ARCHIVED -  Public Notice CRTC 1987-163

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Public Notice

Ottawa, 10 July 1987

Public Notice CRTC 1987-163
Call for comments concerning the improvement of radio services in Abitibi/Témiscamingue, Quebec and surrounding area
Related document: Decision CRTC 87-558 of today's date.
At a public hearing in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec on 12 May 1987, the Commission examined competing applications for the provision of new radio services in Abitibi Témiscamingue. In Decision CRTC 87-558 published today, the Commission approved the applications by 149178 Canada Inc. to operate new private French-language FM stations in Rouyn-Noranda and Val d'Or.
In the decision, the Commission addressed the interventions submitted at the public hearing, which once again brought to the CRTC's attention the lack of radio services available in this region, particularly in Témiscamingue, in certain parts of the Abitibi area, and in the outlying areas of Matagami, Joutel and Lebel-sur-Quévillon.
The Commision has already stated its concerns in this regard in previous decisions which renewed the licences of Radio-Nord Inc., the region's predominant broadcaster. This company, in conjunction with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, played a pioneering role in the establishment of basic broadcasting services in the region. In Decision CRTC 84-349, which renewed the licences of Radio-Nord's AM stations, the Commission noted the concerns raised by the "Groupe d'intervention pour l'amélioration des services de radio et de télévision en Abitibi-Témiscamingue" (Groupe d'intervention), an organization which includes the mayors of Val d'Or, Malartic, Senneterre and Amos as well as the Conseil régional de développement de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue (CRDAT). Specifically, the Groupe d'intervention emphasized the total lack of service in the Matagami/Joutel region and in the La Vérendrye Park, the presence of "dead zones" between station contours, and the unavailability of full CBC network radio services. In reply, Radio-Nord said that it was prepared to examine the possibility of improving service in the Matagami/Joutel/Lebel-sur-Quévillon area and that it would submit an application for the operation of a rebroadcasting station in Joutel in the near future.
At the 12 May 1987 hearing, the Commission once again had an opportunity to discuss these matters with Radio-Nord and the CBC. Radio-Nord stated that it has a [TRANSLATION] "medium-term" plan to introduce rebroadcasting stations in Matagami, Joutel and Lebel-sur-Quévillon, possibly in co-operation with the CBC. For its part, the CBC stated that although Abitibi is one of the areas to which it plans to extend its FM stereo network, owing to budget constraints all such projects have been postponed indefinitely.
Because of the distance of this region from major urban centres and because of its scattered population, the Commission is convinced that the improvement in services requires a special, concerted effort from all interested parties, as well as the co-ordination and pooling of all available resources. The Commission therefore invites existing broadcasters, local associations and organizations and all interested parties to submit comments, particularly on the following matters:
- means of increasing the availability of radio broadcasting services in the Abitibi and Temiscamingue region, as well as in Matagami, Joutel and Lebel-sur-Quévillon. Suggestions concerning Temiscamingue should take into account the size of the market and the special status of the only local radio station, CKVM Marie;
- means of introducing the CBC's French-language FM stereo service in Abitibi/Témiscamingue.
Comments must be submitted in writing by 11 September 1987, to the Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2.
Fernand Bélisle Secretary General

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