Transcription, Audience virtuelle du 27 janvier 2021
Volume : 13
Endroit : Région de la Capitale-Nationale, en mode virtuelle
Date : 27 janvier 2021
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Les participants et l'endroit
Région de la Capitale-Nationale, en mode virtuelle
- Président: Ian Scott
- Vice-Présidente, Radiodiffusion: Caroline J. Simard
- Conseillère, Québec: Alicia Barin
- Conseillère, Ontario: Monique Lafontaine
- Conseillère, Colombie-Britannique et Yukon: Claire Anderson
- Conseillers Juridique: Jean-Sébastien Gagnon, James Wilson
- Secrétaire: Jade Roy
- Gérantes de l’audience: Céline Legault, Manon Auger
Table des matières
PHASE II - Présentation par les intervenants
12151 Canadian Media Producers Association
12384 Public Broadcasting for Canada in the 21st Century
12524 Benjamin Allard
12608 John Roman
12662 Aboriginal Peoples Television Network Inc
12868 Quebec English-Language Production Council, English-Language Arts Network and Quebec Community Groups Network
12964 Fédération des communautés francophones et acadiennes du Canada
--- Upon commencing on Wednesday, January 27th, 2021 at 10:00 a.m./L’audience débute le mercredi 27 janvier 2021 à 10h00
12149 MS. ROY: Good morning, Mr. Chairman, good morning, everybody. We will now hear the presentation of the Canadian Media Producers Association.
12150 Please introduce yourself and your colleagues, and you have 10 minutes for your presentation.
12152 MR. MASTIN: Thank you very much.
12153 Good morning Chairperson Scott, Commissioners, and Commission Staff.
12154 My name is Reynolds Mastin, and I am the President and CEO of the Canadian Media Producers Association.
12155 I am joined by Kelsey McLaren, Senior Director, Regulatory and Copyright; and Marcia Douglas, Senior Director, Business Affairs.
12156 The CMPA is the national trade association for English-language independent producers. We represent more than 450 companies engaged in the development, production, and distribution of content made for television, film, and digital platforms.
12157 While we are unable to gather together in the hearing room in Gatineau due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we thank the Commission for the opportunity to appear before you today; and, on a personal note, I also wish to thank the Commission for enabling me to wear a jacket and tie for the first time in almost a year. I’d almost forgotten what that felt like.
12158 CBC holds a special place in the system as our national public broadcaster. It is vested with a unique mandate and requirements under the Broadcasting Act to serve Canadians with a wide range of Canadian programming.
12159 CMPA members greatly value CBC as a broadcasting partner. We are particularly grateful for CBC’s commitment to the continued development and production of Canadian programming during the COVID-19 pandemic.
12160 We are participating in this proceeding because CMPA members want CBC to be set up for success in the new licence term. Why? Because CBC’s success in Canadian programming is our members’ success too. The vast majority of CBC’s programming, with the exception of news, information, and sports, is developed and produced by independent producers. And we would now request that the slide showing our members’ productions be put on screen.
12161 Acclaimed and award-winning scripted programming such as Burden of Truth, Diggstown, Schitt’s Creek, Kim’s Convenience, Baroness Von Sketch Show, Murdoch Mysteries, Heartland, Coroner, and Trickster; important documentaries such as Taken, Farm Crime, and In the Making; and engaging children’s and youth programming such as Endlings, Molly of Denali, Detention Adventure, and True and the Rainbow Kingdom are all proudly independently produced, from various regions across our country, and showcase Canadian diversity, talent, and values.
12162 We would now request that the slide be removed from the screen.
12163 To ensure the continued success of CBC’s programming in a new licence term, the CMPA has provided specific recommendations in our written submissions.
12164 Accountability is at the core of our key requests. We are asking the Commission to:
12165 One, impose cross-platform expenditure requirements for PNI and children’s and youth programming in addition to CBC’s proposed approach to exhibition hours;
12166 Two, ensure CBC’s data reporting demonstrates compliance with its conditions of licence and expectations, and tracks important information relating to diversity and online broadcasting; and
12167 Three, maintain the conditions of licence requiring CBC to negotiate terms of trade with the CMPA.
12168 CBC has been referring to this licence renewal proceeding as a “bridge” to the future of online regulation. We will refrain from adding another bridge metaphor to the record, but we acknowledge that this is a transitional time. Collectively, we are all grappling with how to best approach CBC’s online broadcasting activities in this one-off proceeding.
12169 We think it’s important to ask questions about how CBC will ensure discoverability, success, and relevance for programming available online, but before thinking of substituting any current requirements for new metrics, we need to engage in the kind of wider industry consultation that will be possible in a major policy proceeding once Bill C-10 is passed.
12170 I’ll now turn to Kelsey to address CBC’s cross-platform approach.
12171 MS. McLAREN: The CMPA fully supports CBC serving Canadian audiences online. However, the onus is on CBC to demonstrate that its proposal for cross-platform exhibition hours will ensure that its programming is of high quality, accessible, and discoverable. CBC has not met this onus.
12172 If all of the PNI and children’s and youth programming on CBC Television is already available on Gem through live and on-demand streams, then what is the point of migrating exhibition hours from television to Gem?
12173 CBC confirmed in its hearing appearance that it plans to decrease its spending on PNI in the new licence term. This is the plan even though the government is investing more money in CBC, even though program budgets continue to climb, and even though CBC is promising to increase its weekly commitment to PNI hours.
12174 In reviewing CBC’s annual aggregated returns for 2020, PNI expenditures are almost $30 million lower than the financial projections CBC filed in this proceeding. We have many reasons to be concerned.
12175 We are asking the Commission to impose cross-platform expenditure requirements for PNI and children’s and youth programming on CBC Television and Gem, in addition to CBC’s proposed cross-platform exhibition hours.
12176 Expenditure requirements help to ensure the production of original, high-quality programming by guaranteeing a base level of investment. They may also be flexibly allocated across broadcaster platforms, from linear television to streaming services like Gem. Exhibition hours, however, especially those in prime time, simply lose their meaning online.
12177 The CMPA appreciates that the Commission has imposed an undertaking on CBC to provide its views on, “the most appropriate method of calculating [a] cross-platform CPE requirement,” but we ask that this undertaking also be extended to PNI and children’s and youth programming, and include disclosure of revenues from Gem for the purposes of calculating commitments based on a percentage of previous years’ gross revenues.
12178 I will now turn to Marcia to address data reporting and terms of trade.
12179 MS. DOUGLAS: Data is a prerequisite for accountability. The CMPA supports the imposition of a condition of licence that CBC complete the Production Report in Broadcasting Information Bulletin 2019-304. This report already includes information relating to women in key production roles, and it is our view that it should be expanded to also include Indigenous peoples, racialized peoples, persons with differing abilities, lesbian, gay, transgender, queer questioning, intersex, asexual, androgynous, two spirit, and people across spectrums of sex gender and sexuality.
12180 We also ask that CBC be required to provide information relating to Gem, including revenues, subscribers, and programming expenditures.
12181 We acknowledge the essential role CBC, the CMPA, and other stakeholders must play in improving opportunities for marginalized communities and ensuring diverse representation in front of and behind the camera. We believe data reporting is an essential step. We would also be pleased to answer any questions you may have about what the CMPA and our members are doing to help achieve change in this area.
12182 Turning now to terms of trade.
12183 We are asking the Commission to maintain the conditions of licence requiring CBC to conclude a terms of trade agreement with the CMPA. In a post-COVID-19 world, terms of trade are more important than ever, and maintaining these conditions of licence is consistent with the Commission’s determinations in the Create Policy.
12184 The arrival of COVID-19 resulted in a widespread, government-ordered shutdown of the Canadian economy, including film and television production.
12185 As a result, in what would normally be the busiest months of the production season, production companies instead had to contend with the sudden, and in many cases complete, evaporation of their production-related revenues. Their ability to adapt to this massive shock essentially came down to one thing: whether they could rely on other revenues to not only weather the storm but also to be capitalized and adapt to a new normal.
12186 The shutdown demonstrated that a production company could have a hit show, even many hit shows, but if it had not retained any rights in these shows, it suddenly found itself struggling. Conversely, production companies that had retained rights, such as licensing and merchandising rights, and therefore had other sources of revenue, immediately pivoted their focus by making significant additional investments in developing a slate of new Canadian shows. This will ultimately result in more productions for Canadian creators to work on and for Canadian audiences to enjoy in the coming years.
12187 MS. MASTIN: Within our highly consolidated domestic market, it has become increasingly difficult for producers to retain the rights to their shows. And within this market, CBC is a colossus. As it has stated in this proceeding, it spends more on independent production than all of the private broadcasters combined. To say that this gives CBC enormous leverage in its licensing negotiations with independent producers is an understatement, and it can exercise this leverage in a way that is contrary to the interests at CBC, our members, and the system.
12188 Perhaps the biggest concern is that too often CBC acquires rights to our members' shows, but lacks the incentives and expertise to fully exploit them. By contrast, independent producers have every incentive to fully exploit these rights, and where a show is a success, to share that success with CBC, their broadcasting partner. Those incremental dollars can then be reinvested in Canadian programming by CBC, and in developing the next great Canadian show by independent producers.
12189 At a time when our traditional broadcasting system is facing unprecedented pressures, and meaningful contributions by foreign streaming services have not yet materialized, it is critical that the value of Canadian programming be leveraged to the maximum extent possible. This ensures a critical mass of high-quality programming will be available to Canadians, and keeps Canadian producers and creators living and working in this country. It is also essential to enabling independent producers to make a significant contribution and their own unique contribution as creative entrepreneurs to the Canadian broadcasting system, as enshrined in the Broadcasting Act.
12190 It is for all of these reasons that we are asking the Commission to maintain the condition of licence that CBC be required to negotiate terms of trade with the CMPA and impose a new deadline of December 31st, 2021 for the conclusion of this agreement.
12191 At CBC's last licence renewal, the Commission imposed the requirement for CBC/Radio-Canada to reach terms of trade agreements with the CMPA and AQPM by May 28th, 2014. To date, no agreement has been concluded.
12192 CBC relies on the Create Policy in requesting the removal of this condition of licence. With respect, it would be unacceptable to delete this requirement on those grounds.
12193 In the Create Policy, the Commission expressly linked the removal of the terms of trade condition of licence to the anniversary date of the terms of trade agreement with the private broadcasters, stating that it would allow, and I am quoting here, it would:
12194 "...allow programming services to apply to remove requirements to adhere to a terms of trade agreement, effective 29 April 2016, five years after the original executed agreement was submitted to the Commission." (As read)
12195 The plain meaning of this language is that it only applies to the private broadcasters, given that CBC was never a party to the executed agreement. But, fundamentally, the simple fact is that CBC failed to meet this condition of licence in the current term. It should be held accountable for not fulfilling this regulatory obligation.
12196 Thank you for giving us the opportunity to present our members' views today. We welcome your questions.
12197 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Thank you for the presentation and your submissions throughout the proceeding.
12198 Madam Barin.
12199 COMMISSIONER BARIN: Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
12200 Good morning, greetings Mr. Mastin, Ms. McLaren, and Ms. Douglas. Thank you for your presentation this morning your written submissions.
12201 And Mr. Mastin, I'm glad you finally got to wear your suit. You thought you were going to be wearing it at the beginning of Phase II, and instead, you are ushering us out of Phase II with this last day of interventions.
12202 I guess you've had the benefit of hearing the majority of intervenors, as have we, and so I am going to take advantage of your presence with us today to ask you some questions on your proposals and recommendations, but also to fill in some of the remaining blanks in our understanding, and specifically, in relation to Canadian independent production sector.
12203 So I'd like to begin with a bit of back to basics. And I would like to hear from you on the economics of Canadian programming today, and specifically, PNI programming.
12204 There -- throughout the proceeding, we've had the phrase "market failure" thrown out in relation to PNI programs, and specifically, scripted drama, feature films, documentaries, and children's programming, which I know is not part of PNI, but you know, that has been kind of been mentioned in there. And market failure implies that market forces for these important Canadian cultural programs are insufficient to ensure their creation without regulatory support.
12205 I'd like your views on that, and if you can also -- well, your views on whether there is market for some kinds of Canadian programs, and if so, which ones?
12206 MR. MARTIN: Thank you very much for the question.
12207 The core issue from our perspective is not whether there is an audience for this programming. We think even for what -- from what CBC has placed on the record, clearly there is. The core issue always has been, and I am going to make a bit of a comparison with our neighbours to the south because they are the entertainment superpower of the world, they're big or small.
12208 As your Harnessing Change report noted, leaving aside the fact that Canada's population is a tenth of the U.S.'s population, the United States has a television market that is twenty times the size of the Canadian television market. And one of the consequences of that is there is a level of capital that is available because of the size of that market in order to fund similar types of programming that is much harder to deploy in a much smaller market, that is, the Canadian market.
12209 So it is not that these shows don't have audience, it's that relative to the size of their market and given the costs that we currently need to incur, and that audiences expect our members to incur, for example, in doing a big budget drama, that can't be done cheaply, and there needs to be both incentives and requirements in place in order to ensure that that programming is actually being made.
12210 Kelsey, is there anything that you would like to add to the record on that?
12211 MS. McLAREN: Sure. Thank you.
12212 In terms of this idea of market failure, I mean, just as Reynolds was saying, we've decided, you know, that it's really important that here in Canada that we are able to reflect Canadian voices, showcase Canadian talent, show Canadians in all their diversity, and a really important way of doing that is being able to tell Canadian stories on screen. And that's why we see this reflected in CBC's mandate, to, you know, present Canadian programming to all Canadians and their diversity and to reflect this.
12213 And again, you know, we see a market like in Canada for this, but of course, PNI, drama is very expensive to produce, but -- and that's why when we talk about the success of this programming it's not just about audience use, because of course we're smaller audiences here in Canada, but how are we presenting our unique distinctly Canadian perspectives in our programming.
12214 And you know, other measures can be critical acclaim, representing underrepresented groups, you know, even thinking of reflecting OLMCs, and how this would not otherwise happen because really the market in and of itself would not do that. That's why we have these requirements in the Broadcasting Act, and that's why we have CBC and it's parliamentary appropriation in serving Canadians.
12215 COMMISSIONER BARIN: Thank you. And if you were to give me a sense of the importance of the CBC and the production of this kind of programming, relative to say other players in the system, what would you say is CBC's, you know, proportionate role in supporting PNI and children's programming?
12216 MR. MARTIN: I'll turn this back over to Kelsey. As we noted though in our opening remarks, in a sense the numbers don't speak for themselves, and that, as CBC has filed, relying on our numbers from our annual industry statistical report profile, the license fees it pays for independent production and PNI are greater than the combined sum of those of the private broadcasters. So just when you look at the numbers they play a disproportionate role.
12218 MS. McLAREN: Exactly that, and also with CBC's programming, you know, especially, you know, here at the CMPA, our members are at various regions across the country, and it's reflected in the sort of programming that is commissioned and broadcast by CBC, We see, you know, Diggstown in Halifax, Heartland in Alberta. This is a really important part of its mandate in terms of showing, you know, different parts of Canada.
12219 COMMISSIONER BARIN: Thank you. So, the CBC has put forward a multiplatform proposal specifically with regards to exhibition hours. And, you’re claiming that the CBC has not met the onus of demonstrating that this proposal is going to ensure that we end up with the production of high quality programming that is accessible or discoverable.
12220 And, I want to understand what you mean by “onus”. Like, what gives you pause on the CBC’s proposal? And, I guess a subsidiary question with regards to where a programming is -- where programs exhibited whether it’s traditional or online, as producers, why do you care if your -- if the CBC is going to be paying your licence fee regardless?
12221 MR. MASTIN: We care very, very much, and Kelsey is going to explain why.
12222 MS. McLAREN: Thank you. So, again, we are on this transitional time; right? Like, this is what we and intervenors and the CBC have been grappling with. CBC now broadcasts programming to Canadians through its, you know, linear television services and also through Gem. And, you know, looking back over the licence term in 2013, exhibition hours were set up and, you know, they have been fine and in terms of the parameters of just showing Canadian programming on TV or independently produced programming on TV.
12223 And, what we’re grappling with is this idea that there are now new parameters, and exhibition hours and that sort of requirement may be fine when discoverability is baked in because, you know, when you turn on your local CBC television station in the evening, you are immediately shown a program. So, it is immediately discoverable to you, but it just does not translate when it comes to Gem.
12224 The idea of -- especially for something like PNI taking a drama or a documentary off prime time and putting it on -- somewhere on Gem where maybe it will be seen, maybe it won’t be, but we just like to note that, so far, there haven’t been any sort of insurances in CBC’s proposal in terms of how to ensure that there would still be that discoverability online.
12225 And, we know from, you know, years of CRTC policy proceedings and licence renewals that expenditure requirements have been simply a better regulatory tool when it comes to ensuring a base level investment in Canadian programming, to ensure that there is that original high quality Canadian programming available in the system and that broadcasters will be trying to, you know, reach that goal.
12226 You know, the idea of allowing CBC to count exhibition hours on digital platforms without also corresponding expenditure requirements just simply means that it would be possible to meet that exhibition hour requirement with lower budget PNI and children’s and youth programming. And, to be quite clear, that’s what we’ve seen so far on Gem is that, you know, we know from our members that the budgets for Gem-only programming is often a fraction of what it would be if it’s going to be shown on the main network, especially during prime time to this wide array of Canadian audiences.
12227 And, we truly believe that CBC’s overall programming strategy should be to ensure that there is as much programming as possible, especially for these important vulnerable program categories, available to as many Canadians as possible. You know, and the idea of proposing these cross-platform expectations means that it could limit some of this programming to online-only.
12228 We’ve also heard throughout this proceeding that, of course, you know, about 10 per cent of Canadian households simply don’t have access to online platforms, whether that’s broadband or financial reasons, that there are Canadians who just simply cannot access that programming online, and that gives us pause.
12229 And, just another point that I want to bring up, and this is now getting into more, sort of, technical, regulatory stuff, but we also heard the exchange with WGC on this issue of double counting. Because, of course, when CBC puts forward a proposal for exhibition hours, and I’ll use PNI as an example, I have to admit, you know, I understand that the intent is not to have double counting, but from a compliance perspective, we do caution that it may be very difficult to track, especially this idea of mixing non-original exhibition hours, which is what PNI would be on, on prime time on TV in terms of the regulatory obligation, mixing that with online original hours.
12230 So, we’re assuming that what is happening now would continue to happen, which is that the PNI in prime time would necessarily also be shown on Gem through livestreams, meaning you can sign into Gem and immediately see what is playing on any local CBC television station, and that it would be available on demand streams. But that, of course, the things that would be counted as original or Gem-only first, it -- the tracking of making sure that that’s only counted once on Gem, and then never on the CBC main network is hard to follow.
12231 And, to us, it gives us pause because it almost makes it seem like, well, if something was ever Gem-first and Gem-only and being counted there, why would you, the CBC, ever then put it on CBC TV in prime time and PNI if it wouldn’t be able to go towards counting those hours of PNI and prime time? I mean, this is still a very coveted time slot, you know, for showing Canadian programming. And, if you would be showing that was something Gem-only first on -- in prime time on PNI, and it doesn’t count towards your obligations, and this is such a coveted time to be scheduling, it just sort of signals to us that this -- it would be unlikely to happen.
12232 So, again, it would be this very different kind of programming that would be available Gem-first, Gem-only than the kind of programming, the high budget, high value PNI programming that we see on the main network.
12233 MR. MASTIN: Commissioner Barin, if I may just very quickly add to that? There are other -- two other concerns that our members have relating to the risk of this migration from television to digital-only that Kelsey has been talking about.
12234 The first is, and let’s just say, the quality of the productions that our members do on these digital platforms and for Gem specifically, it is astonishing, the quality, given the production level. I mean, literally, they are able to use, for the digital version, duct tape to put together productions that are incredibly compelling, first-class productions, and there is a unique kind of producer who is able to bring those limited resources to the table in order to produce such content of excellent quality.
12235 But, one of the consequences of having low-budget productions, and this is something our producer members who do this tell us, warn us about is that typically these productions are not going to be unionized, which means on the one hand, it enables new talent to come in and work on these productions but, on the other hand, typically speaking, because of the low budgets, they’re also very low paying.
12236 And, one thing we need to be very mindful of for our creators, in order to ensure, especially that our young creators have incentives to stay in this country and work as professional creators in this country, is that they see a pathway to working on productions that are bigger budget and that those available to them. That is how we keep a critical mass of professional creators in this country.
12237 I have to say the DGC, I have always felt, has done an exceptionally good job within its guild of showing its members, when they join the DGC, a pathway upward; right? You can start as a third assistant director, move your way up to second, and then, ultimately, if that’s your goal, become a director. Similarly, we have to ensure, in terms of the balance between television production on the one hand and digital production on the other hand, that our creators generally are confident there is going to remain that pathway so that they can practise their craft and be appropriately renumerated for it.
12238 The other issue is that for these lower-budget productions, it does give the CBC even greater leverage in its dealings with our member companies, and an even greater incentive to what I'll call micro-manage those productions in a way that potentially subverts the role of the producer.
12239 And so in the absence of a terms trade agreement with CBC, we are especially concerned about a situation where there would be more digital production and thereby, by extension, greater leverage that CBC exercise in its negotiations with their member companies for those productions.
12240 Marcia, is there anything you would like to add on this?
12241 MS. DOUGLAS: I guess I just -- for context, as an example, some of the CBC originals that are on GEM right now, the budget for entire series will be the equivalent of the budget of one episode of television in primetime. So just as a sort of example of context of what Reynolds was talking about.
12242 And certainly, they're making excellent projects that are finding audiences and finding success. But ultimately, I think when our members -- they're making projects, like, Commissioner Barin, you said, you know, something about making the project itself. Our members want their stories to be found by audiences, and they want them to be accessible and discoverable. And that's why that broadcast element is still very important to them in ensuring that their stories still get seen and still get engaged with audiences of all ages across Canada.
12243 COMMISSIONER BARIN: Thank you. Thank you very much for a very complete answer.
12244 So I want to -- I may be paraphrasing, but I think I heard you say that the quality of a program is related to the budget, and that the flex requirement that the CBC is proposing is not acceptable because there's no CPE requirement that is also inherent in that proposal.
12245 So, I'd like to discuss the expenditure proposal that you are putting on the table. And I note that in your oral, you're asking the Commission to also require the CBC to provide the revenues that it's generating on GEM. So, I just want to understand exactly what you're proposing in terms of the CPE requirement. Is it something that mirrors what is -- what the private broadcasters have? What exactly are you including in the calculation? Maybe just walk us through what -- how you see it.
12246 MR. MASTIN: Kelsey, over to you.
12247 MS. McLAREN: Thank you. So, the reason why we're requesting disclosure on revenues for GEM is exactly that. So, we're using the same sort of model that you see in the group-based licencing, which is all of the services that will have an expenditure requirement should be, you know, disclosing revenues, so that the correct, you know, expenditure requirement can be found.
12248 So, if CBC is proposing cross-platform exhibit hours for its -- and we're speaking about the English language side here, of course, for these purposes, but for CBC English language television stations and CBC GEM, those revenues should be included in the purposes of calculating.
12249 So, again, we're imagining it would be based on, you know, expenditure requirement based on the previous year's gross revenues from these services. And, you know, in setting this up, looking at the last three years as the Commission does and setting this for private broadcasters, and also on an expenditure requirement.
12250 So, what we're proposing our expenditure requirement specifically for PNI and children's and youth programming. In our proposal we don't discuss a CPE, so one based on Canadian programming expenditures overall. Of course, we are not opposed to that, but Canadian programming expenditures are -- overall for CBC also includes news, information and sports. So, we're -- our real primary concern here is about PNI and children's and youth programming because, you know, that could get lost in an overall total for CPE and because CBC is proposing cross-platform exhibition hours for these types of programs.
12251 COMMISSIONER BARIN: Thank you. And so this -- the PNI expenditure requirements would be based on the total revenues, including the conventional television parliamentary appropriations, plus their advertising, plus anything that's generated on the online platforms that is broadcasting related. Can I have your views on the inclusion of, for example, services like Curio and RAD, which also generate revenues for the CBC? The position is that these are not to be included in any obligations. Can I get your perspective on that?
12252 MS. McLAREN: Again, sometimes it's hard for us to put together these proposals when we don't see all the disclosure from the CBC. It's our understanding that the cross-platform exhibition hours would be for, you know, CBC TV stations and then the GEM platform. So, we're not at this point proposing to include Curio or other online platforms in this. But, of course, we understand that this has been an undertaking to CBC, and once we've had a chance to review that, of course, we'll think through our proposal again to make sure that we're being responsive to what's on the record and look at this in our final written submissions. But at this point, you know, as a stakeholder, we're reacting to or looking at what's on the record and what seems to make sense with the proposal that's on the table.
12253 COMMISSIONER BARIN: Okay. Great. Thank you.
12254 So, I'd like to now move on to relevance since I think it would be remiss not to ask you the producers a question on this. So, the way the reporting for PNI works today, the corporation fills out a report that assesses whether it's meeting its conditions of licence, but relevance of programming is not assessed. In your view, is there a way that the Commission can ensure that the PNI programming that is offered by the corporation is meeting Canadian's needs and is relevant to them?
12255 MR. MASTIN: Over to you, Kelsey.
12256 MS. McLAREN: Thank you. We think this is a really important question to ask. And, of course, representing producers, that's something that's always top of mind, how to make sure the programming that's being produced is relevant and wanted by Canadian audiences.
12257 Of course, in thinking through how relevance can be defined here or tracked here, again, we think this is important thing to ask. We also think it's really important to maintain the more quantitative, you know, objectives and goals that there are now, so it's important to, you know, maintain PNI exhibition hours and to add expenditure requirements and to maintain tracking in terms of hours broadcast and how much money is spent on PNI. And it's -- so it's important to have that just sort of as a base and as a foundation.
12258 Looking forward, and looking forward into the future of online regulation, how to make sure that programming is relevant, and if there are new metrics that can be tracked, we think that's great. And in terms of these more sort of, let's say, qualitative measures, at this point, we think they may lend themselves better to consultations and surveys. But also thinking through again, what does relevant programming mean for a national public broadcaster, because it's more than audience numbers. It's about being distinctively Canadian, showing Canadian talent, showing Canadians in all their diversity. Again, serving sort of these specific communities, whether they are Indigenous communities, or OLMCs, or whether it's about ensuring critical acclaim. Again, we think these are all great things to track and especially as we move forward into online regulation where there can be more indicators now of -- or, sorry, in the future and looking at that sort of reporting now, but we just want to make it sure that it's on the record that we also think it's absolutely important to keep the more quantitative sort of objectives and reporting that we have in the system right now.
12259 COMMISSIONER BARIN: Okay. Thank you very much.
12260 So now I guess maybe going back to these quantitative measures, the CBC has told us that they want to do more hours, and more programming, and, you know, increase their commitments. Albeit there’s a cross-platform element, but they’re saying that they’re going to be doing more.
12261 And I think what I got from your oral this morning is that you’re saying that, in fact, they’re not doing more. And I kind of want to understand where that -- what your concern is or where that comes from?
12262 MS. McLAREN: So, again, and I’ll use some specific examples here, and of course we support, you know, for instance, when it comes to independent production, CBC is asking for the commitment to be increased. So instead of, you know, 75 percent for it to be increased to 80, whether it’s for -- it’s PNI, children’s and youth programming, or even the new expectation and condition of license for it to be 80 percent of programming, other than news, information, and sports, that’s great.
12263 When it comes to PNI, we do have reporting already that shows that CBC, for it’s PNI, you know, works with independent producers in the mid to high 90s.
12264 So, again, the commitment is great and we’re very supportive of it. But the reality is that this is being met.
12265 And we’d also say for PNI, so right now, the condition of license of PNI is nine hours of PNI in primetime as a weekly commitment. And we know from reporting that CBC has been exceeding this commitment. Which, again, we’re very appreciative of and supportive of. But they already do more than 10 hours per week.
12266 Now, so again, having the higher commitment of 10 hours we support and we’re, you know, pleased with having a higher commitment there. But the reality is that that’s how much they’re doing now.
12267 When it comes to children’s and youth programming, right now there’s a condition of license to do 52 original hours of children’s and youth programming for CBC TV on an annual basis. But we actually don’t know how much they do.
12268 Again, they will report that to the CRTC and program logs, but we, as an external stakeholder, don’t know how many hours of original children’s and youth programming they do.
12269 And CBC is proposing to do 80 hours, which may be what they’re already doing. We’re not sure.
12270 So, again, this idea of more, having higher commitments, yes, we support. But looking at what’s the reality of what’s actually happening, like, we’re -- it’s just not there. Either we know that they’re meeting it, which is wonderful that they’ve been exceeding their conditions of license and want to continue to do so and propose higher amounts, but it’s happening now.
12271 COMMISSIONER BARIN:Please go ahead, Ms. Douglas.
12272 MS. DOUGLAS: Sorry, I just wanted to add that -- for the example Kelsey talked about, the potential proposed increase in hours for children’s and youth, but part of that, our understanding, is a reduction in the potential number of hours it would be on broadcast.
12273 So to go back to a point that we sort of discussed earlier in terms of access, especially understanding that vulnerable audiences, like children’s and youth audiences, may not have as much access to programming. So while they’re proposing 80 hours in that cross-platform proposal, that it may be reduced on broadcast is concerning to us and to our members, because we want to ensure access to programming, especially for children’s and youth audiences, as an example.
12274 COMMISSIONER BARIN: Thank you very much.
12275 So I want -- you opened the door this morning to me asking, so I am asking, what is CMPA doing in terms of increasing or improving opportunities for marginalized communities and ensuring diverse representation in front and behind the camera?
12276 MR. MASTIN: Commissioner Barin, I will briefly speak to what we’ve been doing in our organization, and then I will turn it to Marcia to discuss what we’re doing in the wider ecosystem in which we participate.
12277 So we, like a number of organizations, have taken a very hard look at whether we, as the association that claims to represent all the big-tent producers, whether we were actually living up to that self-belief.
12278 And a conclusion that we reached was that we needed to do I better and that how we could do better, first and foremost, was to change the very heart of the decision making of the CMPA, which is to say our board of directors.
12279 And so we have gone through two successive rounds of changes to how we elect and appoint directors to ensure that we can then legitimately say that we represent independent producers, including producers from underrepresented communities.
12280 And as a result of those changes, we both have a majority female board, and we also have brought on, through special elections, actually a quite unique process designed to specifically elect members from underrepresented communities. And those members are now also a part of our board.
12281 And we have already seen how it is shifting both our advocacy and our priorities and how we interface with the wider community and the role that we play.
12282 So I will turn it over to Marcia now to give you some sense of that.
12283 MS. DOUGLAS: So we really welcome this discussion. I think it’s quite overdue, actually, as an industry, as a greater industry.
12284 So as we said earlier in our presentation, I think there’s a lot of elements to this. So data is one, it’s a key one, as it can be, and hopefully will be part of this proceeding.
12285 But in addition to that, we are in the process of forming a member committee to invite more of our members to the table to talk about the work that CMPA is doing. And we’re in many active discussions with other industry associations, both established and newer associations, grassroots and community organizations, to do both our own consultations, and we urge more consultation with those groups as well as part of these discussions so that they’re well informed and come from a place of recognizing that there are different systemic barriers and different potential solutions to those -- to breaking down the barriers.
12286 In the past, the CMPA has done a lot of support for different initiatives and organizations, both within our organization through things like our mentorship program and professional development, and also supporting outside organizations like the Indigenous Screen Officer or the Black Screen Office.
12287 But more can be done and we look forward to working with other industry stakeholders in terms of how to really move change forward with regard to these conversations and issues.
12288 COMMISSIONER BARIN: Thank you. I appreciate your comments on that topic.
12289 Now, to kind of look at potential regulatory approach to supporting production for different diversity groups, the current approach, and specifically with regards to official language minority communities, has been to impose a number of requirements that track the exhibition of programming targeted to those communities, and also the allocation of specific budgets for the creation of programming.
12290 Can you discuss the appropriateness of adopting a similar approach to supporting a creation of programming that is relevant to the different diversity groups? So for example, Indigenous people, multi-cultural, and ethnic populations? Can you discuss what -- your perspective on that approach and how that could be done?
12291 MR. MASTIN: Marcia, go ahead.
12292 MS. DOUGLAS: So there have been a number of other intervenors who also put forth certain positions. For example, you mentioned -- with regard to, for example, Indigenous production. And this is something that we think the data will help with. But we also think that there could potentially be more consultations that are more targeted towards this, including we would be very happy to participate on behalf of our members.
12293 And we’ve seen CBC’s proposal around, you know, Indigenous works. Or for example, you mentioned OMC. We recognize the importance of OMCs and support maintaining their COO, for example.
12294 Kelsey’s mentioned different things such as regional.
12295 I think there’s a wide variety of marginalized groups that we could be discussing, including racialized people.
12296 But -- and I think as we see CBC’s responses in terms of their final remarks and their undertakings, we may be better positioned to answer with more detail as part of our final submission.
12297 MR. MASTIN: And if I could just add one thing -- and, Kelsey, I’ll get you in -- Marcia was referencing earlier the fact that the CMPA was one of the founding funders of the Indigenous Screen Office, and that’s something we’re very proud of. But what has been interesting for us, as the Screen Office under Jesse Wente’s leadership has become established, is figuring out, as an industry association that represents both Indigenous and non-Indigenous producers, how best to play a role when discussing these issues, while recognizing, for example, the fact that we do now have an Indigenous Screen Office. And I’ll tell you; this is -- it is very much an iterative process, it’s an evolving conversation that we are having both with our members but also with the ISO. And now speaking more broadly with organizations like Black Screen Office in terms of what is the appropriate role for we, the CMPA, to play in relation to other voices that are now at the table.
12298 And so for that reason as well, and because in a sense this is the dialogue that is really only becoming quite meaningful now, we’re still trying to figure that out; what is appropriate for us in our role in relation to these questions and in proceedings like the one that we’re participating in now.
12299 COMMISSIONER BARIN: Okay.
12300 MR. MASTIN: Kelsey?
12301 MS. McLAREN: Yeah, just one more thing I wanted to add to Marcia and Reynolds’ comments on this issue is that something that we’ve heard as we’ve been listening to this proceeding and hearing in terms of industry discussions as we do talk about diversity and inclusion is, of course, how important this idea is of one data reporting to set benchmarks and for all of to talk about what the appropriate objectives should be; consulting with specific communities to make sure that they’re part of setting these objectives and goals; and, of course we heard the recommendations put forward by the Indigenous Screen Office, and yesterday by Eagle Vision, who is a CMPA member as well. And how important it is to be having these discussions.
12302 And, of course, in this moment right now we don’t want to, as Reynolds was alluding to, speak on behalf of other specific communities in terms of what the absolute ask must be about how important it is to have these discussions and make sure that the data is there, clear objectives are set, and then it is in collaboration with these specific communities. Of course, some of which are part of the CMPA, and also, as Marcia alluded to, we’re speaking to and reaching out to these various organizations as well because how important this is to do correctly and to do appropriately.
12303 COMMISSIONER BARIN: Thank you. And I appreciate, Ms. Douglas, if you do have any further thoughts on this, if it could be included in your final submission.
12304 So I have one last topic to question you on, and it’s the last topic that you ended your oral on this morning, terms of trade.
12305 And I’d like to maybe take a different approach here. If we’re looking at outcomes, I think I understood from what you said that the issue with terms of trade is the ability of Canadian independent producers to retain the rights to their programs.
12306 So from an outcome standpoint, is that really what is important for the CMPA, in terms of looking for a condition of licence to be imposed on the CBC to negotiate terms of trade?
12307 MR. MASTIN: I would say, Commissioner Barin, that is the core issue. What we’re really trying to achieve in terms of trade is, in an environment where dollars are scarce, what can our members do in terms of their unique role in the system to roll the pie, to leverage those dollars to the maximum extent possible so that those dollars can be reinvested in Canadian programming.
12308 And so the core aim for us is to have terms of trade serve as a vehicle to enable, frankly, CBC to do what it does best and independent producers do what they do best, in terms of exploiting those rights, both nationally and internationally, to the maximum possible degree so we really are getting the full value, economic value of the programs that are commissioned, and use that to enable, for example, in the producer’s case, to make further investments in developing more Canadian shows, and at the same time, enable CBC to make more investments in Canadian programming.
12309 And right now what we see too often is each party is not doing that -- is not limiting themselves to what they do best. And as a result, we are seeing unnecessary leakages of precious funding and financing dollars from the system, really for no reason except that one party has enormous leverage, versus the other party.
12310 COMMISSIONER BARIN: Okay. So if I can paraphrase you, it’s about who gets to exploit additional revenues from a particular program, is that -- is it the CBC or is it the producers.
12311 So I have a subsidiary question. Is this -- because it seems like, you know, the market for programming is changing, so I’d like to understand whether this is an issue only with the CBC or whether that same tension is existing with other Canadian broadcasters and/or other players in the system, whether they be Canadian or not.
12312 MR. MASTIN: Marcia, would you like to speak to that?
12313 MS. DOUGLAS: Sure.
12314 I think, Commissioner, this is -- it is a broader discussion, but with regard specifically to CBC in this example, it’s a lot about -- it’s exactly what Reynolds said, right? It’s about ensuring success and his best position. And it’s also a bit about capacity building.
12315 So with regard to -- with internationally, for example, we talked a little bit at the very beginning, and you spoke about market failure, and part of the challenge of financing productions on the English side is to be competitive for audience. And in the international market to find success to take those stories globally is we -- producers have to raise a certain amount of money. And it’s very challenging to raise all of the financing required to produce content strictly from Canadian sources.
12316 So producers are thinking about that international potential from the very beginning of development. So they’re investing, time, risk, money, and setting themselves up for expertise -- sorry; they have that expertise; I mean they’re setting up their projects and their companies for success.
12317 And so the ability to retain rights, and in this particular context with regard to CBC, is important so that they can then take those works and sell them internationally is why we’re here talking about what a framework for terms of trade or have a terms of trade could look like.
12318 And on the digital side, for example, we have heard from some members that CBC is taking international rights. So in some cases, they may release a project, even on a YouTube channel, for example, which makes it available for free in markets outside of Canada. And then to be fair, they would remove that project in a given territory if there’s a bona fide sale. But for the producer, it’s very hard to make that sale down the road because the project has already been made available to the audience in that territory for free. So it really waters down the value.
12319 So the ability for the producer to retain their rights in dealing with any player is becoming more and more urgent because, to go back to something we said in our oral remarks, the ability to retain those rights and the revenues inherent, either directly from those programing rights or the ancillary rights, are key to capacity building. And it doesn’t matter the size and scale of the company, we have seen that having those revenue sources helps them, as Reynolds has said, to reinvest in the growth and capacity of their companies and of creators and of the stories that are told across the system.
12320 MR. MASTIN: And Commissioner Barin, if I may just add one other thing, because it speaks to your question about is this a wider issue.
12321 It will not surprise you that a future policy proceeding or a future proceeding with the private broadcasters, perhaps the streamers in the relatively near future, that you may hear us make arguments in favour of terms of trade, regardless of the outcome of this proceeding. But the reason why this proceeding particularly matters when we’re talking about what might happen in the future is because of one of the longstanding underlying issues specific to CBC in terms of trade that we've had to deal with, and this has been CBC's position that the CRTC has no economic regulatory authority and has basically no business in requiring terms of trade of CBC.
12322 In the last licence renewal hearing, this became such a contentious issue with CBC that CBC filed a legal opinion with you stating that you had no such authority. We, of course, talk -- took the opposite view, as did you. And in your licence renewal decision for CBC's last renewal, you stated very clearly the basis of your jurisdiction and you then went on to exercise your jurisdiction by posing this condition of licence.
12323 So that was back in 2013. This has remained an undercurrent for us. It has become a huge struggle for us because the perception CBC continues we think to have is that when push comes to shove they really don't need to concern themselves about what you might do about the condition of licence because in their view you lack the jurisdictional authority to do anything about it.
12324 Which I have to say made us all the more astonished when we saw the CBC's filings for this loose licence renewal proceeding, whereby it applied to have its condition of licence removed on the basis of the Create Policy, which would seem to suggest that CBC suddenly magically has decided that it is going to attorn to your jurisdiction over terms of trade because it suits its corporate interest to do because it gets them out a condition of licence to comply with terms of trade.
12325 And very, very candidly, we as one of your stakeholders, and I would say the broader stakeholders in the system, get very concerned when a licensee decides, depending upon the day of the week or what it's had for breakfast, whether it is going to attorn to the jurisdiction of the CRTC with respect to a condition of licence or whether it will not.
12326 And the irony of the situation is that notwithstanding its filings for this proceeding, I am willing to bet that the if the CBC were asked, in fact, whether you have jurisdiction over terms of trade, its answer may not in fact support its filings in this proceeding. So we are very concerned about this. It creates a cloud. It's been an eight year cloud over your authority in this area.
12327 And one of the unfortunate consequences is that we have lots of discussions with them, and I do not want to suggest they have not been in good faith discussions on other side, that's not the point. The point simply is that that cloud of whether the CBC actually needs to be concerned about your exercise of regulatory authority in this area persists, and in fact, has become even more confusing as a result of their submissions in this proceeding, and that we are concerned about as a precedent for the future, depending upon the outcome of this proceeding.
12328 COMMISSIONER BARIN: Thank you. It's noted.
12329 Mr. Chair, I have no more questions.
12330 I'd like to thank you, Mr. Martin, Ms. McLaren, and Ms. Douglas for your answers to my questions this morning and for your participation. Thank you.
12331 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you. I think we have a couple of other questions.
12332 Commissioner Anderson?
12333 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Thank you very much for your presentation. I do have some questions with respect to your submissions.
12334 The first one goes to your oral submission today, where you acknowledge that it is important that there be accountability in reporting when it comes to diversity at the CBC within key production roles. And I note that you have listed different diverse -- diversity groups, if we can call them that, including reporting on Indigenous people, racialized people, persons with disabilities, and persons from the LGBTQ community.
12335 I was wondering if you could talk about those diversity groups a bit because when we spoke with CBC two weeks ago, there was a bit of reluctance or CBC had expressed a little bit of reluctance to ask its employees about sexual orientation, but I note that you've included them as a diversity group. So I was wondering if you can speak to why you think it's important to include the LGBTQ community and persons with disabilities because those are two areas that we haven't discussed too much on the record in the last two weeks.
12336 MR. MARTIN: Marcia, would you like to speak to that?
12337 MS. DOUGLAS: Sure. Our submission comes in consultation with our own members in terms of evolving views in these conversations around equity and inclusion and diversity. And we would note that that reporting should be voluntary and in accordance with privacy rules and laws and regulations.
12338 But I think our -- what we -- our members have told us, and in conversations with other groups is, is a recognition that there are many marginalized communities, including those from LGBTQIA2S+ and persons with a disability who are also and have been facing barriers in the system, both onscreen and offscreen, and if we're gong to be having the discussions now about data and reporting, that that is at the very least a place to start to help to identify potential gaps or opportunities for improvement.
12339 So we would be supportive of a broader approach to data and reporting around diversity inclusion, and as Kelsey has mentioned, we think that should come with consultations with community groups to ensure that we're doing it right.
12340 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Thank you.
12341 My next question relates to the quantitative approach that you have articulated, and you've really emphasised the importance of taking a quantitative approach to ensure that certain, or specific types of programming is provided within the broadcast system.
12342 And so Commissioner Barin also set out a framework, the OLMC framework to ensure that there are exhibition and expenditure requirements on programming that's directed for diversity groups, and you indicated that you might provide a written response.
12343 I was wondering if either you are prepared to speak to today or provide a written response with respect to whether that framework could be applied to diversity groups, but specifically, which diversity groups? And so the diversity groups that you -- we have been discussing have been both Indigenous, racialized Canadians with disabilities and the LGBTQ community, and so any thoughts that you have on setting expenditure requirements and exhibition requirements to all of those categories, it would be interesting to hear your views on that.
12344 MS. McLAREN: Thank you, Commissioner Anderson, and that is something that we will address more fully in our final written response.
12345 But just to take this opportunity to say here that we also truly believe that one of the reasons why it's so important to have expenditure requirements for PNI and children's and youth programming is because you do get that -- like they're good vehicles in terms of making sure that there is a diversity of storytelling, and producers and creators being shown. I mean, we can look at the PNI that's being commissioned by CBC more recently, and that's where you do see various communities being better represented.
12346 Not to say that it's enough, that's not the impression I want to give, but just to say that because of just the nature of PNI programming being a place where Canadians can tell their stories and be reflected, we do think that those are two very good vehicles for that.
12347 But we will, you know, take back what we've heard in the hearing and from our discussions today. And again, we're a member-based organization so we always have to go back to our members and have fuller discussions on this, so we will address more fully in our final written submissions as well. But I just want to give that opportunity to say why PNI in children's and youth programming is so important with these respects as well.
12348 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Right. Okay, thank you.
12349 And then my last set of questions or the area that I'd like to explore is a bit of a discussion on the special elections, I believe is what you called it, when you decided to diversify your governing body or your board of directors.
12350 And I was wondering, did you add positions to the board? Is that what happened? And also, can you -- I see head nodding, just for the record, and, in addition to that, what changed? Can you speak to what changed after you added positions to the Board and specifically added directors from diverse backgrounds?
12351 MR. MASTIN: So, at the risk of giving an example that flows from the fact that it was the last meeting that I had, but it’s the one that comes most top of my mind. So, we held a board meeting last week to discuss the key issues of the day, and one of the things also we were talking about was our budget for the coming fiscal year where, it will not surprise you, there is a rather high level of uncertainty.
12352 But, one of the dynamics that was in play in the discussion was, as Marcia and Kelsey have mentioned, we have a mentorship program that is very longstanding, and we have partnered with various levels of government in order to deliver that program. And, one of the questions that was placed for the purposes of priority setting for this year was it’s great that we have these government partnerships, but could the CMPA not make more significant direct investments through our own budget in our mentorship program to facilitate greater access in a way that is smart and targeted and is guided by the Board and underrepresented members of the Board for their insight as to how to do this?
12353 So, that’s just to give you one, just the most recent example because it just happened, of how these conversations at the Board are shifting our priorities and potentially also shifting allocation of resources within the organization.
12354 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Thank you. Thank you for your responses and your submissions.
12355 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Commissioner Lafontaine?
12356 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you, CMPA panel, for your presentation this morning. I have one quick question for you about average licence fees paid by the public broadcaster for PNI, kids and documentaries. I see in your profile, your most profile document that you got the average licence fees for the private broadcasters. I’m wondering if you have this information for the public broadcaster. And, if you don’t have it on the -- at your fingertips at this moment, whether you could file that in February.
12357 MR. MASTIN: Kelsey, Marcia, do either of you know? We certainly are happy to file. Yes.
12358 MS. McLAREN: Agreed. But, just as an example, we also think it would be important to hear from CBC on this issue as well because, of course, we do measure these sorts of things and in profile and, of course, we hear anecdotally from our members. Of course, we aren’t -- the CMPA isn’t directly a party between these deals between, you know, specific-member companies and CBC. So, just to put the suggestion out there that a good place to ask would also be from CBC itself but, of course, we will look at the information that we track and, of course, be happy to file that as part of our final written submissions.
12359 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
12360 MR. MASTIN: And, Commissioner, one data issue could be that we can only report aggregated data. So, we may not be in a position to provide CBC-specific data flowing from profile. I could be wrong about that, but I just wanted to flag that.
12361 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Okay, thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
12362 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, and thank you for qualification, Mr. Mastin. Commissioner Simard? Vice-Chair Simard, pardon.
12363 COMMISSIONER SIMARD: Thank you very much, Chairman. I am conscious of the time, so I will be brief. I have one quick question for you. It’s a question of clarification. The answer might be in your written submission. I’m sorry, I read it a while ago, so I’m not 100 per cent sure. So, that’s why I’m asking you this question so the information is on the record.
12364 So, in paragraph 14, you said that the onus is on CBC to demonstrate that its proposal for cross-platform exhibition hours will ensure that its programming is of high quality, accessible and discoverable. CBC has not met this onus. After that, you explained your proposal exhibition and expenditure.
12365 It’s not clear to me, based on the information, I think, that Ms. McLaren provided about discoverability if, in your mind and in your submission, on top of that you think that there is a need for them to provide us with more information about specific measures that they are contemplating in order to, you know, meet your -- you know, all the criteria you are -- you describe in paragraph 14. So...
12366 MS. McLAREN: Thank you, Vice-Chair Simard for this question. I guess it really just comes down to what is the function of exhibition requirements and expenditure requirements. Why we are so concerned and strongly recommending the imposition of expenditure requirements is that it will ensure -- you know, it will guarantee that base level of investment in, you know, PNI and children’s and youth programming.
12367 And, of course, we are concerned about discoverability having, you know, read CBC’s application and heard their testimony at the hearing. They are proposing an exhibition requirement and, yet, when you try to, you know, translate or migrate exhibition hours from linear TV where discoverability is built in, when you turn on the TV ---
12368 COMMISSIONER SIMARD: Yes.
12369 MS. McLAREN: --- you discover the programming.
12370 COMMISSIONER SIMARD: Yes.
12371 MS. McLAREN: And then the idea that saying, “Great, okay, we’ll just take -- we’ll pluck an exhibition hour from, you know, PNI in prime time and put it on Gem.” You know, our hopes would be that it would be either prominently displayed or curated or, you know, someway to make it discoverable to audiences there, but we just know that there haven’t been any assurances given of what that would mean, and ---
12372 COMMISSIONER SIMARD: So, my question for you, is it a sine qua non condition in your submission or not? That’s the point that is not clear to me.
12373 MS. McLAREN: Sorry, I’m not sure what that term means, and perhaps that’s just me.
12374 COMMISSIONER SIMARD: So, I mean, is it something that is required, like, in your submission, that they are more specific about those specific measures. Are the expenditure requirements on top of the exhibition requirements would be enough in order for us to move forward or agree with the flex proposal? So -- or are you saying that there is a need, that we have more information in order to regulate, you know, those aspects, those measures?
12375 MS. McLAREN: I understand. So, our proposal is to impose the expenditure requirements along with CBC’s proposal for a cross-platform exhibition and that is our proposal. On top of that, we think it would be good to hear how things will be discoverable and to track this and, as we move forward, you know, further into online regulations to know about those things and to ask those questions. But, you know, in terms of what our proposal is, it is cross-platform expenditure hours in addition to those cross-platform exhibition hours.
12376 COMMISSIONER SIMARD: That’s clear. Thank you very much.
12377 MS. McLAREN: Thank you.
12378 COMMISSIONER SIMARD: Thank you.
12379 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Thank you again for your appearance today and responding to our questions. I’ll turn it over to the hearing secretary. I believe it’s time for our morning break.
12380 MS. ROY: Yes, we will be back at 11:35.
12381 THE CHAIRPERSON: Merci, thank you.
12382 MS. ROY: Merci. Thank you.
--- Upon recessing at 11:19 a.m. /
L'audience est suspendue à 11h19
--- Upon resuming at 11:34 a.m./
L’audience est reprise à 11h34
12383 MS. ROY: Good morning. We will now hear the presentation from PBC21, the Public Broadcasting for Canada in the 21st Century. Please introduce yourself and your colleagues, and you have 10 minutes for your presentation.
12385 MS. WILKINSON: Mr. Chairman, Commissioners, good morning. I'm Kealy Wilkinson, and with me are a few of our PBC21 number, Alain Pineau, Jeffrey Dvorkin, Paul Gaffney, and Alain Saulnier.
12386 I should also, in the interest of transparency, let you know that we are also members of the formers, the many one-time CBC staffers who have asked for your regulatory consideration of Tandem's impact on the CBC's credibility. Thank you for the invitation to appear.
12387 Much of the concern we'll be expressing about the Corporation today is directed towards its role as a public service broadcaster on all its platforms, and especially, but not exclusively, English television.
12388 For decades, the Corporation's management has struggled to administer one of the world's largest public broadcasting services. Limited resources have always been a challenge, but the intention was never that its services would simply provide more of the same programming already available from other Canadian stations and networks.
12389 Today, digital technologies have erased national orders. Advertising revenue is fleeing traditional media, and a succession of governments has slashed CBC's annual procreations. Drastic action had to be taken as revenue disappeared. CBC's management took it, but to the detriment of the Corporation's public service's mandate.
12390 Management commandeered resources from local and regional services and redirected them to shore up network television and grow new digital platforms. In a frantic search for dollars, it maximised the number of commercial windows on its TV networks, even in newscasts, and then along came Tandem.
12391 Now one of its key services, CBC TV has become a public broadcaster in name only. It is now a self-described publicly subsidized commercial network. But in English Canada, the Corporation's most popular and distinctive services are its non-commercial radio networks.
12392 The CBC proposals in review in this hearing provide little reassurance that corporate management recognises its unique role, and that is why today we can offer only conditionals for the renewal of CBC/Radio-Canada's licences.
12394 Mme ROY: Monsieur Pineau, vous êtes sur sourdine.
12395 M. PINEAU: Voilà.
12396 Mme ROY: Parfait.
12397 M. PINEAU: Alors, je recommence.
12398 Bonjour! La mission de notre diffuseur public, c’est d’être au service du public canadien, pas des annonceurs. Vous voyez beaucoup de cheveux blancs sur ce panel, mais la notion de service public que nous défendons, elle, n’a pas vieilli – elle est toujours aussi adéquate aujourd’hui.
12399 Vous l’avez entendu souvent cette semaine : le mandat de Radio-Canada/CBC reste le même : intéresser, informer, éclairer, divertir et inspirer les Canadiens et créer des ponts entre les diverses communautés de ce vaste pays. La Loi sur la radiodiffusion de 1991 stipule que les services des diffusion en français et en anglais exercent leur mandat sous différentes conditions et ils peuvent avoir des façons différentes de s’acquitter de ce mandat.
12400 Radio-Canada a joué un rôle indéniable dans la protection de la langue et de la culture françaises au pays et tout particulièrement au Québec. Elle a contribué largement aux talents francophones et celui d’un star-system que le reste du Canada anglais nous envie.
12401 Mais ni Radio-Canada ni la CBC n’ont consacré les ressources nécessaires pour échanger ou coproduire régulièrement des émissions entre les deux groupes de langues officielles – non plus d’ailleurs que d’exploiter pleinement le talent qui se trouve dans les diverses régions.
12402 En retirant progressivement les ressources des régions, la Société n’a même pas su établir des ponts entre les différentes parties d’un même groupe linguistique. Les réductions successives des budgets et les impératifs de la commercialisation de services ont en effet mené à une centralisation de plus en plus grande de la production, au détriment du véritable service public. Et qu’un représentant des ventes commerciales ait son mot à dire sur les choix de programmation du diffuseur public, que la créativité, l’originalité et le risque attendus du diffuseur public soit soumis à des considérations du genre « combien de revenus l’émission peut-être rapporter? Sinon, on la laisse tomber », cela est une distorsion inacceptable du service public comme nous l’entendons.
12403 C’est pourquoi nous disons que Radio-Canada/CBC doit être restructuré comme un système de média de services publics débarrassé des contraintes commerciales. Jeffrey?
12404 MR. DVORKIN: Merci, Alain.
12405 Hello, I'm Jeffrey Dvorkin. I want to talk a bit about what it would mean to restructure CBC/Radio-Canada. Restructuring CBC particularly means decentralising how the Corporation works. We think that is the way to make CBC/Radio-Canada more useful, more vital, and more truly Canadian. Restructuring means recognising that the range of Canada-wide talent, stories and concerns has been reduced by the CBC's relentless centralising of resources.
12406 The essence of the CBC and Radio-Canada is to be found elsewhere and not just in Toronto, in Montreal and, from time to time in Vancouver. The core of the public broadcaster, we believe, is to be found in the dozens of stations around the country. Those audiences for those stations now rarely see or hear themselves or their concerns in what is acquired and distributed by the network of the national public broadcaster.
12407 We believe that local programmers and managers should be able to have a far greater role in deciding what programs to run and when to run them. Local producers and managers are best positioned to know their audiences.
12408 And a word about CBC News. CBC News is now the largest single news-gathering agency in Canada. It should also be rethought to serve as a complement to the public's need for reliable information. We propose to make all news stories now on the CBC's digital, Indigenous and traditional services available to any private media organisation in return for proper credit, of course, but at no cost. We all pay for the news service. Every Canadian should benefit from it. We all pay for the public broadcaster. Every region should be able to participate.
12409 Restructuring means reimagining CBC's Canada in a 21st century context geographically, economically, culturally, and technologically. Restructuring means, we think, turning today's CBC on its head.
12411 MR. GAFFNEY: Hello. I'm Paul Gaffney. No matter what vision we may have for public broadcasting, we inevitably come to the question of resources. How are we going to pay for it?
12412 Since CBC/Radio-Canada was founded, there has never been enough public funding to pay for everything we've asked it to do. From the beginning, advertising revenue has been needed to supplement taxpayer dollars. Over the years, CBC's dependence on ads has continued to grow, to influence both programming and scheduling choices, and as we've seen increasingly as the digital presence expands, to dominate CBC's image.
12413 At the same time, as you've heard more than once, comparing the CBC's per capita public funding to that of other industrialised nations puts us third from the bottom, barely a third of the average of those other public broadcasters, most of whom don't face anything like the CBC's challenges in terms of geography, language, culture, and critically competition.
12414 Unfortunately, today, we are suffering the confluence of all of those pressures. The relentless quest for commercial revenue on the television and digital services is clearly doing the CBC more harm than good. And the ongoing protest over Tandem's branded content is a prime example of that problem.
12415 We simply must end that dependency.
12416 Then, we will have to fund the future the CBC apparently aspires to or redesign the service to match what we’re able to pay for it. There are, after all, other ways of looking at public broadcasting and other ways of funding it. But, whatever we decide, the status quo is no longer an option.
12417 MS. WILKINSON: This hearing is a watershed event in our history. It’s possible that there will never again be such an opportunity to reframe and revitalize our national public service broadcaster.
12418 In 1936, CBC/Radio-Canada was created as a public trust. Nearly a century later, it holds massive creative and other resources on behalf of the people of Canada. It is these resources and its services that the Commission must safeguard for our shared future, and that’s an enormous responsibility.
12419 The corporation’s management has put a tollgate on the national public broadcasting dream of its founders. Great national artistic and documentary assets that belong to all of us are languishing in the corporation’s archives and demand to be liberated. The vision of our people working together to share their arts and discourse has been entombed in two solitudes. They demand to be released. And, the mandate to inform, enlighten and entertain citizens regardless of language, ethnicity, religion or class has been replaced by a preference to deliver marketable Canadians to advertisers.
12420 Your current regulatory dilemma must seem like fencing with feathers, but may we respectfully remind you that the corporation was founded not to wholesale domestic consumers to corporate clients but to deliver audio-visual programs of interest to all Canadians. The Commission has the moral and legal authority to ensure that the foundations on which the CBC was built are affirmed and renewed.
12421 The power rests with you to preserve and protect our cultural heritage assets, to nourish and enable discourse and dialogue throughout our nation and affirm the most fundamental principle of all: that our airwaves and our bandwidths, analog and digital, belong to the Canadian people. Thank you for your time and attention, and we will be happy to answer your questions.
12422 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your presentation and your submissions. I will turn the floor to Commissioner Anderson, if I may.
12423 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Thank you very much for your submissions. I’m going to begin by asking you some general questions about local programming and a measurement framework for our public broadcaster. And then I will ask you a few specific questions that arose with respect to your submissions.
12424 So, I have a sense of your views on this but, for the record, could you please articulate whether you think that local programming offered by the public broadcaster is relevant for all communities and regions in Canada regardless of the region or location in which the Canadian lives?
12425 MS. WILKINSON: Jeffrey, would you like to tackle that one, please?
12426 MR. GAFFNEY: You’re muted, Jeff.
12427 MR. DVORKIN: Thank you. Technology is my life. I just wanted to say that I think that local programming plays an enormous role, and that the spine of any public broadcaster is located in those regions not in the centre. The centre has an obligation to take those qualities and make them available in a generalized way. But, I think the importance of that local programming is so critical because it’s how -- the news, at the local level, is how communities get to know about itself and its concerns and what is going on and not to have it just homogenized into some kind of national mesh that comes out of either Toronto or Montreal.
12428 So, my experience is that the strength of any national network has to be found predominantly in the local audiences and in the service to those local audiences. And, I’ve seen this again in a couple of places, and I am kind of appalled that the CBC seems to be abandoning, for whatever reasons, its commitment to local service.
12429 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Thank you. Speaking about staying relevant to the local audience, one of the areas that we have been fleshing out, to an extent, is how to gauge relevance of programming. And, I was wondering if you had any views on how to determine whether or not programming is indeed relevant to the community that is purporting to be served or purported to be served.
12430 MS. WILKINSON: Commissioner, the essence of the measurement of relevance seems -- it seems to us is whether or not the audience is being served and the audience is responding to the content that’s being delivered. The measure -- whether you live on Baffin Island or Toronto or in Western Canada, it’s a question of whether the messages, the content is speaking to you, is reflecting back to you concerns and issues about which you have been wondering and adding to your base of knowledge and enabling you, in fact, to participate actively in the life of the community in which you live. That’s our measure of relevance.
12431 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: And so, how would we monitor that as a regulator or how would the corporation monitor that? How would that information be provided back to the corporation or reported back to us?
12432 MS. WILKINSON: Jeffrey?
12433 MR. DVORKIN: There was a time at the CBC where the measurement of the audience was divided into two specific ways. One was something that was known colloquially as the “enjoyment index” ---
12434 MS. WILKINSON: Yes.
12435 MR. DVORKIN: --- that is to say how much are you enjoying a program? And, on CBC Radio, programs like Ideas, which had a relatively smaller audience, had a much higher enjoyment index when there was audience surveys done. Then, the morning newscast of World Report, which had a much higher numerical rating than did Ideas. But, the way of measuring audience satisfaction can’t be just defined by audience numbers.
12436 There is a qualitative, as well as a quantitative approach to how we handle programming. And, yes, Ideas doesn’t have -- back in the day when I was at the CBC, it had an audience, and I’m not sure how big it is now, but it was an audience of about 350,000 a night for Ideas, whereas World Report was in the millions on a daily basis.
12437 I’m not sure those -- I don’t know what those numbers are today, but the difference was that people felt they needed to be informed. They weren’t enjoying the news, but they were enjoying other programs. So, the CBC seems to have lost its ability to understand that it can serve the audience, the public in different ways and not to be dependent on only one metric.
12438 MS. WILKINSON: Alain Saulnier, I think you have something to add?
12439 Mr. SAULNIER: Oui, ben, écoutez, je me présente, Alain Saulnier. Moi, je suis beaucoup plus rattaché, si on veut, à l’histoire de Radio-Canada français puisque j’ai été directeur général de l’information des services français de 2006 à 2012.
12440 Je pense qu’il faut voir aussi les choses un peu différemment selon qu’on parle de Radio-Canada ou qu’on parle de CBC. C’est important qu’on fasse cette distinction-là et c'est important qu’elle demeure, cette distinction-là, parce qu’on a toujours revendiqué du côté francophone d’avoir justement ce caractère distinct pour nous permettre d’aborder, de façon peut-être plus précise, le marché francophone.
12441 Or, je pense que Radio-Canada dessert très bien son auditoire. Rappelez-vous que nous sommes toujours, nous, francophones, minoritaires en Amérique du Nord, et puis Radio-Canada joue un rôle absolument essentiel. En matière d’informations, il n’y a pas mieux que l’information à Radio-Canada à mon point de vue et il faut qu’on puisse miser là-dessus.
12442 Toutefois, je pense, comme mes collègues, que le poids de la quête de publicités à tout prix prend beaucoup trop d’importance à Radio-Canada et le malheur veut que ce soit eux qui accompagnent maintenant les émissions qu’on appelle de la programmation générale pour pouvoir voir de quelle façon est-ce qu’on peut faire de l’argent avec ces émissions-là avant même de voir s’il y a de la créativité et s’il y a de l’originalité dans les contenus.
12443 Alors moi, à mon point de vue, je pense qu’il faut revoir Radio-Canada parce que cette quête de publicités à tout prix prend trop d’importance et c’est la raison pour laquelle je suis plutôt quelqu’un qui est partisan de la recommandation du rapport Yale qui voulait qu’on retire progressivement la publicité de Radio-Canada parce qu’elle est beaucoup trop pesante, et on l’a vu notamment avec l’expérience malheureuse de Tandem qui est une expérience de publicités déguisée en information. Pourquoi faire de la publicité déguisée en information, allez-vous me demander, parce que c’est plus crédible, et encore davantage si la publicité déguisée en information, ça peut ressemble à de l’information à Radio-Canada. Or, c’est ce que nous avons de plus précieux comme marque de confiance, comme marque de commerce, l’information.
12444 Alors, je trouve qu’il faut qu’il y ait un virage important. Il y a un véritable débat à avoir sur l’avenir de Radio-Canada/CBC comme mandat public.
12445 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Thank you. You spoke about Tandem having the potential to harm content. And, actually, one of my questions with respect to the measurement framework was about safeguarding content and various types of content, whether it’s children or youth programming or programming for young adults or programming for official language minority communities.
12446 If the Commission were to impose conditions of licence on types of content that require safeguards, what types of content would that be?
12447 MS. WILKINSON: Well, I think I will take the first crack at that one unless, Paul, you would like to have primacy on this one? All right. I think we -- our concerns obviously are to do with content. A regular conversation that we heard during this hearing has been about measurements and, frankly, about technology.
12448 New technologies have a tendency to dazzle us. They often appear to offer endless promise of one kind or another, and what is more, to be said, to be almost certainly the death nail for whatever has preceded them. The internet, the web, pipes, platforms, digital, all names for the newest technology, but whatever you call it, what it’s delivering that’s most in demand are audio-visual services, content that, since the early 1920’s, has been called radio and, since the early ‘50s in Canada, television.
12449 Most of the discussion here has been about linear versus digital and the numbers that can be attached and how we can measure what it is they’re delivering. That’s all the technology. But, you know, I think we’re here to bring the discussion back to not the how, but the what, because it would be more than ironic if this most critical public hearing were just to focus exclusively on the medium rather than the message.
12450 You’re interested in how to measure and how to protect -- what should be protected if that sort of thing is possible. What, if you want, pardon the expression, guardrails can be (line cuts out). Obviously, children’s programming, I think, would be one of the first to be considered. Drama, because that tells our stories. That’s how we communicate to each other in a large measure through fiction of one kind or another.
12451 We think that there is a significant role also for cultural programming, for reflections of the arts in Canada, for Canadians to use our radio and television services, our audio-visual to get to know each other from one end of the country to the other. And, for that segment, the element of performance is going to have to be renewed.
12452 Alain Saulnier pour Radio-Canada?
12453 M. SAULNIER: Oui, ben, écoutez, moi, je pense que dans le cas de Radio-Canada, un des défis est de représenter les francophones à travers le pays. Je pense aussi qu’li est important de voir de quelle manière les nouvelles formes, les nouvelles… la nouvelle technologie nous permet de répondre encore davantage à ces différentes localités, communautés où sont regroupés les francophones à travers le pays.
12454 Je pense également qu’il faut absolument que dans les contenus, on soit capable de pouvoir les exempter de cette publicité déguisée. Malheureusement… je vais vous donner un exemple, parce que je trouve qu’il illustre très bien le malheureux glissement qu’il y a eu de ce côté-là.
12455 Prenons un exemple. Je regardais dans la page d’accueil de Tandem de Radio-Canada, je suis allé voir un des exemples qui apparait et puis je regarde en haut à gauche, c’est une grande banque, donc y’a « Produit des contenus de marque avec Radio-Canada Tandem » et en haut à gauche, on distingue très bien l’appellation « radio-canada.ca » et le logo de Radio-Canada. Or, cette même banque-là qui se paie de belles pages de crédibilité est la même banque qui a été à l’origine de plusieurs reportages, dont deux de l’émission Enquête, pour avoir accepté de faire des transactions avec des fonds suspects.
12456 Alors, ce que vous voyez là, c'est que quand le service de la publicité, le groupe Revenu, prend trop d’espace, ça vient nécessairement colorer et teinter les contenues qui sont proposés. Ça fait que moi, c’est pour ça que je veux absolument qu’on ait un vrai débat de fond sur la trop grande importance que la publicité occupe à l’intérieur du service public de Radio-Canada.
12457 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Thank you.
12458 MS. WILKINSON: Alain Pineau, do you have something to add?
12459 M. PINEAU: Je voulais ajouter à ce que mon collègue vient de dire que, contrairement à ce qu’on a entendu qui était implicite dans certaines interventions, ce n’est pas… quand on cherche l’abandon de la publicité, on ne cherche pas la diminution des cotes d’écoute. Ce n’est pas vrai, comme a dit Radio-Canada, que ça prend de la publicité pour rester en contact avec des auditoires. Jeffrey nous a montré comment est-ce qu’on pouvait le faire autrefois, et on peut le faire encore aujourd'hui.
12460 Et je pense c’est très important que la programmation générale – et c’est particulièrement réussi du côté français, je dois le dire là, au risque de me faire accuser de prêcher pour ma paroisse –, c’est particulièrement réussi du côté français où on traite de sujets de société qui sont très importants, que ce soit l’inceste, que ce soit la maternité, que ce soit l’homosexualité, que ce soit… vous le nommez, et c’est traité d’une façon que, évidemment, l’information ne peut pas faire, et il faut toujours que la qualité des productions de Radio-Canada soit telle que ça serve de litmus test, comme on dit en anglais, c’est pas quelque chose de nouveau, on disait ça il y a 30 ans au CRTC, et on va le répéter encore aujourd'hui.
12461 MS. WILKINSON: If I could just add one final note, Commissioner, and that would be a guardrail for something that needs to be revived rather than -- it’s already -- they’re still there, and that’s the silos of English and French programming. We’re calling for the restoration of the corporation’s cross-cultural programming initiative, something that functioned for more than a decade and generated some of the most spectacular documentary programming the CBC and Radio-Canada have ever produced.
12462 It started, of course, with “Canada: A People’s History” in 2002, but subsequently operate for another 10 years or so until it was -- fell victim to budget cuts, of course, but, in the process, during that 10 years, generated more than 55 hours of spectacular documentary programming in each of our official languages, and that’s the sort of cooperation that we would like to see regenerated inside the corporation.
12463 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Thank you very much. Your remarks are noted for the record, specifically with the -- with respect to your comments on how advertising might influence the programming decisions made by the public broadcaster.
12464 If I could go directly to your submissions now and ask you some questions for clarification, that would be really helpful. One of the comments that you made in your written submissions was that CBC News Network should be closed as CBC TV will become universally available over the air by BDUs and streamed on CBC Gem.
12465 I was wondering if you could explain a bit more why you think that service should be closed and whether or not you think that ICI RDI, which is to some extent the French version of CBC News Network should be closed as well.
12466 MS. WILKINSON: Commissioner, the concept we were working on at the time and still (line cuts
12467 MS. ROY: Ms. Wilkinson? You are on mute.
12468 MS. WILKINSON: Hold on a second here.
12469 MS. ROY: Okay, perfect.
12470 MS. WILKINSON: There. Commissioner, at the time we were addressing the shortcomings in budgets that are bedevilling the corporation and have been for decades and looking for a way to rationalize available resources and maximize the delivery of essential programming.
12471 Our sense was that the audiences for CBC Television were diminishing year over year, and the latest numbers are not encouraging. And that with the rapid disconnection from cable of a number of younger Canadians, particularly, that it might turn out to be considerably more efficient, if we consolidated the programming from both of those services on a service that was universally available; that is, one from which you did not have to pay additional monthly fees to access.
12472 It seemed to us that, on the basis of the principles that most public broadcasters adhere to, universality has to be one of the principal ones. And CBC News Network at present time, of course, is not being universally available.
12473 Alain, would you like to speak to RDI please?
12474 M. SAULNIER: Oui, je veux bien en parler mais je ne veux pas non plus passer pour la belle-mère qui devrait expliquer comment on devrait gérer un RDI à Radio-Canada à l’heure actuelle.
12475 Mais ce que quand même je remarque c’est que le Réseau de l’information à Radio-Canada a pu être créé lorsqu’on a eu les contributions des… par l’intermédiaire des câblodistributeurs. Et puis c’est grâce au CRTC que cette décisions-là a été prise aussi, il y a déjà plusieurs années.
12476 On voit, par contre, que ce modèle d’affaires est en train d’éclater. Je vous donne pour exemple, moi, j’enseigne à des jeunes qui ont moins de 30 ans. Évidemment, ces gens-là ne sont pas câblés. Ils sont sur Internet. Ils n’ont pas de télévision mais ils ont un écran qui s’appelle un téléphone mobile ou un écran d’ordinateur.
12477 On en est rendu à cette étape où les gens ne sont plus en train de faire… bâtir leur programmation lorsqu’elle est imposée par qui que ce soit. Ils y vont à volonté selon leur disponibilité.
12478 Ça, ça change tout le modèle d’affaires. Alors peut-être qu’il faudrait effectivement que dans le débat de fond, le débat public qu’on doit avoir sur l’avenir de Radio-Canada, on inclut à l’intérieur de ça les services comme le Réseau de l’information, les services numériques et que tout ça soit vu comme étant un ensemble, un tout, qui devrait être bien financé.
12479 Il faudra trouver des alternatives de financement mais il ne faut surtout pas qu’on sombre, à mon point de vue, dans cette publicité qui va beaucoup trop loin par les temps qui courent.
12480 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Thank you very much.
12481 So somewhat on that note and speaking of consolidation and cost-saving measures, one of the strategies that you put forward is encouraging an increased collaboration between the French-language market and the English-language market, and specifically I think you said between Montreal and Toronto.
12482 I was wondering if you could articulate what that collaboration looks like and whether it would be implemented through a condition of licence or some other measure?
12483 MS. WILKINSON: Commissioner, we have -- there is a plan, in fact, that we have put together for that exact activity or for its revival.
12484 I suspect it’s probably in more details than we can present to you right here, but we’d be happy to include it with our final reply, including budgets and the actual details of what would be involved.
12485 A condition of licence is one mechanism by which that could be ensured, or its encouragement developed. Whether or not that is necessary and imperative would be beyond my expertise.
12486 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Thank you very much. I am sure that the Commission would welcome any further submissions in your Reply with respect to this question and your corresponding answer.
12487 And then my last question for you relates to some remarks that you’ve made about an increased appetite for dubbed services or subtitled services in light of foreign language content on digital media such as Netflix. You proposed that efforts should be made to make available translated newscasts or sections of newscasts that would inform unilingual Canadians about what is making news in the other section of our culture, if you will.
12488 Is there a risk that dubbed or subtitled original productions in English or in French could lead to a decrease in original programming?
12489 MS. WILKINSON: Jeffrey, would you have ---
12490 MR. DVORKIN: That’s a good question. I confess I haven’t thought about that in those terms.
12491 What we are seeing now is a reduction in original content produced inside the CBC. And part of this, and this is maybe another longer discussion, is about how the digital culture has affected the ability or the inability to do substantial content.
12492 Occasionally, I would be interviewed as a professor at U of T on an issue of some interest to a news organization. When I had a CBC reporter come to interview me, I would always ask, “How many stories are you expected to do today?” And the answer would be, “If I’m lucky, only five or six.”
12493 I think what the digital culture has done is it hasn’t particularly expanded our ability to perceive other places, people’s ideas, cultures. What it has done at the CBC is created a digital sweatshop, where reporters, journalists, producers are on a… on a hamster wheel of production.
12494 And some of my students from U of T would get internships at the CBC, some of which were very good, but they reported back to me that they were obliged to produce more and more with less and less.
12495 And one indicator was that one of my students, a really terrific, smart young man whose family came from East Africa, said that he was put on the CBC.ca desk. And his producer was told to find something vaguely Canadian on YouTube; write some copy around it; and then they would take it and put it on the CBC website.
12496 And my student said to his boss, “Why don’t we do this story ourselves?” And he was told, “We don’t do that anymore. We leave that to Global.”
12497 This has become an endemic problem inside the CBC, that the digital culture has allowed for a kind of a speedup and a diminishing of contextual journalism and contextual information.
12498 That may not answer your question directly, but I wanted to get that on the record.
12499 MS. WILKINSON: And for Radio-Canada?
12500 M. SAULNIER: Écoutez; sur Radio-Canada, je pense que l’objectif de Radio-Canada n’est pas de favoriser une programmation bilingue. C’est de favoriser les Français, peu importe où ils sont au pays.
12501 Alors, il ne faudrait pas que tout à coup on se retrouve à avoir une formule où tout est bilingue, tout est pour tous les uns, tous les autres.
12502 Moi, je pense que c’est un danger. Il faut être très prudent. Je me rappelle qu’il y avait un ancien président-directeur général de Radio-Canada qui avait proposé que, puisqu’on n’avait pas à l’époque RDI mais que News World existait, il avait proposé tout simplement de proposer en guise de chaîne d’information continue aux francophones une traduction simultanée des nouvelles qui étaient à News World.
12503 Il y avait eu une levée de boucliers au Québec et au Canada français sur cette question-là.
12504 Et il faut, oui, rapprocher… faire un rapprochement plus grand entre CBC et Radio-Canada mais pas au détriment de l’épanouissement, le rayonnement de la culture francophone. C’est de cela dont on a besoin lorsqu’on est minoritaire en Amérique du Nord. Ça nous prend des programmes en français. Ça nous prend un reflet de ce qui se passe en Acadie, de ce qui se passe dans l’ouest pour les Franco-Albertains, les Franco-Manitobains. Et c’est de cette façon-là que Radio-Canada joue son rôle dans sa langue en affirmant sa culture et en développant une information qui soit l’information pour l’ensemble des francophones au Canada.
12505 MS. WILKINSON: And one thing I will add, however, is that suggestion arose out of conversations with a number of families who have young children in French school. Parents who don’t speak very much French but who are trying to learn a bit more about Canada’s francophone culture and who are looking for ways to have a bit of a window into a world that was not very familiar to them and with whom, frankly, they had no other means of communicating. So the idea that we were asked by a number of parents' groups who said, "Is there any way that CBC could do occasional newscasts where they would be taking items, you know, and explaining key items that were happening in francophone Canada that day" so when their kids came home from school, they could actually share some of the excitement.
12506 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Thank you. Thank you for contextualizing that submission, and thank you for your submissions in general.
12507 I have no further question, and I’ll pass the floor back to the Chair. Thank you. Merci.
12508 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Merci beaucoup pour votre représentation.
12509 I don’t see any indication of any additional questions from the Members. Again, as Commissioner Anderson said, thank you very much for taking the time ---
12510 M. PINEAU: Monsieur le président, est-ce que je pourrais ajouter quelque chose, s’il vous plait? Juste…
12511 LE PRÉSIDENT: Oui, Monsieur Pineau.
12512 M. PINEAU: Juste pour clarifier. D’une part, j’appuie entièrement ce que M. Saulnier vient de dire au sujet de l’importance que Radio-Canada puisse faire ses propres reportages en français. Je pense que c’est fondamental, c'est dans la tradition de ce qu’a été Radio-Canada tout le long.
12513 Deuxièmement, pour répondre un peu à la question de Mme Anderson qui demandait est-ce que la traduction simultanée ou des sous-titres pourraient nuire à la production de contenu original, je pense que non, parce que – et là, je rejoins Kealy également – je pense qu’avec les moyens de distribution qui existent aujourd'hui, il y a moyen de distribuer des émissions, que ce soit des dramatiques ou de l’information, pour ceux qui le veulent, avec un système de traduction de sous-titres. C'est de plus en plus courant, les gens sont de plus en plus habitués à ça, et c’est un service que Radio-Canada pourrait se permettre d’offrir pour l’accroissement du bilinguisme au pays, je pense que c’est très important, surtout l’accroissement du nombre d’anglophones qui parlent français ou qui le comprennent à tout le moins.
12514 Et finalement, les points que je voudrais mettre sur la table, c’est que quand on recommande l’abandon et le remplacement du revenu publicitaire, on ne dit pas que ça, on dit aussi – et je pense que c’est ça qui nuit le plus à la production de contenu original –, c’est qu’il faut remplacer, oui, le contenu, et progressivement, il y a différentes façons de le faire là, on peut en parler ou on pourra en parler, mais il y a différentes façons de remplacer le revenu publicitaire qui existe actuellement, mais ce qui est plus fondamental – et je reviens sur le point que Paul Gaffney faisait dans sa partie de la présentation –, il faut que l’investissement public dans le diffuseur public soit beaucoup plus grand qu’il ne l’est actuellement. C’est ça qui nuit le plus à une production originale actuellement.
12515 Merci beaucoup de m’avoir permis de rajouter ça.
12516 LE PRÉSIDENT: Merci. Merci pour la précision.
12517 Alors, Madame la secrétaire, are we ready for the next intervenor?
12518 MS. ROY: Yes, we are.
12519 Donc, maintenant…
12520 LE PRÉSIDENT: Merci. Allons-y.
12521 Mme ROY: Merci beaucoup pour votre présentation.
12522 Maintenant, je demanderais à M. Benjamin Allard de bien ouvrir son vidéo. Et d’enlever la sourdine. Parfait. Merci.
12523 Bienvenue. Vous pouvez débuter votre présentation. Vous avez 5 minutes.
12524 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
12525 M. ALLARD: Merci beaucoup. Bonjour tout le monde.
12526 Mon nom est Benjamin J. Allard, je suis un travailleur culturel, j’utilise les pronoms « il » et « lui », et je parle d’un territoire non cédé où la nation Kanien'kehá:ka est la gardienne des terres et des eaux depuis des temps immémoriaux, aussi appelé Montréal.
12527 Je suis accompagné, en présence ou en esprit, de Catherine Bodmer, directrice générale du RCAAQ, de Moridja Kitenge, président du conseil d'administration du RAAV, de Christian Messier, enseignant et fondateur d’INVISIBLES, de Dominique Toutant, directeur de la galerie Division et membre du Conseil d’administration de l’AGAC, et de Clayton Windatt, directeur de l’ARCA.
12528 À notre façon, nous sommes tous et toutes aussi des artistes, passionné.e.s des arts et nous dévouons notre vie pour ce secteur. Nous nous présentons devant vous pour demander une meilleure couverture des arts et de la culture à CBC/Radio-Canada.
12529 Nous vous avons déjà fait parvenir une lettre le 31 janvier 2020 à la direction de la Société intitulée Pour une meilleure représentation des arts visuels à Radio-Canada. Cette lettre, signée par près 11 000 personnes, démontre que la couverture actuelle des arts visuels ne représente en rien la diversité et la richesse du secteur. Vous avez eu la chance de prendre connaissance de cette lettre, mais permettez-moi d’en résumer les grandes lignes.
12530 Radio-Canada a une obligation de présenter une information équilibrée, impartiale et intègre, ce qui ne s'observe malheureusement pas en arts visuels. Les artistes ont une perspective critique et développent des formes de savoirs pertinents aux débats de société. Donc, il va de soi que nous devrions apprendre de leurs réflexions et de leurs créations. Les auditeurs et auditrices de Radio-Canada gagneraient à connaître leurs points de vue.
12531 Les rares fois où des artistes en arts visuels sont invité.e.s à une émission de Radio-Canada, ils font partie d’un club très sélect, ce qui contribue à l’idée fausse que l’art visuel est un milieu petit et peu dynamique. De surcroît, ce club est fortement dominé par la présence d’hommes cisgenres, blancs et valides, ce qui dépeint le milieu comme peu diversifié et accessible seulement à un nombre restreint d’initié.e.s. À l’inverse, les personnalités du monde du spectacle jouissent quant à elles d’un accès privilégié à Radio-Canada. Cette couverture culturelle inadéquate fait ombrage à des projets légitimes et rate une opportunité d’expliquer les rouages de ce domaine artistique à un large public.
12532 Force est de constater que la culture à la Société Radio-Canada n’est qu’un régime où le vedettariat prime sur les idées. Notre cri du cœur a aussi résonné fortement dans tous les secteurs culturels, surtout de l’art contemporain. La couverture médiatique des arts comporte des lacunes inacceptables. C’est une situation qui semble s’être exacerbée depuis la fin de la chaîne culturelle. Ces absences dans les médias font en sorte qu’il manque un rouage essentiel pour ce secteur économique, mais aussi dévalorise le travail d’artiste ne permettant pas à leurs voix d’être entendues.
12533 Depuis la lettre, nous avons eu deux rencontres cordiales avec la direction de la Société, mais Radio-Canada ne semble pas prête à modifier leurs pratiques. Au contraire, elle encourage notre milieu, exténué et en manque de moyens, à compétitionner pour les quelques plages horaires disponibles dans leur programmation actuelle. Nous sommes inquiets des orientations que prend Radio-Canada et nous plaidons donc pour un changement de paradigme quant à la place de la culture, des idées et de l’art à notre société d’État.
12534 En ce sens, plus de temps d’antenne devrait être alloué pour améliorer la connaissance du public au sujet des arts visuels et de la culture en général.
12535 D’abord, une place plus importante devrait être faite aux nouvelles et à la critique du milieu.
12536 Ensuite, l’art doit être vulgarisé, par exemple avec des segments sur comment lire une œuvre ou sur l’histoire et les théories de l’art. Les œuvres d’art visuel peuvent aussi renouveler notre attention à des sujets d’actualité. Donc, pour ne citer qu’un exemple, le travail de Caroline Monnet permet de discuter des héritages et des efforts de la colonisation encore bien actuels.
12537 Également, CBC/Radio-Canada devrait aussi nous faire rêver, avec des émissions sur l’art de pointe, des grands entretiens avec des artistes et leurs apparitions dans des émissions de tous genres. D’autres services d’État, notamment France culture, le font régulièrement. D’ailleurs, sur ce point, CBC semble mieux réussir que Radio-Canada à ce sujet. Je pense notamment à l’émission In the Making ou encore avec les entrevues avec les récipiendaires du prix Sobey qui accordent une place précieuse aux arts visuels.
12538 Des expert.e.s devraient aussi être invité.e.s ou des partenariats construits avec les milieux en question, comme avec les regroupements associatifs. D’autant plus, nous pensons qu’il serait nécessaire que Radio-Canada crée un poste de commissaire ou d’éditeur ou d’éditrice aux arts visuels. Cette expertise, qui pourrait être transversale aux plateformes web, à la télévision et à la radio, permettrait certainement d’améliorer la qualité, la quantité et la pertinence de la couverture de l’art.
12539 Bref, nous vous conseillons vivement de revoir les dispositifs en place pour assurer une couverture originale, diversifiée, rigoureuse et créative de la culture.
12540 CBC/Radio-Canada a un rôle primordial pour représenter tous les secteurs culturels, pas seulement comme du divertissement, mais comme une composante essentielle de notre société.
12541 Merci beaucoup.
12542 LE PRÉSIDENT: Merci beaucoup.
12543 Madame Simard.
12544 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: Merci beaucoup, Monsieur le président.
12545 Bonjour, Monsieur Allard. Merci d’être avec nous ce matin. D’abord, j’aurais deux questions de précision.
12546 Donc, est-ce que vos représentations se limitent à Radio-Canada ou elles incluent également CBC?
12547 M. ALLARD: Alors, on parle… lorsque j’ai écrit la lettre avec plusieurs intervenants, c’était, bien sûr, avec une connaissance approfondie de la programmation de Radio-Canada. On a fait cette lettre-là au Québec et on représente différents organismes, notamment québécois, mais également des organismes pancanadiens, et je crois que quand on parle de paradigmes de la place de la culture et des idées, on inclut également CBC. Je crois que c’est quelque chose qui pourrait être intéressant à revoir, mais c’est vraiment à noter qu’il y a des émissions sur l’art visuel spécifiquement sur ce sujet-là à CBC et on trouve un désert total du côté de Radio-Canada.
12548 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: Parfait. Excellent.
12549 Quant au véhicule, ce que j’entends c’est que vos représentations concernent la télévision traditionnelle, n’est-ce pas?
12550 M. ALLARD: Alors, c’est vrai, on présente vraiment une analyse ou plutôt un fait sur tous les véhicules. Sur la télévision, il y a, à ma connaissance, aucun effort qui est fait en ce sens, quelques inclusions parfois au téléjournal, mais bien sûr en réaction de la lettre que j’ai présentée.
12551 À la radio, j’ai présenté certains exemples dans ma lettre de couvertures inacceptables, et ça c’est quand il y a couverture. Et à ma connaissance, il y a très peu de choses également sur leur plateforme web.
12552 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: Et donc, est-ce que dans… vos représentations sont faites pour qu’il y ait une plus grande place, oui, à la télévision traditionnelle. Ça, je pense qu’on l’a compris, mais également sur les plateformes en ligne?
12553 M. ALLARD: Oui, tout à fait.
12554 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: Et en fait, est-ce que ça pourrait être… la solution pourrait se trouver de ce côté-là?
12555 M. ALLARD: En fait, je crois que la solution serait vraiment d’interroger le type de représentations qu’on a du secteur. On n’a pas les moyens… je n’ai pas les moyens, à titre de citoyen, de faire une analyse comme certaines personnes que vous avez reçues lors de cette audience peuvent le faire. On a vu des analyses de plusieurs pages.
12556 Cela dit, je n’ai pas vu d’analyses du type de secteurs culturels qui sont représentés, alors j’aimerais que cette intervention soit comme une sonnette d’alarme qu’on représente certains secteurs culturels au détriment que d’autres.
12557 C’est sûr que ça serait un premier point à faire avec les plateformes web, mais je crois que notre proposition d’avoir un éditeur ou une éditrice aux arts visuels serait une manière de revoir cet ensemble-là.
12558 Puis, Dominique, je sais pas si tu voulais ajouter quelque chose en ce sens?
12559 M. TOUTANT: Oui, en fait, ce que je dirais c’est que la présence d’un éditeur, en fait, il faut juste comprendre, c’est qu’une des choses qui est en sous-texte c’est qu’évidemment l’art visuel c’est très vaste, puis il y a plusieurs types d’arts visuels. Puis des fois c’est difficile de décider qu’est-ce qui est de l’art visuel ou non. Il faut penser de façon très précise. C’est qu’il y a une couverture en arts visuels de vedettes de la télévision qui ont fait des tableaux et tout d’un coup deviennent des personnes qu’on a envie d’interviewer à la radio et à la télévision.
12560 Donc, évidemment, il faut comprendre, comme on est jamais présent sur la scène, la télévision, à peu près jamais; Radio-Canada, radio, une fois de temps en temps, on sent qu’il y a eu un intérêt d’avoir quelques présences depuis la lettre, mais quand même, c’est vraiment… c’est faible.
12561 Il reste que l’idée d’avoir un éditeur, c’est que ça permettrait d’avoir un regard sur qui mérite de le faire. Évidemment, c’est impossible pour le grand public de juger qu’est-ce qui est de l’art d’importance ou pas importante, qui l’a fait. Par passion sympathique, j’ai découvert ça comme passion et comme je suis vedette, je me ramasse à la télévision. Tandis qu’il y a des gens que c’est un métier, que ça fait 30 ans, 40 ans, 50 ans qu’ils font ça puis qui sont jamais vus, jamais diffusés.
12562 Donc, l’idée d’un éditeur c’est que ça permettrait de dire, bon, c’est amusant que telle vedette a fait des tableaux, mais on pourrait peut-être présenter les vrais artistes. Donc ces personnes-là seraient en mesure de faire… d’appuyer dans toutes les plateformes web, télévision et radio, puis seraient capables de leur dire, « Oui, ça, ça vaut la peine. Ça, ça vaut moins la peine. » ou bien « Écoutes, si on parle de ça, peut-être qu’on devrait plutôt parler de tel show qui est dans tel musée ou telle galerie qui est intéressante. » Donc ça serait juste de remettre en contexte que finalement le vedettariat n’est pas nécessairement un gage de succès, que ça devrait être diffusé.
12563 Donc, c’est un peu cette chose-là. Je sais que ça parait un peu élitiste comme ça, mais c’est simplement… c’est parce que c’est une pure absence, parce qu’à l’intérieur même du milieu, il faut comprendre qu’il y a toute… c’est une scène complète. Il faut comprendre qu’on est subventionné par le Conseil des arts. Ensuite de ça, il y a des musées. Il y a des centres d’exposition. Il y a des galeries commerciales. C’est très vaste et puis il y a plein de zones de financement, mais il n’y a rien à la médiatisation. Et ça, c’est un problème.
12564 Donc, c’est pour ça que nous on pense… effectivement, je sentais, puis j’ai vu dans les autres interventions qu’une des solutions ça serait peut-être le web. Effectivement, on n’est pas contre l’idée que des capsules soient là. Ensuite de ça, tout est archivé de nos jours sur le web, ça fait qu’effectivement du contenu qui pourrait être là, effectivement dans les baladodiffusion, toutes ces choses-là, effectivement ce sont des belles solutions, des choses intéressantes, mais reste qu’à la base, s’il y a un éditeur au contenu… et je dis bien franchement que je pense qu’il devrait y avoir un bureau à l’édition de contenu puisqu’on parle d’arts visuels, mais comme il a été mentionné, on pense que la danse, on pense un peu le théâtre, on pense que la musique contemporaine ont un peu les mêmes problèmes que les arts visuels. Donc on pense que tout ça, ça serait un bureau qui permettrait d’avoir… faire sortir notre voix et avoir un regard, parce que les recherchistes de toutes les émissions ne sont pas en mesure de comprendre tous les tenants et aboutissants de notre milieu. C’est impossible. C’est un métier en soi.
12565 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: La richesse.
12566 M. TOUTANT: Donc, on le comprend.
12567 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: Et la richesse, c’est ce que j’entends également.
12568 M. TOUTANT: Il faut comprendre là, c’est très riche comme milieu. Il y a énormément… l’art visuel à Montréal et au Canada, c’est énorme. C’est très gros. C’est un lieu qui est unique. Vous savez qu’à Montréal, c’est l’endroit dans le monde qui a le plus de centres d’artistes auto-gérés. Je suis certain que la majorité des gens le savent pas, mais ça, c’est subventionné par les gouvernements fédéral, provincial, la ville, où il y a énormément… il y a un milieu complet.
12569 Et permettez-moi de vous dire que tous ces gens-là sont les auditeurs de Radio-Canada de toutes les plateformes. Ils vous écoutent. C’est pas pour rien qu’il y a eu 11 000 personnes qui ont signé ça. C’est votre premier public. Donc tous ces gens-là c’est des gens quand même, je vous dirais, éveillés à la culture et ils vous écoutent, parce que vous êtes l’endroit, mais ils ne se voient pas.
12570 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: Parfait.
12571 M. TOUTANT: Ça fait que, voilà.
12572 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: Vous dites « vous » mais nous, on est le Conseil. Je veux juste m’assurer, donc, que vous vous adressez bien à Radio-Canada…
12573 M. TOUTANT: Oui.
12574 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: …dans une autre mesure.
12575 Vos propos font écho à des propos émis par un citoyen la semaine dernière, je crois. Donc cette question-là du divertissement, donc rehausser un peu la… rehausser la qualité au niveau d’émissions culturelles et, en fait, que ça pourrait se faire en laissant un peu moins de place aux jeux questionnaires, aux talk shows. Il allait même jusque-là.
12576 Est-ce que vous, vous vous sentez… est-ce que quand… dans vos propos, est-ce que c’est à ce niveau-là également que ça se passe? Donc pour le traditionnel, est-ce que vous sentez qu’il y a cette… j’allais dire concurrence. Je cherche le mot.
12577 M. TOUTANT: Votre question, je suis content que vous l’abordez parce que c’est bien de votre part d’aller là, parce que finalement c’est le gros… c’est le gras de la question.
12578 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: M’hm.
12579 M. TOUTANT: Mais je vais vous donner une idée. J’entendais le panel avant qui parlait, bon, on est des têtes blanches. Moi, je sui pas une tête blanche encore. Je suis à mi-vie, mais je dois dire que dans ma jeunesse, des émissions comme la Bande des six, ou encore sur la deuxième chaîne de Radio-Canada radio, il y avait des émissions le midi qu’on appelle multimédia arts et d’autres choses; on parlait d’arts. Il y avait un critique, Gilles Daigneault, qui était là tout le temps.
12580 Ensuite de ça, il y avait des émissions, par exemple, sur l’aventure. Maintenant, il y une émission sur l’histoire, mais l’aventure, il y a eu les… par exemple, une semaine complète, on parlait de Picasso. Je m’en rappelle. J’étais à l’université. J’étudiais en arts, et pendant une semaine, je me rappelle très bien que j’allais pas à mes cours cette semaine-là, ou je rentrais un petit peu plus tard parce que je voulais écouter l’émission de M. Blondin qui était sur Picasso.
12581 Donc, c’est des petits détails comme ça qu’il y avait la présence de culture savante. En anglais, à CBC, il y a Ideas, qui a une idée de culture savante. On pense à des émissions… et là, c’est en arts visuels, mais les dimanches soir, à la radio Radio-Canada, il y avait des émissions de musique contemporaine phénoménale, extraordinaires qui étaient là tous les soirs. C’était créé. Et de façon plus large, pour le grand public, les Beaux dimanches. Les Beaux dimanches ont présenté des choses de haut calibre pendant des années à toute une population qui le savait que c’était haute gamme. Là maintenant c’est remplacé, depuis plusieurs années, par Tout le monde en parle. J’ai rien contre Tout le monde en parle. C’est une bonne émission.
12582 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: Oui.
12583 M. TOUTANT: Mais il reste quand même que c’est le créneau où les gens avaient de la culture.
12584 Et quand on y pense, après 10 ans, ç’a un effet.
12585 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: Oui.
12586 Ma dernière question… oui?
12587 M. ALLARD: Si je peux ajouter très rapidement?
12588 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: Oui.
12589 M. ALLARD: Je suis d’accord avec tout ce que M. Toutant a dit, mais il faut dire aussi que même si on gardait… vous avez utilisé le terme « rehaussé ». Même si on gardait le même niveau de divertissement, les arts visuels ne sont quand même pas présents dans ces endroits-là.
12590 Donc si on se résigne à n’avoir que des talk shows, bien, ça serait au moins agréable d’entendre parler d’arts visuels également dans ces endroits-là, mais c’est vrai que des émissions sur l’heure de pointe manquent grandement à la première chaîne.
12591 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: C’est compris.
12592 Et on est pressé par le temps. Ma dernière question, ARTV, ça répond pas non plus à vos besoins?
12593 M. TOUTANT: Bon, là, vous touchez à un sujet très intéressant. Il faut comprendre que ARTV est une chaîne qui est par abonnement. Donc ce n’est pas dans le package général, donc c’est quelque chose de pointe dont vous n’allez pas chercher tant de monde que ça. Donc, ce qui veut dire que les gens qui sont du milieu de la culture, qui sont des créateurs, qui sont là, qui sont des jeunes ou qui sont en mode de curiosité… le terme curiosité est important parce que les arts visuels ou toute la culture savante, ce que ça fait c’est que ça favorise une curiosité intellectuelle de tous bords.
12594 Donc, les gens ne sont pas membres de ça. Donc, comme ils sont pas membres, ils n’y vont pas, ça fait que vous n’avez jamais de capte d’écoute. Ça fait que ça créé un espèce, puis vous le savez, au début, ARTV était sur ARTE un peu modélisé sur le modèle européen, mais avec le temps, vous savez très bien, ce qui s’est passé, on s’est rendus vers l’humour avec ça, il y a eu un tournant vers ça pour avoir des cotes d’écoute, on le sait très bien. Mais encore là, est-ce que la culture, c’est l’humour? Oui. Mais est-ce qu’on devrait avoir une dominance? C’est encore drôle.
12595 Mais j’aimerais mentionner qu’il y a eu quelques émissions d’arts visuels qui ont été faites – puis là, je suis certain que vous allez arriver en réunion puis ils vont dire « Ah oui, mais on avait pourtant fait cette émission-là. Il y en a une où on avait pris une vedette… » bon, encore là, l’idée de vedettariat « … puis cette personne-là se faisait faire une œuvre avec un objet personnel. » Imaginez-vous à quel point c’est absurde : c’est une émission pour une vedette où on demande à un artiste qui n’aura pas le choix de dire oui parce que ça lui fait un revenu, de travestir sa production pour faire plaisir à une vedette. C’est une émission des plus stupides qu’il n’y a jamais eu pour aider… ça pourrait être sympathique s’il y avait eu quatre émissions avant sur les artistes ou sur le travail de l’artiste, mais ça n’a pas de sens! C’est simplement augmenter le vedettariat, ça n’a pas de sens.
12596 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: C’est très bien.
12597 M. TOUTANT: Ça ne tient pas la route.
12598 M. ALLARD : J’aimerais ajouter rapidement, concernant ARTV, non, pas du tout – pour l’instant, je crois qu’il y a également des lacunes importantes, y compris sur la plateforme d’ARTV. Mais on parle également d’inclure la connaissance créée par des artistes en arts visuels et par d’autres secteurs de l’art contemporain à l’intérieur d’autres contextes. Donc, j’aimerais mentionner, par exemple, l’exemple de Caroline Monnet; ce type de connaissances-là, ce type de travail-là est pertinent dans les bulletins de nouvelles, est pertinent pour comprendre le monde à travers ces lentilles-là.
12599 Donc ce n’est pas simplement de cantonner les arts dans leur côté, mais c’est bien sûr d’interroger les artistes sur leur vision du monde et d’inclure cette perspective critique à l’intérieur de la programmation de Radio-Canada.
12600 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: C’est bien compris, je vous remercie beaucoup Monsieur Allard, merci Monsieur Toutant et les autres qui vous accompagnent en pensées ou autrement.
12601 Monsieur le président, c’est tout pour moi. Merci!
12602 LE PRÉSIDENT: Merci beaucoup et merci encore pour votre présentation.
12603 Madame la secrétaire, we are running a little bit late. May I suggest that we return at 1:30?
12604 MS. ROY: Perfect, 1:30. Thank you very much. Have a nice lunch.
12605 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
12606 Mme ROY: Merci.
--- Upon recessing at 12:36 p.m./
L’audience est suspendue à 12 h 36
--- Upon resuming at 1:29 p.m./
L'audience est reprise à 13h29
12607 MS. ROY: Welcome back. We will now the hear the presentation of Mr. John Roman. You may begin your presentation.
12609 MR. ROMAN: Bonjour. Hello, Chairman, Commissioners. Thank you for allowing me to appear before you today.
12610 The CBC has put you in an impossible position. On the one hand, they say their digital services have no bearing on their licence renewals for TV and radio, yet they present a strategy that's primary focus is digital as a means to lower their conventional broadcasting burden. The CBC wants to be a public broadcaster when it's advantageous, but behave like a private business the majority of the time.
12611 I will treat the CBC as it wants to be treated: a private broadcaster with a public mandate, thereby deserving no special treatment above its mandate and its parliamentary appropriation for that mandate.
12612 Let's begin with the question of the Digital Exemption Order itself. Can the CRTC exempt the CBC from its own mandate?
12613 If the CBC's digital activities are allowed under the Act because of Section 3(1)(m), subsection(vii), then it stands to reason that their digital services are de facto mandated services. As it stands, based on the information provided by CBC for this hearing, the CBC is growing the amount of money from its budget to digital to above 30 percent of its total budget.
12614 Relying on Section 9(4)of the Act, to exempt the CBC for the sake of flexibility, in this way creates a paradox which enables the CBC to devote 100 percent of its parliamentary appropriation to online services, thereby leaving the licences irrelevant and the CRTC impotent. Logically, the digital services must be included -- must not be included in the exemption order, as this can be further supported by section 3(1)(n).
12615 To paraphrase, in cases of conflict between the objectives of the CBC and interests of other broadcasting undertakings, it shall be resolved in the public interest with a priority to Sections 3(1)(l) and (m).
12616 Unfortunately, Commissioners, the CRTC does not have the power under Section (9)(iv), nor the exemption order, to exempt itself from settling matters in Part 1 of the Act. You are the body that shall resolve such issues.
12617 We have a case where the exemption order favours the interests of the new media broadcasters and the CBC's digital services at the expense of Section 3(1)(l). In that, the case of the CBC has been diverting funds from the legacy legally-mandated services to its digital services. This can be seen as a breach of Section 3(1)(n) and should be addressed by the regulator.
12618 The CBC cannot set the roof on fire to heat the house. In hearing 2016‑353, paragraph 5, the Commission set out a four-part public interest commercial test to see whether the CBC broadcasting licences could remain commercial or be commercial free. Though it was a radio licence hearing, the precedent and principle are exactly parallel for the TV licences CBC is seeking to renew at this hearing.
12619 As a first step to deciding if the licence should be amended, it is clear that this new test must be applied. When applied, the CBC's licences under review will fail for the exact same reason as they did commercial element of the Radio 2.
12620 CBC will have to acknowledge that some of the monies for radio and television have been going to their digital service as a justification. Unfortunately, CBC's own arguments that digital is not relevant to this hearing then preclude this defensive argument.
12621 The CBC's TV services, as based on the CRTC's figures, show that investment since 2009 has on the whole declined by about 20 percent, and that number applies to news as well. Based on the 2016 ruling, as per paragraph 21, the CBC TV licenses must become non‑commercial if we are to have any consistency in CRTC rulings.
12622 This test has been on the books and applied to the CBC already. They can hardly feign ignorance, or lack of realization that their actions have consequences.
12623 Some interveners will no doubt argue that this will further reduce income for the CBC; however, that was the exact same argument applied to the 2016, in that decision, and yet the Commission removed advertising from that licence anyway.
12624 Your authority does not extend to the CBC's financial viability. That's ultra vires in this licensing hearing. What is required is consistency, and consistency of the tests regarding public broadcasting licences must be applied.
12625 So what does this mean? Commissioners, given the two points I've just made, you are left with two options: the first is accept the Digital Exemption Order does apply to the CBC. This will mean that it can spend as much as it wants on its digital services.
12626 You can be silent on the whole digital part of their business, Tandem included, but if that's the case, because of the public interest commercial test, set out in 2016‑353, the CBC's licences for TV and radio must all become non‑commercial for the next licensing period, meaning the CBC will only be able to advertise online.
12627 If this happens, the CBC will necessarily lose roughly 14 minutes per hour of advertising time, or about 5.5 hours a day, 38.5 hours a week, or 1848 hours per year on their main TV service alone. That's a good amount of new Canadian production you can fill hours and lots of new news.
12628 Alternatively, you can choose option two: The Digital Exemption Order does not apply to CBC. In this case, you will be responsible for regulating the CBC's online activities, perhaps as a new license or addendums to both radio and TV licenses. Further, it will also mean you will be required to decide whether the CBC's online activities, including Tandem, and any collection of user information is acceptable in terms of the public interest.
12629 As I said in the beginning of this submission, the CBC has put you in an impossible position. Here are my recommendations for conditions of licence:
12630 For Radio 1, an increase -- increase the amount of new content to reduce repeated content by seven hours per week or one hour per day. This could be news or entertainment or a combination of both.
12631 For the main TV service and Newsnet, both services should lose the commercial elements to their licence. This will keep the Digital Exemption Order intact. Further, it will help both services meet their objectives of 3(1)(l) and (m).
12632 The Commission should also mandate appropriate hours of new content -- new Canadian entertainment content per week, perhaps 21 hours, and 14 hours of new news content, being broken up to 7 hours of local and regional news a week, and 7 hours of national and international.
12633 Three, impose as a condition of licence that any programming the CBC makes must be aired on television or radio before other distribution media. It makes no sense to have digital exclusives of content when there is insufficient content on traditional services already.
12634 Four, it would be incongruous, given the CBC's proposed three year plan, to give them any licences for more than two years. This would allow a hearing to take place after those two years over the course of a year with the normal one year extension provided.
12635 I'd like to close by saying that I sincerely hope the government will give the CBC a new mandate to include its online undertaking desires. Further, I also hope the government will increase the CBC's standing budget considerably so it doesn't have to worry about setting the roof on fire to heat the house.
12636 I appreciate that there's a lot of the Ottawa bubble around this hearing, but the CBC isn't an Ottawa issue, or a Toronto, or Montreal service. It's a national public service, or at least it's supposed to be.
12637 Thank you for your time. I'll be happy to answer any questions you might have.
12638 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
12639 Commissioner Anderson, do you have questions?
12640 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: I do, yes. I've got a few questions.
12641 Thank you for your submissions.
12642 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. From well outside the Ottawa bubble I should say as well.
12643 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Oh, me? Yes, it's -- I'm speaking from Yukon. It's minus 40 with the windchill. So happy to be inside.
12644 So in your intervention, Mr. Roman, you mentioned that CBC's programming is not appealing to Millennials, and given that the CBC's three year strategic plan states that it intends to strengthen its commitment to Canadians of all ages, can you please explain how the CBC can make its programming more attractive to younger Canadians and meet its mandate?
12645 MR. ROMAN: Thank you for your question, Commissioner. I would note that they also want to become a leader in children's content. How they plan on doing that I don't quite know.
12646 In both cases, I think -- well, their TV offering for CBC English was mainly my focus. They proposed -- or their audience numbers suggest they've got just about 4 percent audience numbers. How they're going to appeal more broadly to Millennials or younger people in what is now firmly an international market where international broadcasters or distributors coming into Canada, I don't know. I haven't seen any plan as far as what the CBC has offered, and I don't have any ideas on that front. My point was more to raise the concern as opposed to coming up with solutions for it.
12647 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Okay. On that note, how -- or do you have any suggestions on how the corporation can ensure that its programming is relevant to the target audience that it is purporting to serve? Whether that comes in the form of surveys or questionnaires or any kind of feedback mechanism to ensure that programming is meeting the needs of the Canadians that it purports to serve?
12648 MR. ROMAN: I was watching the submissions from earlier today, and I think PBC21, Jeffrey Dvorkin, mentioned a two-step test the CBC had used in the past, I don’t know if they still do, about enjoyment and pure audience numbers. Obviously, audience numbers can’t speak to everything. There are some elements where just the audience numbers aren’t there because it’s a niche program or it’s local and regional. And, if you compare local numbers to national audiences, it’s not going to be a fair comparison.
12649 That being said, enjoyment or some other metric might be necessary. As to what it may be, if the old one worked, enjoyment, that’s fine. If there is some other new metric that would be better at meeting the needs for digital purposes, that will be fine too.
12650 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Okay. So, in obtaining that metric, I note that quite a bit of your submission relates to the limited utility of digital services, if you will, because of a lack of access to the digital infrastructure, I believe is what you were saying. I don’t mean to put words into your mouth. But, if you’ve got any other suggestions on performance measurement in light of these –- that consideration, the lack of access to digital –- to the digital sphere of that, that would be –- it would be interesting to hear your thoughts.
12651 MR. ROMAN: Well, I suspect that I’m viewing things from a slightly different perspective in that the digital sphere isn’t an isolated sphere unto itself. We’re not looking -- CBC isn’t looking at doing content that is interactive. It’s essentially television or radio content that is then distributed online. So, we’re talking about it as another pipeline. We’re not talking about unique content that can only be done online.
12652 And, as a result, it seems to be that the content isn’t appealing in television, why would it be appealing online if it’s just another mean of distribution? So, what we’re really talking about is why is the audience not there for the content that’s on offer from CBC regardless of distribution media.
12653 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Okay, thank you. That’s interesting. And then I just have one more question, and again it relates to access to digital media. We’ve heard and CBC has requested or suggested a flexible approach in order to meet its exhibition requirements, and it proposes to be able to broadcast some of its programming digitally to meet its exhibition requirements for certain types of programming.
12654 Given that you’ve raised the issue about access to the digital sphere, what are your thoughts on this approach?
12655 MR. ROMAN: Thank you for that question. I was actually waiting for it because I know it has been asked of a lot of people. Fundamentally, there are two issues there. I think CMPA went earlier today, they said that they were getting paid far less -- or their membership was getting paid far less to do online content.
12656 So, if it’s meant as a cost-cutting measure, that’s a bit unfortunate. If it’s done just because it’s a matter of convenience and trying to shift audiences over to digital as opposed to television, I still don’t see the reason. In my submission, I just propose that everything be done on television first.
12657 I view the CBC’s approach of flexibility as a nice PR word for “please lower my requirements” not as doing more. And, I worry about the CBC’s attempt to try to lower the bar as opposed to raise the bar, which is fundamentally what we should want for a public broadcaster.
12658 COMMISSIONER ANDERSON: Thank you, I’ve got no further questions. I will turn the floor back to the Chair. Thank you for your time.
12659 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Thank you for taking the time to appear today and for sharing your comments and your responses. Madam Secretary, over to you.
12660 MS. ROY: Thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. Roman.
12661 We will now -- I would now ask APTN to turn on their cameras, and you can unmute yourself. Perfect, thank you. Welcome. So, we will now hear the presentation from Aboriginal Peoples Television Network Incorporated. Please introduce yourself and your colleagues, and you have 10 minutes for your presentation.
12663 MS. ILLE: Thank you. Good afternoon, Chairperson Scott, Vice-Chairperson Simard and Commissioners. Kwaï. Nd’aliwizi Monika Ille. Alnaba sqwa nia odzi Odanak m8wkaw8gan. N’wig8dam ali nd’aï iotali pamkizgak nspiwi kiow8. Hello. My name is Monika Ille. I am an Abenakis from the community of Odanak, and I am delighted to be with you here today.
12664 I would like to acknowledge that I am speaking with you from Tiotake, that’s Montreal, the unceded territories of the Kanienkehaka, traditionally a land of exchange and gathering of many Nations.
12665 I am the Chief Executive Officer of APTN. I am joined today by Sky Bridges, APTN’s Chief Operating Officer, who is in Winnipeg; Mike Omelus, the Executive Director of Content and Strategy, in Toronto; and Joel Fortune, our legal counsel, from Ottawa.
12666 APTN supports the renewal of the licences for CBC/SRC. CBC/SRC has a critical role to play in bringing news and information and entertainment programming to Canadians by radio, television and digital platforms. For Indigenous Peoples in Canada, CBC/SRC probably plays a larger role than for some other Canadians given that CBC/SRC may well be the only significant non-Indigenous source of local or regional broadcast content in their communities.
12667 You will have noticed my reference to CBC/SRC as a non-Indigenous source of content. As you will know from our written intervention, this is what I am here to talk to you about today. CBC/SRC is far from the only source of broadcasting content serving Indigenous communities.
12668 There is, as you well know, a large group of established and developing Indigenous broadcasters with a history of deep engagement with our own communities. We understand there are 53 licensed Native Type B radio stations serving Indigenous communities in Canada and many more exempt stations operating in local areas. This includes many of the Indigenous communications societies established in the 1980s.
12669 Dans le monde de la télévision, APTN détient un rôle de premier plan en tant que diffuseur national autochtone. Année après année, nous diffusons plus de 700 heures de nouvelles et de programmes d’information et plus de 300 heures d’autres productions télévisuelles originales. Il y a deux ans, nous avons lancé notre téléjournal en français. Et plus important encore, nous fournissons tous les ans du contenu jusqu’à 15 langues autochtones, destiné aux différentes régions que nous servons.
12670 Mais APTN n’est pas le seul service de télévision autochtone. Un nouveau service, Inuit TV, offrira une programmation supplémentaire en Inuktitut pour l’ensemble du Nord circumpolaire. Nous avons rencontré dernièrement les responsables d’Inuit TV pour savoir comment nous pouvions les aider avec le lancement et la programmation. Nous savons aussi qu’Uvagut TV a été lancée la semaine dernière sur Arctic Co-op et Shaw Direct et offrira une programmation en inuktitut 24 heures sur 24.
12671 D’autres contenus télévisuels émanant de la communauté autochtone sont disponibles sur certains canaux autochtones et sur des services locaux. La télévision communautaire du Nunavik (NCTv) en est un exemple. Et la présence autochtone en ligne est en pleine croissance.
12672 Notre intervention vise à établir une relation entre les médias autochtones du Canada et la CBC/SRC. Pour l’instant, bien que la CBC/SRC collabore parfois avec les médias autochtones et avec des talents et des employés autochtones, nous ne disposons d’aucun cadre qui définisse ce que devrait être sa relation avec les médias autochtones et le rôle qu’elle doit jouer.
12673 Before I get to more specifics about how we believe that role could be better defined, we would like to describe some of the projects that we have worked on with CBC/SRC. CBC/SRC has been APTN’s most consistent broadcast partner in commissioning and airing Indigenous programs.
12674 MR. BRIDGES: Between the end of the year 2010 broadcast year and the end of 2020, APTN and CBC/SRC worked together on 33 programs. In 13 of these programs, APTN assumed the role of first-window. In five, it shared the first-window with CBC/SRC. In the remainder, APTN acted as the second or later-window broadcaster (15 out of 33). The low point of our relationship was probably between 2012 and 2014 when APTN and CBC/SRC worked together on only one program per year. Things have looked up since then.
12675 For example, in 2014/15, APTN and CBC/SRC worked together on the Taken series, which is produced by Eagle Vision, a leading Indigenous independent production company. Taken is now a four-season series.
12676 It explores, in depth, some of the tragic and unsolved crimes of murdered and missing women and girls, and boys and men.
12677 We have highlighted Taken, because in many ways it shows a path forward for meaningful Indigenous control of television production. Eagle Vision is an Indigenous owned and controlled production company. APTN is the lead broadcaster.
12678 Eagle Vision has worked hard to ensure meaningful and direct Indigenous participation at all stages of production, including in key creative positions. This is also a requirement that APTN insists on before we get involved as lead broadcaster. This ensures the production is a true reflection of Indigenous experiences and perspectives, with creative control -– and control of technical matters too -– in the hands of Indigenous creators.
12679 CBC SRC played the role of second window broadcaster for all seasons of TAKEN. This helped to get the production done in financial terms, and also gave the show a higher profile.
12680 APTN wants to encourage a productive relationship with CBC SRC that leads to more and better-financed Indigenous-controlled production and Taken is a good model to follow, though not the only model. We are open to second windows and acquisitions, subject to our limited resources and mandate.
12681 Mme ILLE: Comment comprendre, donc, le rôle que la CBC/SRC devrait jouer pour appuyer la production autochtone et refléter les expériences autochtones à l’écran?
12682 Il faut d’abord comprendre que les Peuples autochtones devraient être aux commandes de leurs propres médias et devraient jouer un rôle de premier plan dans la création de contenus destinés aux Autochtones et portant sur des expériences autochtones.
12683 C’est vrai pour tous les types de productions, c’est-à-dire – évidemment – les bulletins de nouvelles et le contenu informatif, mais aussi tous les autres types de productions : dramatiques, documentaires, art de vivre, et même sports.
12684 Notre couverture en langue autochtone des Jeux olympiques de 2010 à Vancouver nous a permis de mieux comprendre ce que l’on pourrait accomplir en tant que télédiffuseur – et a changé le visage des Jeux pour les Peuples autochtones.
12685 Le principal rôle des médias autochtones est défini dans la Déclaration des Nations Unies sur les droits des peuples autochtones. L’article 16 stipule ce qui suit :
12686 « Les peuples autochtones ont le droit d’établir leurs propres médias dans leur propre langue et d’accéder à toutes les formes de médias non autochtones sans discrimination aucune. »
12687 How does CBC SRC fit into this picture? The UN Declaration is also clear on this issue. State-owned media, such as CBC SRC, have a duty to "duly reflect Indigenous cultural diversity." In other words, entities such as CBC SRC have a duty of reflection, but this is different than the role played by Indigenous-owned media, such as APTN. Our role is to establish Indigenous control over our own media, with all of the benefits and responsibilities that come with ownership and control.
12688 In our intervention, we set out a number of measures that we feel CBC SRC should follow to better position itself as a "reflector" of Indigenous cultures, working together with, and using its substantial resources to support Indigenous media. We have attached these proposals to this submission for reference.
12689 In brief summary, we propose that CBC SRC's primary role should be one of reflection and support for Indigenous creators and Indigenous-controlled media.
12690 CBC SRC should recognize the primacy of Indigenous media and creators in serving Indigenous Peoples. This means, ensuring Indigenous control of Indigenous production; recognizing and supporting Indigenous media; and taking concrete actions to ensure transparency and support for Indigenous expression through a defined and transparent plan, earmarked funds and working with Indigenous producers and media.
12691 As a start, we are very pleased that CBC SRC has agreed to work with APTN to develop an MOU surrounding how we work together. We hope to build on the principles we have outlined and more specific areas such as program development, rights sharing and mentorships and talent development.
12692 Thank you for this opportunity to make this intervention. We would welcome any questions you may have.
12693 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Ms. Ille. I have some questions for you.
12694 I’d like to start perhaps near the end of your opening remarks, and they have indeed covered many of the areas that I wanted to chat with you about today. So I’m going to reorganize my thoughts as we go along, and that is one of the perils of appearing later in the hearing, as you’ve heard many of the questions, so you can anticipate some of them.
12695 But I’d like to start with your reference to the MOU, a proposed MOU. You are probably aware the CBC SRC also made reference to that in their appearance before us, seems like weeks ago, but in fact isn’t that many days ago, and you have raised it again today. So I wonder if it’s possible, if it’s not proprietary, if you could elaborate and tell us a little more about what it contains, what it implies, does it cover some of the issues that you have raised in terms of as you characterize it or describe it, I should say, CBC’s obligation to properly reflect Indigenous Canada -- Canadians, Indigenous Peoples? Pardon.
12696 MS. ILLE: Certainly. So I would say that the last few years CBC SRC has been more open to Indigenous stories, Indigenous creators, and have been approaching APTN to work on partnerships on different projects. But we’ve been doing just as a more of a consultation, or when it comes up approach. So I think as they’re moving more into creating content, supporting Indigenous creators, wanting to work with Indigenous owned media. I mean, it is outlined in their application for licence renewal.
12697 I think it comes a time that we can’t continue just to depend on goodwill and good fate. I think it’s important to have a plan, to set a standard, to really define what type of relationship should we have, and to be sure that Indigenous owned media, in this case APTN, comes to mind. That we’re not just a second thought on projects. That we’re consulted at the beginning and it’s finally detailed.
12698 So to this effect, I reached out to CBC asking, would you be interested in opening a conversation or entertaining the idea of maybe an MOU, or a type of a protocol document that we could set these boundaries and how we could, together, support the creation of original Indigenous stories, sharing them and making sure that they’re out there for all Canadians to enjoy and appreciate.
12699 So quickly, they said, yes, we are very interested. They even sent a letter of intent not too long ago, and actually, our first meeting will be held at the beginning of February. So we haven’t defined any details as of yet, but for sure, I would like to look into how we could set standards, or a minimum of projects we could do together a year, for example, and meet at least once or twice a year, our programming departments. Because you know, when we say yes for a project, for sure the project is of interest, but it also fits our business plan, and our schedule down the line. So we need to be sure that project we will be working together will fit both mandates. So it’s, you know, it’s time consuming, it’s a workplan that we need to do, so that’s a big part, and also exchange of information.
12700 We have a news department. I mean APTN has the first Indigenous newsroom with news reporters, Indigenous reporters, hosts, editorial control. We cover stories such as mainstream media does, maybe there’s a way we could exchange some of the stories, exchange some footage, partner on covering certain events, doing investigative together, who knows. I’m opening up to see, what are the possibilities?
12701 And also, we’re talking a big part of training and mentorship. There’s lots of talent out there. I mean, Jesse Wente, ISO, did say, talent is out there, what’s missing is opportunities. So how could we help them with those opportunities? APTN is a firm believer in training and mentorship within our organization, and I’m sure that others could benefit, certainly CBC SRC could benefit from our experience and our knowledge on this side.
12702 So briefly, it’s a work in progress, there’s lots of grounds to cover. I feel that there’s an interest on their half and I want something that’s going to be there, not only for the few years to come, but really down the line, that there’s something really clearly defined on how we could work and continue to grow on that.
12703 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Not to put you on the spot, you’ve indicated it’s a work in progress and you’re looking forward to meetings in the very near future.
12704 But in your view, based on the discussion today and the response of the Corporation, do you have a sense that -- how do I put this -- if we take your list or your highlights of how best the Corporation could reflect Indigenous People, do you see a willingness to accept that framework on the part of the Corporation? Or is it premature; is that an unfair question? If so, you -- I don’t mean to put you on the spot.
12705 MS. ILLE: No, and I think it’s a good question. I would say that I trust that -- their willingness to do this. I cannot say I cannot trust.
12706 I do hope that they believe in this, that they believe in this authentic partnership and collaboration. And they know that by doing this, as I mentioned before, this will not only benefit CBC, but it will benefit all Indigenous-owned media and definitely Indigenous production companies and Indigenous creators and storytellers.
12707 So you have to see this as going way beyond the impact it will have for CBC/SRC.
12708 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. I appreciate that. Thank you.
12709 And speaking of the relationship with the CBC, are there differences when you are dealing with Radio-Canada, as opposed to the CBC? And would the MOU be with both sides of the house, so to speak?
12710 MS. ILLE: It would have to be with both sides of the house.
12711 Because even though I know there’s French and English, like APTN, you know, you’ve got a French side and an English side, I think we need to work together. And I think there’s projects that could be worked together with CBC, SRC and APTN. We all broadcast in French and you know in various Indigenous languages.
12712 So our relationship with CBC/SRC are pretty much the same.
12713 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
12714 Now, in your intervention, you stated that CBC/Radio-Canada is not Indigenous owned and controlled. It is not Indigenous media, and this is fundamental to understanding and structuring the role that the CBC/Radio-Canada should play in the creation and presentation of Indigenous content. And effectively, you’ve repeated that in your Opening Remarks today.
12715 And I am just trying to understand better the nature of reflection versus promoting or producing Indigenous content.
12716 So could you tell me more of what you expect from the Corporation in terms of its obligation to reflect Indigenous cultures in the programming it offers? And this really will get me to sort of talking a little bit about the relevance of the programming.
12717 MS. ILLE: Sure. So CBC/SRC, as the public broadcaster, has an obligation to represent all Canadians. And the First People of this country has a place, long history, and it’s their duty to publicly reflect them.
12718 So it is important that we see Indigenous People on screen, not only representing Indigenous issues but just being a person. So for example, on a panel of discussion or guests not only be invited because the subject is an Indigenous subject; right?
12719 THE CHAIRPERSON: M’hm.
12720 MS. ILLE: So opening up to be sure that it’s inclusive of Indigenous People. Making sure that CBC/SRC, in their news and information programming, that they cover with accuracy and breadth, you know, Indigenous news and information.
12721 And in terms of Indigenous content, to be sure that creative control resides with Indigenous Peoples. So quickly, that’s how we’d see their role of reflection.
12722 The difference that it has with us, as APTN or Indigenous-owned media, is that we do all of that as well. However, we are more a vehicle of expression of our own identity. And at APTN, more than 65 percent of the employees are Indigenous. And would it be at any level of the organization, senior management team to the editorial team, decision-making process within the programming department, Indigenous People are involved in all those levels.
12723 Maybe Mike, if you could give a little bit more information, statistically wise, what the scale of what we do at APTN, just to give you a snapshot.
12724 MR. OMELUS: Thank you, Monika, and Commissioner Scott. We appreciate the question.
12725 I have been absorbing, as I am a newcomer to APTN, everything that the organization has done and is doing, and was really profoundly moved when I delved into the statistics and looked at the last two broadcast years. We debuted well over 500 titles during that period, and I looked at who was produced them.
12726 And the titles include the Hollywood blockbuster movies that we run on occasion to provide a good lead-in to another program, to help lift our audiences and get us those average-minute audiences we’re looking for.
12727 And more than 76 percent -- and this is excluding all of the news content that we deliver, but 76 percent of those titles were from Indigenous producers.
12728 And so that’s the kind of metric we are proud of and want to instill throughout the industry wherever we can. We take a lot of pride in that role.
12729 You know, we are largely responsible for having fostered this really vibrant Indigenous production ecosystem. And it is -- you know, when APTN got its licence 21 years ago, there were very few Indigenous producers and now we’re regularly meeting with, you know, over 100, and fielding calls from many, many others.
12730 So those are some of the numbers behind the Indigenous programming that we are doing.
12731 I saw some paperwork the other day that came through; we are doing a version of one of our programs in an Indigenous language that is spoken by 150 people. So we are trying to preserve these languages, protect them, restore them.
12732 So the mandate is wide ranging and various but arguably, that’s not something that the public broadcaster is in a position to do. We think we and other Indigenous broadcasters are.
12733 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
12734 MS. ILLE: I would just like to add, if you don’t mind, by controlling our own media, hopefully now we’re listened to rather than talked about.
12735 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you for that.
12736 I would like to continue -- you’ve partially answered my next question, but I’ll soldier on, so to speak.
12737 So we talked a little bit about the Corporation’s role in reflecting Indigenous Peoples. You just described the primary role of Indigenous media, to paraphrase somewhat.
12738 But in your submissions, as you’ve emphasized that Indigenous People should own and operate their own media, and you stated:
12739 “Where Indigenous media is not available, CBC/Radio-Canada should support the establishment of such media.”
12740 So could you elaborate on that for me? What exactly are you expecting from the Corporation?
12741 MS. ILLE: Yes, like I just explained the importance of Indigenous-owned media and how the storytelling is different and how it’s closer to our needs and what we want to see and want to share.
12742 So I guess in places where it doesn’t exist, I mean, CBC has the expertise, has the knowledge and resources and, you know, could definitely help -- those media, if need be.
12743 I am just thinking like recently with Inuit TV or Uvagut TV; right? Hopefully, you know, CBC/Radio-Canada has reached out to them and offered to help them in a way like we’re doing with them. I mean, we’ve got very limited resources and budget, but we see it’s so important to reach out. We do not see them as competitors; completely the opposite, you know. We complement one another and if we could help them in any way, we will do it. And I think CBC/SRC should also have that role of helping.
12744 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, I understand it better.
12745 So really it is similar to the role that you play with other Indigenous media producers, one of mentoring, support, perhaps financial or partnerships. Understood. Thank you for that.
12746 Back to programming a little bit in more general questions. Obviously, there are many Indigenous Peoples and languages, and that adds to the challenge of providing programming relevant to, you know, a very broad category that we’re describing as Indigenous Peoples.
12747 So how can the Corporation, given its capacity and mandate, contribute to the broader broadcasting Act objective of making sure Indigenous people are reflected in their programming. And I know what's a question from 40,000, if not 60,000 feet, but it goes to the issue of reflection. You play an important role, APTN does, and other Indigenous broadcasters. How best for the corporation to meet that challenge given the broad -- the breadth of peoples and languages?
12748 MS. ILLE: Well, certainly to support Indigenous producers, so Indigenous production company that's owned by Indigenous people, that's one of them, definitely be there to support and help them and give them the opportunities to produce those stories.
12749 Like I mentioned before, to be sure that Indigenous are involved in the decision-making process at CBC/SRC at every level. You know, if you want to duly reflect, I mean support that within the inside as well, you have those perspectives, and that only would enrich the conversation within CBC and SRC.
12750 And concerning the different languages, well you know it's even a challenge for us. I think Mike just explained that that's -- you know, we're supporting as many languages as we can every year, and even though just a small population that speaks it we're still going to do it.
12751 We are in the television business. I do understand the importance of ratings. Everything is tied to ratings, your advertising, your CMF performance envelope, but sometimes I go -- it goes beyond just ratings. APTN has a mandate to serve our people in their languages and we're here to support and promote those languages. So I think SRC/CBC also, as the public broadcaster, I understand ratings is very important, I'm not going to say it's not, but there's also this part of servicing and supporting, and that definitely should be reflected.
12752 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. You touched on I'll call it an interesting point, it's a perplexing one. It's how you, and you face that challenge at APTN, be relevant to a broad range of Indigenous peoples. Is it -- is it safe to say or do you believe that television programs produced by an Indigenous producer are automatically reflective of Indigenous peoples?
12753 MS. ILLE: Yes, because it's their stories, the stories they want to share. We can't forget for many years Indigenous stories were told by non‑Indigenous. Now we are in the control of our narratives. We decide. We speak our voice. We control our image. So once you're controlling it, yes it -- it does become relevant, and we bring the stories we want to bring to the forefront.
12754 Too often there is these sensational stories when it has to do with Indigenous people, whether it be barricades or whatnot, but there's way more than that to a population. What about our success stories? What makes us dream? What wants -- makes us grow stronger? Those stories are very relevant.
12755 So I think if somebody wants to tell a story that story is relevant, and if it's controlled by Indigenous creators, yes it is.
12756 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Thank you for the impassioned response. That's -- I appreciate it.
12757 What about musical content? And I note that in your detailed proposals you do make reference to that as a problem to be addressed in the future ---
12758 MS. ILLE: M'hm.
12759 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- both by the Commission, the corporation, Indigenous people in Canada. That gets challenging I think on the musical side.
12760 Do you have a comment on that or if there are other factors that the Commission should consider to ensure that programming produced by a broadcaster is relevant to an Indigenous audience?
12761 MS. ILLE: Concerning the music, I would like to -- Sky Bridges, our COO, to respond. Sky was the one who led our Indigenous Music Impact Study.
12762 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great.
12763 MR. BRIDGES: Thank you. Yes, and thank you for the question. It's a pleasure to be here today.
12764 So certainly, as we all know, television is nothing without music; it goes hand in hand. And so when we look at telling the stories of Indigenous people, it's important that also the music that is used during that storytelling is coming from Indigenous music creators.
12765 We led the first ever national Indigenous Music Impact Study, and there's a lot of gaps there in terms of Indigenous artists accessing certain aspects of the music industry, live music. But we're here to talk about the production side, composition and sync rights, et cetera.
12766 And so with that, in that study, through the Dadan Sivunivut, there was the creation of Nagamo Publishing, the world's first Indigenous music publishing company. And so again, I think that for CBC, when -- or anyone who is creating content, to be much more aware of that it's not just what you see onscreen in terms of the creators telling the story, but every aspect of it is coming from an Indigenous perspective.
12767 And so there are opportunities and there are solutions now to the challenges. I mentioned Nagamo Publishing as a part of that solution.
12768 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. If I could, I'm going to turn to a question I have about discoverability. And I guess for your own purposes, for APTN, what practices do you undertake to ensure content is discoverable to Indigenous peoples and the Canadian population more generally?
12769 MS. ILLE: Are we talking online and linear television?
12770 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sure.
12771 MS. ILLE: Or content in general?
12772 THE CHAIRPERSON: Content in general.
12773 MS. ILLE: Well ---
12775 THE CHAIRPERSON: I guess I'm interested obviously in understanding what you think are best practices ---
12776 MS. ILLE: M'hm.
12777 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- and then you won't be shocked if I go and ask you if you think those best practices can or should be adopted by the corporation.
12778 MS. ILLE: I would say it's always a challenge. We've got terrific content on APTN. There's still that stigma if it's something Indigenous and the person's not Indigenous it's not of interest to them; right? However, we've noticed that shows that we have in partnership with other broadcasters that when they are aired by other broadcasters they have pretty good ratings. We wish we had those ratings sometimes, unfortunately. But needless to say that our ratings are also -- do not represent our primary audience because our primary audience are Indigenous people in communities, and Numeris is really in the urban cities.
12779 But it is not easy. We struggle with that. We're trying to find different ways to alleviate. But once again, APTN is a small broadcaster with limited budgets. We definitely invest lots of money in program content. If we had more we probably could put more in advertising, but we are still quite limited.
12780 I don't know if, Sky or Mike, if there's anything you'd like to add on this side.
12781 MR. OMELUS: Just quickly. We're always looking at new ways of making our content more discoverable. We're in the midst of finalizing our spring schedule right now. We're looking at program stacking with some of our most popular shows. And we are, you know, sending out newsletters, you know, as to what we're doing. The content is being promoted online.
12782 But as Monika said, in terms of ratings, we face the dilemma that Numeris doesn't have the people meters in many of the communities we're serving, and so our true ratings aren't reflected in those overnight numbers. Similar to the situation that OMNI would face with its multicultural broadcasts.
12783 But I think we're developing a more strategic approach to scheduling; we're being more consistent so people when they do discover a program know it's going to be there for them in that particular timeslot. And we're having some success. And -- but it is a difficult situation for sure.
12784 MR. BRIDGES: And just to add to that. The example that we gave in our oral presentation on Taken as a partnership with CBC that provided more discoverability. And it is our hope and intention that the MOU will move from intentions to commitment to more of those types of projects so that we can address a lot of the issues that you've placed on the table in terms of your questions from discoverability, to mentorship, you know, training opportunities.
12785 I mean, you know, it is -- absolutely, the CBC has so much more potential in its contribution to reconciliation to the movement of Indigenous -- the industry and production, and APTN is positioned to work together to realize that for Canada.
12786 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, and it's an excellent example.
12787 And Ms. Ille, I was struck by your first comment in response to that question where you said that, I hesitate to use the word, "average" Canadian Consumers may pass over the content because they don’t think it’s of interest or relevance, or what have you.
12788 So is there a public education component to this that’s required which may be different than discoverability?
12789 MS. ILLE: We did some in-focus groups -- we still do -- and sometimes we get people who know nothing necessarily about APTN, and we show clips of the shows and say, “Would you watch a show like this?” “Oh yes, we would watch it.” “Oh, it would air on APTN, the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network.” “Well, I would never go on APTN.” The word “Aboriginal” is a turn-off, but the content is good. I mean, a good story is a good story. Content is king, right? And the stories we have on APTN, would it be for Mohawk girls, let’s say? Actually, it’s four girls looking for love. They come from a small community. And a small community, you know, people say, you know, “Stay within your community. Don’t go out.” You see that elsewhere. I mean, that show resonated with the Mandarin -- the Chinese community, and OMNI TV got this translated in Mandarin because of the content, because of what it talked about.
12790 So, yes, there’s probably more education, I guess, we should put around it, but once again, it’s a question of money. We have very limited budgets. Hopefully, if we had more, we could do more of that.
12791 I know we have -- I mean, Sky, you know marketing. We have a lot of these initiatives. I don’t know if you want to talk about one of them, but we try to get people to understand that APTN is just a content network.
12792 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understand there’s a cost. I wasn’t meaning that APTN ---
12793 MS. ILLE: Okay.
12794 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- should assume the responsibility for the public education. I was more pursuing the issue that it’s more than discoverability of programming.
12795 MS. ILLE: Yes.
12796 THE CHAIRPERSON: As you say, there’s an association or a preconception ---
12797 MS. ILLE: Preconception, there you go, that’s the word.
12798 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- that is in place.
12799 You’ve seen in the CBC/SRC’s filings, as well as in their appearance, their proposals for holding consultations with Indigenous producers and Indigenous communities. You’ve referenced it in your detailed proposal as well.
12800 Based on your experience at APTN, can you expand on that a little bit and perhaps give us suggestions for what you think a successful consultation would be?
12801 MS. ILLE: Well, within APTN, we’re in constant communication with the Indigenous production community. We are accessible. We have managers across Canada. We attend events, festivals, whatnot. We have newsletters. We do requests for proposals, so it’s a way to send out to all producers, wherever they’re located, and at the same time, that we’re looking for content. So there’s no preferential treatment or whatnot. We try to be very transparent in our processes.
12802 We have a Director of Community Relations that -- not for the past year because of the pandemic, but she goes around in different Indigenous communities and talks to the people, grassroots level and, you know, taking input from people about their insight and input about APTN, and she brings that back to us.
12803 We do our national survey. So, we reach out to different communities, asking questions, “Do you watch TV? Do you watch APTN? What do you watch? What do you like? What don’t you like? What do you watch elsewhere” to really have a better understanding of our audience needs.
12804 We do focus groups. They’re done virtually. You know, they watch some of our shows. They give us their input, if it’s relevant for them or not. So, it’s ongoing. We are always involved with the producers or with the communities.
12805 And just look at our news and current affairs show; we’re out there; we’re covering the stories, same thing that mainstream is doing, but definitely we question what’s happening, actually, and how that impacts Indigenous people in indigenous communities. So we really put ourselves out there.
12806 MR. BRIDGES: The other part, if I could ---
12807 MS. ILLE: So successful -- yes, please, Sky.
12808 MR. BRIDGES: The other part I just want to add on the consultation process that is key is how do you take that information to educate your own staff? And we spend a lot of time and focusing in and ensuring that our staff understand the Indigenous population. I know we’re saying the word “Indigenous”, but it is Métis, Inuit, First Nations, and amongst the First Nations, we have hundreds of different First Nations, and I think it’s important to remember that, that even we’re APTN, it’s about balance and representing all the diversity within that word “Indigenous”, which is quite expansive.
12809 And so I think that it’s important in a consultation process that you understand what is the own awareness level within your own staff of understanding the various different Indigenous cultures and what are the challenges and the opportunities for those communities as you start to build a relationship and support and reflect them.
12810 THE CHAIRPERSON: That may well be your answer to my -- sort of part B of my question, which is if the CBC/Radio-Canada is to successfully pursue these consultations, what is the end of that? What does the end of that process look like? How do you square the circle, you know, complete the consultation, a question that I can add the Commission itself has to continue to consider as we review our Indigenous Broadcast Policy? So it’s ---
12811 MS. ILLE: M’hm.
12812 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- an important question. Did I not phrase the question well enough? It’s sort of what is the consultation -- you know, what’s a successful end to it? What has to happen after the consultations take place, from your perspective?
12813 MS. ILLE: Well, hopefully after the consultation has taken place there’s definitely more content on CBC/Radio-Canada that is produced by Indigenous productions companies and that there are more key creatives held by Indigenous creators, that there be more dialogue between the CBC/SRC, the production committee, but also APTN, other Indigenous-owned media, other organizations like ISO, and hopefully there’s more outreach, and that when they do anything that is Indigenous, that, you know, APTN and other Indigenous-owned media come top of mind and that we are part of the process at the beginning, not when they’ve decided something and then come to us after to see if we’re interested or not, that we’re part -- the conversation happens together, that that we’re really taken into consideration as an important stakeholder.
12814 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
12815 A lot of that, not surprisingly, sounds like the objectives of your potential Memorandum of Understanding ---
12816 MS. ILLE: Yes.
12817 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- with the Corporation, and that certainly makes sense to me.
12818 Moving on to a slightly different area, and I’m not -- I don’t have too many more questions for you. You’ve no doubt heard that we’ve had a lot of conversations with parties, with intervenors, about measurement and measurement frameworks, which is something, as a regulator, we’re a little preoccupied with, as we should be. You know that the CBC/Radio-Canada submitted a profile of Canadians’ viewing habits, and you’ve probably heard this question where we’ve asked intervenors about the utility or usefulness of having a more detailed audience profile that includes viewing habits of different diversity groups. It’s also clear many groups are difficult to measure, including Indigenous groups.
12819 How can that be better operationalized? How can it be improved? Any comments?
12820 MS. ILLE: I’m not too sure I understand the question.
12821 THE CHAIRPERSON: Just, you know that there’s a proposed -- a profile of viewing habits ---
12822 MS. ILLE: A profile, yes.
12823 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- was submitted, and I guess it’s just how can it be improved? What categories, subcategories, what measures could be taken to improve that type of research so that we, as a regulator, the Corporation as a service provider, can more accurately reflect the interests of different diversity groups?
12824 And if you don’t have an answer, that’s fine.
12825 MS. ILLE: I don’t have one right now. I see Sky is raising his hand. I’m just thinking that we’re doing our own national surveys because maybe we’re doing it. For me, it’s not -- but I’ll let Sky answer because he seems to ---
12826 MR. BRIDGES: Sure. Thank you.
12827 You know, I just want to express that when it comes to, you know, measurement and data, the biggest challenge for us at APTN is that the current measurement system in Canada, as you know, does not measure the Indigenous population. And so that effect, I mean, when we look at any data that is not inclusive of Indigenous. What inclusiveness looks like is our ability to measure the viewing habits of, again, I’m going to say not just Indigenous broadly, but Inuit, Métis and First Nation, because our Canada -- Canada is vast.
12828 So, when you only do a measurement sample in one area and include Indigenous, it’s not going to be representative necessarily of the viewing habits of Indigenous people in another area of the country. And so, I hope that maybe answers your question.
12829 THE CHAIRPERSON: It does, and I probably have made it much more difficult in terms of the way I formulated the question than need be. Let me just pick up on what you just said when you were going -- so, for example, your audience, your primary audience is difficult to measure, there are other diversity groups that are equally difficult to measure, and I was looking for any further comments on how it can be done better, really. You’ve described what you’re doing, which sounds quite extensive, and obviously we will meet your needs. I suppose that may be the extent of your answer, do like we do.
12830 MR. BRIDGES: Yes. Well, you know, and I mean to that effect, of course we know one of the areas that is being looked at is how do we use the data from BDUs, right, and is there a way to overlay that data that could be useful to measure? I don’t have the answer. I know that’s being looked at, but certainly that’s an area of opportunity that we hope that may further help us as we measure our viewing audience.
12831 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. And, I’m sorry if I made the question much harder than it needed to be.
12832 You also may, if you have been following the hearing, have heard a discussion about ensuring the reflection of Canada’s OLMC communities and minority language communities. And, the Commission has imposed requirements either to track the exhibition of programming or in relation to allocation of program budgets to the creation of OLMC programming.
12833 Could you discuss the appropriateness of adopting a similar approach to supporting the creation of programming that’s reflective and relevant to Indigenous peoples?
12834 MS. ILLE: Oh, no, definitely. I think Radio-Canada/CBC should definitely report on their expenditures. What do they spend on Indigenous content programming? How many shows? Where is it broadcast? How many plays does it have? I mean, definitely it would show what they’re doing. I think they have -- definitely should report on that. You know, we report on -- we’ve got strict conditioned licences at APTN, and we definitely report on them, and it’s just to show the progression or not.
12835 THE CHAIRPERSON: And, I assume the same would be true for other multicultural or ethnic populations?
12836 MS. ILLE: Oh, definitely.
12837 THE CHAIRPERSON: You would hold a similar view?
12838 MS. ILLE: Yes, yes. You know what ---
12839 THE CHAIRPERSON: And, I’m sure your reference to your conditions of licence were supportive and you’re thanking the CRTC for ---
12840 MS. ILLE: No problem with that.
12841 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- asking you to do that.
12842 MS. ILLE: Well, you know what, we’ve been doing it, and it gives a great snapshot of what we’ve done, who we work with, because we have it straight on the grid. And, you know, we do file, in confidence, the budget as well. And, we see how we’re an important player and how much we trigger and how we are a key player in the production industry.
12843 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. I think you have covered my other questions in your opening remarks and the attachment today. Let me turn to my colleagues, but I will come back and thank you in a moment.
12844 Commissioner Vice-Chair Simard, vous avez une question? You have a question?
12845 COUNSEILLÈRE SIMARD: Oui. Merci beaucoup, Monsieur le président.
12846 Merci beaucoup à vous tous d’être avec nous cet après-midi.
12847 J’aurais une petite question toute simple qui concerne Espaces autochtones, donc depuis le début de l’audience, nous avons parlé abondamment des plateformes en ligne, surtout Tou.tv et Gem, très peu d’Espaces autochtones. Vous avez parlé, donc, dans votre intervention cet après-midi, de toutes les opportunités de partenariats. Comment cette plateforme-là… en fait, quel rôle elle peut jouer dans votre relation avec Radio-Canada…
12848 Mme ILLE: Ben, ça…
12849 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: …et…
12850 Mme ILLE: …ça serait quelque chose… Oui, pardon. Excusez, je vous ai coupée.
12851 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: Non, ben, en fait, puis l’autre question qui va avec, c’est comment vous voyez ce… disons, cette… ces opportunités-là pour le futur?
12852 Mme ILLE: Oui. Ben, voyez-vous, c'est là l’idée d’avoir cette entente, c’est pour vraiment bien définir. On connait bien Espaces autochtones, on n’a pas vraiment de relations de travail avec Espaces autochtones. Donc, j’ose croire que cette entente-là va aider à développer quel genre de relations de travail qu’on pourrait avoir. Parce que maintenant on a notre téléjournal en français, il y a des opportunités qui s’ouvrent, nous avons des journalistes autochtones francophones. Donc, c’est pour… je me fie beaucoup à l’entente parce que l’entente va permettre de vraiment déterminer les balises et s’assurer que ça va continuer dans le futur et de ne pas toujours se fier sur le bon-vouloir.
12853 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: Parfait. J’imagine que la même réponse pourrait s’appliquer au marché anglais s’il y avait une telle offre également.
12854 Mme ILLE: Oui. Oui, parce que je pense qu’il y a beaucoup qu’on pourrait faire ensemble…
12855 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: Excellent.
12856 Mme ILLE: …mais il s’agit vraiment de… parce que aussi, il faut pas oublier, Radio-Canada/CBC, c’est une très grande organisation avec bien des employés, je pense que y’a peut-être le bon vouloir à droite et à gauche, mais c'est pas nécessairement partagé par tous, donc des fois il y a des barrières, il y a des obstacles, mais en ayant quelque chose de formel en place, j’ose croire que ça va être partagé avec tous parce qu’il y a quelque chose qui va devoir… ils seront responsables et vont devoir vraiment répondre à ce qu’on va décider ensemble.
12857 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: Je vous remercie beaucoup, Madame Ille. Merci aux gens qui vous accompagnent.
12858 Mme ILLE: Merci.
12859 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: Merci. Merci.
12860 MS. ROY: Mr. Chairman, you are on mute.
12861 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, then I must have been unmuted before. I just clicked the button to mute myself. Oh, well.
12862 I will -- I don’t see any other questions right away, so I will thank you again for your submissions and your thoughtful responses to my questions albeit overly complicated at times, my questions, not your responses. Thank you very much for spending the time with us and helping us better understand the issues.
12863 Madame secrétaire?
12864 MS. ROY: Merci beaucoup. We will take a 15-minute break and be back at 2:50.
12865 THE CHAIRPERSON: Merci, thank you.
12866 Mme ROY: Merci.
--- Upon recessing at 2:36 p.m. /
L'audience est suspendue à 14h36
--- Upon resuming at 2:50 p.m./
L’audience est reprise à 14h50
12867 MS. ROY: Good afternoon, welcome back. We will now hear the presentation from the Quebec English-Language Production Council, English-Language Arts Network and Quebec Community Groups Network. Please introduce yourself and your colleagues, and you have 10 minutes for your presentation. Thank you.
12869 MS. JENNINGS: Thank you. Good afternoon, Chairman Scott and Commissioners. My name is Marlene Jennings, and I am the President of the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN). I am accompanied by three members of the Quebec English-Language Production Council (QEPC): Co-Chair Kenneth Hirsch, Board Member Michael Solomon and Executive Director Kirwan Cox. We also have Guy Rodgers, Executive Director of the English Language Arts Network (ELAN).
12870 Let me begin by stating the vital need for our official language minority community in Quebec to be reflected in all aspects of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on television, on radio and online platforms.
12871 English-speaking Quebec counts for more than 1 million people, half of all Canadians living in official language minority communities. We are a unique community, not an extension of the English majority in the rest of Canada.
12872 English-speaking Quebecers are loyal listeners and viewers of our public broadcaster. For many of us, CBC is the only source of local and regional news for and about English-speaking Quebecers and the communities in which we live.
12873 For that reason, as the COVID pandemic began last March, we were dismayed when the CBC made the terrible decision to temporarily replace local evening newscasts with “one core news offering” on the CBC network. Under pressure, CBC walked back that decision, but we want to make clear the importance of local news on CBC, especially during emergencies such as COVID.
12874 CBC Radio, particularly the Quebec Community Network, is crucial to rural and isolated communities and our vulnerable populations like seniors. It is the medium that connects us to each other and to the rest of Canada. Yet, CBC dedicates only limited resources to cover English-speaking Quebecers in the regions.
12875 For example, residents of West Quebec receive little or no provincial news coverage because listeners receive the feed from Ottawa. We need more reporting on rural and isolated regions outside of Montreal where there are large pockets of English-speaking Quebecers.
12876 I turn it over to my colleague, Guy Rodgers.
12877 MR. RODGERS: Thank you, Marlene. We need to see more of ourselves not only in news, but in all genres and all platforms. Our society, like others, breathe the oxygen that our artists provide.
12878 CBC has never been more needed by all Canadians than it is now when our broadcasting system, indeed our cultural sovereignty, is under assault from foreign streaming services. Yet, some believe public broadcasting is a luxury, not a necessity, and continue to use CBC’s budget as a political football.
12879 As a result, CBC is chronically underfinanced and none are more hurt by this fact than the official language minorities. Most of CBC’s chronic challenges, including over-dependence on advertising, could be resolved if the CBC was funded on a par with most other public broadcasters, such as the OECD average of $87 per capita instead of the $29 per capita that CBC must live on.
12880 The CBC simply does not have the money it needs to fulfill its mandates, under the Broadcasting Act and the Official Languages Act, much less the long awaited C10. We believe it is the duty of the CRTC to officially inform the Minister of this fact.
12881 Now, I hand it over to Kenneth.
12882 MR. HIRSCH: Thank you, Guy. Make no mistake, CBC is critical to the identity and continued vitality of English-speaking Quebecers. Indeed, OLMC productions seen across the country help all Canadians understand who we are. Official language minority communities are diverse and include Black creators, Indigenous creators, people of colour, creators from the LGBTQ2SI+ communities, creators with disabilities and other underrepresented or marginalized groups.
12883 It is impossible to overstate the importance of CBC to official language minority production. During CBC’s current licence period, we estimate that nearly half of all OLMC production has been commissioned or acquired by CBC. Yet, we continue to lose ground despite CBC’s 6 per cent OLMC production quota. Over a generation, English-language production in Quebec has fallen from 25 per cent of Canada’s total English-language production to just 7 per cent. Let that sink in.
12884 Just 20 years ago, around the time I was leaving the NFB to set up in the private sector, our diverse community produced about a quarter of the country’s English-language Canadian content. Now, we produce less than 7 per cent, and these are not just statistics. They represent the very real loss of our livelihoods, our careers and perhaps, worse, our ability to share our distinct and diverse stories with audiences in Canada and around the world.
12885 Without action from this Commission, our decline will continue. On the current trajectory, we can foresee the end of OLMC production in Quebec. CBC estimates that during this licence term, it has spent 8.43 per cent of its independent budget on official language minority production in Quebec. More than its 6 per cent condition of licence, yes, but still a significant drop from the 12 per cent CBC spent on OLMC production during its previous licence term.
12887 MR. SOLOMON: In addition, the CBC has not been accurately classifying its feature films as OLMC content and overstates OLMC production expenditures. Its list includes international co-productions that have little, if any, connection to Quebec, such as Beowulf and Grendel. And, also misidentified as OLMC productions are French-language Quebec films such as Monsieur Lazhar, Incendies, Gabrielle, J’ai Tué Ma Mère and Rebelles.
12888 The CBC has told the Commission that over this licence period, 18 of 100 Canadian features on Gem are from Quebec. We don’t know how many of those are OLMC. So, a more appropriate definition of OLMC features and more accurate CBC data is essential.
12889 CBC’s percentage of OLMC production has relentlessly declined for the last four years from a peak of 15 per cent to less than 6 per cent the last two years. Quotas are an excellent mechanism, but the 6 per cent quota was set substantially below previous CBC OLMC spending and is far too low.
12890 Broadcasters always request more “flexibility”, and that means flexibility to reduce their Canadian programming obligations. We need the CBC’s independent production quota increased to a level closer to their previous OLMC expenditures, from 6 to at least 10 per cent; the development quota from 10 to 12 per cent; and a separate feature film acquisition quota of 10 per cent should be introduced.
12892 MR. COX: Thank you. We must emphasize that the needs and capacity of the OLMC industry in Quebec and the French-language minority industry outside Quebec are different. One size does not fit all. The French CLOSM industry wishes to increase their quota from 6 to 9 per cent, but only 5 per cent will be French CLOSM production outside Quebec. Please do not apply identical solutions for both linguistic minorities.
12893 Canadian Heritage, Canada Media Fund, Telefilm and, in fact, the CRTC, have established that diversity includes linguistic minorities. Unfortunately, CBC takes a different approach. We urge the CRTC to put an end to this confusion and oblige CBC to include linguistic minorities within its “diversity” objectives and programs.
12894 As for consultation with the Quebec OLMC, the CBC tries to fulfill its 2013-365 obligations, but the results are not satisfactory. To meet our consultation needs, we request that CBC be required to negotiate a collaboration agreement as a condition of licence. CBC has signed such an agreement with the French-language minority outside Quebec, but not us.
12895 Such an agreement, negotiated within a set deadline would cover minority language production, research obligations, a consultation process and other matters of mutual interest. The final agreement would be approved by the CRTC.
12896 We also request that CRTC require a terms of trade agreement to be negotiated between the CBC and the Canadian Media Producers’ Association. Such agreements will prove indispensable when foreign streamers are finally brought within Canadian jurisdiction.
12897 Under the Broadcasting Act and the Official Languages Act, the CRTC and the CBC have a legislated mandate to support our vitality. Your CBC licence decision in 2013 marked an important step forward, recognizing official language minorities and establishing OLMC/CLOSM production quotas.
12898 Regrettably, CRTC’s Quebec OLMC quota was too low. It has not stemmed our sharp production decline nor the economic decline those losses represent as the Commissioner of Official Languages has indicated in his support of our 10 per cent quota request at this hearing.
12900 MS. JENNINGS: Thank you, Kirwan. All of us before you today believe that the CBC is badly underfunded. We therefore support CBC’s request to increase the subscription fees for News Network and RDI.
12901 CBC Radio is a lifeline for Quebec’s English-speaking minority. For that reason, its budget and regional production should be protected and increased. We believe that Tandem undermines the journalistic integrity of the CBC and should be abandoned as a source of additional revenue.
12902 Finally, as you determine the CBC’s new conditions of licence, we urge you to consider the needs of the English-speaking Quebecers as both consumers and producers of CBC content. Your decision will have a huge impact on the vitality and the future of our English-speaking communities in Quebec. Simply put, our community needs more production by and for English-speaking Quebecers on the CBC. Thank you very much and, of course, we’re open to questions.
12903 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms. Jennings, and thank you to all of your colleagues. Madame Lafontaine?
12904 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you very much, Ms. Jennings, Mr. Rodgers, Mr. Solomon, Mr. Cox and Mr. Hirsch for your presentation today. We appreciate you being here. You do indeed provide a unique and important voice at this proceeding.
12905 You’ve talked, during your presentation today and in your written submission, about the importance of the reflection of the OLMC, the official language communities in Quebec, the reflection on CBC’s airwaves. And, I’m just going to go straight to one of the key elements, I think, is part of your recommendations today which is the CBC’s proposals for expenditures on independent production in OLMC communities, you’ve talked about it today, that the 6 per cent is not sufficient and that you would prefer to see this increase to 10 per cent.
12906 And, while you have given us a fair number of details about why you think that is appropriate, I would like to give you one more opportunity if there is anything else you would like to add about why that -- this recommendation is important and in the public interest.
12907 MR. COX: I think that it’s clear from the statistics we gave you and the fact that we have been losing production regularly, despite the 6 per cent quota, that we need support. We need help from the CRTC. And, the level of help that has existed previously has not been sufficient to at least stabilize our production. And so, we really are dependent on you to be able to solve that problem.
12908 I should point out that I once asked someone at the CBC about statistics and if they could give us more statistics in some of these areas, and I was told, “If it’s not something that CRTC requires, we’re not going to do it because we don’t have the resources to just answer any questions or whatever.” So, therefore, your role -- there are a lot of people at the CBC with tons of good will, but it is your role to make the minimum level quite clear to them. And, if you don’t do that, then there is no minimum level.
12909 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you, that is all -- that’s noted. The other element in terms of an expenditure obligation that is part of the CBC obligations and that you’ve talked about is the obligation for an expenditure on development, the 10 per cent of the expenditures. And, we heard from the Writers Guild, I believe it was on Monday, who raised issues about the manner in which CBC is reporting its development expenditures.
12910 And so, I was wondering if you could tell us a little bit about how -- I see, Mr. Cox, that’s not necessarily something that you’re in line with in terms of your potential analysis -- anyway, I’ll continue with my question and let you respond. You’ve stated that the CBC has spent 12.75 per cent on OLMC development. And so, I’m wondering if you could tell us a little bit about how you -- where that number is derived from and how that number was -- has been used within the OLMC production community and whether you have any concerns or similar concerns as the Writers Guild in terms of the CBC’s expenditures in this regard.
12911 MR. COX: I’ll tell you where the number comes from, and then my colleagues may have comments about what that means. Every year, the CBC produces a document on independent production called Appendix 7, and we look at Appendix 7 for this information.
12912 In one part of Appendix 7, they have the titles of all of the productions, independent productions from across the country including Quebec in English. And, in another part of it, they have the development expenditures which are all X’s. They don’t give you any information about where the money goes. And then at the bottom, they give you a number of how much they have spent and what percentage that is of the total. And so, we get our data about the total from Appendix 7.
12913 Are there other people that want to talk about development? Kenneth?
12914 MR. HIRSCH: Yes, I would just add that, generally, the problem that we’re facing as a community that’s guaranteed vitality under the Constitution is that, if left unregulated, the executives at CBC and other broadcasters treat Montreal as an afterthought. So, I don’t have an opinion as to how they count development spending here. They do spend money on developing here, but their overwhelming instinct is to green -- and, there is nothing nefarious about it; it’s just human nature.
12915 Their overwhelming instinct is to greenlight projects with their colleagues in Toronto. And, as a result of that, there is not enough production money spent in Montreal and other regions, but where our concern is, English-language production in Quebec, not withstanding that quality series and other television is developed here using CMF incentives and CBC development money.
12916 MS. JENNINGS: If I may add, my experience in Human Resources has demonstrated, I want to make an analogy, that, in Quebec, until employers were mandated, obliged by law to invest in training every year, a certain percentage of their budget, that training was the low-hanging fruit any time budget cuts needed to happen. We’ve seen it across the board and, therefore, the official language community’s production in English is one of the low-hanging fruits for CBC.
12917 And if they have to cut anywhere in order to be able to achieve another goal, this is where -- we're the ones that they come and cut. And I think it's demonstrated quite clearly with all of the numbers that my colleagues have given you.
12918 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you.
12919 And then in terms of the development, the resources that are spent on development, how have -- in your experience or to your knowledge, how have these been fruitful in the production community?
12920 MR. COX: I'll take a stab and then let my colleagues add to it.
12921 I'm aware of a production in Quebec which the CBC have put in a huge amount of development money, relatively speaking, for this production. And it's a production which is, in fact, part of a minority community. I won't go any further for fear of identifying them.
12922 And yet having developed this project -- and the producer was told how much the CBC thought it was great and the producer has a great track record, still, it hasn't been green-lit, ironically, because the CBC is concerned about putting too much money into Quebec and needing to spread it around the country.
12923 So we're getting the development. The question is, are we getting the production. Is it being followed through.
12924 MR. HIRSCH: I would add this. On the ground, what happens is this.
12925 You know, when we develop projects, that takes capital and we invest money into those developments. And that money's at risk if the project never goes ahead, and so it creates work for a writing room and sometimes a supervising director, usually at the expense of the producer and hopefully another financing party.
12926 But when we go into production, then we create jobs for 600 Quebecers and we -- and the factor, which Kirwan can quote, of how much a dollar of licence fee from CBC is multiplied in the economy here in Quebec is much higher.
12927 So the impact that I see in our community over 15 or 20 years is one of not enough English-language content production in Quebec.
12928 There's sufficient development. I don't know what the quotas are, and I'll let Kirwan speak to the percentages, but it's easy to spend development money.
12929 And you know, it's relatively small amounts of money.
12930 You know, there are great ideas here. Some of them are ready to go. We definitely need to continue to invest in that development, but we also have to shoot shows here or the community will not stay here because they'll follow the jobs to Toronto or Vancouver or LA.
12931 That's the nature -- that's the nature of the industry.
12932 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you.
12933 One of the points of discussion during this proceeding has been how the Commission can ensure that the programming on screen or in the airwaves or on the platforms is relevant to the community to be served. And we're talking about investment in productions and development.
12934 Is there anything else, to your mind, that the Commission should be taking into account to ensure that the OLNC communities in Quebec are adequately reflected on screen?
12935 MR. COX: I would start by saying it's a question, of course, of consultation.
12936 At the last hearing of the CBC in 2013, the CRTC said the CBC had to consult with the official language minority once every two years for the entire consultation, and more frequently for producers.
12937 And I think that although the goodwill is there by the CBC, it's turned into a kind of PR exercise, the consultations. And it ends up being something which hasn't achieved very much, in my opinion.
12938 I think that it -- that's the reason that we're asking for a collaboration agreement in our speech today, something which is a lot clearer that we are given time to talk to the CBC about the way the consultation will be designed and then the CRTC can oversee it and say yes or no or whatever you may want to say.
12939 But it's a big job for you to try and manage something as complex as the relationship of CBC and Radio-Canada with everybody in this country. I really, you know, big you my heartfelt thanks for taking that job on.
12940 In some areas, we need to have a lower level -- not 40,000, but maybe 20,000 -- consultations. And we heard it earlier with APTN, which have set up an MOU with the CBC to discuss indigenous production.
12941 We're not discussing an MOU, but we're asking for a collaboration agreement for which there is a precedent from our francophone colleagues for something similar. And we are hoping that you will help us with that as a means of strengthening the consultation that we need.
12942 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Thank you for that, Mr. Cox.
12943 I did read in your written submission and heard you today about your concerns that while on the one hand you do support the ongoing consultations, that you did have concerns about the irregularities and that you have a number of recommendations in addition to the collaboration agreement. There were some recommendations in your written submission in terms of how these consultations could be improved, and they are -- they're noted and they are in the public record.
12944 Are there any other recommendations that you have in terms of the consultations, how they might be improved going forward to ensure reflection of the OLNC communities or is this the -- these are your views on where the corporation should go from here in that regard?
12945 MR. COX: I think our thinking right now is that we need an opportunity to discuss with the CBC exactly what is appropriate, what works for them in terms of administrative burden and what works for us in terms of making sure that our views are understood and that we don't have as haphazard a situation as we now seem to have.
12946 Maybe my colleagues have other thoughts as well.
12947 MR. HIRSCH: I believe the consultation should be timely and meaningful, and they should be held to that standard.
12948 They know we believe that. You know, it hasn't been that way in the last five years.
12949 And I just want to clarify something for the record in case I mis-spoke, which I think I might have. I, of course, support our request that development quota increases from 10 to 12 percent. I'm just saying more development isn't going to change anything if there's not more production as well.
12950 That's my point. I'm not arguing against an increased development.
12951 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: Of course. That was ---
12952 MR. HIRSCH: I apologize if I wasn't clear. Yeah.
12953 COMMISSIONER LAFONTAINE: No, not at all. Thank you.
12954 Well, thank you very much for responding to my questions.
12955 Mr. Chair, those are all of my questions this afternoon.
12956 MS. ROY: Mr. Chairman, you are on mute.
12957 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's almost been two and a half weeks. I should have figured out the button by now.
12958 I don't see any other hands up for further questions, so I'd like to thank you for appearing today and for responding to our questions. I wish you a good afternoon, and I will turn it back to the hearing secretary.
12959 Madame Roy.
12960 Mme M. ROY: Merci beaucoup. Thank you very much.
12961 Nous entendrons maintenant la présentation de la Fédération des communautés francophones et acadiennes du Canada.
12962 S’il vous plait, vous présenter et présentez votre collègue. Vous avez 10 minutes pour votre présentation.
12963 M. JOHNSON: Parfait. Merci.
12964 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
12965 M. JOHNSON: Monsieur le président, Madame la vice-présidente, Mesdames les conseillères,
12966 Je vous remercie de nous avoir invités à comparaître aujourd’hui. Je m’appelle Jean Johnson et je suis le président de la FCFA. Je vous adresse la parole à partir d’Edmonton, qui fait partie des territoires visés par le traité numéro 6, le lieu de rencontre de plusieurs peuples autochtones.
12967 Je vous présente aussi mon collègue, Serge Quinty, qui est le directeur des communications de la FCFA, qui est à Ottawa sur le territoire traditionnel des peuples algonquins Anishinabé.
12968 Nous sommes ici, en tant que voix nationale de 2,7 millions de Canadiens et Canadiennes d’expression française dans neuf provinces et trois territoires – plus du quart des 10 millions de personnes qui parlent le français au pays. Vous avez entendu, au cours des derniers jours, plusieurs intervenants de nos communautés. Comme eux, nous livrons au nom des francophones un appel à un changement de culture à Radio-Canada. Nous livrons cet appel parce que Radio-Canada est un élément important pour notre capacité de vivre et de nous épanouir en français partout au pays.
12969 À cet égard, je veux reconnaître que malgré des années de compressions, la Société a réussi à maintenir son empreinte partout au pays. Je tiens aussi à noter combien nos communautés apprécient qu’en temps de pandémie, les services régionaux de langue française de Radio-Canada étaient maintenus… ont maintenu leurs nouvelles locales sept jours sur sept.
12970 Cela dit, pour nos communautés, Radio-Canada ne se résume pas à ses services régionaux. Au début de ces audiences, la présidente-directrice générale de la Société vous disait : « Tous les Canadiens doivent se voir dans le diffuseur public, à tous les niveaux ».
12971 Les communautés francophones et acadiennes ne sont pas visibles dans les émissions et nouvelles nationales de Radio-Canada. Ce message, vous l’avez entendu des autres groupes de nos communautés qui ont comparu devant vous. C’est un message qui n’est pas nouveau. Cela fait des décennies qu’on en parle. C’est un irritant historique.
12972 Notre mémoire de février 2020 incluait une étude réalisée par la FCFA et ses membres. Cette étude porte sur les choix de sujets dans une diversité d’émissions et de contenus nationaux de Radio-Canada. J’aimerais attirer votre attention sur quelques choix éditoriaux que nous avons relevés lors de cet exercice.
12973 Au cours de la semaine étudiée, soit du 27 au 31 janvier 2020, l’émission radio Midi Info a consacré plus de temps à la course à la direction du Parti Québécois qu’elle l’a fait par rapport au Parti conservateur du Canada. Les sujets québécois sont arrivés en tête de manchettes au Radiojournal midi trois jours sur cinq. Le Téléjournal, tout en s’attardant à des enjeux nationaux ou internationaux, les a commentés avec l’aide d’intervenants et d’intervenantes issus de l’Université Laval, de l’UQAM ou de la Chambre de commerce du Montréal métropolitain.
12974 Dans l’échantillon d’émissions et de contenus analysés, les sujets concernant uniquement une province ou un territoire autre que le Québec sont très rares.
12975 Dans les deux premiers mois de la pandémie, nous avons consulté nos organismes membres partout au pays quant à leur perception de ce qu’ils voyaient et entendaient sur les plateformes de Radio-Canada. Sans surprise, les points de presse du premier ministre du Québec ont été mentionnés le plus souvent. Nous avons également reçu des plaintes concernant le choix de RDI de ne pas diffuser en direct les points de presse des autorités fédérales de la santé.
12976 On nous dira peut-être qu’il faut s’y attendre, considérant que la grande majorité des francophones du pays se trouvent au Québec. Mais ça ne permet pas à Radio-Canada de remplir complètement sa mission qui est de : rendre compte de la diversité régionale du pays, tant au plan national qu’au niveau régional.
12977 Clairement, tant que les décisions sur ce qui est d’importance nationale se prendront uniquement à Montréal, le changement de culture dont nous avons besoin n’aura pas lieu. Les sujets, l’angle de traitement, les intervenants et les intervenantes sont choisis en fonction du milieu de connaissance des… que connaissent les équipes de production nationales, et en ce moment c’est largement Montréal. C’est pourquoi nous insistons aujourd’hui sur l’importance de créer un deuxième centre de production national de langue française ailleurs au pays, dont relèverait une partie des contenus nationaux quotidiens de Radio-Canada.
12978 Le deuxième sujet que j’aimerais aborder dans le temps qui m’est imparti, c’est la question des contenus de Radio-Canada sur les plateformes numériques. Je veux bien préciser, d’emblée, que la FCFA est tout à fait d’accord que la Société doit s’investir dans une présence accrue sur les plateformes en ligne.
12979 La Société reconnaît l’importance de ne pas perdre toute une génération de francophones. Comme vous l’a dit la Fédération de la jeunesse canadienne-française, ce défi est encore plus marqué dans nos communautés. Avec la pandémie et les mesures de confinement, nos jeunes ont perdu des occasions de vivre en français, de se rassembler en français, ne serait-ce que par la fermeture des écoles. Une partie de la solution, c’est de leur offrir, sur les plateformes qu’ils fréquentent, des contenus qui leur ressemblent, dans un français qui leur ressemble. À cet égard, il y a encore loin de la coupe aux lèvres, et Radio-Canada fait bien de s’attarder à ce défi.
12980 Par ailleurs, la FCFA souscrit entièrement à l’idée que Tou.TV est un rempart essentiel pour la souveraineté culturelle canadienne et la francophonie canadienne, face à Netflix, Prime Video et autres.
12981 Et c’est justement parce que les activités de Radio-Canada sur les plateformes numériques sont trop importantes pour notre souveraineté culturelle que le CRTC doit les réglementer.
12982 D’abord, c’est une question de principe. La Loi sur la radiodiffusion permet au CRTC d’adopter des ordonnances d’exemption en matière de réglementation en autant et à la condition que cela n’ait pas de conséquence majeure sur la mise en œuvre de la politique canadienne de radiodiffusion.
12983 Continuer de ne pas réglementer les activités de Radio-Canada sur les plateformes numériques mène à des conséquences majeures. Cela met le CRTC dans une position où il ne peut correctement évaluer la manière dont la Société remplit ses obligations, notamment, en termes de reflet de la dualité linguistique et de service aux communautés francophones et acadiennes. Les plateformes numériques sont indispensables à l’atteinte des objectifs que nous attendons de Radio-Canada en fonction de son mandat.
12984 Sans réglementation, comment s’assurera-t-on que la Société produise et présente sur les plateformes numériques une proportion suffisante de contenus qui parlent à nos communautés, à nos jeunes? Comment s’assurera-t-on que ces contenus soient découverts par ceux et celles pour qui ils ont été créés?
12985 Monsieur le président, Mesdames les conseillères, ni les communautés francophones et acadiennes, ni l’ensemble des Canadiens et des Canadiennes ne peuvent simplement s’en remettre à la bonne volonté du diffuseur public. Les dernières décennies nous ont montré que nos communautés sont mieux servies lorsqu’il y a en place des balises, des garde-fous, des mesures prescriptives. Le rôle du CRTC est indispensable dans ce contexte.
12986 Nous maintenons donc notre recommandation au Conseil concernant l’ordonnance d’exemption relative aux entreprises de radiodiffusion numérique : elle ne devrait pas s’appliquer à Radio-Canada. Le CRTC a d’ailleurs souvent choisi de traiter les enjeux touchant Radio-Canada de façon distincte du reste de l’industrie, reconnaissant ainsi le rôle spécifique de la Société en ce qui a trait à l’atteinte des objectifs de la Politique canadienne de radiodiffusion. Radio-Canada elle-même réfère souvent à l’importance d’être considérée en vertu de son rôle unique dans l’écosystème de la radiodiffusion canadienne.
12987 Le dernier point que j’amènerais aujourd’hui porte sur la barrière qui persiste entre CBC et Radio-Canada. À la FCFA, nous avons remarqué que la CBC s’intéresse très peu à la francophonie. Dans la foulée de crises linguistiques provoquées, en partie, par la remontée de discours intolérants envers la dualité linguistique, CBC pourrait tellement contribuer à une meilleure compréhension entre la francophonie et l’anglophonie canadiennes.
12988 Nous sommes conscients d’être les derniers intervenants à prendre la parole. Cela me donne l’occasion de vous livrer le message suivant qui, possiblement, fait écho à plusieurs des intervenants qui nous ont précédés. Les attentes envers CBC/Radio-Canada sont élevées parce que son rôle est si crucial. Les ententes envers CBC/Radio… pardon. Dans un contexte social marqué par la fragmentation, elle est un point de rencontre national qui peut permettre aux Canadiens et aux Canadiennes de se voir, de se connaître, de se reconnaitre, de se comprendre. Jamais ce rôle n’a été aussi important. Jamais notre pays a-t-il autant eu besoin d’un diffuseur national qui soit une voix canadienne, un reflet de nos diversités, un point d’arrimage de l’expérience canadienne dans un paysage médiatique éclaté.
12989 Les communautés francophones et acadiennes attendent de CBC/Radio-Canada qu’elle joue pleinement ce rôle. Les Canadiens et les Canadiennes s’attendent à ce qu’elle joue pleinement ce rôle.
12990 Je vous remercie et nous sommes prêts à répondre à vos questions.
12991 LE PRÉSIDENT: Merci beaucoup. Merci pour la présentation.
12992 Vice-présidente Simard, c'est à vous.
12993 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: Merci beaucoup, Monsieur le président.
12994 Merci, Monsieur Johnson.
12995 Bonjour, Monsieur Quinty.
12996 Alors, merci pour votre présentation. J’ai quelques questions pour vous. Alors, vous l’avez dit, dernier intervenant, quelques questions pour vous. Alors, vous l’avez dit, dernier intervenant alors j’essaie de couvrir le terrain qui aurait été un peu moins couvert avec les autres intervenants puis aussi, je vais me référer précisément à vos propos dans votre allocution, donc, orale, mais également votre intervention écrite.
12997 Donc d’abord, je vais commencer, si vous me permettez, je vais juste m’installer. Donc vous avez, dans votre allocution, mis l’emphase sur cette importance de créer un deuxième centre de production nationale de langue française ailleurs au pays et si je recoupe, donc, cette suggestion/proposition avec ce qui a été dit dans votre intervention écrite, je retiens que vous avez dit à quelque part que les services régionaux de langue française demeurent l’ombre de ce qu’ils ont déjà été. Puis également en entrée de jeu, vous avez fait référence à des demandes récurrentes de la part de votre association.
12998 Alors, j’essaie de mettre ça tout ensemble puis vous demander pourquoi vous pensez que c’est si important d’avoir ce deuxième centre de production et vous l’imaginez où et quelle forme il prendrait?
12999 M. JOHNSON : Ben, un élément que je vais peut-être éviter, c'est le « où » parce que c’est une grande question – je pense qu’il doit y avoir la préparation d’un cas d’affaires pour orienter le « où ». Mais l’importance, c’est de le sortir de la région, de la grande ville métropolitaine de Montréal – tout comme mes amis, mes homologues anglophones du Québec parlaient de la perspective de Toronto, nous on vit la perspective montréalaise. Et pour être capable d’aller chercher vraiment un reflet de nos communautés, nous, on voit clairement que ça doit sortir de Montréal et être à l’extérieur de la grande ville de Montréal. Pourquoi? Parce qu’il y a une compréhension, ils ont accès à un réseau pancanadien, parce qu’ils ont des bureaux de production qui sont plus régionals (sic), mais qui ont la connaissance de la réalité de nos communautés, ils seraient capables de développer et de se réseauter pour être capables de répondre à ces éléments-là.
13000 Je vais demander à Serge s’il voudrait ajouter peut-être un commentaire là-dessus?
13001 M. QUINTY : Bonjour, merci pour ça. Vous savez, une chose qui nous a vraiment frappés dans l’étude qu’on a faite en janvier 2020, où est-ce qu’on avait sélectionné une semaine de programmation de Radio-Canada, c’était à quel point, quand on allait chercher des intervenants, c’était vraiment des intervenants qui étaient à Montréal, qui étaient au Québec. Et je crois que vous avez posé la question par rapport à cette étude-là à Monsieur Bissonnette il y a deux semaines et Monsieur Bissonnette lui-même a dit « Écoutez, ils ont raison ».
13002 Et ce qu’on perçoit, c’est très, très, très difficile de percer cette bulle-là qui est les équipes de production à Montréal. On l’a vu à quelques reprises; on l’a vu lorsqu’il y a eu toute la controverse autour des propos de Madame Bombardier, où est-ce que les communautés francophones et acadiennes se sont insurgées. Et si on écoutait, on avait l’impression que les équipes de production de Radio-Canada n’ont jamais réalisé qu’il y avait même une controverse qui se passait.
13003 Donc, en quelque part, il y a une… les référents qu’ils utilisent pour aller chercher les intervenants; je dirais même pour déterminer ce qui est un sujet d’importance nationale, les référents sont vraiment, on le sent, au Québec et à Montréal. Et en quelque part, si on veut vraiment aller chercher un reflet pancanadien, il faut qu’il y ait une partie des décisions en termes de ce qui passe au réseau qui se prenne ailleurs qu’à Montréal.
13004 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: Parfait, merci.
13005 Vous avez… je le mentionnais d’entrée de jeu, fait référence dans votre intervention écrite au fait que les services régionaux de langue française demeurent l’ombre de ce qu’ils ont déjà été. Et là, pour moi, j’essayais de comprendre avec vos demandes d’avoir, justement, qu’il y ait plus de reflet, plus de programmation pertinente pour les communautés françaises en communauté… excusez-moi, les communautés françaises en situation minoritaire. Et donc, alors, est-ce qu’il n’y a pas ici une certaine contradiction? Aidez-moi à mieux comprendre vos propos, s’il vous plaît. Vous dites que les services régionaux demeurent l’ombre de ce qu’ils ont déjà été.
13006 M. JOHNSON: Je vais laisser Serge répondre puis ensuite, je vais ajouter.
13007 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: Parfait, merci.
13008 M. QUINTY : Quand je dis que… quand on dit qu’ils sont l’ombre de ce qu’ils ont déjà été, je pense entre autres au fait qu’au tournant des années 90, la station de Winnipeg, au Manitoba, était une référence en termes de production d’émissions, non seulement de nouvelles, mais également des émissions hors-informations. Et avec les vagues de compressions successives, ce qu’on a vu, c’est vraiment une perte de capacités.
13009 C’est en train de se rebâtir, mais là où est-ce qu’on la sent encore, c’est qu’au niveau de ce qui est produit – et je crois que ça été d’ailleurs dit par d’autres intervenants de nos communautés – ce qui est produit dans ces stations-là en ce moment, c’est les bulletins de nouvelles, c’est presque tout; je veux dire, il y a peut-être une ou deux émissions, mais il n’y a pas beaucoup d’émissions qui sont en mesure d’être produites.
13010 Donc oui, c’est en train de se rebâtir, je pense que là où Monsieur Johnson est en Alberta, par exemple, ils ont beaucoup investi pour renforcer les capacités parce que naturellement, c’est l’une des stations phares de l’ouest canadien. Moncton, naturellement, est un centre régional pour les quatre provinces de l’Atlantique avec un succès mitigé, comme Madame Rioux de la FANE, la Fédération acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse vous l’a dit. C’est en train de se rebâtir, mais on sent qu’il y a encore un petit bout de chemin à parcourir.
13011 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: Parfait.
13012 M. QUINTY: Mais ça n’empêche pas que l’une de ces stations-là pourrait aisément devenir le tremplin ou le socle pour le centre de production national.
13013 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: Je comprends. Puis votre centre de production national, dans le fond, si je comprends bien, comprendrait les nouvelles, programmation locale et plus largement production… élargie?
13014 M. JOHNSON: Ça serait un moyen pour nous d’aller chercher des histoires de nos communautés. Présentement, la FCFA travaille de façon ardue dans une stratégie de rapprochement auprès de la société civile québécoise. Moi, je suis un Franco-Albertain d’origine, je suis natif de l’Alberta et je vous dis, en 2021 ou la dernière fois que j’ai été dans la région de Québec, en 2020, je me fais découvrir chaque fois que je vais au Québec : « Hein, quoi? Tu es un francophone en Alberta? » Si on pouvait avoir un reflet dans la programmation qui parle de nous, des Franco-Colombiens, des Françaiskois, des Franco-Manitobains, des Franco-Ontariens, etc., des Acadiens, les gens du Nord, du Yukon, ça nous aiderait tellement sur des stratégies de… vraiment nouer des liens étroits avec la société civile.
13015 Et on parle de plus en plus d’une fragilisation de la langue française au Canada, incluant au Québec; nous, on le sent. Puis je pense que Radio-Canada, ça serait un outil indispensable pour nous aider à palier. Donc tout ça pour faire un dessin que Radio-Canada, bien qu’on apprécié les journals (sic) de nouvelles, les programmes de nouvelles pendant la pandémie, on aurait apprécié entendre ce qui se passait partout ailleurs au pays autre que lorsqu’on tombe sur RDI puis on entend des reportages sur… exclusivement sur le représentant de la Santé du Québec.
13016 M. QUINTY: Je veux juste compléter avec une phrase, Madame Simard : ça serait quoi si le RDI 24/60, à la place d’être produit à Montréal pour le réseau, était produit – puis là, je vais lancer une ville, ce n’est pas l’expression d’une préférence – était produit à Winnipeg ou encore, était produit à Moncton ou à Halifax? Quels changements de lunettes est-ce que ça créerait pour le regard sur l’actualité?
13017 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: Parfait, c’est noté au dossier public.
13018 Je vais aborder avec vous le deuxième sujet d’importance dans votre allocution d’aujourd’hui, donc les plateformes numériques et la règlementation de ces plateformes. Je ne sais pas si vous avez eu l’occasion de suivre les audiences depuis le début, mais certainement, ce matin même, on parlait de sujets avec CNPA et pour eux, ils étaient… ils supportaient une position légèrement différente de la vôtre, c’est-à-dire qu’ils disaient : oui, une combinaison au niveau des dépenses et des exigences en dépenses et en présentation puis ça serait bien, effectivement, d’encadrer davantage ce qui se fait au niveau des plateformes numériques. Mais ils n’allaient pas aussi loin que vous à l’exiger, à demander cette exigence, alors je suis curieuse de savoir pourquoi c’est important pour vous d’aller jusqu’à la règlementation des plateformes numériques de Radio-Canada/CBC ?
13019 M. JOHNSON : Je pense, historiquement on a toujours travaillé de bonne volonté avec Radio-Canada et si on laisse aller la notion d’une obligation, bien comment est-ce… Un, comment est-ce qu’on va mesurer ? Deux, comment est-ce qu’on va s’assurer que le contenu, et présentement il y a une crise par rapport à la jeunesse. Les représentants de la jeunesse canadienne en ont parlé.
13020 Une programmation qui est un reflet des accents et des réalités des communautés des jeunes. Si on perd ces jeunes-là, Radio-Canada va avoir perdu son auditoire et son audience à venir. Alors je pense qu’il faut mettre un contenu puis imposer.
13021 Parce que la tendance c’est dire: "on va réduire la programmation, mais on va augmenter en ligne." Mais c’est un chèque en blanc qu’on demande. Puis moi je ne veux pas leur imposer une mauvaise volonté. Je pense que c’est la nature humaine, de laisser glisser lorsque ça arrive le temps de rendre et de livrer la marchandise. Serge, je te laisse ajouter.
13022 M. QUINTY : Quand le CRTC a adopté l’exemption par rapport aux plateformes numériques, c’était, je crois, en 1999 ou 2000, on n’était pas du tout, du tout dans le même contexte qu’on l’est en ce moment. Le CRTC peut adopter une exemption comme ça en autant que l’impact sur l’atteinte des objectifs de la politique de radiodiffusion ne soit pas majeur. Mais là, on parle quand même d’une partie de la programmation de Radio-Canada, des contenus de Radio-Canada qui seraient sur des plateformes numériques et donc, ne seraient pas soumis à une règlementation quelconque.
13023 Pour nous, c’est quand même un impact assez considérable ça. Et s’ils disent : « Ben oui, d’accord. On va baisser nos exigences à la télévision pour les émissions jeunesse, on va les faire passer à 80 heures. Et par contre, faites-nous confiance pour l’ensemble des plateformes, on va passer à 110 heures, même si on sait que vous ne pouvez pas nous obliger à le faire, parce qu’il y a des plateformes numériques. »
13024 On ne remet pas en question ici la bonne foi de Radio-Canada, c’est pas ça, mais il faut quand même qu’il y ait une capacité de surveillance, il faut quand même qu’il y ait une capacité, un droit de regard sur ce qui se fait. Et là, je parle des émissions jeunesse, je parle des émissions d’intérêt national, mais je parle aussi de la découvrabilité. Comment on fait pour assurer que mes enfants qui ont 9 et 7 ans, s’assoient devant Tou.TV et trouvent du contenu francophone qui leur parle. Qui parle de leur réalité, qui parle dans un français qui est le leur et qu’ils le trouvent facilement. Donc c’est vraiment pour ça qu’on se dit : « Ben, oui on comprend que Radio-Canada veut une certaine flexibilité pour ce qu’ils font sur les plateformes numériques, mais en même temps, c’est quand même le plus grand diffuseur de contenu canadien. Et puis il me semble qu’il faut qu’il y ait, il faut qu’il y ait une surveillance, un droit de regard.
13025 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD : Parfait, je vous remercie beaucoup. Vous avez, probablement sans le vouloir, indiqué la direction pour la prochaine question. Tou.TV Extra, vous y avez fait référence comme dixième recommandation au paragraphe 64 de votre intervention écrite, et votre dixième recommandation est à l’effet de proposer que les francophones vivant en situation minoritaire devraient avoir accès à Tou.TV Extra, gratuitement. Tout comme c’est le cas pour les clients et clientes de Telus au Québec.
13026 Alors, ma question pour vous c’est, bien d’abord, est-ce que ce serait vraiment donc, votre recommandation ce serait de limiter aux francophones vivant en situation minoritaire et ma deuxième question c’est pourquoi vous faites cette demande-là puisque selon les… La position de Radio-Canada, il y a Tou.TV qui offre du contenu en rattrapage, mais sensiblement le même contenu.
13027 M. JOHNSON : C’est pour moi…
13028 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD : Gratuitement.
13029 M. JOHNSON : Je vais faire un premier jet puis ensuite je te passe la parole Serge. Écoutez, moi c’est toujours à mettre en opposition des Crave, de Netflix, de Prime Videos. Toutes ces entités-là, ont une très forte présence et l’accès gratuit à ce service-là, on espère puis je… Moi, je suis un ardent… un fervent croyant du fait que si on offre plus de contenu, les gens vont s’y approprier. Mais de là à dire que je vais faire un autre abonnement et pour en français. Souvent c’est… Pour moi ça serait un facteur à obstacle pour donner un accès à ce service-là. Donc il y a tout un contenu qui serait fort intéressant et qu’on pourrait interpeler nos citoyens à y adhérer. Serge.
13030 M. QUINTY : Bien écoutez, moi personnellement j’ai coupé le câble il y a un an. J’ai pris deux, trois abonnements, j’ai… Dont un à Tou.TV Extra. J’ai tenu à le prendre, parce que je voulais que mes enfants aient accès à quelque chose en français à la télévision et je trouvais qu’il n’y avait pas suffisamment de contenu sur le Tou.TV de base. Et vous savez, Tou.TV on y croit, beaucoup, à la FCFA. On croit que ça a le potentiel de devenir un rempart très solide pour le contenu canadien francophone face, effectivement,aux services par voie de contournements qui proviennent des États-Unis ou d’ailleurs.
13031 Donc que Radio-Canada ait été cherchée des partenariats avec Véro.TV, avec UNIS TV, avec d’autres diffuseurs, c’est formidable. C’est formidable. Et là où est-ce qu’on se dit il serait important que ça soit accessible à coûts nuls pour les francophones vivants en milieux minoritaires, c’est une question d’accès à une variété de contenu, mais c’est aussi une question… Là, je me réfère à la partie 7, de la Loi sur les langues officielles.
13032 « Que Radio-Canada, comme les autres institutions fédérales, est engagée à appuyer le développement et l’épanouissement des communautés de langue officielle en situation minoritaires et doit prendre des mesures positives en conformité avec cet engagement. »
13033 Et je me dis, mais quelle belle mesure positive et quelle belle façon de montrer justement son engagement envers les communautés francophones en situation minoritaire.
13034 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD : Parfait. Encore une fois, une transition facile pour ma prochaine question. Vous avez fait mention dans votre allocution orale de cet après-midi, à l’importance, notamment pour CBC, de jouer un rôle pour les francophones qui se trouvent en situation minoritaire à l’extérieur du Québec. Comment peut s’articuler ce rôle-là ?
13035 M. JOHNSON : Oh boy, ça c’est une grosse question puis je l’apprécie. CBC pour moi aurait un rôle. Moi, dans mon monde je parle souvent de l’importance… On parle souvent d’équivalence, d’égalité réelle selon la loi. Mais moi, j’aimerais qu’on augmente le discours, qu’on élève la barre et qu’on commence à parler de l’impact et l’importance de la langue française sur tous les vecteurs du développement d’une communauté, d’une société comme le Canada.
13036 Et de regarder comment est-ce, par exemple, que la langue française devient une stratégie économique importante pour le Canada, sur des contextes d’économie pancanadienne et à l’international. Et si on n’est pas capable d’avoir un discours de base, entre citoyens, sur l’importance de la langue française, on va avoir de la difficulté à s’y rendre.
13037 Quelqu’un quelque part, doit mettre la table pour cette conversation-là. Et CBC a un rôle important, tout comme Radio-Canada a un rôle important à jouer dans cette discussion-là. Quand on parle de… de la… Déduction, ou la perte, ou la fragilité de la langue française partout à travers nos communautés, moi j’aimerais ça qu’elle soit renforcie par une société d’État, en anglais et en français, partout au pays.
13038 Alors je pense qu’on est rendu là. Là, on est en train de parler de la modernisation de la loi, qui est un autre sujet. Mais toutes ces conversations-là, pour moi, nous arrime vers une direction qui est vraiment de solidifier la notion d’un Canada parfaitement bilingue. Moi c’est comme ça que je le vois. Je ne sais pas si tu voulais ajouter, Serge ?
13039 M. QUINTY : Bien je vous dirais qu’une des choses qui nous a vraiment fait allumer profondément, par rapport au besoin de développer une plus grande sensibilité chez le pendant anglais, les services anglais de Radio-Canada, c’est lorsque la fameuse série The story of us Canada, The story of us est sorti en 2017. Et qu’on est arrivés à l’épisode sur le Nouveau-Brunswick et tout d’un coup c’est comme si les Acadiens n’avaient jamais existé. Euh… On est dans les années 1770 et on parle des premiers colons de langue anglaise qui sont arrivés, puis il y a personne d’autre qui est venu avant.
13040 Donc, on se dit, bien attendez une seconde là. Il manque un bout. Et puis il faut… je pense qu’il y a eu beaucoup d’arguments de faits durant les audiences publiques sur l’idée que Radio-Canada peut et doit être un pont.
13041 Et on vit dans un monde, vous le savez comme nous, tellement segmenté au niveau des audiences, qu’en quelque part CBC/Radio-Canada est idéalement placé pour créer un pont entre les deux communautés linguistiques, un pont de compréhension, un pont qui permet aux gens de se connaître, un pont qui permet même je dirais aux majorités anglophones en Alberta, chez monsieur Johnson, et dans d’autres parties du pays de savoir qu’il y a des communautés francophones qui existent dans leur province.
13042 Donc, ce qu’on demande c’est qu’il y ait un développement d’une certaine sensibilité à cet égard-là.
13043 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: Parfait. Je vous remercie.
13044 Ma dernière question pour vous aujourd’hui fait référence à un tout autre sujet; c’est en lien à votre sixième recommandation qui en fait faisait état… pardon, excusez-moi, je me resitue.
13045 Donc, votre sixième recommandation prévoit que le CRTC formule une attente à l’endroit de Radio-Canada/CBC quant à une réévaluation de ses normes et pratiques journalistiques à la lueur de l’annulation du Débat des chefs en français lors de la campagne électorale provinciale de 2018 au Nouveau-Brunswick.
13046 Souhaitez-vous suggérer une modification précise aux normes et pratiques journalistiques?
13047 M. JOHNSON: Serge, c’est à toi.
13048 M. QUINTY: Bien, je vous dirais que la situation s’est quelque peu corrigée avec les élections qu’il y a eues, à l’automne, au Nouveau-Brunswick.
13049 Je pense que la Société de l’Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick a eu beaucoup de discussions avec la direction régionale de ICI Acadie.
13050 Nous, on a également… monsieur Johnson et moi-même eu une rencontre avec madame Tait à ce sujet-là pour leur dire, effectivement, écoutez, on n’peut pas faire ça dans la seule province bilingue au Canada, de tout d’un coup avoir un débat des chefs en anglais mais pas pour la communauté francophone.
13051 Donc, je vous dirais qu’on n’a pas de suggestion précise sur une modification mais on tenait quand même à intégrer ça à notre mémoire. À ce moment-là, lorsqu’on a déposé notre mémoire, les élections de 2020 n’avaient pas encore eu lieu.
13052 La situation semble avoir été corrigée mais on tenait quand même à ce moment-là à porter ça à l’attention du CRTC.
13053 CONSEILLÈRE SIMARD: Parfait. Je vous remercie beaucoup, Monsieur Quinty.
13054 Merci beaucoup, Monsieur Johnson pour votre participation. Ç’a été un échange très enrichissant pour terminer donc avec vous.
13055 Merci beaucoup.
13056 Monsieur le Président?
13057 LE PRÉSIDENT: Merci, Madame Simard.
13058 I don’t see any other questions.
13059 Alors, Madame la secrétaire, merci beaucoup pour votre présentation.
13060 Mme ROY: Merci. Ceci complète la Phase 2 de l’audience publique. Donc, nous serons de retour demain avec la Réplique de Radio-Canada à 10 h.
13061 Merci, Monsieur le président.
13062 LE PRÉSIDENT: Merci.
13063 Mme ROY: Bonne soirée.
13064 LE PRÉSIDENT: Bonne soirée.
--- L’audience est ajournée à 15 h 54/
Upon adjourning at 3:54 p.m.
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