ARCHIVED - Public Notice CRTC 84-201

This page has been archived on the Web

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. Archived Decisions, Notices and Orders (DNOs) remain in effect except to the extent they are amended or reversed by the Commission, a court, or the government. The text of archived information has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Changes to DNOs are published as “dashes” to the original DNO number. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats by contacting us.

Public Notice

Ottawa, 31 July 1984
Public Notice CRTC 1984-201
In its Public Announcement of 19 July 1976, the Commission defined a community radio station as being owned and controlled by a non-profit organization whose structure provides for membership, management, operation and programming primarily by members of the community at large. Since the early 1970's, community radio has played a significant role within the Canadian broadcasting system, particularly in terms of the community access and innovation that it has encouraged and the alternative it offers to conventional radio.
To date, the Commission has issued a total of 23 community licences, including 21 in Quebec. Approximate ly 60 native stations have also been authorized and, generally, they serve remote communities. The rapid development of community radio in the Province of Quebec has been largely due to grants and support provided by the Quebec Department of Communications under its Community Media Assistance Program (CMAP), as well as to certain federal job creation programs such as "Canada Works". Support has been substantial, particularly during the starting-up phase of the stations, but the proliferating number of community stations in Quebec has created a growing demand which the various sources of government funding have not been able to meet. Consequently, several community radio licensees wish to review their advertising policy and are considering resorting to more traditional sources of revenue.
While the Commission recognizes that many community radio stations, particularly in Quebec where the problems are the most acute, are presently experiencing financial difficulties, it is nevertheless concerned by the gradual shift of these stations in recent years toward greater commercialization.
In reviewing applications for new community radio stations, the Commission placed great importance on innovation and quality of the programming plans, as well as potential community involvement. As indicated in its 1975 Policy Statement on FM Radio the Commission expected these undertakings to be different from private stations in terms of objectives, ownership, management and financial resources and to provide examples of innovation in the areas of program format and audience response.
The Commission has stated on a number of occasions that increased commercialization is contrary to the mandate of community radio stations and to their underlying philosophy, and could affect, either directly or indirectly, their community nature and the balance of broadcasting services available in a given market.
Moreover, the Commission is concerned by the failure of some community radio licensees to comply with their Promise of Performance and the condition of licence concerning restricted advertising. The Commission discussed this latter problem at the Public Hearing in Hull, Quebec on 13 December 1983, when it was considering applications for amendment of licence of community radio stations in Maniwaki, Rivière-du-Loup and Rimouski, Quebec (Decisions CRTC 84-300, 301 and 302 dated 29 March 1984).
Proposed consultations
To evaluate more precisely the environment in which community radio is evolving in Quebec, examine the extent of the constraints and discuss the solutions and proposals which may be put forward by Quebec community radio broadcasters, the Commission intends to hold consultative meetings before next fall with community radio broadcasters and with the Association des radiodiffuseurs communautaires du Québec (ARCQ). It also plans to meet with private broadcasters operating in communities served by community radio stations, and with their industry representatives. The Commission also intends to include student FM radio in the consultative process inview of its evolution and community orientation, as recognized in its Policy statement on the Review of Radio (Public Notice CRTC 1983-43). The Commission will also contact community and student radio broadcasters across Canada to give them the opportunity to make their views on these issues known in writing.
Without limiting the content or scope of the matters to be dealt with, the Commission will wish to focus on the following issues and topics:
1) What is the role of community radio within the Canadian broadcasting system?
a) What is the specific role of each of the types of community stations (in urban, rural and remote communities), and what would be the classes and characteristics of licences appropriate to them (special FM, or first radio service FM)?
(b) To what particular requirements should community radio broadcasters who hold a special FM licence but want to submit an application for a commercial station, independent FM or first radio service FM licence be subject?
Other topics that might be discussed are:
2) The diversification of funding sources and financial support from the community.
3) The commercial activity of community stations in smaller communities also served by commercial stations, compared with other communities.
4) The direct and indirect impact of competition and commercialization on the nature of programming, based on present experience.
5) The type and quantity of advertising permitted according to classes of licence.
6) The Promise of Performance as a realistic commitment.
7) The hours of broadcasting necessary for an adequate and effective service.
As indicated in Decision CRTC 84-625 released today, which renews for a short period the community radio station licences of Maniwaki, Rivière-du-Loup and Rimouski, the Commission intends to follow the above-mentioned consultations with a public hearing to be held in 1985, during which it would consider the applications for renewal of the licences of most of the FM community radio stations in Quebec.
In addition to the consultations outlined on page 3 of this Notice, parties interested in submitting their observations on the state of community radio in general and on the issues referred to in this notice may do so in conjunction with the public hearing that will be announced later.
Fernand Bélisle Secretary General

Date modified: