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  Groupe de travail sur la diversité culturelle à la télévision
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Groupe de travail sur la diversité culturelle à la télévision

Presentation to the CRTC
Task Force for Cultural Diversity on Television
February 27, 2003
9:00 a.m. - 11:30am
CRTC Offices, 1 Promenade du Portage
Gatineau, P.Q.

Madeline Ziniak

Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the Commission. On behalf of the members of the Task Force on Cultural Diversity for Television, I would like to express our appreciation for your invitation to speak with the Commission today.

I would like to first inform you that one of our members could not be with us today: actress, producer and hereditary chief of the Squamish Nation, Stefany Mathias (who is out of the country).

Mr. Chairman, as you will hear, each of the members of this task force represent their cumulative experiences as industry & non industry members and many individually in their capacities strove to improve the reflection of Canada's diversity. Many of us, as broadcasters, and or community activists have had the opportunity to interface with this issue for quite awhile and it is therefore even more incumbent upon us to develop practical solutions that satisfy communities and broadcasters alike. We welcome this opportunity to inform the Commission of our work to date and our work upcoming, and dialogue with you on some very important issues.

Bev Oda

Mr. Chairman, I'm delighted to be here today. I'd like to assure you that each of us believe in the work you have set out for us and are committed to achieving the objectives set out in your Public Notice.

As the first visible minority to be appointed to the CRTC, I was proud to have worked with the Commission over my term. Prior to my appointment I was active in working with the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism on his participation in the Commission's process to develop its first Ethnic Broadcasting Policy in 1986.

As many of you will recall, during my term, the Commission actively pursued the advancement of women in the broadcasting industry. Today, I am pleased to be a part of an industry-wide process so that Canadian television will better reflect the cultural diversity of Canada.

The task force is committed to the task at hand: to develop a set of industry best practices that can be incorporated into the corporate plans of Canadian broadcasters. We believe that these will result in improving accurate portrayal and reflection.

We would like to begin our discussion today by providing you with a snapshot of our work to date and an outline of where we plan to be in six months.

Marie-Anna Murat

Monsieur le président, jusqu'à présent, les membres du comité se sont rencontrés à six différentes reprises. Chaque fois, nos travaux ont progressé et pris de l'ampleur. Je pense exprimer le sentiment général en disant que nous formons désormais une équipe motivée et dynamique, bien épaulée par le CRTC et par l'Association canadienne des radiodiffuseurs. Nous avons consacré nos efforts à asseoir les bases indispensables à l'atteinte des deux objectifs qui motivent notre démarche : produire un compte-rendu étoffé de la présence et de la représentation des diverses communautés culturelles et raciales à la télévision canadienne et mener une large consultation permettant de prendre le pouls des Canadiens de toutes origines, d'un bout à l'autre du pays, sur cette question.

Sarah Crawford

Mr. Chairman, the Commission will be aware of the discussions between your staff and the Task Force on what the best approach to this research task would be. After a good deal of thought and consideration, it was determined that an approach that carried out baseline research as well as more qualitative measures - in other words, a balance of research methods - would be the best approach overall. We believe that, at the completion of the research now well underway, we will have one of the most comprehensive studies ever undertaken on cultural diversity and television - we feel very positive and excited about the work that lies ahead.

As mentioned earlier, Stefany Mathias could not be with us today - however Marie-Anna will present Stefany's comments.

Stefany Mathias

Mr. Chairman, the members of the Task Force are certainly aware that there is more to our work than research - there is outreach and consultation with many culturally diverse communities across Canada. We consider this to be a critically important part of our work to ensure it has the highest level of information and credibility possible. As an actor, producer and Hereditary Chief of the Squamish Nation, I have a unique perspective to bring to the Task Force's work and as a result am in a position to act as an accessible intermediary or messenger. This will assist in bringing the views of these diverse communities to the Task Force and vice-versa.

Raj Rasalingam

I would echo these comments, Mr. Chairman. The representatives on the Task Force are uniquely positioned: we can advise, we can consult, we literally bring a deep commitment and vast experience of Canadian cultural diversity to the table. I myself have dozens of opportunities - as part of the audiences I speak to or sit within, with the many diverse clients and contacts of the Pearson-Shoyama Institute - to bring the views of communities forward. My colleagues here today can tell you I have already done so, on many occasions.

Elaine Ali

Mr. Chairman, I think it's important to recognize that the consultations to be undertaken by the Task Force will extend beyond the broadcasting industry and beyond many culturally diverse communities. As you will see from the presentation of our research agenda, we are seeking to be as broadly inclusive as possible - from numerous one-on-one interviews with key influencers, to using a diverse range of focus groups - in order to achieve an outcome that will be broadly based. I would add that the Task Force members recognize the unique situation of Aboriginal reflection and diversity, and will address this in the research.

Rita Cugini

Mr. Chairman, we hope our remarks have provided some insight into the operations and thinking of the Task Force to date. We have accomplished a good deal of work - we have the unanimous support of the members of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, selected a research team, and made some pivotal research decisions. We are also very aware of just how important consultation is as we carry forward. You have heard something of our approach to consultation and I'm sure we will talk about this again in our discussion. We have also taken steps to ensure the Commission is aware of activities and decisions - and have found it very helpful to have the Commission present at our meetings through Martine Vallee.

Mr. Chairman, this project is clearly an ambitious undertaking. The work of the Task Force will be pivotal - not only to provide a comprehensive picture of the reflection and portrayal of cultural diversity on private television, but to provide some stepping stones to the future.

Pierre Lampron

Comme l'ont indiqué mes collègues, Monsieur le Président les membres du groupe de travail sont conscients d'avoir à relever de grands defies. Comme vous, nous reconnaissons que le projet que nous entreprenons est d'une grande complexité. Toutefois, nous sommes convaincus que nous avons pris la bonne direction. Nos travaux de recherche devraient être complétés avant la fin du mois de juillet.

Aujourd'hui nous aimerons vous donner une idée de notre échéancier et de la progression des principales étapes de notre projet.

Madeline Ziniak

Mr. Chairman, having heard from my colleagues around the table, we would like to take some time to walk the Commission through the research plan itself, and then move into discussion.

With your permission, I would like to introduce Kaan Yigit of Solutions Research Group and Aidan O'Neill of Johnston Buchan LLP.

Kaan and Aidan Present Research Summary (no more than 25 minutes)

Bev Oda

Mr. Chairman, that concludes the presentation of the Task Force for Cultural Diversity on Television. I'm sure you and your colleagues have questions in mind and areas of discussion you would like to pursue. We're very excited about our work ahead, and the prospect of bringing practical solutions forward. Thank you once again for inviting us here today.


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