ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Circular CRTC 2002-448

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Broadcasting Circular CRTC 2002-448


Ottawa, 7 June 2002


The CRTC Streamlines Radio Renewals Process


Section 5(2)(g) of the Broadcasting Act stipulates that "the Canadian broadcasting system should be regulated and supervised in a flexible manner that is sensitive to the administrative burden that, as a consequence of such regulation and supervision, may be imposed on persons carrying on broadcasting undertakings". The Commission has in recent years worked towards achieving this objective through various streamlining initiatives. In addition to assisting the licensees on broadcasting undertakings, these initiatives have allowed the Commission to improve its efficiency and effectiveness as a regulatory body, and to direct its limited resources to priority sectors.


The Commission has recently reviewed its existing procedures for renewing radio licences. It concludes that there are opportunities to reduce the administrative burden that many radio licensees face at the time of their licence renewals.


Each year the Commission considers approximately 125 to 150 radio licence renewals. Experience has shown that approximately 80 % of these renewals raise no concern for either interveners or the Commission. It is therefore reasonable that such licensees be permitted to benefit from a streamlined process provided that basic regulatory requirements are not compromised. Such requirements include the need to file a renewal application and to hold a public process inviting Canadians to participate in the renewal process.


Accordingly, for radio licences expiring in 2003 and subsequently, the following administrative practice has been adopted:


· An AM or FM radio licensee whose performance in the past licence term raises no concern and who wishes to have its licence renewed under the same terms and conditions as its current licence will be asked to file a short licence renewal application (abridged application). The Commission's determination as to whether the licensee's performance during the past licence term raises any concern will be based on the results of the Commission's on-going compliance monitoring of licensees, as well as its review of complaints filed against the licensee during the licence term.


· Based on the abridged application, the Commission will then proceed to issue a public notice proposing to renew the licence for a full seven year term and seeking public comment on this proposal.


· An AM or FM radio licensee will be required to file the current renewal application form (long form application) in the following circumstances: the licensee has been found to be in apparent non-compliance with a condition of licence or a regulation; the licensee's file contains outstanding issues; or the licensee is not seeking to renew its licence on the same terms and conditions as its current licence.


· An AM or FM radio licensee who originally filed an abridged application may be required to re-file a long form application if, after publication of the abridged application, the Commission determines this to be appropriate, i.e. should unresolved issues become apparent through the public process.


· Where a long form application is used, the Commission's existing practices and procedures will remain unchanged. This may include requiring the licensee to appear at a public hearing where appropriate.


While it has adopted these new procedures, the Commission will continue to carry out its supervisory role through its on-going compliance monitoring activities. These include assessing a licensee's compliance with the programming content requirements of the regulations and conditions of licence, and its overall performance with regard to such other matters as general filing requirements, Canadian Talent Development (CTD) contributions, spending requirements associated with tangible benefits from previously approved transfers of ownership, Canadian ownership requirements, and obligations concerning employment equity practices. The Commission will also continue to consider all complaints filed, as well as any negative rulings issued by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.


The Commission's consideration of renewal applications for AM and FM radio licences will take place in accordance with the following timeline:


· A qualifying radio licensee will be requested to file an abridged application by the end of June of the year prior to that in which the current licence is to expire.


· A public notice will be issued in early September.


· A licensee who does not qualify for the abridged application procedure will be required to file the long form application by the end of October.


· Public notices or notices of public hearing dealing with long form applications will be issued beginning in February of the year in which the licence is to expire.


The Commission will assess the effectiveness of this streamlining measure after the 2003 radio renewal round has been completed.


Secretary General


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

Date Modified: 2002-06-07

Date modified: