ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2002-338

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Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2002-338

Ottawa, 6 November 2002

Cathe Wagg
Victoria, British Columbia

Application 2001-0357-3
Public hearing in Calgary
10 April 2002

Low-power tourist information service in Victoria

In this decision, the Commission denies an application to operate a new English-language tourist information service in Victoria on frequency 88.9 MHz (channel 205LP).

The application


The Commission received an application by Cathe Wagg for authority to operate, at frequency 88.9 MHz (channel 205LP), with an effective radiated power of 50 watts, a new, low-power English-language FM radio station to provide a tourist information service in Victoria.


The applicant indicated that the station would broadcast in the Victoria area, on a year-round basis, pre-recorded tourist information programs aimed at providing visitors with information of interest on tourist attractions and outdoor activities.



The Commission received opposing interventions from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the Alliance des radios communautaires du Canada(ARC), the Comité Radio Victoria (CRV) and the Société francophone de Victoria (SFV).


In its intervention, the CBC stated that the frequency proposed by the applicant was identified in the CBC long range radio plan submitted to the Commission on
31 August 2001. Moreover, the intervener noted that, in Revised technical parameters for the new transmitter of CBUF-FM at Victoria - Denied, Decision CRTC 2001-316, 5 June 2001 (Decision 2001-316), the Commission concluded that 88.9 MHz was the only remaining FM frequency in Victoria suitable for transmitting the French-language stereo service La Chaîne culturelle. The CBC stated that, as a result, it was preparing to file an application1 for the use of this frequency. Lastly, the CBC argued that the applicant's proposal to operate at a power of 50 watts on an FM channel would represent an underutilization of the radio frequency spectrum.


ARC also considered that the channel would be underutilized, not only because of the proposed low-power output, but also because of the very limited target audience that the applicant intended to serve. The intervener noted that the applicant proposed a monaural service, which would be contrary to the Commission's determination set out in Decision 2001-316 and reiterated above. ARC also asked the Commission to ensure that 88.9 MHz be reserved for a future French-language community station in the Victoria area.


For its part, the CRV informed the Commission of its intention to file an application to operate a French-language FM community radio station in Victoria at 88.9 MHz. In addition, for the same reasons raised in ARC's intervention, the CRV also considered that the applicant would underutilize the frequency.


Finally, the SFV expressed support for both the ARC and CRV interventions. The SVF pointed to the broad support demonstrated by the Francophone community for the establishment of a French-language community radio station in Victoria. The intervener stated that a community station serving Victoria's Francophones, francophiles and allophones would be [translation] "a tool of choice to counter the assimilation of the French language and French-Canadian culture in Victoria." The SFV concluded by expressing the hope that 88.9 MHz would be [translation] "assigned exclusively to local French-language content produced by and for Victoria's Francophone community."

The applicant's reply


The applicant responded that, because it proposed to operate a low-power service, its use of the frequency was unprotected. Therefore, it would have to find another frequency for its service, if a proposal by any of the interveners to make better use of the frequency were subsequently approved. The applicant added that, in light of the foregoing, its proposal would not adversely affect any future application for a full-power French-language radio station in Victoria. With respect to broadcasting in monaural, the applicant indicated that it would consent to broadcast in stereo.

The Commission's analysis and conclusion


The Commission has considered the arguments raised by the interveners and finds that the CBC's intervention is justified. In CBC Vancouver - Addition of a transmitter, Decision CRTC 2002-339, also issued today, the Commission authorizes the CBC to use the 88.9 MHz (channel 205C1) frequency to operate a transmitter for the new FM station in Vancouver to rebroadcast La Chaîne culturelle programming in Victoria. Accordingly, the Commission denies the application by Cathe Wagg to operate a new English-language tourist information FM station in Victoria at 88.9 MHz.


The Commission encourages the applicant to find another frequency for its proposed tourist information service and to file a new proposal with the Commission.

Secretary General

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

1 Application 2002-0341-4 was received and announced in Public Notice CRTC 2002-28, 29 May 2002.

Date Modified: 2002-11-06

Date modified: