New Punjabi-English Radio Hearings Create Entertainment, Controversy

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Tom Gill’s Controversial Support For An Indo-Canadian Applicant Was Laughed At!

By R.PAUL DHILLON
LINK EDITOR
SURREY — This week’s CRTChearings into 15 or so applications,majority of them from theIndo-Canadian community, forvarious English and Punjabilicenses created much buzz atSurrey’s Sheraton Hotel wheremany Indo-Canadian mediatypes and hangers-on flocked tosee who says what to whom andwho has the best chance of gettinga license in the either of thecategories.Without a doubt, the hearingswere a lot like a Gong show,very entertaining for the crowd,nerve wracking and expensivefor the applicants, which includeda Punjabi language radioapplication from South AsianLINK Directory, an affiliatedcompany to this media outlet,and not such a good one forthose who got chewed and spitout at the hearings.And what would a hearing likethis be without the a big controversyand that was created by thelaughable appearance by SurreyCity councillor Tom Gill onbehalf of one of the EnglishlanguageIndo-Canadian applicantsSouth FraserBroadcasting First Gill introduced himself as thesaid councillor of the city where thehearings are taking place and went on abipartisan rhetoric of support for theapplicant without once clarifying thathe was not speaking on behalf of theCity of Surrey, thereby clearly givingthe impression to the CRTC commissionersand the audience that he was infact giving his support as a city councillorand by default of the city!He was also allegedly booed andlaughed at when he said Surrey doesn’tneed any more Punjabi radio as italready has too much. This from a guywhom the Punjabi community has supportedin the past. What a shame!Gill never clarified the confusion untilSurrey mayor Dianne Watts began gettingcalls from outraged people, mostlikely those associated with other applicationsbeing heard, and she had toclarify that the City of Surrey does notsupport any application despite a Cityof Surrey video being shown at thehearing by the said applicant.“There was no representation by thecity. I understand one of the applicantshad used a city video and I sent a letteroff to the CRTC saying the city doesnot endorse one applicant and weremain neutral,” Watts said, adding,“All applicants should go through theprocess as it should be.”The hearings are being held to potentiallyaward several radio frequencies,with Surrey being the priority for mostof the 17 applicants. During theprocess, applicants were given a chanceto make their case for why they wouldbe most deserving of the frequencyapplied for, with many wanting 107.7FM for Surrey.

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