2, local news:
LISTNUM 1 \l 11826 First, we would like to correct Mr. Hawkins regarding his calculation of news hours on Citytv Vancouver.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11827 City provides at least 12.5 hours of news per week, all of which is provided during its Breakfast Television morning show. Every weekday that program provides 2.5 hours of news. The news content is calculated on the basis of two components. The first hour of Breakfast Television, from 6:00 to 7:00 a.m., follows more of a traditional news format, so we count that first hour as news.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11828 In each of the three subsequent hours of the program there is less of a focus on the traditional news format, so we allocate only 50 percent of those hours for our news component.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11829 We believe this methodology is actually conservative and that a much higher proportion of Breakfast Television could actually qualify as news. We are prepared to describe the entire detailed schedule for our Breakfast Television news programming for Monday of this week, if you wish us to do so.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11830 As an additional component to news during our morning show, Citytv Vancouver also produces news‑break segments that are aired throughout the day.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11831 However, in terms of specifically scheduling a newscast at 6:00 p.m., the facts on the evening news in Vancouver are clear. In spring 2006, Global's 6:00 p.m. newscast alone captured more than 30 percent of all television viewers in the Vancouver market. CTV's newscast also captured 10 percent. In comparison, City's newscast reached less than 3 percent.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11832 Even the CBC, with its significant news resources, could only garner 3 percent in the market.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11833 These ratings show that evening news is well served in Vancouver, and that City was not generating significant audience interest.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11834 City's decision to dedicate its news resources to morning news makes sense. Unlike the evening news, the share they have managed to develop for Breakfast Television is 5 percent, and we think that can grow further.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11835 The same strategy was employed in other markets, like Calgary and Winnipeg, with audience share levels there reaching between 15 and 20 percent. We think it is reasonable to expect ratings to increase in Vancouver, as well.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11836 The nature of television news is complex and changing. Twenty‑four hour news services and the internet are resulting in a slow erosion in the importance of evening news.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11837 Morning news is appointment television, so this is an area in which we hope to grow.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11838 One of the intervenors suggested that broadcasters will all choose not to do news programming unless there are regulatory requirements in place. This is simply not true. The City evening news in Toronto is not a regulatory requirement. It is, however, very popular and profitable.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11839 Broadcasters will continue to do local news because many of them can continue to reach local audiences in a way that makes business sense.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11840 In our opinion, no public interest is served by forcing a broadcaster to air a newscast at a particular time, especially if it results in little or no audience.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11841 We believe that Citytv's morning news on Breakfast Television adds to the diversity of voices in the Vancouver market, and provides in‑depth coverage of news stories with a perspective that none of its competitors can provide.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11842 The third point, the benefits of self‑administered funds:
LISTNUM 1 \l 11843 Commissioner del Val asked us to explain why self‑administered funds are in the best interest of the Canadian broadcasting system. In doing so, we want to emphasize five points.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11844 First, self‑administered funds work because they harness the economic incentive of the broadcaster to select the best program, that will bring in the largest possible audience. A third party fund, by contrast, will be more bureaucratic. They have pre‑set budgets for each project, pre‑set timetables, and more restrictive rules and processes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11845 For example, it is difficult to co‑venture with foreign broadcasters when applying to the Canadian Television Fund.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11846 Self‑administered funds are more flexible. We believe they will result in better programs, with more Canadians watching them, and that makes for a stronger Canadian broadcasting system.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11847 Second, producers need broadcast licence fees in order to create Canadian programs. Third party funds, including the funds operated by Rogers and other BDUs, do not do this. These funds only add financing at various stages of the process.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11848 A broadcasting licence is needed to trigger other funding available. Only a self‑administered fund from Citytv can give Canadian independent producers another door to knock on and green‑light completely new program projects.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11849 Third, third party funds are inherently inequitable in the case of benefits arising from an acquisition. With a third party fund, the purchaser pays money into a fund. That money can then be used to subsidize the production of programs that are actually broadcast by other competitors.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11850 The situation is different in radio. There, all purchasers pay into funds which result in the creation of more Canadian music, but that music can be played by all radio broadcasters. There is no inequity. In television, only one broadcaster can have the first window, and an inequity will result.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11851 Four, the best way to find out whether self‑administered funds benefit the Canadian broadcasting system is to ask members of the system. A number of producers and associations commented on the Rogers' proposal, and none of them criticized the self‑administered model.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11852 In fact, yesterday you heard an intervenor that supported it strongly.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11853 Finally, the Commission has consistently issued decisions which have clearly approved the self‑administered benefits approach.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11854 Rogers entered into this transaction in reliance on these precedents. To change the rules in the middle of a transaction would prejudice Rogers and add unnecessary uncertainty in the Canadian broadcasting system.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11855 Thank you for your time this morning and the opportunity to provide further information and respond to some comments that have been made.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11856 We would be glad to answer any questions that you may have.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11857 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11858 Why don't we take the subject in the middle that you dealt with? We will start off with spending.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11859 You heard this morning the complaints, if I may call them that, from the western producers about the Craig fund, and your request to stretch it, and the fact that nothing has flowed from it, et cetera.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11860 How will your proposal address this?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11861 MR. VINER: Mr. Chair, I should point out first that I think our proposal is that we will spend the funds in the same timetable in which they were originally intended.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11862 Perhaps I could ask the very famous, and lovable, clearly ‑‑
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 1 \l 11863 MR. VINER: ‑‑ Ms Boehme to expand on this further, and maybe explain one of the reasons why those moneys aren't all expended.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11864 MS BOEHME: Thank you very much.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11865 Usually it's only my family that embarrasses me to this degree.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11866 I want to clear up a misunderstanding, in the sense that it's not as if ‑‑ I want everyone to understand that it's not as if we weren't supporting prairie‑based producers. One of the reasons that the money hasn't yet flowed from the Craig benefits is because the money was being spent with prairie‑based producers, but because Citytv did not meet its baseline, those expenditures were going toward the baseline as opposed to going toward the benefits.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11867 So there have been a number of initiated projects out of the prairie regions. As a matter of fact, we have three television series that are based with Winnipeg‑based producers, one of which, unfortunately, has kind of been caught in the limbo state that has resulted in the CTV transaction and the holding of these stations in the hands of the trustee currently. We are really trying to wrestle with how we are supposed to make the commitment and pay for it in time.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11868 But we have green‑lit the show, and we are planning to start shooting in October.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11869 So we are, indeed, committed to the prairies. We have some marvellous relationships that we are starting to build with producers that are based there.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11870 We have a number of feature films that we have supported through Alberta‑based producers, and our intention is to hit those minimums, as outlined, I think, fairly clearly here, and probably do better by them.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11871 I hope that answers your question.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11872 THE CHAIRPERSON: Maybe I am confused. Maybe you could be more precise.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11873 What were the Craig benefits? Was there a time period and an amount that was supposed to flow each year?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11874 MS BOEHME: No.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11875 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, but you are now proposing that. Right?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11876 MR. VINER: Yes, we are now proposing that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11877 THE CHAIRPERSON: Under your new proposal, when will they start flowing, how much per year, and when will it all be done?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11878 MS BOEHME: I think it was read into the record this morning.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11879 MR. STRATI: Commissioner, if I may, as part of the Craig benefits, there was $11 million specifically for priority program. What we have said is that we would spend ‑‑ there is approximately four years in the timetable, and we would spend a minimum of $2.5 million each year, which is about 75 percent of what you would have as a minimum if you divided it in four. But we are trying to give ourselves a little flexibility to ramp up.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11880 THE CHAIRPERSON: When you say "year", you mean calendar year or production year or what?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11881 MR. STRATI: Broadcast year.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11882 THE CHAIRPERSON: So the first $2.5 million will be spent by when?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11883 MR. STRATI: By August of 2008, because the benefit also ends, on a broadcast year basis, in 2011.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11884 THE CHAIRPERSON: While I have you, the very popular ‑‑
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 1 \l 11885 THE CHAIRPERSON: What is this whole issue of development officers? What are the plans regarding development officers?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11886 MS BOEHME: We currently have someone based in British Columbia. We have someone based in Edmonton.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11887 As far as the discussion about Winnipeg goes, I certainly understand. You know, there is a particular feeling there, especially with the closure of the CTV office, that they are not going to have the responsiveness from people based in other provinces.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11888 Frankly, I am not sure how to assess the real need coming out of that community. My personal preference is to be there more myself. I intend to be there during the production of "Less Than Kind" anyway, and really spend some time with that community and try to figure out what the need is.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11889 THE CHAIRPERSON: But you heard sort of two models being proposed, either having a resident in Winnipeg ‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11890 MS BOEHME: Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11891 THE CHAIRPERSON: And I presume that, if we talk to Saskatchewan, they will say the same thing.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11892 Or, alternatively, have a westerner who regularly visits, so that there is open and ongoing access and dialogue to that development.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11893 MS BOEHME: Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11894 We do have someone based in Edmonton, and up until ‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11895 Everything was sort of put into a stasis situation with the purchase to CTV in 2006. Prior to that time both that person and myself were travelling quite extensively through the prairies, and that is our current plan.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11896 THE CHAIRPERSON: And do the development officers get charged against the benefits?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11897 MS BOEHME: No.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11898 THE CHAIRPERSON: All right.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11899 Are there any other questions from my colleagues on the spending proposal from Rogers?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11900 COMMISSIONER DEL VAL: Would you care to respond to MMPIA's suggestion that there be specific spending targets for the regions?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11901 MS BOEHME: Honestly, I think that's a very difficult commitment to make, as we are just starting to broker these relationships.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11902 I think that, to some degree, it would be ill‑advised, because if you had a hard spending target, it would force you to support a project that perhaps wasn't yet ready to go in order to meet an expenditure requirement. I am not sure that that is in the best interest of getting the best shows out there for us.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11903 COMMISSIONER DEL VAL: Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11904 MR. STRATI: Commissioner del Val, if I may, one of the additional elements in that difficulty is, as part of the Craig Media benefits there is $6 million specifically to be spent in the prairies, so there will be a significant amount of money that will have to be spent very quickly in the next four years.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11905 That is just another element, in terms of what Diane is talking about.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11906 THE CHAIRPERSON: There was a subset there of moneys being dedicated to Red Deer and Lethbridge, which you now want to dedicate to the prairies, rather than to those particular cities.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11907 What is your position on that one?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11908 It was specifically raised this morning, as you know.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11909 MS BOEHME: I think the discussion is: Would it include Saskatchewan in that?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11910 THE CHAIRPERSON: No. What we heard was that money was originally dedicated to Red Deer and Lethbridge, and you are now proposing to free it from that constraint, and it just will be spent in the prairies, but not necessarily in those two cities.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11911 MR. MERSON: Can we take that under advisement?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11912 As I mentioned, it was a bit of a late addition, because as we spoke to Al, he pointed out that he was having difficulty.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11913 We understand the regional concerns. Can we come back with some proposals to dedicate the resources in the same areas?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11914 THE CHAIRPERSON: By all means, yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11915 I don't want to overblow it, but it was specifically raised, so it was obviously of great importance to the Alberta folks, and I wanted to hear your comment on it.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11916 MR. STRATI: Sure.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11917 Just to clarify and give a bit more information about the initiative itself, originally it was for news bureaus, and the production or programming that was going to come from the news bureaus ‑‑ it really was a 30‑minute program that was supposed to speak specifically to rural issues.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11918 So it had a focus, if you will, that we thought could be redirected more toward the local, urban, and diverse focus of Citytv.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11919 THE CHAIRPERSON: Let's go to the local news issues.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11920 Mr. Merson, I found you lacking in credibility yesterday. You started off by saying that you want localness. That is going to be one of the two hallmarks of the new City. And then you turn around the tell me you don't think there is room for news in Vancouver and Winnipeg, and you can only do it in the morning, not at noon or in the afternoon.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11921 I have real trouble ‑‑ and I don't question your sincerity, please understand, I just have trouble putting it together how you can be the voice of locality and not have a news program or have a news program only in the morning combined with a breakfast show. It strikes me, the essential of localness, means you reflect the local community and one of the primary ways of doing it is bringing news from the local scene.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11922 MR. MERSON: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11923 I will ask a couple of, you know, Brad perhaps just to talk a little bit about the history in Vancouver. You know, we went to pains to try to say there are different horses for different courses, that there isn't one rule as to what localness should be and one rule as to what news actually looks like.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11924 I mean, this is a debate we have had over the years about how it is you speak to various segments of the audience and where you speak to teenagers in one way because their attention spans might be a little shorter and where you speak to sort of more mature people in a different way.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11925 So it is a difficult debate. What is the essence of localness? As you point out, it is community reflection. You know, the question we always ask ourselves and I guess the CHUM, the City people as themselves is how ultimately it is you best speak to particular audience segments. I think if you had asked them 15 years ago is there a place for local news on City Vancouver, they would have to say yes because there weren't that many competitors at 6:00 and 7:00 at night and they could build a niche for themselves.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11926 As Toronto has very successfully done, and Stephen Hurlbut can tell us a little bit more about how it is, he has done it. But City came up with a fantastic format. Breakfast television is a bit of a revolution. Before breakfast television there were no local shows in the Canadian broadcasting system. You know, we watched Good Morning America and we watched the American morning shows. Now we have an alternative, it is a local alternative.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11927 Brad has done a little bit of an analysis for us on exactly what the segments are and what the components of breakfast television is. It is absolutely news. We will take you through the segments and take you through exactly what it is that we do in breakfast television.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11928 You know, the question we ask ourselves is, you know, can you build an identity as a television station without having a news component at 6:00 at night? And I must admit we all worry about your hold on the audience, you know, you use your 6:00 news as a lead‑in to your evening programs and to set your night up.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11929 So, you know, all other things being equal, I think if you could build a business case for having local news at 6:00 at night you would do it, it is a great place to do the local news. But they tried, you know, they tried, yes, we pointed out what the numbers are, they beat their heads against a wall and nothing came out of it. And they have, to some degree, been picked apart by local news radio, by the various other news channels on the air. So at a philosophical level you wonder just how far you go beating your head against a wall before anything comes out and whether you come out with a much better alternative. Because breakfast television is a revolution, it has built programming today.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11930 So with your indulgence, if we can, Brad has done this sort of dissection.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11931 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sure. I mean, it is interesting we are talking about Vancouver where you have an unusually high concentration of newspaper ownership and television ownership in one company, etc. And you are just saying that City didn't succeed. Well City, given its financial state, and especially in the latter year, it doesn't surprise me. But in enterprise with your resources and the access to news that you already have, etc. it is a completely different game.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11932 And, I mean, you put the question that exactly was in my mind, how do you setup your evening without an evening news program? It is very difficult for me to conceptually accept that you can't do that. But let us see from your colleague and then I am sure my colleague from Vancouver will have some very specific questions. Go ahead.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11933 MR. PHILLIPS: Thank you. So we have chosen the breakfast television show from this past money, so it is very current, just from three days ago. And, if you like, I will take you through the 6:00 a.m. hour of that show and describe to the best of my ability what transpired during that hour. And I have got all the other hours of the show here as well, so we can go through the whole show if you would like.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11934 Oh, and one thing I should add is that all of the programming I am going to describe to you happens inside an enriched screen, as we call it, that has got weather information across the bottom of the screen and news headlines running continuously across the bottom of the screen, so it is in that context.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11935 THE CHAIRPERSON: You call that enriched? I call it confusing.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 1 \l 11936 MR. PHILLIPS: Our viewers seem to like it. So starting at 6:00 a.m. we start off with news headlines. In this case, it was an update on the story on the deaths by accident at the wedding that happened in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Also, an update on the story of the horrific balloon crash, and then an update on the city strike or city workers, the CUPE strike.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11937 Moving onto 15 seconds, traffic and weather tease, setting up what is coming up on those items. Onto our first news pack, 5 minutes 26 seconds, dealing with six people dying in the wedding party accident, planning for those funerals.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11938 Moving onto the hot‑air balloon tragedy; reaction from TSB. An early morning house fire in Vancouver, a live report from our reporter on the scene presumably at City Hall on the CUPE strike, report on another local debit card scam using fake machines, and then an update on some international items, the wildfires in Greece, and then a story on how boys prefer female teachers in school.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11939 We follow that with two minutes of traffic and weather, and then we go to a commercial. We come back with an update on arrivals/departures at YVR, this is now still in the first half hour. We are host to a news chat, and introductions and setup what is going to happen for the rest of the day, talk about the news of the day, followed by another break.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11940 And then back from that break with a traffic and weather tease for 15 seconds. Then we move onto our second news pack at 6:15, which is four minutes 50 seconds approximately. Again, the hot‑air balloon crash, now we have the survivors talking about the crash, an item about a local skydiver dying. Unfortunately, there is some death in this particular morning's run. The Abbottsford wedding deaths story, police investigation. A story on Laibar Singh, the release, the paralyzed refugee claimant. Then an item on the Robert Picton defence beginning, and then an item international on the Diana memorial.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11941 We move from that to 45 seconds of traffic and weather, from that to 25 seconds of reviewing the headlines from that morning's local papers and then go to break.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11942 We are back from break at approximately 23 minutes after the hour, after 6:00, with entertainment news, this time it is weekend box office, this report goes three minutes and 30 seconds. Hulk Hogan's son in a bad crash, the Owen Wilson story was breaking that morning, he's in hospital, and news on a celebrity couple.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11943 We take another break. We come back now, it is near the bottom of the hour with a traffic/weather tease for 15 seconds. It is now 6:30, we go into our third news pack, Abbotsford wedding deaths, TSB reaction, a fire on Boundary Road in Vancouver, CUPE strike, the talks update with once again a live reporter hit, the debit card scam, Greece wildfires, the U.S. Attorney General resigning, Pavarotti home from the hospital. There is the stories that were covered in that news pack, 6 minutes, traffic and weather 2.5 minutes. Temperatures around the world, Canada around the world. Into a newsbreak.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11944 Back from the break into a news chat with our host. This time they are talking about Seattle road rage, someone fined for honking a horn in that area. Then we have gas prices where we list the lowest available gas prices in the market. Then to another break.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11945 We are back from that break now, coming up to 6:45 with a traffic/weather tease that is 15 seconds into our fourth news pack, 5 minutes and 41 seconds, the balloon crash survivor is talking. Now, we have footage of the RV park destruction. This all happened that previous Friday, but of course that story developed and there was more and more news about it everyday, so we are carrying the current news on that story. Now, reaction from the company that ran the hot‑air balloon.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11946 An update on the skydiver. The wedding party accident where six died. Now we have footage of the devastated driver from that accident, an older gentleman, a witness who watched it happen. The paralyzed immigrant detainee release. Again, we are on the Picton defence. An item on Camilla is not going to Diana's memorial. And then a POW couple celebrating their 60th anniversary.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11947 THE CHAIRPERSON: I think you have given us a flavour. I don't think you have to run through the whole schedule.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11948 I will come back later, I don't want to dominate these questions. I will let my Vancouver colleague go first.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11949 COMMISSIONER del VAL: So during say the breakfast show hours what happens if there is breaking news?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11950 MR. PHILLIPS: We have two live‑eye trucks. One of them we dedicate towards going into areas of the community. Last week, for example, just when I was last in Vancouver we were at a neighbourhood playground where some parents had gathered together to build a new playground, raise money. So we had our live‑eye person there.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11951 And then the second truck is dedicated towards harder news items, such as I reference on the Monday morning, which was the strike. So depending on what is happening, we deploy those live facilities to those items.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11952 COMMISSIONER del VAL: And so if it is outside the breakfast TV hours and there is breaking news, then when do you report the later breaking news, during the snippets that you referred to, the breaks?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11953 MR. PHILLIPS: Yes, yes. As much as we can through those. And then we are dispatching reporters to those stories to cover them, to gather them, to find new news on them and then have them available for the following morning's show.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11954 COMMISSIONER del VAL: What is your response to yesterday's intervention ‑‑ I am sorry, I have forgotten the ‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 11955 MR. PHILLIPS: Mr. Hawkins?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11956 COMMISSIONER del VAL: ‑‑ yes, Mr. Hawkins, that some of the news was broadcast a day or three days late.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11957 MR. PHILLIPS: Well, the news is current. The news that we are is current. I mean, we re not going to air items that other stations have aired three days previous. They may be threads of the same story. As I know you know, stories develop day by day by day. So we are reporting on the latest developments of stories.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11958 THE CHAIRPERSON: But the specific example he gave was a hot‑air balloon crash, horrific thing and, according to him, it was two days after the event that it was shown on your TV.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11959 MR. PHILLIPS: Right.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11960 THE CHAIRPERSON: That is hardly news at that point in time.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11961 MR. PHILLIPS: But the reaction to that and the affect that it has had on the community and the results of the investigations and whether there is going to be an investigation into why it happened, those are all things that are news to the community and they are new information.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11962 MR. VINER: We respectfully disagree that they are not news, Mr. Chairman.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11963 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, what I meant is I would have expected something on the hot‑air balloon crash on your TV before two days after the event, the way it was described to me yesterday.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11964 I mean, why does it take 48 hours, when you have a major catastrophe happening in your community, to show up on your screen? That was the way it was put.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11965 MR. PHILLIPS: And we have newsbreaks through the day that respond to those things. It was a weekend item, yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11966 MR. HURLBUT: If I may. Fifteen years ago, CITY‑TV Toronto didn't have a weekend news cast. It was part of our growth and our development and we moved that way. But stories are read out of existence. They're news, they evolve and slowly they go all the way of all flash and they're gone.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11967 MR. VINER: But certainly that story would have received coverage in the marketplace and CITY's role, as they see it, is to provide follow‑up and updates and so forth.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11968 You know, there was some suggestion that, you know, CITY‑TV viewers are being deprived of something. These viewers watch television and I think it's Commissioner Cugini had mentioned, you know that audience follows where they want to be.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11969 They will come to us for a certain follow‑up news, but they may not come to us for breaking news; 680 New or News 1130, there is breaking news all the time and people complain to us that we don't do enough in depth.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11970 You know, what we try to do is dominate in the areas where we can. You can't dominate everywhere. At least, you know, it has been difficult.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11971 COMMISSIONER DEL VAL: I have to add that I ‑‑ now having lived in Vancouver for, I can't even remember how many, for a number of years ‑‑ I understand the phenomenon of the six o'clock Global news, the BC‑TV News, and how it is a phenomenon across the country, that it is the local news that dominates and it's hideous and crowdie and I understand the decision.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11972 But you know now that Tony Posens has announced his retirement and has hand‑picked, apparently hand‑picked Chris Galus, maybe there is an opportunity for you, maybe Jill Cropp or Debra Hope.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11973 MR. PHILLIPS: To their credit, they are doing a long slow hand‑off on Tony. I think he is staying on the air right through the Olympics and they are doing a good job of that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11974 And that brand of news is going to, it's going to live on beyond him and branding and credibility is extremely important at six o'clock as I know you know.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11975 MR. VINER: I think we're looking at this as news as it always was in the absence of all of the other sources. You know, I just don't know. I mean, we all watch the six o'clock, you know, those of us who are older and I am not including any of the members of the panel, you know, we are used to six o'clock news, but there is a great deal of the audience that isn't.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11976 And, you know, I have to ask how programming diversity is served by having a fourth or fifth or sixth news cast at six o'clock at night.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11977 COMMISSIONER DEL VAL: Yes. And so, really what you are saying is that you have chosen to fulfil your local programming and your news requirements in a different sort of non traditional format and really ‑‑ yes?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11978 MR. VINER: Exactly right.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11979 THE CHAIRMAN: Elizabeth, do you have some questions? Yes. Go ahead.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11980 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: I just have a quick question, just so that I understand.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11981 The news break segments that you refer to, would they have reported on the day of the hot air balloon crash or did after it happened on the weekend?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11982 MR. PHILLIPS: Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11983 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: And so, do you have these segments on saturday and sunday as well?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11984 MR. PHILLIPS: We have them on sundays.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11985 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Not on saturdays?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11986 MR. PHILLIPS: We're always evaluating that and we may expand to saturdays as well.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11987 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Thank you. Thanks. That's it.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11988 THE CHAIRMAN: Stuart?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11989 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Just following up on what Commissioner Duncan asked you. You've gone through the six to seven quite clearly.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11990 When are these news packs prepared? I have four news packs up until about 6h45, there may be a fifth, but we stopped. But when are they prepared typically?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11991 MR. PHILLIPS: In the hours preceding the show.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11992 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: So, at 4h00 in the morning?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11993 MR. PHILLIPS: Yes. Earlier.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11994 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Earlier?
LISTNUM 1 \l 11995 MR. PHILLIPS: One in the morning.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11996 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: One in the morning.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11997 MR. PHILLIPS: Yes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 11998 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: I'm glad I'm passed the entry level job position in life.
Rires / Laughters
LISTNUM 1 \l 11999 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: And on sunday, what is it we could have expected to have seen, for example, on the balloon crash? I am not clear on what the segments on sunday are. There is nothing on saturday. Am I right there?
LISTNUM 1 \l 12000 MR. PHILLIPS: Correct.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12001 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Okay. So, what is it on sunday?
LISTNUM 1 \l 12002 MR. PHILLIPS: It's a person in our news‑room reporting on the latest developments on that story.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12003 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: And when might we typically see this?
LISTNUM 1 \l 12004 MR. PHILLIPS: Throughout the days, the morning through until the early evening.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12005 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: So, clips, but clips that would be sort of instead of a commercial you would drop the commercial and put this person in, something like that?
LISTNUM 1 \l 12006 MR. PHILLIPS: They run in between shows and they're updates from our news‑room floor.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12007 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: And typically how long would one of those segments run?
LISTNUM 1 \l 12008 MR. PHILLIPS: Four minutes.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12009 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: All right. I must say speaking personally, I understand what you are doing and I understand you have a perfect right to do it, I don't have any problem with that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12010 But I am a little confused by the sense of stasis, that you on one hand speak in great detail in a number of your submissions either in writing or here before us, about the financial problems at CITY and that those financial problems have ‑‑ I am putting words in your mouth, but I think I've captured what you have said and if I am not, you certainly will correct me ‑‑ those financial problems force CITY to make some decisions to move away from perhaps the most successful formula.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12011 So then in comes a new owner, deeper pockets, to use your own expression. I would have thought the first thing you might have done would be to re‑evaluate. I mean, if this hasn't worked, why hasn't it worked, where might there be room for improvement?
LISTNUM 1 \l 12012 And I was surprised, speaking personally again, that you bought entirely into their local situation. And I'll give you an example where I might have looked at it if I ran the circus.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12013 All of a sudden coming in, and let's use Vancouver, but I would think the same is true of Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, into this head office, into the corner office, comes a new owner that has access to radio, has access to other television, has access, therefore, to cross‑promotion, has access to and ability to couch its own products in different ways, to push its brand to get in front of the public.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12014 I am not suggesting you would have to do ‑‑ that necessarily means you have to go to a six o'clock news cast. What I am suggesting is I'm surprised with access to those sorts of facilities that CITY never had in those towns, that you would have just said: okay, that part is okay.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12015 And now, maybe what will happen here is when you come up on licence renewal in another year you will have had time to do that evaluation and perhaps that's the simple answer, but I didn't hear that from you, so I'm ‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 12016 And I don't expect you actually to have an answer to what I am saying, you might say something so that the record doesn't look like I have just rambled for five minutes in a typical senile fashion up here, but that would only be charity on your part.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12017 I just am surprised that you bought the whole thing, the whole package without looking at it, but I am surprised that a corporation like Rogers, which has all this radio power and on the power and what not ‑‑ that's not bad, on the power, it sounds good ‑‑ would not have thought of kind of how it could use all these assets somewhat differently and that does not necessarily mean six o'clock news, but somewhat differently.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12018 I guess that's my surprise factor, having listened to this whole discussion on local news.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12019 MR. MERSON: Can I have just a quick comment?
LISTNUM 1 \l 12020 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: I would be grateful if you did.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12021 MR. MERSON: You've described the dilemma perfectly, you know. The dilemma is we might be able to do things differently, we haven't had a chance to get the hands on the station.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12022 We know, as I've mentioned earlier, that the notion of having particularly at six o'clock or six thirty at night a leading news cast that could drive your evening audience is desirable, how will evolve the programming, it will take some time.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12023 You know, we think there are ‑‑ you know CITY has bigger fish to fry at this point, in the sense, you know, we have to replace its shared CHUM program schedule and it is going to be a challenge over the next two years.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12024 As we have taken pains to explain, we don't have the outlets to amortize the cost of this programming over, it is going to be our primary concern for the next two years.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12025 So, we said to ourselves at this point, you know, the stuff that sort of seems to be working okay, let's leave for a while, let's focus on the stuff that really is going to require the devotion of some resources. But we want to go to pains to say never say never. We would do ‑‑ you've described the thoughts that go through our mind all the time, which is how is it you can build the presence, where can you find a niche in the marketplace, how can you best respond.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12026 You know, we've gone to pains to say we think there are two elements that will make your station successful, the one will be localness because it's something, specialties in national broadcasters or non‑Canadian broadcasters can't do.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12027 On the other hand, a single minded brand identity that conveys programming is the other element. So, the one element is the most local that you can be and the other element is the most global that you can be, in the sense that you want to develop the best possible programming at the entertainment level.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12028 So, you know, we wondered as we spoke about yesterday, whether we should ‑‑ whether the discussion really needs to be about what exactly Vancouver is doing now and exactly what the elements are or whether there is a philosophical discussion really about sort of how is it you go about looking at these stations and you go forward in programming them in the most responsible way possible.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12029 You know that there are multiple parameters that we take into account, the one is our conditions of licence, the other is where we think we can make some money and the other is where we can sort of build niches and brands.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12030 But we will do, you've described the dilemma perfectly. We don't have an answer at this point. We have decided to focus on the shared programming because we think it's the most urgent priority, but never want to say never.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12031 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Thank you for that. I just would say in closing and then I'll hand it back to the Chair, that I hope you appreciate the courage as well of Mr. Hawkins. This must have been a very difficult decision for him to make and I'm impressed, I assume my colleagues must be as well, but I can't speak for them.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12032 It's a tough one to come in and criticize the new boss and so we hope to see more of Mr. Hawkins. Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12033 THE CHAIRMAN: Let's switch gears. What about Winnipeg? You know it's the same sort of issue taking place in Winnipeg. There is no offices, no program, no evening program. We have all focused in Vancouver because we had a representative shift in Vancouver. Why in Winnipeg?
LISTNUM 1 \l 12034 MR. THORGIERSON: Perhaps, Mr. Chair, I could answer that. In Winnipeg, we do breakfast television from 7h00 a.m. to 10h00 a.m. Monday through Friday, which gives us our 15 hours a week of local reflection programming and it too is largely a news program.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12035 Flowing from that program each day 19 different segments are then cut from that shown which are essentially promos and highlight reels ranging from 15 seconds to a minute long, that are then dispersed and run throughout the rest of the programs scheduled till midnight.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12036 THE CHAIRMAN: That tells me what you are doing, it still doesn't answer my question. Why you don't have an evening or a nightly news program?
LISTNUM 1 \l 12037 I understood the explanation being in Vancouver CITY tied and feared the market is really locked up and we don't want to beat our head against the wall. What's the situation in Winnipeg?
LISTNUM 1 \l 12038 MR. THORGIERSON: Twenty years of trying. That station did six o'clock news for 20 years and I was the news director for 16 years of that and we were always last.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12039 THE CHAIRMAN: I see. O.K. And what is "CITY Land encore"? In Vancouver you have something called "CITY Land Encore" at 444 to 430. I don't know what ‑‑ is that a local news program? Is that a re‑run from Toronto or what is it?
LISTNUM 1 \l 12040 MR. PHILLIPS: That's a show that's produced to Toronto, Merlin Donis is the host.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12041 THE CHAIRMAN: I see. Okay. Well, you know, we have listened to you. You're going to be back here a year from now, I must honestly say I find you totally unconvincing.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12042 You cannot tell me you want to be a local station and you want to be local, localness is going to be your hallmark and you just give up and maybe not a traditionalist. I must abide now by the appointment, but what is the sense of having that sort of false six o'clock program, you know, and two per cent audience.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12043 But it may not be the format to do it and then, obviously you are the creators and you are the people with imagination, but if you will not have a local news in those five cities that you, a significant one, in some way other than a breakfast show, I don't think, you know, we're going to buy your localness and that approach just doesn't hang together.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12044 So, for right now, I understand your predicament and Stuart outlined it and you agreed with him, it's all going through your head and you're going to ‑‑ if we approve to acquire these stations, you have to decide what format and how you do it.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12045 But if localness is truly your goal, then I think we will want to have a substantive answer on what you are doing in terms of local news.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12046 Stuart, you want to follow up something on this too?
LISTNUM 1 \l 12047 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: No, no. Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12048 THE CHAIRMAN: Okay. Then, let's go to the third self‑funding, self‑administrative funds. Helen, was it your point you had the answer from ‑‑
LISTNUM 1 \l 12049 Rogers, do you have any question?
LISTNUM 1 \l 12050 COMMISSIONER DEL VAL: No. I think your reply sort of gave an answer on the self‑administration aspect of it. I guess you have nothing to add on the long term and short term difference and basically that's the question. You have nothing more to add on that?
LISTNUM 1 \l 12051 MR. MERSON: No. We didn't, you know and we know what the question is. You know, we stumble around for a long term solution and we know it is a patchwork regulation out there and it seems to work well.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12052 COMMISSIONER DEL VAL: Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12053 THE CHAIRMAN: Helen? Elizabeth?
LISTNUM 1 \l 12054 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: I have just one question and this is in regards to the tangible benefit expenditures and I understood from the supplementary brief that with respect to the Craig media benefits, it was 20 millions dollars outstanding and I am just curious on the way you've addressed it here.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12055 Is this intended to address the full 20 million then?
LISTNUM 1 \l 12056 MR. STRATI: I sure will be glad to. The reason we mentioned the priority programming initiative is because of that 20 millions, that's the component that relates specifically to production, so, licence fees and development and the bridge financing.
There are other elements to it.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12057 Specifically we talked about the 4.2 million or now it's about 3.7 left for the Red Deer and Lethbridge bureaux. There is also a cross‑cultural program, a 13 part series. These were non, if you will, party program initiatives. There were other initiatives.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12058 They are going to be one time expenditures so as they come about they will be spent and then there is all the industry and social initiatives that are left.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12059 For example, AMPIA was here talking about film festivals. There is here a benefit that's unspent for both the Calgary festival as well as the Edmonton festival and the AMPIA cultural diversity awards.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12060 So, given that there is four years left and that amount of money will be spent equally in the next four years. So, this is not a minimum versus maximum. It's an equal payment each year.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12061 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Okay. Thank you very much for the explanation.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12062 THE CHAIRMAN: Okay. Then, one other point that I would like. Today, we had friends here of PTA and one issue they have talked about was terms of trade. Now, you have a well‑deserved reputation as being a very responsible broadcaster who basically plays by the rules and tries to make the system work within the framework, et cetera.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12063 And the proposal that they have put forward and which we dealt was over‑the‑air first thing, you know, it would be helpful if everybody in our view rather than amount of time would be spent over and over negotiating the contract, if there could be a framework which they called "terms of trades", et cetera.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12064 What are you doing concretely to make this a reality?
LISTNUM 1 \l 12065 MR. MERSON: Helena, perhaps who is involved in some discussion could perhaps have a better colour. If what you would like us to do is take the lead in the negotiation in terms of trade, I think we would be happy to do that.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12066 THE CHAIRMAN: Okay. I'm surprised and satisfied at your answer.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12067 Okay then, lastly, I think we've heard from you and you've been very frank and fast on all the answers. I appreciate that. As a wrap, I will have Mr. Viner tell us why we should approve this deal.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12068 MR. VINER: We think for a number of reasons, Mr. Chair, first I think that, and the most important, is that this will be good for the system. This will put a strong player with the Human and Financial Resources into a part of the Canadian Broadcasting system in which it now only plays a small part.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12069 There is clearly as we've had considerable discussion on the tangible benefits that we will provide, that based on the escalating value of land in Calgary may go up as each day passes, that we spend time at this hearing. So, those are considerable and we think that they are directed in the appropriate ways.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12070 We have been responsive to the interveners, a 100 per cent of our funds will go to independent producers or with the priority programming, I'm sorry; 85 per cent to independent producers and 65 per cent drama.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12071 We think that we have the experience, we think we have the track record. We think that we have the track record for innovation. We think in television, someone said, not us, an intervener, that we were on ‑‑ we were the opposite sides of the same coin.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12072 We have had a strong local presence with OMNI because we need to reflect the local communities. They are not sort of ‑‑ they are not homogeneous across the country, and we have ‑‑ obviously diversity is in our DNA as well.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12073 So, for all those reasons, we think it would be in the public interest to approve this transaction, as proposed.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12074 THE CHAIRMAN: Okay. Thank you very much. I think that ends this session Thank you.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12075 THE SECRETARY: I would like to indicate for the record that the interveners who did not appear and were listed in the agenda as appearing interveners will remain on the public file as non appearing interventions.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12076 The panel will consider all interventions along with the application and a decision will be rendered at a later date.
LISTNUM 1 \l 12077 This completes the agenda of this public hearing. Thank you, Mr. Chairman
‑‑‑ Whereupon the hearing concluded at 1206 /
L'audience se termine à 1206
Johanne Morin Sue Villeneuve
Jennifer Cheslock Madeleine Matte
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