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  • Writer's pictureMatt Cundill

Aaron Rand: Calling Gaddafi and Other Radio Tales

Updated: May 31, 2023

Aaron Rand has been on Montreal since the 70’s. I didn’t catch on to his show until the mid 80’s where he became a household name, despite working at some radio stations that weren’t known for their ratings. Right around the time AM started its decline, Aaron Rand’s show started to take off. I ran into Aaron at (what I think is North America’s best restaurant) Joe Beef while having dinner with another Montreal radio icon, Terry Dimonte.

The next thing said at the table was pretty obvious – although i think it might have been a look… ya gotta get him on your show.

His radio career includes all the great Montreal radio Call letters like CFCF CKGM, CBC, CHOM, CFQR and now CJAD where he once worked and now resides doing the afternoon show.

It is always a joy to speak to someone who you grew up listening to.


This was Aaron Rand's Departure from Q92. He would resurface at CJAD.



Tara Sands (VO) 00:00:01

The Sound Off podcast. The podcast about broadcast with Matt Cundill starts now.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:00:10

Aaron Rand has been a Montreal radio staple since the 1970. Now, I didn't catch onto his show until the mid 80s when he became a household name, despite working at some radio stations that weren't exactly known for attracting teenage audiences. This is right around the time AM begins its decline, and Aaron Rand's show takes off. I ran into Aaron at what I think is North America's best restaurant, Joe Beef in Montreal back in December of 2020, while having dinner with another Montreal radio icon, Terry Dimonte. I think the next thing said at the table after we met was you got to have them on your show. Or maybe it was just a look, or a group understanding. Anyhow, Aaron's radio career includes all the great Montreal radio call letters like CFCF, CKGM, CBC, SHOM, Cfqr, and now CJAD, where he's doing the afternoon show. It's always a joy to speak to someone who you grew up listening to. Aaron Rand joins me from what appears to be his kitchen in Montreal.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:01:08

I met you, I think, for the first and only time at the Joe Beef one time you guys were having dinner with Terry. I think we were there with friends. And I don't believe I've ever met you up until then.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:01:16

I find it incredible, though, that running in all the Montreal radio circles, I didn't run into you all that often, but we never worked in the same building and we didn't really run in the same circles.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:01:28

Yes, which is interesting over the course of however many years it's been, but I guess I'm not a big go out of the house- I was thinking about this the other day, but so many people over the years that I've worked with who I don't really know very well. And then I think back when I started at CKGM like 100 years ago, I mean, I was just married, we were just having our first kid and basically not going out, not going to functions, just being kind of a stay at home dad kind of thing, maybe catching up on sleep. So maybe that's why I didn't meet a whole lot of people then. But you're right, a lot of people have gone by. And I heard the other day, like Jim Connell is now doing a morning shift at the new, whatever it's called, CFQR, Montreal, 600AM launch. I worked with him 40 years ago, so I remember the name, but didn't cross paths really at all. It's like that with a lot of guys, not sure why.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:02:14

You went to McGill and did some radio in the early seventies. And sorry to put a date on all that because you're right, a lot of the stuff we're going to talk about here is a very long time ago.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:02:22

Yeah, I was at McGill in 71 72 and I kind of stumbled into radio at McGill. I didn't even know McGill had a radio station, because back then, you just used to walk into the Student Union building and either go to Gertie's to have pizza or go upstairs to the cafeteria. And one day I walked downstairs just because I was curious. And there's a radio station down there. It's where the McGill Daily, where the paper was. And literally as soon as I was there for, I think, maybe 10 seconds outstepped, the guy who introduced himself, I think his name was Norm David, who was the GM at the radio station, said, hi, how are you doing? I guess no one ever went down there, so if they saw a human being, they were like, oh, let's go grab this guy. And the next thing I knew, I was working at Radio McGill. That's really my first radio job, if you will. A job, by the way, I don't mean real job, because I was still going to class. So what I would do is I go down there and do like a shift at night, and I would give away cars and houses and trips because I knew nobody was listening because it was only on closed circuits. You couldn't get it. You can only get it if you lived in a dorm, and nobody in the dorms listen to Radio McGill. So that's where it kind of first started.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:03:21

That was an interesting era, though, historically, in Montreal, because there was an FLQ crisis in and around the time that you were going to school at McGill. So what was the vibe on campus?

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:03:31

I think at the time, the McGill Daily was, I guess by current standards, it's not very radical at the time. I don't remember that taking up a lot of mileage at all in terms of what was being discussed. Certainly not for us. I mean, we were pretty much immune to all of it only because we lived in our own little world at the time. Radio McGill used to carry a show on then Cfqr called Street Noise. So the people who worked there would put together this six hour package that ran for midnight to 06:00. A.m. CFD used to give us their airtime on a Sunday, Saturday night, Sunday morning, and they would produce all kinds of really actually pretty good stuff. And then one weekend, I'm not sure who brought up the idea was, let's just sit around this big conference table, all of these guys from McGill, all these radio guys, and tell jokes for 6 hours. You can imagine how well that went. And I think by about 03:00 in the morning, the poor Op who was working overnights at QR started getting phone calls. He was just trying to get some sleep because we went from relatively clean jokes, and then you're out on material and you go to the dirty stuff, and they basically cut us off somewhere around 3:30 in the morning. So that was my first experience with real sort of public radio. But we didn't speak to your question, we didn't spend that I can remember, and again, it's a long time ago, a lot of time delving into politics or the FAQ crisis or really much of anything else.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:04:45

So I'm hearing the writing, I'm hearing the jokes, and I'm hearing the gags, and you're doing it on the radio, and pretty much what you just explained continued on through the experience that I got to hear on the radio in the 80s when I grew up listening to you. Did you do any stand up?

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:04:59

Yeah, I actually worked with Sotasa, who actually we hooked up together. He had been working with a guy named Bob Brewster, a voice guy. They were working as a comedy team, a stand up team, and I was working with a guy named Ron Robbins, who was a sales rep at the radio station at the time, and we used to do stand up at that, I think, the first comedy club in Montreal that opened, I think it was called Oliver's, it was on Crescent Street at a bar. They used to call it DC Klat, I think. And you knew it was a serious comedy club because it had a pole right in the middle of the floor, so you have to sort of work your bits around the pole. Ernie Butler, who passed away not that many years ago, he had started it, and we did that probably for on and off, maybe for a year, maybe longer, maybe two, I don't even remember, and then kind of just jump from there. I was already working in radio then anyway, and I didn't start off doing the comedy stuff. I was a sports guy, so even at Radio McGill, they made me sports director, which meant we used to cover McGill-Redmond basketball games in the Curry gym from a scaffold that had been set up in the corner of the gym. I guess the comedy part of it was we ordered pizza during the game, and the kid walked into the gym holding a pizza, had no idea where to go. There's like 200 people there, didn't know who. So we did that kind of stuff. But yeah, I started off doing sports, and then even up until 1977 ish well, I worked at CBC in 75, 74-75, getting ready for the Summer Olympic Games in Montreal in 76. So I was doing research and writing for a weekly TV show. And then at the end of the games, what I probably thought was the biggest mistake of my life, I turned down a chance because CBC thought I'd done a reasonable enough job. They offered me a job at CBC Sports in Toronto, and I said no, because we're planning to go to California with friends to drive across country. And I said it seemed like the most wise decision at the time. So I left that and then ended up starting at CJFM in Montreal. So now Virgin, as their sports director, working early mornings. And Andy Papawski, Andy Harris was the news guy. So he was doing news, I was doing sports. I don't even remember who the morning guy was. It might have been Dean Hagopian at the time. Or Dan O'Neill. And then from there so that's 77 78. I got a call one day from CJD, from Bob Dunn, who was the sports director at CJD. So Balkan was doing mornings and Ted Blackman wanted to hire- Bob Dunn was now the sports director. And they offered me a job at AD. So to me that was like winning the radio lottery right? Here's this kid who's just been there for like a year or two, and suddenly you're asking me to work on Balkan's show doing sports. I did that for a couple of years, got done there, auditioned for a job doing sports on CBC TV in Montreal, was told I had the job, so I quit AD, which is a pretty ballsy thing to do for a kid working at the radio station. And it had been a great job. I got the cover, Stanley Cup finals, World Series, when we used to actually spend money sending reporters out to do that kind of shit. And I left and went to India with my then wife to hang out because she had a sister who whatever, because I thought I had a job lined up. And while I was in India, there was a CBC journalist strike that lasted something like 19 months and basically all contracts that have been signed were waived. I had no job. I lost whatever job I thought I had. So I came back to Montreal from India looking for work, and I got the classic Sorry we couldn't afford to pay you. I worked at AB and ended up going to show writing Rock and Roll News, which was an afternoon talk segment. Chris Michaels was the afternoon jock, did that for a couple of years and then I did all the spoken word interviews. So when bands would come to town, I'd be the guy. So we go into the studio and I get to talk to Joe Cocker, to Hall and Oates, to whoever it happens to be, which is also pretty cool. And then from there, I filled in for Ron Abel. Ron had been the morning man on show for a while. He left. They had me sit on or sit in during his vacation run, which lasted a couple of weeks, and I guess it went reasonably well. This is the first time I've really ever done a morning show. And then they hired me across the street at TKGM. Phil Parker, who was the GM at the time there, offered me a job doing morning. So at this point, Ralph Lockwood had left. They hired some guy in a Buffalo, New York, named Dick Reeves, I think, who is going to be the next Ralph Lockwood. I think that might have lasted six months around he didn't work. Then they hired Jim Connell, who had been doing news, I guess, to replace Dick Reeves. To replace Ralph Lockwood. Jim had done that for a few months. He went on vacation, and they fired him while he was on vacation and offered me the job. And that's how I started doing morning radio. And then a couple of months later, Rob Braid, who was then, I guess GM or PDF show, I'm not sure where, said, look, there's a guy working down at the corner video store. His name is Paul, who's really funny. You should talk to him. I think you two guys would be really good together. We met. Paul turned out to be tasked, and we worked together for 20 some odd years.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:09:42

So was the video store- was that Avenue Video on Green Avenue?

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:09:46

Right at the corner where the post office was, yeah.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:09:47

That's where I used to rent all my videos.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:09:50

That's where everyone used to rent all their videos.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:09:52

So let me get this straight. Paul was working at Avenue Video.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:09:56

Paul was the guy, when you went in, like, what movies came in and showed you around, tell you what you needed to rent, he'd give you shit if you didn't rewind your tape when you brought it back? Yeah, that was him.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:10:06

There was a significant charge, by the way, if you didn't do it at Avenue Video.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:10:10

Yeah, well- and I bet he made it funny if you had to pay. And I think that's probably what got Rob's attention.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:10:15

Is this the moment when you and Paul reconnect, as it were?

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:10:19

Well, connect in essence, for the first time, I had no idea who he was. I didn't go to Avenue Video. I'm not sure where we were living at the time. He might have been on the West Island. I don't even remember. But, no, I had no idea who he was. Then Rob said, you got to meet this guy. And he came in and he was funny, and we got along, and that was the big and he started off as the weatherman on my show. That's what he did originally, right? He did funny weather.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:10:41

I listened to it, and I remember hearing you both, and I remember hearing the weather, and I thought, this is very funny weather, including your bilingual intro to it, which was:

VO 00:10:41

Ladies and gentlemen. Let's take a look at the weather. And weather replay brought to you by Dick Anne's. Here is a detailed look with tacipa. Let me tell you, the weather we had the past couple of days, we're going to get for a few more days, perhaps right through to Saturday or Saturday.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:11:02

That was done by a girl working as a secretary at the radio station. And I know she was pissed after a while that we kept using it. I think someone must have given her shit. Yeah, we use that all the time. I can't believe you remember that.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:11:13

I'm going to be bringing back bits you didn't even think we're funny.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:11:16

Oh, that would be a lot of bits.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:11:19

Were you doing afternoons at CKGM around that time?

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:11:22

No, I went from doing afternoons at CHOM, doing a rock and roll show, to mornings at CKGM. Steve Anthony was probably doing afternoon. Mark Krisky was doing middays. I think Steve might have been doing drive, if I remember, at that same time.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:11:36

And as that show evolved, it's the middle of the middle of the 1980s now.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:11:42

Yeah. So it's about 83, 84 now. And then we get a call one day from Dave Middleton, who used to be the GM at CFCF because they were going through a really bad time, I guess, ratings wise. And he offered Paul and I the job doing afternoons at CFCs. This is actually a funny story. So I get this call and he wants to meet. So we go to meet it. They get Napoleon in Little Italy to a guy I've never met before. And this is a suit and tie guy, right? He's a GM. Back in the days when that's what it was and we had the meeting and it's cordial enough. And at the end, at some point, I said to Dave with Paul, so what is it you want us to do? Or do you want to take the shit we do now? And he goes, I don't know, just do whatever. So he had like zero, do this, do that. Here's what we do at this rate, nothing. Just go ahead and do this. Okay, that was fine. And then as we were to sign a contract to actually start Arts Sutherland, I don't know what his job was. He was another admin guy at CFCF. He's going to need us to go over the contract and when we start and all that kind of stuff, we go to meet at the restaurant. I'm sitting there, it's like 12 30, 12 45, no arts of him. And then I get a phone call that Arts adam has just been fired. He's no longer working at the radio station. The guy who's going to sign our deal to tell us what we're doing when we start, et cetera, but then we end up at CFCs at Am 60 during the afternoon show. Kevin McGowan was doing mornings at the time.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:13:04

I remember how complicated it was because CFCF, Canada's first, canada's finest, billed as North America's very first radio station, was in this ongoing fight with CJ ad. There was really no room for two big news behemoths at the time. So that left CFCF really looking for an identity, which was going to include you and listen. It was a station that I first started listening to. I listened to Ted Blackman and Ted Tievan and many others. CJD was just that was my grandmother's radio station. At the time, and now it's my radio station that I listened to. So I've evolved well into that station. But I remember that you and Tassel going to that station brought it a breath of fresh air. And as I listened back to it, I'm thinking that the style of radio that you brought into that building probably caused some friction and conflict.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:13:53

Yeah, that's interesting. It was very different from what they had been doing there's, no question. I think they were just happy to have ratings. So as much as people may have said, hey, what the fuck is going on there? Who are these guys? What are they doing? It found an audience. We did some pretty crazy stuff. I think the friction came, Matt, from the fact that we used to do not a bit, but a fairly regular thing where we would call, or try to call famous people anywhere around the world. So when Ferdinand Marcos was the leader of the Philippines, we called them up because we wanted to talk to a mel because her shoe budget had gone crazy. Right. I remember she had a thing where she had like 50 million pairs of shoes, and we would call and this was all long distance. And we found out a little later that we were running a five $6,000 phone bills at the radio station at the time, which they weren't really keen on. But it never became a point of friction because no one ever said, stop doing it. Right. It became a buzz. People were talking about it. We were doing something, I guess, that nobody else was doing at the time, kind of zany, kind of crazy, doing shit that we could never get away with today. Like spoke some French where we were doing I don't know if you remember that at all. Melody Pearson, who was our traffic person at the time, she would become a student and we would teach her how to save keywords in French. But the translation in English was never the same as what we had said in French by design. And people love that kind of shit. We did a thing called Ask My dad where Paul would play my father. Right. With an old Jewish accent. And I don't tell me, I know he told me. Not that kind of stuff. And people would call. We did a lot of stuff with listeners. It was just great. Listeners were involved in that show beyond just calling and asking for information. It's like they were in on the gag and they became part of the show, which I thought was really kind of cool, which no one, I don't think, had done before here.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:15:32

Did you ever get through to Moammar Gaddafi? Because I would hang over the radio just waiting for you to get through to Moama Kadafi.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:15:39

Wow. Did you ever leave the radio? How do you remember this stuff?

VO 00:15:43

I was raised on Radio tamo kadafi.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:15:46

Yeah, I'm not sure that we ever got through, but we certainly made enough tries. I think we got through the Queen, or really close to the Queen one time, but yeah, jeez, that was fun. We actually got we called Letterman one day and got it to the I guess his personal set. We never actually got to the person we needed to get to, but we get really close and I remember one day I thought, this is so cool. I'm a big baseball fan, right? Because I started in sports and I wanted the Mets and Red Sox in 86 in that World Series. Right? And I'm like, I'm dying to go, and when you can't get tickets so I have covered the exposure years before, many years before, and I knew the team was staying at the Hilton or whatever in Manhattan. And I called because we discussed this and said the best way to try to get tickets is to call the concierge at a big hotel and try to bullshit your way through. So we call the concierge, picks up the phone. Yeah, hi, it's Aaron Rand from CFCF Radio. Remember, I was there with the explosive while ago. How are you doing? Good, he said, and of course they're trained to acknowledge you, right? Yes, Mr. Rand. How are you? Like, they know you. And then I said, listen, would it be possible I'm in town, I'd like to go to game, whatever, game three tonight. And we tried every other option we could, and we couldn't get tickets. He said, how many do you need? And I said, just a pair. He said, yes, let me see what I can do. First baseline be okay? I said, Fine. He said, we'll be down there tonight, whatever, to pick them up, and got tickets from a concierge at a hotel. I don't remember what they were. I had a friend who wanted to go, and I remember finishing the show that they might have left 15 minutes early, driving to the airport, getting on a plane, flying to New York, going to the hotel, picking up the tickets and going to watch the game. I think we got there in the third in it. That's the kind of stuff we used to do.

VO 00:17:22

What was the biggest gap for you, like, where you got through and you didn't think you'd actually get through? And it's like, holy shit, we got through.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:17:27

We would get every level all the way up until we had to get to that person. Then they were like, they caught on. Yeah, I'm sorry, these are not available. But it was fun, right? It was fun just getting to that point to see how far you could get. That was the whole gap.

VO 00:17:41

And the best part is, the only thing you really have to worry about is commercials.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:17:45


VO 00:17:45

Commercials coming up. And you could always say, we're going to hold through the break. If anything happens, we can come back and there's no records that you have.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:17:51

To play that's interesting. I don't know that we played music. I mean, obviously not like we were a music radio station, but we would play music. I mean, I remember a time we were playing Good Time Charlie. It's going to kill me now that I can't remember the name of the artist. Denny O'Keefe. And I locked myself in the studio because they give me shit for playing music or whatever. And the gag was the PD at the time would try to get into the studio. You could hear him pounding on the door. And I played the song over and over and over again. That's the kind of shit that would get you can from a job. But like I said, they were in on the gag, so that friction not really there.

VO 00:18:25

So nothing is for long at Am 600 or Am 60 or whatever incarnation that they were at that time. And so is this when you move.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:18:32

Over to Cfqr so you can tell how long ago this is? I have to think about it. The radio station got sold, I think, in 1988 to Pierreka and Pierre Belong. They bought it from the Pulias rather, who had owned it, and we were still doing afternoons. They buy the radio station. They wanted to convert Cfqr, which is a beautiful music FM station. At the time, RFM and Karaka forgot what the format idea was, but he said, I want you to stay. You'll have to take a pay cut. I want you to stay. Because back then, I don't remember what they bought it for back then. I think interest rates at banks were like 14 or 15%. It was an insane amount of money to finance that purchase. And I remember Tiara kind of calling staff into a meeting one day and saying, look, we're struggling making payroll. So he was letting everybody know it might have to wait another day or two before we can issue checks. But they were such decent guys that I ended up staying. And I think the idea was, I'm a little soft on timing here, but he said, I want you to stay. I actually thought when he wanted to see me, he was going to offer me the Morning Joe, but he didn't. He said, I want you to stay doing afternoons. You're going to have to take a small pay cut, but we love what you do, and please stay. And then from there, Mark Burns. Oh, I know what they did. They turned to Am 60, they switched formats, and they turned it into kind of a music station. And Mark Burns had been doing mornings on Cfqr, so they split Paul and I up. They gave Mark paul Pasa was working with Mark, which I thought was weird, and I was doing Am drive on my own. And then the Mark Burns and passive thing didn't work out. And that's when they put us back together at Cfqr and the rest, as they say, is history.

VO 00:20:12

And that station always had and was always marketed as very light favorites, like lighter than light favorites. There were a number of years in the 1990s when you were doing what you do on that radio station, which is undisruptable radio, as it were. And here you are having lots of comedy. It was good and it was light and it was fun, but it was almost like the music of the radio station throughout the 90s had to evolve to where you were rather than you conforming to what the station was. So one of the things I like is how the station always evolved upwards. Rhythmically humor, there was more fun and it all came together in the 90s.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:20:49

You're right. I mean, at the beginning the music did not fit the radio station. Although that changed, I think, as I recall, rather quickly. And I'm remembering that because I remember we were playing Madonna East Lap o Nita and the joke was you couldn't really understand what she was saying at the beginning of the song. And I thought it was last night I slept on a bagel. That's what it sounded like to me. And I remember saying that doing that joke on air, and that was real. I don't know what the fuck she's saying. Last night I slept on a bagel. And so we were already playing Madonna, which was very much different from what, I guess, the station done even a year before that. So yeah, there was that evolution in music.

VO 00:21:28

I'm never going to be able to listen to that song again without singing those words.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:21:31

I think that may have been Madonna's original intent.

VO 00:21:34

When does the whole show come together where it's you and Tasko and Suzanne?

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:21:38

Paul and I were working at the time, we were still in the Miguel College and it was basically a two person show. We had a kid offering, but that was character wise. And then I don't think we really evolved a whole lot or to the point where we eventually became what it became until we moved to Verdun. So we moved into the same building where SAQU and CKVL had been and then we hired a writer. I hired a kid by the name of Patrick Charles. So I think is absolutely brilliant. He's a great song parody. He's just a funny, funny and nice guy. And then bits started expanding. So it's like, let's take this and make this funny and then begin to play on the fact that Paul could do so many voices. And here's where it gets interesting politically. So, yeah, the PLQ crisis didn't really register or the PQ crisis when I was at school, but suddenly politics was everywhere in the news. The PQ were a force and so Paul could do an unbelievable Jacques periso. We would do bits that had to do with politics done in. A funny way, which I don't think anybody else was doing. So Paul would. If you listen, you'd hear Perryzo goofing off on something and people just kind of bought in. There was a guy named Joseph Fakao who was a PQ member, who I think at one point was considering running for leadership of the party. So we sat down and said, let's do this bit where you are, Joseph. Oh, no, you're Jacques Perryzo talking about why you support this guy, but it was gold because the guy's name was fatal and Perry's no would do.

VO 00:23:04

I remember when I went to school.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:23:06

With him, everybody called him Sweet Fakow, and it's just one joke to another, and I hear Suzanne crying in the background, laughing at that shit. So that became kind of that third person on Mike, or just off Mike. Laughing gives you the impression of having a bigger show, more people involved. And Patrick had a great laugh, and I think that's when it began to change.

VO 00:23:28

And I'm thinking also back to that era of Montreal radio. You guys are being funny, but that era was really serious politically. 93, 94, 95 and then there's a referendum, and Montreal is in the middle of all that. There's a lot of fear, there's a lot of news every day about the subject matter over and over again, but everybody is drawn to the radio for the news, but then they need relief from it, and then they go to you for the relief, and they can get some comic relief on this. Now that we're talking about it, I think this is where everybody really does connect. This is where you get your mass audience in Montreal.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:24:03

Well, it's interesting because, as you say, that we thoroughly ignored that. The last thing we did was try to be serious about anything. Like you said, you had that the rest of the day everywhere else. So we were just like, hey, if you can't make fun of this, if you can't have fun with this, what's the point? That's not what we do. We're not here to break down the news. We're not here to analyze what's going on politically. We think it's stupid, we think it's divisive. So what's the best way to treat it? Make fun of it, have fun with it. And that's what we did. And obviously that resonated with people.

VO 00:24:31

Did anybody call to complain and felt you'd gone over the line on anything? I'm sure you got a bunch of.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:24:37

Them every single day someone called to complain or someone said, what do you do? But sure, but I almost think that if that didn't happen, we weren't doing our jobs right. You're going to offend somebody. I mean, we live in a different time now. Like I said, I don't think you could do what we did then, now, and get away with it. But back then, yeah, but the station, to their credit, never came up and said, hey, you guys push too far, you cross the line. They just like, hey, keep doing what you're doing. It's working. We're happy, you're happy. Let's keep going. And that was a huge bonus. I mean, I worked in enough places where when there's pushback, sometimes, you know what lines not to cross. They never did that to us.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:25:17

In just a second, more with Aaron Rand as we talk about the end.

VO 00:25:20

Of his time on the air with.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:25:21

Taso and Suzanne Desotel at Q 92. He's moved to CJAD a glimpse into the current political climate in Montreal, and have been talking about some of the comedy that made his show so durable. Well, I managed to find a decent sample online. There's more. There's always more. Including a transcript of this

Tara Sands (VO) 00:25:43

Transcription the the Sound Off podcast powered by Potent your podcast is an SEO goldmine. We help you to dig out, start your free trial now at potent. IO. The the the Sound Off podcast is.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:25:58

From CFCF in 1987, and the show featured Aaron Rand with passopathsy caucus, aka Paul's A. Cave. All I know is that no one would ever get away with this today.

Speaker 5 00:26:11

Hello, john Zenos, please.

Speaker 7 00:26:13


Speaker 5 00:26:14

John, it's Bill Starmer from the Montreal license bureau here in San Bruno.

Speaker 7 00:26:19


Speaker 5 00:26:20

I understand you had your license suspended for three months a little while ago.

Speaker 7 00:26:24


Speaker 5 00:26:24

Well, the case has come back up for investigation. It's just crossed my desk, and I'm afraid I have to inform you that because of the incidents and the circumstances that came up, we have to suspend it indefinitely. Now, of course, that we don't do this arbitrarily, you'll have a chance to come by the Bureau and plead your case, but we would like to set an appointment up with you. Can we do that now?

Speaker 6 00:26:44

What are you talking about?

Speaker 5 00:26:45

You had your driver's license suspended.

Speaker 6 00:26:48

Pardon me?

Speaker 5 00:26:49

Did you have your driver's license suspended?

Speaker 6 00:26:51


Speaker 5 00:26:51

All right. The case has come up before me. We review all our cases for DUI here at the end.

Speaker 6 00:26:56

I'll come and see you someday.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:26:58

I'll tell you what, I'd like to.

Speaker 5 00:26:59

Make an appointment with you now because we don't want to suspend this without giving you a chance. Okay, John.

Speaker 6 00:27:05

Give me what?

Speaker 5 00:27:07

We'd like to hear your side. So, we'd like to set up an appointment. How would Friday of next week be?

Speaker 6 00:27:15

You're not serious.

Speaker 5 00:27:16

I know, I'm sorry.

Speaker 6 00:27:18

Are you serious about this?

Speaker 5 00:27:19

Yes, sir, we're very serious.

Speaker 6 00:27:21

You don't sound to me.

Speaker 5 00:27:22

Well, can we make an appointment for next Friday, or would you prefer I call you back.

Speaker 6 00:27:26

Call me back later.

Speaker 5 00:27:27

Call you back later, yeah. Is Friday not good for you?

Speaker 6 00:27:32

Maybe, I don't know.

Speaker 5 00:27:33

Well, sir, this is a very serious matter. Do you have legal representation? Do you want me to call your lawyer?

Speaker 6 00:27:38


Speaker 5 00:27:38

All right. Would you like to make an appointment then for next Friday?

Speaker 6 00:27:41

Not really.

Speaker 5 00:27:42

Well, when can you come in?

Speaker 6 00:27:44

I'm not planning to come in anymore.

Speaker 5 00:27:47

You have to come in.

Speaker 6 00:27:49


Speaker 5 00:27:49

Well, because this is a legal matter.

Speaker 6 00:27:52

It's a legal matter?

Speaker 5 00:27:53

Yes, sir.

Speaker 6 00:27:54

All right. We'll follow the legal proceedings.

Speaker 5 00:27:57

All right, I will send you a letter then, if that's the way you'd like it.

Speaker 6 00:28:00


Speaker 5 00:28:00

All right. Mr. Zenos?

Speaker 6 00:28:02


Speaker 5 00:28:03

When is your birthday, by the way?

Speaker 6 00:28:05


Speaker 5 00:28:05

I'm just curious. I'd like to know for our files here. I have made today. It's today?

Speaker 6 00:28:09


Speaker 5 00:28:10

All right, so thank you very much.

Speaker 7 00:28:11


Speaker 5 00:28:12

Mr. Zeno, just one other thing.

Speaker 6 00:28:15

Pardon me?

Speaker 5 00:28:15

One other thing.

Speaker 6 00:28:16


Speaker 5 00:28:17

It's Aaron Rand calling from CFCF. From Am 60.

Speaker 6 00:28:19

Oh, yeah?

Speaker 5 00:28:20

Happy birthday, John. Thank you very much. Thank you, John. Had to worry there, huh?

Speaker 6 00:28:34

Yeah. Okay.

Speaker 5 00:28:35

Thanks, John. Okay. Eight before six there's.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:28:37

What had he said?

Speaker 5 00:28:38

No, I didn't want to play that back on the mirror, but if you do want us to do that to a friend, you have, or you already had sent us a letter, would you please put birthdays on the outside? Eight before 06:00. Eight before six is our time.

VO 00:28:50

So I'm remembering a bit, and it could have been anywhere in the not have been in the 90s, but you wound up calling this woman who had just given birth to a beautiful baby boy named Patrick. But Tasso gets on the line, and it's acting like a government official who insists that the baby being named Petris.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:29:07

I remember that vaguely, but not specifically. Did he call as a government minister or something?

VO 00:29:13


Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:29:14

Yeah, that's certainly something we would have.

VO 00:29:16

Done, but that's gold.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:29:18

I'd be pretty handy right about now, frankly. So now that everything's going to have to be in French, that would be a great fit to pull back again.

VO 00:29:24

I have that on the list for you to break down. I don't want to kill the audience just yet with this, honestly.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:29:30

I mean, I remember as something we did, but I don't remember the specifics of it. Did she cry? She took it as being real, right?

VO 00:29:37

Yeah, for a bit. And then you let her off the hook and was funny.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:29:39

We did a bunch of those, I think, later on called the wake up calls. So we would have people send us a situation where we call someone up, pretend to be serious. I called the guy once, pretending to be someone in his building, and he had to stop parking his car in this one particular spot, and if he didn't, we were going to have his car towed. He went ballistic because he bought it. And he was like, I'm going to kill you. I'm going to find you. Don't tell me where to buy. It was great. And then, of course, the gag when you reveal and pretty much, I'd say, 99 times out of 100, they'd start to laugh. We got hung up on one that I can remember, but surely that was great.

VO 00:30:13

Tell me about the competition in the market. It got really odd when ratings would come out because here's English Montreal with really three very large radio stations competing for some pie. There's a few others that are fighting over some other stuff because Am radio begins to really sort of pull back. But you open up the ratings book and it's like, what is the gap between The Terry Demente show and Aaron Rand show? And it seemed to be like a two horse race for many years. Of course, CJD was always CJD. So when you look back on that era, how do you view the competition amongst those shows?

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:30:47

It's funny to describe it as competition. I'm not sure if it's unique to Montreal as a radio market, but I don't know, I never really felt I mean, yes, there's another radio station and we're basically fighting for the same audience. Although you might argue that if you're listening to Sean, you're not listening necessarily to QR to the queue. I think it was the guys in the front office who were like, okay, here's how it breaks down. So they have, I don't know, 25 34. You have 35 49 or 35 54. And I think the big thing for us was the fact, and certainly for them, because I've never really been one of those guys to sit down and break down ratings books. I just figured I'll keep working till the ratings are shitty and they'll let me know and I won't have a job anymore. And I've been lucky that way because it's never come to that. Well, I mean, except at the end when the ownership changed and they decided they wanted to go different ways. But when they told us that we were number one in the market in breakfast men and women, because that has never happened before. At the Beat, it was always female centric demo. That's when we knew we were on the right track. So suddenly, 35 54 were number one in men, number one in women, number one in adults. That's kind of what solidified things for us. I like Terry always. I mean, the little we have to do with each other. I like Terry. We got along fine. It was never the kind of thing where the radio guys got together in the city. I know someone tried to put that together a couple of times, right? They'd invite the morning men to get together, which was weird because we weren't hanging out with each other to begin with. So you'd sit there for an hour and be cordial and you had no reason not to be. But I don't know, the competition here in this market is the same as it is perhaps in other major Canadian markets. I don't know. It's like when Terry and I started doing the Gripes on CTV with Matsumi. We're like, we're buddies. I mean, when Terry left to go to Calgary, I call Terry on air live on our show. And I heard about that from people saying, are you crazy? You can't do that. You can have one radio station call another station and wish them good.

VO 00:32:39


Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:32:39

We're all in this thing together. What's the big deal? That's how it had been up until then. I never understood that. I'll get it.

VO 00:32:46

Well, it's again, front office people who are inside the pickle jar and can't really read the label. I guess I was part of that, by the way. I got a smell and a whiff of it. But yeah, I thought the era was incredible because we had this choice, we had these two born and raised Montreal, and I thought, nobody can really come in. It's very difficult for somebody to come from afar to be able to do morning radio for a long period of time. And I'll say hi to Kat Spencer, who's done it very well for many years, who came from Edmonton. But it's hard. Montreal is not an easy place to be doing radio.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:33:20

Well, you think back to when John Deringer came to show that was supposed to be a cakewalk and it turned out to be a disaster. So, yeah, I mean, you're right. The history shows that. I'm kind of wondering, just off topic, how it's going to play and show them now?

VO 00:33:32

Yeah, absolutely. Well, every time Terry leaves the city, 15% to 20% of the audience leaves and you've got to find a way to replace that. He went to Calgary. We already have the numbers on that. So they had to bring him back. I guess this is a good time to ask you, I guess in 2009, when you were told that Suzanne and Tassel would be leaving and you'd be staying on, how did that come about and why?

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:33:52

Honestly, I don't know. I know we had changed TDs at the time. In the back of my mind, and I don't know this to be the case, but I think Mark Dickey became the GM, and I think Mark was out to prove that he could do things differently, maybe save the station some money, didn't necessarily like the way the show was going. I don't know if it was a matter of numbers or not in terms of ratings. I think he wanted to make his mark and his mark was not to have that show continue the way it was. And listen, if I'm being perfectly honest, I think when they let Paul and Suzanne go, they expected that I would leave, but I was under contract and I wasn't going to walk away and give him the satisfaction of being able to say, look what I did. I got rid of all these guys. And it was really pretty awful because I remember they kept stringing Paul along, saying he was ready to negotiate his contract and they were like, oh, no, we'll talk in another week or two. And what they were doing as it turns out, was waiting until that period of his contract was over so they could just say, Sorry, you're done. Which I thought was really shitty, but not necessarily unusual in this business. I felt terrible and really, it wasn't the same after that. I think that's pretty obvious. But that's what the deal was. I had a contract, I was going to work it out and do the best I could. They brought in Sarah Bartok from Toronto. Sweet kid, but obviously never going to be the same. And then Brian deposit brought in as PD, I think, to facilitate that change. I'll never know this for a fact. I don't know if they had a plan to kind of gradually ease everybody out instead of just saying, hey, we want to make a change, here's what we're going to do. So, I don't know, shout out to.

VO 00:35:19

Chorus Entertainment for all that.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:35:20

I had a conversation just a couple of days ago with Brian Kennedy, who used to be the GM before Mark Dickie, talking about Chorus and what it was like having gone from the local ownership here to suddenly the suits from Chorus coming in. And John Hayes, who was running radio at the time, walked in one day. Never met him. We just knew we had owners from Toronto. And John walked in looking like he just got that at GQ, right. Three piece suit, tie, the whole load. And I thought, this is not good. But he walked in and he was as nice as could be. Loved your show, love what you do, whatever else. But it was a pretty short lived marriage as well because they were out of here. I don't even think they lasted two years. I'm not even sure. I don't know how long that lasted.

VO 00:35:58

Yeah, that sounds about right. And I was in that company, too, at that time as well, and I was working in management. So everything you said checked out, of course.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:36:06


VO 00:36:07

Out of Winnipeg.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:36:08

Again. I'm getting off topic. Is Chorus like, a serious player in the radio industry now or are they more of a TV company or content company?

VO 00:36:14

That's a great question that I don't think anybody really knows between all the mergers with Shaw and Course. But they've got a lot of radio stations still across the country and they're still doing the talk format out in the west of 680 in Winnipeg, 630 Chad, QR 77 and CKNW in Vancouver and Am 640 in Toronto. So they've got the Global News Network now.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:36:35

That was an interesting time, for sure.

VO 00:36:37

Yeah, well, I think there was a lot of panic with contracts because they just come out of we come out of 2009 when there was a bit of a recession. And by the way, I don't think anybody's told you this, but Corey hired Terry Dementia to go to Calgary. That had a lot to do with Disenfranchising showmethm in order to get 92.5 more listeners.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:36:58

So when you look at a deal.

VO 00:36:59

Like that, there are two parts at play to that deal.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:37:02

I've never heard that before.

VO 00:37:03

I thought about it. Nobody had ever said it. But that's what I think Horace's calculation was at that time, that we can take territory Montreal, we can boost 92 five and disenfranchise the listings from shown to go to 92 five. And at the same time we can build Calgary and take on Jerry Forbes.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:37:17

Yeah, except, I mean, that shown audience in our audience would have been two different audiences, wouldn't it?

VO 00:37:21

Again, the people in the front office, who knows why they think this stuff up, right? Let's not question them.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:37:26

Fair enough.

VO 00:37:27

Is angle radio underserved in Montreal.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:37:30

That's a really interesting question and I'll tell you why. And maybe I'm crazy. I've been thinking about this lately because with Cfqr, that new Am 600 station that's signing on apparently is the big challenger to CJD. Somehow they've had a broadcast license for ten years and just now, literally this week, have finally signed on, have a frequency and have apparently a web page, but don't have anything beyond that. So if the idea was you have to counterprogram to CJ ad, what are you doing and why have you waited this long and what's your idea? But to me, where I think the understurving here is as far as music goes, I don't understand how Montreal does not have a boomer or a zoomer station. Like, how is that possible? Out East Maritimes, I think Stingray owns a pile of radio stations with that format. I don't know where they are around the rest of the country. I know Toronto obviously has them, but how is it that that demographic which is growing, that 50 or 55 plus demographic that wants to listen to that music or to that kind of talk doesn't have a radio station it can call its own? To me, that's a hole in the market. Maybe I'm crazy and maybe it wouldn't work on Am, but certainly it would seem to me if you have at least two classical music stations in the city, why don't we have a station serving those kind of people who want to listen to stuff from the maybe even from the 50s? Where is that? Those are also people who don't stream radio. They're not on the internet every day trying to find their favorite songs. They expect to hear this by just turning on radio. So I wonder if that's something that someone is going to try to put together, because it seems to me there is a market for that. You tell me it's licensing.

VO 00:39:03

It's very complicated to get a license, and especially if you're going to bring an English license where you're going to play 100% hit Anglophone music that's going to draw from the French side who have thick regulations of 65% Francophone music and there's going to be 100% interventions from all those players. So licensing is very complicated, which is really a shame.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:39:26

It makes me think back to when she tried to do a sort of bilingual program. You remember how their knuckles wrapped because of it from the French radio stations who weren't allowed to do that kind of a thing. I wonder if we ever get around that.

VO 00:39:37

Well, there's a radio review and Bill C Eleven that's making its way through. So maybe it opens things up or maybe it makes things worse. But only the people inside Trudeau's inner circle right now with Bill C Eleven are going to be able to let us know that.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:39:49

Yeah, we actually talk about the fact that you kind of wonder, even though it's federally regulated, if this whole Built 96 issue will allow the provincial government to stick its nose into radio or media in general. Federally chartered business, federally regulated business, but so are banks.

VO 00:40:04

So I'm glad you brought that up. We've talked about two bills already. I'll explain that to the audience and what both of them mean, but you're in the middle of it every day at CJ ad. In fact, just before you get that, how did you get on CJAD?

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:40:17

I got a call after leaving Q. I left in May and decided to take some time and just go sit on a beach somewhere and didn't do it. And I got a call from Chris Barry, who's now the, I guess, managing director, whatever he is. And it's interesting because Chris had worked for me as the producer for our morning show, too. Not for very long, because that just wasn't a fit. But he called me up saying, can we meet for lunch? Okay. I thought it was just, here's a guy I know from having worked here or whatever, maybe he just wants to talk about me having left, and we meet for lunch, and he's talking to me about politics and news, and I'm like, okay, and nothing happens. He calls me up a week later, can we meet for lunch again? This happened two or three times, and he's talking about the same kind of stuff all the time. And the next thing I know, he's like, so what do you think about coming to work over at CJD? And then I realized all these lunch meetings had been to see if you actually have a clue about what's going on in the world and could expand on any of these issues, which I thought was kind of cute in a way, but that was the research he was doing to me. That's one of those things where even if you work as a DJ, if you want to call it that, I think the assumption is guys who do morning shows or do funny radio just do that and don't have a clue. And I've always thought that's a great disservice to people in the business. Everyone does prep. You need to know what's going on to be successful in business no matter what format you're in. So to assume that the person you're talking to, just because they did this specific kind of radio, they must not be able to really care about or know much of anything else I thought was really kind of embarrassing in a way. I don't know about you, but to me, you need to know what's going on to be able to pull off this job, no matter what format you're in successfully. So to think they don't know anything that's going on, that's a bit insulting.

VO 00:42:00

Yeah, it really depends on I think FM radio in the US. Is very music driven, and that is a longer bridge for them to cross over, to go to talk radio, which, as we know in the US. Talk radio is all sorts of things generally on Am and a lot of dragon breathing and setting fire to things to the point where and I know you know Valerie Geller, and in her book, she has an entire chapter dedicated to going from rock to talk, but you've been immersed with it for forever. This was really the crux of your writing and your performances and what you did on the radio. So yes to that. Yeah, it is kind of insulting to think that you can't do it.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:42:38

They wanted to cover all their bases just to make sure I'm sure you came with a checklist. Let's talk about this. Let's see if he knows anything about that. And then at the end of it, it's like, Would you like to work here?

VO 00:42:47

So all that to say, it really wasn't a difficult transition to get on CJ ad and just start talking.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:42:52

You know what, it's interesting, though, in my mind, it may have been because I've never done a strict talk show and I know what ad was. It is. So I was kind of flying blind, honestly, for the first week or two. And you work with a producer. I never really worked with a producer before, but it became a lot smoother than perhaps I thought it would. It did not take long to fall into that.

VO 00:43:13

I'm guessing that the show prep is different. That's really the only thing yeah.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:43:17

Show prep. When we did our morning show with me looking at Tesla saying, okay, you're Dave, he's stoned. He went to vote, and you're asking me to come to your house. And he was so good at being able to take the germ of an idea and turn it into a bit know that we only had two minutes to do it in, or whatever it was that was the prep. The prep was I hate to make it sound like it was dinosaur times. No Internet, no nothing, no whatever. You picked up a paper in the morning or you'd watch the news the night before and created something that you would literally do on the fly the next morning. We never wrote stuff down. I didn't say read. I mean, maybe you want you twice, but typically it wasn't, okay, here's the character, here's the bit. Let's go. And sometimes it would fall flat or maybe kind of half hit, and other times it would be gold. But that was the beauty of doing it that way. And then all of a sudden you're at ad. If I showed you my prep list for today, I have everything timed out, every interview, every segway, it's all there because that's what you kind of have to do when you're doing talk. So it's completely different. But thankfully now we actually have a producer.

VO 00:44:19

Do you still get newspapers in the morning? Do you get a hard copy of the show now? Yes, you do. You're holding it up. And there it is. You get the Gazette, I get the.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:44:28

Hard copy, and everything else I read online. You're not the presence of Ware, Washington Post, the New York Times, or whatever happens to be it's like professional skimming. That's what we do with print nowadays, which is amazing when you think back to how little information you have to work with back then, to how much information you have to work with now.

VO 00:44:44

Can you walk me through Bill 96? Because every once in a while I look at Montreal and I go, is it safe to move back? And now I look and I go, no, it is not safe just yet. And what I mean safe is I want to be kind of free of all the things that we've kind of alluded to. And that's like an FLQ crisis, a 1995 referendum, Bill 101, the exodus to Toronto in 1976. Can I go and live a life without having to feel that there's controversy around me? So here's Bill 96. What's going on?

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:45:15

It's all over again. It's a government fighting the same war that doesn't exist now that did then. Because and I don't know what the because is, you have a premier running a province who was a separatist, so we're going to assume he's always a separatist. And I think the conspiracy theory now and I'm not even sure it's a conspiracy theory anymore, I think it's probably a well documented theory. Here's a guy trying to extract as much as he can from the federal government, create a rift between the two when there's something he can't get and use that as the basis to say, see, we can't get this. This should be under our control. This means we probably should have a referendum or separation. So trying to get to the same place without having to go through what happened the first time around, which is what happened in 1995 when we barely managed to stay within the country. He appointed two former separatists, Diehards, including one who ran for leadership of the party, kevin Kwa in Bernard Dranville, who actually was the father, if you can, of the charter of values that never took. Hold because they lost the election, which would have had all public servants not being able to wear a hijab, aquifer a crucifix, whatever. So why would you do that? If you paint yourself as a party that doesn't want to have or doesn't need separation at its core. So there's a lot of different theories as to why they're doing this. But to your question, is it safe? I don't know. I don't think so. If you're an Anglo coming back here and you don't speak French well enough, I think you're going to run into trouble. And I know the government has said otherwise, but they always say one thing and do another. And the fact that there is a notwithstanding clause in front of all this legislation, meaning you can't even challenge it because that's why it's there. No, I mean, if you want to learn French and if you want to be able to function in French and you expect to be served in French, that's fine. If you expect to be served in English and get services from the government in English going forward, I don't think so. And just this week, marriage licenses, birth certificates, death certificates, all have to be in French. It's a great time to be in the translation business in Quebec.

VO 00:47:13

And so that bit that I referenced earlier where you were just joking about somebody named Patrick being forced to be called petris here it is.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:47:20

That's why I said it. Absolutely. We are at that stage. Again, it's funny, but it's not funny.

VO 00:47:26

The PQ government will always do this, and it always seems to stoke both sides. Are people really buying this? Like, on the street?

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:47:34

I think there's been usually what happens is you get pushback from the Anglo community to the Alafone community because it's typically against them. But I think they're now starting to see something we have not seen in a while, which is pushback from the Francophone community and especially pushback from French media, which almost never happens. They look at some of the rules in Bill 96 and say, okay, this is excessive, and it's for no reason. The government's condition or the government's logic in wanting to do this is to protect and promote the French language. Right? That's the boilerplate why we're doing this. But at the end of the day, it's not a zero sum game. You don't protect the French language by diminishing or eliminating the English language. And then about a week ago, the Premier actually came out and brought up something that I think raised a lot of eyebrows. The idea that he said, we have figures to suggest that there's not as much mother tongue French being spoken in homes. And that was one of those, wait a second. It's none of your fucking business what language gets spoken in homes. What are you doing? And I think that kind of woke some people up and scared some people to say, okay, this is going too far. What's going to happen? Putting a cap on the number of English students who can go to CJ in this city. That kind of thing has made people say, okay, even on the Francophone side, not the hardliners, but the moderates, this is too much, it's not necessary. And then the other day, 37 tech companies with a warning to the government, this is going to hurt the tech sector. We can't get immigrants to come here from other parts of the world if we're going to force them to learn French in six months or no longer be able to receive services from the government in English. So a lot of individual components in this bill are scaring people. The question is how much of it will actually get implemented and how much will be delayed? Because that seems to be the government's new thing now, right? If there's enough pushback, they're not going to implement it for two years. They're not going to say, we're going to take it out of the bill. They just say, we'll wait to implement it. That's as much as we get. The question is, how much farther will keep going?

VO 00:49:24

Do you think there's an implication for radio with this?

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:49:27

I don't know. That's what I said before. We're kind of protected by that umbrella of we're federally regulated in this country. But as I said, Canada Post, the railways, the banks, they are federally regulated businesses as well. They're all conforming now to build 101, which has been around for a long time, and most of them apparently are now. And with the federal government, I guess, turning its back in a sense, saying they'll also go ahead and follow through with Bill 96, which is the federal government not wanting to confront the provincial government, not wanting to start a fight because they know where that fight leads. So we're in very kind of strange ground right now.

VO 00:50:05

The two things that I find different from 1976 to now, I mean, they're fairly obvious. One is the Internet. The Internet is largely in English, and a lot of people are doing their learning on there, and they're spending time on there. So we have to figure that's going to get regulated in some capacity in Quebec. Who knows? With the other bill federally, with Bill C Eleven, what's going to happen? But you mentioned it, and that's the tech side of things. But also Montreal. Montreal is more Anglo and alaphone than it is Francophone. I'm just looking at just solidly the island, not the entire city of Montreal. Montreal again, is really caught in the middle.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:50:38

Yeah, it is Montreal. There are two Quebec. One is Montreal and one is the rest of Quebec. Montreal is a functioning bilingual city with Francophones. All of the sames anglophones. The other difference, by the way, Mac, from 1976 to now, is there are 100 times more bilingual people in this city, in this province, than there were before. 76. The French factor then was we're getting taken advantage of. That's why we needed to create the party. Tibet in Bill 101. It's not 1976 anymore, but for the most part, Anglophones here speak French and function in French and, as I said, are more bilingual than ever. So that's a fake battle against something that no longer exists. But that's what this government is wanting to fight and that's what they're hoping people buy into. And that's just not honest.

VO 00:51:22

Especially when you get radio ratings and you can see how many people are listening to you. Well, here's the English people who listen to you. Here are the Francophones who listen to you. And we know that that's not really a thing because so many people speak both languages and live and work in both languages.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:51:36

Yeah, and that's something discovery just prefer to ignore.

VO 00:51:40

Aaron, every time you mention a restaurant and where you went, I just wanted to know what restaurant you ate at. I mean, it's the most Montreal thing to say. Where did you have lunch with Chris Barry anyway, when you were cutting that deal?

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:51:49

So Chris Barry was at should I forgot what it's called in the Pepsi Forum. It's not there anymore. They didn't have big budgets, I guess, for lunch. Julietta Romeo. I forgot what it was called. The Old Montreal Forum, which they turned to this thing now. So. Yeah, I saw you with Joe Beef.

VO 00:52:04

Yeah, we're Joe Beef. And that's where I got the idea to have this conversation with you. I know it was like over a year and a half ago, but that's why I wanted to have you on it, because in that moment I was.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:52:13

Like, oh, I got to sit down.

VO 00:52:15

With Aaron Ran and have this conversation. I want to thank you for taking the time to do it today.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:52:19

I just want to tell you how impressed I am that you remember the most weird or the most innocuous bits that even I can't remember from that many years ago. So thank you for that.

VO 00:52:29

I wish I'd spent more time listening to you, but I wasn't always living in Montreal. I do actually listen to you on the smart speaker every afternoon, so I can just say, hey, Alexa, play CJD. And there you are. We live in great times.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:52:41

We do battle how the Internet would have changed things if we had that back in the 1990s.

VO 00:52:45

Aaron, thanks so much for doing this. I know you got a big day of CJD ahead and enjoy your summer. I know you've got F one coming up. You've got the just for laughs You've got all the great Montreal festivals that take place, and as well, a lot of construction and cones.

Aaron Rand (Guest) 00:52:58

Don't forget the cones.

Tara Sands (VO) 00:52:59

The Sound Off podcast. Written and hosted by Matt Cundill. Produced by Evan Surminski. Social Media by Courtney Krebsbach Another great creation from the A Sound Off media company. There's always


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