This is a worthwhile read if you have the patience. I have edited it down a bit. It is the CRTC, the government agency which is supposed to prevent abuse of the public air waves, gradually coming to grips with the fact that it has to do something.
The problem will not go away. You have a crew of the usual type of Trotskyites and opportunists trying to maintain a honey pot and power base for themselves by pretending to run a radio station. The Ryerson students are supposed to pay for it.
Somebody must finally take responsibility. It should not be for private persons to carry the fight against this crap out of their own pockets and with their own time, and under threat. The Ryerson University refuses to act, we will see if CRTC finally does.
The obvious solution is to just shut CKLN down. It serves no useful purpose. But even those opposed to the coup carried out by these scum have sentimental attachments to it; hopeless ones. The station is never going to work.
If you want, you can skip over these goofs and their attempts to blow smoke, and get to the good guy's "interventions". From several slightly different personal perspectives, you can get the whole sorry story.
-ed, Dec 19, 2010
2679 My name is Len Katz and I am the Vice-Chairman of Telecommunications. Acting Vice-Chairman Broadcasting Rita Cugini has been called away on a personal matter and will be unable to attend this hearing. As a result, Ms Cugini has stepped down from the panel and I will be assuming the duties of chairperson.
2680 Joining me on the panel are my colleagues:
2681 - on my far left, Louise Poirier, National Commissioner;
2682 - Peter Menzies, Regional Commissioner for Alberta and the Northwest Territories, who has been added to the panel;
2683 - on my right, far right, Tim Denton, National Commissioner; and
2684 - to my immediate right, Candice Molnar, Regional Commissioner for Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
2685 The team assisting us includes:
2688 - Hearing Secretary Cindy Ventura.
2689 Please speak with Ms Ventura if you have any questions with regard to hearing procedures.
2690 This hearing was originally scheduled for May 12, 2010, but was adjourned.
2691 The campus-based community station CKLN-FM Toronto has been called to this hearing two years into its licence term, given the number of complaints and the severity of the issues that have come to the Commission's attention.
2692 The Commission is concerned that its ability to deal with these complaints and issues has been hindered by CKLN's failure to respond to Commission inquiries and its failure to file the necessary logs and records.
2693 As was explained in the Notice of Consultation, it appears that the station may be operating in non-compliance with various sections of the Radio Regulations of 1986 and in a manner inconsistent with the current Campus Radio Policy.
2694 The Commission has also concerns regarding CKLN's programming, CKLN's governance structure, CKLN's day-to-day management and CKLN's operations.
2695 During this proceeding, CKLN is expected to explain the reasons for its apparent non-compliance and to convince this panel that it is capable of complying with its regulatory obligations in the future and thus deserving to retain its licence.
2696 Following this hearing, the CRTC may decide to issue mandatory orders requiring CKLN to comply with its regulatory obligations or suspend CKLN's broadcasting licence or revoke it outright.
2697 The CRTC expects to publish a decision in as short a timeframe as possible.
2698 I would like to remind parties to use their time before this panel very wisely. The Commission has already made determinations as to the relevancy of information to this proceeding and has struck information from the record accordingly. Parties who raise irrelevant issues will be asked to move to another topic and may ultimately be required to end their presentation early.
2699 In particular, parties are reminded that the legitimacy of the representatives of CKLN as the legally elected Board of Directors as well as the question of whether they have conducted themselves in compliance with their bylaws are outside the scope of this proceeding.
2700 I would now invite our Legal Counsel Crystal Hulley to further explain these possible sanctions and to explain the procedures we will be following.
2701 Ms Hulley.
2702 MS HULLEY: Thank you and good morning.
2703 I would like to take a few minutes to expand on the sanctions that the Commission is considering during this hearing, namely the issuance of mandatory orders, the suspension of the licence or the revocation of the licence.
2704 Under section 9(e) of the Broadcasting Act, the Commission may suspend or revoke a licence. Section 24 of the Act states in part that the no licence shall be suspended or revoked unless:"the Commission is satisfied that the licensee has contravened or failed to comply with any condition of the licence or with any order made under subsection 12(2) or any regulation made under this Part."
2705 Section 12 of the Broadcasting Act states that:"The Commission may inquire into, hear and determine a matter where it appears that a person has failed to do any act or thing that the person is required to do pursuant to any regulation, licence, decision or order of the Commission and issue a mandatory order to ensure compliance with any such regulation, licence, decision or order."
2706 If a mandatory order is issued, the Commission may register the order with the Federal Court of Canada, upon which it will become an order of the Court.
2707 If the licensee subsequently fails to comply with such an order, the Commission would provide evidence to the Federal Court of the failure to comply and a show cause hearing for contempt of court would take place before the Federal Court.
2708 The licensee would be entitled to present a defence and, if found guilty of contempt, would be subject to a fine set out by the court.
2709 CKLN has been asked to appear at this hearing to show cause why a mandatory order should not be issued, their licence suspended or their licence revoked. As such, the licensee has the burden of convincing this panel why the Commission should not take one of these steps.
2710 I would like to inform everyone that the Commission has decided that all parties appearing at this hearing will be required to swear an oath or make a solemn affirmation before making their presentation. Parties should speak with me before their presentation, preferably during a break if possible, to indicate what form of oath or affirmation they would prefer.
2715 We expect the hearing could take approximately a day and a half. Please note that we will also be starting tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. We will let you know of any schedule changes as they may occur.
2716 Parties are reminded that documents have been added to the public record of the file since the issuance of the Notice of Consultation. These include a number of additional complaints announced in a Commission letter dated 19 November 2010 and the Commission's determination on CKLN's request that certain interventions or parts thereof be struck from the record, set out in a Commission letter dated 26 November 2010.
2717 You can examine all documents on the public record of this proceeding in the Examination Room, which is located in the Ottawa Room. As indicated in the agenda, the telephone number of the Examination Room is 416-243-5222.
2723 Now, Mr. Chairman, we will proceed with Phase 1 of the hearing.
2732 THE SECRETARY: You may now proceed with your 20-minute presentation. Thank you.
2733 MR. NELSON: Thank you.
2734 We would first like to say thank you for this opportunity to address the Commission and to bring to your attention the operational challenges CKLN's current Board of Directors has recently faced at our station. We would like to share with you a glimpse of the CKLN that we inherited and what we have been doing and what we would like to do in the future.
2735 My name is Ron Nelson; I am the Chair of the CKLN Board and also host of Reggaemania.
2736 With me today is:
2737 - Vice-Chair Andrew Lehrer, to my left;
2738 - Treasurer Michael Harnett, to my far left;
2739 - Board member Bryce Seefieldt, to my right; and
2740 - Toby Whitfield, two over, who is a Board member as well as president of the Ryerson Student Union.
2741 Two student Board members, Mai Habib and Rhett Fester, both very much wanted to come here but were unable to due to exams.
2742 We will attempt to both address your concerns and also illustrate the continued diversity and strength of our programming and our relevance to our community.
2743 We will primarily address the reasons why the Commission has brought us to this hearing as well as the actions we have taken to ensure that we meet our commitment to the Radio Regulations and relevant broadcasting policies.
2744 We thank our supporters who are here today and the more than 170 individuals who wrote to the Commission, all but a small number in support of CKLN. We will, with the Commission's help, continue to sustain and nourish the important community centre and resource that is CKLN.
2745 There has been a great deal of interest and concern about this hearing by CKLN's volunteers and audience. However, many people who would have liked to attend today were unable to due to time, distance, exams, et cetera.
2746 CKLN has been broadcasting since 1983 and we have over 170 dedicated community and student volunteers from throughout Toronto and the surrounding areas, from all walks of life, who together produce an array of diverse and dynamic programming in a variety of genres that are generally absent from commercial radio.
2747 Many of our volunteers come from marginalized communities that are under-represented or absent from mainstream media. Our spoken word programming reflects this, which shows "Catch the Flavour", for example, a show produced by under-privileged youth from the Regent Park neighbourhood in Toronto.
2748 There's "Saturday Morning Live", highlighting views from the black community. There's "Musical Triangle" targeting the Caribbean community in particular, and "Frequency Feminisms" that gives a forum to women challenging oppression.
2749 We've been at the vanguard of introducing Toronto to new forms of music since our inception as a radio station. Our volunteer base reflects Toronto's cultural diversity through a wide range of genres, including music from south Asia, Latin America, Africa, the Caribbean, Ireland, east Asia and elsewhere. And we also, on record, have the first hiphop show in Canada, "The Fantastic Voyage".
2750 And basically, we were playing alternative and urban music long before the stations in Toronto, helping to develop this important and dynamic scene.
2751 There is a darker side to our story. Despite this very rich and influential history, recently CKLN has undergone a period of turmoil that is much of the reason why we believe we are here today.
2752 Between 2007 to 2009, we saw a very difficult period for CKLN due to internal conflict which basically divided our station. More than one-third of CKLN's volunteers were removed and, as a result, there were three competing Board of Directors that emerged during this whole nonsense.
2753 CKLN had a balanced budget for three years prior to 2007 in this turmoil period. However, from 2007 to 2009, CKLN accumulated an unmanageable debt. As a result, the new volunteer Board elected in July 2009, we basically inherited an empty bank account with fees and bills in excess of $200,000, past bills that were due immediately.
2754 Our priority then was to resume normal programming and heal the toxic atmosphere that imperilled the station and also to restore economic stability.
2755 The new management team galvanized volunteers from all sides of the previous dispute, with few exceptions, mind you. And we were able to restore a full program schedule in the fall of 2009.
2756 There are also staffing concerns we'd like to address. Because of our inherited financial situation and exorbitant legal costs, CKLN has not been able to hire staff. As a result, the current Board of Directors ourselves, the people you see here, we've been acting as a so-called working Board, which involves managing the station ourselves on a day-to-day basis with little help from the outside.
2757 And while we recognize that this is not ideal or tenable on a permanent basis, it has been financially necessary until now.
2758 Through fiscal restraint, we've eliminated our debt. Having been recapitalized with the assistance of the Ryerson student union and completing a successful fundraising campaign, we can now begin the process of hiring a station manager, a program director as soon as within the next two months. That's great news.
2759 With our plan to staff the station and the support of volunteers and listeners, CKLN now has the tools to move forward.
2760 We now turn to the specific concerns expressed by the Commission.
2761 Sub-section (8) regarding logs and records that were not clear or intelligible, the tape-recordings that we submitted to the Commission, the Commission asked for tapes for a two-week period in June 2009. However, the tapes provided to the Commission were out of sync by one day, just to note.
2762 We sent the correct tapes as soon as we realized our mistake.
2763 We also would like to apologize for the inaudibility of the tapes. When the June 2009 loggers were recorded, we were broadcasting at a very low wattage due to a damaged antenna, and we believe that the second week in question was completely inaudible because of the same reason.
2764 Our engineer installed a temporary antenna in October. However, we were not transmitting at full power during the January 10th to 16, 2010 evaluation period.
2765 We switched over to our repaired main antenna on January 16th and resumed broadcasting in full power shortly afterwards, and the quality of our logs improved substantially. We believe our weaker signal was a contributing factor to the inferior logger recordings dating back to January.
2766 The old logging computer was attached to a radio receiver, a receiver that had suffered from severe reception problems. And because of factors such as low hard disk capacity, the recordings were encoded at very low bit rate, further reducing quality.
2767 Reception may have also been affected by inter-modulation and crosstalk from a low power pirate broadcast coming out of 88.3, and we're at 88.1.
2768 We've also switched to an improved receiver that has demonstrated better reception quality, and we've also installed a new logging computer system recording daily logs in stereo at a higher bit rate with back-up redundancy in case of disk failure.
2769 The improvements allow CKLN to provide compliant audio logs from now on.
2770 Regarding the written logs and playlists, we apologize for our failure to provide written logs, once mandated to do so. We consulted the NCRA in order to bring our program logs into compliance and to improve our playlist entry system so that a proper basis on which to generate logs exists.
2771 Our computerized system was missing certain required fields and needed to be modified to meet the Commission's requirements. While we worked to modernize our computerized system, we've introduced a paper -- a more traditional paper playlist system, and this form has all the required fields, including those that were previously missing.
2772 Programmers were also trained on how to fill out these new forms, with emphasis on the need to fill the forms out properly and which meant calling all volunteers individually and warning -- cautioning them of disciplinary action or measures for non-compliance.
2773 We stress the importance of meeting the Canadian content requirements, indicating Canadian selections on their playlists, the maximum 10 percent limit on hits, requirements regarding station identification and their responsibility to actively review playlists to ensure compliance.
2774 In conjunction with the NCRA and, in particular, and in particular Freya Zaltz, we reviewed all programs in order to ensure that the music they play is properly classified by category and have advised programmers of their category's requirements.
2775 We will hire staff in the next quarter to closely -- amongst their responsibilities, to closely monitor programming and to ensure compliance with the Commission's Regulations.
2776 We have added a number of hours of dedicated Spoken Word programming as well in the past year. We are now at 27 hours a week, most of which is locally produced, which puts us well in excess of the proposed 15 percent requirement for locally produced Spoken Word.
2777 Additionally, a number of our music programs include extensive Spoken Word elements, which were not documented in our previous logs. And we're talking about interviews, news, researched discussion, commentary, et cetera. This allows us, we feel, to meet the 25 percent Spoken Word requirement. And we also intend to add additional Spoken Word shows in the coming months.
2778 CKLN has a rich heritage of Spoken Word programming and we are fully committed to maintaining and enhancing this legacy.
2779 Treasurer Mike Harnett, to my left, will now address the annual returns.
2780 MR. HARNETT: Yes. Good morning, Commission.
2781 CKLN had filed returns up until the year 2007. The previous Board failed to do so in 2008 and 2009. The Board was and has been diligently engaged to complete the returns for the years 2008, 2009 and 2010 and made the appropriate filings with the Canada Revenue Agency, Stats Can and the Commission, of course.
2782 Now I'd like to hand it over to Andrew Lehrer.
2783 MR. LEHRER: Thank you. I'm discussing our responses to listener complaints.
2784 The previous Board did not respond to most complaints that were forwarded to them by the Commission in 2008 and 2009. Commission staff forwarded these complaints to the new Board in the late summer of 2009 and we responded to them within three weeks of receiving them.
2785 We believe we have responded to all subsequent complaints within the required period.
2786 In preparation for the spring hearing, we became aware of a number of complaints from 2008 that had not been forwarded to us in the summer of 2009. Responses to all of those complaints were sent on March 1st, 2010.
2787 The Commission's July 2009 staff letter was not responded to promptly as the new Board was not elected until July 24, 2009 and we did not gain access to the station's email system for several weeks. We apologize for our delay.
2788 In regards to the September 2009 staff letter, we endeavoured to provide all materials to the Commission on time. Our initial report was completed on September 23rd, 2009 and delivered to the Commission by email at that time. However, we had trouble using the E-pass system and were unable to submit by that method until early October.
2789 In regards to ownership and control of equipment and facilities and transfers of ownership and control, while our landlord, the Palin Foundation, restricted access to CKLN-FM studios and offices to only a few members of the former Board, neither -- in the beginning of 2009, neither they nor the Ryerson student union acted as a representative or controller of CKLN.
2790 A letter from Chris McNeil of the Palin Foundation indicates that they prohibited access to the CKLN suite after competing members of the former Board changed the locks on each other. This resulted in conflict, security problems, and finally a break-in and attempted occupation of the station.
2791 The Palin Foundation states, in a letter they wrote, that they changed the locks at the station as "a last straw to ensure we protected the safety of the people and the physical space in our building".
2792 And these letters were included in earlier responses and are also appendices to this presentation.
2793 In regards to the student levy, the RSU was approached by competing Boards, each of which demanded access to the monies collected. According to Mr, Whitfield's letter to the Commission, "The Ryerson Students Union had no means to determine which group was the legitimate Board of Directors of CKLN" and thus held the monies in trust until the situation could be clarified.
2794 CKLN's counsel at the time, Brian Iler, wrote in a letter to his co-counsel that the RSU's position was "legitimate". This letter is included as an attachment to our response to Josie Miner and also is an appendix to this presentation.
2795 When the RSU realized there were competing factions claiming to be the Board of Directors, they withheld student levies collected on behalf of CKLN, holding that money in trust and paying certain costs on CKLN's behalf until there was a verifiable Board in place.
2796 In regards to our transmitter, both the Ryerson student union and Brookfield Properties have confirmed in writing that the RSU at no time either had access to the transmitter or controlled the access of others. We have forwarded these letters to the Commission and we have also attached them to our response to Mr. Duffell's in April.
2797 Brookfield Properties advises us that they were approached by members of the rival Boards that existed in 2009 attempting to bar each other from having access to the transmitter. Brookfield approached the RSU, but were told by the RSU that it wasn't the student union's place to provide a list of authorized personnel.
2798 There has been no transfer in the management of CKLN to the RSU. The RSU has always had a single member on the CKLN Board of Directors, and this has not changed, nor will it change.
2799 Mr Whitfield is present today and can go into more detail about the actions of the RSU and the Palin Foundation during the question period.
2800 In regard to programming issues in 2009, the Commission expressed concerns in its Notice of Consultation regarding programming during the spring and summer of 2009. During this period, the station was closed to programmers.
2801 A member of the former Board was given access to program pre-recorded material to avoid us going dark. Unfortunately, that programming was not compliant with Commission requirements, and we apologize for that.
2802 This problem was rectified by our return to normal programming in the fall of 2009.
2803 Bryce Seefieldt will now address the issue of Board composition and student participation.
2804 MR. SEEFIELDT: Good morning.
2805 In regards toBoard composition and student participation, the Commission has identified two issues regarding the structure of the Board: (a) the need for by-law amendments to address the outdated composition of the Board of Directors, and (b) student involvement.
2806 Last summer, we struck a Committee to draft a new set of bylaws. We have also reviewed the Commission's expectations for Board structure in paragraph 56 of the Campus Radio Policy. We were delayed in implementing the new draft due to legal issues.
2807 Recently, the Board has approved the draft, which will bring us into compliance with the policy. A Special General Meeting is being held on December 15th, 2010 to approve the new bylaws.
2808 Since the rebuilding process began in September 2009, students have been given the highest priority in all matters, from programming to administration. We continuously look for ways to ensure that Ryerson students get involved with CKLN and, in response to increased interest, a number of additional students have taken up programming and volunteer positions at CKLN.
2809 Michael Harnett will speak again to discuss CKLN's financial viability.
2810 MR. HARNETT: Yes. Once again, the long-term financial viability of CKLN Incorporated has been secured through a renewable ten-year levy transfer agreement with the RSU. The previous 1982 agreement expired in 1992, and was being renewed on a year-to-year basis.
2811 In terms of long-term stability, the new agreement is obviously in place for 10 years.
2812 We have also resumed fundraising and selling of advertising. We have brought the day-to-day costs at CKLN Incorporated under control by temporarily going without staff, and have been able to stabilize the financial framework. Where costs were not monitored sufficiently by previous management, all of the expenditures and revenues are now tracked in detail and are transparent to our accountant and to our auditor, who presented financial statements for the corporation at the recent Annual General Meeting.
2813 I'm going to go into more detail regarding our financial situation during the question period.
2814 Ron Nelson will now conclude. Thank you.
2815 MR. NELSON: CKLN's worst days are behind us. That's what we feel sitting here as a Board.
2816 Today, there is a greatly improved atmosphere at CKLN Radio. Despite the trials and tribulations of the past, morale is very high and community support is growing.
2827 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your opening remarks.
2828 I want to emphasize that in a number of cases, and the panel here will each take their opportunity to get into more detail, but I urge you in responding to respond to what you're going to do and how you're going to do it in the future.
2829 As I said in my opening remarks and as you said here, the real question is complying in the future and does this panel, does the CRTC, fully believe that what process and procedures you believe are necessary going forward are sufficient from our perspective to grant you continuation or, alternatively, issue mandatory orders to compel you to meet those obligations.
2830 Simply saying that you will meet it and you will get money is a start, but it's certainly not an end.
2831 With that said, let me start by just getting clarification. You five are all on the Board, and I thank you all for being here, given that you've got other pressing obligations as well.
2832 Can you provide us with the names of the other people that are on the Board? Like how many are there today on the Board, and who does each party represent?
2833 MR. LEHRER: In total, there are seven people on the Board. Ron Nelson, Ronald Nelson, is the Chair of the Board. He is a volunteer representative.
2834 Michael Harnett is the Treasurer of the Board. He is a community representative. My name is Andrew Lehrer. I'm the Vice-Chair of the Board and I am a community representative.
2835 Bryce Seefieldt is a volunteer representative on the Board, and Toby Whitfield is the Ryerson student union representative on the Board, and is also the Present of the Ryerson student union.
2836 There are four student positions, two of which are currently filled. Mae Habib is a -- I believe she's a fourth-year radio television arts student, and she's a student representative on the Board. And Rhett Fester is a third-year film student at Ryerson, and he's also a student representative.
2837 There are two vacancies for students that will be filled in January.
2838 There are three other vacant positions. The first is the former core staff rep, which is open to anyone who used to be a program director, station manager, news director or music director. That is not filled. That position will be eliminated in our new bylaws.
2839 Currently the station manager and program director also have positions on the Board. Those positions are vacant at present.
2840 So there are seven filled positions right now.
2841 THE CHAIRPERSON: How, if at all, are any of those seven compensated today?
2842 MR. LEHRER: There is no compensation.
2843 THE CHAIRPERSON: For any of them?
2844 MR. LEHRER: No.
2845 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Lehrer, I have read in a number of submissions your signature behind an awful lot of them. How much time do you spend on CKLN?
2846 MR. LEHRER: Probably a few hours a week. I have a full-time job, but I am also doing this in my spare time, as a volunteer. But, you know, it's not really sustainable in the long term.
2847 Particularly for this, and for responding to interventions and responding to complaints, I have probably been spending five or six hours a week on it, sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on when things are coming and going.
2848 THE CHAIRPERSON: Are you all in the same position, where you spend a couple of hours a week --
2849 MR. NELSON: As a working Board, we have had no choice but to do that. We each spend quite a few hours per week, not just doing the duties that are involved in managing the station, but also to meet as a Board to do the things that come more traditionally with being a Board.
2850 So, yes, we are all putting in hours, and we are all very committed.
2851 MR. WHITFIELD: That is probably with the exception of me. I hold the RSU seat on the Board, but I also work full-time as the president of the students' union. So I probably spend the least time dedicated to CKLN on the Board, and don't usually dedicate that many hours a week to the Board.
2852 But, I guess, in my role as president of the students' union, that's the way I fulfil it.
2853 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Whitfield, maybe you could answer a question from me that I was going to ask you later on, but since you have the mic on -- what is the relationship between yourself, the RSU and the administration of the university itself?
2854 MR. WHITFIELD: The way that it works is that the students' union is separately incorporated as an individual organization, so we exist within the Ryerson community, but separately from the university administration.
2855 I am the elected representative as president of the students' union this year. In the past two years I served as Vice-President of Finance and Services, or treasurer of the students' union. Those are elected positions.
2856 And then I am cross-elected to CKLN as the RSU's representative.
2857 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you have a seat on the Board of Ryerson University?
2858 MR. WHITFIELD: No, I don't.
2859 THE CHAIRPERSON: Does Ryerson University, in any way, confirm their support for CKLN, directly or indirectly?
2860 MR. WHITFIELD: I wouldn't be able to speak on behalf of the university. I am not aware of any statements they have put out either way.
2861 The way the funding works is that each member of CKLN, so each full-time student, pays a membership fee. That money is collected when they pay their tuition fees by the university, and is then transferred to the students' union, along with several other student activity fees, and that money flows through us straight to the radio station.
2862 But the university hasn't made a statement either way.
2863 THE CHAIRPERSON: The university bills the students. How and to what extent is the relationship between you or CKLN in order to decide how much money should be charged to each student for their RSU activities, including CKLN?
2864 MR. WHITFIELD: Essentially, the way the CKLN fee came about was through a campus-wide referendum many years ago. There was a subsequent referendum, I think, in the nineties, which increased the fee and tied it to inflation.
2865 So each year the fee increases by the cost of inflation, determined by the university, based on the Toronto Consumer Price Index inflation numbers. There hasn't been a change in the fee for many years, it just increases each year by inflation.
2866 There is no formal agreement, to my knowledge, or to the university's knowledge, is my understanding, that exists between CKLN and the university. The only agreement that talks about fees exists between CKLN and the Ryerson students' union, and that agreement comes up a couple of times in these different discussions, and essentially recognizes that we will transfer the money we receive from the university to CKLN.
2867 THE CHAIRPERSON: As I understand it, one of the attributes of a campus and community radio station is endorsement by the university. Is there such an endorsement, to your knowledge -- or to anyone's knowledge -- with regard to Ryerson University recognizing the campus and community radio station, CKLN FM?
2868 MR. LEHRER: If I could add something -- and perhaps Mr. Whitfield could correct me if I am wrong. There is an indirect relationship, in that Ryerson University has appointments on the Palin Foundation. They sit on the Palin Foundation Board, and we do have a relationship with the Palin Foundation, which is the owner of the Ryerson Student Centre in which our suite -- our offices and our studios are located.
2869 So there is an indirect relationship through the Palin Foundation.
2870 Also, in our revisions to the bylaws, we will be adding a seat -- as required by the Commission's policy -- a seat for a Ryerson faculty and/or staff representative. So that will be coming.
2871 THE CHAIRPERSON: And there hasn't been to date?
2872 MR. LEHRER: No, there has not been.
2873 THE CHAIRPERSON: So, again, it is an obligation that was imposed upon you, that you, in the past, have not succeeded in confirming.
2874 MR. LEHRER: I wasn't around -- I don't know if any of us is aware of the history of why that wouldn't have happened. My understanding --
2875 There might be someone who speaks later -- Ms Speers, who was on the Board several years ago, might know why that didn't happen.
2876 I think there may have been an attempt to change the bylaws at one point and that wasn't successful. But, in any case, we are committed to adding that seat now.
2877 THE CHAIRPERSON: To your knowledge, when was the last time that Ryerson University actually had a representative on the Board?
2878 MR. LEHRER: I don't believe there has ever been a representative on the Board from the university itself.
2879 THE CHAIRPERSON: You touched upon a number of -- I will call them transgressions -- in the past, and you have basically identified them as issues that you hope to rectify going forward, and you explained that it was because of the unique situation you had.
2880 We are in the position at the CRTC, and this panel particularly, of looking at all campus and community radio stations. If we choose to recognize your past transgressions and basically say, "Look, the past is the past. You appear to be good corporate citizens. You appear to want to go forward," what message does that send to all of the other campus and community stations that are currently, across Canada, complying with our policies, incurring costs, hiring full-time people, day-to-day?
2881 Does that not send them the wrong message?
2882 MR. NELSON: We do understand, because of CKLN's history, that there will be ramifications, we are sure, by the Commission. We are not here pompously thinking that we are going to get a "get out of jail free" card, so to speak. We understand that there needs to be consequences to situations like what happened at CKLN.
2883 We are not using the fact that we were not the Board that sat at the time those things happened. We are here to take responsibility, and we will live with whatever decision the Commission makes.
2884 We understand that all other campus radio stations are looking at this hearing today with some kind of, at least, curiosity, because there is supposed to be disciplinary action coming out of this, in some way, shape or form.
2885 So we understand that we are being, basically, showcased, to some degree, where the decisions that you make today will have long-term impacts on how all other campus community radio stations look at their right to have a licence and their right to broadcast.
2886 We are here humbly, like I said, taking responsibility for the actions of the past.
2887 THE CHAIRPERSON: I just want to clarify something you said. This is not an attempt by this Commission to apply punitive measures. We are looking at whether CKLN has the skills, the experience, the fortitude and the commitment to go forward, not to send a message to someone else, saying: If you do this, as well, then there is a penalty to be applied.
2888 I mean, everybody follows what the regulations are, what their obligations are, and what their commitments are as well, and we approve their bylaws to that extent as well.
2889 I just want to make it clear that this is not a punitive situation, this is a question as to whether you are complying or not complying, and what actions should be taken going forward.
2890 MR. SEEFIELDT: If I may comment on that very quickly, I think that here in Canada community radio, campus radio, is a very tight community. They meet on several occasions nationwide, and regardless of the outcome and what is discovered here, I think one of the major things that comes out of this is the realization for all campus radio stations of the importance of the involvement of the entire membership and the volunteer community, and I think, ultimately, some great lessons will be learned nationwide of the importance of always the entire community being involved in their station. Great growth can come with full community involvement, and also some great lessons learned from what can go wrong when the proper steps aren't taken to measure the Board and make sure the Board is taking its proper precautions to defend the station's licence and stay in compliance.
2891 MR. NELSON: I would also like to add that CKLN looks forward to the opportunity to learn from its past mistakes as we move ahead, and I am excited, if I am not misjudging what you are saying, that maybe we will be dealing a lot more with the present and the future, instead of the past, because, to some degree, I thought that we were going to be dealing a lot with the past.
2892 That's a great opportunity.
2893 THE CHAIRPERSON: The reason you are here is because of complaints raised by other parties. We are basically looking at whether there is truth in what they are saying. You have actually volunteered, in a lot of cases, some of the issues, and identified that you were crossing that fine line between compliance and non-compliance, and you identified it as well.
2901 THE CHAIRPERSON: Again, just before I pass it on to Mr. Lehrer, I hear you saying these things, but I don't hear you saying what exactly you are going to do, how you are going to do it, how you are going to enforce it, how you are going to implement it, how you are going to operationalize it.
2902 All I keep hearing is, "Yes, we are going to do all of these things that we haven't done in the past," but you are not telling me how you are going to do it, and you are not telling me where your finances are going to come from to do it.
2903 You have each admitted that you are working part-time on this, five or six hours a week. This is not a five or six-hour a week radio station. You have a valuable asset, which basically covers a large portion of Toronto, with an audience that -- I am not sure -- and we will get to it -- how big that audience is.
2904 But what I do hear is that your systems are up, they are down, they are not complying, and what I want to hear is, is that true, first of all, and if it is true, how are you going to rectify that going forward, what are you going to do and where are you going to get the funds to do it with?
2905 MR. LEHRER: First, if I could answer your earlier question, one of the first decisions we made as a Board was to rejoin the NCRA, and we have been getting a lot of support and guidance from them.
2906 As for the message that is sent to the rest of the campus and community radio station community, I don't think they would see us as free riders. We have the support of the NCRA, and several campus community radio stations have written to the Commission, or to us, in support.
2907 And I think perhaps the message that is sent is that it is important to continue working with the rest of the community to ensure that all campus radio stations have compliance, because with the nature of campus community radio stations being largely volunteer, and largely with a high turnover of students, it is important to be part of a body and part of a greater community that can help you meet best practices, give you advice and help you out.
2908 In regards to systems that we are putting in place, as Mr. Nelson said in the presentation, we will be hiring a program director or a station manager who will be able to make sure that programming is compliant, and monitor it on a day-to-day basis.
2909 Perhaps Mr. Seefieldt could speak to this; currently we are using a paper log system. However, we are working with a programmer to update and modernize our computer log system. This would allow us to instantly tell whether we are meeting our CanCon requirements, we are meeting our spoken word requirements, on a day-to-day basis. We would be able to look at a spreadsheet and go: Oh, yeah, okay, we are at this percent, we are at that percent.
2910 So we are working on putting systems in place, and we hope to do that in the next few months.
2911 THE CHAIRPERSON: Who is going to be doing that? Each one of you works four or five hours a week on a volunteer basis.
2912 MR. LEHRER: We will be hiring a program director or a station manager.
2913 MR. NELSON: I am going to try to put some perspective on this.
2914 As far as this Board is concerned -- because I understand that what you are saying, basically, is: What is the business plan? What are you actually going to do? What are we going to physically do? Don't talk about it, what are we going to do about it?
2915 This Board meets an average of one and a half times a week, and we are trying, despite not having the traditional working staff that most radio stations have -- community radio stations usually have, at least, two or three people who are there full-time, every day, and that is how they get the job done. The challenge for CKLN is, with limited resources, how much longer do we think we can possibly keep running this radio station compliantly, like campus radio stations are supposed to run?
2916 You asked: What are the plans to secure the future? If we are not going to dwell so much on the past, we are very excited about the future because, as we said in our report, CKLN now, for the first time, is solvent.
2917 I know that we were supposed to have our hearing last time, and we got it postponed. That has given us the opportunity to tighten up our operation even more, and to get more money to secure more people being employed.
2918 We just finished our successful fundraising drive. We have now gotten our financing from the Ryerson student union.
2919 We have been a station overwhelmed with debt, a lot of it having to do with the legal challenges that we have been obligated to face ever since trying to get on our feet as a radio station.
2920 The station, in case you are not aware of the history, is under attack by forces who would like to see it fall, and CKLN, in order to keep the station going, has had to spend a lot of money on legal costs in order to keep the station going in a positive direction.
2921 We have been doing that now, and we have consciously said that, despite the odds possibly being against us, as a working Board it is imperative that we put in our time and keep the station alive, even if we have to do it starting with ourselves.
2922 The five or six hours a week per person is not really accurate. We actually put in a hell of a lot more time than that.
2923 Excuse me for using the word "hell".
2924 To be perfectly honest, a working Board, to manage a radio station that normally has a staff -- CKLN, in better years, had six or seven people employed, and every time you'd go into the office there were people there working.
2925 So if we are to be honest with ourselves, people have been waiting for us to burn out, thinking that it's impossible for a working Board to do the job of an entire staff that traditionally runs a radio station, and because of our dedication, because of the correct timing -- because, I think, at another time, all of us would not be so committed and available.
2926 But we have been putting in the work at the administrative level, and we have gone backwards in trying to come up with a structure for reinventing a new CKLN. But first we have to get over the hurdle, and the timing of now is very crucial, because we have just recently, only in the last two weeks, gotten our money from the student union. It was only a week ago that fundraising ended.
2927 When we say that we are solvent now, it is very important for everyone to understand that this, in the last two weeks, is the first time that CKLN has had money in the bank, and now, for the first time, we can actually start to hire staff and put things into place that were impossible to do before, because, again, we were being handcuffed by legal challenges.
2928 And it was not a decision that we wanted to make, but we had to operate without the traditional staff up until this point in time.
2929 But as our treasurer said, and I would like to reiterate, CKLN today is solvent, and we are initiating a plan of action. For the first time in months, we are going to have a working staff, who can respond appropriately to keep this radio station operating in full compliance with all rules and all regulations that mandate a station like CKLN to continue operating.
2930 This is something that we are very, very, very excited about.
2931 The challenges that have brought us here today have been solved, for the most part. A lot of it was technical and operational. A lot of it was as a result of a past Board running out of money, and basically not leaving until every cent was gone from the bank.
2932 At that point in time, when we came in, we had to, basically, clean up that mess and restore democracy, restore CKLN to -- you know, from the stage of infancy, basically, to what it is now, which is still not a perfect radio station, but a much better one.
2933 So if given the opportunity, Commission, we again would like to say that we now have an opportunity to start over. Money is not going to solve everything, but we really believe that if we are able to hire staff who can do things, in the traditional sense, that radio stations do, the majority of any problems that are still outstanding will go away. We just need that opportunity.
2934 THE CHAIRPERSON: Let me try to understand the financial situation. You are saying that you are now solvent and everything is rosy.
2935 You have, I guess, filed your 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 financial statements audited by Yale & Partners.
2936 MR. HARNETT: Yes, sir.
2937 THE CHAIRPERSON: Those numbers are correct, you stand behind those?
2938 MR. HARNETT: That is correct.
2939 THE CHAIRPERSON: When I look at those numbers they reflect the fact that in 2007 and 2008 you had substantial revenues from advertising and presumably fundraising. It dropped dramatically in 2009 and 2010 to a point where there is roughly in total revenues, and I will quote these numbers here, because they are public numbers, in the order of $240,000 to $245,000 of total revenues.
2940 You are saying that puts you in good stead, going forward. I think I heard you, Mr. Nelson, say that when this radio station was humming several years ago it had six to seven employees. If I take average salary of six to seven employees in a community radio station that are getting paid salary and multiply that by their salary, I am not sure there is any money there to run the station.
2941 Because $240,000 divided by seven is about thirty-odd thousand dollars per person, which may be the salaries, but where is the programming, where is the lease costs, where is everything else as well?
2942 So I sit here and I wonder whether you do have the financial capability, if what you're telling me is you are now solvent based on these numbers. And I don't know how you get back to generating advertising revenue of what would be six-fold what it was three years ago. And if you do have support for that, I'd like to hear about it.
2943 MR. HARNETT: Mr. Katz, I would just like to point out that the first thing we have to look at is that CKLN is well capitalized at this time. Recently we have just received $190,000 from the RSU as a transfer payment. Most recent FundFEST yielded $50,000 worth of pledges. We are still obviously securing those monies and collecting those monies as we speak.
2944 As a third revenue stream in parallel obviously there is the advertising component. We need to obviously be more effectual on that and capture the advertising revenue stream and improve that. That is going to be a challenge as we move forward.
2945 Certainly, it doesn't take a PhD student to figure out that, overall, the advertising market is a soft one at best right now. And we are doing everything and will be doing everything we can to try to and improve that.
2946 We need to obviously take a look at our cost structure in terms of what we charge per minute, per 30-second spot, and reach out to communities and maybe drop our prices and get a business plan in that area. However, that's a great opportunity for us to improve.
2947 I would like to answer the next question, which is relative to staff. If we look at Mr. Nelson's statement about previous staff, there were certainly some fulltime positions and there were also some part-time positions available which made that up. Now, my personal belief is in the past at the station that progressively less and less was coming back in terms of return on investment for the amount of staff that was being put in place.
2948 What we need to do as we look forward is designate and be diligent in terms of specific requirements and meeting specific requirements on a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis, and the Board will actually monitor that as well.
2949 We would also supplement the fulltime employment of two personnel with some part-time components and that could be monitored and changed, depending on the financial viability of the corporation. There is a budget in place as we move forward this year. There are a number of capital projects that we are looking at executing, there is some infrastructure, as mentioned prior, that has to be replaced and improved, systems need to be improved and all those items are being worked on simultaneously.
2950 There is a new advertising policy as well which we haven't really talked about. All these items are being looked at in a parallel fashion.
2951 In terms of modernization, the yield and the response isn't going to be overnight, but a lot of these things have to be moved forward and we are working on them. As I say, it is going to take a little bit of time, but the main things are, as a primary and core component, is the day to day operations which can be looked after by a minimum of two staff. We have already hired one individual on a contract basis as well to assist us during our FundFEST process and that is still ongoing.
2952 So we are also reducing our cost structure and looking at specifics that have to be met in terms of CRTC compliance, StatsCan compliance and working within our building operation and proficiency from an on-air standpoint.
2953 THE CHAIRPERSON: But I think I heard you say, based on the data that we have for 2009, 2010, you were in the order of $240,000 to $245,000. You are saying the RSU piece of it is $190,000 and you have pledges of $50,000. So you are still at that same $240,000.
2954 MR. HARNETT: I have talked to some management elements, the Chief of Finance at Ryerson University, we are looking probably in the order of transfer payments, approximately $238,000 from the University for this fiscal year, moving forward. On top of that obviously, in theory, we have $50,000 worth of pledges for the FundFEST campaign, it is tenable that maybe we will get 60 per cent as a realistic number in terms of capture there.
2955 And certainly, the one area which is critical as we move forward is the capture and improvement of advertising revenue. I am not going to try and fool you here, as I mentioned prior, the market is a very tough and difficult one.
2956 And certainly as the station moves forward and re-establishes itself in terms of credibility within the community, we have to prove ourselves, so that will be a little bit sluggish and maybe we are not going to get the traction that we are looking for. But it is a great opportunity for us to focus on.
2957 MR. NELSON: I would like to add to what Michael just said as well. My voice is going from bad to worse. I can't talk.
2958 I did say six to seven people for community radio stations. But Commission, please note that there are many stations like CKLN that operates traditionally on a staff of one, two or even three people at times. I don't think we need to go back to a staff of six to seven people.
2959 The question is mathematical. You are saying that if we have $300,000 in the bank, how are we possibly in a fiscal year going to survive by paying the cost of staff, which you can add up to be perhaps $180,000, which would leave $120,000 left. Can you run a radio station on $120,000? I think you are breaking down the math and basically saying when we say we are solvent what does that really mean?
2960 And I would like to reiterate that we do have a radio station that, in our opinion, is solvent. We have been discussing as a board the step by step procedures involved in hiring limited staff and basically graduating as time moves forward into the future. We cannot immediately jump back into being the radio station that we were three years ago, that would not be practical.
2961 This station is also faced with operational costs, technical costs, there is different improvements, and we have had to balance that money that we are getting to try and figure how we solve all of the problems right across the board. So while there is an issue of staff, we are also recognizing that the equipment needs to be updated, this needs to be done, that needs to be done and none of us are going and irresponsibly spending. What we do is we meet and we talk and we budget and we prioritize and we can only take care of one step at a time.
2962 It is only in the last two weeks that we have had this money. So up until two weeks ago we have been planning mostly without execution because there was no money to execute. So at this point what we are saying is that now that the money is there, we can actually start to execute some of those plans.
2963 And like I said, it's not just a staffing issue relating to the number of staff, but also the equipment that has to be purchased that will also solve other problems that are resulting at CKLN, which is again some of the reasons why we are here.
2964 THE CHAIRPERSON: But I must be missing something. The money is always there, notwithstanding the fact the students' union, the RSU, may have held back the money for a period of time.
2965 The reality is the money is guaranteed. Every student is obligated to pay it. So it is sitting there, in escrow maybe, and maybe the bills are falling behind. But you know for certainty that money is coming in.
2966 MR. NELSON: Well, in theory, yes. In theory, yes. But because of the --
2967 THE CHAIRPERSON: In practice, yes, as well.
2968 MR. NELSON: -- because of the political climate leading up to this point in time and with the money being held and with different so-called boards having to sort themselves out so that the RSU recognizes which is the only legal legitimate board, all of that took a long time.
2969 CKLN, as we have seen here, was basically put on hold while all of these problems were resolved. Nobody wanted to be liable for making the wrong decision. So it was a very unique time for CKLN. I don't think this has happened before in the history of community radio even.
2970 But there is a huge dispute and different legal parties were involved in different sides, and it could not be resolved overnight. And when the station was shutdown the parties still kept trying to resolve the dispute. And it was only after an extended period of time and a lot of work and a lot of meetings and a lot of resolution, a lot of mediation, that there was finally a decision by the RSU.
2971 And even when they made the decision to recognize that this board is a legitimate board of CKLN, there was no money in the bank. So we had to wait for them not only to make the decision, but for their lawyers and legal people to feel comfortable enough to forward us the money and, like I said --
2972 THE CHAIRPERSON: But that quite frankly, with all due respect, has zero relevance in my mind. The requirement to operate a radio station is an obligation with rules and regulations.
2973 The fact that shareholders, boards, have disputes go on all the time in businesses. The reality is the need for fulltime supervision and running of this thing is paramount if a licence is to be issued and kept in good standing.
2974 Any employee you wanted to hire, all you had to do was walk into Mr. Whitfield's office and say, is there money sitting there to pay me at some point in time? And I gather he would have said, there is an obligation by the university to collect that money and it is sitting there.
2975 And so there is no stopping you or any other board from hiring those people that are required to meet the obligations notwithstanding the fact there may be shareholder disputes, board disputes or anything else going on. It is irrelevant to me, in my mind.
2976 MR. LEHRER: Our problem in the past year, and perhaps Mr. Harnett can speak to this, is we had bills that had been accumulated by the previous board that needed to be cleared. And it either would have taken several years to clear that or we felt it was necessary to clear that as quickly as possible so that we would be in a stable position to be able to hire staff.
2977 THE CHAIRPERSON: So the way you did that was to breach every one of your conditions of licence and make sure that you wouldn't comply on any of your conditions of licence in order to get rid of your obligations? Is that what I hear?
2978 MR. LEHRER: No. Most of the breaches that we are here occurred before we came into office. We worked very quickly I think to try to come into compliance and we have been working very hard to make sure that we are otherwise coming into compliance.
2979 It would have been preferable if we had a program director or station manager over the past year. But I don't think fiscally we would have been able to do it. Perhaps Mr. Harnett could speak to that.
2980 MR. HARNETT: Yes. At that time unfortunately CKLN was involved in litigation. The funding that was available obviously was being used to fight that campaign and continue to provide, how should I say, protection for the corporation. The litigation costs have been in the order of $85,000.
2981 Now, that certainly would have been a minimum of two fulltime staff and a number of, you know, part-time commissioned individuals, which certainly would have helped us.
2982 THE CHAIRPERSON: But you made the decision to breach your conditions of licence consciously in order to save money, in order to pay for your legal disputes between some other folks. That has no relevance to us.
2983 MR. HARNETT: Understood.
2984 THE CHAIRPERSON: I think you mentioned, one of you a few minutes ago, that you are looking at rejoining the NCRA?
2985 MR. LEHRER: One of our first decisions was to rejoin the NCRA, and we did that a year ago.
2986 THE CHAIRPERSON: Why did CKLN ever leave the NCRA?
2987 MR. LEHRER: I don't know. That was the previous board made a decision to leave the NCRA. I think there are members of the previous board who will be speaking later, perhaps they would be able to answer that. But we don't agree with that decision and one of our first decisions was to rejoin.
2988 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Whitfield, you mentioned earlier that you are not here to support or to confirm that Ryerson University supports the endeavours of CKLN. Why is that?
2989 MR. WHITFIELD: I don't represent Ryerson University. I represent the Ryerson Students' Union, and we are two distinct separate organizations. I can't act on behalf of the university.
2990 What I could say maybe, in terms of the historical perspective of the university, is that they did agree many years ago and on at least two occasions to hold referenda to ask students to pay CKLN fees. And so they did organize and I guess allow for those referenda to continue. And through each year they have proceeded to collect the CKLN membership fee.
2991 Although I am not in a position to speak on behalf of the university, I don't represent the university or work for the university, that would suggest that perhaps they are acceptable to CKLN because they are collecting those fees and now passing them on, and they allowed those fees to exist. And they allowed for space, for example, in the administrative buildings before we had our student campus side, the current home of CKLN, and so those could be some examples that you could point to.
2992 Maybe just a quick note on the way student fees work is we get fees and CKLN is provided fees in three instalments. So they are right to suggest that there is a $190,000 fee disbursement this past November. That is the first chunk of money. There is an additional payment of funds that balances out in January/February time, and the remaining amount of membership fees based on actual enrolments numbers are provided in July. So it is a three-cycle period and that hasn't changed.
2993 I think in the last year there was probably three different disbursements, the largest being September 2009 I think, which is when all of that money that was held in trust was provided.
2994 THE CHAIRPERSON: I think you mentioned earlier as well that there were a couple referenda. What were the years of those referenda?
2995 MR. WHITFIELD: I would have to check back. But from my recollection, it was maybe middle 1980s, maybe around 1985. And then again I believe in 1992 I think, but it could have been 1998 when the successful referenda passed.
2996 THE CHAIRPERSON: And there hasn't been another one since?
2997 MR. WHITFIELD: Not to my knowledge.
2998 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is there a process under which Ryerson University engages in these types of referenda to see what students are supporting in the way of RSU activities?
2999 MR. WHITFIELD: My understanding from the university in this discussion is that they wouldn't hold a referendum, for example, to ask students if they continue to support CKLN today. Although they don't have a clear policy that outlines how that might happen, in discussions it seems like it would need to be a request from students on campus, perhaps through a petition or a letter or that sort of thing that asks the university to conduct a referendum.
3000 But there doesn't appear to be clear outlines within the university policy that would either trigger a referendum or, you know, there is not a cycle every five years as a referendum, for example.
3001 That being said, the university's board of governors, which is responsible for the financial decisions of the university, I suppose could require a referendum for any number of reasons. That is the authority that governs referendum on campus.
3002 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is it unusual that a president of students' union doesn't sit on the administrative body of the university?
3003 MR. WHITFIELD: No, not at all. It is very wide-ranging across universities. In many situations student representatives on the board of governors are elected independently of students' unions and it varies across campuses.
3004 Although I would agree in a perfect world, students' union representatives would be on the board of governors. In this case I look at U of T and York as two examples, even Ottawa U, where I don't believe students' union representatives sit on the board of governors.
3005 THE CHAIRPERSON: You are on the board of the CKLN administrative body, that is why you are here?
3006 MR. WHITFIELD: Yes.
3007 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you attend their meetings regularly?
3008 MR. WHITFIELD: Most recently I haven't been attending regularly. I found that having maybe over regular scheduled board of directors meetings has caused a conflict for me to be able to attend.
3009 THE CHAIRPERSON: In the last 12 months how many meetings were there and how many have you attended?
3010 MR. WHITFIELD: I couldn't give you numbers on either of those off the top of my head. But most recently, I think meetings are maybe once a week. I probably have maybe attended one or two since September.
3011 THE CHAIRPERSON: And since last September?
3012 MR. WHITFIELD: I couldn't give you a number off the top of my head.
3013 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Nelson, do you keep track of who attends your board meetings?
3014 MR. NELSON: Yes and no. We take attendance sometimes, but since it has become a working board everyone attends that are here now, with the exception of Toby. Toby's obligations do keep him away from most of our CKLN board meetings traditionally.
3015 THE CHAIRPERSON: There is only seven of you or nine of you in total. Think back over the last 12 months and give me, in order of magnitude, as to what per cent of those board meetings Mr. Whitfield attended.
3016 MR. LEHRER: As I recall, Mr. Whitfield attended I think it was in late August, so one meeting this year. I think he may have attended one meeting in 2009.
3017 THE CHAIRPERSON: So he attended two meetings in total. And I believe you said you have board meetings every week?
3018 MR. LEHRER: Three times a month I would say, every week or every two weeks depending on...
3019 THE CHAIRPERSON: So Mr. Whitfield, you haven't been attending very often.
3020 Now, as I understand in reading some of the material, there was a period of time where the RSU locked out certain people in CKLN. Was that with your support?
3021 MR. WHITFIELD: I think what you are referring is decisions of the PALIN Foundation, which is the I guess main tenant or main operator of the student campus centre to which CKLN exists or has space in. And so for two years I acted as treasurer of that board of directors for the student campus centre and this year I occupy or act as chair.
3022 And so in that decision, which is maybe about a year and a half ago now, that was the decision that came out of concerns with safety for other users of the building. And so a decision was made by the student centre to I guess prevent access publicly.
3023 And part of the problem was that leading up to that two distinct groups of individuals claiming to be the board of directors each changed the locks to the entire or maybe to most of the space that CKLN occupied.
3024 And a third situation happened where you could call it an occupation or an attempt to enter unauthorized. And so we had different groups of people changing locks and assuming control over the space on a regular basis, which made it impossible for the student centre board of directors to understand who actually had control over that space.
3025 And so in that time when the locks were changed by the landlord or by the student campus centre access was permitted to I don't know if it was an engineer or whoever, so that they were able to continue to play music and that sort of thing.
3026 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you currently act as a board member to CKLN FM Radio Inc. and, as chairman of the PALIN Foundation that provides the space and the access for the station?
3027 MR. WHITFIELD: In terms of space the space for CKLN exists within the operating agreement that four different groups have signed onto to essentially create the students' centre. And those signatories include Ryerson University, Ryerson Centre, the Ryerson Students' Union and the Continuing Education Student Association at Ryerson.
3028 And space is provide to CKLN irrespective of the decisions of the board at the time of the students' centre. So that space is entrenched within the operating agreement of the student campus centre.
3029 THE CHAIRPERSON: So my question is still the same. If an issue comes up with regard to safety, security or whatever, you are on the board and you want to continue to obviously have access in order to broadcast while at the same time you are president of the PALIN foundation which is looking for the safety and security of everybody in the building. How do you marry those two obligations?
3030 MR. WHITFIELD: Well, I think that the challenge is essentially to analyze what the current situation is. I mean, I guess going forward in the future it would be to attempt to have a mediation or attempt to bring the parties together and determine a way forward first. And failing that resolution, it would be to determine what is in the best interest of all parties at the time.
3031 Looking back, I think that is what was tried, a mediation was scheduled, the students' union absorbed the legal costs associated with trying to host a mediation, that failed, and then several other actions and incidences occurred after that, which resulted in at one point access being restricted to the suites of CKLN at the time we believe to prevent any additional security issues and for the safety of those in the building.
3032 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would you recuse yourself or step aside if discussions were being held at the CKLN board meeting with regard to access or safety and security issues and would you do the same thin on the PALIN Foundation side?
3033 Like, where would you throw your allegiance if you had to make a decision that was obviously in conflict on both sides?
3034 MR. WHITFIELD: I think what I would first try to do is to attempt to have some mediation between the parties, which I think is a useful first step in the situation, given the fact that there is different groups that occupy and share space in the building. And I think it is to everyone's benefit to try to come to a resolution first.
3035 If there is discussions, I think there is a way to have discussions at the table as a representative of the Ryerson Students' Union on the CKLN board. The current by-laws discuss the fact that my seat on CKLN is to represent the best interests of the students' union, which is the representative of all students on campus. And so I think there is a way to do that in both settings.
3036 THE CHAIRPERSON: I want to come back to the financial statements just briefly.
3037 Two things. One is, when I read over the April 30th, 2008 financial statements that were audited and dated July 20th, 2010 there is a reference to a contingency on item no. 7 and it refers to a claim filed by the Ontario Superior Court by former volunteers and members of CKLN seeking $200,000 in damages related to the termination of their volunteer privileges and the governance of the station.
3038 Can you tell me what that is about and where that has evolved to? Because that statement does not appear in the 2009 or 2010 statements.
3039 MR. LEHRER: Yes. That was an action by Mr. Duffell and Mr. Besharat when they were excluded from the station. I think it was in 2006 or 2007 they sued, unusually, as volunteers, claiming that they had a right to be volunteers. And the previous board came to a settlement I think it was in 2008, the end of 2008. So that was resolved, that was settled.
3040 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And the other question I had on the financial statements is they are all dated on an annual basis as of April 30th. Fiscal year for broadcasters has been for many many years August 30th. Is there a reason why your auditor chose to not comply with the obligations of all broadcasters to provide financial statements as of August of every fiscal year?
3041 MR. HARNETT: The auditor, Yale & Partners, had taken the financial statements that were prepared for RevCan and obviously mistakenly utilized those for submission to your office.
3042 MR. LEHRER: I am not certain, but I asked Yale & Partners whether we should switch to August 31st. They said their experience was that it was better to do it on April 30th, because that gives time to finish the audit over the summer in preparation for an AGM in the fall.
3043 THE CHAIRPERSON: What you choose to do with your auditors for your purposes and for CRA is irrespective of what the radio regulations and the obligations require for all broadcasting licensees in Canada.
3044 MR. LEHRER: We can certainly direct our auditors to -- and actually we have to change the by-laws I think as well now too, to switch the year end to August 31st. The current by-laws actually state that the year end is April 30th, and that has been I think in the by-laws for 20 years. So that is something that would need to be corrected and we can certainly do that.
3045 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. I have a series of questions on programming, but I thought it might be best to take a break and then I will complete with the programming questions. And my colleagues on the panel I have no doubt have other questions as well.
3046 So let's take a break for 15 minutes. We will resume at 10:55.
--- Upon recessing at 1040
--- Upon resuming at 1107
3047 THE CHAIRPERSON: Just before we go on to programming issues, I just want to follow up on two issues with regard to our conversation this morning.
3048 One of them was your comment that there were times when you were non-compliant. You seemed to imply that it all came before you folks took over the board.
3049 Can you just confirm to what extent there was a crossover point? Because in reading some of the material, it appears as though some of the transgressions, if I can call it that again, took place after July 2009.
3050 MR. LEHRER: Yes, most of the transgressions occurred before July 2009, that is the being off air in or between January and -- or in February and June, the June tapes, et cetera.
3051 Now, after July 2009, we were out of compliance in regards to the logger tapes. Because we didn't have a proper logger system in place, we had an inaudible logger system and we didn't compile proper logs when requested. That is entirely -- it was our fault for not compiling proper logs and for not upgrading the logger system immediately, but it was addressed as soon as it was brought to our attention.
3052 So there was no deliberate decision to be in non-compliance, just to clarify an earlier statement.
3053 THE CHAIRPERSON: But you did choose to divert the funding that you had towards legal fees for a dispute at the board level and, as I heard you say, you chose not to hire professional staff to manage because you didn't have the money to do it?
3054 MR. LEHRER: Our understanding is that it is not a regulatory requirement for us to have paid staff. So we didn't make a deliberate decision -- we made a decision not to have paid staff, but we didn't make a deliberate decision to be in non-compliance.
3055 Now, an unintended side effect of not having a program director in place was that proper logs weren't compiled, but it is not a deliberate decision to not have proper logs, if that makes sense.
3056 THE CHAIRPERSON: Are there other universities, to your knowledge, in Canada that don't have a station manager?
3057 MR. LEHRER: I believe some other stations have different structures. I don't know if there are any other stations that don't have staff. Perhaps Ms Robinson can clarify.
3058 There may be one station in British Columbia that doesn't have staff, I am not sure, but I believe most stations would have at least one or two staff.
3059 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. When there are board meetings and you hold board meetings, is there always student representation at these boards?
3060 I know you said that you are shy two students right now and you have two on your board. So there are five of you and two students, that is seven. Is there always representation from students at these board meetings?
3061 MR. NELSON: For the majority, yes. There have been downtimes where the students will see the workload that is involved in being a working board and with the nature of being a student and having exams, it is not practical or realistic for them to keep up to the pace that we have been keeping up as non-students.
3062 But more or less I would say 70 percent of all board meetings have student representation, at a minimum 70 percent.
3063 MR. LEHRER: If I can add something, we have two very dedicated students on the board currently who joined in October and they have been -- they didn't attend the last meeting because they were studying for exams, but they have attended several meetings this month -- since they got elected.
3064 The problems we have had are more in the summer, and this may be a problem at other stations as well. In the summer students may graduate and may technically still be on the board but aren't really committed at that point or they may be away. They may have summer jobs. They may be out of town.
3065 That is a problem we had this summer. One student was in Montreal. One student was, you know, in Pennsylvania part of the time.
3066 We are changing the bylaws so that the terms end at the end of the school year rather than -- currently they end in October, and hopefully, that will reduce the problem of having, you know, a fourth-year student join the board and then graduate and remain on the board technically for the whole summer.
3067 We have had a particular problem this summer, but I don't think that is unusual.
3068 MR. NELSON: I would just like to add that historically CKLN has had a difficulty, I guess, attracting students, especially since all the turmoil has happened.
3069 We actually had our student board members, who are now programmers, who were all a part of that dark experience that happened a couple of years back, and now they are non-board members but they are still actively involved in the station as programmers.
3070 But in discussing the history of CKLN with them, for example, it is like, you know, they would really like to just forget the past and deal with the present and the future.
3071 And students over -- we don't understand the reason why, we think it is because of the successful fundraising and the morale being higher, but in the last month we have been inundated with so many students who now want to become part of CKLN, it is almost like we don't know what to do with them.
3072 So we are very happy with the fact that we have become repopularized from a student point of view.
3073 THE CHAIRPERSON: Let me ask the question a little differently.
3074 Can the five of you, in the absence of any student representation, pass bylaw changes that materially impact the way CKLN operates without any student representative on the board?
3075 Are there special resolutions that require a certain number of student representatives to be there to support and ratify it or do you folks who basically are not employees or students of the university have the wherewithal to make changes of a material nature?
3076 MR. LEHRER: If there is a full board, then no, because we would only make up four people in terms of the board, and there are four students and Toby who would be a majority.
3077 I believe under the new system there will be a -- it will be equally divided between Ryerson and not necessarily Ryerson. So there will be, I think it is six Ryerson representatives, four students, one Ryerson faculty or staff and an RSU representative, and six -- or three community members and three staff members or volunteer members.
3078 So there will be an equal balance on the board between Ryerson and non-Ryerson. And in fact, several of the non-Ryerson could be Ryerson alumni or Ryerson students --
3079 THE CHAIRPERSON: And hypothetically if the students couldn't show up for whatever reason, you still could go ahead and have a vote?
3080 MR. LEHRER: If there is quorum, and quorum is a majority.
3081 THE CHAIRPERSON: A straight majority?
3082 MR. LEHRER: Yes.
3083 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
3143 THE CHAIRPERSON: You keep talking about the fact that a lot of this occurred prior to this board.
3144 Let's talk about Tacoma, Washington, and the fact you had a fill-in program by one of your, I guess, volunteers who plugged in a U.S. broadcast, holus bolus, with advertising, music and everything else for a period of time. So you reprimanded him.
3145 What does that say about the Canadian broadcasting system and the ability for somebody, unsupervised, to plug something in for several hours, and I don't know how many times it was done?
3146 MR. LEHRER: It occurred once and what occurred in that case was the usual host of a jazz show that begins at 7:00 a.m. was ill or had a doctor's appointment and wasn't able to come in and the person who was in there, who had hosted the previous show, improvised and thought he was helping out by picking up something from the Internet and playing it.
3147 So that was a serious mistake and it happened once -- it only happened once -- and we make it clear to him that that is not acceptable.
3148 We are putting a system in place of having back-up shows that are accessible so that if someone doesn't show up or if someone isn't available, there is a back-up available on our computer and you don't have to improvise and go online or do something like that.
3149 But that was a serious mistake and we apologize for that. That was certainly unacceptable.
3150 THE CHAIRPERSON: The apology is not what I am looking for. What I am looking for is you of CKLN and this Commission making sure that Canadians follow the broadcasting system based on the regulations and the laws and Canadians listen to that component of the radio station that follows those rules and not those that don't, and living by experience and saying we found somebody, we have corrected it in a live situation, I don't think is the right way of doing it, not for you and not for any other radio station in Canada, private, public or campus.
3151 MR. NELSON: We agree and I think looking back at the condition, the situation there, the programmer feared dead air so much that when he found that content, he thought he was doing a much better job of resolving a situation where there was, you know, no guidance on how to resolve it.
3152 So since then we have learned from that experience, sir.
3153 MR. LEHRER: We now have a number in the studio where someone would phone Ron or phone someone else if there is a problem and get advice if he or she didn't already know what to do, rather than improvising on the run early in the morning.
3154 MR. SEEFIELDT: In general, I feel a lot of the programmers have been in place since before this board came into being. A lot of people have been on air for quite some time and were trained well in advance to any of us arriving.
3155 So us gaining a knowledge of what people's actual base of training and now retraining them and filling in the blanks that were left for many years within the programming handbook and such is a huge priority.
3156 Training is being done as we speak to avoid us having to reprimand so that we are in advance letting people know very clearly what their mandate is and how they need to react to certain situations.
3157 As well, the technical aspect of the station from, as you mentioned, back-up shows to buffers and dump switches, all these things that technically can help us solve this before it happens, these are things that were neglected in past administrations.
3158 When we're talking about six ---
3159 THE CHAIRPERSON: They were neglected in the current administration.
3160 MR. SEAFIELDT: Well, in ---
3161 THE CHAIRPERSON: You've been on the Board -- perhaps not yourself, Mister ---
3162 MR. SEAFIELDT: Seafieldt.
3163 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- Seafieldt, but the rest of the Members here have been on this Board since July 2009 ---
3164 MR. SEAFIELDT: But what I'm referring to is a technical advancement that is a huge investment. And while there was seven paid staff on the CKLN budget, no improvements were being made to the technical aspect of the station. And now we come in with a zero balance -- not myself, but this Board comes in with a zero balance and has to balance hiring new staff plus updating all these technologies which were neglected for years.
3165 We're not talking about they didn't update between 2003 and 2005. A lot of the technologies that they neglected to update are well past that. And it is now our prime objective to put those well overdue things in place. And it's not an overnight thing.
3166 It is a huge investment, and also a consultation that includes the whole community, as a community-run station, as to what these technologies are going to be and how we want to see them implemented.
3167 THE CHAIRPERSON: You talk about a zero balance and, again, I come back to the statement that I made earlier and that you confirmed, and that is -- or Mr. Whitfield confirmed, and that is student fees are guaranteed. They go up by cost of living or inflation or whatever method the university has agreed to, and it's guaranteed.
3168 And so when you come out with a zero balance, I'm not quite sure what "zero" means.
3169 MR. SEAFIELDT: Well, without leverage, without leverage or credit we can't use that money; therefore, we cannot go out and purchase equipment based on potential money coming from ---
3170 THE CHAIRPERSON: You can certainly go out and hire an administrator to make sure that what you're broadcasting, what is being broadcast complies with the Broadcasting Act and the Regulations pursuant to that Broadcasting Act.
3171 And this Board, your Board prior to your time, perhaps, chose not to and made a different decision. And that's what it is. It was a different decision that was made. That's reality.
3172 Anyways, those are my comments right now. I think my fellow Commissioners are going to have comments as well, and I may come back later on.
3202 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Let me try again.
3203 Whatever it is ---
3204 MR. HARNETT: Yes.
3205 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: --- it went away.
3206 MR. HARNETT: Correct.
3207 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Do you have a plan to get it back?
3208 MR. HARNETT: Yes. At the present time, the capture rate is approximately three and a half to four percent in terms of potential advertising revenue. The streams of revenue from advertising have to be multi-layered in that ---
3209 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Who's responsible for that?
3210 MR. HARNETT: At the present time, it is a Board decision and we are looking at ---
3211 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. What is the plan to make it not being a Board decision and to have somebody take charge of it?
3212 MR. HARNETT: Well, the first thing we can do is go and look at advertising agencies such as Mediacom and a number of other institutions out there, utilize them to market -- help market the station, as well as people within the actual station and work those two parallel elements to try and improve the advertising revenue capture.
3213 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. What I'm hearing is you're aware of the issue, you wish to address it, but there's no firm plan in place at this time.
3214 MR. LEHRER: Well, what we've done -- what Mr. Harnett was saying was that the non-student fee component was made up of fundraising in the past, and advertising. We have been able to rehabilitate fundraising where there was no fundraising effort last year and two years ago. I believe only $20,000 was pledged and only something like five or six thousand dollars was collected.
3215 This year we've more than doubled our pledges and we'll hopefully more than double our collection.
3216 With advertising, that will have to be part of the portfolio of a station manager or we'd have to make a decision to actually hire an advertising manager, but we have been increasing advertising in the past six months. We've had more Atlantic Airs in the past few months and we've also increased advertising particularly in the urban market around our reggae shows.
3217 MR. NELSON: Well, the one thing that we did that was probably the most important thing is to create an advertising policy. It was actually the first other than the CRTC reports that we had to do -- was the first policy that this Board had to create, and it addressed all issues concerning advertising at CKLN.
3218 We tried to find policies that had existed from before, but we found that one really needed to be written to address the same concerns that you're bringing up right now.
3219 I will say just to try and answer your questions more directly that there is already an advertising plan in place where myself, for example -- I'm the person selling most of the advertising. We have an email address and a phone number, and if people want to advertise, that information is forwarded to my email and I get back to the client and then we have a contract as part of the policy. And we do the sales and then we get the ad on the air traditionally like we had in the past with -- on a per client basis.
3220 So we have been selling advertising on a weekly basis, and outside of myself being the main person who would take those calls, we also encourage our volunteers to go out there in the community and to get advertising from the people who support their shows. And if they choose to be advertising sales people, then it's my job to train them and to show them how the contract works and how to sell advertising so that they can go out and earn their own commission.
3221 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, fine. Thanks. I think I've got my answer.
3225 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
3226 Now, your plan to hire -- your first hire is going to be a station manager? Is that correct?
3227 MR. NELSON: Well, we're going to have a -- we're using the term right now office manager.
3228 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, office manager. What ---
3229 MR. NELSON: To be clear.
3230 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: That's fine. Hire whoever you want.
3231 So this office manager, when is that position going to be filled?
3232 MR. NELSON: We hope to have that person within 60 days -- at least within 60 days. The hiring process should ---
3233 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Has the job been posted for competition?
3234 MR. NELSON: No, that job has not been posted as of yet.
3235 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Has a candidate been identified?
3236 MR. NELSON: No.
3237 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: How much does the job pay?
3238 MR. NELSON: At this point in time the Board is still discussing that. We can't sit here and say we know that for a fact.
3239 MR. HARNETT: Yeah. There's been a budgetary amount allowed for the first two candidates, and those fees and amounts would be 36,000 and 32,000, respectively. They've already been budgeted for in the next fiscal year.
3240 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So what is your date in your business plan for having some managerial stability at the station?
3241 MR. HARNETT: Within -- to have those positions filled, my personal belief is that we can actually do that and fast-track that. Obviously I would say within the four to six week period, worst case, two months because of the holiday period that we're experiencing right now.
3242 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. So is that still a matter for discussion or has a fixed date been set? Has a target been set for ---
3243 MR. LEHRER: We're aiming for two months.
3244 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: From today?
3245 MR. LEHRER: From today or January 1st?
3246 MR. HARNETT: Worst case as of today, two months.
3247 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So early February.
3248 MR. NELSON: And we're still debating -- sir, just respectfully ---
3249 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Yeah. No, that's fine. There's no right or wrong answer. Just the truth is whatever it is.
3256 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. What does that add up to; how many people on the Board?
3257 MR. WHITFIELD: Fourteen.
3258 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Fourteen? Thank you.
3259 At what point -- do you have any idea at this point when you might anticipate conclusion of the discussions that are ongoing regarding the issue of your legitimacy as a Board?
3260 MR. HARNETT: I don't think there's any question about legitimacy of the Board. There was an election held ---
3261 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Isn't there some mediation going on?
3262 MR. HARNETT: That is correct. The mediation is -- that mediation process had failed.
3263 MR. LEHRER: Well, it hasn't technically failed yet, but there's an ongoing Court case which I'm not sure if we can really speak to in detail, but ---
3264 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Yeah, I don't want you to speak on details. I just want to know ---
3265 MR. LEHRER: We don't know.
3266 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: You ---
3267 MR. LEHRER: Yeah, it's hard to -- we can't say. But it's in commercial Court, which is supposed to be very quick, so I think once there's a response from -- on the status of the mediation from the mediator, then it would probably proceed back to Court rather quickly, probably within weeks. And hopefully we'll be concluded then.
3268 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
3269 If this Panel were to conclude that this broad license was beyond redemption and should be revoked, would you attempt to continue to function as an online entity?
3270 MR. NELSON: No.
3271 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
3279 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Thank you.
3280 What do you estimate the size of your listening audience is?
3281 MR. NELSON: It's hard to say 'cause traditionally CKLN has never been able to afford to pay for the BBM research that goes out there. We estimate it could be up to 150,000 people.
3282 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
3283 Did Ryerson student union put any restrictions on the use of the funds that it forwarded to you?
3284 MR. LEHRER: No.
3285 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
3286 When it comes to your staff, just a question of -- I mean, you have no employees at the moment. Will the future staff still be governed by the collective agreement with CUPE?
3287 MR. LEHRER: Well, obviously the station manager and program director would not be. Any staff below that, our understanding of the labour law is that yeah, unless staff vote to decertify the union, then the ---
3288 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: The certification is still in place, then.
3289 MR. LEHRER: The certification is still in place, yeah.
3290 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Thank you. Those are my questions.
3291 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Commissioner Poirier?
3292 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
3293 Maybe you've answered some of those questions, but I'd like to hear clearly the answers to some of my questions.
3294 So today, approximately how many students are involved in the station as hosts or as technicians or as whatever?
3295 MR. NELSON: I would say approximately 25.
3296 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Out of?
3297 MR. NELSON: Out of 170.
3298 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: 70 volunteers.
3299 MR. NELSON: Out of 170, approximately 25 I can say for a fact are students.
3300 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. And they are involved in what kind of jobs? They're hosts or programmers or ---
3301 MR. NELSON: Yes, they're broadcasters, whether it be Spoken Word or music. There's not much student involvement on any of the levels other than that at this point in time until we expand when school returns and everything.
3302 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. If I ask each of you -- because you have a Board of Directors with hands-on, okay. If I asked each of you what is your job description, who is responsible of what, and do the staff and volunteers know what are your job description?
3303 Would it be easy for you to provide me this answer?
3304 MR. NELSON: I would say yes.
3305 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: So who is doing what?
3306 MR. NELSON: Well ---
3307 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Very simply.
3308 MR. NELSON: Generally, very simply, we are like a four-headed monster, generally speaking. That's the first level of administration.
3309 They will look at myself as a person in charge of programming, technical issues, et cetera. Andrew Lehrer will be Spoken Word, anything that's administrative, anything that involves policy, procedure, legal, et cetera. That's his area of expertise.
3310 Bryce is also representative of someone who's technically interested as well as policy. And generally, we're all kind of culminating all of these areas into one head.
3311 And Mike, of course, is the money man. Anything involving finance or costs or budgets or -- actually, he's a lot more than that because Mike stands unique. He's the only one in this Board that was part of the old Board that we're talking about here today, so he's been able to enlighten us by bringing all of those experiences forward so we don't repeat the same errors from the past. So he's generally all around like a ---
3312 MR. SEEFIELDT: And just to speak to your second question, a large percentage of the volunteer base, obviously, are always entitled and some are very excited to attend regular Board meetings, all annual general meetings and whatnot. So the ones -- the most involved would know those roles the best, and then others would definitely see them through our activities such as maintenance of the station and the different roles we play in interacting with them.
3313 But I would say it's very clear mostly to the volunteers who do use their full range of involvement and attend Board meetings and attend special meetings.
3314 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. And who -- yes?
3315 MR. LEHRER: I was just going to add, we also have a few volunteers who have come forward and been given specific tasks. For instance, we have one volunteer who's in charge of programming all the access cards and making sure that they're operating so people would go to her if they're having a problem with an access issue because you can only get in to the station with a magnetic card.
3342 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: My last question, Mr. Chair.
3343 As a listener, if I want to make a complaint to CKLN, how does it work? What is the route it follows and what time do I get an answer?
3344 MR. LEHRER: Well, people can either email -- we have several email accounts. There's a station manager email account, a program director email account, a Board email account.
3345 We're monitoring all of those, so if we get a listener complaint, then -- through email then we'll respond to it quickly.
3346 People can also phone, you know, our studio and we've ---
3347 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: And then who takes care of it?
3348 MR. LEHRER: Well, usually -- we haven't actually gotten -- the complaint's we've gotten have all been complaints that have been made to the CRTC and then sent to us. I think we've only gotten one complaint directly, and in that case I replied to that person, I think, within a day.
3349 If it comes through the CRTC, then there's a period which we've complied with.
3350 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: You have no specific policy or way of doing things when you get a complaint.
3351 MR. LEHRER: Well, it's -- what happens is I read the complaint, I take it to the Board -- we have a Board email list -- and I propose a response and then we send out the response. So I'll write a response in consultation with the Board.
3352 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Yeah. Because to me complaints have to be taken very seriously.
3353 MR. LEHRER: Yeah.
3354 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. Your answer doesn't show me it's been taken seriously.
3355 Do you want to add something to this?
3356 MR. LEHRER: Well, what -- I think we are taking them seriously because when -- I mean, it's hard to answer because we've only gotten one complaint that hasn't been sent to the CRTC, so there's only been one example. And in that example, I think we responded within a few hours and the person was very satisfied with our response.
3357 With the complaints that come to the CRTC, they're sent to the Board email address and we respond to them within three weeks.
3358 MR. NELSON: Just for the record, we do take every complaint very seriously and we've been prompt in our response and we're meticulous in terms of respecting the complainer and using the right words to show legitimacy and sincerity from our perspective as CKLN radio and respectful, too, of the CRTC rules that govern us to be a radio station.
3359 So if you examine the paper trail of the responses that we've given to every complaint, we have done so in a timely fashion and with a lot of respect to the complainer.
3360 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Okay. I don't have the numbers on hand, but you're one of the campus radio stations who got the most number of complaints in Canada.
3361 MR. LEHRER: Well, you know, I ---
3362 MR. NELSON: There's a reason for that, and if you could give us a minute to explain. It's a little sensitive.
3363 Could we actually -- I don't know if this is out of context, but before we answer that question, could we have one minute to huddle as a Board and address that question properly?
3364 I would like the Board to be able to speak before Andrew answers that question because there are issues here that fall along legal parameters and our mediation is ongoing. And we don't want to say anything that jeopardizes that whole process, if that could be allowed, Madam Chair.
3365 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, since you're the one taking exception to the question, why don't you respond knowing full well what your scope of response should be or can be?
3366 MR. NELSON: Well, I think it would be irresponsible for any one person on this Board to respond. We need to -- my whole point is that we'd like just one minute to talk first and then we'll decide who responds and -- if that's not okay, then that's okay.
3367 THE CHAIRPERSON: Take the minute.
3368 MR. NELSON: Thank you. --- Pause
3369 MR. LEHRER: What I'd say to that -- well, first of all, we are willing to develop a complaint policy that specifically puts together a response mechanism and triggers and a process and time lines, et cetera.
3370 THE CHAIRPERSON: Excuse me. Apparently Mr. Nelson left the room?
3371 MR. LEHRER: He has to go to the washroom.
3372 THE CHAIRPERSON: So this is a break because I think it's important that he be here as well.
3373 MR. LEHRER: Okay, sure.
3374 THE CHAIRPERSON: We'll just wait for two minutes until he comes back. --- Pause
3375 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Let's resume.
3376 MR. LEHRER: Sure.
3377 Well, on September 19 -- sorry, November 19th we were sent a letter from the Secretary-General informing us that they were -- that the Commission had found additional complaints that hadn't been included in the file but that we had been sent previously and that they would like us to -- or they were giving us the opportunity to respond. And we sent a letter on November 26th.
3378 And I think a lot of the issues raised in that letter address this issue.
3379 It's an unusual situation because, as I just indicated, we've only gone from -- without CRTC intervention, we've only gotten one complaint. Only one person has actually contacted us directly, to our knowledge.
3380 All the other complaints have gone through the CRTC, which I believe is unusual. I think usually if someone has a complaint about a station, the first thing they do is contact the station and then they contact the CRTC.
3381 The second unusual thing that we've noticed is that the majority of these complaints come 25 days or more after the incident.
3382 Again, normally you would expect that if you hear something on the radio or hear something on TV that offends you, you act that day or the next day or maybe, you know, within three or four days and make a complaint. That you would wait 25 days or more and then suddenly remember, "Oh, I heard something a month ago that offended me on CKLN" and write a complaint, again is unusual.
3383 It may happen once or twice, but we've had it -- I think it's a majority of the complaints we've gotten are made quite some time after the incident.
3384 That suggests to us that these complaints are not necessarily representative of listeners listening and responding, but are part of a campaign. We are aware and, in fact, one of the intervenors has indicated in his written interventions that individuals are copiously recording CKLN broadcasts and -- 24 hours a day.
3385 And in fact, one of the submissions to your -- to the Commission, one intervenor indicated that. So what we think is maybe happening is that one or two individuals are recording programs and then reviewing them several weeks later looking for something to complain about and then complaining themselves or having other people complain.
3386 And for us, that's the only logical explanation for why, for instance, in regards to the April 28th incident, we received five complaints, all of which were made more than 25 days after the incident.
3387 So we think the reason there's been a large number of complaints is there's a campaign by, you know, some individuals who are no longer with the station or who feel a grievance against the station, you know, trying to make our position more difficult by generating complaints.
3388 THE CHAIRPERSON: Notwithstanding that, can you respond to the complaint? Is it a true statement or not?
3389 I got the point that ---
3390 MR. LEHRER: Well, if the statement ---
3391 THE CHAIRPERSON: --- this is a long time and there may be some other issues here.
3392 But with regard to this specific complaint, can you attest to the fact that it was or was not a legitimate complaint?
3393 MR. LEHRER: Well, if -- I'm responding to the specific statement that we have the most complaints of any campus station in Canada. And I think the reason for that is that there's an organized -- there's an opposition. There are several people who are generating those complaints.
3394 Now, some of those complaints are valid. You know, if there's an incident where someone plays a song at 7:00 in the morning that has swearing in it, that's a valid complaint.
3395 The fact that we received five of those complaints 25 days after that happens, you know, doesn't mean that that should not have occurred and that wasn't a mistake that we shouldn't take responsibility for, but it does indicate that there's been an amplification effect as far as complaints are concerned. And what should have been one complaint has now become five complaints.
3396 They're all 25 days after the fact. Perhaps there's been something going on and someone's gotten a few friends to write a complaint.
3397 But yes, several -- some of the complaints deal with language, and those are legitimate. A number of the complaints actually deal with things like dead air. You know, "I have been listening to CKLN..."
3398 I don't have the exact numbers, but I think there were more than five or six complaints that had to do with, you know, "I was listening to CKLN and I heard dead air for five minutes," or, "I heard dead air here" or "Dead air there."
3399 Those are technical issues. I don't believe that those are issues that actually deal with governance or with anything that the CRTC is directly concerned about.
3400 Some of the complaints have been frivolous, or once we investigate them, they end up not being valid.
3401 There was one complaint that was made last year, for example, that the Commission followed up on, and the Commission upheld our position. Someone had listened to the radio, and they heard an interview with a playwright who was talking about a professor they had at Ryerson, a drama professor, who said, "I don't think you are really an actor, you should probably write plays instead," and she said, you know, "I felt like I wanted to kill the guy," or, "I wanted to get my boyfriend to beat him up."
3402 So we got a complaint that we were encouraging violence on the air.
3403 The Commission actually followed up with that and said, you know, "That's not really a problem."
3404 So, you know, a number of the complaints are frivolous, and other complaints are about things that don't really fall within programming, issues that don't regard lack of compliance, but are technical issues, like, you know, "I had trouble hearing the station," or --
3405 MR. NELSON: I am just going to add to what Andrew was saying. When there was a split between the different Boards at CKLN, I was part of a Board that was not recognized as legitimate at that time, a Board chaired by Mr. Arno Meiners, and I will tell you for a fact that one of our mandates was to complain anytime that we saw a problem. We were told to write to the CRTC, write a letter, because we did not jibe with the Board that was in power at the time.
3406 I am sure there has been an extension of that since then. There was a very strong campaign, designed to get out the people that were in control before, and it wasn't just people who were part of my illegitimate Board at the time, it was also programmers who had been dismissed. They came to some of those Board meetings to get support and to get counselling, and we were instructing them, at that time: Look, this is what you do, you campaign against anything that goes wrong at CKLN, which means that you write a letter to the CRTC, you write a complaint.
3407 That's why so many of the complaint letters were very simple: I am not hearing my programmer on the air. Why is there dead air?
3408 There was dead air because the station was shut down. There was dead air 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It didn't matter that it was shut down, all that mattered was the complaint, address the fact that they were not hearing their favourite show, and the question was why.
3409 So there was a distinct campaign, at least that I can attest to, that resulted in some of these complaints going to the CRTC.3410 MR. LEHRER: And I would just point out one thing, of all of the complaints that have been made in the past year, I believe that only two of them had actual street addresses attached to them. Virtually all of them were simply from e-mail addresses, from a gmail account or a hotmail account, which anyone can create. You know, I could create 10 gmail accounts and make 10 complaints against a radio station, using 10 different names.
3411 That doesn't mean, when there is a legitimate complaint, and it's amplified 10 times, that it's not legitimate, but I think it does give you an indication as to why there was that number.
3412 And I think the fact that there has been such a delay between incident and complaint suggests that, in fact, there is a campaign going on. This isn't a reflection of what our listeners are thinking, it's part of a campaign by a small group of people to --
3413 MR. SEEFIELDT: If I could just magnify a bit about what Andrew said, even if it is a magnified quantity of complaints, the complaint is still authentic, and we take it as that.
3414 The complaints that have come in have been a springboard for a great amount of improvement and a great amount of revisiting of policy that was there long before us, and retraining, and all kinds of things. Those complaints, whether magnified or not, are a tool that we use to improve.
3415 It's all about constant improvement, and we have developed a lot of new policies that will allow us to avoid, and perhaps, ideally -- our goal is to eliminate any type of scenario where a complaint would even be warranted, and a lot of policies have changed in the last six months in order to make that possible.
3416 COMMISSIONER POIRIER: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
3417 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
3418 Before I turn to my right, I have one question that I need clarification on. One of my opening questions asked how many of you were employed by CKLN, and you said that you were all volunteers, and no one was getting any money, and you were spending anywhere from five to seven hours a week doing this.
3419 I just heard Mr. Nelson say that he is full-time.
3420 Could you elaborate and clarify the situation?
3421 MR. LEHRER: No one is being paid as a Board member --
3422 MR. NELSON: I can answer that, it's okay.
3423 When I said that I am full-time, I meant that I am committed full-time, as a volunteer. I am not getting paid. I am not getting a paycheque.
3424 I earn some money, from getting a commission from some of the advertising that I sell. I have my own business, and I work at York University as a teacher.
3425 So CKLN is a love for me, and I am there, and I will put in as much time --
3426 I don't have to physically be at CKLN in order to do my job. I have my own office in Scarborough, and a lot of the administrative stuff I can do from where I am, mobile as it may be.
3427 I hope that answers your question, sir.
3428 THE CHAIRPERSON: I think so.
3429 If I look at these financial statements and I notice that in 2009 and 2010 advertising revenues generated were in the order of $20,000 to $25,000, you were paid a commission on those revenues coming in, or a fraction of those?
3430 MR. NELSON: A fraction of those. I do sell the majority of advertising, but not all of the advertising.
3431 THE CHAIRPERSON: And that would be your sole source of revenue from the CKLN endeavours that you do, en banc, in total?
3432 MR. NELSON: Well, that's kind of a trick question. As a broadcaster -- as an urban music broadcaster, we go out and we play dances, we do concerts, we emcee at special events. One could say that some of that income comes, indirectly, from having a radio show on the air, because you are popularized as a DJ.
3433 So, in terms of something that is direct, to answer your question, yes, there is a direct commission from advertising that is sold, once the money is received. But there is a grey area outside that box, and it happens at all radio stations, whether commercial or non-commercial. If you are a radio personality, then there may be a demand for you, if you have the talent and the skill, to go out and be a DJ on the live circuit. So you may end up playing at a club or something.
3434 THE CHAIRPERSON: But would that compensation come from the $240,000 of annual revenue that comes in through student fees, or would that be coming from somewhere else?
3435 MR. NELSON: I would say entirely somewhere else. Yes, it is completely independent.
3436 I am just giving you a clearer picture and --
3437 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, I understand that you must have a source of revenue from somewhere, what I want to know is how much revenue, if any, you acquire from the revenues that come in to CKLN Radio from either the student union fees or from advertising.
3438 MR. NELSON: Are you asking me personally?
3439 THE CHAIRPERSON: I was asking you, and that's why, because I thought that you weren't employed by them.
3440 MR. NELSON: No, I'm not. I'm not employed by CKLN, I am a volunteer there.
3441 MR. LEHRER: Just to clarify, any programmer who sells advertising on their show would earn a commission. They would still be a volunteer, and they wouldn't be an employee of CKLN, but if you have a show and you sell an ad for $100 to advertise a restaurant or something, you would get -- I don't know -- 10 percent or 15 percent.
3442 MR. NELSON: Fifteen percent.
3443 MR. LEHRER: Mr. Nelson, before he joined the Board, when he was a programmer previously, had been the lead advertiser at the station, by selling ads for urban music shows. So that is independent of his being on the Board.
3444 THE CHAIRPERSON: And any fees that he acquired, or that any other programmer acquired, would be coming from that line item on your statement called "Advertising"?
3445 MR. LEHRER: Yes.
3446 It is not a function of his being on the Board, it is a function of his selling advertising. That would occur regardless of whether or not he was on the Board.
3447 THE CHAIRPERSON: So, basically, if I take a look at the statement and I see $26,000 of advertising, and your policy is 15 percent, I can assume that 15 percent of $26,000 is what was paid to all of your programmers -- volunteers -- who endeavour to do advertising on their programs.
3448 MR. NELSON: Yes.
3449 MR. LEHRER: Actually, our $26,000 line item, is that after we have paid the programmer their commission, or is that before?
3450 MR. HARNETT: That is the entire amount.
3451 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So that is the revenue, and then you have expenses down below.
3452 Okay. That's fine.
3453 Commissioner Molnar...
3454 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
3455 I want to begin with a couple of questions of clarification, based on what I have heard here.
3456 Can you confirm, Mr. Whitfield, with respect to the money received through student fees, are there any conditions at all placed on that money?
3457 MR. WHITFIELD: I think, maybe, the only condition is that they follow their bylaws and the Corporations Act and that sort of thing, which is a condition placed on them by the university. But I am not aware of any -- and I am not even 100 percent sure if that is actually a condition, but I am not aware of any other conditions, in terms of the money has to be spent in a certain way.
3458 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: And there are no requirements or expectations with respect to what is broadcast or anything else?
3459 MR. WHITFIELD: No, we don't put conditions on programming and that sort of thing.
3472 Let me continue.
3473 It would be a good idea to put together a checklist.
3474 I also heard this morning a number of priorities. Mr. Seefieldt, I wrote down one of the prime objectives that you stated, which was to put in place new technology.
3475 I also heard that a goal is to eliminate all complaints, just very recently.
3476 Do you have Board priorities? What are your Board's priorities for the next three months? Can you tell me what those are?
3477 MR. SEEFIELDT: If I could speak to that a little bit, and I think that Michael will, as well.
3478 I know that one of our immediate priorities is the hiring committee, taking an immediate role in developing the hiring practices -- or developing the actual hires.
3479 When I say hiring committee, it is important that we look at this as a community decision, always. We can't always make decisions like hiring alone, as a Board, without facing the community, so we do put together committees, which tend to often increase a little bit the length of the process, but definitely add transparency and a whole community approach to filling the roles, just to speak on that.
3480 Secondarily, we have put in place a checklist of all the technology that needs to be updated immediately, and there is a step-by-step approach to that. It all can't happen at once, obviously, when you need to be live-to-air all the time, but we do have a step-by-step approach to that, which begins as soon as we return in the new year.
3481 Some of it has already been in place, naturally, but it will continue, and definitely escalate in the new year, based on increased revenue recently, and some security, based on decisions coming out of this.
3482 I don't think we have spoken to that completely, but there are a lot of questions that are going to be answered from this, and a lot of policies that we are excited to put into place that perhaps -- if someone said I wasn't 100 percent sure in the past, there will be no reason, coming out of this, that we are not all 100 percent sure what is expected, and that the policies will be very clear, and every member of the volunteer staff -- it will be very clear what is expected of them and what will happen if there is any variance from that goal.
3483 MR. NELSON: I want to add, too, that our experience has been that priorities have kept changing. One of the things that we found from getting this experience as a working Board is that sometimes we have to put things on hold, because we only have enough manpower and labour to deal with one emergency at a time.
3484 So priorities, since we have become a Board, have been constantly re-shuffled. If you want us to be completely honest, that's the truth.
3485 A priority the other day was fundraising. It exhausted many of us, and the CRTC hearing was one week after fundraising. Could we prepare for both simultaneously? Not really. We couldn't, so we dealt with one priority at a time.
3486 We do need -- and we recognize this -- we need to be relieved as a working Board. We only have another -- I would say another year where we can keep doing what we are doing right now. We are exhausted, but we are at the point where we can kind of stop and take a breath, because the light at the end of the tunnel is -- because we have solvency now, we can bring in that help. This is the junction point right now, we are about to bring in that help, and then we can do what a Board is supposed to do, which is establish priorities and deal with the corporate ends of being a Board, instead of being a working Board.
3487 We are not necessarily happy to be a working Board, but because we are committed and we are a unique set of individuals, who, at this time, have the time to commit, we have been committing.
3488 But we don't know what it is like to be a non-working Board, and we are excited by the challenges that will come with that opportunity.
3489 So when we put these hiring plans in place, which is our next priority, if we are given life after this hearing -- when we put these hiring plans in place, that's when we can finally take the handcuffs off as a working Board and sit in a room.
3490 And you can see that there is some division between Board members. We are sitting here and some of us are talking individually instead of one group. You are seeing the unique characteristics of every Board member here. We all care. We all have valuable input to contribute, and when we sit down there is great chemistry in the room and things get done.
3491 But you know what happens the following week? Something else breaks, and we have to fix it, and we have to get the money from Mike, and Mike is going to say, "There is no money, guys," et cetera.
3492 So we solve one problem at a time.
3538 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I'm sorry. As you go through these, could you give me the timeline as to when these will be achieved?
3539 MR. HARNETT: Okay. The bylaw ratification, there is another meeting scheduled at this time. December 15th. We have already actually had a bylaw ratification meeting, unfortunately we did not attain quorum at that time. However, we are going to move on that again.
3575 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Just one more question. I'm not sure that I understand or understood your access to the transmitter location. It is within the in Palin Foundation's facilities?
3576 MR. LEHRER: No, no.
3577 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: No?
3578 MR. LEHRER: No. The Palin Foundation has nothing to do with the transmitter.
3579 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: It has nothing --
3580 MR. LEHRER: Brookfield Properties --
3581 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Oh, sorry.
3582 MR. LEHRER: -- which owns First Canadian Place -- owns or manages First Canadian Place controls the access site, because our transmitter is on the top of First Canadian Place.
3583 So we lease space on First Canadian Place for a transmitter.
3584 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: And you have a signed lease agreement with them?
3585 MR. HARNETT: Yes, we do.
3586 Actually, we are looking for a renewal agreement. We did talk to some principals there on the management side and looking to meet with them at the conclusion of this year to resign an updated agreement with their management.
3587 I just wanted to add --
3588 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I'm sorry, just before you go on, you have an agreement today?
3589 MR. HARNETT: That is correct.
3590 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: When does it expire?
3591 MR. HARNETT: It expires at the end of this year.
3592 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. So you need to resign before the end of the year?
3593 MR. HARNETT: That is correct. Two months ago I already asked them if they could actually give us some preliminary and they are not doing it at this time. They will not be releasing that information until the end of the year.
3594 MR. LEHRER: First Canadian Place is currently being resurfaced so Brookfield seems to be preoccupied.
3595 THE SECRETARY: I'm sorry, can you please turn on your microphone? Thank you.
3596 MR. LEHRER: Oh, I'm sorry.
3597 First Canadian Place is currently being renovated, they are replacing the exterior.
3598 MR. HARNETT: The actual exterior curtain wall is being changed. The building veneer is falling off and they are actually putting on an aluminum cladding system.
3599 MR. LEHRER: So that has been their priority, so when we have been trying to talk to them we are kind of low on the list right now.
3600 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: So do you have any concerns that you will not have an agreement signed by the end of the year?
3601 MR. HARNETT: No, I don't.
3602 The only issue right now is the potential cost increase. Obviously, let's face it, if the building owner is experiencing significant costs due to the improvements to their building exterior, they are going to try and look for other opportunities to try and capture revenue.
3603 The current price of the building revenue for the transmitter rental is about $2,400 a month. If we look at inflation, I can't really speak to where they are going to be and what their position is going to be in terms of a the future in terms of cost.
3604 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: So you expect it's solely a financial discussion about the amount.
3605 Can you just confirm that under the agreement you have today you have access to that transmitter at all times?
3606 MR. HARNETT: That is our correct. There is no issues. The information they have, I personally sent and dropped off the information from Industry Canada showing who the rightful parties, if you will, or board membership and consistency of that board makeup were for CKLN Incorporated. They are in possession of that information.
3607 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. Thank you.
3608 Those are my questions.
3609 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner Molnar.
3610 Before we move to Commissioner Denton I'm going to suggest we break for lunch and reconvene at 2 o'clock.
3611 Thank you.
--- Upon recessing at 1249
--- Upon resuming at 1406
3612 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon.
3613 If someone could close the back doors, I would appreciate it.
3614 Commissioner Denton.
3615 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Good afternoon, gentlemen, hi.
3616 I guess I might want to start with just one of my smaller questions, is just in relation to the by-laws, that is the next thing that is up for revision. Can someone tell me what the matter is and what needs fixing?
3617 MR. LEHRER: Well, there are several areas. First of all, one of the problems we identified as having been a contributing factor in the previous breakdown at the station was the fact that the station manager and program director were voting members of the board which is, in our view, not a good practice and leads to conflict of interest if someone is, you know, their own boss essentially.
3618 So the by-law revisions will remove the station manager and the program director voting positions from the board. We are also removing the former core staff position since that really wasn't a viable position. There was a very small pool of possible candidates, since you would have to be a former station manger, program director, news director, or music director. So we didn't think it was a viable position and we have removed that.
3619 But we have also made a number of other changes. We have added the Ryerson faculty and staff reps in order to be in compliance with Commission requirements.
3620 Let's see, what else have we done? We have added more community members and more volunteer members in order to increase the capacity of the board. We have identified a number of committees that should exist, or ideally, and have outlined them.
3621 So I think those are the central things.
3622 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Is this the reason why you had lawyer go in and look over your -- is this sort of on the basis of legal advice you received?
3623 MR. LEHRER: Yes, in part. I mean, part of the legal process was to revise the by-laws. We have attempted to do that through the mediation process. Although, that is not where the -- anyway, so that is part of it. And we have also sent the by-laws to lawyers who have reviewed them and have sent them back to us with some tweaks which we are going to suggest as well.
3624 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Okay. So when I heard your responses before lunch, they were sort of, roughly speaking, by-laws -- but in terms of the tasks of the board, by-laws, equipment capitalization asset replacement was number two, risk analysis or doing what was necessary to ensure CRTC compliance in hiring staff.
3625 Is that basically the agenda of the board for the next few months?
3626 MR. LEHRER: Yes. I am not sure if that is the order of priority. The first priority is compliance with CRTC requirements and I think hiring staff is probably the first priority. Yes, those are our four main goals I would think, unless --
3627 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Now, the question I have no my mind is that normally when you have a board, meets together, has its by-laws, et cetera, they come up with a plan for the year which is embodied in a budget --
3628 MR. LEHRER: M'hmm.
3629 COMMISSIONER DENTON: -- both of income and expenditure. Have you prepared such a budget?
3630 MR. HARNETT: Yes, I would like to speak to that. There is a budget in place at the present time. The budget does reflect some initiatives that we need to take and then to move on. The budget is reflective of obviously improving the staff situation, it's also reflective of improving the infrastructure backbone of the station.
3631 As I mentioned prior, quite a large amount of the equipment is significantly aged and requires replacement. That is a component which will help us improve our uptime and less questionability in terms of equipment performance.
3632 Obviously on the clerical side and diagnostic side we certainly also need to improve systems. And as I hinted at prior, lessons learned, best practices, mistake proofing.
3633 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Now, just as a matter of fact, do you have that budget and has it been presented to this Commission?
3634 MR. HARNETT: At this time, no.
3635 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Can we have it?
3636 MR. HARNETT: Yes, I can provide it. You want it right this second or I --
3637 COMMISSIONER DENTON: No.
3638 MR. HARNETT: Yes, the board can provide that to the Commission.
3639 COMMISSIONER DENTON: How about tomorrow?
3640 MR. HARNETT: Certainly.
3641 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Now, one of the things that interests me in this process of getting yourselves back on your feet was the decision by Ryerson Students' Union to resume payment of money to you.
3642 Anyone can answer or all, but what was the process of decision making that led to the resumption of these payments?
3643 MR. LEHRER: Well my understanding I guess as a preface to we will say is that in the spring of 2009 there were various different factions competing to be the board. And at one point individuals from the different factions decided to get together and try to resolve the situation. The catalyst I suppose for this would have been the decision by the PALIN Foundation to lockout the station.
3644 And also in June I think there was a letter which said, that if things aren't resolved basically within a certain amount of time then you may lose your space. So I believe that was the main impetus, although there had been talks previously, that was the main impetus to kind of get together and resolve the situation.
3645 What happened ultimately was a new general meeting was held in July in which a broad number of people could vote, including those who had been excluded under, the people had been changed, and the new board had been elected. And that was recognized by the Ryerson Students' Union and by Industry Canada and so on.
3646 COMMISSIONER DENTON: And Ryerson?
3647 MR. WHITFIELD: So the Ryerson Students' Union is separate from Ryerson. In February, 2008, at that point there -- or I should say I guess in the spring of 2008 there were several different groups that emerged as representatives of CKLN. That continued through the summer of 2008. In summer/fall there was up to three different groups that each claimed to represent CKLN.
3648 We received letters from three different groups, each saying a variety of different things, one saying don't submit money to anyone, some saying, you should submit money to our group or this group or that sort of thing. And it was unclear to the Ryerson Students' Union who was the legitimate group of directors at that time.
3649 We took steps to try to rectify the situation and understand who was the actual board of directors and asked those groups to consider doing things like mediation.
3650 In the summer of 2009, when there was one group of elected representatives and they went through sort of re-election process for each of the different groups, it was more clear that that was the group that was elected from different constituents to represent CKLN. And at that time the Ryerson Students' Union felt more comfortable to release funds because there was one group that had gone through an election process at that time.
3651 COMMISSIONER DENTON: So you are saying that of the three groups one went through an election process. Who were the electors?
3652 MR. WHITFIELD: Sorry, in the spring/summer of 2009 there was elections, so --
3653 MR. LEHRER: Maybe an annual general meeting.
3654 MR. WHITFIELD: So, for example, community members are able to elect representatives for the community, staff, volunteer reps are able to elect their representatives, so those were the electors.
3655 Now, at that time --
3656 COMMISSION DENTON: How many electors were there?
3657 MR. LEHRER: This general meeting that was held on July 24th it had I believe it was over or around 150 participants, which would have made it the largest general meeting at CKLN in a number of years. So it was, you know, broadly recognized as legitimate and as a representative of the will of the membership of CKLN.
3658 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Thank you.
3659 Mr. Whitfield, you are saying that because of that electoral process, the student's union felt satisfied that they were actually dealing with a real board?
3660 MR. WHITFIELD: That is correct.
3661 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Mr. Chairman, those are my questions.
3662 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. I believe we have a couple of follow-up questions, let me start.
3663 I just want to confirm you currently do not have a programming committee in place?
3664 MR. NELSON: Correct.
3665 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
3666 I had a discussion this morning with Mr. Whitfield with regard to the role of Ryerson University. And he said in the morning he couldn't speak on their behalf. I guess I will ask the question a little differently.
3667 Mr. Whitfield, are you aware of any issues that Ryerson University has as it relates to CKLN FM?
3668 MR. WHITFIELD: I am not aware of any issues or issues that they put out publicly, no.
3669 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Can I ask the rest of you whether you're aware of any issues?
3670 MR. LEHRER: No. We have received no communication, no concerns have been expressed to us by the university.
3671 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. I think one of you this morning indicated that there is an obligation for Ryerson University administration to be on your board. Has that been shared with them and have you formally asked them to sit on the board?
3672 MR. LEHRER: Well, currently, there is no position for Ryerson faculty or staff on the board so, you know, we can't invite someone to sit on a position that doesn't exist yet. But we inquired with the Senate in the summer in regards to whether they would be willing to elect someone. They said they would look into it, but they haven't gotten back to us.
3673 So what we put into play -- so what we are suggesting in the by-laws is a system where either the governing body could nominate someone or the staff can nominate someone. So we have a few different silos we can tap for a Ryerson representative.
3680 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Let's take the next scenario. If this panel and the Commission decided that you needed some time in order to get your house in order, hire the people and meet all the commitments that are required of you while you are no longer on the air, but we suspended your licence until we thought that was an appropriate time, how would that impact upon your operations?
3681 MR. LEHRER: Well, if I can take that first. For all intents and purposes, we were off the air for about six months. We weren't technically off the air because we were providing pre-recorded programming, but we didn't have live programming.
3682 As a result of that gap and the other problems, we have had, you know, a decrease in audience obviously and it has taking time to rebuild our audience in the past year. And we are not at the level we were at before, so if we were to go off the air again, it would probably make it even more difficult for us to recover.
3683 I think it is important for us to remain on the air and for our programs to remain on the air, and for the communities that are -- disadvantaged communities in particular that have access to the airwaves through our station to remain on the air both so they can, you know, express themselves and enhance, you know, their own communities, but also so that we can maintain and build an audience.
3684 So just taking us off the air for a period of time would set us back perhaps even further than we were when we came back a year ago.
3685 MR. SEEFIELDT: Just to add to that, the disconnection from our membership community would be a huge setback in the actual progress, because we do rely on the community to provide a lot of legwork in the day to day rebuilding of this station.
3686 And without the connection to them and the constant access to them, you know, it would be on us to rally troops privately without any connection and without offering these services back to the community that we are currently offering.
3687 So it would definitely create a disconnect. And the actual legwork and the teams that are in place in the community currently, there would be a disconnect with that and that would affect the productivity in getting back into or furthering progress right now.
3688 MR. LEHRER: There is also a funding question. We would lose advertising revenue. People have just given money in our fundraising campaign in order to keep the station on the air, so if the station went off the air would they give us money again next year? I don't know.
3689 And it would be much harder for us to justify receiving a student levy when there's nothing we put on the air. So our student levy might be put in question.
3690 So it could affect our funding, it would affect our audience, it would affect morale of volunteers, we don't know if all our volunteers would come back if there was that sort of gap. So it would be highly disruptive.
3693 MR. NELSON: I will speak first, because I will be very brief with this.
3694 We hope that that is not going to be the result of the decision that the CRTC makes. Although, as we said before, we will respect any decision. But it would, without doubt, kill the morale of CKLN.
3695 There is already a lot of rumours floating around that we are going to lose our licence today. People from other radio stations in management and authority positions are spreading those rumours as if they know something already.
3707 MR. NELSON: The other thing too would be the loss to the community. CKLN Radio is unique in its role. Even though there is CIUT which is also downtown and there is CHRY which is in the burbs, so to speak, we are unique in the role that we play as a radio station.
3708 There are a lot of communities and we see this every day, based on the love and the respect, I guess, we get when people come in and need us to play a part, especially now that fundraising -- it just happens we had 10 days of fundraising.
3709 It was some of the best radio CKLN has ever presented in its -- over the last five years, I would imagine, and this was the first time that we saw a boost in morale and a boost in camaraderie between everyone working at the station, who went out of their way to support each other.
3710 The community is the number one benefactor of all of these things. We are programmers but we serve the community and if CKLN was even off the air for a few weeks, it would, again, take away a necessary and vital voice that different communities within the CKLN community see as vital on an everyday basis and necessary.
3711 Because when they go elsewhere, they get doors closed in their faces. They get people who don't understand their culture, they don't understand their voice, they don't understand their need.
3712 We are dealing with people who are poor and disenfranchised. We are not a commercial radio station selling advertising to McDonald's and Pizza Pizza. We are a broke radio station and the people who listen to us are broke too and they can't go anywhere else. They don't have print mediums. They don't have television stations.
3713 All they have is CKLN, and CKLN, even though it is downtown, it is very, very strong in the suburbs as well, where there is urban music and alternative music and music that is not played on commercial radio.
3714 We hear from those people. They pledged over $50,000. In the past they have pledged as much as $100,000 and we feel very good that we have gotten some of those listeners back.
3715 We can't take the time necessary to explain to them the politics of everything that has happened, so we have made it policy not to explain. We have made it policy to deal with the future and the present, not to dwell in the past.
3716 That is the agreement that we have basically sat down and had all programmers sign, which is a promise of performance, not to dwell in the negativity but to try and create a new road for CKLN for a brighter future.
3717 So again, I would like to reiterate that those actions might have consequences on CKLN as a radio station, but the greater loss, the greater impact will be the loss to the community who will miss a radio station that has a real sense of purpose, a purpose that is real vital to the community.
3718 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Nelson, you just said that the community only has one choice and that is CKLN.
3719 Are there not other campus and community stations in Toronto that operate today that provide alternative programming?
3720 MR. NELSON: Well, I did recognize that there is CIUT which is downtown, as I said, and CHRY. They are both stations that are licensed, just like CKLN, to be campus community radio stations.
3721 CHRY is serving the Jane Finch community. Their signal is only good in -- aside from the Internet -- in the burbs and they are 60 percent urban.
3722 We are not 60 percent urban. We are not styled to be the same as CIUT in terms of what we stand for politically or musically. We are our own unique dynamic and that is why I can say to you that we see the people come into the station on a daily basis and they need our support, just like we need theirs.
3723 So there may not be one choice. If I said that, I would like to clear that right now. We are not the only choice but we are a vital and unique and necessary choice outside of the box of the other community radio stations.
3724 Toronto is such a big diaspora that one radio station cannot do it alone and CIUT does not -- I can't speak for CIUT but they don't address the community the same way that we do. They have a different sense of priority than we do. They have 100,000 watts. They reach into America with their big giant signal.3725 We have a measly 250 watts, which, again, gets blown away by every other radio station on the FM dial. We are the weakest signal all the way over to the left. Because of our technical issues, one of the complaints that we get is that the signal is not even balanced, that it is weaker on the left side than the right side.
3726 Despite all of these negativities, we still have this great loyalty from people who write us and who listen to us and who tell us on an everyday basis that CKLN may not be perfect but we are so happy that it is back on the air and we don't ever want to see it go off the air again because we need the station, we love it and we want to keep it there, and what can I do to help. That is what our listeners are saying to us.
3736 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Nelson, we are looking at the board that is currently there, that was elected in July 2009, their performance from that date, that you have identified was in non-conformity in a number of cases, and now this Commission is trying to decide whether we have the confidence in the current board in order to continue to allow them to operate and comply with all the rules.
3737 I care less about previous boards and other people who may or may not have done whatever they have done.
3738 It is strictly this board operating from the day it had board approval by your members, what you have done till now, which you have recognized has been in breach, and whether we think you can come under the current regulations and meet all the obligations and all the commitments and all the logs and all the records going forward.
3739 And one of the scenarios that I put forward to you is if this panel comes to the conclusion that yes, we want you guys to continue but not until you have put your house in order, all I was asking is how much time do you think that would take?
3740 MR. NELSON: I guess we purposely did not answer that question with a time, with a number because it is such a horrible scenario that it just kind of put this pit feeling in my stomach. I don't know if another board member wants to put a number on it, but I personally don't. I think that would be a mistake. I hope that is not what is justifiable.
3741 MR. SEEFIELDT: I think what we could fairly say is that we would do everything in our power to do it in the quickest amount of time that you see fit. If this was the only scenario you see as an option leaving this hearing, then we would definitely need some guidance.
3742 We can take -- we have set a few goals in the new year and I think those are pretty clear on some of the things we said we want to accomplish within 60 days into the new year.
3743 I don't think there is any way of saying for sure how much time we would need. I think we would do it in the time that you say you want it done because it has to be done and there is no other option.
3744 To say how long it will take, well, how long do we have -- how long, you know, can this station possibly be off air. It won't sustain for more than a few weeks off air.
3745 We would need to act immediately and we would want it done immediately. So whatever the Commission sees fit, we would act within that timeline.3746 THE CHAIRPERSON: Don't you think you would have advanced your position had you been able to introduce us to the new station manager, day-to-day operating manager, and sort of say we have made reparations, we have done all this, here we are, here is the guy in charge, here are the rules, he is the guy who is going to do this, rather than coming to us saying, we need time?
3747 MR. SEEFIELDT: Absolutely, but as well there are a lot of things we are putting in front of you as accomplishments and a lot of great advancements that have been made with this board.
3748 To say that the program director being hired or a staff being hired is the only mark of achievement isn't fair to speak to everything that these --
3749 THE CHAIRPERSON: But you are telling me your first priority is to commit to a hiring committee and hire somebody?
3750 MR. SEEFIELDT: As of this point, yes.
3751 THE CHAIRPERSON: So wouldn't it have been better had you come here with that done?
3752 MR. LEHRER: Well, unfortunately, because -- we had a delay as far as getting the bylaws revised. We had intended originally to -- we can't really hire a station manager or program director until the bylaws are changed removing the station manager and program director from the board because that was a fundamental problem.
3753 We wanted to do this in September. We weren't able to because of legal issues to do with mediation and we are going to do it now. So we have been delayed, unfortunately.
3754 We would have liked to have had someone in place by now, but we are going ahead with the bylaw changes on December 15th and we are going to be able to hire someone within 60 days.3755 THE CHAIRPERSON: And will you have a quorum on December 15th?
3756 MR. LEHRER: Yes. The reason we didn't have a quorum at the last meeting was because we had it the day after fundraising ended. So the people were exhausted and people --
3757 MR. NELSON: Everybody was so tired.
3758 MR. LEHRER: The answer is yes, we will have quorum.
3759 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you will have student representation --
3760 MR. LEHRER: Yes.
3761 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- on the board?
3762 MR. NELSON: Yes.
3763 THE CHAIRPERSON: Those are my questions.
3900 THE SECRETARY: Please conclude. Thank you.
3901 MS. GUPTA: So they've done a lot of really good work and I think I want to conclude by saying that although there are challenges ahead of the station, I think our Board of Directors and we, the programmers, have a very good sense for what we need to do and how we need to get it done. And I feel like the station really fills an important need in the community for all of us programmers.
3902 We are -- we have come out of this rather jarring experience, I think, stronger, wiser and more unified as a community. We are all committed to making sure that something like this doesn't happen, and we are taking the necessary steps to ensure that the station is in compliance with CRTC regulations, and that in the next 25 years, in the next 50 years, for as long as there is a need for community radio, I think CKLN will continue to grow and thrive.
3903 We do have the potential, we do have the will and the energy to make it happen. So, please, give us the opportunity to make real this commitment to community radio, to alternative perspectives, to bring forward the voice of the voiceless.[ Always lots of money to be made by being a voice of the voiceless. ed]
3988 COMMISSIONER DENTON: I read your brief. It is a model of organization in responding to the issues, so thanks. It was clear and forthright.
3989 I am going to possibly waste the taxpayers' time, because I want to ask you a question that may not be relevant to what is going on now.
3990 What, on earth, happened?
3991 Was it just poisonous ego confrontation that led to this mess, which is apparently being cleaned up?
3992 MS SPEERS: Mr. Commissioner, like with federal politics, everybody has a different game plan. Everybody has an ego. Everybody has an agenda. And when you get an organization that is self-governed and is given a bunch of money, and has 200 people working underneath it, all kinds of bad things can happen.
3993 And at CKLN, because the mission statement is so idealistic and so wide-reaching, that allows room for many different personalities, and many different styles of control.
3994 And as I said to you earlier in my statement, I am friends with people on the previous Board, which I have called the bad Board. But I don't think that -- in doing things that they thought were good, I don't think they did them in ways that anybody anticipated or could have thought of as fair.
3995 Firing a third of the staff, firing the staff that were the most popular on-air, sending people like Mr. Nelson and Denise Benson two-line letters saying, "Your services are no longer required," was not a good way of conducting business in the name of a non-profit organization.
3996 I think their sights were set on making an efficient business model, and an efficient business model, again, doesn't take into account the space for personalities and egos.
3997 And, you know, 200-plus people is a lot of egos.
3998 Does that answer your question?
3999 COMMISSIONER DENTON: In part.
4000 You are basically telling the story that the current Board is taking out the garbage created by the previous situation. That's the main line that I am getting, that things are being cleaned up.
4001 MS SPEERS: Things are being cleaned up and, most importantly, as you yourselves, the Commission, have said, people are looking to the future, they are not necessarily looking to their own good. That is the one thing that I can say, above and beyond, that this Board represents. They are not in it for themselves or personal gain, they are in it for the good of the station and the good of the community that is served by the station.
4102 MS ROBINSON: Good afternoon. I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you. My name is Shelley Robinson and I am the Executive Director of the National Campus and Community Radio Association / l'Association nationale des radios étudiantes et communautaires, also known as NCRA/ANREC.
4103 The NCRA/ANREC is a not-for-profit group committed to volunteer-driven community-oriented radio across Canada. We have more than 75 members and our goals are to ensure stability and support for individual stations and to promote the long-term grown and effectiveness of the sector.
4156 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
4157 I do just want to talk about your experience with community and campus overall and I know you touched on it in your comments that there are situations here with CKLN that are not unique to CKLN.
4158 For example, the fact that CKLN appears to have no paid staff or have no paid staff and are running solely by volunteers and it is a working board with limited time that is keeping this organization running, you say that that is not unique?
4159 MS ROBINSON: No. Actually when this came up I started making a list, but it was -- we have 81 members and probably about 72 maybe are licensed. So I can't get them all right off the top of my head.
4160 Most of the ones that have no staff are community stations, and so off the top of my head I identified one, two, three, four, five community stations that have no staff at all and there are a couple of stations that have had no staff at periods.
4161 Then there is one station in particular that has had a volunteer station manager for eight years. So the person is doing all the same responsibilities as a full-time job but unpaid.
4162 Then I also highlighted in my notes when I was making them that one of the stations that came to me with questions about a log had paid staff.
4163 I think it is important to note that it is really great to have staff for consistency. I have been staff at a station, but staff take their lead from precedent and from a good solid board.
4164 So a lot of the things that happened with CKLN being non-compliant before were when they had paid staff. So what you need is a board that makes sure you have good processes and then a staff that implements them. So that is on the community side.
4165 On the campus side, there is no station that permanently has no staff that I can think off the top of my head, but I did think of four that either now or in the recent enough past that I can think of it have had interim periods of no staff, where only volunteers and particularly the board are running the station.
4166 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Can you tell me -- and I am going to speak campus because I do see, you know, the fact that there are student levies, and particularly, as you noted with CKLN, it is in the top half of their revenue-generating through the student levy. It is a significant amount. It is a stable funding amount of money provided all the time. So let's talk about campus here.
4167 In the campus stations, who normally is responsible for regulatory compliance?
4168 MS ROBINSON: I would say, well, it depends.
4169 So in stations that have a program director -- I mean a lot of stations have different titles for different things. So program director would be one of the titles that is most often used for that.
4170 In some places they have a station manager who also does some of that responsibility and then the other staff are maybe a music director. Yes.
4171 So to give a specific title, most often it is probably program director. Yes. But there is definitely, you know, a person who is responsible for following up to make sure that, for instance, logs are compliant.
4172 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: And in this situation there is --
4173 MS ROBINSON: In this situation, actually, after the panel, I was unclear, so I asked the current board very detailed questions about this so that I could answer this question intelligently.
4174 So once they put into place the new compliant program logs, Ron Nelson chiefly puts out the new ones every week into the studio, and those are by show and by programmer so that they are specific and they are labelled so that they always know which goes where. And then he collects them once a week and they have all been filed.
4175 Now, he and Bryce do do spot checks. Now, obviously, because even though they are working a lot at the station and volunteering a lot, they are not absolutely going through every single one. I am not even sure, to be honest, that every program director at every station would do that.
4176 But they are doing spot checks, and because there is this plan to get somebody in as a staff person who would be responsible for doing that, I feel like we can say with a great deal of confidence that if they have the program logs and we know that those logs themselves are collecting the information that tracks compliance and they have processes for distributing those and for archiving those and doing spot checks and we know that they are getting a staff person who can fill in the holes, then we do feel with a great deal of confidence that they can maintain that compliance.
4177 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. Thank you for that.
4178 Just on the issue of the program logs -- and this is just confirmation for my understanding or yours -- in paragraph 12 of your statement you say: "In addition, CKLN has installed a new computer-based logging system and added a back-up."
4179 I understand that has not yet been completed.
4180 MS ROBINSON: No, this is the digital logger. I am sorry that it is unclear.
4181 So one is the program log, the handwritten log that the programmer says, you know, I did a station ID at this time and I played this song and this is the artist.
4182 Then the other one is the audio recordings so that if the CRTC gets a complaint and you want to hear, then -- and so that is what was inaudible before and that is what they now have a back-up for and a new computer.
4183 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay.
4184 MS ROBINSON: Yes.
4185 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. Thanks.
4186 And just another point of clarification.
4187 Where you said: "The current board clearly understands..."
4188 This is paragraph 11. "...clearly understands these are mandatory requirements and have rectified all previously outstanding unfiled returns, completed all incomplete audits and responded within a reasonable time frame to all Commission correspondence and listener complaints."
4189 Our information and what is on the record here indicates that they have not filed all outstanding unfiled returns in a manner compliant with our requirements. Do you understand something different?
4190 MS ROBINSON: Are you talking about because of the financial year situation?
4191 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Right.
4192 MS ROBINSON: Right. That is something that I don't understand different. I thought that they had filed everything correctly and so if that is something -- an issue that they need to address, changing the period of reporting on the financial statements, then that can absolutely be undertaken quickly to be fixed.
4193 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay, thank you.
4194 I want to turn back again to your experience with the sector.
4195 We talked a little bit earlier today about the financial resources available to CKLN, significant amounts through student levies and for the past couple of years pretty much insignificant amounts through advertising, sponsorship or other.
4196 I wondered, based on your experience, what is normally the breakdown of revenues for a campus station between the various categories of revenue?
4197 MS ROBINSON: I would say that I am fuzzy on this. My own experience is that I used to be Station Coordinator at CKDU in Halifax and we would have been ecstatic to get the much lower advertising rates that CKLN got.
4198 When I was there, we were pulling in $7,000 a year in advertising and that was not collected but merely sold. Our collections were much lower than that.
4199 I do think that a diversity of revenue sources has been identified as a problem for the sector and so I actually think CKLN in its heyday was probably one of the better stations in terms of it had strong advertising. It has pretty strong fundraising; $50,000 is, again, pretty strong. There are some that have higher, but I would say that is above average. And then with the student levy.
4200 So I feel like they used to be very strong. They have obviously taken a hit. Part of that is a necessary -- not necessary but an easy to understand situation. Given that they had the turmoil, they largely sort of stopped broadcasting in a normal format.
4201 So I think if they continue with this, their advertising should get back up to sort of, you know, relatively similar levels. And their fundraising has already been shown. They got $50,000, that is great, and they can probably get higher.
4202 So I think that that is significant, plus now with the CRTC contributing Canadian content development requirements through the Community Radio Fund of Canada, they have another source of potential revenue which is through the Community Radio Fund. So that only kind of gives them another option as well as other grant-seeking, which is something that some stations do.
4203 So I would say right now they are average, if not still maybe slightly above average. It is a problem for the sector, diversity of revenue. So I would say they are about average, maybe slightly above, and certainly, they were quite healthy before, which is where, you know, the aim is to get them back to.
4204 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. Thank you for that.
4205 One more based on your knowledge of the sector.
4206 It appears with CKLN that they have a somewhat distant relationship with the university administration and even participation by students or maybe just recently increased participation by students, but still, the question, I think, is there as it regards their relationship with the faculty and the administration of the university.
4207 I wondered, is this a unique situation in the sector or is this something experienced by others?
4208 MS ROBINSON: I would say it is not unique. I do think that the change to their bylaws that will add a position specifically for Ryerson faculty or staff will help to some degree.
4209 I think also they have undertaken changes, and that mindset, those kinds of changes make a difference, so doing outreach particularly to students.
4210 I know some stations have done things -- like they will do shows about research so that they can have professors on. So even if -- it is hard sometimes to get professors or university staff to do regular shows, but to create opportunities for them to come in and contribute. So that is something that they could probably do more of.
4211 But in general, and again speaking to my own experience at CKDU, I started as a student at that station, but in general there was a constant challenge to try and bring students in. I think that that is a common reality.
4212 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: But you believe they can be successful in meeting the requirements? Yes. Okay.
4213 So let me talk about the outcome of this proceeding.
4214 The record indicates that there has been very significant, severe and protracted non-compliance with what I view to be relatively limited requirements for campus stations relative to the privilege of broadcasting.
4215 In your file documents you spoke quite adamantly that there should be no mandatory orders and here today you suggest that there should be a two-year renewal period and that should be the sanction.
4216 So I guess I am just wondering, given the evidence of non-compliance, given the extent of it, given the protracted nature of it, and, frankly, given some questions as to whether or not they are fully in compliance today, without, you know, a strong governance model -- and I am not talking that there are not passionate people on the board today, but that some of the structural policies, guidelines, procedures and so on, checklists and so on that can help govern an operation on a day-to-day basis may not all be in place.
4217 The notion that the outcome of this would be simply a two-year renewal without mandatory orders, without any potential suspension of their licence or, frankly, one of the matters being considered here, as you know, in the Public Notice is revoking the licence, if the actual outcome was simply a two-year renewal, what kind of signal do you think that gives to the broadcasting system and to other community and campus radios about the very important obligation they have to comply for the privilege of broadcasting?
4218 MS ROBINSON: Thank you for the question. It was a question that I wanted to address earlier when it came up for the CKLN panel.
4219 I think the sector would take that -- I think they have already shown in a lot of ways that they think that this is very serious and a kind of cautionary tale.
4220 And so in so many ways we feel that community radio is doing so well these days. You know, we have a new policy and we have some new funding and it is really picking up momentum. And there are great things that are being accomplished, as evidenced by the volunteers who came and spoke about all the things that they are doing.
4221 But I do think it also shows that it is very delicate and that if people aren't taking their requirements seriously, then they can lose it.
4222 And so I think that a shortened period to two years is chastening, is scary to a lot of people.
4223 The renewal process -- I have stations who are set to renew this coming year and I have received three calls, which is kind of unprecedented. People don't tend to reach out for renewals. But they are nervous and they want to make sure, like how can we get ready now because our renewal is coming up in August.
4224 So I think that in many ways other stations have already learned from the CKLN experience.
4225 It was certainly a fractious issue within the NRCA and it has been talked about at the NCRA quite extensively at our conferences and also on our listserves, and we were happy to have them back as full and participating members and they are contributing to the listserve now.
4226 So I think a two-year licence doesn't show people, oh, they got off really easy. I think the seriousness of this proceeding, I think the stakes of what they could lose is serious enough that people don't need to see a mandatory order or a temporary suspension to know that this is grave.
4227 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay, thank you. Those are my questions.
4228 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
4229 I am going to pick up on that comment before passing it on to the fellow commissioners.
4230 By virtue of the fact that you are suggesting a two-year renewal, you are recognizing that there has been a transgression.
4231 Here is the problem. They are not up for renewal. They are on a seven-year licence that started in 2007, that goes to 2014. We can't renew their licence in the middle of the term. It is not renewable in the middle of the term.
4232 The reason they are here and the reason we are here today is because of the concerns and the complaints that were raised and what actions we have to take amongst the various choices we have. One of those choices is not to reduce the licence from expiring in 2014 to 2012 or 2011 or whatever the year is. It doesn't work. It can't be done. I don't think it has ever been done before.
4233 So the issue is, one, they recognize that they basically have crossed the line on a number of occasions. You have recognized that there needs to be a message sent as well and your proposal, unfortunately, from my perspective, is not a viable one.
4234 So if you have any other ideas, welcome to hear them. That is why we initially came out with the three ideas that we had, that if we are to do anything at all, it would be either a mandatory order, a suspension or a revocation because those are the only tools that we think we have in our toolbox.
4235 MS ROBINSON: Well, I absolutely appreciate the clarification and my apologies for the mistake. I also obviously wish that that was an option given that that is what we have proposed.
4236 I think suspension and revocation, we could never say that we would support. We think that it would do irrevocable damage to the station, to the community, to the sector.
4237 I think a mandatory order, the reason that we wanted to take a stand against it is because we feel -- we wanted to do a joint -- we wanted to send two messages to CKLN, one which was absolutely to say that this is a serious issue and then the other one to also say, now that you have addressed some of the most outstanding pressing problems and you are right on the precipice of basically ensuring compliance by hiring staff, therefore, you know, monitoring the logs that you have put into place, those things, that you can get on with the business.
4238 Campus and community radio stations have to balance their responsibilities, and obviously their regulatory responsibilities are chief, but they also have to do all those other things that they have to do, which is community outreach and volunteer training and programming.
4239 So our concern was that a mandatory order gets in the way of some of those other activities. If those are the only things on the table, then obviously I would choose the mandatory order because it is what allows them to keep broadcasting and still sends a message.
4240 That being said, like I said, I feel like CKLN has understood the seriousness of its situation and taken important steps to rectify them and to make sure that they stay compliant moving forward. And I feel like the sector does not feel that -- no matter what happens at the end of this hearing, the sector is not going to be like, "Wow, let's do what CKLN did because, you know, they got away scott free".
4241 So that's all I can say on that point.
4242 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. The one thing I didn't hear from CKLN this morning was what they would do differently if we did issue a mandatory order, so I'll leave that thought out there.
4243 How long has NCRA been assisting CKLN?
4244 MS. ROBINSON: Specifically on this issue, so I'm trying to think.
4245 Andrew could answer this better than I could, so I became membership coordinator in December 2008 and all of my efforts to contact the station went nowhere. Then I think almost immediately -- in fact, we were -- the NCRA sent people down to chair the meeting, one of the community meetings that happened.
4246 And then as soon as the new Board took hold and was deemed legitimate and had traction, we started working with them. So I would say almost immediately from the getgo of when they reformed and started moving forward.
4247 THE CHAIRPERSON: So that was in July 2009.
4248 MS. ROBINSON: Roughly, yes.
4249 THE CHAIRPERSON: And it took until two weeks ago to file the annual financial reports that you are very familiar with and understand it's a prerequisite for conditions of license, among other conditions of license out there.
4250 MS. ROBINSON: Yes.
4251 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
4252 One of the things you could help me with is the relative number of instances of complaints that are lodged in this particular case versus other campus community radio stations.
4253 We heard this morning that there may be some underlying issues here. I don't want to get into those. But clearly, CKLN have said there are some areas where there has been breaches and transgressions with regard to profanity, obscene language and the like as well.
4254 How normal is that in campus radio stations, to your knowledge?
4255 MS. ROBINSON: Again, I'm spitballing to some degree, and I don't want to speak without totally knowing. On the other hand, I can say that I think Andrew's assessment of the situation was spot on.
4256 So first of all, I think that most complaints that come, come to the station first, as absolutely makes sense. If you hear something, the natural inclination is to complain to the source of the problem.
4257 And so again, when I was at CKDU I think we had -- so I was station coordinator for two years. And we had one complaint in that period, and it came to us first and then the person went to the CRTC. And I think we might have had some informal complaints that went to us and then the person was happy enough and let it go.
4258 So I would say certainly CKLN's complaints and -- are orders of magnitude more than most stations.
4259 THE CHAIRPERSON: So then how can you say in paragraph 9 that since the six-month period when we adjourned in May 'til now, they seem to have cleaned up their act and then you say: "We believe they have passed this test."
4260 How could they have passed this test if your understanding is in other stations of a campus nature there are far fewer of these complaints? How have they done anything to clean up their act and pass this test?
4261 MS. ROBINSON: Yeah, let me be clear. That's a great question.
4262 By no means do I think that the conduct of CKLN in the last six months is markedly different from the conduct of a lot of other campus stations in the last six months, so I think that if anyone was listening devotedly to the archive tapes of any campus station, I'm sure that they could find profanity occasionally at off hours of day.
4263 It does happen, and most stations address it exactly the way that CKLN has chosen to address it, which is that they have suspensions, they have policies, they train as best they can. So it's not -- so we feel like their conduct is in keeping with a compliant station.
4264 We feel like -- and the complaints, when they come, are addressed appropriately and their processes are -- I was having this conversation, in fact, with Freya Zoltz in preparing for this hearing, and campus and community radio stations are -- we're not perfect.
4265 You know, when you have anywhere between 50 and 325 volunteers coming through, particularly when you're trying to address under-represented groups and you're trying to have a kind of fractious debate and lively atmosphere, you're going to have transgressions of those kinds of things.
4266 What you need is for a broadcaster to be accountable. And so we feel like our other broadcasters in CKLN have shown that they are accountable, and that is on the front end of having good processes and good training and on the back end of having punishments and suspensions for programmers who break those rules.
4267 THE CHAIRPERSON: Are you aware of any suspensions that have been handed down by CKLN?
4268 MS. ROBINSON: Personally, no, I don't know of any. But I've heard that they're happening, but I don't -- I can't tell you an exact case, no.
4269 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. One of the things you say in paragraph 7 is that CKLN has been known as a distinct voice of the underground, unique Spoken Word, music produced by a diverse pool of committed volunteers.
4270 Having gone to university many, many years ago, I know that campus radio usually is the voice of the underground. So when you say the word "distinct", how distinct is Ryerson's or CKLN's voice relative to either CHRY, York University, or CIUT at U of T?
4271 MS. ROBINSON: Sure. I think Ron did a good job in some ways of saying the differences between that, so their reach is different. So CHRY, which is also a member of the NCRA, and who I think are great, they reach, geographically, a different community. And also, they're accessing a different community. So in the quote from the article, it was talking about how the station's physicality is important.
4272 So what that means is that yes, some people come from far away, but also people come from that neighbourhood, so CIUT and CHRY and CKLN all occupy different neighbourhoods and then, inevitably, they also have different constituencies, different kinds of people who come in.
4273 So I think it's -- I mean, I wouldn't argue that it's more distinct than any other campus or community station, but nonetheless, I think it's distinct.
4274 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. My last question is paragraph 17. You say: "CKLN has since developed a strong working relationship with the Palin Foundation and RSU, and there's a willingness on all sides to amend CKLN's written agreement to address the Commission's concerns."
4275 Can you be more clear as to what part of the agreements are being considered to be opened up and who's willing to do it? I guess both parties are, but for what purpose?
4276 MS. ROBINSON: Sure. Well, this was addressing -- and it's probably written fuzzy for this reason. We had a sense, the NCRA had a sense that this was a sectoral issue and that, like we said again, about a letter that we wrote in June asking for guidance from the Commission on this issue, there might be something that the Commission wants to put into agreements or to suggest that stations could undertake to make sure that there is less room in the future for this blurring of ownership.
4277 So for instance, you might add in the agreement something like, you know, in the case of, you know, a serious security dispute, you know, the following person has authorization over access to the building. Something like that.
4278 So anything that we got guidance that the Commission said, you know, it's a problem that all these stations aren't clear on this and that if there becomes a problem, then suddenly it's kind of up for grabs and then the Palin Foundation can just shut the doors or any student union can lock the doors.
4279 So you know, we want you to change that in some way. So it's fuzzy because we don't know exactly how the Commission might want us to undertake to change those things, but the Palin Foundation, in its conversations with CKLN, has said, "Yeah, we recognize that, you know, locking people out without any provisions for how to fix that could be a problem, so if the Commission wanted to change that in some way, we're open to that".
4280 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you. Those are my questions.
4298 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
4299 I would now call Mercedes Otway, Josie Miner, Paulette Andrea Hamilton and Doug Barrett to come forward to appear as a panel and present their interventions. --- Pause
4300 THE SECRETARY: Our legal counsel, Crystal Hully, will now swear in the intervenors.
4301 Mercedes Otway, affirmed
4302 Josie Miner, affirmed
4303 Paulette Andrea Hamilton, sworn
4304 Doug Barrett, affirmed
4305 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
4306 We will begin with Mercedes Otway. Ms. Otway, you have 10 minutes for your presentation.
4307 MS. OTWAY: I wish a special good afternoon to everybody on the panel.
4308 My name is Mercedes, and I have been a programmer for many years. I am an activist for groups such as UMAV, United Mothers Against Violence, and recently my achievements have been getting a day proclaimed by the Mayor of Toronto as a UMAV day of non-violence in Ontario.
4309 I am a volunteer at CHRY, CIUT and was recently stripped of my membership at CKLN. I am a writer for a local newspaper. I'm an activist with a program called Street Kids Ontario where I go out in the streets and take children off the streets.
4310 I'm responsible to the Court for these children and to other organizations.
4311 I currently also volunteer for an organization called Victims of Violence and Bereaved Family Services, where I volunteer to stop violence in the communities.
4312 I have been a member of CKLN since 1999. My membership has been back and forth between inactive and active host. I was elected to the CKLN Board of Directors on Wednesday, the 22nd of October as a volunteer rep and the position of Chair -- hold on a second.
4313 I was elected to the CKLN Board of Directors on Wednesday, the 22nd as a volunteer rep and on November the 4th, 2008 I was called in to the office and told I had to extend Tony Barnes' position and give the position of Chair to Mike Phillip in the upcoming meeting by Josie Miner and Tony Barnes.
4314 It was made clear to me at this time that it is a non-democratic process at CKLN. There are no fair and democratic elections at CKLN whatsoever. CKLN is run as a private club with chosen persons placed to govern the organization.
4315 In research, I found out the position created by CKLN's former core staff is not in compliance with the CRTC radio policy 2012.
4316 I learned from the then Josie Miner that CKLN funds had been withheld by the RSU and that the litigation would be commenced for those funds which would be discussed in an upcoming meeting.
4317 On November the 13th I was made an officer of the corporation. As Vice-Chair, it became clear to me the way elections were staged and how persons to be placed as a Director were elected.
4318 At this time, I noticed the March 1999 letter to the licensee, then station manager, about no filing of annual returns. As stated in CKLN's file, I concur with the Commission's assessment that CKLN has a history of not filing annual returns according to the CRTC's evidence by a March 11th, 1999 letter to that effect addressed to CKLN station manager, Conrad Collaco, from the CRTC which is in the CRTC's archives.
4319 On February 9, 2009, after much conversation with Peter Toh, the then Treasurer, I was then informed that the in-fighting and the discovery of innumerable theft and fraud had become overwhelming and unchangeable. Something had to be done, but we were unsure what we -- who could be trusted, as you will see throughout this hearing, the mudslinging and in-fighting at CKLN, which is a decade-long war between two fractions at CKLN radio.
4320 I had an opportunity to receive and read a letter ---
4321 THE CHAIRPERSON: Excuse me. I'm going to interrupt you because this is clearly not the reason why we're here. And I had mentioned this morning to stick to the issues before us. And we're looking at 2009, July, when this Board was ratified and, moving forward from there, how to deal with the current situation.
4322 I have no interest at this point in time in digging up past issues that are not before this Panel and are not required under CRTC Regulations, so if you can move to that section of the documentation that deals with the issues at hand, I would appreciate it.
4323 MS. OTWAY: Okay.
4324 On February 12, 2009, I assumed the position of CKLN's Chair of the Board. Peter Toh then informed me we had to change the locks to protect any evidence of the fraud that was kept inside CKLN offices.
4325 I immediately, at the time, contacted a forensic auditor. Please see the attached statement by Harry Lake. On this day, it became evident that the transmitter site was being tampered with from a remote computer somewhere in the world.
4326 I personally witnessed the computer being controlled by this outside person at that time. The person went into the system, shut off the antenna from broadcasting. Myself and Peter Toh contacted the RCMP and made a report in regard to the tampering of the transmitter.
4327 I affirmed that the Commission's assessment according to 2010 146 that CKLN was not in control of the transmitter at the time and I brought in Mark Bialkolski, former technician, to assist me to shut off the remote transmission. At the time, Mark was unable to pull the logs and show me the IP address of the person logging in to the computer and tampering with the transmitter.
4328 On February 18, 2009 myself and Peter Toh visited Brookfields Management, requesting no other one enter the transmitter site, requesting that we have access to go in and secure the transmitter, shutting off all remote access, and was refused. Tampering then continued for one week.
4329 On February 20th, Peter Toh called me in the office and we arranged to have the locks changed with the permission of the property manager, Michael Verticco, and the locks were changed.
4330 On February 24th, Sam Snapps was laid off. On February 28, Peter Toh and myself secured the building, shutting out all programming until new security measures could be in place because of all the constant tampering with the signal from the transmitter site.
4331 I can concur on March 6, according to the CRTC's finding, I was indeed locked out of CKLN's offices by the management, the Palin Foundation, and I was informed by Michael Viticco that I was no longer considered a mutual person.
4332 At this time no programming could follow, which violated the 2000-12 of the Broadcasting Act to maintain logs and records. I informed them that this would cause us to lose the license and requested that the dead air be replaced by old log tapes.
4333 Upon arrival at the door of CKLN, I noticed a letter on the door dated March 11 from the management and was informed by the management had restricted access until an election could be called.
4334 I was again allowed into the station to set up old logger shows when a volunteer member informed me dead air was again being played on April 22nd, 2009, which was again in violation of the 2000-12 Broadcasting Act to maintain logs and records as we were using the logs to play back.
4335 I can affirm that I did speak to the property manager about the payments for the transmitter and was informed that RSU would make the payments direct to Brookfield Properties. I was also informed that Brookfield Properties stated no one would be given access to the transmitter site.
4336 The Palin Foundation had continued locking the door and preventing entry for a period of seven months. I on many occasions did inform both the property manager and RSU rep that this is interfering with the CRTC agreement according to subsection 10(1), paragraph 11.4.
4337 This continued for several months and I arranged for an open and mutual meeting between all parties to come to terms with the Palin Foundation requests. At this time, I did bring in legal services, J.A. Bradley, and arranged a meeting with all members to have a free opportunity and get involved.
4338 I had in attendance the Board that sat here before, which was Arnold Minors, Ron Nelson's Board, and the Board that I was currently on at that time.
4339 We tried to talk and all attempts for coming together broke down. I was informed elections would continue with or without me by the RSU rep, Toby Whitfield. On July 3rd, 2009, I received a phone call that my son was murdered and I travelled to Trinidad and Tobago.
4340 At this time, I could not continue the negotiations with all involved. On July 9th, I received a call from Canada that the Palin Foundation had given notice that elections should be called or the space will be allotted, and I informed Ron Nelson that no decision should be made without me being informed first.
4341 I was never informed, nor was any request made by the Take Back Our Radio Group to me that an election would be called.
4342 In October I returned to Canada, and the first time I visited CKLN's office I was informed Ron Nelson was the Chair, newly elected Chair of the company. I was asked to choose which side I was on, and I informed them I was on CKLN's side.
4343 Ron requested the keys from me and I informed them that was also in violation of our bylaws 28.1.
4344 My conclusion is I knew from my involvement trying to implement peace and unit at CKLN that the station did fail to file annual returns as per conversation with Revenue Canada, which is against the CRTC mandate and license.
4345 According to the forensic auditor, I did acquire proof of documents received constituting fraud and theft against both the advertising then manager, Mike Phillips, Tony Barnes, and the now Chair, Ron Nelson, which is also against the mandate.
4346 CKLN failed to respond to complaints as per several letters I discovered from the CRTC for non-compliance when I was in as -- sitting as the Chair and in the offices when I had access. This was also in breach.
4347 CKLN was also not operating the transmitter under the license agreement as per the CRTC. No control of the transmitter site was approved by me at the time. I was a Director of the company, and during the seven months when CKLN's transmitter was not governed by me or my Board of Directors at CKLN, there also was another violation under the CRTC 95-876.
4348 That according to the 2010-146 of the CKLN-CRTC that no logger tapes were kept for the period of seven months while the in-fighting ensued.
4349 I also conclude that CKLN has come to a deplorable state and that I am yet to concur how the CRTC can continue to regulate CKLN when the newly agreement signed by the new Board and the Palin Foundation was signed under duress.
4350 The agreement does not guarantee space according to the CRTC's Regulations and which is also in our mandate.
4351 The new agreement also gives them the right to withhold CKLN's funds, which also violates Section 1.5.
4352 As the current Chair put himself, currently has a full-time job. He's a Chair. He's training new members. He's a program director, station director, advertising director, monitors logs. I do not see how he can fulfil the CRTC's mandate that from 2003 to 2008 and from 2009 'til current the station still have not yet hired a station manager, another violation according to Section 12 of our bylaws.
4353 I on many occasions did witness comments made by the Chair that the CRTC is just a big sitting duck and would do nothing about the compliance, that CKLN has been non-compliant for years. I find it difficult to believe that any mandatory order implemented will be fulfilled.
4354 I am in support of the license being suspended until all obligations are fulfilled by CKLN.
4355 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
4356 We will now proceed with Josie Miner. Ms. Miner, you have 10 minutes for your presentation.
4357 MS. MINER: Good afternoon.
4358 I was a member of the CKLN Board of Directors in 2007-2008, and I thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak today.
4359 I direct my remarks to the issue of non-compliance with provisions of the radio Regulations which relate to effective control of the licensee and its transmitter.
4360 In my submission to the CRTC in April I detailed at length the interference of the Ryerson Student Union (RSU) in the affairs of CKLN Radio Inc. I also supplied documentation to support those claims and concluded that CKLN was now in the control of RSU and the Palin Foundation.
4361 In his response, Mr. Lehrer told me I was very mistaken. Just to make certain how mistaken I was, he clarified the situation by saying RSU was a trusted partner and benefactor, and I believe therein lay the problem.
4362 CKLN was supposed to be an independent corporation, not a partnership. The student union controls the money. The union, in its sole discretion, is the benefactor; therefore, the union gets to control the corporation.4363 The Ryerson Student Union was not the licensee, nor should it be in a position to assert undue control over the licensee. I suggest that one refer to recent restrictions imposed on the media at the Canadian Federation of Students Annual General Meeting, of which RSU is an active member, and further investigate the involvement of CFS in campus elections to see the import of this issue. The independence of all campus community radio stations is suspect at best, but at CKLN Radio Inc. it no longer exists.
4364 RSU began running CKLN in July of 2008 when it withheld CKLN's funds in order to assert its will over the Board of CKLN Radio Inc. Up to that point they had interfered with the activities of the corporation on a regular basis, but were unable to garner enough support from Board members, which included four active student representatives, to assert its agenda.
4365 In response to RSU's decision to withhold funds, CKLN's legal counsel, and that was Blumberg Segal, advised the CKLN Board that if someone wants to interfere with a corporation's ability to carry on the rightful business of the corporation, they could and should pursue those claims in Court pursuant to the Corporations Act.
4366 They did not choose this avenue because they didn't need to. They held all the funds and could wait out the situation. When CKLN could no longer pay employees and notified CUPE that there would be layoffs, CUPE immediately intervened with RSU.
4367 It is important to note that CKLN's paid staff, like RSU's staff, are members of CUPE 1281. The President of CUPE 1281 is Denise Hammond, who's a paid staff member at RSU, and at the time had a non-voting seat on the RSU board. Interestingly enough, RSU covered CKLN's weekly payroll.
4368 The physical seizure of the station and the subsequent events are also discussed in my submission. Unlike Mr. Lehrer or Mr. Nelson, I was present at the station when the seizure occurred and the locks were changed by uniformed staff with orders approved by RSU and Palin Foundation employee Mike Verticcio.
4369 There were other witnesses to that that day, and there are video records. And I should note that at that point I was not on the Board at that point.
4370 In response to Doug Barrett's submission to the CRTC, Mr. Lehrer states the Palin Foundation demanded an election to install a new regime at CKLN no later than July 24th, 2009.4371 It's irrelevant whether you believe that the meeting was neither called nor held in accordance with CKLN bylaws. It's irrelevant to this meeting and that will be settled in the Court pursuant to a current Court case.
4372 No one denies that RSU and the Palin Foundation actually controlled access to the CKLN facility. They did not to lock the door and wait for the Courts or a Trustee in Bankruptcy or the CRTC to decide what should happen. They continued to run CKLN, pay its line of credit and its transmitter fees in order to secure the most valuable asset, and that's the broadcast license.
4373 Then they chose to give access to the facility and the airwaves to only those who agreed to their terms. These are not the actions of a third party acting responsibly. These are the actions of a principal protecting its interests.
4374 In my submission, I stated that the agreements between RSU and the Palin Foundation indicate that the control of CKLN resides outside the corporation. In his response, Mr. Lehrer denied the import of those agreements.
4375 In those agreements under Article 5.1, if RSU believes that CKLN is in default for any reason, merely has to notify them. If they don't remedy that default to RSU's satisfaction within 10 days, they can, at their sole discretion, withhold the levy.
4376 The terms of the Palin Foundation are also beautifully simple. CKLN occupies the premises at 55 Gould not as a tenant, but under a license agreement. They have no rights of tenancy.
4377 While the term of the agreement may be for 20 years, Clause 3.2 states otherwise. Early Termination: "In spite of any other term of this agreement, this agreement may be terminated at any time by giving 60 days written notice..."
4378 The agreement does not require Palin to show cause for termination. Essentially, this agreement allows CKLN to be thrown out at any time for any reason with 60 days notice. And there's a further clause that allows that to happen with seven days' notice.
4379 These agreements were clearly written by legal counsel. They're quite involved, and somebody didn't just make them up. And they were written that way to assure that the control of CKLN and its license stays with RSU and the Palin Foundation.
4380 Mr. Lehrer did understood who was in control because, in fact, he stated in his response that CKLN had no choice but to accept the terms of these agreements or they would not have gained access to the facilities.
4381 Even If these agreements were to be changed at this late date and after the fact in the attempt to gain the CRTC's approval, those new agreements would be merely window dressing. While the National Campus and Community Radio Association, the NCRA, petitions the CRTC for free legal advice on how to make them appear to be independent of RSU in order to comply, I respectfully petition you to send a clear message to CKLN, the RSU, the Palin Foundation, the NCRA and its membership and, very importantly, its other members who are campus radio stations, that it's your mandate to enforce the broadcast regulations and not to advise them or assist them on how to get around them.
4382 I believe that to allow CKLN to continue to broadcast now is to reward people who have shown that if you want a radio station you just take over. Mandatory orders cannot undo the takeover of CKLN Radio Inc. and to allow them to continue to broadcast holds the reinforcements of the regulations up to ridicule.
4383 I respectfully request that this Commission revoke the license of CKLN Radio Inc.
4384 Thank you.
4385 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
4386 We will now proceed with Paulette Andrea Hamilton. Ms. Hamilton, you have 10 minutes for your presentation.
4387 MS. HAMILTON: I'd like to thank the Commission for the chance to speak and tell my side of the story and why CKLN 88.1 FM should have its license revoked since CKLN Radio Inc., an incorporated entity, is the owner of said license.
4388 I have firsthand knowledge of information regarding the non-compliance of sub-section 10.1, ownership control of the equipment and facilities, and paragraph 11.4(a), transfers of ownership and control. Plus I would like to add some details to the letter dated April 9th regarding the licensee's failure to comply with Section 8 of the Regulations which pertains to logs and records.
4389 I intend to add some clarification and answers in regards to documentation concerning the operation of CKLN 88.1 FM, including its staff, funding, accounting and programming. I have provided documentation pertaining to access to the premises of the station, CKLN FM, and its transmitting facilities.
4390 I have provided details and documentation concerning the current structure of the Board of Directors of CKLN Radio Inc.
4391 I have provided details regarding the current ad hoc Board's inability to pull up the archived logs and keep records of what is being broadcast on the air.
4392 THE SECRETARY: Excuse me, Ms. Hamilton. Could you please slow the speed down a little bit?
4393 MS. HAMILTON: Sure.
4394 THE SECRETARY: The interpreters are having a hard time.
4395 MS. HAMILTON: Okay. Sorry.
4396 One main reason that the licensee is not in compliance is because the current ad hoc Board was misleading the CRTC and never was really in compliance. Please see attached Appendices H and I, Program Schedule and Playlists.
4397 The following are examples and excerpts of the public program guide, as stipulated by the CRTC, for CKLN to follow, versus actual current broadcasted CKLN programs. Please note that there was dead air for the weeks of June 7th to 13th, 2009, and the 21st to the 27th, 2009. No station manager or program director was in charge.
4398 In the letter dated February 10th, 2010, sent to CKLN by the Secretary General, the Commission advised the licensee of a list of areas of apparent non-compliance with the regulations, and requested log tapes and program logs for the week of the 10th to the 16th of January 2010.
4399 Representatives of the licensee were also provided with a copy of CKLN FM's public file, and were asked to comment on its accuracy and completeness.
4400 Representatives of the licensee provided a response on March 1st, 2010. Please refer to the attached Appendices H and I, the public profile and the CKLN playlist.
4401 From June 2008 to February 2009, I was a co-host of the show "Tao of the Sharp Tongued Goddess", airing weekly on Tuesdays from 2 a.m. until 6 a.m. on CKLN FM.
4402 During a staff meeting called in October 2008, according to the bylaws that govern CKLN Radio Inc., I was elected to the Board of Directors by my fellow volunteer staff members, i.e., programmers, who attended said meeting, as was Mercedez Otway. Please see attached Appendix A, Official CKLN Staff Meeting and AGM Meeting Notice, and Appendix B, Board of Directors list.
4403 The Board of Directors at this time consisted of Josie Miner, Mike Phillips, Tony Barnes, Doug King, Peter Toh, Mercedez Otway and myself, and Toby Whitfield, the RSU member.4404 Mr. Whitfield was in conflict with the previous Board due to his direct involvement as the VP of Finance for Ryerson student union, and withholding student levies owed to the station for a period of three years.
4405 At a subsequent Board meeting, the two vacant executive directors were elected. Please see attached Appendix C, minutes that show who assumed what positions on the Board.
4406 Funding: CKLN Radio Inc. and CKLN 88.1 FM Campus Community Radio receives its funding from:
4407 (1) Ryerson University student levies. The student levy constitutes 50 to 60 percent of the station's operating budget --
4408 THE SECRETARY: I'm sorry, I will have to ask you again to please slow down. Thank you.
4409 MS HAMILTON: Okay, sorry.
4410 The student levy is about $9 per student, which has not been paid since October 2008.
4411 There is also the annual on-air fundraising every fall -- Fund Fest -- Trillium Foundation grants, various private donations, community advertising and PSAs.
4412 The Board of which I was a part of was able to get three of the four above items accomplished, except for the student levies, which have been withheld by RSU for three years.
4413 The CKLM Board tried to launch a lawsuit against RSU and Ryerson University to recover the funds owing to the station, but was unsuccessful because CKLN Radio Inc. ran out of funds. Please see attached Appendix D, re: CKLN Radio Inc. versus Ryerson Student Union of Ryerson University, Court File No. CV-099-369978.
4414 Staffing: CKLN 88.1 FM Campus Community Radio staffing structure was as follows. There was a program director, there was a station manager, there was an engineer, there was a volunteer and fundraising coordinator, an assistant news director, an office manager, a vacant production coordinator and a vacant news director.
4415 Due to the lack of funds, the Board that I was on had to lay off the newly unionized employees and cut the pay of the office manager.
4416 The Board of Directors, during this time of turmoil, consisted of -- please see attached Appendix F -- and the above four were the officers of the Board of Directors of CKLN Radio Inc. during the period of 2008 to 2009.
4417 The rest of the Board are as follows -- as I have submitted.4418 We were looking into ways to involve more volunteer students and RSU faculty, when two Board members went rogue, Mercedez Otway and Peter Toh. With the help of RSU representative Toby Whitfield and Ryerson University Operations Manager Micheal Verticchio, they effectively went against and undermined the remaining Board members and CKLN's own bylaws and locked out all volunteers and employees of CKLN 88.1 FM.
4419 The Board held an emergency meeting on February 27th, 2009 and, with quorum, made a resolution to remove Ms Otway and Mr. Toh from their positions as officers of CKLN Radio Inc. Please see attached Appendix G, Resolution of the Board of Directors.
4420 After this meeting, the new officers of the Board of Directors were as follows -- and you can see that in Appendix G, Resolution of the Board of Directors.
4421 On February 28th, 2009, I received an urgent text message from my co-host to come down to the station because Ms Otway, Mr. Toh, Toby Whitfield, Mike Harnett and Micheal Verticchio had seized the transmission of the station and taken over all of the broadcasting. Programs from "Unfortunate Sonic Casualties" to "In My Room", in particular, were locked out and refused access to the station by RSU and the Palin Foundation.
4422 These individuals had seized CKLN Radio Inc. airwaves without the knowledge or approval of CKLN's legal Board of Directors.
4423 As a duly elected officer of CKLN Radio Inc. Board of Directors, I went down to the station to try to take back the transmission of the station and secure the on-air broadcasting booth for all of the volunteers who were being locked out by the Palin Foundation and RSU. Thus, the station was broadcasting live from 2 a.m. Saturday until Sunday at 12 p.m., as per the policy and regulations of the CRTC's Broadcast Standards and Licence with CKLN Radio Inc.
4424 At that point I was then unlawfully removed from the station, under the authority of Micheal Verticchio, Toby Whitfield, Mercedez Otway, Peter Toh and Mike Harnett. These individuals had no legal authority to make broadcasting decisions for CKLN, and were later told so by the police. Please see attached Appendix H, Notice by Palin Foundation.
4425 On March 11th, 2009, the Palin Foundation and RSU completely took over the airwaves of CKLN 88.1 FM. Dead air was broadcast until June 2009.
4426 Limited access was then granted to the Board Chair at the time, Wayne Shipley, so repeated, previously broadcast taped programs were put on the air sporadically until October 2009.
4427 During that time, and even now, CKLN has not been following any of the bylaws that govern CKLN Radio Incorporated, and the licence agreement that was made with the CRTC regarding campus stations.
4428 You can see that in my submission, where I have stated --
4429 THE SECRETARY: Ms Hamilton, you have one minute remaining. Please conclude.
4430 MS HAMILTON: In conclusion, CKLN was functioning as a community-based campus radio station, in spite of the efforts of third party individuals who constructively undermined the running of an incorporated entity -- subsection 10(1), "Ownership and Control of Equipment and Facilities".
4431 I, Paulette Andria Hamilton, was the sole, properly elected Board officer of CKLN Radio Inc., in lieu of a legal AGM and subsequent elections, along with Board of Directors members Mary Young, Sam Snaps, Tony Barnes, Mike Phillips and David James, who were left on the Board before the illegal takeover by RSU and the Palin Foundation.
4432 I ask the Commission to revoke the licence of CKLN Radio Inc. and not award those who take licences that were not properly obtained in the first place.
4433 Thank you.
4434 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
4435 Will now proceed with Doug Barrett.
4436 Mr. Barrett, you have 10 minutes for your presentation.
4437 MR. BARRETT: Thank you. I would like to thank the CRTC for the opportunity to speak at today's hearing regarding the very serious and complicated situation that has developed at CKLN.
4438 My name is Doug Barrett. I have been a volunteer and on-air host at CKLN 88.1 FM from 2005 until early 2009. I was the elected volunteer representative for two consecutive terms on the CKLN Board of Directors, from April of 2006 until the fall of 2008.4439 Whatever the Commission decides, this hearing will set an important precedent. Either the precedent will be set that radical groups, with the full knowledge and financial assistance of student unions, can seize a radio station by driving out any opposition, with campaigns of slander, intimidation, verbal threats and physical harassment, without ever having to fear any serious personal or legal consequences, or the precedent will be that CRTC rules and regulations apply to all campus community radio stations, and must be followed explicitly.
4440 Either way, whatever the Commission decides will send a powerful message.
4441 The improper involvement of the Ryerson student unions, both RSU, Ryerson Students' Union, and CESAR, the Continuing Education Students' Association of Ryerson, using their political and union allies in order to destabilize and bankrupt CKLN, is already well documented.
4442 These student unions and the Palin Foundation participated in the CKLN takeover in order to keep their own allies and cronies in power at CKLN.
4443 Reviewing the public minutes from the group claiming to be CKLN Radio Inc. from March of 2008 to February 2009, which I have already provided, shows RSU's direct conflict of interest. The open presence of Toby Whitfield, then the Vice-President of Finance at Ryerson Student Union, attending meetings, the only purpose of which was the planning of various strategies designed to bankrupt CKLN, force out opponents, and take over the corporation, is beyond dispute.
4444 RSU had claimed that Toby Whitfield was merely an outside observer. However, the contents of these minutes clearly show that Tony Whitfield is a voting member who agreed to consult on their behalf with Ryerson's student unions' attorneys.
4445 Furthermore, Tony Whitfield acted on their behalf by pressuring student Board members, signing off on attempts to seize CKLN's bank accounts, and cancelling insurance policies.
4446 Toby Whitfield openly booked rooms for the purpose of these meetings, in Ryerson Student Union's name, while at the same time denying rooms or security to CKLN's legal Board of Directors, management and volunteers.
4447 All of this open and public conspiring between RSU and the so-called "take back our radio" group exposes any attempts by Ryerson Student Union to now claim that they were merely innocent bystanders who had no idea who to recognize as CKLN Radio Incorporated.
4448 These minutes are, in fact, so damning that nowhere in his response does Andrew Lehrer and CKLN Radio Inc. even try to dispute its authenticity or accuracy in any way.
4449 I have not seen supporting documents from Andrew Lehrer proving any of his claims. He merely tries to change the subject and offer up the argument of "the ends justify the means" that his group has always reiterated.
4450 Whenever challenged on their utter lack of proof, Andrew Lehrer and CKLN Radio Inc. claim that they are saving evidence for court, when they plan to sue or have people arrested.
4451 One would have expected CKLN Radio Incorporated to provide a mountain of proof. Instead, they have offered no supporting evidence or documentation. This group simply cut a deal with Ryerson Student Union to seize the radio station, and later forced a deal on the new, Ryerson Student Union-approved CKLN Radio Inc., which retroactively legitimizes RSU's authority to seize or evict CKLN Radio at any time.
4452 In his submission Andrew Lehrer brags that CKLN Radio Inc. has "restored goodwill with Ryerson Student Union." He does not say that the price paid for this goodwill has been to sign away the effective independence of CKLN that is required both by the CRTC licence and the articles of incorporation.
4453 This places CKLN Radio Incorporated perpetually at the mercy of Ryerson Student Union and Toby Whitfield, who is now the Ryerson Student Union President, allowing them to withhold the CKLN student levy whenever they choose. These are not the actions of a neutral party that Ryerson Student Union claims to be.
4454 The truth of the matter is that Ryerson Student Union did not have oversight powers over CKLN and no right to become involved in its governance or to encourage the takeover of a federal corporation they did not own.
4455 Another one of Andrew Lehrer's unsupported claims is that allegations of payola are "unprecedented" at CKLN. This problem has existed at CKLN for decades. CKLN Management, other volunteers and myself have seen money change hands in exchange for airplay and on-air plugs. I was even asked by management to listen in on phone conferences from promoters and artists who paid money to on-air hosts for promises of airplay.
4456 From my own understanding I know that such behaviour is not tolerated at CIUT or CHRY and other campus/community radio stations. However, a public clarification on a payola policy from the CRTC would certainly be helpful on this point.
4457 I also wanted to address the conflicting role of the supposedly neutral NCRA, the National Campus Community Radio Association, in supporting the coup at CKLN.
4458 Nowhere in the NCRA submission do they note that of the key organizers of the attempts to take over CKLN, Kristen Schwartz and Sharmeen Kahn were also NCRA Board members.
4459 Another key organizer, Daniel Vandervoort, was a member of the NCRA's fundraising board and was at the same time a member of one of Ryerson Student Union's boards, CESAR.
4460 Both Kristen Schwartz and Daniel Vandervoort are also two of the CKLN staff members that the NCRA approvingly noted have returned to CKLN, without of course naming them or disclosing to the CRTC their involvement on their own NCRA board.
4461 Clearly, the ends justify the means at CKLN, and appropriately at the NCRA as well. They should not have the right to choose sides and interfere in this hearing. The NCRA is not a governing body and it is not their mandate to interfere in any campus/community radio station's governance. They have abused their power for their own nepotism.4462 At an April 2010 CKLN staff meeting Andrew Lehrer openly bragged, and not for the first time, that "The CRTC was just a rubber stamp and would not actually do anything and that this hearing was merely a formality."
4463 Ultimately, the basic defence from Andrew Lehrer and CKLN Radio Inc., who have entrenched interests at CKLN, is that they are in effect "Too important to fail."4464 I believe CKLN has already failed. The truth of this can be found in the CRTC public files. CKLN was off the air for over eight months. The number of people who submitted their concerns to the Commission can be counted on one hand. That is a damning indictment of the elitist private club that CKLN has become.
4465 Where are the multiple submissions to the CRTC from Ryerson students to show how important CKLN is to them and to Ryerson? There are none because it is not important to them. Ryerson RTA, Radio and Television Arts, students have set up their own Internet radio station.
4466 Where are the submissions from Ryerson's Journalism and RTA departments to tell you how important CKLN is to their students in learning their craft and getting experience? There are none because CKLN is not important to them and never will be. In fact, Ryerson journalism professors have their students receive training and credit from CIUT 89.5 FM at the University of Toronto.
4467 The current situation at CKLN is unprecedented in Canada and is a direct challenge to the authority of the CRTC itself. I understand that the Commission has neither the mandate nor the resources to micromanage every campus/community radio station in the country.
4468 However, when so many violations at a campus/community radio station go unanswered and the only defence offered is a series of accusations with no supporting documentation, the CRTC must intervene. I do not believe that any amount of mandatory orders or warnings will remedy the problems that exist.
4469 In conclusion, CKLN has become a textbook example of how to steal a radio station from volunteers, students and the community. It is for this reason that I urge the CRTC to set a precedent that this behaviour will not be tolerated and to restore compliance and accountability to campus/community radio in Canada.
4470 This ends my presentation and I welcome any of your questions. Thank you.
4471 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
4472 I would ask Commissioner Menzies to begin the questioning.
4473 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Ms Otway, the first question for you is I took it from your presentation that you participate at other community radio stations on the air?
4474 MS OTWAY: Yes, sir.
4475 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So your message gets out there for those other stations. Why is that not satisfactory for you? You have access to the airwaves through those stations. Why do you feel it is necessary to have access through every station?
4476 MS OTWAY: I don't think it is necessarily access or getting a message out. What I do is I offer my services as a volunteer and I don't think it is really that I am really going out there to put out a message over the airwaves, because I am not a programmer on the other stations right now.
4477 But I still do go in. I do fundraising. I go and I help train. I do voice ads for them. I am still there volunteering, assisting the station, upkeeping the station.
4478 So I am not looking to have my voice heard on CKLN per se. I am looking at keeping the community station -- this station as a community station, and in keeping the station as a community station, there are certain things that I see in place over there that are not in place over here.
4479 I am at all the other stations and they are doing it. They are all doing it with less budget, less funding coming in from students. They are doing it with less advertising money and they are making it happen because they have proper protocols in place, proper administration and stuff like that.
4480 So it is not even a matter of me wanting to have my voice in there. I just want to help CKLN not fail. I want them to get on the right track basically.
4481 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you. And, by the way, my condolences on the loss of your son.
4482 MS OTWAY: Yes, sir.
4483 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: My question is, why do you think a suspension would work? You heard CKLN today state that a suspension -- let's put it this way. The station has clearly been broken.
4484 MS OTWAY: Yes.
4485 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: The issue before us is whether or not it can be put back together again. Their position is that a suspension would -- I don't want to put words in their mouth but that a suspension is an event that would make their recovery more difficult rather than less difficult.
4486 How do you see a suspension?
4487 MS OTWAY: Yes, sir, I understand your point.
4488 The reason that I am saying that is because of my involvement in the community and my involvement in organizations like street kids. I go before judges. I was in court all week last week and the judge doesn't want to hear that I am going to get a job, that one of the kids that I am bringing is going to be in a program. He doesn't want to hear that they are going to stop taking drugs, that they are going to rehab.
4489 The judge wants to hear, I am signed up for rehab, I have implemented -- I have begun rehab. The judge wants to hear, this is an offer of a job.
4490 CKLN is not putting things in place. What they are doing is they are decorating. Because I have this CRTC hearing, I am going to decorate my house so it looks pretty. We are going to do this, we are going to do this, we are going to do this. When? They don't know.
4491 So how I see it is that this is all decoration. It is like when my grandmother used to say, when smoke comes, everybody runs out. So they are all here, smoke is here, okay, let's go, let's go, we are going to lose our licence. Okay, we don't lose our licence, let's all go back into our houses and follow -- go ahead with all what we used to do before.
4492 So from my experience with street kids and from the many organizations that I am involved with like that, like the Bereaved Families and stuff like that, they don't function on what I can do, what I plan to do.
4493 They function on what I have signed up to do, what I have an offer to do, what I have put in place to do, and CKLN has not done that.
4494 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, I understand your position there.
4495 When you were the Chair of the board, how conscious were you and what was your experience with the board about how conscious it was of CRTC Regulations and CRTC matters?
4496 MS OTWAY: When I was with the board of directors, I didn't know anything about the Regulations of the CRTC. When I came in, this was all basically new to me because I was just a programmer. I obviously knew nothing about it. I just knew that there were certain guidelines that we had to follow when we were on air. There were certain things that we couldn't say because it was not in accordance with the CRTC.
4497 So when I came in, I started learning all new things. And in going through learning a lot of things, be it from Roberta's rules right back to going over nights and nights studying the CRTC's Regulations, the mandates, all of CKLN's mandates and everything else, while going through stuff like that, I started to see that they are not following through with certain things.
4498 So that is when I became -- I would say there are two factions here. There is the cat and there is the mouse, and I am the ferret in the middle. That is when I became a thorn in everybody's side and started saying, look, you are not following the guidelines of the CRTC, you are not following the guidelines of the mandate, you are not doing this, you are not doing that, and that is what got me into hot water.
4499 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, thank you.
4500 MS HAMILTON: Sorry, I would like to make a point of clarification. Can I do that please?
4501 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Can you just wait? We will get to you.
4502 MS HAMILTON: It is just because she was never the Chair of the board, ever. She was only Vice-Chair.
4503 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay.
4504 Ms Miner, why do you care so much that you want the licence to die?
4505 MS MINER: It is the precedent. I believe --
4506 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Who benefits from that? Who do you think is the beneficiary?
4507 MS MINER: Well, I think when you have the NCRA here talking about all the other campus/community stations and how they exist and how they all get their funding as well and their advertising, the precedent here is very clear.
4508 If you want people to follow the rules, you have to make the consequences when they don't very clear, and what you really have allowed here is like a hostile takeover.
4509 We all know that sort of the elephant in the room today is the court case that we are not talking about, and that will get settled in court in terms of under the Corporations Act, but it was not the place and is not the place of student bodies to take and act in lieu of the Corporation or take over the Corporation.
4510 I think that if this is allowed to stand, the lines are not very clear for other campus/community radio stations. Downtown Toronto --
4511 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Those issues, to a certain extent, changes in control we need to be notified by, that is our interest in that.
4512 MS MINER: I don't think you were notified by the takeover.
4513 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: No, we weren't and that is understood. It is probably not the first time in Canadian regulatory history that has occurred.
4514 Who do you see as being the beneficiaries of licence revocation?
4515 MS MINER: Well, it is not an issue of who I see as the beneficiary.
4516 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: It is. That is my question.
4517 MS MINER: Well, I don't have an interest in who is the beneficiary. I am a listener and when I listen to radio, I like to know as a listener -- because that is the only way I came to CKLN, was as a listener.
4518 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay.
4519 MS MINER: I think that in the interest of the listening public, if I am listening to Rogers, I know who owns it. If I am listening to CIUT, I know who is involved there.
4520 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, thank you.
4521 Mr. Barrett, my question for you is similar. This station was clearly broken. The issue is whether or not it is being fixed or can be fixed.
4522 How do your comments contribute to that?
4523 MR. BARRETT: Which part, sir?
4524 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Well, the whole thing actually.
4525 MR. BARRETT: Okay.
4526 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I mean how are we fixing things here or is your position that the licence should be revoked?
4527 MR. BARRETT: I think it should be revoked. I know there are other groups wanting to get on air. I think some of them might even be here. I clearly think that --
4528 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: But that is not the best reason for revoking a licence --
4529 MR. BARRETT: True, but I am just saying Toronto already has --
4530 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: -- because somebody else would want it.
4531 MR. BARRETT: I am sorry to cut you off, sir.
4532 Toronto already has two other stations that are doing a fantastic job. I don't see CKLN, if they don't want to follow any -- maybe haven't done any mandatory orders or anything like that -- if they don't want to follow the rules, why they should be allowed to continue, why they can bring in, you know, student unions and CFS to help further their own groups, whether they be ties with OCAP or the FMTA or other groups like that. I think it deserves to go to maybe another campus, another community group.
4533 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Is this personal for you at all?
4534 MR. BARRETT: No, sir.
4535 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Sure?
4536 MR. BARRETT: Positive.
4537 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Ms Hamilton, you said that RSU funds were withheld. When did that occur and why did that occur?
4538 MS HAMILTON: RSU withheld the funds for three years and I was told that when I just was elected onto the board. So while I was elected onto the board, RSU had already been withholding the funds.
4539 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Do you know that for a fact or is that an opinion?
4540 MS HAMILTON: I was told by the outgoing board member -- another outgoing board member.
4541 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: But you don't know it for a fact?
4542 MS HAMILTON: Yes, I do know for a fact.
4543 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: You do know it for a fact?
4544 MS HAMILTON: Yes.
4545 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay.
4546 When you were associated with the board, what priority was given to adherence to CRTC Regulations?
4547 MS HAMILTON: Complete compliance was mandatory and was told by the program director, who constantly would monitor when we were on the air.
4548 As a new programmer, I read over the Programmer's Handbook and was able to comply with everything that was written in the Programmer's Handbook and it was on air. I had never been on a radio station before and this was my first time and I was able to comply with it.
4549 I was subsequently trained by Mike Phillips and Tony Barnes on how to handle technical aspects of the station to make sure that we were in regular compliance.
4550 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Is this personal at all for you?
4551 MS HAMILTON: Personal in what way, sir?
4552 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Are you motivated by personal feelings of anger?
4553 MS HAMILTON: No. I used to be a listener of the radio station as well. I actually used to listen to Ron Nelson's show when he used to have a hip-hop show.
4554 So my only thing is to make sure that campus radio station is done properly and complies with what the CRTC has been asking, and other radio stations that I listen to have always complied with what the CRTC is asking for.
4555 I have listened to CIUT. I have also listened to Humber. I have listened to York University's radio station. And they are all campus radio stations who have complied with the CRTC.
4556 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, thank you. Those are my questions.
4557 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Molnar?
4558 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
4559 I just want to state before I ask my question that we have read what you filed with us and you brought up in here, once again, the issue regarding the relationship with the RSU and particularly the issue of the licensing tenancy agreement. I am expecting that tomorrow in the rebuttal CKLN will address that with us further. Your position is clear based on what you filed.
4560 I have just one other question. It is for Mr. Barrett.
4561 You say that Ryerson students, the Radio and Television Arts students have set up their own Internet radio station.
4562 MR. BARRETT: Yes, that is correct.
4563 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: And then you go on to say that Journalism professors have their students receive training and credit from the U of T.
4564 MR. BARRETT: CIUT 89.5, in fact, yes.
4565 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Sorry?
4566 MR. BARRETT: CIUT, yes. Not the university, the university's radio station at U of T.
4567 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Yes, yes. Sorry. CIUT, yes.
4568 So are these new initiatives or how long has this been --
4569 MR. BARRETT: I believe the CIUT thing has been going on for over a decade.
4570 The Ryerson radio online was going on for a while as well. When I was on the board, we went from two hours of student programming to 24 hours of student programming. The current board of directors, you know, coming in, I think they are back to maybe two hours of student programming.
4571 A lot of those same students we got from the Ryerson online radio station and they don't like the climate and they have gone back.
4572 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Sorry, I missed -- this Internet radio station has been there for sometime?
4573 MR. BARRETT: It has been there for about, I don't know, five years -- I can't remember -- when Shipley, who she had mentioned was on the board before, was in charge of that.
4574 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. Five years for that and you said even longer for the --
4575 MR. BARRETT: Possibly --
4576 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: -- Journalism students?
4577 MR. BARRETT: That is correct, at least a decade that I know of.
4578 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. Thank you very much. Those are my questions.
4579 MR. BARRETT: All right.
4580 THE CHAIRPERSON: I believe that concludes this panel.
4581 I think that is it for today.
4582 Start tomorrow...?
4583 THE SECRETARY: Yes. We will resume tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. Thank you.
4584 THE SECRETARY: Thank you and good morning.
4585 I would now call Greg Duffell and Daniel Besharat to appear as a panel to present their intervention.
4586 Legal Counsel Crystal Hulley will now swear in the intervenors.
4587 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
4588 We will start with Mr. Greg Duffell.
4589 Mr. Duffell, you have 10 minutes for your presentation.
4590 MR. DUFFELL: I thank the Commissioners for granting me an invitation to appear at this important hearing concerning the future of the licensee CKLN Radio Incorporated.
4591 My name is Greg Duffell. I have volunteered for the better part of the last decade at CKLN as the co-host and producer of a popular current events spoken word program.
4592 Since 2005, once I became familiar with CKLN's bylaws, board and staffing structure, I was increasingly concerned about the integrity of decision-making at CKLN. Rules were not being followed.
4593 I learned that back in the year 2000 CKLN went about altering its bylaws to create three new voting positions on its board: seats for the Station Manager, Program Director and "former core staff." Another seat, for faculty or administration of Ryerson University, was removed entirely. These decisions all ran counter to the CRTC's Campus Radio Policy issued that same year.
4594 In the ensuing years, CKLN held Annual General Meetings irregularly and arbitrarily, as shown in my accompanying chart, Table 1. You will also notice that in a 10-year period only one or two sets of audited statements were ever distributed.
4595 CKLN's lack of transparency in its fiscal affairs and their seemingly deliberate steps at non-compliance with the CRTC were harbingers of trouble.
4596 For over four years, between 2003 and 2007, CKLN had no station manager. By 2004, CKLN was so deeply in debt that it faced bankruptcy. That year the Ryerson Students' Union, the RSU, bailed CKLN out in a backroom deal.
4597 I am going to move more contemporaneously now and talk about staffing.
4598 CKLN's new administration has not hired a Station Manager or Program Director, operating without day-to-day operational management for well over a year, with no end in sight.
4599 On page 3 of CKLN's September 2009 CRTC Report 2, CKLN stated the intention to "exclude the station manager and program director from future boards" and that it is "an obvious conflict of interest that is associated by any party occupying both positions simultaneously."
4600 Yet, since that was written, Vice-Chair/Secretary Andrew Lehrer and Chair Ron Nelson appointed themselves de facto CKLN Station Manager and Program Director and remained on the board in spite of the "obvious conflict of interest."
4601 Programming at CKLN has been reactionary under the current leadership. Ron Nelson's stated goal in September 2009 was to simply restore CKLN's pre-2007 program schedule. His first action, however, was to double the amount of airtime he occupied to six hours a week. As usual, token attention was paid to student programming.
4602 Many initiatives were promised in the September 2009 report, not the least of which was the vow to engage in extensive "technical volunteer training." It is doubtful any serious effort was undertaken in this regard given the multitude of compliance lapses in the Commission's ensuing 2010 evaluation of CKLN's logs and records.
4603 CKLN responded by suggesting that they would be relying on proxy staff at Ottawa's NCRA "to ensure that all necessary regulatory and supervisory steps are taken." 4604 On that note, I feel it is important to mention how the NCRA has played a dubious role in events at CKLN.4605 In July 2009, two NCRA officials traveled to Toronto from Ottawa and were inserted into the governance of CKLN. They assumed the roles of Chair and Secretary, arbitrarily determined membership, ignored the bylaws and conducted elections for a "new" CKLN board.
4606 Who was it that arranged for their appearance, provided them this sweeping authority and paid their expenses at a time when the elected board had been locked out of CKLN?
4607 What I do know is that this was done inside the premises of, and sanctioned by, the RSU and the PALIN Foundation.
4608 I am going to move to what I consider to be the aspect of the financial viability of CKLN going forward.
4609 According to CKLN, the absence of paid staff is due to lack of funds. In their September 2009 report, there was no coherent plan for CKLN to raise capital.
4610 CKLN's first fundraising drive since that report has recently concluded and appears to have fallen far short of its stated financial expectations.
4611 CKLN traditionally announces pledged fundraising totals that are far in excess of the funds eventually collected. CKLN's auditors always state that CKLN's revenue from fundraising and advertising activities are "not susceptible to satisfactory audit verification."
4612 Since the postponement of the CRTC hearing in May, CKLN has released no less than four previously unseen sets of yearly audited statements that date back to 2006.
4613 Based on these statements, revenue appears insufficient to pay for staff, for instance. Revenue from advertising is hidden. No effective strategy to optimize the four minutes of advertising per hour allowed by the CRTC has ever been developed. Ideological disputes and corruption results in little to no revenue accruing to CKLN.
4614 There is considerable use, however, of CKLN airtime by hosts in aid of their own business enterprises and for personal profit. For instance, current CKLN Chair Ron Nelson, as I said before, hosts two weekly three-hour programs, both of which promote, and one is even named after, Mr. Nelson's company Reggaemania.
4615 Extemporizing here for a moment, if I may, yesterday upon questioning about the prospect of suspension of the licence, I noticed the horror and revulsion expressed by Mr. Nelson and others. I suspect this is a reaction based on their fear about loss of personal income.
4616 CKLN receives no regular grants. The Ryerson student levy remains CKLN's only real source of income. Going forward, it is difficult to see how CKLN's rising cost structure in terms of salaries, benefits and technical operations can be financed.
4617 Now, I am going to move on to a very important topic, I think, and that is the transfer of ownership and control which the CRTC has brought up in this hearing.
4618 The RSU, which occupies a seat on CKLN's board, has been aware of the deteriorating situation at CKLN for years. Without nomination or approval by the CKLN membership, the RSU's auditing firm became CKLN's auditors. That was back in somewhere around 2007.
4619 Something unusual occurred in 2007 also. The board of CKLN was not as amenable to the influence of the RSU as it had previously been. As a result, the RSU began to distance itself and by early 2008 was boycotting their seat on CKLN's board entirely.
4620 It seems that when the RSU could no longer be assured of getting their way at CKLN, they turned their attentions to fomenting and encouraging a rebellion, advanced by their loyal adherents, including CKLN paid staff, along with their dupes and cronies within the membership.
4621 For two years, chaos ensued as the RSU encouraged and facilitated a board in exile whose ranks included Ron Nelson, former Station Manager Conrad Collaco, and a man who posed as Chair of CKLN, Arnold Minors, who was not a member of CKLN and who ran a professional consultancy firm.
4622 By late 2008, the RSU cut off funds to CKLN. In March 2009, after their tag-team partner the PALIN Foundation locked CKLN's doors, the RSU appears to have directly paid many of CKLN's bills and controlled its transmitter.
4623 The RSU demanded specific remedies at CKLN, identical to those their ally Arnold Minors had been promoting the year before, which had included mediation by the NCRA.
4624 Those who currently speak as the CKLN board, although aligned with the RSU, may have been coerced into signing the new PALIN agreement before being allowed to enter the CKLN premises in September 2009. CKLN was denied their student levy funds until such time as they agreed to sign the new RSU agreement about funding in January 2010.
4625 "CKLN must appease the RSU." This is a verbatim quote by so-called Treasurer of CKLN Michael Harnett at a board meeting on November 9, 2009. I view appeasement as a practice historically entered into at the expense of principle.
4626 It would appear to me that if subsequent boards do not meet the approval of the RSU in a variety of ways, the signed agreements allow for CKLN to be evicted from its premises as well as cut off from its funds.
4627 If CKLN had a modicum of independence in the past, it has surely been lost now. Despite all the denials by both the board of CKLN and the RSU, the facts are plain, I believe. The RSU and the PALIN Foundation control CKLN.
4628 The executives of the Canadian Federation of Students allied entities Ryerson Students' Union, the PALIN Foundation and CESAR have a fortress mentality. Whatever entity exists inside what they consider to be their sphere must toe their line.
4629 The Commission is correct in addressing the role played by the RSU and the PALIN Foundation with relation to CKLN and its operations. I believe their reckless interference and desire for control poses grave dangers for CKLN's future.
4630 This ends my presentation and thank you again.
4631 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
4632 We will now proceed with Mr. Daniel Besharat.
4633 Mr. Besharat, you have 10 minutes for your presentation.
4634 MR. BESHARAT: Thank you.
4635 Good morning, Mr. Chair, Commissioners. My name is Daniel Besharat. I would like to thank the Commissioners and staff for providing time for my comments.
4636 Let me tell you a little bit about myself. My goal as a longtime programmer at CKLN has been to produce quality programming and be an engaged member of the station. Listeners have donated funds to my show, ranking it in the top three programs during CKLN's yearly fundraising drives.
4637 CKLN is a deeply factionalized organization. Yet, I have avoided becoming part of any organized faction. I am a true volunteer at CKLN, working towards its best interests.
4638 During my available time I will speak to the issues surrounding CKLN's non-compliance with Radio Regulations, CKLN's financial viability and ownership.
4639 Let us turn to the unlistenable logger tapes that CKLN supplied for the Commission's evaluation.
4640 Logger tapes are central to the CRTC'S ability to evaluate compliance with Radio Regulations. CKLN's failure to provide proper logger tapes extends back years. CKLN has consistently failed to meet logger tape obligations and attached as Table 1 is a summary of this history.
4641 Current administrators of CKLN were told in October 2009 that clear and complete logger recordings were required to be kept. Yet, by January 2010 CKLN was still keeping inaudible logs.
4642 I believe that when CKLN told the Commission in 2009 that the logger tape problem was resolved and that the station was committed to meeting all Regulations that this was a deliberate and wilful deceit in the hopes that the Commission would believe the words on paper and turn away.
4643 Training at CKLN has historically been poor or nonexistent, resulting in the lack of compliance found in the performance evaluation. In my time at CKLN I have never received training relevant to the Regulations.
4644 This leads us to the deteriorated content programming. Spoken word, ethnic and Canadian content programming are significant and important aspects that differentiates campus radio from commercial radio.
4645 In a review of the January 10 to 16, 2010 broadcast week I have prepared a table outlining CKLN's requirements versus actual broadcast content. Table 2 and 3 will show that despite CKLN's broadcast range covering millions of people, the station does not conform to the Commission's spoken word or ethnic programming requirements.
4646 CKLN has arbitrarily created a whole new definition of what it considers "ethnic programming." At CKLN such programming is delivered in English and not a third language.
4647 The performance evaluation detailed the myriad of problems during one day. An examination of the full week would have shown that there was no effort to conform to the Radio Regulations.4648 There is no outreach. CKLN is fanatical, they don't want diversity. Why? Because they operate in an insular environment with the goal of reducing participation to one faction, their own, those you saw here before you yesterday.
4649 To consider CKLN's future viability, I believe that we must first look at its troubled past. Internal difficulties and financial problems have plagued CKLN for decades and Table 4 outlines this with newspaper reports.
4650 Quotes from these newspaper reports include: "hostile environment of intimidation, manipulation"; "$21,000 in outstanding bills"; "$200,000 in debt"; "owed between $50,000 and $60,000 in two outstanding bank repayments"; "CKLN should be dismantled."
4651 Regardless of who is in control of CKLN there is an inability or unwillingness to manoeuvre out of basic problems by simply reading and following established rules.
4652 During my time at the station I have watched as programming has deteriorated, listeners have drifted to Internet or satellite and donation levels have fallen drastically. CKLN has become moribund.
4653 The current administrators have demonstrated their inability to come up with creative solutions to financial matters. Instead, they default to failed policies. They have invoked the National Campus Radio Association in Ottawa as the saviour for Toronto's CKLN.
4654 There appears to be no interest in financial transparency at CKLN unless forced by a government agency. Three years of statements were clumped together only under pressure. A regular member does not stand a chance at finding out anything unless CKLN is dragged kicking and screaming into compliance.
4655 CKLN is a secretive organization. Financial crisis management is the hallmark at CKLN. It appears to me that despite lacking the skills to properly manage a radio station the current administrators are consumed with gaining power.
4656 This turns us to the important question as to who really controls CKLN.
4657 I watched during late 2008 and throughout 2009 as the ownership of CKLN was effectively transferred to a consortium including the Ryerson Students' Union and/or PALIN Foundation. The most troubling moments during this transfer process happened with the signing of "new" agreements with the Students' Union in September 2009 and January 2010.
4658 CKLN's original 1982 agreement with the Students' Union clearly outlined the role and responsibility to transfer funds to CKLN and make space available for the station.
4659 Under the new agreements, the Students' Union does not have ensure "equivalent space" be made available should a change to the current space occur and can "indefinitely withhold future instalments" of the student levy from CKLN.
4660 During 2009 access to CKLN's transmitter site required the approval of the Students' Union/PALIN Foundation. In a bid to gain power at CKLN the current administrators signed away CKLN's ownership to a third party.
4661 The student contribution to CKLN's funding, which makes up a whopping 95 percent of the station's operating budget, could vanish entirely pending a future referendum of Ryerson students.
4662 I would like to deviate for a moment from my script and make a few extra comments.4663 CKLN yesterday stated that they would a station manager and program director in two months, but they said they would have this in their September 2009 report.
4664 CKLN states that funding is secure, but how can this be the case when the Students' Union can revoke this money?
4665 CKLN states that on December 15th the bylaws will change, but students are still in exams. Students are not appreciated at CKLN and the new bylaws will not fix the problems that have existed.
4666 CKLN says that meetings are mandatory. I have been to these mandatory meetings. No one shows up. There is no discipline if you do not follow the rules.
4667 CKLN's answers yesterday appeared virtually at the last minute and given on the spot and I don't believe that they are convincing.
4668 In conclusion, CKLN has been consistently unable to comply with Regulations. In late 2009, CKLN made many promises to the Commission and since then has continued to break Regulations. By allowing obscenity and racist material, CKLN shows to this day that it does not understand the Regulations.
4669 As reported in a newspaper article on December 7, 2009, so-called CKLN Chair Ron Nelson stated: "We're back in good again with the CRTC."
4670 A public statement such as this, when not backed up by the necessary efforts to make such harmonious conditions a reality, undermines CKLN's credibility in terms of its many serious obligations.
4671 I do not know whether it is the job of the Commission to hold the hand of CKLN and to watch them every step of the way. CKLN has been given a privilege and with that privilege comes responsibility that they are unable to shepherd.
4672 At the membership level we are helpless. Telling them that they are not doing their job is the fastest way out the door.
4673 Mr. Chair, Commissioners, staff, thank you for your time in allowing me to present my thoughts as part of this hearing. I will be happy to answer your questions with regards to my submissions and comments.
4674 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you both very much for your presentations here this morning.
4675 I have a couple of questions and perhaps my colleagues have some as well.
4676 Can both of you tell me how long you were programmers at CKLN?
4677 As well as I think, Mr. Besharat, you said you had no formal training on Regulations. If you can expand upon what level of training you did have, how it was provided, whether it was mandatory attendance or not.
4678 And, Mr. Duffell, to the extent you had training, if you can elaborate on that as well, I would appreciate it.
4679 MR. DUFFELL: I started at CKLN in April 2000 as the host of at that time a one-hour radio program on Sunday mornings. I remained as the host of the program until October 2006 when the board of CKLN removed me from the show and basically banished me because I had just brought up complaints about corruption and so on at the station. So they just removed me and Daniel.
4680 I returned under the terms of a mediated settlement in a lawsuit that we both brought in May 2007. In December 2007 CKLN settled with us and we came back on the air to our slot on Sunday mornings, now two hours -- it had changed to two hours sometime around 2002 -- and we continued broadcasting until February 22nd, 2009 when the next week, the next Sunday, the station was effectively locked and we were unable to do the radio program any more. And we consider ourselves members still.
4681 As terms of -- in terms of the mediated settlement, the volunteer agreement that CKLN put forward we felt was unacceptable to sign and so we're still in -- we're in arbitration at the moment about this matter because that was one of the terms of our legal settlement. So that's basically my history with the station in terms of broadcasting.
4682 THE CHAIRPERSON: You're not currently on the air?
4683 MR. DUFFELL: No, I am not.
4684 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Mr. Besharat?
4685 MR. BESHARAT: I began in July of 2001, and I'll leave the rest of the history to what Mr. Duffel said.
4686 As for the -- as for your question about training, at the time in 2001 training was non-existent. I was on the air. No one approached and said, "You need to be trained". There was no formalized system by which someone at the station like the program director would sit you down and say, "Here's a rule book. Here's what you can do; here's what you cannot do".
4687 This was simply not the case. You could go on the air and it was -- there was almost a mentality at the station of just free air. Come in and just say what you want. Everything else can go out the window. There was no mandatory training of that particular type.
4688 In 2005, that changed. They began to have what they called a volunteer agreement. The primary purpose was to hand out security cards. CKLN had moved buildings and now you required a security card to get in the door. Before, the doors were just open. Doors were unlocked to the studio.
4689 You could literally walk in off the street, enter a Ryerson building, go through a couple of doors that were unlocked and you would be in the main on-air facility. Now you required a security card, and for that security card you had to sign a volunteer agreement.
4690 Again, this was more interested in don't leave the door open for other people than it was for follow the rules on air, follow -- you know, follow the regulations as stipulated by the Commission.
4691 And here it was only mandatory to the extent that if you needed a card. If your friend had a card and they could let you into the studio, no requirement to sign.
4692 As the years progressed and as the Commission, especially in July, began to come down on CKLN and say, "Well, what's happening with all these broken regulations?" then in September when they went back on the air, they said, "We need an agreement". And then they drafted that agreement.
4693 And this, for the first time -- again, there's a little bit of wording in here about -- or within that about following regulations. Was this mandatory? There's no way to tell.
4694 I've asked CKLN to see the -- look at the people on the air and have they signed this agreement. They're simply unwilling to provide this list. After you sign it, there's no quiz. There's no real way to make sure that it has actually entered a person's understanding of what the Regulations are.
4695 And as I spoke about training, they claim that these training sessions are mandatory. Virtually nobody shows up. I mean, they -- you heard yesterday about this bylaw meeting that they had I guess it was last week or the week before where they didn't get quorum. Quorum is 25 people. There are 20,000 students. They make a claim that there's 170 volunteers. How many community members are there, and they cannot achieve 25 people to pass bylaw reform.
4696 This is -- to me, it was just shocking. Nobody shows up. There is no punishment for that, so nothing is mandatory.
4697 MR. DUFFELL: I guess I didn't really answer about my training, and I will now.
4698 When I expressed interest about going to CKLN, which really was based on one of the programmers actually calling out to the audience because he was going to be leaving that program and I particularly liked this program, and I heeded the call, he trained me. I came down and he sort of explained how the board worked.
4699 There was no discussion about CRTC Regulations or any such thing, and I don't recall any regular training sessions that were offered at any point. I felt that -- when I got to CKLN, you know, I felt the station had been up and running for a long time.
4700 As a listener, you know, there isn't always notices about what's in or out of compliance, so I just assumed these people knew what they were doing. And I knew that -- I knew some common sense things that you couldn't do, but even then whenever, by mistake, I might have crossed over that line and I got very worried about it and would phone in to the station manager and say, "Oh, you know, I did something bad. I didn't realize there was a word in this song or something like that that I played". He would go, "Oh, don't worry about it".
4701 And I'd go -- I mean, I worried about it. I thought I don't want to be the one that makes CKLN lose its license. But there was a bit of a laissez-faire attitude in everybody else which I never had all the way through. I knew the basic rules, the common sense rules. But specifically, they'd never been presented to me.
4702 I mean, they never presented us the bylaws of the company. We never got any documentation as a -- you know, a person that would come to the station, as a new person. You didn't get an introductory package at all.
4703 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. I want to talk a bit about, I guess, Mr. Duffel, your submission this morning about unsatisfactory audit verification.
4704 Can you explain -- can both of you explain to this Panel what role programmers played in the advertising space? What were your obligations or what were your capabilities or permissions in terms of getting programming and how -- was there a compensation plan when you were there and to what extent do you know about it?
4705 MR. DUFFELL: I always thought when I heard advertising on CKLN that the money was going to the station. It would only make sense, really, but that wasn't the case, I found out later.
4706 But to tell you about my earliest recollections about discussions about advertising, I -- during fundraising, I was looking around and whatever contacts that I had in my daily going about the community that might be interested in having something to do with promotion on CKLN. And this would have been around the time of fundraising.
4707 I'd say this is in 2001. And it was a health food store and -- that I went to regularly. And I said, you know, "Would you be interested in donating something, you know, of some value that I could offer on my show and, you know, as an incentive to people to bid or offer some money to the station?"
4708 He said, "Oh, yeah, that sounds okay". And this became a bit bigger. He took a real interest in this. And the next -- I did it the first week, you know, maybe a $25 gift basket and then the next week, he says, you know, "I want to do more. I want to do more".
4709 And I go, "Okay", you know. More to go to the station, that's great.
4710 So he said, "What if we offered, you know, $500 or something?" And I go -- of goods. And I go, "Well, that's great".
4711 So then there was a topic -- it came up how -- something about advertising came up later about them actually advertising on the station, getting advertising for their contribution, you know, in lieu of their contribution to the station, that it would be, you know, they'd get a little bit of advertising.
4712 And I remember the station manager and the program director at the time said, "Oh, you know, you can get a commission on that". And I was a bit taken aback by it, really, because I came to CKLN as a volunteer. I never thought of making money out of it.
4713 I thought that I was going to be contributing to the station. If I was raising money, it would go the station. We needed -- I mean, the equipment was appalling. We needed -- it seemed like we were always cash strapped and I thought, well -- I thought it was my duty to bring money to the station, so -- and I was surprised.
4714 And I said to them, I said, "I don't want any money". But that obviously led open the possibility that other people were making money.
4715 What struck me about yesterday's -- the presentation by CKLN, at one point you may recall that they were talking about -- they were sort of confused about what the commission was on -- for advertising. And Mr. Nelson turns, "Is it 10?" And they go, "Oh, it's 15".
4716 Well, I believe in -- I think it's the submission of Josie Miner you'll find documentation that shows that Mr. Nelson had arranged to get 25 percent commission. There's a signed document in there, if my memory serves me correctly.
4717 So there were varying -- certain people would get certain amounts of compensation. I mean, I'm shocked -- you know, these people are all saying, "Oh, I'm a volunteer".
4718 You know, I'm taking care of someone right now that's terminally ill and I take her to the hospital and -- Princess Margaret, and there are volunteers there. If I thought those volunteers somehow got paid money or something, I mean, they wouldn't be volunteers, would they?
4719 I consider myself to be a volunteer. I know Daniel was. And I resent people making money off that station that call themselves volunteers. Notice Mr. Nelson said he was employed there.
4720 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Can we hear from Mr. Besharat?
4721 MR. BESHARAT: Yes, thank you.
4722 A few things to note, I think, about the volunteers and advertising space. First of all, there's virtually no regulation. I've had discussions with Mr. Harnett about -- we've presented to him ideas. We go here's this person on the air that clearly you can hear some level of advertisement is going on. Are they being monitored? Are they -- where is the paper trail that goes between that ad and CKLN? Nothing exists.
4723 It is regular as from listening to CKLN that going over four minutes an hour, which is against regulations, is commonplace. That it would happen a few times a week would not be uncommon at CKLN.
4724 Volunteers at CKLN are, in essence, independent agents without a strong oversight of, let's say, an advertising director. Poor paperwork at CKLN, virtually no paperwork, has led, finally, to the audited statement saying we cannot satisfactorily come back and say we know what's going on with the advertisement.
4725 I don't believe CKLN has had an advertising position for a few years now. It's been at least 2007. It's been quite a few years, if not even longer than that. It's poor.
4726 And the one thing I asked Mr. Harnett, I had discussions. I say, "I hear so much advertisement on the air. If I calculate what, on average, is going out on the air and if I look at the numbers in CKLN's books, they don't match. CKLN should be making at least this much money, but they're making half or a quarter. Why is that? No regulation.
4727 And when people are independent agents and they're allowed to simply get away with whatever they want to get away with, they want to keep that power. They want to keep that regime going. And that's what we have at CKLN.
4728 THE CHAIRPERSON: Can I just ask you this specific question?
4729 When you were on air, did you have an obligation to generate a degree of -- a certain amount of revenue and were you compensated for it?
4730 MR. BESHARAT: No.
4731 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
4732 MR. BESHARAT: The only -- just one little caveat to that. During our fundraising, they would come and say what a show goal was so, for example, they would come before the yearly fundraising drive and they would say, "Your goal is $250". And then you would try to make that or you would not make that, but that goal on a personal basis would not be relevant in any particular way.
4733 If you made the 250, I guess you got a pat on the back. If you were at 25 percent of that, shows then disappear because they didn't make money.
4734 THE CHAIRPERSON: But you didn't get a compensation of 15 percent or whatever the number was they were quoting.
4735 MR. BESHARAT: Not -- never. I've never gotten a single penny from CKLN, nor -- during fundraising you're not offered that.
4736 THE CHAIRPERSON: All right. Okay. Just my last question.
4737 Both of you were silent on what action, from your perspective, the CRTC should take. I think, Mr. Besharat, you said we should look critically into the situation, was your summation and your initial comments.
4738 You heard yesterday in the opening remarks and again through the day the notion that we have available to us mandatory orders, suspension, revocation. I believe NCRA came in with a proposal that maybe can be worked out. I have no idea. But their proposal was a two-year renewal.
4739 What are you proposing? What are you suggesting this Panel do?
4740 MR. DUFFELL: In my original submission, I -- this was in April. I suggested mandatory orders.
4741 Now, I'm not a -- you know, I'm not an expert about what that would entail from your end, form their end. I mean, I kind of have an idea it would involve Court orders.
4742 But yesterday, Chairman Katts went on at length about the suspension. And I noted earlier in my submission here today about the reaction by CKLN. And I had a chance to think about that, about suspension, and I don't think I really thought much about that one before, you know, until it had been discussed here.
4743 And I thought it made a lot of sense because CKLN is -- they're saying they don't have a paid staff yet. They've got all these problems, perhaps, potentially with compliance because of the programming and not having things absolutely in line. And there seems to be a lot to put together in terms of the company.
4744 And I thought if I were in their position, I might look at suspension as being a bit of a relief, a time where -- a little timeout where you could get it together, get things in compliance, get a good station manager, get a good program director and not be worried about the day-to-day operations of keeping that radio station going.
4745 And as Chairman Katts and others said yesterday, that the money, evidently, is secure. The funds are coming in from the students every year, so that's secure. If -- so I guess I've changed my mind about it from, you know, seven or eight months ago and from having pondered it, I guess I think the suspension one is probably in the best interests of CKLN and the people who are charged with reforming it.
4746 So that's my view on that.
4747 MR. BESHARAT: I guess I'll go from revocation to mandatory orders.
4748 On revocation, I think the question was, you know, who would it be good for. On a -- for a station that isn't meeting ethnic programming requirements, is playing Tacoma, Washington radio for hours during a day, a station that isn't meeting Spoken Word programming and Aboriginal and French programming, who it would be good for is the Toronto community so that they would get stations that do conform with the Regulations.
4749 But there is a need for community radio, so revocation is a problem.
4750 Suspension, I believe, is also a problem because notice all the resistance. But will it only save CKLN for a day or for a month? And I guess this is the same comment I would make about mandatory orders.
4751 As I've shown in my submissions and my oral presentation, CKLN's problems are not simply two years old or five years old or 10 years old; they go back 15, 20 years. Virtually to the early days of CKLN's existence.
4752 CKLN problems will happen again. Crises will happen over and over and over if we look at the historical information in front of us.
4753 The problem is, how do you really change CKLN? And what you need is you need a really deep overhaul, ground to the top. And I believe that if you only look at the surface and you just skim away the surface and you fix just that, there's no dealing with the root causes of CKLN's problems.
4754 And I think that unless you really get right to the core, CKLN will go through financial crisis after financial crisis, managerial crisis after managerial crisis, not having paid staff to run the day-to-day operations, continuing to fail at Regulations. It's a real problem.
4755 And I don't know. I mean, to answer your question, I don't know which one I would stand behind at 100 percent because how do you deal with that root cause. How do you go after that? Do you -- I mean, mandatory orders. Are we talking about laying out 50 mandatory orders?
4756 I mean, as I said in my opening material, is it the job of the Commission to hold CKLN's hand all the way through this process?
4757 CKLN has shown repeatedly since July 2009 a simple lack of willingness to comply over and over and over and over again. There's pressure and pressure and failure and failure. What do you do?
4758 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well ---
4759 MR. BESHARAT: I think it's a difficult -- I think it's a very difficult question.
4760 THE CHAIRPERSON: What is -- so what? Shut it down, or what?
4761 MR. BESHARAT: The options are before you. I think each of them has a good aspect and I think each of them has problems. I think that no matter which one is selected, I believe that without going to the root, to the causes of CKLN's problems, which is very difficult -- and I know from a membership point of view it's very difficult no matter which one is selected.
4762 I believe that maybe the problem will be cured for a month; maybe it'll be cured for six months, but come back a year, come back three years, it'll simply repeat myself because that's what history tells me.
4763 If you look back, you see it happening over and over again. Sure, CKLn may have a couple of years here and a couple of years there that are good, but then you have this rollercoaster ride. It's very difficult.
4764 Thank you.
4765 THE CHAIRPERSON: Those are all my questions. Anybody, Panel? Mr. Denton.
4766 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Mr. Duffel, shut it down or not?
4767 MR. DUFFELL: Well, I have a long history with CKLN. I started as a listener and then I was there as -- been there as a volunteer and I had a chance to do a program. I took that program, you know, talking about the amount of -- you know, our responsibilities to raise money. I felt it was important to raise money.
4768 And Daniel and I got that program, a Sunday morning program, and you know that Sunday morning is a dead zone in radio. Our program was -- had to be the top show.
4769 COMMISSIONER DENTON: The question is ---
4770 MR. DUFFELL: But the thing is that I feel -- you know, I feel a certain emotional bond to CKLN and, you know, I think it's a good idea. You know, I -- so it's hard for me to say shut it down, so ---
4771 COMMISSIONER DENTON: If it weren't hard I wouldn't be asking the question 'cause we got to answer that one.
4772 MR. DUFFELLL: Well, as I said before, the idea of suspension, at least, puts the idea in is if they can't pull it together then it is shut down and it's their responsibility. It's their choice whether they want to get it together or not, whether they can get it together to your satisfaction and without, as I said, all the pressure.
4773 So I think that the suspension one puts the responsibility where it should be.
4774 Now, revoking, that's pretty harsh, you know, and I know that the Commission is -- doesn't often do that, so obvious -- you know, if -- I mean, it's not my professional job to decide these things, either.
4775 But again, my emotional bond, I guess, in a sense with CKLN, why I'm interested in CKLN. If I wasn't interested in it, you know, then I wouldn't be here.
4776 COMMISSIONER DENTON: So I'll take that as a no.
4777 MR. DUFFELLL: What?
4778 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Don't shut it down.
4779 MR. DUFFELLL: Well, I think suspension has the possibility of it being shut down.
4780 COMMISSIONER DENTON: I'll -- thank you. That's fine.
4781 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your appearance here. Let's get the next group on, and there's a five-minute pause while some copies are being made. But let's not leave the room or anything. --- Pause
4782 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman
4783 For the record, we have been advised that Mr. Tom Power listed on the agenda will not be appearing at the hearing.
4784 I would now invite Mr. Ken Taylor, Mr. David Cooper and Mr. Sid Whitaker to present their interventions.
4785 For the record, Mr. Ken Taylor is not in the room.
4786 We will now have legal counsel swear in the panel.
4787 THE SECRETARY: Thank you. We will begin with Mr. David James Cooper. Mr. Cooper, you have 10 minutes for your presentation.
4788 MR. COOPER: Thank you.
4789 I thank the Commission for the invitation to speak at these hearings. For the record, my name is David James Cooper, I was an employee at CKLN in 2008, 2009 as a coordinator for -- paid employee by the way -- coordinator for volunteers, students, and fundraising, as well as a host of various shows on CKLN from 1995 to the stations seizure and removal from the airwaves in March, 2009. I have also been a music journalist for a variety of newspapers for a number of years, and previously testified at CRTC hearings back in 1990 on an unrelated matter.
4790 In the interests of full disclosure and background, I am currently a programmer over at CIUT Radio where I was once on staff years ago as well.
4791 I wish to deal with some specific issues and questions raised by the Commission in these hearings. Number one is the issue of funding.
4792 The ability of CKLN to raise funds to pay for its essential services such as staffing, equipment upgrades, insurance, and legal problems is obvious. CKLN relies to an unhealthy degree on a student levy which, as the events of 2008 show, can be withheld at anytime. A shortfall which is not covered up by the levy is made up for partially by ad sales, some grants and through an annual funding drive.
4793 In this context the disappointing results of the last funding drive must be taken into account. CKLN had a stated goal to raise $88,000, which is a typical goal of years past. They actually claim to have raised $48,000 by the drive's end, although I noticed that in the hearing yesterday they upped that to over $50,000. Regardless, this is clearly dramatically less than $88,000.
4794 In factoring in these figures what the Commission should keep in mind is that this total is simply a projection based on pledges, it is not real money. CKLN has a historically low collection rate that will likely result in slightly less than half of the total actually being paid.
4795 The reasons for this, historically, have to do with an over reliance on a few musical genres whose audiences are prone to call in and make pledges, often large ones, so they can hear their names right on the air. They have no intention of actually paying up. This is just human nature, but it is something that has to be factored in at the end of the day.
4796 The lack of musical variety at CKLN will tend to make this problem worse over time as CKLN has chosen to rely on these musical genres and communities more heavily. Basically, if you are a fan of hip hop, for example, which I am sure you all are, and CKLN has over half a dozen or more hip hop shows. Then you are probably going to be quite happy with that, however you are not going to donate to all of them because you simply can't afford that.
4797 You are going to pick one or two of your favourites and leave it at that. And if you have $100 to give, you are not going to give $100 to each, you are going to give $50 to one and $50 to the other. Again, it is basic human nature.
4798 Basically, if you are putting all of your eggs in one or two baskets, that does not give you twice as many eggs, particularly if the baskets are already leaking as stated above.
4799 In addition to these long-term problems there were some specific problems with the last funding drive just past that should be mentioned. First, is the issue of timing. They chose to hold the funding drive a month before Christmas. This is unprecedented, I have never seen anybody do this before. They could not have picked a worse time for reasons that should be obvious. This, in turn, is bound to adversely affect their collection rate.
4800 There is also a serious lack of publicity. The funding drive started on a Friday, but it was not until the following Sunday that the website even mentioned it at all. Prior to this, the only reference to the funding drive was the note on the website, was a notice from 2008 which had the wrong date and the wrong phone number.
4801 To anticipate the inevitable excuse that they were having problems with their website and couldn't figure out how to update it, they obviously had been update it to announce CRTC hearings and support letters, and also to announce their AGM. The only other publicity to mention was a few emails sent out to staff, a Facebook invite that went out a week before, and three Twitter postings in the previous week.
4802 Other funding. The Commission has expressed concerns about CKLN's ability to raise funds through ad sales. Your questions were met with promises that programmers would be "encouraged" to sell ads and would be offered incentives in the way of commissions, which by their own admission have already been in place for years.
4803 That the public would be similarly encouraged to sell ads and would be encouraged to buy them, then members of the public would be encouraged to make donations. These are in fact the same promises they made to you October 2009 and which they have not yet met.
4804 They can offer all the encouragement they want, but they have not given you anything that can be considered any sort of strategy.
4805 Yesterday Mike Harnett told you that their plan was to work with some corporate ad agency. But how is this going to work? I have already spoken to ad agencies in the past on this and I will tell you the first question that they will ask is, what are your ratings, can we see your DBMs? And CKLN doesn't have any, CIUT does. CKLN relies on a free survey that was taken by a mobile track company in 2000 which was incomplete then and completely irrelevant now.
4806 Ad agencies also expect immediate, direct and positive answers and a professional attitude. They have no patience for dealing with various committees who are more concerned with making sure ads are politically and ecologically pure enough for their liking.
4807 Finally, ad agencies expect you to actually run the ads in full and on time. That means someone is going to have to monitor programming as it is happening to ensure this actually happens and the equipment to do so is always working. And no committee is going to do that.
4808 Finally, ad agencies do not work for the radio stations, they work for their clients who are the advertisers. If CKLN does not appeal to their demographic target they will not advise their clients to buy ads there. If they are not happy with their service, they will not return. It is not their job to help CKLN.
4809 In its October, 2010 report to the Commission CKLN made a number of other claims about potential fundraising plans to the effect of renting out the CKLN studios to record bands and outside radio ads. This, frankly, is utter nonsense. The CKLN studios are not setup for this. They can't be, they are small voice-over studios and the only band that could possibly record there would be of the one-man variety.
4810 Furthermore, they do not have a qualified recording engineer, nor have they budgeted for one. They do not have professional quality microphones and other such equipment that would enable them. They have not budgeted for this either. They themselves are constantly complaining about the state of existing equipment.
4811 At any rate, there is not exactly a shortage of professional quality studios in Toronto anyway, so it is hard to see what market they would be serving.
4812 Student involvement, this was one of my jobs in the past. In this requirement the CRTC states that campus community radio stations devote sometime to students which is "relevant to their field of study." CKLN cannot be said to be doing this in anyway.
4813 Part of my job that I most enjoyed in 2008 was working with students. We made this a priority. I held meetings personally with Ryerson faculty and students about finding a meaningful role for them, particularly in the radio, television and journalism departments, which Ryerson has. We set aside some airtime for them, we held training sessions and we were able to significantly increase on-air student involvement in accessible time spots. We also had four work study positions and a number of high-school co-ops. All of this was met with extreme hostility by certain factions at CKLN and has all since been undone.
4814 Since the takeover of CKLN the current board has made many promises about increasing student involvement. In their 2009 report to the Commission they devote two pages to this. To date, they have delivered on none of it. Their sole student activity in 2009/2010, besides a constant search to recruit and then replace student board members, was a single "student recruitment meeting" in 2009 which was cancelled and then not rescheduled. Aside from that the rest is window dressing.
4815 In their submission the NCRA claims that CKLN has added four new student shows. What the NCRA may not be aware of is that these are in fact the same shows that existed three years ago, albeit with different hosts, they simply moved a couple around and changed the name on one of them. And most are, in fact, at early morning hours that could not be filled anyway.
4816 In my 2008 meetings with Ryerson faculty I was met with great skepticism about CKLN's ability and willingness to be more open and accommodating. Simply stated, CKLN has always had a bad reputation for its highly politicized and toxic atmosphere and faculty were reluctant to subject their students to a hostile environment.
4817 But I had a good personal reputation and a number of journalism and RTA students backed me in these discussions, and faculty was won over, only to have their students treated with suspicion and ultimately most of their shows cancelled. I do not believe that Ryerson faculty will want to risk subjecting their students to the mercies of CKLN again.
4818 In fact, both the RTA and journalism departments at Ryerson have already given up on CKLN and they have both set up their own separate online radio stations where students will not have to endure the endless political jockeying of CKLN. The addition of CKLN to a résumé is not even seen to be helpful anymore given CKLN's bad reputation. Whatever opportunity there was to address this lack is long gone now.
4819 The issue with staffing. The Commission has addressed the concerns about the lack of staffing at CKLN and asked a question of the NCRA about how many campus stations have no staff. The answer was that there were many. I can in fact actually think of three in the GTA; there is CFRE in Erindale, CKRG in Glendon and CHOP in Newmarket. However, it must be stated that these are all tiny stations with less than 10 watts, they only broadcast from about 8:00 a.m. to midnight, and they only broadcast during the school year and they break for Christmas and March break. To compare them to CKLN, which is a 24/7 station with a much larger signal and budget, is impossible.
4820 In an earlier case I can recall the campus community station in Prince Edward Island, CIMN, which got its licence in 1995 with no staff. At the time of granting that licence the Commission expressed serious reservations about lack of staff. And by 1999, that station was off the air and has remained so. would also point to the histories of CJWV in Winnipeg in 2008 and CHSC in St. Catharines this year in which similar concerns were raised.
4821 I recognize that there were of course different issues raised in each case, but this issue of a station being able to maintain in compliance, raise funds, maintain equipment and do any sort of long-term business plan is jeopardized without competent staff.
4822 I am going to divert here from my written script for a second. The Commission has asked several questions about incidents involving on-air compliance at CKLN, dead air, profanity, a phantom broadcast from Tacoma Washington. And the response of CKLN has been, we will start punishing people. The next time this happens heads will roll.
4823 But this is the wrong answer. It is missing the point. The real question is how does it happen in the first place and why does it continue to happen? It happens because there is nobody minding the store. It is pointless to blame an untrained volunteer for a mistake they made if they were not given instruction on how to deal with dead air or nobody arriving in time. This is a matter of both training and day to day supervision.
4824 I understand that mistakes can happen at any station. And if they happen at 3:00 in the morning and nobody noticed, I can understand that. But if 3:00 in the afternoon and they are broadcasting from Tacoma, Washington for several hours and nobody noticed or they are broadcasting an hour of dead air and no one noticed? How is that even possible. The only way that is possible is if there is nobody there watching the place. That is unacceptable.4825 The staffing issue at CKLN is further complicated by the highly politicized nature and culture of entitlement at CKLN which makes it next to impossible for any proposed station manager or program director to actually manage or direct. If they are simply a glorified office manager doing mostly paperwork and at the constant mercy of a bewildering array of committees and a micromanaging board, they cannot be expected to do make any real decisions, let alone difficult of unpopular ones.
4826 The dependence on RSU. CKLN is dependent to an unhealthy degree on the goodwill of the Ryerson Students' Union. This dependence is increased by CKLN's inability to raise significant funds independently or competently manage the funds they do get. This enables RSU to interfere in the affairs of CKLN whenever they want simply withholding or even threatening to withhold the levy or threatening to evict CKLN, as they did.
4827 There is nothing stopping this from happening again in the future either. Earlier I referred to the case of CIMN in PEI, which was shutdown in 1999 after much interference from the student union there, which had designs on their levy and office space.
4828 I also recall the case of CFRE in Erindale, which was going for a signal increase in about the year 2000 or so only to suddenly be undercut by the student union which evicted them from their studios and offices and took them for themselves. Or the ongoing situation at CKMS in Waterloo, which has already been shutdown by the interfering student union there.
4829 Student unions are politicians, they will behave like politicians if you let them. They will interfere where they are not needed, they will grab power where they sense weakness, they will exploit political divisions. Once again, it is human nature. And the more you are dependent on them, the weaker you are, and CKLN is very dependent indeed.
4830 THE SECRETARY: Excuse me, Mr. Cooper.
4831 MR. COOPER: Yes.
4832 THE SECRETARY: Please wrap up. You have two minutes remaining. Thank you.
4833 MR. COOPER: That is fine.
4834 In its statement CKLN has referred to RSU as a "benefactor" a "trustee" and a "partner." This is a dangerous misreading of the proper relationship. CKLN and RSU are not partners, RSU is not a benefactor. CKLN was neither licensed nor incorporated this way. This de facto dependency has not led to stability of CKLN anymore than at CIMN, CKMS or CFRE and there is no reason to believe that it will do so now.
4835 In addition, the absence of and indifference of Ryerson University itself has already been noted by the Commission. If Ryerson itself is not prepared to take any interest in supporting them, then what does that say about CKLN's long-term relevance and stability? As I have stated above in explaining the disengagement of the RTA and journalism departments to the extent of funding and setting up their own online radio stations -- I am going to move it along.
4836 It would be expected that the Commission would have here today letters of support from Ryerson University along with a commitment to guarantee stable funding. That you would have at least some students here to show support here or a petition, or you would have letters of support from Ryerson Faculty. That you do not, speaks volumes.
4837 The Commission has repeatedly asked that mandatory orders are needed at CKLN. The position of both CKLN and their answer is that nothing needs to be done because all their problems are in the past. Clearly, this is an untenable argument. I do not know if mandatory orders are sufficient to deal with the problems, which are structural and even embedded in the culture of CKLN. But there is certainly a bare minimum to ensure basic compliance if that is even possible anymore.
4838 Even in the answer to a direct and on-point question from the Commission at which you asked directly, "If mandatory orders were imposed, how would you change how you run CKLN starting tomorrow?" The answer you got was, nothing, nothing will change because we are 98 per cent in compliance. To even make such an answer shows they don't really get it, something stronger is required.
4839 I am also greatly concerned with the message that will emerge from these hearings. I realize that sending message is not the Commission's prime role. But the question must be asked, "What does it mean to the campus community sector as a whole when a station can be blatantly, openly and publicly out of compliance for so long on so many levels and suffer no real consequences?
4840 Over at CIUT we were getting prepared for our licence renewal this year, which has been extended. We take great care to ensure compliance and stability, and CKLN has not because factions there and at RSU would rather fight among themselves and follow personal agendas. They should not be rewarded for this.
4841 The message must be that this is not a game, the rules must be followed by everyone with no exceptions and there must be consequences to blatant non-compliance. The rule of law must be followed.
4842 Thank you.
4843 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
4844 We will now proceed with Mr. Sid Whitaker. Mr. Whitaker, you have 10 minutes for your presentation.
4845 Thank you.
4846 MR. WHITTAKER: My name is Sid Whitaker and I would like to thank the Commissioners for allowing me time to speak today at these hearings.
4847 I am a former volunteer host of CKLN who hosted an overnight show and did fill-ins for a few years back from 1995 to 2000. I therefore do have some relevant experience of CKLN. I mention this to refute Andrew Lehrer's written response of November in this year, paragraph 8, in which he claimed that I have never been a member of or volunteer of CKLN nor has he ever attended any meetings at CKLN as far as we can tell. Therefore, his comments are not only highly subjective, they are based (sic) on any firsthand experience or direct knowledge of CKLN's internal situation.
4848 Besides the earlier experience, I have also followed the various highly public disputes which have surrounded CKLN since 2008, which have been highly publicized in various media outlets and message boards.
4849 I have limited myself to on-air incidents which are in the public realm when I point out that the quality of on-air programming at CKLN has suffered a noticeable decline since 2009, which directly shows the inability of untrained and unprofessional volunteers to manage day to day on-air conduct and maintain equipment when they are being managed by even less qualified and untrained management and no apparent actual staff.
4850 My complaints of April and July of 2010 detail only a partial list of on-air mistakes which range from minor to unprecedented. And range from numerous incidents of dead air to profanity, to confused hosts admitting on the air that they do not know the simplest things such as how to turn on a mike, how to plug in headphones, or how to find programs on the computer.
4851 In a few cases hosts have actually asked, on the air, for someone to call in and help them out, which apparently never seems to happen.
4852 The excuses from CKLN for this have ranged to denials that these events have occurred to blaming their volunteer host for not knowing what they are supposed to be doing and blaming the state of the equipment.
4853 I agree that this is not the job of volunteer hosts, some of whom may not have any experience to be experts in dealing with such problems. It is, however, the job of management to both train them and to be monitoring the day to day programming and to be able to provide leadership and solve some problems as they arise. Obviously, that is not happening. It is clear that the stated status of CKLN as an all-volunteer station has failed.
4854 Even if there was such day-to-day management at CKLN the conduct of the current board of CKLN is severely compromised, as is shown by its actions, including to incident of July 8, 2010, which I previously wrote the CRTC about.
4855 As the Commission will recall, that in the case of Wednesday, July 7, 2010 CKLN aired live feed from an NPR radio station from Tacoma Washington for much of the day starting at 7:30 a.m. without explanation in the apparent absence of anybody in the booth or offices. This live feed included ads and station IDs from NPR station in Washington and had no mention of CKLN nor any apparent Canadian content, as required.4856 In their reply CKLN again blamed volunteer staff who they claimed had acted without permission. But they did not address at all the question of how a board member and show host could come in at 11:00 a.m. and do her show until 2:00 p.m., then turn the feed back on before apparently leaving.
4857 Nor did this address the bigger question of how is it possible that this could go on for much of the day during office hours without anyone either noticing or taking action?
4858 Similarly, there is no explanation from CKLN as to why the numerous examples of dead air and confused hosts, which have happened during regular hours, can be allowed to continue to happen without any apparent supervision or oversight.
4859 To make the above problems worse the hostile attitude of CKLN to any criticism which is shown in their replies to me, as well as their numerous public statements about the "enemies of CKLN" who they blame all problems on.
4860 As further evidence, I refer the Commission to the reply I got from CKLN on July 7, 2010 which even CKLN now admits in its letter on November, 2010 contained language that was "overly motive" and "inappropriate".
4861 However, in the same letter CKLN is again using insulting language calling me "disillusioned" and making a completely unsubstantiated claim that I have been "coordinating" a complaint from another complaint about the July 8, 2010 broadcast with one filed by a Johnathan Mitchell.
4862 For the record, I would like to inform the Commission that I am unaware of the other complaint and I do not personally know Mr. Mitchell nor have I heard the name before. However, I do share no surprise that more than one person has actually been complaining about CKLN.
4863 In their response CKLN further complains that I did not contact them instead of filing a compliant with the CRTC. But in CKLN's letters to me and various public statements over the past two years reveal there is a hostile bunker mentality at CKLN which actively discourages any criticism or complaint as "anti-CKLN" and unworthy of consideration. CKLN also seeks to dismiss my complaint because I didn't file it fast enough for their liking.
4864 However, because of the odd nature of the July 8 broadcast from Washington and the dismissive and insulting reply of my previous complaint, I felt it appropriate to take time to research the KPLU broadcast online and confirm if there was an appropriate reason for this to have occurred.
4865 Finally, in the responses to me CKLN has also denied that members of CKLN, including members of the board, have been using the airwaves for personal profit. Calling such claims defamatory and deeply offensive. However, a search of the website reggaemania.com, run by a host of two shows on CKLN, actually includes a price list with payment instructions. Even a cursory listen to these shows makes it clear that the various paid announcements are beyond the limited amount of ad time allowed for campus radio.
4866 Furthermore, it is not made clear that these announcements are paid ads at all, which allows CKLN to continually claim that these are community announcements and they were done as a service, although a price list clearly implies otherwise.
4867 Furthermore, the host in question also used the airwaves to promote the website in question, which in turn sells ad space for a profit. If CKLN is actually going to get a cut from this arrangement, correspondence with CKLN does not say so.
4868 The responses in CKLN's two letters are completely non-responsive and disingenuous, often trying to change the subject.
4869 For example, in their July 7 letter CKLN goes on for five paragraphs to justify the on-air flogging of events for money, saying that: "It is common for programmers in various musical genres to be involved in their musical community outside of CKLN on a volunteer or paid basis and this is quite common at all community radio stations."
4870 This is evasive and does in no way address my concerns about using the airwaves as a promotional tool for profit.
4871 As for the issue of using the airwaves to promote a website, which turns out to be used to sell more ad space outside CKLN, the excuse offered is: "Having a website associated with a show is a norm, not a conflict."
4872 Besides being evasive, this is also untrue. While many shows at CKLN or other stations do indeed have websites to post charts, playlists and other information, they do not also use them to openly sell ad space, which this one clearly does, nor do they use the airwaves to blatantly promote an outside ad business.
4873 If CKLN is getting a cut from all this ad revenue, it is not made clear either on the web page or for that matter in any of the letters to me from CKLN.
4874 In my time at CKLN it was made clear to me that using the airwaves to personally profit was considered "payola." It was not only inappropriate but illegal and in violation of the CRTC's Regulations.
4875 In my listening to other stations I do not hear that sort of behaviour to anywhere near the extent of CKLN. Clearly, it is time for the CRTC to make its position on this more clear, not only at CKLN but elsewhere.
4876 In conclusion, it is clear to me that the situation at CKLN has been allowed to deteriorate over the past two years to the degree that on-air quality has suffered and the ideals of not-for-profit community radio have been hijacked by a small and hostile group who are being allowed to make use of the public airwaves for their own personal vendettas and profit.
4877 I ask that the Commission take strong regulatory steps to address these problems, not only to solve the problems at CKLN but to send a message out to other campus/community stations in Canada who are no doubt watching all this.
4878 The following is from the website: "HOW DO I PAY FOR MY FLYER? Payment for your flyer can be made at Treajah Isle Records (1513 Eglinton @ Marlee...) or at the offices of Reggaemania Inc. (1750 Brimley Rd. ...) across from the Scarborough Town Centre. If you have a TD-Canada Trust account, money can be direct deposited into the Reggaemania.com account. Money can be transferred to Ron Nelson by using the internet or Telephone Banking when you provide your live operator the following info: ATT: TD Canada Trust/Ron Nelson/Transit # ..."
4879 Basically this is on Ron Nelson's website. This is what I referred to in the earlier statement.
4880 That about sums it up. Thank you for your time.
4881 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
4889 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Mr. Cooper?
4890 MR. COOPER: Well, as I said, I have already moved on. I am at another radio station. I am better off there.
4891 I gain nothing from being here but I do want it put on the record what has happened and I want to put on the record something beyond the excuses that CKLN has offered. I am truly appalled at what happened there. I am truly appalled at the precedent that this sets and I am not the only one.
4892 It just needs to be put -- whatever you end up doing, I don't know. Honestly, it is an awfully tough call, so I don't know what you are going to do with this. But at the very least it has been put on the record, my opposition to what has happened.
4893 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Now I am going to ask you to take a little responsibility for your opinions and tell us what we should do in terms of this.
4894 Mr. Cooper, you asked for the rule of law to be imposed. I mean we can ignore it, which hardly seems the rule of law. We can impose a mandatory order which allows the station to live at least for a little while. We can suspend its licence, which the operators or the board at this time say would be equivalent to killing the station, or we can revoke its licence.
4895 MR. COOPER: Yes, I understand those are your options.
4896 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thumbs up or thumbs down, Mr. Cooper?
4897 MR. COOPER: Well, revocation is certainly -- that is an awfully tough call to make and I can understand the reluctance to make it. I don't even want to say that. I can't think of a logical reason. Just emotionally, I don't want to go there.
4898 Mandatory orders would seem to be the bare minimum that is required. Again, as I said, whether or not that is sufficient to deal with the problems there, I don't know. Whether or not they can be followed, I doubt it.
4899 You could also make the argument that you as a Commission have already given them numerous instructions and orders since 2009 which they have not followed and they have made you numerous promises since then which they have not kept.
4900 You can make the argument you have already given the equivalent of mandatory orders and not gotten satisfactory results or perhaps you do need something stronger.
4901 Suspension is certainly a big blow. How bad that would affect them, difficult to say. I mean it would certainly be a big emotional blow.
4902 Would it affect their ad revenue? It doesn't look like it because it doesn't seem like they really have very much, as you yourself have noted.
4903 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Make your call.
4904 MR. COOPER: A mandatory order, at the bare minimum. If you decide that that is not enough, that they have not given you enough compliance thus far with the instructions that you have given them thus far, then you have to take it to the next step.
4905 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. If we chose mandatory order, how would you imagine they would be able to move forward with all this sniping still coming at them?
4906 MR. COOPER: I don't think that they can and it is not an issue of sniping coming at them.
4907 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, thank you.
4908 Mr. Whittaker, same question.
4909 MR. WHITTAKER: Same question. Well, this really depends on what the scope of the mandatory orders are. What can the Commission ask for in a mandatory order? Can they ask for a better structure of the station? Can they ask for, you know, more compliance in terms of the rules as well as creating --
4910 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: One thing we can't ask for is for them to go back to where they were.
4911 MR. WHITTAKER: Understandable. You would need a time machine for that.
4912 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Yes.
4913 MR. WHITTAKER: But what can be done to straighten this -- you see, when I was on CKLN it was --
4914 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: No, no. I need to -- really what we need to deal with is whether -- the question before us is whether or not this station is capable of moving forward in compliance with CRTC Regulations.
4915 All of the other stuff is interesting and informative but it doesn't really matter at this stage. What we need to deal with is --
4916 MR. COOPER: I personally tend to think that --
4917 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: -- the issue of -- I will come back to you, Mr. Cooper.
4918 Mr. Whittaker, mandatory order, suspension or revocation?
4919 MR. WHITTAKER: Well, I mean mandatory order seems to have the most opportunity for constructive --
4920 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
4921 MR. WHITTAKER: The ability to save the station seems like a good idea. It is a great station or has the potential to be a great station, but it also has the potential to be a bad station. It depends on how it is managed.
4922 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
4923 Mr. Cooper, you had something to add?
4924 MR. COOPER: I am not sure whether they can comply with mandatory orders, but I can understand you wanting to give them every opportunity to do so or to give them another chance to fix whatever problems if that is possible, and if so, then that is at the very least the way to go. The question is whether or not it is strong enough medicine.
4925 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
4926 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Cooper, just following up, do you think it is possible?
4927 MR. COOPER: I personally don't think the problems can be fixed, but that is just a personal opinion.
4928 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
5131 Now, Mr. Chairman, we will proceed to Phase III, in which the licensee can reply to all interventions submitted for its item.
5132 Legal counsel.
5133 MS HULLEY: I would just like to remind the members of the panel, for the record, that they swore an oath or took a solemn affirmation, and that continues to apply. Thank you.
5134 THE SECRETARY: Thank you. Please reintroduce yourselves for the record and after which you will have 10 minutes for your presentation.
5135 Thank you.
5136 MR. NELSON: My name is Ron Nelson, I am the Chair of the Board. To my left is Andrew Lehrer, the Vice-Chair, and Board Member Bryce Seefieldt. To my right is Toby Whitfield representing the Ryerson Students' Union.
5137 First of all, good morning. We would like to thank the Commission for this opportunity to respond to comments and to also discuss the past as well as the present and future, that we are constantly working on to create at CKLN.
5138 First actually, I would like to apologize, Mr. Mike Harnett who was here yesterday, our Treasurer, he could not get out of working, so he wishes he could be here today and cannot, expresses his regrets.
5139 We would like to start by clarifying our comments regarding mandatory orders. What we said was that we were willing to voluntarily abide by any direction from the Commission and we will abide by all CRTC regulations, whether or not there are mandatory orders. Just to make that clear. However, we also feel we can successfully be in full compliance under a mandatory order of sorts.
5140 We would like to thank all the great voices who spoke today and yesterday in support of CKLN and its tremendous history and the influence it has on many communities.
5141 On the one hand, we have heard from a number of individuals regarding not only the importance CKLN holds to them and their communities, but also in regards to the positive changes that have occurred and the improvements in the internal structure and atmosphere at CKLN.
5142 We don't want to dwell on the past, but the past toxicity and conflict, it is important to note that that is all gone now, it has been replaced with a positive familial mood. And past neglect of regulations has given weight to an emphasis that broadcasting is a privilege and it carries responsibilities and regulatory requirements rather a right. So we are fully aware of that.
5143 We have also, from the presentations of several previous board members and programmers, we have seen a manifestation of the divisions, the infighting and toxicity that led to the crisis from which CKLN gladly has now emerged. The question has been asked over and over again today, does this current Board have the ability to take CKLN into the future.
5144 And my answer to that is, yes, an astounding yes. That is my firm belief. We believe that the issues raised by the interveners have all been addressed in our written submission, so we are not going to dwell too much in responding to things that we feel has already been responded to. So we don't want to waste the Commission's time.
5145 But that being said, we would be glad to answer any questions regarding any outstanding concerns after we conclude.
5146 Since July of 2009 the Board has spent much of its time cleaning up the mess that was left to us. And I am not going to take a lot of time, I just want to quickly quickly summate so we can deal with the present and the future. But this is important. I mean, our Board that you see here today, we are dedicated and committed and very hardworking and we have done several things.
5147 We have brought back a full compliment of volunteers and we have increased Ryerson student involvement a lot despite some of the things that were said. We have addressed previously neglect complaints that were made to the CRTC. We have organized financial records and conducted three years worth of financial audits, and we did this in a matter of months. We have developed and implemented a CRTC-compliant playlist or log.
5148 We have restored a full program grid and enhanced it by adding more hours of spoken-word programming and more quality programming. We have developed and enforced volunteer programming commitments, a contract that brings all on-air staff to accountability for their on-air conduct. We have retrained an entire volunteer staff, up to 170 people. We have, in our opinion, repaired a damaged transmitter -- well, we have repaired the damaged transmitter and we have modernized our audio logging system; cost a lot of money, but we have done it.
5149 We have also re-established much of our unique legacy of special programs. CKLN has been an award-winning radio station over the years.
5150 And again, we have asked what is the difference between CKLN, CIUT, CHRY, three similar community radio stations. CKLN was there for the G20, we were there, in there, we got arrested doing it, some of us. We were there for Women's Week, we were there for Pride, African Liberation Month, Caribana, et cetera, et cetera. CKLN is basically there in the community, representing the community.
5151 We have also taken the important steps of redrafting the by-laws addressing but not limited to the issues leading to the management breakdown of 2008 and 2009. And we feel that is a very crucial and important step in terms of making sure things that happened in the past will never happen again in the future. It's taken a lot of work and commitment, but we have been committed to that.
5152 We have also revitalized multiple income streams through a revised advertising policy, reintroducing sponsored live-to-air broadcasts and, most importantly, initiating a highly successful FundFEST campaign that more than doubled the amount raised in the last campaign previous to this one.
5153 Again, we are trying very hard to kind of ignore a lot of the accusations that were made and some things that were said. We are not going to respond to that.
5154 We have also hired a part-time volunteer FundFEST coordinator who did a great job by the way. And one of the things that we didn't spend a lot of time talking about today but, you know, it is one of the crucial aspects as to why CKLN is in the state it is right now, we have had to spend a lot of our time and energy and money, withstanding the multiple legal challenges that are out there that were inherited from the past and came into present and may still haunt us in the future.
5155 We have also brought to an end the toxic atmosphere that as paralyzed CKLN. We believe that firmly. And we have done all of this while running the day to day operations and maintenance of CLKN.
5156 MR. LEHRER: We are proud to list those accomplishments and we are proud of the effort put in by ourselves and numerous volunteers in order to bring them about.
5157 However, we are quite aware that there is much more still to do. Our current agenda is as follows. In the short-term by-laws will be proposed at the December 15 Special General Meeting, and will now included a change in our fiscal yearend date to August 31st. We will resubmit financial reports in compliance with the CRTC fiscal yearend of August 31st, and I believe that can be done within a month. We talked to our auditor yesterday.
5158 A hiring committee will be struck by January 10th with a job posting released by January 15th for a management position. The first official management hire will occur by February 28th, 2010. A programming committee will be struck to work with the new management and the Board. We will be fine tuning the 2011 operational budget in consultation with hired management. Management staff and the Board will work and continue to work with the NCRA to ensure full compliance with CRTC regulations. And a comprehensive monitoring of our programming logs and a method of doing that.
5159 Development of a clearly outlined public complaints submission and resolution procedure. We will develop and implement a large-scale plan for technological retooling the station, addressing on-air consoles and playback devices, digital playlists and logs, all in order to improve the quality and reliability of our programming and our records.
5160 And we will negotiate modifications to the RSU CKLN and the CKLN PALIN Foundation agreements regarding our tenancy and regarding the student levy.
5161 MR. SEEFIELDT: On the longer term, although still very important, issues we would like to address are a full-year plan for special events and specialized programming to ensure appropriate time and consideration is allotted for the extremely valuable specialized programs which Ron spoke to earlier, some of which are International Women's Day, African Liberation Month, Pride Week and the many other special programs that CLKN prides itself on uniquely presenting.
5162 Also, committees will be struck 30 to 90 days in advance of these events, respective of the priority to ensure full campus and community engagement.
5163 We will also develop a volunteer committee to assist management in the selection and training of station volunteers.
5164 We will develop campaigns to continuously increase Ryerson student involvement, a huge priority for this board.
5165 We will complete a review and updating of programming handbook to address holistically the roles and expectations of a CKLN programmer with consideration to:
5166 - on-air policies; profanity, compliancy guidelines, Cancon, maximum hits, logging responsibilities, technical protocol, et cetera -- although they are trained in these, we always feel the programming handbook is important to review and update constantly, so we would like to finetune this;
5167 - and also, it will address station involvement, including meeting attendance, Fundfest participation and many other expectations not clearly set out previously.
5168 This handbook will outline clearly yearly performance evaluation criteria and consequences for failure to comply with guidelines. This will be accompanied with a yearly performance commitment contract renewable yearly.
5169 Special attention to the new advertising policy, eliciting programmers to take action as independent advertising sales agents for the station. That is a big priority for us too, to enrol the whole community in increasing the revenue.
5170 We will also develop a year-long plan for campus outreach and community involvement increasing the station profile and soliciting the support and involvement of new members, volunteers and sponsors.
5171 As we mentioned in our opening statements, this has been a very insightful and revealing hearing. We would like to thank the panel for allowing us to hear so many viewpoints on how great community radio must be run.
5172 The current board has the ability to take CKLN into the future, and with the assistance of our volunteers and the NCRA and under the guidance of the Commission, we plan to do so.
5173 We now invite Mr Toby Whitfield to add his remarks on behalf of RSU.
5174 MR. WHITFIELD: Yesterday discussions took place about student fees, access to the Brookfield property by RSU, the RSU/CKLN fee agreement and the PALIN Foundation.
5175 I did bring some documentation today and I am happy to answer some of these questions to the best of my ability if you do have questions about those documents. I don't want to necessarily go through everything right now.
5176 Comments have also arisen about the position of Ryerson University and various departments within the University.
5177 Although I said yesterday that I do not represent or speak on behalf of the University, I did speak with, this morning, senior administration at the University and they have confirmed that the University has not taken a position on these proceedings and, I suppose importantly, have indicated that they haven't taken a negative view towards CKLN, although I feel that some of that may have been suggested in some of the discussions.
5178 Lastly, a lot of discussions have taken place about students and student involvement.
5179 As the only student here and as an elected representative on behalf of the 24,000 students at Ryerson, both full-time undergraduate and graduate students, I think I am uniquely positioned to respond to student concerns and student involvement.
5180 While it is unfortunate that this hearing was scheduled during our exam time, I do think it is important to have a student perspective and I know some of you have mentioned that.
5181 You have also talked about the large financial resources that are provided to CKLN by students and I appreciate that. I believe that students have never and likely will never represent, for example, 65 percent of the programming grid or whatever the exact percentage of financial resources they contribute. I don't think that will exist in programming, nor do I think it necessarily needs to.
5182 I do believe, however, that for a couple of years leading up to this past summer there were many actions that indicated very little student involvement. We have heard of many of those discussions in the last two days, but I do believe that this board of directors since July has demonstrated an honest commitment to reengaging our campus community.
5183 There are more student programs and they continue to try and find unique ways to engage students. I think that is really important because they are working hard to reengage our campus community.
5184 In closing, I truly believe that this board is in a great position to continue working on building relationships with students. They have already started those relationships and as a student I can attest it is not necessarily easy to instantly build connections with students all across our faculties as a diverse downtown campus, but they are doing a great job so far.
5185 I think that is important and I think that was an opinion or a perspective that hasn't been talked about a lot in the last two days.
5186 So I will leave it with that and I do think that this board has been doing a great job engaging our student community.
5187 I am of the opinion that there is always ways to improve relationships with students. That is true of the Students' Union. That is true of our students. That is true of the university administration. So true is it of our campus radio station.
5188 But they are doing it and I think they have the passion to continue to do that.
5189 So I will end on that note. Thank you.
5190 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. I only have one question.
5191 Can you gentlemen tell me who on the board today were on the board prior to July 2009, for the record?
5192 MR. LEHRER: Michael Harnett was on the board from, I think it was November 2008 until, you know, things fell apart in February or March 2009. So he was briefly on the previous board.
5193 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is he the only one?
5194 MR. LEHRER: Toby Whitfield actually as well.
5195 MR. WHITFIELD: So at the time when there was two and at one point three different groups each claiming to be the board, I did my best to attend as many different board meetings and have dialogue with all three boards.
5196 As the RSU representative, I was elected by the Students' Union to represent or to sit on CKLN, although there were three different groups.
5197 MR. SEEFIELDT: Also, Ron Nelson was on the board about 20 years ago.
5198 MR. NELSON: No. It was in 1984. I was a student on the board, a graduate of radio, Ryerson Radio and Television Arts. I just wanted to mention that as well.
5199 THE CHAIRPERSON: So out of the seven people that are on the board currently, two of you were on the board prior to what you call the mess that you are cleaning up now?
5200 MR. NELSON: Correct.
5201 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Those are my questions.
5202 Any other commissioners? No.
5203 Thank you very much.
5204 MR. NELSON: Thank you.
5205 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary.
5206 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
5207 This concludes Phase III and this item.
5208 I would like to indicate for the record that the intervenors who did not appear but were listed in the agenda as appearing intervenors will remain on the public file as non-appearing interventions.
5209 This completes the agenda of this public hearing.
5210 Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
5211 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. I would like to thank all the participants for their attendance here as well and the support of the various people who have been here as well as the staff both here and the staff back in Gatineau as well and thank my fellow commissioners. Thank you.
--- Whereupon the hearing concluded at 1207