ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 99-540

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Decision CRTC 99-540

  Ottawa, 13 December 1999
  Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Newfoundland and Labrador
Mount Pearl, Newfoundland – 199901401
  28 June 1999 Public Hearing
National Capital Region
  Licence renewal for VOAR
  1. The Commission renews the broadcasting licence for VOAR Mount Pearl from 1 March 2000 to 31 August 2001, subject to the conditions specified in the licence to be issued.
  2. The Commission has renewed the licence for eighteen months because it wishes to assess at an earlier date the licensee’s compliance with the Radio Regulations, 1986 (the regulations). The serious concerns giving rise to this short term are discussed below.
  3. The Commission last renewed the licence for VOAR for a term of four years in Decision CRTC 95-324. This short-term renewal was the result of a shortfall in the level of Canadian musical selections in category 3 broadcast by VOAR during the week of 12 to 17 September 1994. The decision indicated that the Commission would assess the licensee’s compliance with the regulations over this four-year period.
  4. Section 8 of the regulations requires licensees to retain for a period of up to four weeks from the date of broadcast, and to furnish to the Commission upon request, "a clear and intelligible tape recording or other exact copy of all matter broadcast." On 29 July 1997, the Commission requested logger tapes and other material related to the programming broadcast by VOAR during the week of 20 to 26 July 1997. The licensee was, however, unable to provide tapes for two days of the week in question. In a letter dated 23 March 1998, the licensee stated that the missing sections of the tapes were due to staff oversight and technical problems. The licensee further outlined a number of measures that it had taken, and would undertake in the near future, to resolve problems with its logging equipment.
  5. Since it had found the licensee to be in non-compliance with the regulations during two consecutive licence terms, the Commission, in Notice of Public Hearing CRTC 1999-5 dated 30 April 1999, called the licensee to appear at a hearing to be held 28 June 1999. The licensee was advised that it would be expected to show cause why the Commission should not issue a mandatory order requiring compliance with regulatory requirements relating to logger tapes.
  6. If the Commission were to issue a mandatory order and the licensee failed to comply with the requirements mentioned therein, the Commission could provide evidence of such failure to the Federal Court. The licensee 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 liable to a fine as provided for by the Federal Court Rules.
  The hearing
  7. Pastor David Jamieson appeared at the hearing representing the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Newfoundland and Labrador, the licensee of VOAR. He outlined a number of steps that the Management Committee and the Board of Directors had undertaken to ensure that VOAR was in compliance with the requirements of the regulations relating to logger tapes.
  8. Among other things, the licensee has purchased a computerized logging system. The system operates automatically on a 31-day cycle. It is not necessary for volunteers or staff to use or touch the equipment for logging to occur. The system can download a week of programming within 30 minutes when requested. In addition, VOAR has installed a back-up logging system using video cassette recorders.
  9. VOAR’s general manager has also conducted training sessions about CRTC logging requirements for all staff members and volunteers.
  10. The Commission is satisfied with the measures taken by the licensee. It considers that VOAR has demonstrated a firm commitment to comply with the regulations including, in particular, section 8 in the future. The Commission therefore considers that it is not necessary to impose a mandatory order. It does, however, consider that a short-term renewal of 18 months is appropriate in light of the repeated compliance problems that the licensee has experienced. The Commission will monitor closely VOAR’s performance, and places the licensee on notice that if it determines that VOAR has again failed to comply with section 8 of the regulations, it may take any enforcement measures available to it under the Broadcasting Act.
  Other matters
  11. It a condition of licence that the licensee 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 approved by the Commission. The application of the foregoing condition of licence will be suspended as long as the licensee is a member in good standing of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.
  12. It is a condition of licence that the licensee adhere to the provisions of the CAB's Broadcast Code for Advertising to Children, as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission.
  13. 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 licensee to consider employment equity issues in its hiring practices and in all other aspects of its management of human resources.
  14. The Commission has considered the interventions submitted in support of this application.
  Secretary General
  This decision is to be appended to the licence. It is available in alternative format upon request, and may also be viewed at the following Internet site:
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