ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 95-129

This page has been archived on the Web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.


Ottawa, 4 April 1995

Decision CRTC 95-129

Victory Christian Fellowship of Lethbridge (1983) Inc., on behalf of a society to be incorporated
Lethbridge, Alberta - 931445100

New Over-the-Air Television Station Devoted to Religious Programming - Approved

Following a Public Hearing held in Saskatoon beginning on 6 June 1994, the Commission approves the application for a broadcasting licence to carry on an English-language television programming undertaking at Lethbridge, operating on channel 17 with an effective radiated power of 31,600 watts, to broadcast religious programming from local studios and other Canadian sources, as well as religious programming originating in the United States.

The Department of Industry, Science and Technology (DIST) has advised that the proposed station will operate with an effective radiated power of 31,600 watts rather than 5,200 watts as originally proposed by the applicant and indicated in CRTC Notice of Public Hearing 1994-6. DIST has also advised that the coverage contours described in the application remain unchanged.

The Commission will issue a licence to Victory Christian Fellowship of Lethbridge (1983) Inc. (Victory), on behalf of a society to be incorporated, expiring 31 August 2001, subject to the conditions specified in this decision and in the licence to be issued.

This authority will only be effective and the licence will only be issued at such time as the Commission receives documentation establishing that an eligible Canadian corporation has been incorporated and that it may be issued a licence.

The proposed television station and studios will be located within the Victory Christian Fellowship Church, situated on the outskirts of Lethbridge. All programming will be religious in nature and will include talk and information programs, church services, drama, music and programs for children and youth. The schedule includes programs directed towards aboriginal people and specific ethnic groups.

Victory's proposal for single-faith ownership of an undertaking dedicated solely to the broadcast of religious programming is one of the first such applications to be considered by the Commission following the release of Public Notice CRTC 1993-78 dated 3 June 1993 and entitled "Religious Broadcasting Policy". According to that policy, a licensee of an over-the-air broadcasting undertaking devoted to religious programming is expected to provide balance in its programming and adhere to the guidelines on ethics set out in Public Notice CRTC 1993-78.

On 30 August 1994, the Commission issued Public Notice CRTC 1994-110 in which it provided further guidance with respect to its expectations regarding balance and adherence to the Commission's guidelines on ethics and asked Victory to provide clarification of its commitments in these areas. Based on the clarifications submitted by the applicant in response to the concerns outlined in Public Notice CRTC 1994-110, the Commission is satisfied that Victory's proposed service has met the objectives and satisfied the concerns raised by the Commission in the Religious Broadcasting Policy.


The Broadcasting Act requires that programming offered by the Canadian broadcasting system should provide a reasonable opportunity for the public to be exposed to the expression of differing views on matters of public concern. The Commission generally expects that, in order to satisfy this requirement, licensees of over-the-air undertakings devoted to religious programming should, in particular, expose the audience to different points of view on religion. The Commission generally takes the view that the balance requirement will be met where a reasonably consistent viewer is exposed to a spectrum of views on issues of public concern within a reasonable period of time.

To provide balance, Victory made a commitment to produce and broadcast a minimum of 7 hours each week of "religious affairs" programming. This programming will include 3 hours 30 minutes each week of interviews with invited guests representing various denominations and faith groups, as well as documentaries about various denominations and faiths and programs dealing with topics of public concern. The remaining 3 hours 30 minutes will consist of phone-in programming designed to present differing views on matters of general public concern and, in particular, on religion.

Victory will screen calls during the open-line programs to ensure that diverse points of view are aired. The applicant will also make a telephone line available 24 hours daily to give viewers the opportunity to express their opinions, and will then air these comments during the phone-in program. In addition, Victory will promote opportunities for viewer comments through "regular notices broadcast throughout the day".

To provide balance and meet the needs of the community, Victory also made a commitment to broadcast a minimum of 7 hours each week of programming from a variety of faith groups and denominations in the local area. Victory advised the Commission that it will actively solicit programming from other faith groups and denominations on an ongoing basis, and that it will make "reasonable efforts" to assist groups that do not have the resources to produce programming. In the event that these groups do not submit a sufficient amount of programming to adequately reflect other views, Victory will find alternative means to ensure that balance is provided on its service.

The Commission reminds Victory that it is responsible for all of the programming it distributes on its station, notwithstanding that portions of its programming may be based on air time provided by other faith groups and denominations.

In accordance with these commitments, the Commission requires the applicant, by condition of licence, to broadcast, at a minimum, 14 hours weekly of programming that presents differing views on religion and matters of general public concern, including 4 hours weekly of such programming between 6:00 p.m. and midnight.


The Commission expects the applicant to fulfill its commitment to adhere to the guidelines on ethics set out in Public Notice CRTC 1993-78.

With respect to the administration of the guidelines, Victory will provide them to its programming staff, programming suppliers, and groups wishing to purchase air time, and will obtain assurances from all of these parties that they will adhere to the guidelines. Victory's Regulatory Review Committee, discussed below, will review any new programs to ensure compliance with the guidelines and monitor the manner in which funds are solicited. During its open-line programming, Victory will use a time-delay mechanism to ensure that those remarks which violate the guidelines are not aired on the station.

With respect to enforcement of the guidelines, Victory will issue a written warning to the program producer in the case of a first infraction. In the event of a second infraction, Victory will warn the program producer in writing that the program may be removed from the station's schedule. Victory will delete the program if there is a third infraction, and will reinstate it only at the Regulatory Review Committee's discretion. Finally, Victory will remove a program permanently, should a fourth infraction occur.

Regulatory Review Committee

In accordance with Victory's commitment, the Commission expects the applicant to establish and maintain a Regulatory Review Committee to monitor the station's performance with regard to balance and adherence to the guidelines on ethics. Victory stated that its Regulatory Review Committee will consist of six members, three of whom will not belong to the applicant's congregation and will be representatives of diverse faith groups or community leaders. The Commission encourages Victory also to recruit members from non-Christian traditions for nomination to the Regulatory Review Committee.

The Regulatory Review Committee will meet monthly and will review the station's performance with regard to balance and adherence to the guidelines. The Committee will also monitor the selling of air time to ensure that other faith groups and denominations are given fair and equitable access.

Canadian Content

The Commission reminds Victory that it must adhere to the minimum Canadian content requirements set out in the Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987. In this regard, the Commission notes Victory's proposal to broadcast a minimum of 70% Canadian content from 6:00 a.m. to midnight, and a minimum of 80% Canadian content from 6:00 p.m. to midnight.


In accordance with Victory's commitment, it is a condition of licence that the applicant not broadcast advertising.

Service to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

The Commission encourages Victory to provide service to the deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers within its service area. In this regard, the Commission notes Victory's intention to provide closed captioning of locally-produced programs during the licence term.

Employment Equity

In Public Notice CRTC 1992-59 dated 1 September 1992 and entitled "Implementation of an Employment Equity Policy", the Commission announced that the employment equity practices of broadcasters would be subject to examination by the Commission. In this regard, the Commission encourages the applicant to consider employment equity issues in its hiring practices and in all other aspects of its management of human resources.

Other Matters

It is a condition of licence that construction of this undertaking be completed and that it be in operation within twelve months of the date of this decision or, where the applicant applies to the Commission within this period and satisfies the Commission that it cannot complete implementation before the expiry of this period and that an extension is in the public interest, within such further periods of time as are approved in writing by the Commission.

It is a condition of licence that the applicant adhere to the guidelines on gender portrayal set out in the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' (CAB) "Sex-Role Portrayal Code for Television and Radio Programming", as amended from time to time and accepted by the Commission.

It is a condition of licence that the applicant adhere to the guidelines on the depiction of violence in television programming set out in the CAB's "Voluntary Code Regarding Violence in Television Programming", as amended from time to time and accepted by the Commission.

The Commission acknowledges and has considered the interventions submitted regarding this application.

Allan J. Darling
Secretary General

Date modified: