ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2002-357

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Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2002-357

Ottawa, 8 November 2002

Radio campus des étudiants de l'Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières
Trois-Rivières, Quebec

Application 2002-0159-1
Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2002-26
17 May 2002

CFOU-FM Trois-Rivières - Licence renewal


The Commission received an application by Radio Campus des étudiants de l'Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières to renew the licence for CFOU-FM Trois-Rivières.


The Commission received no intervention in connection with this application.

Filing of the renewal application


The Commission authorized the licensee to operate CFOU-FM in New FM campus/community radio programming undertaking, Decision CRTC 97-138, 15 April 1997. The station serves the student body at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR).


The Commission issued the initial licence with an expiry date of 31 August 2000. The Commission twice renewed the licence for CFOU-FM for short periods, initially in Six-month administrative renewal, Decision CRTC 2000-373, 31 August 2000, and again in Decision CRTC 2001-125, 26 February 2001, to give the licensee more time to file a complete renewal application.


The Commission finally received the licence renewal application from CFOU-FM on 6 March 2002. In Administrative renewal, Decision CRTC 2002-127, 30 April 2002, the Commission renewed the licence for CFOU-FM until 31 December 2002 to enable the licensee to put its affairs in order and allow the Commission time to rule on this renewal application.

The licensee's explanations


The licensee's Board of Directors (the Board) advised the Commission that the correspondence concerning CFOU-FM's licence renewal had never been brought to the Board's attention or submitted to it for consideration. The Board stated that it was unaware of any of the attempts made by the Commission to facilitate the licence renewal through its administrative renewals. It added that each time the issue of licence renewal was raised with the Board, such as at the general meeting, the person then serving as executive director had assured the Board that the licence renewal application had been filed with the Commission and that all was in order.


The Board stated that it was aware that the Commission was not required to accept the renewal application because the licensee had failed to meet the deadlines. According to the Board, the efforts and volunteer activities of an entire community would be nullified by the irresponsibility of a single person.


The Board pointed out that the campus radio station trains communications interns and coaches student volunteers who produce programs as part of their studies. Furthermore, as a community station, the station has co-operation agreements in place with community and socio-cultural groups to promote the Trois-Rivières community, and agreements with local artists to promote their activities. The Board stated that closing the station would be harmful to the interests of all those groups because CFOU-FM is the only station in the region that regularly promotes their activities free of charge.


The Board made a commitment to take all necessary steps to ensure that this situation does not occur again. It confirmed its decision to create a committee to review the bylaws that constitute the campus station's charter. The framework for this review was filed with the licence renewal application, and amendments were to be completed by late April 2002.


The proposed amendments concern the introduction of controls and measures to facilitate communications between the Board and the station's executive director. The Board will require the executive director to submit to it copies of all correspondence with the CRTC, including that pertaining to any licence renewal application, and a full quarterly report on the station's activities. The Board will also ensure that the tasks and responsibilities of the Board, the executive director and the station's program director are more clearly defined. Finally, the bylaws will require an external audit of financial statements.

The Commission's analysis and conclusion


The Commission notes that a licence renewal is not retroactive. As a result, the Commission finds that the licensee operated CFOU-FM without a valid broadcasting licence after 31 August 2001. That is a violation of section 32(1) of the Broadcasting Act (the Act), which stipulates in part that "every person who, not being exempt from the requirement to hold a licence, carries on a broadcasting undertaking without a licence therefor is guilty of an offence".


In accepting the renewal application for CFOU-FM, the Commission considered the licensee's explanations, specifically the fact that the Board was not informed of the situation, and that this was due to the actions of a single person who is no longer employed by CFOU-FM. The Commission also took into account the fact that the licensee has made a commitment to take the necessary measures to ensure that the situation does not recur.


The Commission's willingness to approve the licence renewal for CFOU-FM is based on the knowledge that denying the renewal would mean that the licensee would have to cease operation of the station. The student body at UQTR and the entire population of Trois-Rivières would thus be deprived of a service that serves the needs of the community. To resume station operations, the licensee would have to file an application for a new licence.


Given the seriousness of the offence, and to ensure in the short term that the measures that the licensee has committed to implement to prevent a recurrence are adequate, the Commission renews the licence for CFOU-FM from 1 January 2003 to 31 August 2004, instead of the maximum term of seven years. The licence will be subject to the conditions set out in New licence form for campus radio stations, Public Notice CRTC 2000-156, 16 November 2000. The Commission requires the licensee, within 30 days of the date of this decision, to submit a list of the specific measures it has taken in implementing the commitment mentioned above.


The Commission intends to monitor the situation closely over the coming months and advises the licensee that, if the Commission believes that the licensee is contravening the Act or any of CFOU-FM's conditions of licence, the Commission could, as authorized under the Act, take any and all enforcement action available to it, including issuance of an order to suspend or revoke the licence.

Secretary General

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

Date Modified: 2002-11-08

Date modified: