ARCHIVED - Public Notice CRTC 2001-105

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Public Notice CRTC 2001-105

Ottawa, 4 October 2001

Introductory statement to Decisions CRTC 2001-625 to 2001-629: Radio applications considered at the 22 May 2001 public hearing in the National Capital Region

In this document, the Commission sets out its rationale for decisions on radio applications that it considered at the 22 May 2001 public hearing. The Commission has also set out its rationale in the decisions released today for each of the applications approved.



At the 22 May 2001 public hearing, the Commission considered eleven applications for new FM radio stations to serve the Ottawa/Hull region. These applications were competing on a technical basis. Five of the applications proposed to use the frequency 97.9 MHz, four proposed the frequency 89.9 MHz and two proposed the frequency 95.7 MHz. For technical reasons, only one application could be approved for each frequency proposed.

Applications under consideration


Four applicants proposed to operate an English-language radio station. Harvard Developments Inc., on behalf of a company to be incorporated, Standard Radio Inc. and Douglas E. Kirk, on behalf of a company to be incorporated, proposed a New Adult Contemporary/Smooth Jazz musical format, while Newcap Inc. proposed a Dance Music format.


Four other applicants proposed to operate a French-language radio station. Fondation Radio Enfant, on behalf of a company to be incorporated, proposed a community radio station dedicated to children and youth. Coopérative Radio Ville-Marie Outaouais proposed a religious station. Yves Belzile, on behalf of a company to be incorporated, proposed to operate a station with a Country music format in Buckingham, Quebec, and 9098-7280 Québec inc. proposed a specialty format station (classical music).


Two applicants proposed to operate an ethnic station: 914258 Ontario Limited, on behalf of a company to be incorporated, and Radio 1540 Limited. Gary Farmer, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated (Aboriginal Voices Radio), proposed to operate an English- and Aboriginal-language native (Type B ) FM radio station.

The Commission's determinations


After considering the applications at a public hearing, the Commission has approved three applicants on their proposed frequencies. The Commission has approved the application by Newcap Inc. for an English-language Dance Music station on the frequency 89.9 MHz (Decision CRTC 2001-628); the application by Radio 1540 Limited for an ethnic station on the frequency 97.9 MHz (Decision CRTC 2001-625); and the application by Gary Farmer, on behalf of to be incorporated (Aboriginal Voices Radio), for a native station on the frequency 95.7 MHz (Decision CRTC 2001-627). Further, the Commission has approved in part an application by 9098-7280 Québec inc. for a French-language specialty (classical music) station, but has required the applicant to submit an application proposing the use of another frequency (Decision CRTC 2001-626) before the licence is issued. The Commission has set out the reasons for its decisions regarding the applications approved today in each of the aforementioned decisions. In Decision CRTC 2001-629, the Commission has denied the other competing applications.


In its assessment of the applications, the Commission took into account four main factors, or bases of comparison, that it has identified as usually being relevant to the evaluation of competing applications for new radio services. While their relative importance will vary depending on the specific circumstances of the market concerned, the four factors are as follows:

· quality of the applications, including the provision they make for optimal use of the frequency applied for,
· impact on the market of a new entrant,
· competitive state of the market, and
· diversity of news voices in a community.


The Commission discussed the factors set out above and the technical alternatives that may be available to each of the applicants at the public hearing, and considered all these factors in reaching its decisions. The Commission also took into account the particular circumstances of the Ottawa/Hull market and the particulars of the current applications.


The Ottawa/Hull region includes Canada's national capital. It has a population of over one million people living on both sides of the Ottawa River. This community forms a microcosm of Canadian society and of its linguistic, cultural and ethnic diversity. It includes a large official language minority population on each bank-French-language in Ottawa and English-language on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River-as well as numerous ethnic minority groups and an Aboriginal population.


Despite the current economic situation, which affects the telecommunications and information processing sectors in particular, the economic growth forecasts for the Ottawa/Hull region continue to be generally optimistic for the coming years. The constant strong presence of the federal government and the jobs it provides help to stabilize the region's economy.


The private commercial stations serving the Ottawa/Hull region belong to large broadcasting groups such as Rogers Broadcasting Limited, Standard Radio Inc., CHUM Limited, Astral Communications inc. and Télémédia Radio inc. On the whole, the average profitability of these stations in 2000 was well above the average overall profitability of the industry in Canada.


The Commission has determined from the foregoing that the Ottawa/Hull market can absorb one new station serving each of the four proposed groups without adversely affecting the existing licensees to any extent. Since only three frequencies have been proposed, one of the applicants must choose a new frequency. The Commission notes that, based on discussions with applicants at the public hearing, there are other radio frequencies available for use in the market.


The services licensed today will add to the diversity of radio services offered in the Ottawa/Hull region and will make additional points of view available to listeners in the area and bring four smaller/mid-size players into the market. The new dance music and classical music stations will broaden the choice in music. The new ethnic station will provide service to one of the largest ethnic populations in Canada still not served by a local radio station, while the Aboriginal station will provide a service of interest to a general audience and particularly to Aboriginal audiences in the region.

French-language radio services in the Ottawa/Hull area


As indicated above, after considering the four applications proposing French-language radio services in the Ottawa/Hull region, the Commission, has approved in part the application proposing a specialty classical music format, but requires, among other things, that the applicant find another frequency before a licence will be issued. The Commission considers that the musical programming of this new station is likely to appeal to a broad segment of the National Capital Region's population, and will contribute to further their ability to be entertained and informed in the language of their choice.


The Commission has recognized the concerns expressed by the interveners on the availability of frequencies to meet the requirements of the Franco-Ontarian community in the Ottawa region. In the joint intervention presented at the public hearing by the Alliance des radios communautaires du Canada (ARCC) and Productions RireOLarmes, and in written interventions submitted by the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne, the Association canadienne-française de l'Ontario (ACFO), the Mouvement des intervenants et des intervenantes en communication radio de l'Ontario (MICRO) and Caisse populaire Orléans inc., interveners suggested, in particular that none of the applicants at the public hearing intended to offer community-oriented French-language programming that would reflect the richness of Franco-Ontarian culture. It was also argued that, in view of the scarcity of frequencies, assignment of the frequencies proposed by the applicants could threaten French-language community radio proposals currently under development that are intended to serve the Franco-Ontarian communities of Ottawa and the Prescott-Russell region.


The Commission notes that the community radio station proposals referred to by the interveners were not part of the competitive process at this public hearing, since no such applications were submitted. Although the ARCC indicated at the public hearing that these proposals were currently in the development phase, the intervener's statements implied that their implementation could take several more years.


Furthermore, the proposed French-language community radio station dedicated to the children and youth of the Ottawa/Hull region was not supported by these interveners, although it attempted to respond in part to the Franco-Ontarian cultural reality. However, the Commission notes the efforts, enthusiasm and support demonstrated by many sectors of the community, especially Quebec and Franco-Ontarian organizations and institutions, related to the development of this proposal. The ARCC stated at the hearing that it did not oppose this proposal, but could not support it because it was not intended to serve the entire community. The ARCC also indicated that its mandate was concerned only with protecting the interests of French-language minorities outside Quebec.


As indicated in its policy set out in Public Notice CRTC 2000-13, the Commission considers that any proposal for a community radio station to serve the needs of Francophones and Francophiles in the National Capital Region should permit members of the Francophone community at large to be members and to participate in its management and operations with the objective of offering programming that reflects the market that it would eventually be called to serve. The Commission notes the many interventions from different perspectives, which indicate the importance and context for the development of community radio programming in the French-language in Ottawa.

Secretary General

This document is available in alternative format upon request, and may also be examined at the following Internet site:

Date Modified: 2001-10-04

Date modified: