Thank you. I would like to thank all the witnesses for joining us today.
All committee members have received calls. The media are very interested in the study. I have been a member of this committee for four and a half years and I have never seen such excitement over a subject. I think that people feel this is their chance to speak. I commend you all for participating in this work. I hope to have the opportunity to ask Mr. Sonier to talk some more about the solutions he wanted to present and what he would like to see in the report.
Let me talk a bit about the situation of a newspaper like L’Aurore boréale in Yukon. This paper is in a desert, in terms of Internet service. It is located in a remote region and of little interest to advertisers. A car dealer is certainly not selling 25 cars a week there. Moreover, the paper is in a minority situation in both French and English. Regional and traditional print media outside of major centres are facing an environment where advertisers are less interested in traditional media than in the past. This is the source of the problem. There are traditional issues and new issues in Canada. We seek to nurture these two cultures, two languages. This shortage of government advertising that affects you all is paradoxical.
Mr. Forgues, you said earlier that the CRTC asked you to acquire a telecommunications system that cost you nearly $10,000 for each of the stations to broadcast emergency, disaster, public radio and service messages. The government asks you to make an investment but no longer buys advertising from you. It tells you that your radio provides essential services, but it does not give you money every week to supplement your budget. However, the transmitter has to work and you have to pay $10,000. It is a bit of a paradox.
There is the notion of reaching a particular audience. This is a niche service, and it is hard to sell advertising in that context.
Would you find it useful for the committee to receive people involved in media placement so they could tell us about the choices they make with their clients? We heard several accounts about publications that are doing well and have excellent readership. They are selling a lot less advertising, as if suddenly it became worthless to advertise anywhere other than the Internet.
Do you think—I would like to hear your comments and I really want to leave time for Mr. Sonier—that it would be appropriate to receive representatives of major telecommunications companies? One might ask where are the signals that work and where are those that do not work and what are the facts about the Internet. It would also be good to talk about media placement. How do they explain referring clients to all kinds of other options online instead of traditional media?
Ms. Lanthier, I would like to hear your thoughts on the subject.