ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 96-734

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See also: 96-734-1

Ottawa, 6 November 1996

Decision CRTC 96-734
Campus Laval FM inc.
Québec, Quebec - 952279800
Licence Renewal; Issuance of a Mandatory Order
Following a Public Hearing held in Québec beginning on 9 July 1996, the Commission renews the licence for Type B community radio programming undertaking CKRL-FM Québec, from 1 January 1997 to 31 August 1998, subject to conditions in effect under the current licence, as well as to those conditions specified in this decision and in the licence to be issued. This short-term licence renewal will enable the Commission to review the licensee's performance at an early date in view of the serious concerns discussed in this decision.
The Commission called Campus Laval FM inc. to appear at the July 1996 hearing to discuss its apparent non-compliance with section 8 of the Radio Regulations, 1986 (the regulations) relating to the submission of logger tapes, subsection 2.2(5) of the regulations relating to the broadcast of French-language vocal music, and CKRL-FM's conditions of licence relating to the broadcast of Canadian musical selections from categories 2 (General) and 3 (Traditional and Special Interest). In Notice of Public Hearing CRTC 1996-5 dated 10 May 1996, the Commission advised the licensee that it would be expected to show cause at the hearing why the Commission should not issue a mandatory order requiring the licensee to comply with section 8 and subsection 2.2(5) of the regulations, as well as with its conditions of licence relating to category 2 and category 3 music.
This is the fourth licence renewal decision in which the licensee has been found to be in non-compliance with its commitments and requirements. Decision CRTC 86-772 renewed CKRL-FM's licence for a two-year term because of the licensee's failure to honour the commitments in its Promise of Performance relating to the broadcast of rock music and traditional and special interest music. Decision CRTC 88-722 renewed CKRL-FM's licence, but noted shortcomings in foreground programming, French-language vocal music, and the distribution of vocal and instrumental music. Decision CRTC 93-440 renewed the station's licence for a short term because of the licensee's failure to comply with subsections 8(5) and 8(6) of the regulations relating to logger tapes.
During the current licence term, the Commission asked the Iicensee to submit the logger tapes and related documentation for the programming broadcast during the week of 22 to 28 January 1995. When submitting the logger tapes, the licensee informed the Commission that six hours of programming broadcast during that week were missing because of an error on the part of an operator. The Commission's analysis of the station's programming revealed that the logger tapes also lacked about one hour and twenty minutes of the program "Mouton-Café", as well as twelve
hours of programming broadcast on Saturday, 28 January. The Iicensee was thus again in non-compliance with section 8 of the regulations.
In correspondence with the Commission relating to this matter, the Iicensee explained that the cassettes are changed every six hours by volunteer staff who relieve one another several times a day, and that this [TRANSLATION] "makes it difficult to maintain absolute control". At the hearing, the Iicensee added that [TRANSLATION] "operating errors, human errors, are in fact the primary causes for the missing hours during the week of 22 to 28 January 1995". The licensee further indicated that, since then, it has taken corrective measures. The measures mentioned by the Iicensee include the purchase of two additional VCRs and the assignment of one person with responsibility for all daily programming.
At the hearing, the Commission reminded the licensee that the availability of a complete, clear and intelligible logger tape is particularly important as it allows the Commission not only to initiate its own verification of programming, but also to act on complaints from the general public concerning programming matters. In Public Notice CRTC 1993-122 dated 19 August 1993 and entitled "Compliance with the Provisions of the Radio Regulations, 1986 Relating to Logger Tapes", the Commission gave clear warning to ten community radio stations, including CKRL-FM, that were in a state of non-compliance with the logger tape provisions of the regulations. The Commission cautioned them that it intended to use every available means to ensure compliance with the regulations in this area.
The Commssion's analysis of the programming broadcast by CKRL-FM on 23 and 25 January 1995 revealed that, of a total of 720 category 2 vocal selections broadcast, 47.2% were French-language selections. Subsection 2.2(5) of the regulations requires AM or FM licensees licensed to operate in the French language to devote, each broadcast week, 65% or more of their vocal musical selections from content category 2 to musical selections in the French language and to schedule those selections in a reasonable manner throughout each broadcast day.
In its letter of 7 August 1995, the Iicensee explained that [TRANSLATION]:
 the problem was caused by unequal distribution of French-language material in some time segments, which we found were mainly during the afternoons on weekdays and Saturdays [and] to correct this, we rearranged our afternoon programming to increase French-language content substantially.
The Iicensee also stated that [TRANSLATION]:
 ... the extreme musical diversity of CKRL programming, reflecting very eclectic choices, as well as the basic concept of our programming mosaic, makes it harder to achieve our quota.... In fact, our percentage of English-language vocal music is probably among the lowest of all radio stations in Quebec, because we are increasingly playing international popular music.
In this regard, the Commission indicated at the hearing that its analysis of the level of English-language vocal music broadcast by the station during the week of 22 to 28 January 1995 showed that the Iicensee, in fact, had broadcast 51.9% English-language music and 47.2% French-language music. When asked to comment on this at the hearing, the Iicensee maintained it was due to [TRANSLATION] "a lack of training at the time", which it has since remedied.
In particular, the Iicensee indicated that all personnel must now be trained before being authorized to enter selections in the broadcast log. The licensee explained [TRANSLATION]:
 This training concentrates on the CRTC requirements and the Glossary of Radio Terms, where we noticed there were problems of understanding. Personnel are also provided with information on a regular basis through an in-house newsletter to cultivate this sense of responsibility among the volunteers. We also provided an aide-memoire together with the volunteers' work tools, to help them to interpret the glossary and regulations.
The Commission's analysis of the programming broadcast by CKRL-FM on 23 and 25 January 1995 provided further indication of the licensee's failure to honour its Promise of Performance. Canadian selections accounted for 26.6% of category 2 musical selections and 7.5% of category 3 musical selections; the Iicensee had committed by condition of licence to broadcast 38% and 15%, respectively. In its letter of 7 August 1995, the Iicensee explained this failure to honour its commitments as follows [TRANSLATION]:
 Commercial stations base their programming on a playlist prepared in advance by a single music director, but we have to make do with programming produced by over 130 volunteers, and they may find it hard to always calculate accurately the Canadian content of their programs. In this regard, it is difficult for us to provide proper training, particularly because our volunteer workers are constantly being replaced, and this means we have to go back to square one each time.
The Iicensee added that it has decided to upgrade its training [TRANSLATION]:
 ... while computerizing our music library catalogue this summer, we added a section to the computer descriptive entry for each recording entitled Canadian content. Beginning this fall, our volunteer producers in future will be able to refer to this catalogue and use it to increase the Canadian content of their programs to satisfy your requirements.
To gauge the effectiveness of the measures taken by the Iicensee to solve its non-compliance problems, the Commission again analyzed the Iicensee's programming, this time selecting the material broadcast during the week of 30 June to 6 July 1996. The Commission's analysis revealed that the logger tapes were complete. However, the Commission's analysis of the programming broadcast on 2 and 3 July, and its estimate of the musical selections aired over the course of the week, indicated that the applicant was in non-compliance with respect to the provision of the required level of French-language vocal music (64.4%) and of Canadian content in category 2 (36.7%). As for category 3 musical selections broadcast, a level of 18.6% was achieved. Nevertheless, these percentages cannot be confirmed due to the fact that, as discovered by Commission staff, the music lists provided for the days analyzed did not entirely reflect the programming broadcast.
As part of its licence renewal application, the licensee asked the Commission to amend CKRL-FM's conditions of licence by reducing the required level of Canadian musical selections in category 2 from 38% to 30% and Canadian musical selections in category 3 from 15% to 10%. At the hearing, the Iicensee submitted that the current percentages are somewhat high in view of the fact that the station's programming has evolved over CKRL-FM's 23 years of operation. The licensee added that it has no intention of changing its programming style, and that the percentage reductions indicated above were essentially intended to facilitate compliance with its Promise of Performance.
Having examined the Iicensee's application, the Commission considers that the licensee's circumstances do not warrant a departure from the Commission's long-standing practice of denying all licence amendment applications filed by Iicensees who are in a state of non-compliance. Accordingly, the Commission denies this request.
The Commission wishes to point out that, although CKRL-FM, as a community station, is staffed in large part by volunteers and consequently does not have the same type of organization as a commercial radio station, this in no way justifies its failure to comply with the regulations. Licensees of community stations are ultimately responsible for their station's performance, and the onus is on them to put in place effective mechanisms and to provide the training and supervision required to ensure compliance at all times with the regulations and their conditions of licence.
The Commission is gravely concerned with the repeated failure of Campus Laval FM inc. to comply with the requirements of the regulations and CKRL-FM's conditions of licence. The Commission has considered the licensee's explanations provided in its correspondence and at the hearing regarding its failure to comply during the licence term ending 31 August 1996. The Commssion is of the view that the licensee has not shown cause why the Commission should not issue a mandatory order. Consequently, the Commission has decided to issue Mandatory Order 1996-3 set out in the appendix to this decision. This mandatory order will be in effect throughout the new licence term.
The Commission will file a certified copy of this mandatory order with the registrar of the Federal Court. As set out in subsection 13(1) of the Broadcasting Act, the Commission's mandatory order will then become an order of the Federal Court, and will be enforceable in the same manner as an order of the Court.
If, at any time, the licensee should fail to comply with the requirements of the regulations or the conditions of its licence mentioned in the Mandatory Order appended to this decision, the Commission would provide evidence of such failure to the Federal Court. Campus Laval FM inc. would then be required to appear before the Federal Court on a charge of contempt of court. If the licensee were found guilty, it would be found in contempt of court and liable to a fine as provided for by the Federal Court Rules.
While granting CKRL-FM another short-term renewal, the Commission emphasizes that it may have recourse to additional measures in the event of any future non-compliance with the regulations or conditions of licence, including suspension, non-renewal or revocation of the licence.
The Commission notes that the station will devote 15% or more of its overall musical programming to material from content category 3 (Traditional and Special Interest).
It is a condition of licence that the licensee broadcast no more than 6 minutes of advertising in every hour of broadcast, and that it broadcast no more than an average of 4 minutes of advertising for every hour of broadcast up to a total of 504 minutes of advertising per week, in accordance with the community radio policy for Type B stations.
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. It considers that community radio stations should be particularly sensitive to this issue in order to reflect fully the communities they serve. It encourages the licensee to consider employment equity issues in its hiring practices and in all other aspects of its management of human resources.
The Commission acknowledges the seven written interventions submitted in support of this licence renewal.
This decision is to be appended to the licence.
Allan J. Darling
Secretary General
Mandatory Order 1996-3
Campus Laval FM inc., the licensee of CKRL-FM Québec, is hereby ordered, pursuant to subsection 12(2) of the Broadcasting Act, to comply, at all times within the term of the licence granted in Decision CRTC 96-734 dated 6 November 1996, with the following:
·  Subsection 2.2(5) of the Radio Regulations, 1986, as set out below:
2.2(5)  Except as otherwise provided pursuant to a condition of its licence, an A.M. or F.M. licensee licensed to operate in the French language shall, each broadcast week, devote 65 per cent or more of its vocal musical selections from content category 2 to musical selections in the French language and schedule those selections in a reasonable manner throughout each broadcast day.
·  Its conditions of licence according to which it shall, each broadcast week, devote 38 per cent or more of its musical selections from content category 2 and 15 per cent or more of its musical selections from content category 3 to Canadian selections and schedule those selections in a reasonable manner throughout each broadcast day.

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